You know, it was probably a bad idea to gamble your fantasy football auction dollars on the ponies. Also, it was pretty weird for the track to accept fake dollars for real-life betting. Anyway, Evan Hoovler has you covered on what you should pay for guys provided that you have your full $200 budget. But what if all you have left is $15 to fill those fifteen slots? Well, I’m really bad with money, too, so I can help you Top Ramen your way to victory with fantasy football auction sleepers. Here is a whole fantasy football squad you can build in a twelve-team league with a $200 budget with just $15 in auction dollars, per FantasyPros.com’s Auction Values.
Fantasy Football Auction Sleeper Quarterbacks:
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota & Philip Rivers, Chargers
Can I interest you in a quarterback who has finished as a fantasy football QB1 in twelve-team leagues in each of the last four years? And the only quarterback to do that for two different teams? Or the guy who has thrown the eighth-most touchdowns and fourth-most yards in the last four seasons? Good news, those are all terminally underrated Kirk Cousins, who is going for a buck, and is currently just 54% owned on Yahoo!
What about the QB who has thrown the third-most yards, fourth-most touchdowns, who passed for the sixth-highest average net yards per attempt, and who plays for a team that will need to rely on the pass this season? Well, that’s Philip Rivers. And for $2, you can accumulate some great value in your fantasy football drafts by pairing Cousins and Rivers as your quarterbacks.
Fantasy Football Auction Sleeper Running Backs:
Devin Singletary, Buffalo; Justin Jackson, Chargers; Alexander Mattison, Minnesota & Darwin Thompson, Kansas City
These guys might combine to score five fantasy points in weeks one and two (all by Darwin Thompson), but you’re banking on these guys busting through after the first few weeks of the season.
Devin Singletary has been my dude all offseason, given that his challenges for touches are the on-his-way-out LeSean McCoy and the interminably-rostered Frank Gore now that T.J. Yeldon has been persona non grata in Buffalo. Singletary isn’t a burner, but he is one of the most elusive running backs in this rookie class. He just needs to beat out two guys who combine to qualify for AARP benefits.
Justin Jackson for a buck means you need to get into a draft immediately since that’s likely to go higher every minute that Melvin Gordon doesn’t show up to Chargers camp. He’s much cheaper than Austin Ekeler, who will be his competition for touches. Jackson will undoubtedly take the bulk of the carries from Melvin Gordon, and as long as he gets over 30% of the rushes, he should finish as a weekly RB2. Last year, he had at least 30% of the team’s rushes twice and finished as RB12 and RB17 in those weeks. Justin Jackson provides a nice bridge to guys like Devin Singletary and Alexander Mattison, whose value will pop later in the season.
Alexander Mattison is a draft-and-hold since he’s currently the full backup behind Dalvin Cook in Minnesota. However, the 2019 third-round pick only has to wait until Dalvin Cook misses his requisite half the season to have fantasy football usefulness. Without Cook over the last two seasons, an arguably equal, if not lesser, talent (Latavius Murray) averaged 77.7 yards per game and scored 12 touchdowns in 17 contests, making him a top-ten running back in all formats. You just have to wait to reap the benefits.
Darwin Thompson makes for a nice fun toy while you wait for Mattison to become available to use. Like Justin Jackson, Thompson’s price increases by the second. All you need to know about his hype train over the next two weeks is Evan Silva declaring himself “all-in on Darwin Thompson” on NFL Network’s Around the NFL Podcast. The rookie running back is turning every head imaginable, and given that he’s already vanquished Carlos Hyde and Darrell Williams on the depth chart, only the aggressively mediocre Damien Williams stands between him and fantasy football glory.
Fantasy Football Auction Sleeper Wide Receivers: John Brown, Buffalo; Anthony Miller, Chicago; Marquise Goodwin, San Francisco; Terry McLaurin, Washington, & Preston Williams, Miami
Before Lamar Jackson took over for Joe Flacco and tanked John Brown’s fantasy football value, Brown averaged just under 4 catches a game for 67 yards, and a touchdown every other game. He was on pace to be a top-twelve wide receiver in every format. Now, he’s back with a deep ball artist, but because he didn’t fit with Lamar Jackson, he’s being wildly discounted everywhere. Snatch up that value like John Brown snatching up an errant Josh Allen deep ball.
