NFL 2019: Fantasy Sleepers and Busts from every AFC West Team

Patrick Mahomes

It’s early I know.  With free agency and the NFL 2019 draft approaching, predicting fantasy sleepers and busts must seem like an exercise in futility.  But is it?  Remember that feeling you had last season, when you took quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the sixth round and then won your fantasy championship?

Yeah, Mahomes was an early sleeper pick last season.  So let’s do this, while it’s still this season!


Sleeper Candidate:  Damien Williams, running back

Williams may no longer be considered a sleeper, except for the fact that, a) he is in an Andy Reid offense;  b) people will be keying on other Chiefs; and c) people will be drafting five other running backs and the top wide receivers before they give Williams a thought.

After the loss of Kareem Hunt, Williams stepped in admirably.  He finished the postseason with four touchdowns in two games.  He averaged 5.1 yards per carry and he added 23 receptions.  Not to mention the Chiefs have already extended his contract.

Look for Williams to be the sleeper fantasy football for 2019.

Bust candidate: Patrick Mahomes, quarterback

Again easy big boy…it’s not that I don’t think Mahomes will be good.  He will.  But he will be drafted way too early and way too often.  It is more than likely that Mahomes will be the first quarterback drafted, and rightly so.  But drafting a quarterback in the first three rounds is unadvisable, and Mahomes will be drafted in the first three rounds.

Ergo, Mahomes will be a bust for those who draft him that early.  He will not have 50 touchdowns next year.  He will regress to the mean, and for Mahomes that is still a high ceiling, but for fantasy players not high enough to warrant his ADP.


Sleeper candidate: Philip Rivers, quarterback

I am unsure why Rivers is constantly undervalued in the fantasy football world.  This season he averaged 21.5 fantasy football points.  He finished in the top 10 in the NFL in most of the major passing categories, and his touchdown to interception ratio was 32:12.

Next season Rivers will have the same supporting cast that he had this year.  The Williams duo with a year under their belt, a healthy Hunter Henry, and a healthy Keenan Allen.  That spells good fantasy football production for Rivers.

Bust candidate: Melvin Gordon

Again, it is not that I think Gordon will be bad, but he will not live up to his ADP.  Think of the desperation in the fantasy draft room when, Ezekiel Elliot, Todd Gurley, Christian McCaffrey, and Le’Veon Bell are off the board.  Someone will panic and pick the next “big name” they can think of…and it will be Gordon.

According to, Gordon’s ADP for 2019 is currently 1.04.  Too high?

I submit there are others who will fare better, namely Phillip Lindsay and James Conner…but that is for a later discussion.  Just remember, the Chargers smelled post season this year and are loaded to have Rivers fire the ball all over the field.  So Gordon may be the last man out.


Sleeper candidate: DaeSean Hamilton, wide receiver

While most will be looking to Courtland Sutton to shore up the depth at wide receiver, do not sleep on Hamilton.  Some of his ceiling depends on the status and or health of Emmanuel Sanders, but….

If Sanders is physically stalled because of the Achilles injury, or traded, Hamilton is the next man up.  With Sutton and Tim Patrick running down the outside, Hamilton will be the option in the middle and or slot.  And nothing says lets rack up some fantasy points like a good slot receiver.

After Sanders’ injury, Hamilton was targeted 46 times for 30 receptions and two touchdowns.

Bust candidate: Royce Freeman, running back

Freeman or Case Keenum are valid choices here.  It is unclear what the Broncos will do with Keenum, so he gets a soft pass on this one.

Freeman on the other hand will play second fiddle to Lindsay.  Freeman finished the season with five touchdowns, but he only averaged 4.0 yards a carry. That is 1.1 yards less than Lindsay.

So while many will be tempted to draft Freeman because of the uncertainty of the Broncos offense, playing second fiddle should only warrant a waiver wire pickup, not a draft position.


Sleeper candidate: Jared Cook, tight end

There is a chance that Cook may not be a Raider come the 2019 season.  I am not sure that diminishes his status as a sleeper candidate (depending of course on where he lands), but with a tight end pool being so shallow, Cook is a legitimate threat.  Last season he was the Raiders top receiving threat with 101 targets.  He finished with six touchdowns and 896 yards on 68 receptions.

When it comes time to inevitably draft that tight end, remember Cook.

Bust candidate: Oakland Raiders

Who knows what Gruden and Mike Mayock will do?  There are legitimately no Raiders (outside of Cook who may not be a Raider) that you would draft.

But someone will…so this is a cautionary tale.


Talk at me or to me on Twitter @neverenoughglt


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