It is common for fantasy owners to research and study for the first part of their drafts, then essentially pick a random DST and kicker during the final two rounds. Many view these positions as impossible to predict, but there are clearly some that are more valuable than others. Finding fantasy football sleepers at defense and kicker can be just as, if not more valuable as other positions Using Awesemo’s season-long rankings and consensus ADP, these are the top three defense and kicker sleepers for the 2020 fantasy season.
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Awesemo’s Fantasy Football Sleepers: Top Three Defenses (DST)
Kansas City Chiefs
Awesemo Rank: 178 | ADP: 193
Do the Chiefs have a great defense? No, but they can be opportunistic. In fantasy, turnovers and sacks are important. With the Chiefs offense being so great, opposing offenses will need to pass more often, leading to more opportunities for sacks and interceptions. Kansas City also has a pair of receivers who are excellent returners in Mecole Hardman and Tyreek Hill. If they run a kick back for a touchdown, Chiefs D/ST owners will be rewarded. The upside makes them a top fantasy football sleeper at this position. The Chiefs are #1 in Awesemo’s fantasy football sleepers DST rankings.
Los Angeles Rams
Awesemo Rank: 197 | ADP: 222
While Wade Phillips is no longer the defensive coordinator, it appears the same basic style of play will be true. The Rams defense also features two of the best players at their positions in Jalen Ramsey and Aaron Donald. Even in an underachieving season as a team, the Rams finished as the 11th-ranked D/ST. If their offense improves, the defensive numbers should improve along with it. The Rams are #2 in Awesemo’s fantasy football sleepers DST rankings.
New Orleans Saints
Awesemo Rank: 199 | ADP: 216
During most of Sean Payton’s seasons at New Orleans, the Saints have had a premier offense and a terrible defense. Now, it looks like they have a defense. They finished as the ninth-ranked D/ST last season, as they were tied for forcing the 10th-most turnovers per game (1.4). They added a couple more veterans on the defensive side of the ball this offseason, and they should be a solid unit all around. The Saints are #3 in Awesemo’s fantasy football sleepers DST rankings.
More Fantasy Football Sleepers
Awesemo’s Fantasy Football Sleepers: Top Three Kickers
Chris Boswell, Pittsburgh Steelers
Awesemo Rank: 195 | ADP: 290
Chris Boswell is the only well established veteran on this list. The Steelers kicker hit on 93.5% of his attempts last season, which was a career high. He did, however, attempt 20 fewer extra points, due to the offense taking a giant step backwards. With Ben Roethlisberger back and presumably healthy, the offense should get rolling again, leading to a normal number of extra point attempts.
Awesemo has Boswell ranked as the third overall kicker, but he is currently being selected as K13, meaning he is among the top fantasy football sleepers at the kicker position.
Sam Sloman, Los Angeles Rams
Awesemo Rank: 216 | ADP: N/A
The Rams moved on from Greg Zuerlein this offseason, replacing him with rookie Sam Sloman. Fresh out of Miami (Ohio), Sloman has shown to have a big leg. He hit 4-of-5 field goals of 50-plus yards last season and kicked 52 touchbacks on 75 attempts. We can assume Sean McVay will improve his offense from last season, though they play in a division with Seattle and San Francisco, who both have tough defenses. This could lead to many red zone stops, meaning field goal attempts for Sloman. Rookie kickers are rarely drafted, making them interesting fantasy football sleepers.
Chase McLaughlin, Indianapolis Colts
Awesemo Rank: 243 | ADP: N/A
Taking over for Adam Vinatieri and also working with him this offseason, Chase McLaughlin finds himself on an offense that is expected to be much improved. They have a couple new receiving weapons, a strong running back trio, and they improved at quarterback, signing Philip Rivers. While Rivers improves their offense overall, which increases scoring opportunities for McLaughlin, Rivers is known for making poor decisions. Some of these decisions will lead to turnovers, but others could lead to drives stalling, possibly meaning more field goal opportunities.
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