Going into any season, the information that people look for is the same- here we look at sleeper picks for the 2021 season. We are going to give a few at each position, with a quick rationale for why. This will be updated throughout the offseason, as ADPs change.
QB 2021 Sleeper Picks
Carson Wentz, Indianapolis Colts
Wentz is one of the most polarising players this offseason, due in part to his struggles in the 2020 season- ultimately being replaced by rookie Jalen Hurts. One thing that can’t be doubted is that Wentz will be the starter for the team, after they traded (most likely) a first-round pick to get him.
Wentz was great when he was part of the Eagles offense under Frank Reich, who he reunites with this season. Behind one of the best offensive lines in the league, a top talent at RB in Jonathan Taylor, and a nice receiving group, there is no reason that Wentz can’t be a great QB for this season
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
Burrow looked good in his rookie season, before it was ended with tearing his ACL. Before that he was able to move the ball effectively with the weapons he had. This offseason the team were faced with two options- look to add some protection, or add a playmaker.
The team opted for the latter, selecting college teammate Ja’Marr Chase in the first round. With Tee Higgins looking good last season too, he has all of the weapons. Whether the protection the team have acquired in free agency and in the draft will be enough is up for debate. But the upside is there.
Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints
This pick is going to look great or awful come the end of the season. If Taysom Hill is the starter for the whole season, then this was bad. However, I don’t think that is going to be the case. Winston is the pure QB, and Hill is a gadget player. The Saints brought Winston back for a reason- I think that is to start for the team.
RB 2021 Sleeper Picks
Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos
Williams is the type of player that I can see following a season of being disappointing to start, and then coming on strong and (potentially) a league winner come the end. The team might have Melvin Gordon on the roster, but there are touches available on the team. With the draft capital that was invested in the Williams pick, he should find the field at some point this season.
AJ Dillon, Green Bay Packers
Is Dillon a sleeper? I think he is, even at his current ADP. The Packers offense (assuming Rodgers is still there) is likely to be one of the better units in the league. Yes, Aaron Jones has returned and will get the majority of touches out of the backfield, but there are plenty to go around. If Dillon builds on his rookie season, and steals some goal-line work then Dillon is going to be great. He could be FANTASTIC if Jones misses any time.
Michael Carter, New York Jets
The Jets depth chart has alot of bodies, but no top talent. The team clearly didn’t see enough in La’Mical Perine last season, as they added Tevin Coleman in free agency and drafted Carter. Coleman struggled for the 49ers, and I can’t see that situation improving. That gives Carter the opportunity to be a starting option, giving him some value (even if the offense isn’t the most potent in the league).
Giovani Bernard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This selection is for those in PPR leagues. If you aren’t, keep scrolling. Tampa made the signing of Bernard in free agency, looking to give Tom Brady a strong option out of the backfield. Have they found their version of James White? Potentially. The draft cost isn’t huge, and you could find yourself a solid flex option.
WR 2021 Sleeper Picks
Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos
Jeudy looked good last season, but he wasn’t really supposed to be the lead receiver in his rookie season. This season, he can’t be given the attention that he was given last season as the team welcome back Courtland Sutton. He should also see a steadier hand at the QB position, with the team opting to bring in Teddy Bridgewater to compete with the talented (but inconsistent) Drew Lock.
Devonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles
Rookie receivers tend to struggle when they enter the league, as they compete for targets with the veterans on the roster. The good news? There aren’t alot of them in Philadelphia. Smith is talented and should be heavily involved in the offense from the opening game.
Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears
Is Mooney a sleeper? Debateable. More because he is on everyone’s radar than anything else. The Bears offense should take a step forward once Justin Fields, but even if they don’t, Andy Dalton is an improvement over the players the team have had throwing the ball previously. The only thing that could see him struggle is if Allen Robinson continues to dominate the target share in the way he has in previous seasons.
Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs
The team allowed Sammy Watkins to leave in the offseason, meaning that there is going to be (limited) opportunity on the potent Chiefs offense. Yes, the team target Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce with around half the targets, but there should still be opportunity for Hardman to build on the production he had last year
TE 2021 Sleeper Picks
Gerald Everett, Seattle Seahawks
Everett wasn’t the best option for fantasy when with the Rams, as he shared time with Tyler Higbee. That changed this offseason, as the team allowed him to leave. He was immediately picked up by divisional rivals Seattle. The new OC for Seattle worked with the Rams last season, and Seattle had a need at TE. That implies to me that the team have a plan for him. Pick him up as an upside selection.
Adam Trautman, New Orleans Saints
There are likely to be alot of changes this offseason in New Orleans. That is true at the TE position too, as the team allowed veteran Jared Cook to leave the team. Getting a TE on a good offense with limited competition? That’s how you find those TE’s that could win you a league.
Image Credit: Joseph Maiorana – USA TODAY Sports