Fantasy Football: 4 Sleepers to stash for late-season surge

(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) Antonio Brown
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) Antonio Brown /

Changes will be made by teams down the home stretch of the regular season and your fantasy football squad can benefit. Stash these players and prosper.

So your fantasy football team didn’t benefit from any blockbuster deals at the NFL Trade Deadline Have no fear. Still to come is that special point of every season where actual teams will begin to make changes.

We’re not talking about drastic changes, mind you. But rather, changes that could elevate some players to more prominent roles than they’ve previously held. That can be valuable for fantasy football owners if you can identify the right players.

These moves may not be the catalyst for a Super Bowl run — okay, one definitely will be — but with enough luck and a little well-timed misfortune here or there, you just may find yourself sitting on a fantasy football league-winner. So stash them now and don’t say nobody told you so.

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Darwin Thompson, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

According to the player himself, the Chiefs were one the teams most interested in acquiring Le’Veon Bell at the trade deadline. And why wouldn’t they have been? Their running game has stunk. An Andy Reid orchestra has always featured a bell-cow, do-it-all running back and the law-firm of McCoy, Williams and Williams hasn’t been very productive.

After missing out on Bell, don’t be surprised if the Chiefs eventually give preseason spark plug, rookie Darwin Thompson, a little run. I believe the plan for this maneuver would be to increase his snap count incrementally and, if he shows promise, then start him following their Week 12 bye.

I’m not saying you have to invest your FAAB bucks in Thompson this week, but understand that, as the season progresses, his price will only go up. So stash him now on the cheap and reap the benefits when it counts.

Damien Harris, RB, New England Patriots

Speaking of sad rushing attacks, how long do you think it will be before the Patriots grow weary of Sony Michel’s blistering 3.3 average yards per carry? My guess is somewhere around their Week 10 bye.

That is when I would expect the Pats to insert Damien Harris, the third-round rookie out of Alabama. Harris showed promise during the preseason when he sported a 5.5 yards per carry average. Moreover, Harris can be a tone-setter with his downhill running style. And if that’s not enough to convince you to reserve a bench spot for the young back, just look at this Bill Belichick quote, via

"“Damien has done a good job for us. It was good to see him get a little action against the Jets. We have pretty good depth at that position, so we’ll have to see how that goes, but he’s done a good job. I’m glad we have him.”"

Wow! “I’m glad we have him.” Very inspirational, coach!

If that ringing endorsement doesn’t convince you to stash Harris on your roster now, I don’t know what will.

Benny Snell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Because of his versatility and role in the passing attack, Jaylen Samuels is and will remain, the clear-cut No. 2 running back in the pecking order of the Steelers backfield. So, why handcuff the handcuff?

It’s simple; if starting running back James Conner were to miss an extended amount of time due to injury then I believe it would be Benny Snell who would manage the bulk of the early-down and goal line work.

Given Conner’s propensity to get nicked up — in fact, he’s hurt once again, which is the third time this year already that he’s been limited in some fashion due to injury — I would anticipate that fantasy owner’s window of opportunity to pick up Snell for free is drawing near its end.

Antonio Brown, WR, Free Agent

I know, I know — Antonio Brown has been unpredictable. You probably took him in Round 2 of your fantasy football draft and were elated when he moved in with Tom Brady. I know you were distraught when he was cut after only one game. But that was because of your investment, right?

Next. 20 Bold predictions for NFL Week 9. dark

It’s all about the cost-benefit analysis here and, at some point soon, a very intelligent general manager of a playoff contending team will weigh those costs and benefits and make the move to bring in the most prolific wide receiver of the decade for pennies on the dollar, literally. And when that happens, you will have yourself a league winner, my friends. Stash him now, if you can.