Dynasty Rookie Sleepers Quick-snap: Quintez Cephus (2020 Fantasy Football)
Quintez Cephus is a deep sleeper this year that we are excited about. He is so far being generally unnoticed by many and so if he is available in your league, go scoop him up now!
It is possible that he may not warrant a look in some startup dynasty drafts unless you have a large bench or a space on your taxi squad that allows you to take a "wait-and-see" approach, but if you can, then Cephus is definitely worth a flyer.
After being selected by the Detroit Lions in the 5th round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Cephus could offer immense future value for a savvy owner looking for a difference maker. The former Wisconsin Badger looked smooth in drills at the NFL Scouting Combine and impressed scouts with his physical profile, checking in 23 reps on the bench press and leaping for a 38.5" vertical jump.
Detroit needed to get younger at the wide receiver position as none of their current top 3 - Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr or Danny Amendola - are signed beyond 2020. On top of this, uninspiring free agent acquisitions Geremy Davis, Geronimo Allison and Victor Bolden, have only signed one-year "prove-it" deals. Perennial practise squad option, Marvin Hall, represents little competition for Cephus in the race to make the final roster.
No wide receiver on the Lions' roster accrued more than 7 receptions last season, other than the key starting trio of Golladay, Jones Jr and Amendola, so the 4th spot in the receiving corps is well and truly up for grabs. Allison and Davis will start camp as favourites for this role, but it is plausible that Cephus could steal this responsibility away from both of them early in the season and be viewed as a long term successor for Jones Jr to start opposite Golladay.
Indeed, Golladay will be resigned to a rich contract soon, with extension discussions no doubt already under way. The ultra productive touchdown maker should command in the region of $15-$16m per year, which could make an extension for Jones Jr untenable. Jones Jr will make around $9m this year and with no dead money on his contract, he could quickly become expendable as the Lions also have large extensions to agree with Taylor Decker and Jarrad Davis to finalise in the not-too-distant future.
Furthermore, Amendola is 34 and the injury prone former Patriots journeyman is fully in the twilight of his career. He is likely to be playing in his final season in the NFL. Geremy Davis provides nice depth here, but is merely an insurance policy.
Allison could not win the 2nd or 3rd receiver job in Green Bay with only Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Jake Kumerow as competition and is likely to bounce around teams over the next few years as veteran depth.
This should be all the motivation that Cephus should need to succeed in Motor City. A big bodied, possession style receiver who is a savvy route runner with an excellent ability to pluck receptions away from defensive backs; thanks to his physical style and sure hands. Cephus has the ability to play in the slot and outside and was extremely productive in spite of a run first offense at Wisconsin and could prove to be a real gem from this much heralded receiving class of 2020.
In a more prolific passing offense, Cephus may have been taken a round or two higher as he did not have the opportunity to show off his skills as regularly as some of his peers but his alpha mentality will shine through in the NFL.
A sexual assault allegation in 2018 that was dismissed certainly affected his draft stock and so character concerns do linger. Furthermore, Cephus is not a burner who will blaze past defenders and a 4.73 40-yard combine time will put off some suitors but if he keeps on the straight and narrow, the number 2 WR job in Detroit is his to seize. Jones Jr has been highly productive for the Lions over the last three years when he has been healthy with 23 touchdowns in 36 games started.
That is an upside flyer that we are willing to take!