2021 Fantasy Football Sleepers 2.0: Industry is sleeping on Ryan Tannehill, T.Y. Hilton and others


Just like there are many different ways to build a Fantasy Football team, there are plenty of ways to define a “sleeper.” You can target players being drafted outside of a certain range, you can target players “no one is talking about,” you can even go so far down the depth chart that you’re actually touting players the average fan hasn’t even heard of. That’s fun when something like James Robinson happens, but the hit rate is astronomically low. 

What I prefer this time of year it to look at how the industry views players, because that’s a pretty good indication of how they’ll be drafted. For this article, I’m using the consensus rankings at Fantasy Pros and my definition, today, of a sleeper is a guy it seems the industry is sleeping on. And it appears Ryan Tannehill once again is a poster boy.

Tannehill’s resurgence in Tennessee has been remarkable in its efficiency. Since the start of the 2019 season he leads all quarterbacks in Y/A (8.55) and AY/A (9.23). He’s second in passer rating (110.6) and touchdown rate (7.2%). Only Aaron Rodgers and Lamar Jackson have scored more Fantasy points than him since he became the starter in Week 7 of the 2019 season. And he did all that without Julio Jones, who joined the team via trade this offseason. 

With that type of resume, you would think Tannehill would be a surefire top-five Fantasy option in the consensus rankings. Instead, he comes in at 11th. In fact, not one of the experts included in the consensus has Tannehill ranked higher than seventh, which is where I have him. The benefit of this is the fact that even with the emergence of a truly elite quarterback tier, you can confidently wait until the later rounds knowing it’s likely Tannehill will be there. And once again, he’ll likely be a great value. 

Here are nine more players the industry is too low as of early July:

Projections powered by

So which sleepers, breakouts and busts should you target and fade? And which QB shocks the NFL with a top-five performance? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy cheat sheets for every single position, all from the model that called Josh Allen’s huge season, and find out.