As in all fantasy football formats, drafting players at the right value is critical to your best ball success. 

In fact, you could argue that best ball actually rewards you more for picking the fantasy football sleepers who out-perform their draft position. Since best ball is a “set-it-and-forget-it” format, you can skip the start/sit decisions each week and know that your top-performing players always will be scored. You'll be rewarded each and every time your fantasy football best ball sleepers show out.

You might pinch your nose at some of these picks, but these are my favorite fantasy best ball sleepers, value picks & late-round targets.

2024 Fantasy Football Sleepers For Best Ball Leagues

Bryce Young, CAR 

We gave Trevor Lawrence a pass for the Urban Meyer debacle in his rookie year. Then they fired everyone. The Panthers fired everyone last year too. Then they spent $150 million on Robert Hunt and Damien Lewis at guard to fix the offensive line. Then they traded for Diontae Johnson AND trade up to take Xavier Leggette in the first round. Bryce Young could take a big step here and he’s QB29 in the 16th round.

Russell Wilson, DEN

Russell Wilson used to be known as a winner. Not so much now after this stint with the Broncos. But in fantasy football, our perception of him may have over-adjusted. This guy only played 15 games last year yet finished as the QB13 in fantasy. The previous year he was the QB16. And QB16 is the worst he’s ever finished in his 12-year career. 

Now he joins Mike Tomlin, who has NEVER finished below .500, and Russell Wilson goes off the board in Underdog drafts at QB32? They even drafted Roman Wilson in the third round of the NFL Draft. I have no problem taking Russ even as my QB2 and he’s a slam dunk if your plan is to wait and draft three QBs. 

Gus Edwards, LAC

If you are going true Zero RB, you need upside, but you also need at least some level for floor. Gus Edwards should be able to crack your starting lineup regularly. The Jim Harbaugh Chargers are going to want to pound the rock and the nearly 240-pound Gus Bus can do just that. 

He played with offensive coordinator Greg Roman with the Ravens already, so he already knows the scheme. And there’s currently less competition in Los Angeles than he had in Baltimore. We don't mind taking a late stab on Kimani Vidal either but we are talking about a 6th round pick here. 

Antonio Gibson, NE

Rhamondre Stevenson is the top dog, no doubt about that. But it’s a new regime in New England so we don’t know the game plan yet. They paid Gibson a pretty decent three-year contract with $5.3M guaranteed to come in. 

They also extended Jalen Reagor who returned kicks last year (including one for a TD) which leads me to speculate that Gibson was signed to be more than just a return man. He could be especially valuable in PPR formats if he can carve out a role.

Ezekiel Elliott, DAL

Let's call it how it is - the Cowboys completely whiffed on running back in the NFL Draft. Instead they focused on offensive line which is great news for the running game in general. They realized that they couldn't just roll into the season with Rico Dowdle so they signed an old friend in Zeke Elliott.

Last year Zeke quietly had 65 targets which was top 12 for RBs. He may not have the breakaway speed but that was never a huge part of his game. He can pass block, he can get the tough yards, and he's back playing with his best friend Dak Prescott. His ADP is still low right now but we expect it to climb some. 

Romeo Doubs, GB

There is something I like to call “fantasy wishing” where fantasy gamers promote a certain outcome because that’s what they WANT to happen. Dynasty formats and, to some degree, analytics have ushered in a new era of this. And I absolutely get it - I have Jayden Reed, Dontavyion Wicks, Tucker Kraft etc. in some dynasty leagues and the underlying metrics look promising. 

But the reality is that Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, and Luke Musgrave earned those roles in the hundreds of reps/drills in mini-camp, OTAs, training camp, practice etc. In every game they were healthy, they played over their counterparts. Romeo Doubs led this team in snaps, targets, and receiving touchdowns. 

He had the best playoffs of any Packers WR with 10 catches for 234 yards and a TD - the next best was Jayden Reed with four catches for 35 yards and Bo Melton with two catches for 26 yards and a TD. The Texans have three WRs going off the board at WR13, WR14, and WR25 while Jayden Reed (WR34), Christian Watson (WR44), and Romeo Doubs (WR49) go far later. I’d much rather take a stab on them and Doubs feels like a big value. 

Rashid Shaheed, NO

The Saints cut bait with star wide receiver Michael Thomas after a tumultuous last couple of years. I expected the Saints to go out and grab a new split end in the draft, possibly even Rome Odunze in the first, but then they did nothing at all. That leaves things wide open in this offense.

Chris Olave is going to get his. A.T. Perry is probably going to line up at split end and face the jam. That leaves a lot of snaps for the speedy Shaheed who is a threat to break off a big play at any moment. And that's the beauty of best ball - we get all those big games and we don't have to worry about the bad ones. He's the perfect player for this format. 

Jerry Jeudy, DEN

Jerry Jeudy has averaged 53.6 yards per game so far through four years of his career. Here are some players who started their career with a lower yards per game through four years: Terrell Owens, Reggie Wayne, Andre Reed, Davante Adams, Adam Thielen, Eric Moulds, Steve Smith SR, Jordy Nelson, Hines Ward, Wes Welker

The Browns traded for Jeudy then immediately gave him an extension, confirming they have big plans for him. And say what you will about Deshaun Watson, but we already mentioned in this guide that he is QB3 all-time in fantasy points per game. Jeudy could see a resurgence with his new team.

Hunter Henry, NE

One thing Hunter Henry has done successfully, regardless of quarterback play, is win against man-to-man coverage. It’s one of the main reasons he’s been so successful in the red zone/end zone where it’s primarily lockdown, zero coverage. The issues for him have been A. volume and B. quality of target. The Patriots just let Mike Gesicki and DeVante Parker walk while extending Henry and whiffing on Calvin Ridley. It's Henry vs. rookies and slot guys so he’ll be in the mix for top two target. 

It’s a bonus that the new OC is Alex Van Pelt who just drew up the second most tight end screens in the league last year with the Browns. As far as target quality, the Patriots now have Drake Maye who is expected to start but, even if Jacoby Brissett is the starter, that’s an upgrade over what they’ve had recently. 

Darren Waller, NYG

At this time of year, we’re interested in taking some risks. Most people will see this name and think “What if he retires?”. But they should be thinking “What if he doesn’t?” A lot of guys in this range aren’t going to be relevant at all and literally every player has the low floor of suffering a serious injury. 

It’s easy to forget that Waller actually did play 12 games last year with 74 targets where he was on pace for over 100 for the season. There’s a chance that this guy decides to stick it out and, when healthy, he's easily a better pass catcher than rookie Theo Johnson. I'm going to grab a couple shares here and there now just in case.

BONUS: Greg Dulcich, DEN

I wouldn’t be The Tight End Whisperer if I didn’t give you a bonus TE sleeper, would I? Broncos GM talked about the tight end position and how they have lacked a threat over the middle. They’re even more in need of that now after trading Jerry Jeudy. After passing on meaningful pass-catching tight ends in free agency, the last hurdle was the draft. And they didn't draft a wide receiver or tight end until the third day.   

Dulcich missed all of last year with a hamstring injury but, if he can get healthy this year, he could be in a prime spot to be the best receiving tight end on the team and maybe even be the Jimmy Graham “Joker” mismatch role in Sean Payton’s offense. At TE36 off the board, it’s worth a last round pick at least.