Posts Tagged ‘sleepers’

Receivers are becoming very useful in Fantasy Football over the past few years since most teams are becoming “pass first” teams.  There are some fantasy teams who will draft a receiver first especially if they are in a high passing offense like the Lions or Broncos.  There is still a few months before the season even starts, but it is still a good time to get an idea of what receivers are going to be beneficial to your fantasy team.  Just like with running backs there are a lot of players on new teams so before you draft a receiver make sure you think about who is throwing them the ball and who is protecting the QB.  It doesn’t matter how good a WR is; if the QB cant get them the ball then they are useless.

1. Calvin Johnson – Lions
2. Demaryius Thomas – Broncos
3. Brandon Marshall – Bears
4. Julio Jones – Falcons
5. AJ Green – Bengals
6. Dez Bryant – Cowboys
7. Alshon Jeffery – Bears
8. Jordy Nelson – Packers
9. Antonio Brown – Steelers
10. Randall Cobb – Packers
11. Larry Fitzgerald – Cardinals
12. Michael Crabtree – 49ers
13. Pierre Garcon – Redskins
14. Andre Johnson – Texans
15. Vincent Jackson – Bucs
16. Keenan Allen – Chargers
17. Julian Edelman – Patriots
18. Wes Welker – Broncos
19. Victor Cruz – Giants
20. Roddy White – Falcons
21. Percy Harvin – Seahawks
22. DeSean Jackson – Redskins
23. Golden Tate – Lions
24. Emmanuel Sanders – Broncos
25. Michael Floyd – Cardinals
26. Mike Wallace – Dolphins
27. Kendall Wright – Titans
28. Jeremy Maclin – Eagles
29. Torrey Smith – Ravens
30. Marques Colston – Saints
31. Reggie Wayne – Colts
32. Eric Decker – Jets
33. Terrance Williams – Cowboys
34. TY Hilton – Colts
35. Dwayne Bowe – Chiefs
36. Riley Cooper – Eagles
37. Greg Jennings – Vikings
38. Sammy Watkins – Bills
39. Anquan Boldin – 49ers
40. Mike Evans – Bucs

Now obviously there are a lot more receivers; but after this point in a draft it is really hit or miss with these guys.  I remember in 2013 most people didn’t even know who Alshon Jeffery was, and now he is going to be one of the better receivers in 2014.  You can always find sleepers in this category; you just need to have an understanding of what team they play for and the type of offense they are in.  Remember, if its a young QB under center or even a new QB its hard to really rely on that QB to get the ball to the receivers consistently.  I am not saying they cant, but its a reach to think otherwise.  Also, don’t ever underestimate how good or bad an offensive line is.  If the offensive line cant protect the QB, then obviously the receivers are not going to get many looks. 

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As we approach the mid-way mark of the 2013 season it is time to see how our fantasy “projections” have turned out.  At the start of the season everyone had their opinions on who was going to be the best fantasy options.  Also, there were plenty of sleeper and bust articles written and now we get to see if any of those projections were correct.  In this article I will go over every position that encumbers a fantasy football team and I will go over who is leading in fantasy points and see if the projections earlier this season were correct or way off.  The point system I am using is a Standard ESPN Fantasy Football Scoring Format.  At the end of this article I will show the top rankings for all positions.

+QUARTERBACKS+

The QB section is pretty close to what we had expected.  The big surprise was how good of start Peyton Manning started off with.  Through 7 weeks Peyton has already put up a monstrous 168 fantasy points.  The next QB down is Drew Brees with 130 fantasy points which is still very good obviously.  A name that has shocked me is Jay Cutler; she is 7th in fantasy points for QB with 102 points which is above Aaron Rodgers (100), Matt Ryan (96), and Cam Newton (92).  Cutler was not even drafted in some leagues and in other leagues he has been just sitting on the bench.  People may want to think about starting him for future games now that he is proving to be a better QB than before.  Another big surprise was Tony Romo; he is 4th in fantasy points for QBs with 115 points and he has made some mistakes but not nearly as many as previous years.

The players that I have been disappointed with are Colin Kaepernick (76), Tom Brady (79), and Matt Schaub (72).  Kap in his first game looked like he was going to be just amazing, but since that game he has not been playing to the standard we had thought he would.  Tom Brady is going to the Hall of Fame, but with an inexperienced receiving squad he has really had to struggle to get the ball downfield this season.  There are some Patriot receivers who are stepping up, but it is a far cry from where he was just a few years ago.  Matt Schaub has just been a mess this season and if he is on your fantasy team then you are just wasting a slot.  He has been a turnover machine and he is not making it easy for the Texans to win.

