Putting together a Fantasy Football sleeper list in April before the 2024 NFL Draft even happens might seem just a little bit early, but that doesn't mean there's not an edge to it. Because, sure, we are going to make a lot of changes to our rankings in the next four weeks and the next four months, but for many of us, these rankings we have in April will be the baseline we're moving from. In other words, many of the guys I think the industry is too low on in April, the industry is likely to still be too low on in July. 

The following 10 sleepers are all ranked outside of the top 100 in the Fantasy Pros consensus rankings as of April 8. They're also all ranked too low at their respective positions. I've listed their consensus position ranking and overall ranking next to their name below. Let's jump right in.


Will Levis QB26, 175 overall

It's not easy to find a QB sleeper, because 16 of them ranked in the top 105 players by consensus ranking. That is way too many. Ranked ahead of three of those guys for me is Will Levis, who is not currently even ranked as a starter in a two-QB league. There's basically a three-pronged argument for Levis as a sleeper even in a one-QB league. The first is that second-year QBs make big leaps, the second is that Levis wasn't that bad for a rookie, and the third is how much his circumstances have changed for the better.

Assuming you'll take point one as a given, in his eight complete games last year Levis averaged 224 passing yards per game and 7.2 yards per pass attempt. Many quarterbacks have been much worse than that as rookies and turned into Fantasy starters later in their career. Also, Levis' gunslinger mentality gives him the potential to be better for Fantasy than he is for real football. 

You may have followed the improvements made around Levis as well, but let's just make sure. The team added Calvin Ridley to play opposite DeAndre Hopkins, giving Levis a well-above-average receiving corps. They also added Brian Callahan at head coach, and his dad Bill Callahan is certain to improve the offensive line play. Levis should be in a better offensive system with better weapons and better protection. That's enough to put him at QB17 for me before the NFL Draft, well ahead of his consensus ranking.

Russell Wilson QB28, 188 overall

The majority of Fantasy analysts have clearly taken the side of Sean Payton over Russell Wilson. A year after finishing the season as QB12 in CBS scoring, Wilson is ranked at QB28 by the consensus. That distinction about scoring system is important because Wilson still threw 26 touchdown passes on just 447 attempts last year, which really helped his Fantasy rank. But he also ran for 341 yards, his highest total since 2020. A running QB who throws a lot of touchdowns is always going to be valuable in Fantasy.

While the move the Pittsburgh might be a downgrade, I'm not totally sure. At least Mike Tomlin and Arthur Smith seem to want Wilson on their team. The other thing Smith has wanted is his QB running in the red zone, his QBs have rushed for 10 touchdowns in the past two seasons, so don't be surprised if Wilson does well. The elephant in the room in Pittsburgh is Justin Fields, who does pose a bigger threat to Wilson than I would like. That's also why there is a gap between where I project Wilson (QB11) and where I rank him (QB15). Still, both are well ahead of his ADP.

Running Back

Jaleel McLaughlin RB53, 159 overall

It doesn't take long in a Fantasy Football draft before you run out of guys who qualify as workhorse backs and that trend is not one I expect to reverse any time soon. If you can't find elite volume, the next best thing is elite efficiency and involvement in the passing game. Last year's rookie class brought us three diminutive backs that fit that profile to a tee. One of them, De'Vone Achane, is going to be drafted as early as Round 2, the other two are two of my favorite early running back sleepers.

McLaughlin averaged 5.4 yards per carry and caught 31 of 36 passes as a rookie. He's still in a crowded backfield with Javonte Williams and Samaje Perine, but as long as McLaughlin does his job Perine should get phased out more this year. I project the second-year back as a 1B to Williams in an offense that led the NFL with 153 running back targets last year. That makes McLaughlin a decent flex if Williams stays healthy and a potential league-winner if Williams goes down. I would draft him as a top 40 back as early as Round 10.

Keaton Mitchell RB52, 157 overall

Mitchell fits the same profile as McLaughlin with the notable exception that the Ravens just brought in Derrick Henry and Mitchell is recovering from a torn ACL. Mitchell averaged an incredible 8.4 yards per carry last year and 8.5 yards per target. He cannot maintain those numbers with more volume, but he can be Fantasy-relevant in a role similar to what Tyjae Spears had alongside Henry last year.

