2021 Fantasy Football Post-Hype Sleepers

by Michael Tomlin
2021 Fantasy Football Post-hype sleepers

If you like to draft Fantasy Football teams with value in mind, then the 2021 post-hype sleepers are right up your alley.

The idea of a post-hype sleeper is that the player was overrated the year prior and did not live up to expectations. The pendulum has now swung too far the opposite way and the 2021 post-hype sleepers are actually being under-rated.

Some of the 2021 Fantasy Football post-hype sleepers are veterans who were injured last season. Some of the players are younger guys that were supposed to break out but did not.

Either way, the reasons that these 2021 post-hype sleepers were seen as valuable Fantasy Football commodities have remained the same. You know just can get them at a discount.

The information for the 2021 post-hype sleepers is up to date as of July 9th, with the Average Draft Position (ADP) coming from the Points Per Reception (PPR) drafts at Fantasy Data.

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2021 Fantasy Football Post-Hype Sleepers

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Devin Singletary, Running Back, Buffalo Bills

2020 ADP: 46.4, RB24; 2021 ADP: 98.8, RB42

I guess Singletary is kind of becoming “my guy” this year at running back. He is one of my running back sleepers and I highlighted him in my running back committees.

The facts are the facts: Singletary had more attempts, rushing yards, targets, receptions, and receiving yards per game than Zack Moss. He also paced Moss with better numbers at yards per carry and yards per catch.

Advanced numbers-wise, Singletary averaged over half a yard after contact per attempt more than Moss, while getting fewer yards before contact. He is just the better running back and people are forgetting that because Moss got a little more work later in the regular season.

You are getting the guy that will lead one of the best offenses in the league in rushing yards and is due some positive touchdown regression around pick 100.

James White, Running Back, New England Patriots

2020 ADP: 72.7, RB32; 2021 ADP: 137.6, RB54

Tarik Cohen, Running Back, Chicago Bears

2020 ADP: 84.6, RB38; 2021 ADP: 128.1, RB51

I am a broken record with these two guys. I only play in PPR leagues, so I tend to skew my analysis that way.

With that said, White and Cohen are undervalued annually.

I know, last year went against me. But it is hard to predict a torn ACL (Cohen) and the weirdest NFL team passing season in recent memory combined with the death of a father (White).

Cohen appears to be fully healthy and will slide right back into the role that saw him catch 150 passes over the previous two seasons. With either Andy Dalton or Justin Fields behind center, the Bears will throw it shorter/safer even more than ever.

White also might get a rookie quarterback looking to check down with Mac Jones. Even with Cam Newton in, White still grabbed almost 50 catches with missed time, showing his healthy statistical floor is still around 60 catches with 700 total yards.

Michael Thomas, Wide Receiver, New Orleans Saints

2020 ADP: 5.6, WR1; 2021 ADP: 28.7, WR10

This is currently the biggest fall of a prior year’s consensus top receiver in recent Fantasy Football history. Even when Antonio Brown went off the reservation and to Las Vegas he was still going as WR8.

The hate has gone too far. I get it, last season was rough. I also know that Thomas loses the most prolific passer (for now) in NFL history. But you have to look past the surface level.

First of all, Thomas hurt his ankle in Week 1 and tweaked his hamstring right before coming back. Ankle and hamstring injuries are the most lingering injuries possible. You feel hurt, not injured, try to fight through and never play at 100%.

With all that said, Thomas still had a 16-game pass for over 91 catches and more than 1,000 yards. The zero touchdowns stat is just insane, as we saw him then score in the playoffs. That will definitely regress back up.

The quarterback change could actually be a blessing if it is Jameis Winston. Jameis will throw more interceptions but also take more chances. Pop quiz: how many full games did Michael Thomas and Drew Brees play together last season? The answer is ONE, Week 9, Thomas’ first game back from injury.

