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The Monday Morning Sleeper – Blitz Edition

Welcome to the last edition of the Monday Morning Sleeper for 2017. Last week I profiled a Jets rookie wide receiver named ArDarius Stewart, who may open the season playing opposite Robby Anderson. You can check out last week’s article here. This week I will be providing you with a blitz of some last-minute sleepers for you to target in your drafts. All Average Draft Position (ADP) ranks are provided by DynastyNerds.

A Fantasy Football Sleeper is a player that is in a position to play beyond their rankings or expectations, is a relative unknown, and who may provide you with some value at their draft position.

John Brown – ADP: 101

As one of Carson Palmer‘s favorite targets (behind Larry Fitzgerald, of course), John Brown projects to feature heavily in the Arizona Cardinals’ offense this year. In this weekend’s preseason game, Brown converted both of his targets into 49 yards and two touchdowns. Brown has flirted with lead receiver duties in Arizona before, but health issues have held him back. While there were some rumblings that Jaron Brown or J.J. Nelson might have a chance at the No. 2 receiver job, after Saturday’s performance, it appears that John Brown has secured his role in the offense. Since he appears to have his health back under control, he has the potential to be a top-30 fantasy receiver in all formats.

Kareem Hunt – ADP: 85

With Spencer Ware suffering a season-ending knee injury on Saturday, the opportunity for Kareem Hunt to be the Chiefs’ feature running back is glaring him straight in the eyes. Hunt, who the Chiefs drafted in the third round of the 2017 NFL entry draft, has the skill set to be an every-down back in the NFL and now has the opportunity to do just that. He should immediately be considered a low-end RB1. If Hunt can stay healthy, he has the upside to be a top-10 fantasy RB. I’d draft him late in the third round or early in the fourth.

Chris Hogan – ADP: 253

With Julian Edelman suffering a season-ending knee injury on Saturday, there are several possible beneficiaries that could immediately pay dividends. The obvious guys to draft are Brandin Cooks and Rob Gronkowski, but they could both be gone by the end of the second round. Chris Hogan should be on your radar as a mid-round flier. After Edelman left Saturday’s game, Hogan lit it up and torched the Lions defense for 70 yards and two touchdowns on four receptions. Hogan is entering his second season with the Patriots, and he has already mastered the playbook and has developed good chemistry with Tom Brady. Hogan should be owned in all leagues. If you can grab him between the ninth and 11th rounds, he will provide good value.

Kevin White – ADP: 109

Unfortunately, there seems to be a theme to this week’s article. We have another beneficiary to another devastating injury. Cameron Meredith suffered a torn ACL on Sunday. While the injury is no doubt unfortunate, it gives Kevin White another opportunity. White now has potential value as a late-round flier and could really impress if he can stay healthy. After being drafted seventh overall in the 2015 NFL entry draft, White has failed to live up to his potential up to this point, but now he will be relied on heavily as the Bears’ featured wide receiver.

Wendell Smallwood – ADP: 247

Wendell Smallwood was a previous Monday Morning Sleeper. However, shortly after I wrote my piece, the Philadelphia Eagles signed LeGarrette Blount, which appeared to relegate Smallwood to handcuff status. Over the last two weeks, however, there have been rumblings out of Philadephia that Blount may not make the 53-man roster. It’d still be a surprise if Blount didn’t make the team, but the fact remains that Smallwood has impressed on and off the field this preseason and appears to be the best all-around back on the roster, capable of playing all three downs. He’s a name to stash away for the late rounds.

Thank you for reading The Monday Morning Sleeper, and follow me on Twitter, @HaehnelJames

Have an opinion? Let me know in the comments below.

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