+RUSHING+

There have been some big shockers here.  People who picked up Jamaal Charles are sitting pretty right now since he leads all RBs in points with 112.  LeSean McCoy is sitting at 98 points while Marshawn Lynch is at 93.  Outside of those 3 people it has been an absolute mess with RBs.  As it stands right now Knowshon Moreno is 4th in points for RBs with 92 which is ahead of Adrian Peterson (84); who I am sure was drafted #1 in every league.  In most leagues Moreno was not even drafted since it was said that Montee Ball would most likely be the starter.  Reggie Bush is also fitting in very well with the Lions by scoring 77 points already and that is with him missing one full game.  Adrian Peterson has had a lot of things happen this season but he is still producing numbers and he is 5th in points with 84 points so far this season.

Now for the disappointments in the RB column.  Here are some of the running backs that people picked in the first round of their drafts; CJ Spiller, Ray Rice, Doug Martin, Trent Richardson, Arian Foster, and Alfred Morris.  Now I am not saying they are all doing bad but I am going to put this into perspective.  Ray Rice has 37 fantasy points; that is one point more than back up running back Jaquizz Rodgers (36) for the Falcons.  I know Rice has had some injury issues but he is only averaging 2.8 yards per carry.  People had high hopes for CJ Spiller but he has only put up 39 points while his counter part Fred Jackson has racked up 71 points.  I dont think anyone saw that coming.  I think my two biggest surprises are Doug Martin (47) and Trent Richardson (45).  Martin had an incredible rookie year but he is proving to have a huge sophomore slump right now and the same goes for Richardson who even got traded to a better team!  I know most people who have Richardson or Martin have not been impressed yet.  Arian Foster is still having a good year so far with 80 points but he would be putting up a lot more if Schaub was not turning the ball over so much.  Some other quick disappointments are Maurice Jones-Drew with 40 points (27th ranked); and Chris Johnson with 46 points (19th ranked).

Some surprises at the running spot; besides Moreno; is DeMarco Murray, Frank Gore, and Danny Woodhead.  Even with Murray battling an injury he is still 10th in points for RBs, Gore is 11th in points with 67, and Woodhead who is playing behind Ryan Mathews is 16th in points with 49 while Mathews is 26th with 41 points.  There is still a long way to go in the season and there is always going to be players that just explode in November and December.

+RECEIVING+

This is where most of the fun is taking place right now.  I will go over the receivers first then the tight ends, but I am shocked that DeSean Jackson is the leader in points for receivers right now with 87 points.  Wes Welker is in second with 80 points, Dez Bryant is 3rd with 78 points, Brandon Marshall is 4th with 76 points, and Demaryius Thomas is 5th with 74 points.  There are a lot of familiar names toward the top of this list like Victor Cruz (73), Julio Jones (65), and Jordy Nelson (71).  One name that stands out right now is Alshon Jeffery with 63 points which ranks him 10th overall.  Another surprise name is Denarius Moore ranking in at 11th with 62 points which is above big named players like Reggie Wayne (56) and Calvin Johnson (55).  One player who is still consistent as ever is AJ Green with 69 points and coming in 8th in overall points.

The disappointments are all over the place here.  Most leagues had Calvin as the first picked receiver and so far he is ranked 16th in points which is pretty bad compared to his previous seasons.  At number 21 we have Anquan Boldin who had a monster first game, but since then has literally done nothing to keep his fantasy value up.  Another big name that is yet to impress is Vincent Jackson; I know he has had two games that were good, but other than that he only has 50 fantasy points and is ranked 23 right now.  One surprise here is Josh Gordon who missed the first 2 games of the season; yet he is ranked number 18 with 55 points.  All of the Bronco receivers are in the top 20 with Welker at number 2, Thomas at number 5, and Decker at number 17 so if you have any of those guys keep them in your lineup forever. 

When it comes to TEs we all know that Jimmy Graham is ranked first with 93 points, but sis you know the second TE with the most points is Julius Thomas with 78?  Bottom line if you have any Broncos receiver, you better hold on to them.  Vernon Davis comes in 3rd right now with 74 while the 4th ranked is Jordan Cameron with 73 points.  Antonio Gates is 5th on this list with 53 points and he is showing glimpses of previous seasons.  But that is a huge gap between 4th and 5th place right now; thats a whole 20 points.  There really are not any surprises when it comes to TEs except for the absence of Gronkowski.  There have been reports of Gronk coming back very shortly and I can see Brady putting him to good use very quickly.

