Over the next few weeks, @DFF_JamesH and I will be bringing you a potential sleeper pick (both offensive and IDP) and a player to avoid for every team in the NFL. I will focus on the NFC, while James focuses on the AFC.
In the third part of the series, I’ll look at the NFC East. If you find this useful, please check back regularly for the next division.
The Cowboys look to have a potent offense in 2017 if their core can stay healthy. That leads me to my choice of Ryan Switzer for my sleeper pick on offense. I really like his landing spot in Dallas and love his film coming out of North Carolina. He’s fun to watch with the ball in his hands and should be a nice checkdown target for Dak if the offensive line ever decides to give up pressure. Switzer has sure hands and a low collegiate drop rate that makes him a QB’s best friend. Look for him to play a bigger role as the season goes on.
The player I’m looking to avoid for the Cowboys is Dak Prescott. After putting up a solid rookie year filling in for Tony Romo, I see the possibility of a sophomore slump this year. According to the website Fantasydata.com, Prescott ended the year as QB6 for leagues with 6-points for passing touchdowns. Because of that, his value has risen to levels that I don’t want to pay. I’m avoiding him in 2017 in the hopes of getting him for cheaper next offseason. His May ADP is slipping according to Dynastyfootballfactory.com, as he’s fallen to QB10 and 72nd overall. In a startup, I’d take him there, but his owners won’t be selling him cheap; so I’ll pass on him.
I’m a big Anthony Hitchens fan and love him as Dallas’ IDP sleeper in 2017. His best quality is that he’s versatile and can play any position. This allows him to move all over the field and also become a full-time starter if someone should go down with injury. Hitchens is a late round pick, or even free agent, who could be valuable to your team via fantasy points and/or trade value moving forward.
New York Giants
I’m taking Paul Perkins as my offensive sleeper for the Giants because I believe he gets the majority of carries and a heavy dose of goal line carries. After failing to draft a running back early in the 2017 draft, it appears that the Giants offense is comfortable with Perkins leading the way on the ground. The Giants offense should be primed to put up points and with a defense that appears to be getting better. Perkins could see a lot of carries in the 4th quarter as the Giants run out the clock. Perkins, whose ADP at 105 is a steal, considering he’ll be the #1 running back in New York in game-1.
Although I loved his rookie season, I’m selling Sterling Shepard for the 2017 season and beyond. With the additions of Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram, his TDs will come back down to earth after amassing eight in his rookie year. Even when the Giants decide to spread teams out in the red zone, I still see Shepard ending the year 4th in red-zone targets behind Odell Beckham, Evan Engram and Brandon Marshall.
BJ Goodson is that name that continues to come up in articles and discussions for IDP sleepers. Goodson played very limited snaps in 2016, but that could change in 2017. Reports have him working at starting middle linebacker during OTAs and if he continues to impress he could see his snaps rise significantly in 2017. He’s going undrafted in most IDP leagues and taking a flier on him in one of the last rounds might be very lucrative for your team.
I’m all over Samaje Perine as my sleeper on offense for the Washington Redskins. I never was a fan of Robert Kelley and Matt Jones can’t even find the field. I loved seeing Perine fall to me in my rookie draft at pick 1.09 who was my target all along. Reports out of Washington is that they had Perine ranked as their 4th running back in the draft and it won’t be long before he is the workhorse on early downs. Although Kelley’s ADP is 156 and unproven Perine is 95, I’ll take Perine all day long.
All reports coming out are how good Jordan Reed looks so far. That doesn’t surprise anyone, but what would surprise me is seeing him play an entire season in 2017. Concussions have really hampered the career of one of the most athletic active TEs – and I don’t see him going a full season without sustaining another one. I’m avoiding Reed this year and selling all shares knowing that he won’t be around for many more years, or hits to be honest. Even in redraft, I have a very hard time selecting him in the third round and will be avoiding him.
Will Compton combined for 105 tackles last year, but I feel like no one is talking about him. In my recent IDP startup, I selected Compton in the 36th round and think of his as a 100-tackle guy moving forward. He finished 2016 as LB39 for our settings and getting him late in the draft as my LB4 was huge value. If he ever adds INTs or sacks to his repertoire, his fantasy numbers will skyrocket.
Don’t know why, but I just can’t put down Jordan Matthews. He gets no love for putting up 2-monster years before struggling last year in Carson Wentz’s first season. Matthews, whose current ADP from DFF is 80, averaged 76 catches for 934 yards and 8-TDs in his first two seasons. He was close on catches and yards last year with 73 catches for 804 yards but only three touchdowns. I like him in year-two with Wentz and see more production overall, after Philly brought in WR help to give them more offensive weapons.
I’ve been wrong before on players and one of those players is Alshon Jeffery. Love his talent on the field but his ability to stay on the field has to be concerning now. Missing 11 games over the past 2-years is concerning and while the talent is there, taking 0s on the bench doesn’t help. I’m avoiding him moving forward especially when his ADP is 27 for 2017, 53 spots in front of Jordan Matthews. He’s going to see the opponent’s #1 CB all year long, until he gets injured, and that allows Matthews to feast from the slot.
Vinny Curry fits the mold for an IDP sleeper heading into 2017. In my 55-player roster, 13-defensive starter league, Curry went undrafted and still is a free agent. Rumors are out there that he was dealing with a knee injury from week-2 on last year – and that could have slowed his production. The addition of Barnett has me a little worried for 2017 but I still think Curry can be a solid DE3 on someone’s IDP team. If you’re getting your DE3 or even DE4 for $1 in blind-bidding dollars after the draft, great start to filling out your roster.
Follow me on Twitter: @DFF_MattK
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