NFL

Fantasy football 2019: Top 10 sleepers to draft at major positions

Fantasy football 2019: Top 10 sleepers to draft at major positions

Is anyone really a sleeper these days?

Considering the (over) analysis that now goes into every preseason game, training camp practice and minor news update, it's harder than ever for players to slip through the cracks.

But finding the diamond in the rough is still essential to fantasy football success. Just ask owners of Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay, who racked up 1,037 rushing yards and nine touchdowns as an undrafted rookie.

We'll define a "sleeper" as a player pegged as a mid-to-late round draft selection who we believe will significantly exceed expectations. At the very least, put a star next to these guys on your draft boards.

QUARTERBACK

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens (Bye Week: 8)
Jackson admitted he probably won't run as much as he did in 2018. But we can still see him rushing for at least 700 yards after nearly hitting 700 in half a season as a rookie. Jackson is outside the top 10 on essentially every draft board, but we can see him putting up top-10 numbers as a high-volume, dual-threat QB.

Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers (Week 4)
Yes, Garoppolo looked awful in his first preseason action against the Broncos. But that only means you can scoop him up later in your draft. With a Tevin Coleman in the mix and an offensive-minded coach in Kyle Shananan, we're buying low on Jimmy G as a borderline QB1.

RUNNING BACK

Damien Harris, New England Patriots (Week 10)
Targeting a Patriots running back is always risky business. But there's a reason New England used a third-round pick on Harris this year, and if Sony Michel's knee acts up, the Alabama product could be first in line to get early-down and goal-line snaps. He's worth a flier.

Kalen Ballage, Miami Dolphins (Week 5)
Remember when Kenyan Drake was supposed to be the Dolphins' workhorse? Well, Ballage is listed as Miami's co-starter while Drake is dealing with a foot injury that may sideline him for the rest of the preseason. We've seen this movie before: A young, unheralded upstart usurps the No. 1 role from the complacent veteran and reaps the rewards of his newfound touches. Ballage could star in that role this year.

Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles (Week 10)
Jordan Howard is the Eagles' lead back, but he's a plodder. That means the dynamic Sanders can carve out a role as a change-of-pace back with pass-catching upside, similar to the likes of Corey Clement and Darren Sproles in the past. With a healthy Carson Wentz and a solid offensive line, Sanders is among the rookies with the highest upside.

WIDE RECEIVER

Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals (Week 12)
Kirk finished third among rookie wide receivers in receptions last season under Bruce Arians and Josh Rosen. But you can expect new head coach-quarterback duo Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray to open things up in Arizona this fall, and Kirk might be the primary beneficiary.

Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys (Week 8)
Amari Cooper will draw all the headlines, but the 23-year-old Gallup has a ton of upside. With Cole Beasley's 65 catches headed to Buffalo, Gallup should see an uptick in targets, making him an intriguing breakout candidate if Dak Prescott can take the next step.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers (Week 11)
Just as Davante Adams rose to prominence behind the aging duo of Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson, "MVS" has the chance to fill the enviable position of Aaron Rodgers' No. 2 wide receiver. Geronimo Allison will battle Valdes-Scantling for that role, but we like the guy who averaged 15.3 yards per catch as a rookie last season.

TIGHT END

Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons (Week 9)
You're always going to fly under the radar when Julio Jones is on your team. But Hooper was the sixth-highest-scoring tight end in fantasy last season and is projected outside the top 10 on some draft boards. Atlanta should be throwing plenty under new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, so Hooper is a fine late-round option.

Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (Week 10)
Goedert won't be much of a factor as long as Zach Ertz keeps producing. But Ertz is coming off an exhausting 156-target campaign, while Goedert has looked strong in camp and stepped up when Philly called his number last year. At the very least, he should be on your radar.

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Fantasy football Week 16 waiver wire: Breshad Perriman can be a league-winner

Fantasy football Week 16 waiver wire: Breshad Perriman can be a league-winner

It's not about how you start the fantasy football season. It's how you finish.

If you're reading this, chances are your squad is loaded enough to roll through your league's playoffs to the championship round.

But there's always room for improvement, and the Week 16 waiver wire includes a couple players who should be legitimate starters in any fantasy lineup, regardless of depth.

Want to win the whole thing? Start by doing your due diligence on the waiver wire. Here are our top free-agent pickups at each position entering Week 16.

QUARTERBACK

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins (owned in 25 percent of Yahoo! leagues): We hope you have a better QB1 option than Fitzpatrick if you've reached your league's championship. But if you're in a two-QB league, the ageless, bearded wonder is a fine pickup: He's attempted 37 or more passes in five consecutive games and gets a beatable Cincinnati Bengals defense.