Because of the ACL and the arrival of Henry, I prefer McLaughlin to Mitchell, but still think Mitchell is undervalued in Round 14. Expect a slow start and prepare to be patient. If the 30-year-old Henry misses time after Mitchell is fully recovered, you could have a league-winning back on your roster.

Rico Dowdle RB58 186 overall

Dowdle is definitely the most likely sleeper on this list to get replaced during the NFL Draft. In fact, I fully expect the Cowboys to draft a running back on Day 2 and they are talking about bringing back Ezekiel Elliott as well. The truth is, I think Dowdle may currently be a better runner than Elliott and this running back class is underwhelming. The Cowboys could draft a rookie who underwhelms, and Dowdle could be the 1A, or they could draft Jonathon Brooks, who may not be 100% by Week 1, and Dowdle could be an early-season starter. There are too many chances for Dowdle to matter in Fantasy Football in 2024 for him to be all the way down at RB58.

Wide Receiver

Marquise Brown WR43, 101 overall

Brown signed a one-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs this offseason and the Fantasy community does not appear to be on board. My initial projections do have Brown as the third option in this offense, but even that puts him at WR34 in the projections. And there is a pretty good argument that Brown should be ranked well above his projection because of the upside his situation possesses.

First, he's playing with Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid, and being on one of the best offenses in football brings with it its own kind of upside. Second, Travis Kelce is 34 years old. We saw the team limit Kelce's usage to save him for the playoffs at times last year, a sign even they know he isn't invincible anymore. Finally, Rashee Rice's legal problems. While we won't speculate on what will happen, it's quite possible Rice won't play 17 games for Kansas City this year. So the best pass offense Brown has ever played with, the best quarterback he's ever played with, and plenty of uncertainty amongst his target competition. Brown is a sleeper who could also break out in a league-winning way.

Demario Douglas WR76, 197 overall
Kendrick Bourne WR94, 253 overall

You won't find league-winning upside with Douglas or Kendrick Bourne, but you may very well find a very good Fantasy starter. Bourne played eight games last year and caught 37 passes for 406 yards and four touchdowns. He averaged 6.9 targets per game in that stretch. After he went down, Douglas played seven games without him, averaged seven targets per game, and caught 30 passes for 339 yards. Notably, the efficiency wasn't great, and he didn't reach the end zone, but the quarterback play and offensive design were awful in New England last year. 

There is a new coaching staff, we expect there will be a new QB drafted in Round 1, but so far there is very little in the way of new target competition. That means for now you should expect either Douglas of Bourne to function as the team's WR1, and absolutely smash their current consensus ranking. We'll see how much the NFL Draft changes those expectations.

Tight End

Dalton Kincaid TE10, 104 overall

I was really surprised to see that I am higher on Kincaid than consensus. I am generally more skeptical of younger tight ends before they have actually broken out. But the Bills drafted him in Round 1, fed him 91 targets in 16 games as a rookie, let Gabe Davis walk, and just traded Stefon Diggs. Even if they draft a wide receiver in Round 1, there's plenty of room for Kincaid to jump over 100 targets this year and into the top five tight ends in Fantasy. I currently have him projected at TE9 and ranked at TE7, and I am not ranking him at his upside. If you have a chance to draft him in Round 8 you should jump at the opportunity.

T.J. Hockenson TE14, 121 overall

Hockenson is another guy I expect to be lower on than consensus. He suffered a torn ACL in December, didn't have surgery until late January, and lost Kirk Cousins. Seems like a clear situation to avoid...unless you can get a tight end with top-three upside in Round 10 after all the starters have been drafted. It's possible he won't even cost you a roster spot early in the year because he ends up on PUP. 

Hockenson wasn't an elite efficiency guy anyway, but he was a target monster. Once he's healthy I expect that to continue, and I expect Hockenson to be a mid-range TE1 even if Sam Darnold is his QB. Don't draft him anywhere close to where you used to, but be happy to take the discount and stash him if he's available in the double-digit rounds.