This is a list of my favorite 2017 fantasy football sleepers - underrated players who are going way later than they should. The Average Draft Position (ADP) is found on FantasyFootballCalculator.com.
The past two years of Fantasy Football Sleepers have been a mixed bag. For 2015, three of my top six sleepers were Dion Lewis, Jordan Reed and Cam Newton. On the flip side, however, I was way wrong on Kendall Wright, Stevie Johnson and Breshad Perriman. As for last season, I nailed Michael Thomas, Spencer Ware, Robert Kelley, Kenneth Dixon. Some whiffs, however, were Tajae Sharpe, DeAndre Washington, Devin Funchess and Devontae Booker.
Jonathan Williams, RB, Bills. ADP: 13.01.
We had a new top sleeper last week, and that was Buffalo's Jonathan Williams. The Bills have indicated that they're in tank mode, which could mean that they'd be willing to deal LeSean McCoy at some point during the season. The Packers are the only team that needs a running back, but injuries could change things very quickly. Williams could be Buffalo's starter at some point in 2017, and he was excellent in his preseason debut. Williams burst for 39 yards on just four carries, and he could've posted a 5-50 line had a gain of 11 not been negated by a Richie Incognito hold. Williams did most of his damage against the Minnesota starting defense, so this was not a fluky performance. He was already one of the better handcuffs in fantasy this year, and in the wake of Buffalo's apparent tanking, he could be in line for a huge role.
Jamaal Williams, RB, Packers. ADP: 9.07.
Jamaal Williams' ADP is likely on the rise after what happened in the first week of the preseason. Ty Montgomery struggled as the starter, while Williams looked so much better. Williams is a real running back, and Montgomery is incapable of carrying a workload, so there will at least be a split.
C.J. Prosise, RB, Seahawks. ADP: 11.04.
C.J. Prosise had two explosive performances against the Patriots and Eagles last year before landing on injured reserve. Durability is obviously an issue with Prosise, but he's worth the risk in the 11th round. The Seahawks will definitely give Prosise plenty of touches when he's healthy.
Rex Burkhead, RB, Patriots. ADP: 12.12.
It's kind of crazy that Rex Burkhead's ADP is 12.12, while Mike Gillislee's is 4.10. There's just as good of a chance that Burkhead leads the New England running backs in fantasy points as Gillislee does. Plus, Burkhead is healthy right now. Tom Brady seemed to enjoy throwing to him in the second preseason game.
Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints. ADP: 14.02.
With no Drew Brees, Adrian Peterson or Mark Ingram, Alvin Kamara had a chance to shine in his first two preseason games, which included a 50-yard touchdown against the Chargers. It's going to be difficult for Sean Payton to keep him off the field.
Marlon Mack, RB, Colts. ADP: 13.02.
Marlon Mack performed well in his second preseason game after getting positive press in training camp. Chuck Pagano said Mack has the potential to be a "special player," citing how Mack has performed well in pass-protection drills. Mack looked great against the Cowboys, and he's worth taking as a late-round flier.
Cooper Kupp, WR, Rams. ADP: 14.01.
The Rams traded for Sammy Watkins, but Cooper Kupp is Jared Goff's favorite weapon. Goff, who has made leaps and bounds, thanks to the great coaching of Sean McVay and Greg Olson, has made an effort to target Kupp very often. Kupp is just a rookie, but he should be productive. He's even better in PPR formats.
J.J. Nelson, WR, Cardinals. ADP: 14.07.
I don't think spending a final non-defense, non-kicker pick on J.J. Nelson is the worst idea. With John Brown injured, Nelson is Arizona's No. 2 receiver. There have been positive reports about Carson Palmer this offseason, so that could help Nelson's fantasy outlook.
Wendell Smallwood, RB, Eagles. ADP: Undrafted.
Wendell Smallwood could win the Eagles' starting running back job, according to Jimmy Kempski, Philly Voice. LeGarrette Blount has been pretty lackluster thus far, while Smallwood has been the best player at his position in training camp. Smallwood has no ADP, making him a very intriguing sleeper.
Thomas Rawls, RB, Seahawks. ADP: 8.03.
Here's another Seattle running back who is well worth his ADP than Eddie Lacy. Thomas Rawls has worked out extremely hard this offseason to make amends for his disappointing 2016 campaign. That should pay off, so I like taking a chance on him at the end of the eighth round, especially after seeing him start the preseason opener.