Other quarterbacks to target: Jacoby Brissett (IND), Mitchell Trubisky (CHI), Gardner Minshew (JAX)

RUNNING BACK

Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings (39 percent owned): It's still unclear if Dalvin Cook will play in Week 16 after suffering a shoulder injury Sunday. If he doesn't, that's a massive opportunity for either Mattison or Mike Boone, who found the end zone twice in Week 15 with Cook and Mattison both sidelined. If Mattison is healthy, he should be your top waiver wire priority against the Green Bay Packers' Swiss cheese run defense.

Other running backs to target: Mike Boone (MIN), Chris Thompson (WAS), Wes Hills (DET)

WIDE RECEIVER

Breshad Perriman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13 percent owned): This one's a no-brainer. Perriman had produced double-digit fantasy points in two consecutive weeks before going off for three touchdowns last Sunday in Mike Evans' absence. With Chris Godwin also on the shelf, Perriman suddenly is the No. 1 wideout for Jameis Winston and the pass-happy Bucs.

Other wide receivers to target: Anthony Miller (CHI), Chris Conley (JAX), James Washington (PIT)

TIGHT END

O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (41 percent owned): Perriman isn't the only Bucs pass-catcher who should benefit from Evans and Godwin being out. Howard has at least four catches in three consecutive games, and the Houston Texans have allowed six touchdowns to tight ends over their last seven contests.

Other tight ends to target: Jonnu Smith (TEN), Darren Fells (HOU)

DEFENSE

Denver Broncos (25 percent owned): David Blough's stats through three games as the Detroit Lions' starting quarterback -- five interceptions, one fumble, nine sacks -- are all the evidence you need to pick up the Broncos ahead of this matchup in Denver.

Other defenses to target: Indianapolis (vs. CAR), Atlanta (vs. JAX)

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Fantasy football Week 15 waiver wire: Can A.J. Brown deliver in playoffs?

Fantasy football Week 15 waiver wire: Can A.J. Brown deliver in playoffs?

You didn't come this far just to come this far.

Week 15 of the NFL season means it's the semifinal round of the fantasy football playoffs in most leagues.

If you're reading this, congrats on still being alive. But you're not interested in a runner-up trophy, and we're not interested in providing runner-up advice.

Below are the top players at each position who are widely available on fantasy football waiver wires and are worth adding for Week 15 as you seek fantasy glory.

QUARTERBACK

Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans (owned in 48 percent of Yahoo! leagues): We'll continue to put Tannehill on this list until he's owned in more than half of leagues. The Titans gunslinger was the sixth-best quarterback in fantasy last week and faces a Houston Texans defense that just allowed 309 passing yards and three touchdowns to Drew Lock. He's your guy again this week.

Other quarterbacks to target: Ryan Fitzpatrick (MIA), Jacoby Brissett (IND), Kyle Allen (CAR)

RUNNING BACK

Adrian Peterson, Washington Redskins (40 percent owned): News that Derrius Guice has a sprained MCL means Peterson is the clear-cut workhorse on a team that loves to run the ball. The ageless veteran has touchdowns in back-to-back weeks and should see north of 20 touches against the Philadelphia Eagles, making him the safest waiver wire pickup among running backs.

Other running backs to target: DeAndre Washington (OAK), Patrick Laird (MIA), Boston Scott (PHI)

WIDE RECEIVER

A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans (27 percent owned): The rookie wide receiver has become Tannehill's go-to deep threat, with 333 receiving yards over his last three games. Brown's low catch total makes him a bit of a boom-or-bust play, but it's the playoffs. Gotta take shots to make shots.

Other wide receivers to target: Zach Pascal (IND), Darius Slayton (NYG), Justin Watson (TB)

TIGHT END

David Njoku, Cleveland Browns (37 percent owned): Njoku caught just one pass for four yards in his first game since Week 2, but has a dream matchup against an Arizona Cardinals defense that's given up the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season. He's a high-risk breakout candidate.

Other tight ends to target: Gerald Everett (LAR), Darren Fells (HOU)

DEFENSE

Kansas City Chiefs (32 percent owned): Is the Chiefs defense ... good? Kansas City has held each of its last opponents (including the New England Patriots) to 16 points or fewer. The Denver Broncos are riding high after upsetting the Texans, but we're sensing a turnover-filled letdown game in KC.

Other defenses to target: Oakland (vs. JAX), Seattle (at CAR)

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