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Five Fantasy Steals: The Best Value In Your Upcoming Draft


The NFL Fantasy Season is just over two months from commencing.


As a result, we at Stadium Rant are committed to providing you with the very best insight on how to get an advantage over your league opponents. Often, the best value comes from late round sleepers, who can provide premium production and outperform their value.


For these sleepers we are comparing their potential production with their current ADP from Fantasy Pros, in PPR format. Although that is our focus in this article, all five of these sleepers can be applied across all formats, whether you play SuperFlex, one QB, or even TE premium.


So get your notepads out and jot down these five sleepers that could win your league's 2023 fantasy crown.


Anthony Richardson, QB, Indianapolis Colts (ADP: 114 PPR)


Anthony Richardson may seem like I have mixed up redraft with a dynasty rookie draft.


Fortunately, I have not. The Indianapolis Colts' first round selection is poised to be in the most advantageous position for a mobile quarterback entering the NFL in quite some time. With former Philadelphia Eagles' offensive coordinator Shane Steichen at the helm, and a developing wide receiving corps around him, Richardson figures to run the ball a lot. Like, an awful lot.


As a result, he is a potential fantasy darling in 2023. Richardson has the athletic profile to be an absolute electric playmaker, with his absurd measurable and sizzling arm. The Florida prospect could be picked up in the 12th round of a 10-team draft, yet I would argue taking him in the late 90s, early 100s would be totally justified. His ceiling is a bonafide league-winner, no questions asked.


Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks (ADP: 68 PPR)


This one may seem puzzling.


Tyler Lockett may be a contentious choice as a "sleeper". He is no doubt under-the-radar. At the moment, his 68th overall ADP lends itself to the hope of a solid WR2/Flex. The Seahawks receiver will likely be getting overlooked due to being on the wrong side of 30, being in the company of exciting receivers D.K. Metcalf and rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and a generally more fundamental way of playing.


But, don't be fooled, Lockett is the real deal.


Incredibly, Lockett has actually been one of the most productive pass catchers in the NFL over the last five seasons. In this time, he has had at least 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns each year. This has been good enough for top 15 or better in each of those campaigns in PPR formats. Furthermore, he is being drafted after receivers such as D.J. Moore and Michael Pittman Jr, who both have precarious situations at quarterback.


Geno Smith may not be a superstar QB, but his fantastic 2022 season and the Seahawks pass heavy offense should give plenty of targets to a deep receiving core that is ready to produce. Tyler Lockett presents possibly the best value of any of them.


Chigoziem Okonkwo, Tennesse Titans (ADP: 122 PPR)


Chig Okonkwo may be the most exciting tight end in the NFL entering the 2023 season.


Firstly, if you have a first round selection, I think that you should select Travis Kelce. Yes, even if it is first overall. Kelce's impact and the relief he provides fantasy manager's cannot be overstated. For example, he had more than 100 points more than the second overall tight end in the 2022 season. That is still more than the difference between 2nd place and 19th.


However, only one manager per league can snag Travis Kelce. If you are not that fortunate, consider the upside of the electric Okonkwo. Despite having just 46 targets for the season, the rookie had 450 yards, three touchdowns and averaged 14.06 yards per catch. Moreover, PFF credited Okonkwo with a 84.6 receiving grade, and he averaged a sensational 2.61 yards per route run.


Okonkwo's advanced statistics are screaming off the potential for a breakout season in his sophomore campaign in the pros. If you miss out on Kelce, consider waiting and taking Okonkwo in a similar spot to our recommendation for Richardson.


He could just be the late-round tight end that every fantasy manager hopes for.


Dameon Pierce, RB, Houston Texans (ADP: 47 PPR)


Dameon Pierce is being criminally underrated.


Somehow, I think that most people forgot just how good Pierce was in the 2022 season. Despite playing in just 13 games, the Texans running back had 220 rushing attempts fro 939 yards and four touchdowns.


Pierce also had the analytics to back up his skillset. He forced a whopping 62 missed tackles according to PFF, and they assigned him a fantastic 84.8 rushing grade. Moreover, Pierce received a 36 passing targets and had 22 explosive runs of over ten yards. While the Texans brought in Devin Singletary, it is clear that the rest of the depth chart does not compete with his playing time.


Pierce is going after running backs such as J.K. Dobbins, Cam Akers and Alexander Mattison, all of which I would argue he offers significantly higher floor and upside than. With a full season and a heavy workload, the Texans quarterback has a path to becoming a RB1 and is going outside of the top 40.


Dalvin Cook, RB, Free Agent (ADP: 86 PPR)


How in the world did we get here?


It is certainly possible that we have already seen the best of Dalvin Cook in the NFL. He was released by the Minnesota Vikings after his fourth straight season with more than 1,380 scrimmage yards. He made the Pro Bowl in each of those season, and finished 11th at his position last season in PPR formats.


Perhaps analysts are concerned with Cook's status as a free agent, or the whopping 1,075 rushing attempts the running back has received over the last four years. The 27-year-old does provide significant value as a receiving threat also, with 221 career catches.


Cook is certainly worth the risk in the range of the 80th selection. If he lands in the right situation, he could offer fantastic value as a versatile weapon that a team could rely on as an every down back. Even in a supplementary role as a part of a committee, Cook figures to get significant receiving work.


If he is available past the 65th overall pick, go and scoop him up. He is too good to leave on the board at that stage.

 

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