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When drafting the ideal best ball squad, managers are always looking for late-round sleepers — the guys who have blow up potential to win you a week and also have a path to greater opportunity in case of injury. After looking at the Underdog Fantasy ADP (7/25), here are my favorite sleepers who are currently sitting outside the top 115.
TIM PATRICK, WR, DENVER BRONCOS (ADP: 115.8)
KJ HAMLER, WR, DENVER BRONCOS (ADP: 187.4)
The two Broncos wide receivers who aren’t being talked about as much as Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy are looking like screaming best ball values. With the addition of Russell Wilson and new head coach Nathaniel Hackett, nobody knows who the top targets will be in this offense.
With an ADP of 115.8, Patrick is going 30 picks after the likes of Allen Lazard and Russell Gage, two wide receivers who have finished at similar or worse outputs in each of the past two seasons. Simply put, Patrick is one of the least sexy receivers in the NFL who consistently puts up solid numbers out of your WR4 spot. You can’t get much better than him in the 10th round.
We haven’t seen KJ Hamler on the field since Week 3 of last season after he tore his ACL in a game against the Jets, but the guy can take the top off of any defense. Hamler has been receiving comparisons to Wilson’s former deep threat Tyler Lockett since the beginning of his career and told the Denver Post, “I’m very cool with Tyler Lockett, too, and we talk all the time. But I told [Wilson], ‘I want to be your version of Tyler Lockett, and if I can be better, I’ll be better.”
Hamler will be going from Drew Lock to Wilson, who is arguably the best deep ball passer in the league, accumulating the most yardage and touchdowns off deep balls since 2016. Hamler was not placed on the PUP list this offseason and looks to be healthy again.
Hamler is one of the best late round dart throws based off his Underdog ADP.
DARRELL HENDERSON, RB, LA RAMS (ADP: 137.6)
It seems like fantasy managers are forgetting Henderson’s start to the 2021 season. Through the first 12 weeks, Henderson was RB13 in one of the best offenses in the NFL. The only thing that changes this year is Cam Akers returning from his Achilles injury. Of course, Akers will be healthier after a full off-season, but he only rushed for 175 yards and did not find the endzone on 75 carries in five games. No running back has ever returned to their previous form following an Achilles injury.
Henderson is in a great spot to have multiple weeks as the Rams starter if Akers goes down with injury or underperforms.
Look to grab Henderson in the 12th round of your best ball drafts.
JOSH PALMER, WR, LA CHARGERS (ADP: 141.8)
A big-bodied wide receiver on a top five offense in the NFL shouldn’t being going this late in drafts. As mentioned by our own Tom Dee, Josh Palmer is the ultimate 2022 fantasy football WR handcuff. Palmer didn’t see a lot of run until the latter half of the season where he became the third wide receiver for the Chargers, beating out Jalen Guyton in snap percentage. Over the last five games of the season, Palmer had 18 receptions for 185 yards and three touchdowns. Palmer amassed 15 PPR points in two of those contests.
“He’s been much more confident,” Justin Herbert said in the spring. “This year, it’s a different Josh Palmer out there and he knows exactly what he’s doing.”
Palmer is a Keenan Allen or Mike Williams injury away from being a fringe WR2 in best ball and has the ability to slide into your starting lineup during any week because of his big play ability.
Look to grab Palmer in the 13th round of your drafts.
KJ OSBORN, WR, MINNESOTA VIKINGS (ADP: 145)
Osborn is in a similar situation as Palmer. He’s the third receiver in an elite offense and is an injury away from being a weekly flex option. Last season, Osborn took over the WR3 spot for the Vikings after playing primarily special teams in his rookie year and then took over as the WR2 with Adam Thielen on the shelf for five games. Osborn has big play potential and finished the season with seven games of 14 PPR points or more.
Osborn will be in a new and more explosive offense with a member of the Sean McVay tree taking over. O’Connell ran three receiver sets 85 percent of the time last season and will give Osborn a chance to see the field more often after being in Mike Zimmer’s run heavy offense last season.
Look to snag Osborn in the 13th round of your best ball drafts.
KENDRICK BOURNE, WR, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (ADP: 183)
Patriots fans might be down on their team after a playoff pounding by Josh Allen, followed up by a very quiet off-season. Things got even more gloomy when Josh McDaniels was replaced by offensive extraordinaire Matt Patricia and QB whisperer Joe Judge. That’s right. Mac Jones’ crucial second season will be directly linked to Matt Patricia and Joe Judge — two lifelong offensive geniuses.
But, people forget the Patriots’ offense finished sixth in scoring with 27.2 points per game. Surprisingly, but not surprisingly, every single one of Jones’ receivers has an Underdog ADP outside of 100. So, something’s gotta give.
Enter Kendrick Bourne.
Bourne played just 52 percent of the offensive snaps in 2021. Yet, he was highly efficient. He put up 800 yards and five touchdowns on 55 receptions and eclipsed 21 fantasy points on three separate occasions. Even better, when push came to shove, he earned Jones’ trust more and more throughout the season. Bourne secured seven of eight targets for 77 yards and two touchdowns in their playoff loss and was a menace after the catch.
If you want to take a stab one a guy who could win you a few weeks at the end of your best ball draft, Bourne is that guy.
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