Every NFL season, fantasy football sleepers and busts can win or lose you your league. For every Alvin Kamara, that overproduces there is a Leonard Fournette that doesn’t quite meet expectations. Below are my top-5 fantasy football sleepers and busts for the 2019 season
RB Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings
Dalvin Cook is injury prone. Having a player like Mattison that can be on your bench waiting, is always valuable. If he were to outperform Cook or step in Cook’s place due to injury, he would be an RB2. Last season at Boise State, Mattison finished with 17 touchdowns and carried the ball 302 times.
The Vikings are a team that likes to run the ball with head coach Mike Zimmer, and they are going to do that whoever is in the backfield. Mattison holds good value if Cook goes down.
RB James White, New England Patriots
The Patriots backfield is growing more crowded by the day. White managed only 181 touches in 2018 while still finishing top-10 in PPR and Top 12 in standard leagues. It is rare for a back who gets that many touches to finish as a Top-15 running back in fantasy.
A backfield of Sony Michel, Damien Harris, and Rex Burkhead will take away touches from any running back, which includes James White. He should still be the primary receiving back in New England, but he won’t be near as productive as he was in 2018.
QB Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
Josh Allen is just like Deshaun Watson or Russell Wilson. He will only get you points through the air, but he is known to scramble. Allen improved as the year went on during his rookie season and struggled with a mediocre wide receiver group.
However, the Bills added rookie tight end Dawson Knox as well as running back Devin Singletary. Sub-3000 yards passing may not seem intriguing, but when Allen can pick up 631 yards and several touchdowns on the ground, he’s worth a late selection.
WR Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings
It will be difficult to for Thielen to produce as he did in 2018. Currently, Thielen is overvalued as a fantasy receiver. Diggs is taking up many receptions in the Minnesota offense and new rookie tight end Irv Smith Jr. could play a role as well.
It won’t be easy to pass on Thielen after such a fantastic season last year, but after exploding in the first half of 2018, he slowed down in the final eight weeks. That’s a trend that could continue.
RB Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams
Henderson is very similar to Mattison’s situation as the reason to have him on your bench. Gurley has been dealing with lingering knee issues, and nobody knows what to expect in 2019 for the star running back.
If Gurley were to miss time next season, Henderson would step up into the starting role. Henderson was tremendous at Memphis and would become an RB1 if Gurley is out for any reason.
WR Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns
Can you ever have enough elite receivers on one team? Landry will, unfortunately, fall victim to “too many cooks in the kitchen” this year in fantasy. The addition of Odell Beckham Jr. will take a significant amount of the targets, that Landry had last season. The slot receiver only finished as a Top 20 wide receiver last year when Beckham was still in New York. With the emergence of Beckham, David Njoku, and even Richard Higgins, there are too few targets for Landry to be valued as high as he is.
WR James Washington, Pittsburgh Steelers
With the departure of Antonio Brown, many targets have become available in Pittsburgh. JuJu Smith-Schuster will be the number one wide receiver in the Steel City, but Washington should not be forgotten.
The 2018 draft pick out of Oklahoma State will have a big opportunity in 2019. He only tallied 217 yards and 1 touchdown last season, but Ben Roethlisberger is due for a big year, and Washington could be a prime beneficiary of that.
QB Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
It’s hard to believe, but Drew Brees is becoming a fantasy bust candidate. The Saints quarterback had a fantastic 2018 season, but his numbers have declined. He only averaged 266 yards per game, and he had the fewest passing attempts since arriving in New Orleans.
Brees is overvalued right now in most standard leagues as he currently being drafted in the seventh round. Quarterbacks such as Ben Roethlisberger and Dak Prescott are capable of putting up more yards and fantasy points, and will be available much later.
RB Josh Jacobs, Oakland Raiders
Josh Jacobs will have a great opportunity heading into his rookie season. He likely sees little to no competition for touches in 2019. Jacobs does not have a lot of miles on him either.
Jon Gruden drafted him with the vision to use him in the best way possible. Jacobs is a great downfield runner and has excellent pass-catching skills. The former Alabama running back and first-round pick could become a Top-10 fantasy running back next season.
RB Damien Williams, Kansas City Chiefs
Damien Williams performed well during Kareem Hunt’s absence from the Chiefs last season. Out of the three regular-season games he played that were fantasy relevant, he put up RB1 numbers during that stint.
However, the Chiefs brought in underrated Carlos Hyde from the Jaguars to help their rushing attack which could take touches away from Williams. They also drafted Darwin Thompson.
Drafting a running back after three good games is very questionable. If anything, Williams will have more value than Carlos Hyde in PPR leagues because of his pass-catching ability, but his current ADP in Top 20 is too high.