NFL Draft Countdown

From Rookies to MVPs: Identifying Fantasy Football Sleepers and Breakout Candidates


The 2024 fantasy football season promises a fresh batch of potential breakout stars, with the offseason shuffling rosters and rookies waiting to make their mark. There are various definitions for a fantasy football sleeper, but they are usually available in later drafts. The crucial aspect is that these players can potentially provide significant value to your fantasy team despite being selected late.

Jayden Daniels

Jayden Daniels, a rookie quarterback, has yet to make his NFL debut, and his team for the 2024 season is still unknown. However, his college performance indicates that he could be a fantasy football sleeper, particularly due to his deep passing and running strengths.


In college, Daniels led all FBS quarterbacks with an impressive 11.5 yards per pass attempt, showcasing his ability to throw deep with 35 completions out of 55 attempts for 1,347 yards, 22 touchdowns, and zero interceptions on passes of 20+ yards downfield. He also excelled as a runner, accumulating 1,134 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns in his 2023 Heisman-winning season.


Despite not playing in the NFL yet, Daniels’ college achievements suggest he could be a valuable fantasy asset, especially given his exceptional deep passing skills and running ability. He led the FBS in several categories related to deep passing, including completion rate, yards per attempt, touchdowns, and passer rating.


As a runner, Daniels displayed explosiveness similar to Lamar Jackson, recording eight runs of 15+ yards last season, including an 85-yard touchdown run against Florida.

Will Levis

Will Levis had an encouraging rookie season with the Tennessee Titans, starting in eight games from weeks 8 to 15 and ranking 15th among quarterbacks in fantasy points during that period. Despite being a rookie and playing in a run-leaning offense with a below-average group of pass-catchers, Levis performed well. Heading into the 2024 season, Levis’s fantasy outlook appears more favorable.


While Levis only averaged 7 rushing yards per game last year, he could increase his fantasy production with his legs in the upcoming season. In college, Levis demonstrated his rushing ability by accumulating 1,174 yards and 17 touchdowns over four seasons, including a 516-yard, 9-touchdown season in 2021.


Levis is a strong athlete, as evidenced by his 34-inch vertical leap (79th percentile among quarterbacks) and 124-inch broad jump (95th percentile). With running back Derrick Henry no longer on the team, the 229-pound Levis could be a viable option near the goal line.


When searching for fantasy football sleepers and breakout candidates, it’s essential to consider players like Jayden Daniels and Will Levis, who have the potential to outperform expectations. These players, often available in later rounds of drafts, can provide significant value to fantasy teams.


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Kendre Miller

Kendre Miller’s rookie season with the New Orleans Saints was plagued by injuries. He started with a sprained MCL from his final college game, which kept him out for most of the offseason. He then re-injured his knee in the preseason opener and later suffered a hamstring injury in August, causing him to miss the season’s first two games.


Despite these setbacks, Miller played in seven games before missing another seven due to an ankle injury, finishing the season with just 41 carries and 11 targets. However, Miller finished his debut season on a strong note, particularly in the season finale when Alvin Kamara was out.


He shared the workload with Jamaal Williams, rushing 13 times for 73 yards and a touchdown against the Falcons, who ranked 11th in run defense DVOA. Miller had a standout junior campaign in 2022, ranking in the top 15 nationally in rushing yards (1,399) and touchdowns (17) while averaging 6.2 yards per carry.

Dontayvion Wicks

Dontayvion Wicks had a quietly strong rookie season with the Green Bay Packers despite not seeing consistent playing time to make a significant fantasy impact. His performance in underlying metrics, such as drawing a target on 20% of his pass routes and averaging 1.94 yards per route, suggests he is a player worth investing in for his second year.


Wicks outperformed teammates Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs in both targets and yards per route, indicating his potential to secure the No. 3 wide receiver position from Doubs, who has been average in his two NFL seasons.


The Packers’ passing game presents a promising opportunity for Wicks in 2024. Last year, they ranked 12th in passing yards and third in passing touchdowns. Quarterback Jordan Love showed significant improvement in the second half of the season, ranking in the top three in completion rate, passing yards, passing touchdowns, and PFF passing grade.


With Love entering his second season as the Packers’ starter at just 25 years old, the passing game could continue to ascend, providing Wicks with a favorable environment to thrive as a fantasy football sleeper.

Final Thoughts

The 2024 fantasy football season brings new breakout stars as rookies and roster changes reshape the landscape. Sleepers, often found in later draft rounds, offer significant value to teams. Jayden Daniels and Will Levis exemplify this potential with their skills, while Kendre Miller and Dontayvion Wicks also show promise for a breakout season.

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