Fantasy football is right around the corner folks, can you smell it? Before you go in to your on coming fantasy draft blind take a second to find out which players are being slept on before the season.
The below sleepers are some players on the market that are being undervalued. These players are guys that could possibly outplay their current rank on the charts.
The diamonds in the rough are the guys that could get you to the playoffs. Don’t forget that championships are won in the later rounds of the draft!
Jay Cutler – Chicago Bears: Not only is Jay Cutler reunited with his old QB coach that he played with in his last 2 years with Denver, he also reunites with Brandon Marshall. With Brandon Marshall back in the mix it will open this passing attack up. Brandon Marshall caught 104 passes the last time they played together…get the picture Cutler also has Edgar Bennett whom he also played with in college not to mention rookie stud Alshon Jeffries looking good so far. Did I mention he also has Devin Hester crossing the middle and going deep. While other folks grab QB’s early Jay Cutler could be a solid pick up. Lovie smith wants his Bears offense to be a “big play pass attack” need I say more.
Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts: I’m not saying to reach for Luck but if he falls in your lap in the later rounds why not. He’s built a nice rhythm with Reggie Wayne in pre-season and he has his old college TE Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen to work with as well. Austin Collie when healthy could be effective too. He could go through his share of lumps in his rookie season, but theres always upside with Luck. (Just look at the last name) That’s why you grab this guy in the later rounds. Consider him a nice lucky QB2 option.
Matt Flynn/Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks: Keep your eye on both of these guys. Depending on who holds onto win the starting job outright, one of the two could be potential stars. Some believe its Flynn, but from what I’ve seen from Wilson, I wouldn’t be surprised if he holds down the starting gig all season. This rookie has poise!
Carson Palmer – Oakland Raiders: Even though last season didn’t go as planned, Palmer has a shot to redeem himself. Let’s not forget that Palmer gets McFadden back. If DMC can keep defenses off balance with the run game look for Carson Palmer to take advantage with the play action. The Raiders will look to roll out Palmer in their new offense. He has to hope that his receivers can stay healthy as well in order for him to be effective. Now that Palmers had a whole year to gel with his receiving corps he’s got a chance to revert back to old self. We’re not saying he’s QB1 material but he’s def a QB2 option.
David Wilson- New York Giants: From what I’ve seen of David Wilson, he seems to be the purest rusher for the New York Giants. I know Ahmad Bradshaw is in the mix, but with Bradshaw’s injury history, I feel like Wilson will get a nice healthy portion of the carries. He has a second gear and is capable of breaking those long runs. He can be had in the mid to late rounds of your fantasy draft.
Isaiah Pead -St. Louis Rams: With Steven Jackson’s tread on his tires about to run out…enter Isaiah Pead. Pead is no slouch and even averaged 6.0 yards per carry during his four years at Cincinnati. Look to land this guy in the later rounds, he could be worth it if Jackson comes up lame.
Doug Martin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers: With everyone looking for Doug Martin to secure the starting job over Blount it’s important for you to not reach for his talents. Keep in mind that Blount will definitely cut into his goal line carries but either way he’s a dual-threat running back and a solid RB2/flex option.
Mike Tolbert -Carolina Panthers: With the Panthers with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart in the mix you would think that the Panthers would be all set in that department. Look at Tolbert as a versatile utility back, he can bang in the inside and also be effective catching the ball (54 catches last yr) and getting in on the goal line is his forte. This guy has a nose for the end zone. in the last two years he’s scored 21 times. He can probably be had in the later rounds of your draft.
Ryan Williams – Arizona Cardinals: Williams falls off some peoples radar due to the fact that he was injured last year. Not all people line up to watch Cardinals pre-season games either. But if you have watched then you’ll agree that he’s looked pretty sharp. We all know Beanie Wells is in the mix and we also know Wells is the definition of injury prone. Its not if, its when Wells will go down. He could be a starter at any moment people and what better way to get a starter by drafting him in the 9th round. BOOM!
Mark Ingram – New Orleans Saints: People reached for him last season, but now he has one year under his belt and perhaps while everyone else is drafting Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas, Ingram could be the guy that has the value in later rounds. He can be had in the 8th or 9th round and could be a potential gem in those rounds. Worth the risk in those rounds.
