Every fantasy player is looking for an edge. Call them sleepers, call them hidden gems, call them what you want. In the end, these players we seek all come with the risk of producing nothing. So the question is, how much of a risk are you willing to take? If you fancy yourself someone who is comfortable rolling the dice, here are 5 High Risk, High Reward Fantasy Players that can reward you handsomely this season.
1. Raheem Mostert – RB, San Francisco
It may seem like a crowded 49ers backfield this season. Both Tevin Coleman and Jerick McKinnon occupy roster spots with another up and comer in Jeff Wilson Jr. to boot. But, consider that Coleman hasn’t produced at a lead back level so far. Also, take into account the fact that McKinnon has yet to play a meaningful down in San Francisco.
These factors play well for future touches for Mostert who outperformed all 49er rushers last season. Both Coleman and Mostert saw 137 carries, but the latter turned his in 772 yards and eight touchdowns. The former managed 544 yards with six touchdowns on the ground. Oddly, each also managed 180 yards as a receiver. Mostert tallied his needing only 14 receptions; Coleman needed 21.
His eye opener came in Week 13 against the Baltimore Ravens. Mostert turned in 146 yards on 19 carries with a touchdown that night. He would go on to finish the season with at least 50 yards rushing and at least one touchdown in every game. In the playoffs, he cemented his argument for a starting job. Mostert teed off against the Packers to the tune of 220 yards and four touchdowns. He is carrying momentum into 2020 and already garnering first team touches in practice.
— John Paulsen (@4for4_John) August 29, 2020
The risk to rostering Mostert would inevitably be Kyle Shanahan’s unwillingness to turn him loose 15+ times a game. Shanahan could very well try to feed the ball to both of his higher priced veterans early. But, if you are patient, you may have a runner in the later rounds with 1,000 yard potential. Let everyone else be afraid of the committee in San Francisco. Take a chance on the one that stands a chance of emerging from that pack.
2. Daniel Jones – QB, New York Giants
The landscape at the quarterback position feels like a schoolyard pick. After the top two three kids come off the lawn, it’s a literally toss up for whoever is left. New faces in old places have changed dynamics as they always will. Only this season, there are some significant old faces with new homes. In the fallout stand Daniel Jones. He’ll take the ball again for a New York Giants ball club that has added firepower for Jones to utilize.
Danny Dimes entered as the Giant’s full time ball slinger in Week 3. He promptly threw for 336 yards and two touchdowns. He also led them to a thrilling one point victory against Buccaneers. The rookie went on to finish the season with over 3,000 passing yards. He also boasted a 2-1 touchdown to interception ratio with 24 TDs and 12 INTs.
With Eli Manning completely out of the picture, there will be no more playing in his shadow. Jones now has full control of this offense with no legendary distractions. He will be welcoming back tight end standout Evan Engram and stud back Saquon Barkley. Also making another run with Jones will be wideouts Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard, and Golden Tate. His deck seems to be stacked and his potential for a stellar sophomore campaign seems more than possible.
Jones is ranked QB15 in the SGPN consensus rankings placing him outside of a starting spot in 12 team leagues. Although, if you are nearing the later rounds of your draft and he is still there, you might take him over a rookie flier at another position. You do risk a lackluster second outing. You also stand to gain a top 10 quarterback if he plays his cards right.
3. Golden Tate – WR, New York Giants
Daniel Jones has many reasons to be happy this season. One of them just so happens to Tate. The grizzly vet has surely seen better days, but he has a great opportunity to reclaim some success. He missed the first four games of his stint with the Giants. Despite his absence, he went on to finish the season second on the team in receiving yards (676), and third in receptions (49).
Golden Tate ranked 3rd among wide receivers in YAC per Reception Above Expectation in 2019. pic.twitter.com/rBiaBBesXx
— Big Blue Unbiased (@BigBlueUnbiased) April 6, 2020
His risk begins by the possibility of Slayton and/or Shepard getting hot and taking targets. He could also find himself losing looks to Engram or Barkley. Despite that, Tate is still a fast and talented wideout with plenty in the tank. He also adds a veteran presence on a very young team. That is certainly not reflected in his ADP where he is going off at 110th overall. It is not out of the realm of possibility for you to snag a WR1 on the cheap. Tate should fall to you in a late enough round to make him worth the risk. He is also only 42% owned in Yahoo leagues and 70% owned in ESPN. That means if you already drafted, he could still be out there.
Tate has a full season ahead of him and a confident quarterback at the helm. He has the potential to return to his 1,000 yard receiving form of his Lions days. Should he build on the chemistry he gained with Jones last season, his reward could win you your league.
4. Mecole Hardman – WR, Kansas City
It’s true that Hardman is not a marque name around the league. It’s also true that Hardman is not even a marque name on his own team. But, you don’t have to be a marque name to make big plays with arguably the best quarterback in the league. In 2019, Hardman was buried on the target list behind the likes of Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelse, and Sammy Watkins. Despite that, he finished the year fourth overall in receiving yards with 538 in total.
Like the rest of his receiving corp, he is quick and elusive which makes him a threat running any route. Another thing he has going for him is that he is only entering his second year in the league. He’s also doing it with a championship ring. There is a confidence in Kansas City that will spill into 2020 with a vengeance and every piece at Andy Ried’s disposal has added value. It’s also very likely that Hill will have every available defender guarding him this season. This will leave guys like Hardman open which works out well for him and his opportunity to excel.
Hardman may also reap the benefits of a Sammy Watkins groin injury in practice recently. Though Watkins has returned to practice, goins are tricky and it is something to monitor going forward. Should that injury render Watkins out, or ineffective, expect Harman to reward you for your foresight in rostering him.
5. Anthony Miller – WR, Chicago
There are inherent risks in rostering any of the members of the Chicago Bears offense. Miller may end up being a risk worth taking. He has very little in the way of competition for the number two receiver on that squad. In fact, at season’s end, Miller found himself in that very position. All he will have to do to repeat is beat out names like Cordarrelle Patterson and Tedd Ginn Jr. His biggest threat from last season in Taylor Gabriel has gone the way of the free agent.
Miller put together a respectable 2019 campaign totalling 656 yards on 52 receptions. He was third in targets behind Robinson and Tarik Cohen. This trend should not see much of a hit despite the additions of Ginn and Patterson.
There is a real possibility Miller gets lost in the shuffle this season. But, there is also a scenario in which Mitch Trubisky can sustain two 1,000 yard receivers with Miller on the right end of one of them. His ADP has him going around pick 140 which means you can wait on him deep into the draft. The book is not a thick one on him, but hopefully the best chapters are still to be come.