August means fantasy football draft season. Here’s a look at one sleeper from each of the 32 NFL teams.
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With Christian Kirk gone and DeAndre Hopkins set to serve a suspension at the start of the season, someone else will need to step up for the Cardinals. Moore showed flashes in his rookie season, with 72 touches, and is set to take on a more prominent role in the offense. He looks like a fine bench stash.
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The ball has to go somewhere in Atlanta, even with a passing game that looks shaky with Marcus Mariota at the helm. If rookie Drake London isn’t ready for primetime, Edwards is waiting in the wings. Acquired from the Raiders in the offseason, he’s been a productive deep threat in two seasons and could see a nice increase in targets.
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Now that Marquise Brown is gone, Bateman is set to be Baltimore’s No. 1 wideout. He had 46 catches in 12 games last season, and should see a significant increase this season.
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Davis is a popular sleeper as he’s set for a much bigger role in his third season. He enters the year with significant momentum after a 200-yard game in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, and could have a 1,000-yard season ahead.
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Frustrated Christian McCaffrey drafters know after the last two seasons to draft his backup, and Hubbard is the likely fallback option. While he struggled in his rookie season, Hubbard has impressed in camp and is a must-roster behind the risky McCaffrey.
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Fields’ lack of supporting cast garners much of the attention, with the Bears losing Allen Robinson and failing to address the offensive line fully. Despite the lack of great support, Fields does have a season under his belt and might need to throw regularly with a roster that could play from behind often. It might not be pretty, but the dynamic Fields has a chance to put up substantial numbers.
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The Bengals moved on from C.J. Uzomah, and brought in Hurst to handle tight end. It’s a secondary role in the Cincinnati offense, but also one that could have a big impact in the Red Zone.
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With Deshaun Watson likely to miss significant time due to suspension, the Browns wideouts have a red flag. Still, there is a lot of upside in the Browns wide receiver room, including Peoples-Jones. He showed flashed late last season after the team got rid of Odell Beckham, and has averaged nearly 19 yards per catch during his career. If Watson finds the field, Peoples-Jones has big-time potential.
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The Cowboys wide receiver situation is a bit of a mess behind CeeDee Lamb, with Michael Gallup returning from injury and Jalen Tolbert learning the offense. As a result, Dak Prescott could rely on his trusty tight end more often. Schultz had a breakout season in 2021 with over 800 yards and eight touchdowns, but he could be set to join the elite tight ends this year.
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The Broncos suffered a huge blow early in training camp when Tim Patrick was lost for the season. It’s an excellent opportunity for K.J. Hamler to step up and fill the void after fighting through injuries in his first two NFL seasons. Hamler has shown flashes when he’s played, and now has a capable quarterback in Russell Wilson.
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Williams will likely miss the start of his rookie season as he recovers from knee surgery, but the talent is worth the wait. He showed elite speed at Alabama last season, and could be the deep threat Detroit has been missing. A slow start provides the opportunity to stash Williams for later in the season.
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With the losses of Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, the Packers are looking for other wideouts to step up. Lazard had a career-high eight touchdowns last season, and his 6-foot-5 frame makes him an optimal Red Zone target.
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The Texans have a competition at running back, with Mack likely at the head of the pack. The former Colt has two seasons with over 1,000 yards from scrimmage but struggled to find playing time last year. His opportunity is much brighter as the possible starter in Houston.
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Pittman became the unquestioned top receiver in the Colts offense last season, with 88 catches for 1,082 yards and six touchdowns. The numbers could continue to rise entering his third season with veteran Matt Ryan searching for his go-to receiver. Pittman shows WR1 potential if he’s to Ryan’s liking.
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Quarterbacking didn’t come easy for Lawrence in his rookie season, leading the league in interceptions in the mess that was the Jaguars. The team has revamped the offense, including the addition of Christian Kirk and return of Travis Etienne. With more stability from head coach Doug Pederson, there’s reason to believe Lawrence could be a viable option.
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The Chiefs lost much of their wide receiver room, including superstar Tyreek Hill. Fortunately, the replacements look capable, with JuJu Smtih-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling signing as free agents, and rookie Skyy Moore also on board. Moore has impressed in training camp with the ability to get open, and could be used heavily in an elite offense still led by Patrick Mahomes.
