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Ask the Experts

Who is a favorite late-round sleeper?

Rams, Giants have overlooked receivers

ASK THE EXPERTS appears weekly from training camp through the Super Bowl with answers to a new question being posted Thursday morning. How the guest experts responded when we asked them: Who is one of your favorite late-round sleepers?

MICHAEL NAZAREK

Los Angeles Rams rookie wide receiver Puka Nacua is likely to be the No. 3 for the team and could be a starter if Cooper Kupp (hamstring) can't stay healthy. As such, he's a very intriguing late-round fantasy sleeper.

Nazarek is the CEO of Fantasy Football Mastermind Inc, celebrating 25 years online! His company offers a preseason draft guide, customizable cheat sheets, a multi-use fantasy drafting program including auction values, weekly in-season newsletters, injury reports and free NFL news (updated daily) at its web site, www.ffmastermind.com. He has been playing fantasy football since 1988 and is a four-peat champion of the SI.com Experts Fantasy League, a nationally published writer in several fantasy magazines and a former columnist for SI.com. He's also won nearly $30K in recent seasons of the FFPC High Stakes Main Event. Nazarek can be reached via email at miken@ffmastermind.com.

JASON WOOD

In a crowded Giants receiving room, Parris Campbell (pictured) has been largely ignored which presents an incredible opportunity. Few players have been as star-crossed as Campbell missed 33 games in his first three seasons. But he quietly played all 17 games for the Colts last year, and now finds himself as a starter in a Brian Daboll offense. Campbell was a healthy scratch in the preseason opener; he’s likely to lead the Giants wide receivers in targets this season.

Wood is Senior Editor at Footballguys.com and has been with the company since its start in 2000. For more than 20 years, Footballguys has provided rankings, projections, and analysis to help fantasy managers dominate their leagues.

IAN ALLAN

I like the look of Jake Ferguson. I think he’s going to be just fine at tight end for the Cowboys. They’ve got some other tight ends, but Ferguson is definitely the No. 1 guy for now, and they came out in their first preseason game looking like they wanted to confirm as much. They went to him on their first and third plays. Later in the quarter, he made an impressive 26-yard catch downfield, hanging on despite taking a big hit that resulted in an unnecessary roughness penalty. Going forward, I’ll be heading into drafts expecting to use a late-round pick on Ferguson as my second tight end, with some hope he might be a top-10 player at his position.

Allan is the senior writer for Fantasy Football Index magazine. He is a member of the FSGA’s Fantasy Sports Hall of Fame and the Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame. He is an avid runner, swimmer and cyclist.

DAVID DOREY

Late rounder that ends up on most of my teams? I own plenty of shares of Van Jefferson. He's usually the seventh and final wideout I draft. But I have hopes that he could provide notable weekly stats that would make him a starting option. In 2021, he gained 802 yards on 50 catches with 6 touchdowns during the Rams' Super Bowl run. That was just his second season after being a second-round pick in 2020. The expectations were higher in 2022 but he needed knee surgery and missed the first seven games last year. When he returned, Matt Stafford was already gone and the total implosion was already in motion for their offense. He's the No. 2 wideout for the Rams and no longer has Allen Robinson there as a starter. He's in a nice spot to see an increase off that 2021 season.

Dorey co-founded The Huddle.com in 1997. He's ranked every player and projected every game for the last 23 years and is the author of Fantasy Football: The Next Level. David has appeared on numerous radio, television, newspaper and magazines over the last two decades.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI

I wouldn’t say he’s a league-winner or anything, but I’m warming up to Tyler Higbee. He’s coming off a career-high 72 catches, and the Rams receiver room is absurdly thin after Cooper Kupp (and there’s a fair chance Kupp won’t get through a full season). Higbee probably sets a new career high for both catches and yardage this year, a good value where he’s currently available.

Pianowski has been with Yahoo Sports since 2008, covering a variety of sports. On the rare occasions when the computer is turned off, he enjoys word games, poker, music, film, game theory, and a variety of condiments. He lives in suburban Detroit. Pianowski was inducted into the FSWA Hall of Fame in 2021.

SCOTT SACHS

Jets rookie running back Israel Abanikanda was my choice for late-round sleeper. I saw him in action at the HOF Game against the Browns and no one was very good at tackling him. However, the acquisition of Dalvin Cook may have thrown some shade on my thinking. Cook is recovering from a shoulder injury, not 100% yet, and has some ongoing legal issues, but the Jets still decided to shell out the dough for him --and it's not to sit on the bench. Yet, Abanikanda rushed 12 times for 56 yards, almost scored a TD, and caught 3 passes for 31 yards in his second preseason outing, a 27-0 preseason win over the Panthers. I'm sticking with him.

With 2 perfect seasons and multiple league championships to his credit, Scott Sachs runs Perfect Season Fantasy Football, featuring LIVE Talk & Text Advice. He is a 3-time Winner of the Fantasy Index Experts Auction League, as well as a previous Winner of the Fantasy Index Experts Poll.

ANDY RICHARDSON

I don't know for sure if the Packers are supremely confident in their own drafting abilities, or they're just cheap. But they certainly behaving as if they're going to run an offense loaded entirely with first- and second-year receivers, both wideout and tight end. I'm high enough on Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs that I won't be chasing second-round wideout Jayden Reed, though I do have my eyes on him. But based on practice reports and the first exhibition game, it's clear that second-round tight end Luke Musgrave is not only going to start but be a factor in the passing game right away. While others are chasing Sam LaPorta and Michael Mayer, I will be using an even later pick on Musgrave, getting what looks like a solid No. 2 and possible starter at the position.

Richardson has been a contributing writer and editor to the Fantasy Football Index magazine and www.fantasyindex.com since 2002. His responsibilities include team defense and IDP projections and various site features, and he has run the magazine's annual experts draft and auction leagues since their inception. He previews all the NFL games on Saturdays and writes a wrap-up column on Mondays during the NFL season.

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