AS the 2023 NFL season rapidly approaches, budding general managers around the world have their eyes peeled for potential sleeper stars.
In preparation for the fantasy season, ESPN fantasy expert Field Yates gave The U.S. Sun insight into some potential sleepers to watch out for.
Yates explained that his definition of sleepers is “a little bit different from most.”
Given the popularity of football and the plethora of information available not just about starters but players way down the depth charts, for Yates, a sleeper is someone “who is going lower in drafts that I would anticipate his value shows he is worth during the course of the season.”
For this season, many of his favorite sleepers can be found at wide receiver.
JORDAN ADDISON – MINNESOTA VIKINGS
He may not be WR1 in Minnesota thanks to a certain Justin Jefferson, but expectations for the former Trojan are high.
Selected 23rd overall in this year’s draft, Yates noted that Addison, 21, had also won the Biletnikoff Award during his days at USC.
“I think he’s going to be a very valuable member of that offense right away,” he added.
ELIJAH MOORE – CLEVELAND BROWNS
“A very talented player that was traded this offseason from the Jets because things did not go as planned last year in New York for him,” Yates predicted.
Most read in American Football
“But, I anticipate he’ll have a much larger role this year for the Browns. So I think he’ll bounce back and look more like the player he was as a rookie.”
ZAY FLOWERS – BALTIMORE RAVENS
Another young wideout of whom a great deal is expected is 23-year-old Flowers.
“The Ravens offense is promising to look a lot different this year and feature the passing game a whole lot more,” Yates said.
“And while Odell Beckham Jr. was the biggest outside free agent they added this offseason, I think that Zay Flowers could end up being the most impactful wide receiver on that Ravens roster.”
ONE TO BE WARY OF
When pressed for a player he feels may be over-drafted, one name came to mind for Yates based on his age and his new offense – DeAndre Hopkins.
He explained how Hopkins could have “more risk than some of the players that are being drafted around him.”
The former Browns and Houston Texans receiver may be a five-time Pro Bowler, but father time comes for us all, and Hopkins is now on the wrong side of 30.
Granted, as Yates mentioned, this “is not ancient for the real world,” but football is its own world.
“Hopkins goes from several years where he was the primary target in offenses that probably seem more towards the pass than to the run.
“And while each season is different and each player is different, the Titans have made some big wide receiver investments in recent offseasons including Julio Jones, last year Robert Woods, and DeAndre Hopkins is trying to break a streak because those last two did not work out particularly well.
“So he’s sort of swimming upstream relative to other wide receivers that are being drafted near to where he is.”
Worth noting, however, is that Yates did mention he believes Hopkins will likely be “drafted a reasonable spot where the risk is mitigated.”