Kareem Hunt, RB, Chiefs. ADP: 8.03.
Spencer Ware may begin the year as Kansas City's starting running back, but Kareem Hunt will likely finish the season as the primary runner. Hunt is more talented than Ware, who struggled down the stretch last season after a hot start. Unfortunately, Hunt's ADP has risen from the 11th round to the eighth recently.
Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles. ADP: 9.10.
Zach Ertz has been Carson Wentz's favorite target throughout the offseason, so he should be drafted much higher than the end of the ninth round. He and Wentz developed a great rapport toward the end of this past season, so that should carry over into 2017.
Kenny Golladay, WR, Lions. ADP: 12.04.
Kenny Golladay was the star of Lions' training camp. He's only a rookie, but he's a massive receiver who will provide a huge presence in the red zone. He made some amazing catches in his preseason debut. His first grab was snatched when Jake Ruddock threw a bit behind him for a gain of 15 yards. He followed that up with an even better reception, snaring a 23-yard touchdown while falling down. Golladay wasn't done; in the middle of the second quarter, Golladay made a great adjustment to a back-shoulder throw to catch his second score. Golladay caught three balls for 53 yards and two scores. Golladay didn't do much in the second preseason game, but perhaps that's for the best, as it'll slow his ADP from rising.
Joe Williams, RB, 49ers. ADP: 12.08.
Joe Williams looked terrific in his preseason debut. He began with dual 17-yard carries. He had yet another 17-yard burst after that, but it was negated by a hold. Williams made a mistake later, dropping a toss, but he was able to pick up the ball and still gain 11 yards. Williams showed some amazing speed and acceleration, ultimately gaining 60 yards on just seven carries. He's the real deal, though I'm dropping him this week because he barely saw any action in the second preseason game. It's baffling as to why he's so low on the depth chart, but perhaps this will prompt his ADP to fall, allowing him to be a better value pick. Remember, it's still very probable that Carlos Hyde will be traded at some point, as he's not a good fit for the offense.
Taylor Gabriel, WR, Falcons. ADP: 11.09.
Prior to the Jeremy Maclin release, I was pretty confused about why Taylor Gabriel and Tyreek Hill were being drafted nine rounds apart. I didn't even have them nine spots apart in my Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings! Gabriel and Hill are effectively the same player, and Gabriel is in the better offense. Hill's role will increase with Maclin gone, but the fact remains that Gabriel still provides much more value.
Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles. ADP: 12.07.
Carson Wentz is my No. 11 quarterback, yet he's the 18th signal-caller off the board. Wentz has a top-five offensive line and an improved receiving corps to work with. Plus, he has worked very hard on his mechanics this offseason. He seems poised for a great sophomore campaign.
Pierre Garcon, WR, 49ers. ADP: 8.05.
I don't understand why Pierre Garcon is the 36th receiver off the board at his 8.05 ADP. Garcon is a great route runner and can thrive in any system. Sure, his quarterback will be Brian Hoyer, but if Cameron Meredith can be productive with Hoyer, Garcon certainly can, too.
Austin Hooper, TE, Falcons. ADP: 14.02.
Austin Hooper didn't do much as a rookie, but he's had a great offseason and has earned the praise of Matt Ryan. Hooper is a highly athletic tight end with tremendous upside, so he could post TE1-type numbers this year.
Tyler Lockett, WR, Seahawks. ADP: 13.11.
I liked Tyler Lockett a lot more prior to Kasen Williams' dominant performance in the second preseason game, but Lockett should still be productive whenever he returns to the field.
C.J. Anderson, RB, Broncos. ADP: 5.01.
It feels weird to call a fifth-round pick a sleeper, but I think C.J. Anderson provides a ton of value in the early rounds. Anderson is in great shape this year, so he might be able to avoid injury. He's 14th in my Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings, yet he's the 23th player at his position to come off the board, per the ADP.
Tyrell Williams, WR, Chargers. ADP: 9.03.
The Chargers spent the seventh-overall pick on Mike Williams, but he could miss most of the season with a back injury. Tyrell Williams, as a result, provides quality value at his ninth-round ADP. Williams' ADP has risen recently in the wake of the Williams news, but I liked him beforehand.
Allen Hurns, WR, Jaguars. ADP: 14.01.
Allen Hurns was a major disappointment in 2016, but he was never 100 percent because of a problematic knee. Now healthy, Hurns can go back to collecting lots of yardage in garbage time.
*** This list will expand as the summer progresses.