I’m not entirely certain why Anthony Miller is going so cheaply according to FantasyPros. He is in his second year in a good offense, with an evolving quarterback in Mitch Trubisky throwing him the ball. He was second in rookie wide receivers with seven touchdowns (and he led rookie WRs in touchdown catches after October 1) and he did it while struggling with a shoulder injury all season. The Bears offense should once again be potent enough to support two wide receivers, and he’s one struggling Allen Robinson away from leading the team in targets. For a dollar!
Remember back into the last offseason when Marquise Goodwin was the sleeper du jour for the fantasy football community, because of his connection with Jimmy Garoppolo in 2017? Well, he and Jimmy G had zero full games together after Goodwin took a vicious hit in week one and left early, missed week two, and Garoppolo died in week three. In the game immediately following Jimmy G’s knee injury, Goodwin went off for 126 yards and two touchdowns. The rest of his season quickly became a mess due to personal tragedy, and I’m fully willing to give him a pass for those games. Irresponsible reporting from Rotoworld had fantasy football twitter in a tizzy that Goodwin isn’t a lock to make the roster, but you can use that to your advantage come your auction draft and get him for a dollar.
As for Terry McLaurin, it’s one of those, “well, someone is going to catch passes in Washington” situations. Since Jordan Reed is already doing Jordan Reed things (as I type this, he’s out for their week three preseason game with a concussion), this call gets even better. McLaurin was one of Washington rookie Dwayne Haskins’ favorite targets last year at Ohio State. He’s getting all the buzz at Washington’s training camp, and given that their depth chart looks like year seven of a Madden sim, he’s as good a bet as any to get a ton of targets this year.
Speaking of “as good a bet as any,” the Dolphins have no true number one wide receiver on their roster. It’s Albert Wilson, DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills, and Preston Williams. Don’t get me wrong, rookie wide receivers usually do nothing, but there’s no decent drumbeat for anyone at Dolphins camp except Preston Williams. He toasted the Falcons in week one of the preseason for 97 yards, and was a toe hair’s width away from an amazing catch in week two of the preseason. In week three, he dusted Jalen Ramsey. That Jalen Ramsey. One of the best CBs in the league Jalen Ramsey.
Fantasy Football Auction Sleeper Tight End: Darren Waller, Oakland & Ian Thomas, Carolina
I already broke down Darren Waller here. Since I posted this, he’s been getting nothing but positive publicity through his preseason play and the Hard Knocks Bump™. Waller’s never gotten more than seventeen targets in a season but ate a year in 2017 from a PED suspension after entering the league as a wide receiver. He’s there to catch passes, and outside of Antonio Brown, he’s pretty much the only game in town for short-to-intermediate catches in Oakland, since he’ll be soaking up the departed Jared Cook passes from last season.
As for Ian Thomas, like a fine wine, you have to let him open up. Decant him a bit. Let him breathe. He’s going to start the season as the backup tight end for Greg Olsen, the same role he took up last season before Thomas missed the middle of the season with an injury. Thomas hit the ground running when he came back from his injury, posting 246 yards and two touchdowns in the five games down the stretch. That may not sound like a lot, but the 80 catch, 787 yard, 6 touchdown pace was good enough to be the #5 tight end in that time frame.
Fantasy Football Auction Sleeper Kicker: Literally Just Pick One For $1
I usually end up streaming this position based on matchups and domes. It’s not worth the time worrying about it, considering you could end up with Greg Zuerlein for a buck if you catch your league at the right moment. Sorry, I can’t provide you with hard-hitting analysis on what essentially is a fantasy football random number generator.
Fantasy Football Auction Sleeper Defense/Special Teams: Baltimore Ravens
They’re a dollar, likely because they lost a lot of guys (C.J. Mosley, Za’Darius Smith, Terrell Suggs, and Eric Weddle), but they are getting the absolutely god awful Miami Dolphins offense in week one, and the currently questionable Cardinals O in week two. Jump ship before Patrick Mahomes hosts them in week three. This is a streaming position, but the Ravens should get you off on the right foot before you set out into the world to stream.
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