+DEFENSE+

Most people dont really see how many “fantasy” points defenses put up.  I bet right now that most people dont know that the Chiefs have scored the most points with 113; the next defense down at number 2 is the Seahawks with 75 points.  So go to your fantasy team and add the Chiefs right now.  Also, the Titans are 3rd in defensive points with 66 and the Browns are 4th with 58 points.  After the first few defenses on this list they all are about equal; just a few points off so if you need a defense; you best pick up one of these.

+KICKERS+

Kickers and defenses are pretty similar.  Most kickers will do about the same amount of points give or take 10 points.  Right now Matt Prater leads all kickers with 72 points while Stephen Gostkowski comes in 2nd with 67 points.  Garrett Hartley and Steven Hauschka both have 62 points while Mason Crosby has 60 points.  After that they all pan out to be pretty much equal; but if you are in need of a kicker one of these guys will do the trick.

+TOTAL POINTS ALL+

1. Peyton Manning – 168
2. Drew Brees – 130
3. Philip Rivers – 119
4. Tony Romo – 115
5. Chiefs – 113
6. Jamaal Charles – 112
7. Matthew Stafford – 110
8. Jay Cutler – 102
9. Sam Bradford – 102
10. Aaron Rodgers – 100
11. Michael Vick – 98
12. LeSean McCoy – 98
13. Andrew Luck – 97
13. Matt Ryan – 96
14. Marshawn Lynch – 93
15. Jimmy Graham – 93
16. Knowshon Moreno – 92
17. Cam Newton – 92
18. Russell Wilson – 92
19. Alex Smith – 87
20. DeSean Jackson – 87
21. Adrian Peterson – 84
22. Matt Forte – 82
23. Andy Dalton – 81
24. Wes Welker – 80
25. Arian Foster – 80
26. Tom Brady – 79
27. Robert Griffin III – 79
28. Dez Bryant – 78
29. Julius Thomas – 78
30. Reggie Bush – 77
31. Terrelle Pryor – 77
32. Brandon Marshall – 76
33. Colin Kaepernick – 76
34. Joe Flacco – 75
35. Seahawks – 75
36. Vernon Davis – 74
37. Demaryius Thomas – 74
38. Victor Cruz – 73
39. Jordan Cameron – 73
40. Geno Smith – 73
41. Matt Schaub – 72
42. Matt Prater – 72
43. Fred Jackson – 71
44. Jordy Nelson – 71
45. DeMarco Murray – 71
46. Eli Manning – 70
47. AJ Green – 69
48. Frank Gore – 67
49. Stephen Gostkowski – 67
50. Titans – 66
51. Ben Roethlisberger – 65
52. Julio Jones – 65
53. Jake Locker – 65
54. Ryan Tannehill – 64
55. Alshon Jeffery – 64
56. Garrett Hartley – 62
57. Steven Hauschka – 62
58. Denarius Moore – 62
59. Torrey Smith – 62
60. Carson Palmer – 60
61. Larry Fitzgerald – 60
62. Mason Crosby – 60
63. Antonio Brown – 60
64. Nick Novak – 59
65. Gio Bernard – 59
66. EJ Manuel – 59
67. Browns – 58
68. Adam Vinatieri – 57
69. Alex Henery – 57
70. Reggie Wayne – 56
71. Bengals – 56
72. Colts – 56
73. 49ers – 56
74. Calvin Johnson – 55
75. Eric Decker – 55

The NFL season is not too far away, teams are doing training camps, and players are starting to get ranked for fantasy football.  This year there is going to be a lot of players that everybody is going to try and get.  A sleeper is a player that people may be overlooked because of previous seasons, their off field issues, or because of the team they are on; but they will put up a lot of fantasy points despite all of that.  The sleeper players I am putting on this list are players that you will want to try and draft after round 4.  The first few rounds people know who they want to draft and they are normally very popular players.  So in no particular order here is a list of players that could be sleepers for the 2013 NFL season.

Maurice Jones-Drew RB Jaguars – MJD has had some injuries in past seasons and a very shakey offensive line.  He is now totally healthy and the Jaguars beefed up their offensive line.  Not to mention that the Jaguars put in a new offense that will utilize MJD to his full potential.  Expect MJD to run for at least 1200 yards and 7 TDs

Chris Johnson RB Titans – Chris Johnson used to be one of the first running backs taken in fantasy drafts, but he has had some rocky seasons.  The Titans made a lot of improvements to their offensive line and Johnson is fully healthy.  Look for him to have at least 1300 rushing yards and 6 TDs.  Not to mention he is a good receiver too; he will pull in points off receptions too.

