⚡ The Perfect RB Sleeper

The word is getting out...

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Last week’s NFL Draft was fun. We should do it again this week…

In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by Underdog Fantasy:

  • A 6th-round rookie you need to know

  • Watercooler: Will Aiyuk or Samuel get traded?

  • Dynasty Targets: A Cowboy & A Lion…

  • It’s 5/2. Take it away, Peter Overzet…

Everyone expected the Cowboys to draft Jonathon Brooks and the Chargers to select Blake Corum.

The breadcrumbs were there, the fits were too obvious not to happen.

But things rarely go according to plan in the NFL (just ask any franchise who thought they might be able to snag Michael Penix Jr. at the top of Round 2).

Instead, the Cowboys went full Zero RB (sorry, signing Zeke doesn’t count), and the Chargers didn’t select an RB—Kimani Vidal—until the 6th round.

Normally, we’d just move along; nothing to see here, right?

But when you listen to how Chargers GM Joe Hortiz talks about Vidal, you can’t help but perk up, saying that he “runs through arm tackles, can make guys miss, take a hit, stay on his feet, great balance, strong… Also offers something in the passing game, as well. And when you watch him block, it’s impressive. He’ll throw it up in there against a blitzing linebacker.”

The easiest way for a rookie RB who didn’t have strong draft capital to get on the field is to earn the coaching staff’s trust. And if Vidal proves Hortiz and co. right on their blocking assessment, there’s no reason he can’t be a factor right away.

Not only does Jim Harbaugh love running the ball more than life itself, but the Chargers RB depth chart is painfully thin, with Gus Edwards posing the only significant roadblock to Vidal becoming fantasy-relevant.

In true sleeper fashion, Vidal opened up as an undrafted player without an initial rank in Underdog Fantasy’s best ball contests that launched on Monday.

Since then, he’s moved up into the 16th Round and I don’t see his rise slowing down anytime soon. In a recent video where I spotlighted 22 of the biggest post-draft risers on Underdog, I predicted he’d move all the way up into the 13th round by the end of the summer.

If you want some cheap Vidal, the time to pounce in drafts is now…

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🙏 Do you believe in the Year 4 breakout? Running out of time…

🔮 Will the Niners trade Aiyuk or Samuel? Good piece here on the situation.

🤷 The Giants really wanted Drake Maye. Instead, they got Drew Lock.

🤦‍♂️ Antonio Brown working out with an NFL QB? Here we go again…

🤔 Steve Smith on the Patriots rookie WRs. Unique insight.

✈️ Tyler Boyd still looking for a team. Two landing spot candidates here?

🐶 More Underdog contests are coming next Wednesday. And the Wednesday after that!

Dynasty Trade Targets

There are certain times of the year when it's easier to acquire veteran players. That time of year is right now. With all eyes on the incoming rookie class, dynasty managers are anxious to get these future stars on their rosters. Because of this, veterans are often pushed down the board (both in rankings and ADP) which means now is a great time to send out offers for those seemingly forgotten players. Take it away, Sam

🎯 Dynasty Trade Targets

🦁 Jameson Williams, WR - Lions

It's easy to forget that Jameson Williams was selected by the Lions with the 12th overall pick in 2022. He finished his collegiate career at Alabama in 2021 with an absurd line of 79 / 1,572 / 15 (19.9 yards per reception).

Williams’ calling card has always been his big play ability. His near-20 yards per reception mark at Alabama, his lone TD in 2022 (41 yards), and his 16.4 aDOT in 2023 all highlight his downfield skillset. His 4.39 40-yard dash (94th percentile) doesn’t hurt either.

He could profile as the ideal post-hype sleeper heading into 2024. The Lions surprised everyone (except themselves) by claiming their first division title in 30 years. The success of Jared Goff, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Sam LaPorta, and Jahmyr Gibbs means very few are looking at Williams.

We can exploit this in the weeks and months ahead.

This fall, Williams will essentially be two years removed from his ACL injury, and we’ve seen just how important it is for players to have that extra year before getting back to full health. Aside from ARSB, Williams is arguably the most talented wideout on the roster.

Williams is currently the dynasty WR50. If I can land someone with his pedigree, profile, talent, and draft capital that cheap, I’ll take that every single time. The Lions are building something special in Detroit, and dynasty managers should be quick to stash Williams before he reminds everyone what he’s capable of.

🤠 Jake Ferguson, TE - Cowboys

In case you haven't heard, the Dallas Cowboys are all in this season. However, they did nothing during free agency or the draft that gives you any confidence that that's true.

I'm not even counting the return of Ezekiel Elliott. Sorry, not sorry.

However, one big winner from Dallas' lack of, well, anything was veteran TE Jake Ferguson.

In his first season as the starting option, Ferguson went 71 / 761 / 5 on 102 targets. He was second in targets behind only CeeDee Lamb (181) and earned 20+ more targets than the next closest player (Brandin Cooks).

Ferguson utilization

To further put Ferguson’s season in perspective, he finished inside the top-10 among all TEs in the following categories:

  • Targets

  • Receptions

  • Receiving yards

  • Receiving TDs

  • PPG & PPR

When you factor in that he’s the secondary option on what has been one of the best offenses in football over the last several seasons, there’s no reason he should be ranked as the dynasty TE12.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that both Tony Pollard & Michael Gallup are gone. That frees up 124 targets from last season. It might literally be just Lamb & Ferguson

Ferguson is too cheap. Dynasty managers, figure it out.

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