Currently, everyone’s focus is turned towards the NFL Draft at the end of this month. While the NFL Draft is an extremely exciting time for fantasy football as well as projecting where certain players will land, it’s never too early to look forward to 2019 and get a jump start on the rest of your league-mates.
One of the most surefire ways of winning your fantasy football league is to grab the players at the end of your draft that can potentially breakout. For very little investment, you could add a player that gives you consistent production week-to-week.
It’s my job to bring those players to your attention now, so you can be as prepared as possible when it comes to draft time. With that being said, here are 3 pre-draft sleepers for 2019.
D.J. Chark – Jacksonville Jaguars
D.J. Chark was taken with a 2nd round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. While he put up decent numbers at LSU, he was a victim of poor quarterback play and therefore was never really able to put his talents on display in college. That same narrative continued into his rookie season with Blake Bortles as his quarterback, which meant that he was still unable to showcase his abilities.
Now, Chark is the beneficiary of Nick Foles coming to town. No matter what your thoughts are on Foles as the quarterback for the Jaguars, there’s no denying his affinity for the big-bodied receivers like Alshon Jeffery.
Chark fits that profile, standing at 6-4, but he also brings a speed element to the offense that Jeffery didn’t have. (Chark posted a 4.34 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine over a year ago.)
Foles does two things very well: throw it up for a tall wide receiver to go up and get it and throw a beautiful deep ball. Those mesh perfectly with Chark’s skillset and the two should be a lethal combination in 2019.
Vance McDonald – Pittsburgh Steelers
Last season, Vance McDonald broke onto the scene with a devastating run that nearly every NFL fan saw.
Vance McDonald isn't playing around!
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) September 25, 2018
However, fantasy owners of Vance were left frustrated week-in and week-out because of how few targets he was seeing…despite being productive whenever he got the chance. Now, Vance has an incredible opportunity next season due to vacated targets. Former teammates Antonio Brown and Jesse James were traded and signed elsewhere, respectively.
That leaves 207 targets that are now up for grabs in that offense. Those will obviously be split up among the remaining receiving options in Pittsburgh, but there’s an incredible opportunity there for Vance being the only tight end of note.
In a tight end landscape for fantasy football that has a few amazing options at the top but is essentially a Russian roulette afterward, Vance is worth a late draft pick in 2019.
Justin Watson – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Justin Watson is a wide receiver for the Buccaneers and has an opportunity to slide into an amazing role in the Bruce Arians offense.
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) August 19, 2018
Watson’s skill set is best suited for playing on the outside but has Mike Evans and Chris Godwin ahead of him on the depth chart for those positions. Except recent news has Godwin being talked about as a fit in the slot and playing the Larry Fitzgerald role in Arians’ offense. This allows Watson to slide into Godwin’ role on the outside in a dynamic offense.
While Watson is certainly a dart throw at this time of the year, he’s worth monitoring and taking a flier on late in your drafts. It could pay off in a huge way.