Top-12 Fantasy Football Sleepers for 2016 (Part 1)

amaro

The Super Bowl is always a bitter-sweet time. On one hand, you have the biggest spectacle in all of sports where the best team in the NFL is finally crowned. On the other hand, the fantasy football season is officially over.

Even though it feels like a little part of ourselves has died, the fact remains that a new fantasy season is only six months away and it’s never too early to start planning your strategy.

Picking the right fantasy football sleepers can be the difference between a championship run and being trapped in the basement.

Over the next 6 weeks, I’m going to reveal the top-12 fantasy sleepers going into the 2016 season.

 

  1. Jets TE Jace Amaro

After an under-whelming rookie season, catching 38 passes for 345 yards and two touchdowns, the former second-round draft pick and Texas Tech star missed the entire season with a torn labrum in his left shoulder. In his absence, Jets TE’s Jeff Cumberland and Kellen Davis were complete non-factors, combining for just 95 yards and a TD on 25 targets. So why is Amaro a sleeper? One word: Potential.

Despite not having a legitimate third-option in the passing game behind WR’s Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, the Jets offense ranked fourth in the AFC in total offense, fifth in points and sixth in passing yards. If Amaro can add an additional dimension to an already potent Jets offense, he could see his numbers drastically improve.

Additionally, the upgrade at QB from Geno Smith (2,525 yards, 13 TD’s and 13 INT’s in 2014) to Ryan Fitzpatrick (3,905 yards, 31 TD’s, 15 INT’s) should help Amaro as well.

Combine all of this with Amaro’s prototypical TE size (6’6” 260 lbs), skills (1352 yards, 7 TD’s during his junior year at Texas Tech) and development (entering his third year), Amaro could be a late-round draft pick that ends up being one of the top second-teir TE’s next season at an extremely top-heavy fantasy position. Plus, he has a really cool first name, for whatever that’s worth.

 

  1. WR Tyler Lockett

Seattle Rookie WR Tyler Lockett came on late in the year and became one of Russell Wilson’s favorite targets. Lockett’s value soared after TE Jimmy Graham’s injury in Seattle’s 11th game. Nearly 50 percent of Lockett’s yearly yard total (318 of 664) and half of his receiving TD’s (3 of 6) came in the team’s final five games of the year, including a two-TD, 104-yard performance in Baltimore.

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Lockett’s targets also increased dramatically in the absence of Graham, jumping from just under 4 targets a game to just under 7. Even though all signs point towards the return of Graham next season , WR Jermaine Kearse will almost certainly not re-sign, clearing the way for Lockett to take over the number-two receiver role behind WR Doug Baldwin. With a similar skillset to Kearse, Lockett should fit right in.

As an added bonus, Lockett has also established himself as one of the NFL’s most dangerous return threats and can always get you a “free-six” on any given Sunday with a kick return. The speedster is almost certainly going to out-produce is ADP, you can Lock-ett in (I’m sorry, I couldn’t help it).

 

Check back next week for No. 10 and 9.

 

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