In fantasy football leagues, the term “sleeper” has been around forever. Fantasy managers are always looking for an edge. Hitting on a late-round sleeper is one of the most exciting and rewarding ways to get that edge. Let’s take a look at some sleepers to target late in 2022 fantasy football best ball drafts.
Top Best Ball sleepers to target in 2022
Best ball drafts aren’t much different than seasonal drafts when it comes to targeting sleepers. You still want players being drafted later than you feel they should be. At the same time, there are subtle differences in the type of sleeper we want as we don’t care as much about a player emerging into a consistent weekly starter — it’s just as fine if a later-round player has a couple of spike weeks to enter our lineups. If you are just diving into best ball leagues for the first time, check out our best ball tips and strategies.
Devin Singletary | Buffalo Bills, RB30 (85 overall)
Perhaps I’m out on an island with Devin Singletary. I don’t see much love for him in the fantasy community. Four weeks is admittedly a small sample size, but recall Singletary averaged 18.3 PPR fantasy points per game from Weeks 14-17 last season. During that stretch, Singletary became not only the clear lead RB for the Bills but a true three-down back.
In 2022, Singletary is not going to see any games where he plays 100% of the snaps like he did in the Bills’ postseason loss to the Chiefs. He’s probably not an RB1 with James Cook and Duke Johnson as the passing-down backs. But there will be plenty of games where he posts RB1 numbers. Plenty of games with RB2 production. Why is the lead runner on one of the best offenses in football being treated like an afterthought?
This guy shouldn’t be a sleeper, but apparently, he is. Grab Singletary around the seventh round of your Best Ball draft and profit.
Russell Gage | Tampa Bay Buccaneers, WR47 (110 overall)
Right now, it’s early June. It’s the time where the NFL and the fantasy community are at their most optimistic. Chris Godwin is coming off a late-season ACL tear. While there remains hope that he’s ready by Week 1 or early in the season, that’s probably overly optimistic. As a result, Russell Gage’s ADP is far lower now than it will be in late August. Take advantage of this fact.
Gage was forced into the Falcons’ WR1 role last season and commanded a 22% target share. He finished as a WR2 or better five times with Matt Ryan and a poor Falcons offense.
This season, Gage is likely to open the season as Tom Brady’s WR2 in a very consolidated Bucs offense. Gage is currently being drafted as barely a WR4. I like him to be a WR3 over the course of the season with WR2 upside whenever Godwin or Mike Evans misses games.
Godwin is likely to miss several games to start the season, and there’s always the risk that he misses games later on. I don’t expect Gage to remain a sleeper in 2022 Best Ball drafts, but he is one right now.
Tyler Boyd | Cincinnati Bengals, WR52 (120 overall)
When you get this late in Best Ball drafts, you want to chase talented players that could become extremely valuable if things break right. That’s Tyler Boyd.
Boyd averaged 15.8 ppg in 2018, establishing a near-WR1 ceiling. His dip to 11½ ppg last season coincided with the Bengals drafting Tee Higgins in 2020 and Ja’Marr Chase in 2021. With both of them on the field, Boyd averages just 11.1 ppg and 5.6 targets per game. In two games where Higgins didn’t play last season, Boyd was elevated to the WR2 role and averaged 17.2 ppg and nine targets per game.
Even with the two elite receivers above him, Boyd is a WR3/4. Yet, he’s currently going as a WR5. Boyd possesses WR2 or dare I say WR1 upside should Chase or Higgins miss any time. Football is a violent game. The odds are against Chase and Higgins both playing 17 games. Thus, Boyd is one of the best sleepers in 2022 Best Ball drafts right now and someone fantasy managers are largely overlooking.
Khalil Herbert | Chicago Bears, RB53 (163 overall)
Drafting handcuffs is always a challenge in any fantasy football draft. Typically, the select few we know are the actual handcuffs that will produce at or near the level of the starter go earlier than they should.
Khalil Herbert proved last season he’s the clear handcuff to David Montgomery and that he’s capable of producing close to Montgomery’s level.
Herbert averaged 13.7 ppg in the four games he played without Montgomery. (In one of them, he played behind Damien Williams.) Montgomery averaged 15.1 ppg last season. So, Herbert was 90% of Montgomery.
Running backs get hurt all the time in the NFL. With this in mind, Herbert can be the last RB you put on your Best Ball roster. At the point in drafts where Herbert goes, you don’t want running backs that might enter your lineup a couple of times getting six to eight points. You want a guy like Herbert who likely won’t matter but has difference-making upside to be a weekly RB2 if things break right.
Hayden Hurst | Cincinnati Bengals, TE25 (184 overall)
If you draft Hayden Hurst, he’ll be one of the last players you take. That’s what makes him a sleeper in 2022 Best Ball drafts. For managers who punt their second (or third) tight end, take a look at Hurst.
With C.J. Uzomah gone, Hurst is going to be the Bengals’ primary tight end. This isn’t a position that had consistent value last season, but Uzomah did have two spike weeks of 24 and 26 fantasy points. He added a couple more “useful” games (depending on your definition of the term).
Hurst has been a productive fantasy TE in the past. In 2020, he averaged 9.3 ppg, finishing as a high-end TE2. He now plays with Joe Burrow and the explosive Bengals offense.
Hurst is unlikely to be a consistent contributor, but he should be able to enter your Best Ball lineup in a handful of weeks. He also goes so late that you can easily tack him onto a Bengals stack. That’s difficult to find this late in drafts.