by Rob Grimwood – @FFBritBaller
Every season we see late round sleepers from the NFL draft proper that fall into good landing spots which in turn can lead to fantasy production. Players like Aaron Jones or Antonio Brown who were 5th and 6th round picks respectively.
Take a look at these players and make sure you keep an eye on where they land this weekend. They could be a good landing spot away from becoming a great fantasy sleeper for this season and beyond.
Antonio Gandy-Golden, Wide Receiver – Liberty
Projected Round Drafted: late 3rd/4th
Gandy-Golden was a consistent producer for Liberty over the last couple of seasons. He had 71 catches for 1,037 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior in 2018 before notching 79 catches for 1,396 yards and 10 TD’s last season. He quietly impressed in Indy during the NFL Combine too where he ran a 4.6 40-yard dash and also got 22 reps on the bench press, second best among the receivers at the workout.
At 6-4, 223lbs – Gandy-Golden brings good size for a receiver on the outside and is effective with contested catches thanks to possessing superior hands. He has a great YAC ability too, so if he lands in a spot where there’s room for an outside receiver and a competent quarterback, Gandy-Golden could wind up to be a valuable fantasy asset.
Perfect Landing Spot: Indianapolis
Next best: Houston, Philadelphia
J.J Taylor, Running Back – Arizona
Projected Draft Round: 7th/Undrafted
Before converting to running back, Taylor was a defensive tackle at high school which should give you some indication that there is a lot of power behind that small frame. At 5’5, Taylor comes in “undersized” and will be overlooked because of this, but sometimes being small has it’s advantages. He has a lower centre of gravity which, when hit, gives the impression he just bounces off tacklers.
Despite a slight fumbling issue in 2019 (8 fumbles, 6 lost) Taylor finished 7th in the FBS with 1,434 yards on the ground with a 5.6 ypc average and scoring six times to earn third-team Associated Press All-American and first-team all-conference accolades. He can also be effective in the passing game finishing 2019 with 16 passes for 133 yards (8.3 per reception) and also as kick returner, combining for 540 yards off 22 kickoffs with 1 return TD.
J.J Taylor will likely end up as a last round dart throw for a team or could even wind up an undrafted free agent after the weekend is over; but he will get picked up by someone and will have a training camp. Teams will likely see that he’s different style of running back, yet a productive one. If given a chance and in a team that needs a unique running back to add a different dimension to their offense, Taylor could wind up edging his way to a fantasy relevant role as the season plays out. Definitely one for the taxi squad in dynasty leagues.
Perfect Landing Spot: Kansas City
Next best: Miami, Los Angeles (both teams)
Darnell Mooney, Wide Receiver – Tulane
Projected Draft Round: 6th
Mooney is a very rough mid-late round diamond. He needs to refine his route running as his current style would struggle in the NFL and work on cutting out the drops, but most of the negatives for Mooney are aspects that can be coached at the next level. The vision and pace that he has however, can not be coached and therefore he already has a leg up on any competition that he may have. He ran a respectable 4.38 at the Combine and has the ability to turn any short throw into a long gain.
Mooney earned second-team All-AAC honours in 2018 after ranking sixth in the FBS with 20.7 yards per catch and finished that season with 993 yards and 8 TDs.
His explosiveness would best be suited to a slot role and ideally paired up with a quarterback who has a nice deep ball as his ball tracking is at an elite level already. If Mooney lands in the right spot and develops good chemistry with his QB, he could quickly become an explosive fantasy asset.
Perfect Landing Spot: San Francisco
Next best: New Orleans, Minnesota
Albert Okwuegbunam, Tight End – Missouri
Projected Draft Round: 3rd
It’s no secret that tight ends usually need a year to bed into the NFL before becoming fantasy relevant. But most tight ends aren’t like Albert O. From time to time we’ll see a couple of rookie tight ends that break the mould and do put up respectable fantasy numbers, i.e Hunter Henry or Noah Fant last year. Okwuegbunam is this years’ Henry/Fant.
Albert O is the ultimate redzone weapon. Over his 3 seasons in college football he’s totalled 23 touchdowns. In his first 2 collegiate seasons he had 881 receiving yards and averaged 12.2 yards per reception over that spell. Last year those numbers dwindled slightly, which many believe that was down to him losing his quarterback to the NFL last off-season, Drew Lock. This downturn in performance has hindered his draft stock but the beast within still remains present as he showed at the Combine when he produced a 4.49 40 yard dash. Electric for a 6-5, 258lbs specimen.
Providing he lands in an offence that needs a bigger redzone presence and with a quarterback that has used tight ends previously, Albert Okwuegbunam could be draftable in fantasy football from day 1.
Perfect Landing Spot: Atlanta
Next best: Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Green Bay
Isaiah Coulter, Wide Receiver – Rhode Island
Projected Draft Round: 5th
Coulter is a raw, but super talented receiver out of a small school. These are the type of players you really have to watch closely over draft weekend. He possesses the tools to become a real success in the NFL after some pro-level coaching. He has great length, speed and agility with good hands and athletic ability. He needs to find some more aggression at the next level and the route tree needs polishing. But providing he lands in a decent spot, Coulter could be the best of this bunch when it comes to fantasy production.
He didn’t blow anyone away at the Combine in March, but a healthy 1,039 receiving yards and 8 TD’s last season with a good highlight reel should be enough to get a few teams excited. Coulter was the shining light for a College that’s only managed 9 wins in 3 years.
Perfect Landing Spot: Las Vegas
Next best: Green Bay, Minnesota