I always like to use Average Draft Position data as a guide for sleepers, and that's not easy to do in early April when most Fantasy leagues are in hibernation. But for Sleepers 1.0, we do have some help with a few sites for best ball leagues. Now, before you say it, we're well aware this early for sleepers in 2023. The NFL Draft happens at the end of this month, and plenty of things will change. We know that. But if you've read this far already, it means you're curious. And we have a job to do, which is to satisfy that curiosity. So keep reading, and keep coming back for more over the next several months. This is how you get ahead of your competition.
Based on early ADP data for NFFC and FFPC best ball leagues, the Chiefs have two receivers in Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore who have sleeper appeal. And by the time we get to August, one or both might graduate to breakout candidates.
JuJu Smith-Schuster (Patriots) and Mecole Hardman (Jets) are no longer in Kansas City, and they combined for 135 targets in 2022 for 103 catches, 1,230 yards and seven touchdowns. Hardman also added two rushing touchdowns.
While that production doesn't seem like much for two players, Toney and Moore might be better than the combination of Smith-Schuster and Hardman as individuals from a talent standpoint heading into this season. And Toney could be a star.
His ADP for NFFC is 103 overall, and he's at 94.1 on FFPC. I'm sure he'll continue to trend up through the summer as he should be the No. 1 receiver for Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes. Reid is already gushing about Toney, who the Chiefs acquired via trade from the Giants last season.
"Kadarius did a nice job for us," Reid said recently at the NFL league meetings in Arizona. "He came in and did what we asked. We had to rest him for a while with the hamstring, we tried to get that back, and I could see where he wanted to rush things back and get back in there — he loves to play. We backed up and let it heal and he was good after that."
Toney only had 17 targets in seven games with Kansas City in the regular season, but he showed flashes of his potential. He had four catches for 57 yards and a touchdown on five targets in Week 10 against Jacksonville, and he had four catches for 71 yards on four targets against Denver in Week 17. And in the Super Bowl win against Philadelphia, he had a 65-yard punt return and a 5-yard touchdown on his lone catch.
As a rookie in 2021 with the Giants, Toney had four games with at least nine targets, and he scored at least 11 PPR points in three of them, including two outings with at least 19 PPR points. Injuries are definitely a concern for Toney, as Reid alluded to, and he missed eight games as a rookie and eight games between both teams last year.
But his potential is what Fantasy managers are looking at, especially in this offense, and he should be drafted as a No. 3 wide receiver with huge upside. I wouldn't be surprised if Toney was a top 20 Fantasy receiver this season -- if he stays healthy.
Moore also has immense upside, and his current ADP is 150 on NFFC and 156.8 on FFPC. He had a quiet rookie season in 2022 with just 22 catches for 250 yards on 22 targets, and his lone touchdown came in the Super Bowl on a 4-yard reception for his only catch in that game.
Like Toney, Reid is also excited about Moore. He's worth drafting as a No. 4 Fantasy receiver, and I would draft him closer to Round 10 than his current ADP.
"We are expecting Skyy Moore to step up," Reid said at the league meetings. "We'll just see how everything else works. We got the same guys coming back that we had, and we like that group with the exception of JuJu. Mecole was banged up a little bit so he didn't have a chance to play as much as he would have wanted. We'll work out the thing without JuJu. Somebody will have to step up and take that spot."
The Chiefs could alter their receiving corps in the NFL Draft, and I wouldn't be surprised if they made a trade to upgrade that unit. But as things stand right now, Toney and Moore are in great spots, which is why we're talking about them at the start of Sleepers 1.0.
Now, here are some other sleepers to consider for this season.
Jared Goff, Lions
Goff might be considered a bust candidate by some based on how he finished in 2022, which was the No. 8 quarterback for total points. He was No. 14 in points per game at 19.4, and that's a better indication of how you should view him. And it would not be a surprise to see him perform like that again this season. Hopefully, a full season with Jameson Williams at 100 percent can make this passing game dangerous, and Goff already has a star receiver in Amon-Ra St. Brown. Marvin Jones was also a quality signing as a free agent to replace the departed D.J. Chark. And maybe Goff finds another touchdown or five after Jamaal Williams scored 14 touchdowns from the 4-yard line or closer last season, including 10 from the 1-yard line. For the season, Goff had 4,438 passing yards, 29 touchdowns and seven interceptions, along with 73 rushing yards, and you can draft him with a late-round pick (ADP of 94 on NFFC and 99.1 on FFPC). He could once again be a surprise top-12 quarterback in 2023.
Geno Smith, Seahawks
Like Goff, Smith might be considered a bust candidate by some based on his finish last season as the No. 5 overall quarterback and No. 9 in points per game at 20.5. The NFL Draft could change how I feel about Smith if the Seahawks draft a quarterback at No. 5 overall, even if it's someone just for 2024 and beyond, because you don't want Smith looking over his shoulder at a prized rookie. Smith didn't have to worry about job security in 2022 when he took over for Russell Wilson and had the best season of his career by far, passing for 4,282 yards, 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while also running for 366 yards and one score. He had 11 games with at least 20 Fantasy points, and he has a solid receiving corps led by D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. At 32, there's the obvious potential for regression, but he's cheap on Draft Day with an ADP of 97 on NFFC and 102.3 on FFPC. If you like to wait on a quarterback, Smith is a great one to target since he could once again offer top-12 upside.
