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Fantasy Sleepers

By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor.

With the 2021 NFL season inching ever so closer, Fantasy Football aficionados are already poring over websites and magazines to prepare for their drafts. While stat gobblers like Christian McCaffrey and Patrick Mahomes are easy picks, the difference between winning and losing in Fantasy Football is often being able to uncover the hidden gems – overlooked “sleepers” that outperform their perceived values. We scoured the online sites to find seven potential players you might want to consider for your Fantasy team:

♦ TUA TAGOVAILOA, QB, Miami Dolphins: “It was a perfect storm for Tua last year that caused people to question his abilities. Tua was still coming off of a brutal injury, it was a shortened off-season, his receiving corps was underwhelming and dealing with injury, and Justin Herbert outperforming him certainly didn’t help. Heading into year two, Tua now has a revamped receiving corps to throw to that fits his skillset perfectly and he’s had the full off-season to prepare as the starter. We’re not at the point where we can rely on Tua as a weekly starter, but let’s not forget what Tua can do when he’s healthy and has a solid arsenal of receiving weapons. He’s certainly on the streaming radar as we head into 2021.” — Kyle Yates, FantasyPros

♦ CARSON WENTZ, QB, Indianapolis Colts: “Carson Wentz’s fantasy season went up in flames in 2020 when he was ultimately benched for rookie Jalen Hurts. But, no more of that for 2021. This big fantasy QB bust will get a fresh start with the Colts, which should reignite his NFL career. Reuniting with former Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich, who’s now the head coach in Indianapolis, should help Wentz get back on track. Plus, the Colts sport an exciting group of receivers including T.Y. Hilton and youngsters, Michael Pittman Jr. and Parris Campbell. Hopefully, all those elements launch Wentz into the fantasy-relevant column again. Fingers crossed. He’s worth taking a flier on as a sleeper option due to his high-end talent level. That raw ability is undeniable.” — Rachel Wold, SportsNaut

♦ COREY DAVIS, WR, New York Jets: “How is this man being drafted later than his 2020 fantasy football finish? Corey Davis was the WR30 as the WR2 in a run-first offense. He was 16 yards shy of 1,000 receiving yards and had five touchdowns in 14 games. He is in a much better situation for potential volume in 2021. Davis has the opportunity to be the WR1 in a Jets offense that drafted Zach Wilson and addressed its offensive line — but has an underwhelming running back group and, due to a likely poor season, will have to furiously pile up pass attempts playing from behind. Davis will take full advantage of that. — Nate Hamilton, The Game Day

♦ MELVIN GORDON, RB, Denver Broncos: “The 28-year-old was 14 yards shy of a 1,000-yard season in 2020, finishing with 986 rushing yards on 215 carries and nine touchdowns. Gordon also caught 32 of 44 pass attempts for 158 yards and a score. Gordon flourished in the Broncos’ otherwise mediocre offense in 2020, putting up numbers similar to his previous five seasons despite the team’s lack of a consistent passing game. A team-worst four fumbles lost is a concern, but Gordon’s 4.6 yards per carry could be more than enough to keep the RB1 spot in Denver away from recent acquisitions Javonte Williams and Mike Boone. SportsLine’s 2021 Fantasy football running back rankings agree, ranking Gordon well inside the top 25 rushers and above ball-carriers with better ADPs like Mike Davis, Kareem Hunt and Myles Gaskin.” — CBS Sport

♦ JALEN REAGOR, WR, Philadelphia Eagles: “There are reasons to be optimistic about Reagor entering his sophomore season. The Eagles have a new head coach in Nick Sirianni and subsequently a new coaching staff. They’ll do a better job positioning Reagor for success in 2021. Additionally, rookie DeVonta Smith will take some of the defensive attention away from the second-year pro. Reagor is better suited as a No. 2 receiver. It was also revealed that he’d have an opportunity to move in the slot this season. The thought of Reagor having a mismatch inside against nickel or dime cornerbacks should have you salivating like a dog in front of a meat market. Jalen Hurts and Reagor also developed a rapport as rookies. Were you aware that 12 of his 31 receptions for 174 receiving yards came from Hurts in the last five games of the season? Reagor could receive around 100 targets this season.” — Eric Moody, Pro Football Network

♦ ADAM TRAUTMAN, TE, New Orleans Saints: “No team got hit harder by the decrease to the salary cap than the Saints. In addition to losing multiple defensive players, they also had to cut ties with receiver Emmanuel Sanders and tight end Jared Cook, leaving a lot of vacated targets for a new-look offense in 2021. Of anyone who stands to benefit from this, second-year tight end Adam Trautman stands out. With Cook departing to the Chargers, he’s an easy fit into an increased role for New Orleans this season, especially since the team gave up significant draft capital to move up to select him in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft.” — Justin Dunbar, FanTrax HQ

♦ LAVISKA SHENAULT, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: “According to Hays Carlyon of 1010 XL and 92.5 FM, the Jacksonville Jaguars coaches have been ‘buzzing about’ Shenault. ESPN’s Michael DiRocco also listed him as the Jaguars player who turned heads through mandatory minicamp. ‘Shenault has arguably been the Jaguars’ best offensive player throughout OTAs and minicamp,’ DiRocco wrote. ‘The Jags are keeping him at receiver instead of trying to use him in the backfield at times, and his development has been one of the highlights of the spring.’ Last year, Shenault caught 58 passes for 600 yards and five touchdowns with a 73.4 percent catch rate. He also ran the ball 18 times for 91 yards. With 2021 No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence under center, the Jaguars may field a pass-heavy offense this season. That bodes well for Shenault’s growth and his receiving numbers despite the presence of DJ Chark Jr. and Marvin Jones Jr. in a solid wide receiver group.” — Maurice Moten, Bleacher Report

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