Fantasy Football Sleepers Tool

by Emil Kadlec
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What Does Sleepers Mean in Fantasy Football?

Sleepers are fantasy football players who a particular site or expert believes are going to produce better fantasy results than players with a similar average draft position (ADP). When experts and fantasy managers start to define their own rankings, they start to see players that differ greatly from ADP. As you adjust your rankings, you'll start to notice some players as well. These players are typically called sleepers, undervalued players, and even breakout candidates.


What's the difference between sleepers undervalued players and breakout players? Sleepers are typically considered players that are new to the NFL and haven't made a name for themselves or lesser-known among the fantasy community. A Breakout player is typically one who has been in the league for a handful of years and has established himself in a particular level. If this player is projected to do much better than his previous seasons, they can be called a breakout. Undervalued Players can really encompass both sleepers and breakouts. Despite the differences in fantasy jargon, these terms can all be used fairly interchangeably

How To Use Experts' Sleepers

As you review your draft strategy and rankings, you need to target players that you believe are sleepers. You can draft them later than you have them ranked in your own cheat sheet because your opponents typically have them ranked lower. You can use average draft position to determine where a player is being taken around by round and position.


The obvious thing about drafting is you need to get players that will perform well this year, even if they didn't make an impact last year. Nobody can predict the future perfectly, so sleepers, breakout players, and undervalued players are often a mixed bag. However, because one or two correct sleeper picks can swing an entire league, you only need to hit on a few to come out on top. It's important to understand why experts choose some players as sleepers and then make your own decision. Each August, has a complete list of our experts' sleepers, breakout players, and underrated players- along with many other categories-to help you choose your sleepers before the draft.

Fantasy Football Sleepers Advice Tool

We've created a helpful Sleepers Tool to give you some real-time knowledge (see below). You can select from various average draft positions such as Low Stakes leagues, ESPN, and Best Ball. ADP can vary dramatically depending on these types of leagues ao it's crucial to choose the ADP that most resembles your league's style. You can also select which Football Diehards Expert you want to view. The tool gives you a real time sleeper assessment for all main skill positions given your tool set up.

Expert: ADP:
No QB Sleepers.
No RB Sleepers.
No WR Sleepers.
No TE Sleepers.

Sleeper Example

If a player is ranked 10th at their position and their ADP is 20th at the position, you could argue they are a sleeper. However, players ranked in the top 10 are rarely considered sleepers and more often are referred to as values. Early-round values are still important as they can help you get an edge in acquiring multiple stud players at the top of the draft.

What is The Difference Between Sleepers, Undervalued & Breakout Players?

Basically, there is no difference. An undervalued player has an ADP that is lower than the position you have them ranked in your cheat sheet. So, in your eyes this player is undervalued compared to average managers around the country. Breakout is very similar with the addition that a player has established themselves over a period of years to have a certain fantasy value. And the expert believes that this person is now going to break out from that fantasy level in a positive way. Sleepers are basically consistent with undervalued players and breakout players. Yet perhaps they are less known to the fantasy community so they are called sleepers

Long-Shot Players

Another less known term is longshot players. These are players that could be Sleepers or Breakout Players but their metrics are questionable. These players are typically targeted in the final rounds of your draft and you're looking for a wildcard player who could end up being one of your starters. If you have to cut them before Week 1, so be it.

Overvalued Players

Let's not forget about overvalued players whose ADP is higher than your ranking. As you prepare for your draft, you will see these overvalued players stand out. You can keep them on your target list and just be aware that many of them will not make it to you. Let someone else be the hero and spend too much on these players.

Fantasy Football Sleepers Frequently Asked Questions


What is a fantasy football sleeper?

A fantasy football sleeper is a player who could exceed anticipated return on investment based on draft capital expended to secure to secure his services.

How can I identify fantasy football sleepers?

Average Draft Position (ADP) plays a major role in identifying potential fantasy football sleepers. An ADP in the middle to later rounds for players coming off disappointing seasons, recovering from injuries or surgeries, who find themselves with a new teams, coaching staffs or playing in a different scheme or who face new competition in the form of free-agent or rookie additions that might challenge for his role or opportunities are among the determining factors.

How subjective is the process of identifying fantasy football sleepers?

Like most things without obvious and/or finite values, the process of identifying fantasy football sleepers is as much art as science. But subjective though it is, the process does start with finding and singling ADPs lower than what you anticipate player's ultimate performance will be.

How can fantasy football sleepers help me leverage success in my leagues?

Winning fantasy football teams will have a number of players who out perform their draft value. The more players who exceed anticipated return on investment, the more likely your team will succeed.

Can I rely too heavily on fantasy football sleepers?

There's something to be said for consistency in fantasy football. So having a solid base on high-end players to build around is essential. That said, once you've built that base of starts, it's just as certain you'll need some players to produce at a better-than-expected rate. These fantasy football sleepers will prove themselves over the course of the season and render the notion of relying too heavily on them moot. Use the tool to see if your sleepers are over populated on your roster