Running Back Sleepers
Samaje Perine, Broncos
With Javonte Williams (knee) potentially limited or out to start the season, the Broncos added Perine as a free agent this offseason. At the NFL league meetings, new coach Sean Payton was asked about bringing back free agent Latavius Murray, and he said "we'll see." So right now, Perine is someone to target in all Fantasy leagues as early as Round 8, even if Williams is ready for Week 1, just in case Williams has a setback. Perine's current ADP is 178 on NFFC and 113 on FFPC, and that will skyrocket if Williams isn't ready for training camp. Perine had four games in 2022 with the Bengals with double digits in touches, and he scored at least 13 PPR points in each outing. "If you really watch Perine and study the tape, you see him on early downs, and you see him playing third down," Payton said. "He's a really good receiver. Obviously, he could block the blitz. He's big, he's physical, he's smart, he's tough. He's built to last. That was an important piece for us knowing the injury that we're dealing with. He was really important." Perine is one of my favorite sleepers this season.
A.J. Dillon, Packers
Dillon falls into the category of post-hype sleeper after he was a breakout candidate in 2022 but failed to break out. He had plenty of good moments, most of them down the stretch, when he averaged 13.8 PPR points per game over his final six outings. The main reason was he scored six touchdowns over that span, but he also had 11 of his 28 receptions during that time. Dillon will still play Robin to Aaron Jones' Batman, and Dillon would likely need a Jones injury to maximize his production. But this season, we could see even more of an emphasis placed on the ground game in Green Bay with Jordan Love the likely starter for the Packers. Last year, Dillon had an ADP of No. 62 overall on CBS Sports. Now, he has an ADP of 96 on NFFC and 99.6 on FFPC, and that could be a steal. I'm targeting Dillon as a No. 3 running back in all leagues with the chance to be a star if he starts any games for the Packers this year.
D'Onta Foreman, Bears
I think we're all rooting for Khalil Herbert to be the No. 1 running back in Chicago now that David Montgomery signed as a free agent with Detroit. But what if Foreman is the better Bears running back at a cheaper cost? Foreman, who signed as a free agent with the Bears on a one-year, $3 million deal, has an ADP of 127 on NFFC and 131.3 on FFPC. That's better than Herbert's ADP of 102 on NFFC and 86.1 on FFPC. In 2022, Foreman took over for Christian McCaffrey as the lead running back in Carolina in Week 7, and he had 189 carries for 896 yards and five touchdowns in 11 games, along with five catches for 26 yards on nine targets. Foreman is not going to help you much in the passing game (he has 23 career catches for 265 yards and two touchdowns on 31 targets), but he might be the primary rusher for the Bears. Keep in mind Foreman also had a productive 2021 when he replaced an injured Derrick Henry for a stretch of the season and rushed 133 times for 566 yards and three touchdowns. With the Panthers, Foreman had six games with at least 15 carries, and he scored at least 15 PPR points in four of them. He'll need volume and the chance to score touchdowns, but he could be a sneaky No. 3 Fantasy running back on a Bears offense expected to improve dramatically in 2023. While I would draft Herbert first, I'm definitely buying stock in Foreman this year.
The Dolphins are running it back with their running backs in 2023, which is something many people didn't expect. The thought was Miami would start fresh in the backfield with Wilson and Mostert as free agents, but both were retained, so here we are. And both are definitely easy choices at their current ADP, which is sure to rise (Wilson is at 169 on NFFC and 164.4 on FFPC and Mostert is at 172 on NFFC and 164.1 on FFPC). We'll see if the Dolphins add anyone else in the NFL Draft, but coach Mike McDaniel seems content with his guys based on recent comments at the NFL league meetings. "I think we were able to get those two guys together, which was very important, and I see them as a big part of our team," McDaniel said. "I'm very excited to get those guys, and I honestly believe they're playing their best ball of their careers." I'm going to give Wilson a slight edge over Mostert because it felt like McDaniel did also when the two were healthy. They played seven games together in the regular season, and Wilson played the majority of snaps in five of them. Wilson (27) is also younger than Mostert (31), but both are worth stashing on your bench. Given the injury history for both, if one gets hurt in 2023 then the other could be a standout Fantasy option. It's a great investment, especially if both continue to have an ADP after 120 overall.
