Super Sleepers: 2022 Fantasy Football
Everyone loves sleeper picks. Dynasty leagues can be so deep that the sleepers are all drafted. I dive a little deeper here. We aren’t talking about your Dameon Pierces or Rachaad Whites, but the guys who are third or worse on the depth chart and need certain cards to fall their way to see any playing time. Take fliers on these players, as they have a chance to see actual playing time.
Tyler Badie, Baltimore Ravens
Tyler Baddie was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens with the 196th pick in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL draft. Badie currently could fill the RB3 role in Baltimore competition with Mike Davis. JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards are the two top running backs in Baltimore. Gus Edwards is coming off a torn ACL as well as Dobbins. Edwards seems to have a chance to be ready for camp and week one. Dobbins is the question mark as it was reported this week he may miss week one. Dobbins refuted that report, but we wait and see now.
Insert Badie, who almost reached 2,000 total yards at Missouri, and had 18 total touchdowns. Coming off an ACL tear, there’s a good chance Edwards and even Dobbins are eased into the offense. The former standout at Missou caught 54 receptions last year and scored four touchdowns. This is a running back who is all the way down on the depth chart but has a path to potential playing time.
Snoop Conner, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jarod “Snoop” Conner was drafted by the Jaguars with the 154th pick in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL draft out of Ole Miss. Currently, Travis Etienne and James Robinson are the top two running backs. Both are coming off injuries. Etienne suffered a Lisfranc injury during the preseason but now is fully healthy and ready to contribute. James Robinson suffered an Achilles tear in late December last season and has his week one as a question mark.
The only other running back on the roster outside of Conner is Ryquell Armstead who he will compete with for playing time. If Robinson isn’t ready for week one, Conner has a real chance to see playing time. The Jaguars traded up for Conner, and see him as a potential three-down back. If Robinson is not ready for week one, then Snoop, there it is!
Daniel Bellinger, New York Giants
Daniel Bellinger was drafted by the Giants with the 112th pick of the 2022 NFL Draft out of San Diego State. Currently, Bellinger is on the PUP list with a quad injury. First off, he’s 6 foot 8(!!!) and a Red Zone target is at a minimum here. Bellinger attended Tight End University, a mini-camp of the best professional tight ends in the country founded by Travis Kelce, George Kittle and Greg Olsen, and is seeing his stock get some attention.
Bellinger saw most of the first team reps in Giants OTAs as Ricky Seals-Jones and Jordan Atkins were with backups. Unfortunately, he has since been placed on the PUP list with a quad strain. It does appear minor, and the Giants can reactivate him at any time. There is no guarantee of lost playing time, and the PUP designation will only drive down his draft day price.
While this may not mean anything, it shows the Giants are serious about getting the rookie playing time. Bellinger is graded as a good blocker, which should get him some red zone looks, as well as the potential for a jump ball. His 6’8 frame is excellent here for the red zone. Bellinger right now is unknown outside of dynasty formats and is someone that could rise very quickly up the draft boards.
Abram Smith, New Orleans Saints
Abram Smith is an undrafted free agent out of Baylor. He rushed for 1,601 yards last season and was a converted linebacker. He had 12 rushing touchdowns on 257 carries. Somehow he went undrafted. Looking at the Saints' current running back room, Alvin Kamara is facing a six-game suspension, Mark Ingram is 32, and Tony Jones never ran away with the RB2 role last season.
If Kamara does indeed miss time, Abram Smith very well could split time with Mark Ingram, and could even stick to a starting role when Kamara comes back.
If the Saints don’t end up trading for a running back, this is the name you’re going to see headlining all week one waiver articles. Grab him now before he has a big week. We saw the true value of the RB2 in New Orleans when Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara were splitting time in the backfield.