Thomas only had five catches for 51 yards. What I am getting at is Thomas was actually better without Brees last season. If Jameis ends up starting, Thomas will be the WR1 again this season.
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D.J. Moore, Wide Receiver, Carolina Panthers

2020 ADP: 32.6, WR11; 2021 ADP: 64.1, WR24

Speaking of getting a quarterback upgrade, I am part of the few that still have stock on Sam Darnold Island. The guy has shown flashes of brilliance, and no one can really know if it was Adam Gase and/or the Jets’ disastrous franchise ruining him or not.

Moore was widely seen as a failure last season even though he had the ninth-most receiving yards among wide receivers (1,193 yards, a career-high). His receptions were obviously down, but that was due to the offense and quarterback.

The Panthers threw the ball almost 100 times less in 2020 as opposed to 2019. I think this is a combination of the Christian McCaffrey injury and Teddy Bridgewater playing quarterback. Carolina played at a slower, plodding pace.

With a big-armed quarterback and the best Swiss-Army Knife in the game back, I think Carolina opens it up. That will lead to more touchdowns for the Panthers’ receivers.

Only one receiver had anywhere near as many receptions as Moore last season with fewer touchdowns (Cooper Kupp, another buy-low this season) that was not on the Panthers. Shockingly, Moore, Robby Anderson, and Curtis Samuel combined for 238 catches but only 11 touchdowns. A.J. Brown had 11 touchdowns himself on just 106 catches.

I expect that to trend upwards with Darnold in town and Moore will be the main beneficiary.

D.J. Chark, Wide Receiver, Jacksonville Jaguars

2020 ADP: 47.5, WR19; 2021 ADP: 77.9, WR31

The other half of the D.J.’s in the 2021 post-hype sleepers, this one makes even less sense to me. I know, Chark was a major breakout pick last season and let down. But can you blame him?

The Jaguars started Mike Glennon and Jake Luton for exactly half their season. In those eight games, Jacksonville threw for just 1,696 yards, nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

Most importantly, Jacksonville was NOT trying to win. They wanted to win the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes, which they accomplished.

In the first half of the season, Chark had a pace of 230.1 PPR Fantasy Points. That would have slid him into WR18 on the season… you know once spot ahead of where he was drafted.

Now that Trevor Lawrence and Urban Meyer are in town, I think Chark is the safest bet to return draft value of all the 2021 post-hype sleepers.

Kenny Golladay, Wide Receiver, New York Giants

2020 ADP: 25.8, WR7; 2021 ADP: 56.6, WR22

To the opposite end, Golladay is probably the biggest boom or bust of the 2021 post-hype sleepers. Golladay was another guy who dealt with injures last season.

The former Detroit Lion was hurt going into the season but debuted in Week Three. He played just four full games before being sidelined for the rest of the season with a hip injury.

In his four games though, Golladay was a monster. He averaged five catches for 85 yards a game and never scored fewer than 14.5 Fantasy Points. His 16-game pace was 80 catches, 1,352 yards and eight touchdowns, which would have put him in as WR8 last year.

Golladay signed with the Giants in the offseason though so there are some uncertainties about his production capability. Depending on Daniel Jones is hardly a sure thing.

However, at the current price point of a low-end WR2, Golladay has more upside than anyone in his tier.
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Tyler Higbee, Tight End, Los Angeles Rams

2020 ADP: 89.7, TE9; 2021 ADP: 139.9, TE17

Higbee was another popular breakout pick last season. The Los Angeles Ram ended the 2019 season on a monstrous tear with a 4-game steak of at least 100 yards followed by an 8-catch, 84-yard day with a touchdown.

The thing is, Gerald Everett was inactive or not used for that whole streak. He was back last season and actually had more targets than Higbee.

Well, Everett is out of town now and the Rams did nothing to replace him. I could see all 62 targets of Everett heading towards Higbee now.

Then you factor in the overall step forward that the offense will take with Matthew Stafford and we might be looking at a Top-5 tight end.


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