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Wide Receivers Sleepers
Gabe Davis, Bills
Davis is another post-hype sleeper candidate who failed to deliver as a breakout in 2022. His CBS ADP last year was No. 60 overall, but he finished with just 48 catches for 836 yards and seven touchdowns and averaged 12.8 PPR points per game. That number is a little skewed because he had four games with at least 16 PPR points and six games with six PPR points or less. Now, you can make a couple of valid excuses for Davis, who injured his ankle in Week 1 and missed Week 2. He seemed fully healthy in Week 5 against the Steelers when he had three catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns on six targets, and he followed that up with three catches for 74 yards and a touchdown on six targets at Kansas City in Week 6. Then, in Week 9 at the Jets, Josh Allen hurt his elbow, and the Bills passing game wasn't as explosive. As a result, Davis averaged just 10.0 PPR points per game in his final eight outings. I'm expecting Davis to bounce back in 2023 since he's still a big part of Buffalo's offense, and you can get him much cheaper this year with an ADP of 91 on NFFC and 117.8 on FFPC. He can still be an excellent No. 3 Fantasy receiver in the majority of leagues, and we know he can win you a few weeks during the season with his big-play ability.
K.J. Osborn, Vikings
This is the year for Osborn to become a potential star. Adam Thielen is gone as a free agent to Carolina, and Osborn should see an increase in playing time and targets, which is huge. Thielen averaged 6.3 targets per game in 2022, and six targets has been the magic number for Osborn over the past two seasons. He had five games with at least six targets in 2022, and he scored at least 16 PPR points in four of them. In 2021, with Thielen battling injuries, Osborn had seven games with at least six targets, and he scored at least 14 PPR points in six of them. He'll get plenty of single coverage thanks to sharing the field with Justin Jefferson and T.J. Hockenson, and Kirk Cousins and Kevin O'Connell seem to trust Osborn in a big way. Fantasy managers should as well, and Osborn should see his ADP rise from its current spot of 142 on NFFC and 136.4 FFPC. I'll be buying a lot of stock in Osborn this season.
Nico Collins, Texans
We'll see what the Texans do with their passing game in the NFL Draft, but Collins should remain a prominent option in 2023. Houston needs to find a quarterback, which is expected to come with the No. 2 overall pick, but the Texans could also add a receiver. For now, Collins looks like the No. 1 receiver ahead of John Metchie III (another sleeper candidate), Robert Woods and Noah Brown. Collins has the most upside of Houston's receiving corps, and hopefully his third season is when everything clicks. He only played 10 games in 2022 and finished the season on injured reserve because of a bad foot, but prior to going down he had a solid stretch of games. From Week 10-13, Collins had 36 targets and averaged 11.2 PPR points per game. I think he's capable of much more than that, and we'll see if new Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik, who comes from San Francisco, can help Collins create plays in space since he was the passing game coordinator for the 49ers. Collins should see his ADP rise from 164 on NFFC and 196.6 on FFPC, and I would look for him as early as Round 10.
Romeo Doubs, Packers
In case you haven't heard, the Packers are expected to have a new quarterback this season with Jordan Love taking over for Aaron Rodgers. The receiving corps will also look different with Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb gone, and Christian Watson and Doubs will be the top two targets. While Watson is a breakout candidate, Doubs is a nice sleeper to target as early as Round 10, and his ADP is currently at 160 on NFFC and 202.4 on FFPC. In 2022 as a rookie, Doubs started off playing well with at least 13 PPR points in three of his first eight outings. He then missed four games with an ankle injury and struggled down the stretch, but Matt LaFleur is optimistic about Doubs in his sophomore campaign. "He's got a unique skill set," LaFleur said. "I want to temper this comparison here, but he has some Davante Adams type movement skills. He has to learn when to use it and how to harness that. But he has that twitch that you're looking for. I don't think there's a route that he won't be able to run. We're just going to have to give him enough reps where he can continue his progression." We'll see if Love can support Watson and Doubs to a high level, but there's little risk and plenty of reward to draft Doubs with a late-round pick in all leagues.
Tight End Sleepers
Johnson quietly had a nice Fantasy season in 2022, and he scored at least 11 PPR points in six of his final 10 games. He should have the chance to build on that with new quarterback Derek Carr, and we know Carr loved using his tight end with the Raiders given his rapport with Darren Waller. Now, we'll see what the Saints receiving corps looks like if Michael Thomas (toe) is healthy enough to join Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed, and we're still awaiting the status of Alvin Kamara, who could be facing a suspension. But Johnson has the potential to be a starting Fantasy tight end in all leagues, and his ADP is currently fantastic at 176 on NFFC and 123.8 on FFPC. He's a great tight end to wait for on Draft Day, and he could be a nice surprise this season with Carr now under center in New Orleans.
Trey McBride, Cardinals
McBride could be a prominent target in Arizona this season if DeAndre Hopkins is traded as expected, as well as Zach Ertz needing surgery to repair his ACL and MCL after hurting his knee in Week 10. We could see the top targets in this passing game as Marquise Brown, Rondale Moore and McBride, and McBride could have top-10 upside in 2023. Now, we have to see what's happening with Kyler Murray, who suffered a torn ACL in Week 14, and the quarterback uncertainty in Arizona makes it hard to fully buy into McBride, even with a late-round pick. His current ADP is 185 on NFFC and 149.8 on FFPC, and I love drafting him as a second tight end with upside. There's breakout potential here as a second-year tight end, and his role in the offense, especially if Murray is healthy, could make McBride a No. 1 Fantasy tight end in the majority of leagues.