What does Sleeper mean in fantasy sports?

A player picked late in the draft who does much better than expected

In the world of fantasy sports, a sleeper is a player who is typically selected during the latter stages of a draft but ends up performing beyond expectations. This term has a close association with the term ‘breakout’, which refers to a player who shows a surprising improvement in their performance.

The term ‘sleeper’ originates from the idea that team owners are ‘sleeping’ on a player, in other words, overlooking or underestimating them during the selection process. This is why these players often deliver unexpectedly strong performances that take everyone by surprise.

A ‘sleeper’ could be a player who is recovering from an injury, a rookie who is just starting their career, or a lesser-known player who isn’t on many people’s radar. These players often outperform their initial evaluations and prove to be valuable assets to their teams.

Example for using ‘Sleeper’ in a conversation

Hey, did you see the fantasy football draft results?

Yeah, I checked them out. Did you notice any sleepers?

Definitely! I think I found a hidden gem in the late rounds.

Oh, really? Who’s the sleeper you’re talking about?

It’s this rookie wide receiver. He’s been flying under the radar, but I think he’s gonna exceed expectations.

Nice! I love finding those late-round sleepers. They can be game-changers.