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Head coach Josh McDaniels was a boon for quarterback Kyle Orton during his previous head coaching job in Denver, and Carr could be set for a similar boost. The offense is likely to be pass-heavy with the addition of Davante Adams, along with a leaky defense. It shouldn’t come as a shock if Carr finishes the season atop the NFL in passing yards.
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Quarterback Justin Herbert continues to make nice strides, and he has an exciting weapon at tight end in Everett. He’s yet to have a huge statistical season, but this could be his opportunity as the clear starter at tight end.
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Robinson put up elite production before a disastrous 2021 season, but he comes into this season fully healthy in an elite offense. As the No. 2 wideout behind Cooper Kupp, Robinson is likely to see single coverage and has already made waves in training camp. A rebound at age 29 would make Robinson an excellent draft day value.
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Much of the attention in Miami has been on the passing game after adding Tyreek Hill and Cedrick Wilson. However, new head coach Mike McDaniel comes from an offense that ran the ball very effectively in San Francisco, and Edmonds is set to be the lead back. He’s a versatile runner who could accumulate well over 1,000 yards from scrimmage if he stays healthy.
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Smith missed all of 2021 to injury, but is back as the Vikings top tight end this year. The team could see an uptick in passing under new head coach Kevin O’Connell, and Smith has the skill set to be a premium receiving tight end, including over 700 yards receiving in his final season at Alabama.
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Parker has a chance to step in as New England’s top wideout after an up and down career in Miami. Despite his inconsistency, Parker has shown big-play ability and has a chance to see an uptick in targets.
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Ingram is past his prime, but his situation is one to watch. He enters the season as the top back behind Alvin Kamara, who saw a decline in yards per carry last season and could still face a suspension after off-field issues.
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Toney couldn’t find enough attention under Joe Judge under his rookie season, but the first-round pick could play a more prominent role in New York this year. As Kenny Golladay continues to disappoint, Toney could be the beneficiary and a big-play threat as a receiver and runner.
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Wilson had a scare in New York’s first preseason game, but will likely only miss minimal time. He played poorly in his rookie season, but there’s an expectation he will take a giant leap forward in his sophomore season with more weapons like rookie Breece Hall and Garrett Wilson.
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Hurts still has some room to improve as a passer, but his mobility could make him a premium fantasy option in the meantime. He took well to the Eagles run-heavy offense in the second half of last season, and could blossom as a passer following the addition of A.J. Brown.
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There is some relief in Pittsburgh after Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement given his mediocre play over the last two years. Mitchell Trubisky is expected to open the season as the new quarterback, and the Steelers have an impressive trio at wideout with Diontae Johnson, Claypool, and rookie George Pickens. While Pickens has been the talk of camp, Claypool has shown elite flashes in his first two seasons, with the hope of his first 1,000-yard season in the near future.
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Kyle Shanahan’s offense has been a gold mine for young running backs, just as his father, Mike Shanahan’s offense was in the past. There’s uncertainty whether Elijah Mitchell can handle a full workload over 17 games, so all other backs on the depth chart are worth noting, including third-round rookie Davis-Price. He could be an excellent find for the latter half of the season.
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Rookie Kenneth Walker is all the rage after being selected in the second round of the draft, but we shouldn’t forget about Penny. He was elite late in the second with four 100-yard games over the last five weeks, but Walker’s presence has pushed Penny’s stock down entering the season.
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Leonard Fournette remains the starting running back in Tampa Bay, but third-round pick White is now right behind him. Fournette has a lot of tread entering his sixth NFL season so that White could emerge early as at least a part-time running back option for one of the league’s top offenses.
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The Titans traded star wideout A.J. Brown in the offseason, opening up the door for Woods to step in as the top wide receiver on the team. The former Ram is coming off of a serious knee injury, but the targets should be plentiful with a thin wide receiver corps in Tennessee.
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With the addition of first-round pick Jahan Dotson, it’s easy to forget about Samuel. He missed most of last year due to injury, but should find the field plenty as the slot receiver. Samuel was highly productive in that role with the Panthers before going north to Washington, and could be a viable second option in PPR leagues.