Reggie Bush RB Lions – Bush has been bounced around a lot and has not totally lived up to the hype coming out of college; but he started to gain a lot of momentum with Miami and that will only get better now he is in Detroit.  Bush will split carries with Leshoure, but he will be a huge addition to the pass game.  Remember the Lions pass the ball a lot; and Bush has the speed to make a huge impact.  He will total up at least 8 TDs this year and around 1400 total yards.

Lamar Miller RB Dolphins – Miller should pick up right where Bush left.  Miller is a big physical runner who wont shy away from running a defender over.  Most people have never heard of him because this is the first year he will be a starter.  The Dolphins like to run the ball and Miller will take most of the carries.  He has the potential to go over 1000 rushing yards and having 7 TDs.

Chris Ivory RB Jets – Ivory has made it very clear that he is excited to be a Jet and that he plans on having his best year.  This is his first chance to be a starting running back after being a back up on the Saints for a number of years.  He will get a lot of carries; and the Jets run the ball more than they throw.  With the Jets passing game being a little risky; plan on them running a lot.  I think he could end up with 1100 rushing yards and 7 TDs by the end of the year.

Miles Austin WR Cowboys – Austin started his career with a bang; but over the last few seasons he has had one injury after another.  The Cowboys have basically said this year is a do or die for Austin; he is also on a contract year.  He is finally healthy and he is playing opposite of Dez Bryant who will pull a lot of double coverages.  The Cowboys are a throwing team so I can see Austin having 60 receptions, 800 or more yards, and 6 TDs.  As long as he stays healthy he should be a nice pick up.

Mike Williams WR Bucs – Williams has been a solid player for years now.  He wont put up numbers like Calvin Johnson, but he will consistently put up good fantasy numbers.  In the last 3 seasons, Williams has had at least 60 receptions.  The main receiver in Tampa Bay is Vincent Jackson; but if you dont get Jackson then get Williams he will have at least 60 receptions, over 900 yards, and 8 TDs.

Kenny Britt WR Titans – When Britt is healthy and on the football field he is one of the best out there.  He has had off field problems and health issues.  This is his contract year andif he wants to get another contract he will have to have a good year.  He is healthy, not in any legal troubles, and been training like a mad man.  Britt may be one of the biggest sleepers in 2013.  It would not surprise me if he had 70 receptions, 1000 yards, and 8 TDs.

Dwayne Bowe WR Chiefs – Over the last few seasons Bowe has not done much, but we all remember a few seasons ago when he was the best receiver when it came to fantasy points.  The Chiefs got a new head coach, new QB, and a new offense that will utilize Bowe more.  He is still young and has a lot of promise.  In previous years Bowe was a risky pick; I would take him in a heart beat now.  I think he could have 80 or more receptions, over 1100 receiving yards and 9 TDs.

Kyle Rudolph TE Vikings – There are numerous tight ends that will be drafted before Rudolph, but dont forget that he has a great relationship with QB Ponder and he will see a lot of targets.  Even with the Vikings signing Greg Jennings; you can still plan on Rudolph putting up good fantasy numbers.  He could end up with 65 receptions and 10 TDs.

Denarius Moore WR Raiders – The Raiders just got a new QB with Matt Flynn; and they got a new offense.  Moore is really the only reliable target in Oakland and you can plan on Flynn looking his way a lot.  The Raiders will still utilize the run game a lot; but Moore is a deep threat that you will want on your team.  He could end up with 55 receptions, 900 yards, and 6 TDs.

Alshon Jeffery WR Bears – Obviously Brandon Marshall is the main man i Chicago, but he is going to have a lot of double coverages on him.  That is where Jeffery comes in.  He is going to be a very reliable second option for Cutler and he just might be one of the biggest sleepers you could draft.  I could see him with 60 receptions, 800 yards, and 7 TDs.

Aaron Dobson WR Patriots – New England is having some major tight end issues so Brady is going to get very familiar with his receivers.  Amendola will be the main guy, but Dobson is going to be a solid player as well.  The Patriots like to throw the ball and Brady likes to distribute the ball to as many receivers as possible and Dobson will be on the receiving end of most of those.  He could have 50 receptions, 750 yards, and 8 TDs.