Thompson’s Redraft Rookie Sleepers

Thompson’s Redraft Rookie Sleepers

by May 10, 2021 0 comments

It is a touch more than a week and a half after the draft. We finally know where the top players in the draft have gone. I am one of the many people that are in both the draft and fantasy communities. Being in these two groups helps in both ways as to knowing what teams need and how players fit into each scheme. There were plenty of players that were drafted to great situations and could play a major role early in their rookie years. While many fantasy players are focused on the players drafted in the first two rounds, this article features players taken after the first two rounds.

Josh Palmer, WR, Los Angeles Chargers (Round 3, Pick 77)

The Chargers have continued to build their offense around Justin Herbert. Tom Telesco snagged multiple offensive linemen in free agency and added Rashawn Slater in the first round to complete the makeover along the offensive line. Palmer could be the replacement for Mike Williams, who is entering his fifth-year option from his original contract. Along with that, Los Angeles needed to add an infusion to their receiving room. Hunter Henry‘s departure leaves 93 targets on the table, and while most of that should go to Jared Cook, Palmer should get a lot of reps. He will likely battle with Jalen Guyton and Tyron Johnson for the third receiver in three-receiver sets. Guyton and Johnson combined for 81 targets last year. Palmer should succeed early in what looks to be an explosive offense.

Dyami Brown, WR, Washington Football Team (Round 3, Pick 82)

Washington has a lot of weaponry for Ryan Fitzpatrick or Taylor Heinicke. The dynamic rookie will likely be the fourth or maybe fifth receiving option but should get plenty of targets as a late-round flier in drafts. Brown will be the deep-threat on the roster and forms a dynamic trio with him, Terry McLaurin, and Curtis Samuel. Washington could be one of the most entertaining offenses in the league this year.

Amari Rodgers, WR, Green Bay Packers (Round 3, Pick 85)

The Packers did something that many fans were calling for by drafting a receiver. A receiver wasn’t the biggest need of the roster, considering Green Bay was the number one offense last year. The Packers have said they see the Clemson receiver as a receiver that can play on the boundary and the slot while also being the gadget player. Davante Adams had 149 targets alone, and there are 50 vacated targets from Jamaal Williams and Tyler Ervin. Rodgers should make an impact immediately for the Packers, whether Aaron Rodgers or Jordan Love is under center.

Michael Carter, RB, New York Jets (Round 4, Pick 107)

About 200 carries are available in the New York backfield. While the team did add Tevin Coleman in free agency, he appears to be the third-down back coming over from San Francisco as a veteran to help run Mike LaFleur’s system. Carter and second-year back Lamical Perine will most likely fend for most of the carries while Coleman helps Zach Wilson as a safety-net in the passing attack. The Jets could surprise a lot of people with their offense, and the rushing attack could be a big reason why. Carter is a solid option as a third or fourth running back.

Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, Detroit Lions (Round 4, Pick 112)

The biggest thing with the Lions was the trade of Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams for Jared Goff and multiple first-round picks. Along with that, the Lions are without their top four or five receivers on the depth chart from last year. Of the team’s 582 pass attempts last year, 362 of the targets are now from players on different teams. Detroit added Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman in free agency but expect St. Brown to end as the leading receiver. The rookie was a steal in the fourth round and has a similar skill set to what offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn had with Keenan Allen in Los Angeles. St. Brown should be one of the late-round targets that will provide FLEX impact after the first few weeks.

Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, New England Patriots (Round 4, Pick 120)

New England’s backfield has been murky for fantasy players with how much the Patriots use multiple backs. The backfield seems to be clearing up some with the addition of Stevenson in the fourth round. Damien Harris and Sony Michel appear to be the between-the-tackles runners, and Stevenson looks to be the redzone back. He was likened to LeGarrette Blount and Rex Burkhead. The Patriots need to take the load off of the starting quarterback, whoever that may be, in the redzone. Stevenson should help with that and provides a safety net out of the backfield, as well as good blocking.

Tylan Wallace, WR, Baltimore Ravens (Round 4, Pick 131)

Like St. Brown, Wallace was another steal in the fourth round. The Ravens added multiple pieces to their arsenal for Lamar Jackson, including Sammy Watkins in free agency and Wallace and Rashod Bateman in the draft. Along with Marquise Brown, the Ravens have an explosive receiving room. Wallace should find some time in the slot but will likely have to battle alongside second-year pro Devin Duvernay for more reps. Either way, Wallace will have some sort of role and is a refined player that should find the field sooner than later.

Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Philadelphia Eagles (Round 5, Pick 150)

Nick Sirianni is implementing a scheme similar to what the Colts ran last season. Well, Indianapolis had a running back out of the backfield that had 76 targets last year while also adding 89 carries. If there is a player that compared well to Hines in the draft, it was Gainwell. Boston Scott is still in the backfield, so he could take some time to return FLEX value, but the former Memphis back should contribute in a big way for a team that needs an influx of youth. Miles Sanders truthers have the right to be upset for how the front office added depth to the backfield.

Cornell Powell, WR, Kansas City Chiefs (Round 5, Pick 181)

A rookie, in potentially the league’s most explosive offense, with about 80 vacated targets? Sign me up. Powell is a solid number four option in Kansas City’s potent passing attack. He should battle with Demarcus Robinson for reps in three-receiver sets but should return value as a late-round flier late in the season when he outproduces Robinson and potentially MeCole Hardman as well.

Javian Hawkins, RB, Atlanta Falcons (Undrafted)

There are about 300 carries available in Atlanta. While Mike Davis was added in free agency, look for Hawkins and fellow undrafted free agent, Caleb Huntley to provide some sort of impact this season. Hawkins will likely battle with Davis for the starting role. In an offense that should be more explosive, the starting running back will be a hot commodity, and Hawkins could be the James Robinson of this year’s class.


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