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Post-Hype Sleepers for 2024 Fantasy Football

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It’s an annual tradition — fantasy football drafters get so excited about a player, the hype is building over the course of the offseason, but for whatever reason, it doesn’t pan out. Entering the following season, the instinct is to stay as far away from that player in fantasy drafts.

 

But should it be? When players with massive hype disappoint, there is absolutely an avenue for value to be had. And if you hit on a post-hype sleeper, it could really complete your fantasy football rosters. 

Today, we’re looking at some of the key post-hype sleepers for fantasy football in 2024.

Fantasy Football Post-Hype Sleepers for 2024

Quarterback

Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers

2023 finish: QB22

It is one thing when the top overall selection of the draft disappoints like Bryce Young did in 2023. But it is even worse when C.J. Stroud does what he did in his rookie season at the same time.

Bryce Young Carolina Panthers 2024 Fantasy Football Post-Hype Sleepers

There’s no doubt about it, Young’s rookie campaign was one to forget. From a fantasy perspective, he finished as the QB22, with a 0.28 fantasy points per dropback that ranked dead last among qualified signal callers. He also completed just 67.1% of passes from a clean pocket, one of the lower rates in the league. However, he certainly wasn’t in the ideal situation for a rookie quarterback. For starters, Carolina had arguably the worst combination of wide receivers and tight ends in the NFL. According to FTN Data, Young averaged just 1.62 yards of separation per pass attempt to WR/TE last year, the fourth-lowest mark in football. Meanwhile, his 2.7 yards after the catch per pass attempt ranked outside the top-five quarterbacks.

Fortunately, the Panthers are trying to help the face of their franchise. It started with the hiring of Dave Canales as head coach. Before taking the job, Canales was doing stellar work in Seattle and Tampa Bay, where Geno Smith and Baker Mayfield enjoyed breakout seasons with Canales as the quarterback coach (in Seattle) and offensive coordinator (in Tampa). Smith ranked seventh in passing yards (4,282), fourth in touchdown passes (30) and fifth in fantasy points alongside Canales in 2022. And just this past season, Mayfield was ninth in passing yards (4,045), seventh in touchdown passes (28) and 11th in fantasy points. And for whatever reason, both quarterbacks were electric on third down alongside Canales. Mayfield was one of the best third down passers in football last year, ranking third in passing yards with nine touchdowns and three interceptions. Smith, meanwhile, completed 63% of his third down passes with 10 touchdowns to just one interception in 2022.

Finally, Carolina traded for Diontae Johnson, who is someone who can actually create separation for Young. So between Young’s natural progression entering his sophomore season and the additions of Canales and Johnson, there are reasons to be excited about the 2024 campaign. 

Player Team Average Separation Per Attempt
Bailey Zappe NE 1.30
Desmond Ridder ATL 1.30
Zach Wilson NYJ 1.59
Bryce Young CAR 1.63
Jalen Hurts PHI 1.63

Running Back

Kendre Miller, New Orleans Saints

2023 finish: RB68

Kendre Miller spent most of his rookie season banged up, as thigh, ankle and hamstring injuries limited him to just eight games. Between that and playing behind veterans Alvin Kamara and Jamaal Williams, Miller ended up logging less than 36% of the snaps in every game. He was just 21 years old last year and in the final game of the season with Kamara sidelined, Miller did show some flashes, rushing for 73 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries against the Falcons. Entering the 2024 season, Miller isn’t going to suddenly emerge as the top option in this backfield if Kamara is healthy. But Kamara will be 29 when the season starts, and he has been slowing down a bit.

This past season, Kamara averaged 0.12 avoided tackles per attempt, the lowest rate of his career. And over the past three seasons, Kamara is averaging just 3.8 yards per carry. He remains outstanding in the passing game but as long as Miller is healthy, he could earn a larger role in his second season. He’s also a pretty good fit in new offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak’s wide zone scheme.

Zach Charbonnet, Seattle Seahawks

2023 finish: RB45

About 11 months ago, many of us were wondering what the Seattle backfield would look like after the team drafted Zach Charbonnet in the second round. But for the most part, it was a pretty simple formula — give Kenneth Walker the majority of the carries and let the rookie play on most passing downs. During his rookie year, Charbonnet played 63% of the snaps on third down, as well as 82% of the snaps in the two-minute drill, the sixth-highest rate in the NFL. He only averaged 7.4 touches per game in 14 contests alongside Walker, while averaging 19 touches per game in two starts with Walker sidelined. Still a talented player, Charbonnet averaged 4.8 yards per touch last year, 24th among all running backs, and with a new coaching staff in town, he could be in line for some more work in 2024.

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Wide Receiver

Jahan Dotson, Washington Commanders

2023 finish: WR56

Jahan Dotson Washington Commanders 2024 Fantasy Football Post-Hype Sleepers

Jahan Dotson was one of my favorite breakout candidates last year, but he ultimately finished as the WR56 in fantasy. In fact, Dotson had just four weeks inside the top 30 wideouts, ranking outside the top-50 wide receivers 10 times. Yikes. It was even more disappointing considering Washington threw the football as much as the team did, as the Commanders led the league in neutral script pass rate (65%), ranking third in early-down pass rate (61.8%). The good news, however, is that Washington should remain pass-heavy with Kliff Kingsbury in town. From 2019 to 2021 with Kingsbury as head coach, the Cardinals ranked sixth in early down pass rate (56.5%). Entering 2024, perhaps Dotson will see more consistent usage with Curtis Samuel now in Buffalo. I’d like to see him play more from the slot where he was so effective at Penn State. During his two NFL seasons, Dotson has operated out of the slot just 34.2% of the time. Finally, Washington should be upgrading the quarterback position during the NFL Draft, which can only help this offense. 

Marvin Mims, Denver Broncos

2023 finish: WR89

The Broncos selected Marvin Mims at the end of the second round of last year’s NFL Draft, but he hardly played a role during his first season. As a rookie, Mims played just 36% of the offensive snaps. He also ran a route on just 44.6% of Denver’s dropbacks. Head coach Sean Payton said Mims’ lack of involvement and playing time was due to he and Jerry Jeudy essentially playing the same position, Jeudy is now in Cleveland, and Mims has shown flashes, averaging over 17 yards per reception in 2023. 

Tight End

Mike Gesicki, Cincinnati Bengals

2023 finish: TE36

Mike Gesicki hasn’t been very fantasy relevant over the past two seasons, the TE36 and TE22 in fantasy. Last year, Gesicki’s playing time was very inconsistent in New England, and if he had landed anywhere else this offseason, I’m not sure I’d be interested. But Gesicki joins the Bengals, who at the moment are missing longtime slot wide receiver Tyler Boyd, while Tee Higgins reportedly wants to be traded. With Boyd unlikely to return, Andrei Iosivas and Trenton Irwin will step up, but that role could go to Gesicki, who has been more of a large slot wideout for most of his career anyway. For his career, Gesicki has lined up from the slot nearly 61% of the time. Going from Mac Jones and the Patriots to Joe Burrow and the pass-happy Bengals certainly can’t hurt his chances of returning to fantasy relevancy. 

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