The RotoUnderworld team recently concluded its annual Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft. Running backs and wide receivers dominated Round 1 and Round 2. The run on quarterbacks occurred in Round 3 and sleeper tight ends were taken in Round 4. Despite 12 analysts selecting forty-eight rookies, talented youngsters still remained as free agents. These deep sleepers are worth placing post-rookie draft waiver claims on due to their intriguing advanced stats and metrics profiles.
Mike Weber, Dallas Cowboys
Mike Weber produced at an early age at a blue chip program. He recorded a 19.0 Breakout Age, tied for sixth-youngest of rookie running backs, despite competing for backfield touches that season with Curtis Samuel. An underrated athlete, he ranked No. 10 among rookie backs with a 117.7 (71st-percentile) SPARQ-x Score. His teammate Tony Pollard was drafted earlier but plays a different role, including special teams. Weber has a path to become Ezekiel Elliott’s proper handcuff replacement, if necessary. Weber’s value took a ding due to a knee issue suffered early in rookie minicamp. But he has since recovered and was reportedly splitting work with Pollard in mid-June practices.
The Cowboys offensive provided Elliott with a 92.7 (No. 5) Run Blocking Efficiency rating back in 2017. After regressing in 2018, Dallas added third round pick Connor McGovern this offseason hoping to rebound. Zeke avoided a suspension after his most recent incident, which is important. Him spending a night this offseason in the Nevada desert at a rave arguing with his girlfriend at 4:00 AM is more relevant for dynasty purposes. Weber is clearly a handcuff, which makes him unappealing in season-long formats. But in dynasty, handcuffs can be stashed. Why not get the handcuff to the player who is always in and out of handcuffs off the field. Weber could be a league-winner behind the Dallas O-line if Zeke misses time, for whatever reason.
KeeSean Johnson, Arizona Cardinals
KeeSean Johnson has cracked the top-20 of Player Profiler’s rookie wide receiver Rankings. This despite being the third wide receiver drafted by the Cardinals in 2019 after Andy Isabella and Hakeem Butler. Recent offseason reports suggest that he may be on track to see playing time on an offense planning to run the most plays in NFL history next year.
Check out KeeSean Johnson on PlayerProfiler’s Updated Dynasty Rankings:
Johnson performed poorly at the combine in comparison to his peers in this super-athletic wide receiver class and slipped to the sixth round in the NFL draft. But he outperformed his god-given talent time and again at Fresno State. His 19.9 (68th-percentile) Breakout Age is a top-15 mark among rookie wide receivers. He also checks the other important statistical box for wide receiver prospects with a solid 35.7-percent (69th-percentile) College Dominator Rating. Best Comparable to Willie Snead, Johnson is worth a stash in dynasty given his college production and opportunity in a Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury-led offense.
Bruce Anderson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The argument for Bruce Anderson as a sleeper is as much about him as it is his situation. Peyton Barber failed in the receiving department last season with a 10.3-percent drop rate. This ranked fourth-most of running backs that received 25-plus targets. Rookie Ronald Jones performed even worse, recording two drops on nine targets for a 22.2-percent drop rate. Last year’s passing down specialist Jacquizz Rodgers, with his 45 targets and 38 receptions, is no longer with the team. At worst, the passing down role is available for the undrafted Anderson to seize.
Anderson’s workout metrics fail to excite, but he has good size at 5-11 and 210-pounds. He turned heads on special teams as a freshman at North Dakota State, returning 16 kicks for two touchdowns and a 36.6-yard return average. He wasn’t a high volume receiver as an upperclassman. But he was uber-efficient in averaging 19.5 and 16.6-yards per reception in his junior and senior years. Rushing for 6.3-yards (80th-percentile) yards per carry, albeit against a lower level of competition, suggests he can at least get whats blocked for him in the NFL. Both Barber and Jones profile as grinders that lack receiving skills given their lower-percentile college target shares. No undrafted rookie back has more early opportunity than Anderson, who’s a top-20 back in the Player Profiler rookie running back rankings. Stash him now while his cost is still close to free.