We are heading into Labor Day Weekend, which means the start of the 2023 NFL season is less than a week away. Whether you are drafting this weekend or right before kickoff, this is the busiest time of the year for fantasy football drafts. It’s time to dust off those rankings, familiarize yourself with this year’s set of players, and get ready to draft a championship-winning team. Here are our favorite sleepers for 2023 fantasy football leagues with the preseason in the rearview mirror.
2023 Fantasy Football sleepers: Post-preseason
Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
From the jump, we will have the conversation of “is he a sleeper if everyone knows he is a sleeper?” and I am saying yes! Pickett is currently being drafted as the QB19, but it isn’t outlandish to think he will finish as a QB1 in fantasy this year. He ended 2022 as the QB28 after playing in only 13 games and with one of his top wideouts not catching a touchdown.
We must take the preseason with a grain of salt, but you can’t deny that Pickett looked good. His passes were crisp, and he looked much more poised under center. He adds
Allen Robinson as an option alongside Diontae Johnson, second-year wideout George Pickens, tight end Pat Freiermuth and Najee Harris out of the backfield.
Jamaal Williams, RB, New Orleans Saints
Williams will get a chance to shine early in the season as starting running back Alvin Kamara is suspended for three games. He isn’t flying completely under the radar as he is being drafted as the RB36 in the ninth round. Williams is being counted on to have value in the early part of the season, but he is a sleeper for me because I think he will maintain usage throughout the season.
Williams found fantasy relevance even with Swift as the lead running back when he was healthy. He set a career mark for touchdowns, finding the endzone 17 times. Williams finished as the RB8 in half-PPR scoring last year. Even when Kamara returns, he should still get plenty of carries in the red zone and goal line packages. Rookie Kendre Miller is dealing with a preseason hamstring injury, giving even more value to Williams early.
Zay Flowers, WR, Baltimore Ravens
Flowers is a rookie with a lot of upside. The Ravens overhauled their receiving corps to ensure that quarterback Lamar Jackson had more weapons. Rashod Bateman is healthy, and the team signed Odell Beckham Jr. and Nelson Agholor in free agency to go along with the drafting of Flowers. Still, even with more mouths to feed with a quarterback that likes to do his damage on the ground, Flowers has upside over the length of the season. He is being drafted as the WR43 in the 10th round.
Sam LaPorta, TE, Detroit Lions
Tight ends are also hard to project. Even in an offense where the quarterback will pass a lot or check down, you still can’t fully predict who will take off. Dalton Schultz should be in for a big year, but he is being drafted as the TE13, so he doesn’t qualify as a sleeper. I’ve got my eye on LaPorta. He’s a rookie but should be the starting tight end from Week 1. Amon-Ra St. Brown dealt with a leg injury during the preseason, and Jameson Williams is suspended for the season’s first six games. LaPorta could catch the eye of quarterback Jared Goff early and often and sustain it throughout the year.