Every year there are a few late round picks or even undrafted rookies that come out of nowhere and provide some fantasy impact. Last year, Karlos Williams and Stefon Diggs come to mind as two guys that were drafted in the fifth round or later that eventually carved out decent fantasy value.
The 2016 NFL Draft will be no different, here are some sleepers that could find their way onto your fantasy team:
1. Dwayne Washington, RB, Washinton
Washington is someone that just never seemed to find his footing in college. Injuries played a big role causing Washington to never have consistent playing time which ultimately led to him losing his starting job.
Still, in three years, Washington touched the ball 267 times and amassed 1722 total yards and 21 touchdowns. He certainly made the most of his touches.
Injury history and numbers aside, like Karlos Williams, Washington is one of the bigger backs in the 2016 class. He’s 6’2,” 226 pounds with 4.44 speed.
However, according to Lance Zierlein, we shouldn’t be fooled by his size because he isn’t exactly a powerful runner but he is a former receiver with solid enough hands to be a factor in the passing game.
Washington is probably someone that could go in the sixth round based on measurables and his size/speed combo, but if he lands in the right situation, he could be an injury away from being an interesting fantasy option.
2. Ricardo Louis, WR, Auburn
The 2016 draft class is most notable for lacking any big time prospect with the size and speed combo that we’ve seen from receivers in recent draft classes.
However, there are some guys like Louis, that have the size at 6’2″ and a 4.43 40 time but their tape doesn’t match their impressive measurables.
In his three years at Auburn, Louis never had any eye-popping seasons, but in 2015 he did catch 46 passes for 716 yards and three touchdowns.
Scouts, like Dane Brugler, diss Louis for his poor ball-skils and underdeveloped route tree, but in a class that doesn’t have the prototypical number one receiver, Louis stands out. Some team will come away intrigued by his combination of size and speed that could lead to a few big plays and long touchdowns in 2016.
3. Darius Jackson, RB, Eastern Michigan
After three years backing up Bronson Hill, Darius Jackson got an opportunity to headline Eastern Michigan’s backfield and he definitely made the most of his 229 touches. He finished 2016 with 1278 total yards and 16 touchdowns while averaging 5.2 yards per carry.
To the naked eye, Jackson may not be much of an NFL prospect because of the program he’s coming from and the fact that he didn’t get a combine invite, but make no mistake, his size and speed should be intriguing to any NFL team.
At the University of Michigan’s pro day, Jackson ran a 4.35 40 time while measuring in at 6’0,” 220 pounds.
In a running back class without many big time athletes, Jackson stands out as someone worth taking a chance on in the NFL. And like Karlos Williams was, Jackson could only be an injury away from fantasy relevancy.
4. Kyle Carter, TE, Penn State
There was a period of time where Kyle Carter was an intriguing freshman at Penn State. In 2012, he caught 36 passes for 453 yards and two years. Pretty good for a freshman.
However, over the course of the following three years, Carter never caught more than 18 passes and never surpassed 222 yards. After Bill O’Brien left, Carter and Christian Hackenberg never looked quite as good.
Scouts are concerned about Carter’s route running ability and toughness, but again, in a poor tight end class, Carter’s size at 6’3″ and 4.64 speed could get some GM to pull the trigger in the seventh round.