How pointless is a fantasy football sleeper article prior to training camp? Well, it looks like you can add me to the douchebag list. Fortunately my article digs deeper than the standard fluff piece.- Or at least I think it does.
So let’s begin; Websters dictionary describes a fantasy football sleeper as… “Are you fuc#ing kidding me? I don’t have time for this! “-My definition: A sleeper is pure opportunity and potential rolled into doughy goodness that is deep fried into a gut-feeling treat.
The following 10 Fantasy Football Sleepers are on my pre-season radar:
I’ll kick things off with a more common household named sleeper in Jacob Tamme. This former Colt was a familiar target who played some excellent ball filling in for Dallas Clark. He was a Peyton Manning minion and will get tons of looks in the new offense. I wouldn’t be surprised if Manning hasn’t already gotten Tamme to help teach the ways of the darkside to his fellow receiving targets. Say what you want about a new offense, but if Manning is in town, you can guarantee there will be barking calls at the line: “Omaha, Pai Gow, Cat Daddy Upton’s…Break!”
According to the Buffalo Bills’ website, rookie T.J. Graham was “clearly” the fastest wide receiver on the field during spring practices. The spread offense being run in Buffalo isn’t fair to a basic NFL depth chart with the standard wide receiver one’s and two’s. The whole point is to “spread” the ball around looking for mis-matches with quick passes in an aggressive down the field attack. The offense involves opening up the field horizontally using 3, 4, and even 5-receiver sets. Speed kills, and Bills.com’s Chris Brown claimed “It’s not even close by my eye.” Graham is blazing fast, and despite still learning the offense, makes my fantasy sleeper list.
I seem to have man-love for the Rams. Last year I was all about Lance Kendricks, who looked like a real sleeper until he hit the regular season. I’m not sure what happened after a strong pre-season, yet him and Brian Quick could be in for solid seasons. The Rams were the walking-wounded last year, but with a new coaching staff and a healthy Sam Bradford, the sky is the limit.
7. Jacquizz Rodgers -RB, Atlanta Falcons
Michael Turner is a big boy weighing in at 250 lbs. He claims he is not overweight, yet at his age and with the amount of carries he’s endured over the last few seasons, I could easily see an off year in 2012. Jacquizz Rodgers on the other hand is a speedy spitfire with great hands. The Falcons are now more than ever a pass-first team and will need a safe check down player. More than anything though, I like saying the name Jacquizz.
Hardly a Sleeper, I know. But according to Brandon Pettigrew 2012 fantasy football ADP he is way under valued in mock drafts. The tight end position is undervalued as a whole, check what I mean in an Fantasy Football strategy article I wrote on Tight Ends.
Way down on the ADP fantasy list you’ll find the starting Tight End for the pass-happy Super Bowl champions. Bennett has been hiding in the shadow of Jason Witten for years. He never got his chance to shine, and will now take revenge twice a year against a division rival. I’m just guessing there was bad blood…I really have no evidence of that, but still the NFC East does hate each other, so I’m predicting a “take that bitch” touchdown in Dallas for Martellus Bennett this year. Another advantage for the newest Eli target is that Bennett is familiar with the Eagles and Redskins. Remember, moving to a new team also means learning about your new rivals; for Martellus Bennett he knows them all too well.
Another rookie? Hill, much luck Brian Quick, is a big target, and above all has the size to make up for any lack of technique early on. Mark Sanchez will love the size and speed Hill brings to the game. Standing tall at 6-foot-4 and weighing in at a solid 215 lbs, Stephen Hill has the ability to out-fight opponents for the ball, relieving the stress Sanchez puts on himself for the over-thinking of the perfect pass.
The Hawks are often forgotten about when it comes to fantasy options. Aside from Marshawn Lynch, fantasy owners avoid everyone in a blue, neon (puke) green, grey, black, and white jersey. I think I forgot a color? Did they add sparkles to their jersey this year?
Doug Baldwin had 51 receptions and had a high number of targets for the Sea-Birds last season. He will be a reliable weapon for newly acquired Matt Flynn. The team has lacked a reliable pocket passer for some time, and with a more aggressive gun-slinger the Seahawks should vastly improve their 22nd ranked passing offense.
It doesn’t make sense to create a list of fantasy sleepers without taking one long shot; Mike Goodson is that long shot. Darren McFadden is constantly getting hurt. Goodson was the odd man out in Carolina, but not before impressing the Raiders and a few fantasy scouts. With Darren McFadden attending a youth football camp, Mike Goodson is getting the bulk of the first-team tailback reps at OTA’s. He is definitely a stash for cash fantasy sleeper.
Nicked name “Big Play” from his impressive OTA performance, Lestar Jean is sitting pretty on a depth chart that needs a playmaker to help relieve the pressure on Andre Johnson. Gary Kubiak is not yet ready to confirm that Lestar Jean has established himself as the Texans’ third receiver, yet third-round pick DeViey Posey is a work in progress and Keshawn Martin failed to stand out during OTA’s.
Kevin Walter is 31 years old, and being a run-first team, the Texans like Walter as a big outside run blocker. On a depth chart Walter’s name may always appear over any young prospect, yet there is no reason why a player like Lestar Jean can’t work his way into the passing attack. Jean is 6 feet tall and weighs in around 205 lbs. I couldn’t find a great YouTube video to showcase, but did find this.