The 2019 NFL schedule has come to an end as the first round of the playoffs have concluded. While we wait as fans, sports bettors and handicappers for the next round of the playoffs, the focus for many including NFL fans of teams that failed to make the playoffs has turned to the 2020 NFL season. Nonetheless, the time is now to begin to look at some of the potential fantasy NFL sleepers from the list of NFL teams that failed to make the post season in 2019.
While off-season moves could make a huge impact through either the 2020 NFL draft or through NFL free agency, here is a look at a few NFL fantasy sleeper teams to consider if you are looking to make some early NFL sports picks or wagers in both the AFC and NFC conferences.
AFC Fantasy Sleeper Teams
Indianapolis Colts – The Colts finished the season third in the AFC South division with a 7-9 overall record. Despite the record, the Colts were in position to not only make the playoffs as a wild card team but to win the division entering mid-November. The team struggled down the stretch winning just one of their final six contests of the season. Most of these struggles came after Jacoby Brissett returned from he sustained in Week 9. Prior to his injury Brissett had 14 touchdown passes over the team’s first seven contests and just four over the team’s final seven contests. Look for the Colts to rebound behind a healthy Brissett in 2020.
Denver Broncos – While it may be a long shot to win the AFC West with the Kansas City Chiefs returning a solid core including quarterback Patrick Mahomes, but the Broncos late season surge and a defense that ranked sixth in the AFC in points allowed should make them a playoff caliber team. In addition, the solid performance of rookie quarterback Drew Lock after arriving late in the season gives fans and sports bettors some optimism about their potential in 2020. Lock completed 64 percent of his passes over the final five contests he played in. During that stretch the Broncos won four of the five contests including a win over the 2019 AFC South champions the Houston Texans.
Cleveland Browns – The one team that had high expectations entering 2019 that failed to live up to the expectations was the Browns. Now after letting go their rookie head coach, the right hire during the off-season could have the Browns in contention for not only a wild card spot in 2020 but the division. For now, stay tuned to the teams off-season news to see who the team elects to hire and what moves they might make over the off-season.
NFC Fantasy Sleeper Teams
Atlanta Falcons – After a dreadful start to the 2019 NFL Season, the Falcons managed to put together a very successful run to end the season winning four straight games to finish the season and six of their final eight overall. While the late surge saved Dan Quinn’s job the big question will be whether or not the Falcons can carry the momentum over to the start of 2020. On the offensive side of the ball Matt Ryan and Julio Jones will both be back. Add that with the big question marks around the rest of the NFC and the constant change within the NFC South, the Falcons could be a contender in 2020.
Washington Redskins – The Redskins might be the biggest fantasy sleeper we see heading into the 2020 NFL Season after a horrible 3-13 2019 NFL season. Despite the struggles, the team saw some progress with rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins and rookie wide receiver Terry McLaurin. Now with the addition of head coach Ron Rivera, this team could be a team that takes the biggest stride forward next season. If the team can add some talent during the off-season through the draft and free agency, an 8-8 or 9-7 record could be possible. Add that to the question marks the rest of the NFC East teams have, it could open up the door in 2020.
Carolina Panthers – The big question heading into the off-season is who will be the starting quarterback for the Panthers come 2020? One thing for sure is if the team elects to move on from Cam Newton the team will need to add a veteran play caller to a roster that features possible the best offensive weapon in all of football.
After a 5-3 start to the season, the Panthers could not find a way to win down the stretch losing eight straight contests. Over that stretch, despite the MVP caliber play from Christian McCaffrey, the team could not find consistency under center from Kyle Allen or Will Grier. In addition, to some solid playmakers on offense the Panthers defense contains some solid playmakers.