Rashad Jennings- Jacksonville Jaguars: Given the hold out situation in Jacksonville with Maurice Jones Drew, Jennings is the one who benefits the most from the hold out. Jennings missed the entire 2011 season due to injury and he’s motivated to prove he can hold down the roster spot. Want to know why the Jags are playing hardball with MJD…Rashad Jennings play. Jags aren’t going to give MJD all this money to comeback when Jennings could give it a shot for a quarter of the price. If you’re ballsy enough to grab MJD then Rashad Jennings is a must handcuff.
Brandon Lloyd – New England Patriots: Lloyd could possibly have a phenomenal year. Seeing what he did with Kyle Orton and knowing his relationship with Josh McDaniels offenses I could easily see him shining with Tom Brady. While defenses are defending Gronkowski,Hernandez,and Welker, Lloyd could slip through the cracks and produce for the Patriots. He’s a guy that makes all the tough catches and his upside is high when Brady is throwing him the rock.
Pierre Garcon – Washington Redskins : Garcon has a rookie QB named RGIII. He also has a rookie QB that has looked his way all pre-season long. Garcon seems to be the go-to-guy in Washington. The other positive, is if the Redskins have to come from behind this season to win games it means that they will be passing heavy. All signs point to some garbage fantasy points for the WR corps folks.
Robert Meachem- San Diego Chargers: San Diego Chargers have a new No. 1 guy in town, and his name is Robert Meachem. He has the opportunity to be “thee” guy for the Chargers. While in New Orleans, his talents were overshadowed with all the weapons the Saints had. If Meachem can stay healthy he could be the focal point in a passing offense run By Philip Rivers which could hit the 5000 yards passing mark this season.
Titus Young – Detroit Lions : When you’re part of a passing attack that has the great Calvin Johnson this automatically means you’re going to get some looks and potential mismatches. When they’re doubling Calvin Johnson guys like Titus Young will be open across the middle. As a rookie he put up respectable numbers catching 48 balls for 607 yards and 6 touchdowns. He has Nate Burleson to compete with as well but if your looking for a talented WR 4 option than look no further. He has some good value in the later rounds and he could take a leap forward this season.
Eddie Royal – San Diego Chargers: Another new face in a different place, Eddie Royal has an opportunity to get some targets his way this year. Don’t forget about Royal’s rookie year when he had 91 catches and close to 1000 yards receiving. He’s capable of being a Wes Welker type option for Rivers. Although banged up this pre-season, he’s finally healthy and he may have fell off some folks radar. Not a bad option to grab in the later rounds especially if you play in a PPR league. He could be the slot guy Rivers has been waiting for.
Greg Little -Cleveland Browns: Greg Little will get his share of targets in the Browns offense. Last season he had 61 receptions for 709 yards. With a no name receiving corps in Cleveland Little could easily fall off the radar. He can be had in the 9th -11th round of most drafts. Another guy playing on a team which might be playing from behind.
Josh Gordon – Cleveland Browns: Gordon could easily be considered a deep sleeper. The supplemental draft pick has started to come on this pre-season and has even given guys like Nnamdi Asogmha a run for his money. I’ve seen some flashes and its only time when Gordon becomes more involved with the offense. He’s worth a look in those deeper fantasy leagues out there.
Randall Cobb – Green Bay Packers: Cobb has the talent you just have to wonder if he’ll get enough targets this season. The upside here is that he has Aaron Rodgers throwing to him and their passing attack in Green Bay will be explosive. If someone gets injured Cobb could get a heavy dose of targets. In deeper leagues Cobb has upside so make sure you keep your eye on him as the season progresses.
Jon Baldwin – Kansas City Chiefs : Baldwin has big play potential and could be come that big target in the end zone. He’s been playing well in pre-season and can be had in the later rounds. While he’s had had a heavy dose of reps while Bowes been out this off season, his relationship with Cassel has grown. Worth a look in deeper leagues and can be had in later rounds.
Brandon LaFell – Carolina Panthers : Lafell has progressed in each year with Carolina. They say the third year is always the break out year for some wideouts. With Steve Smith grabbing most of the attention from most defenses Lafell could have increased targets. He’s looked good in pre-season so take a gamble in later rounds for this potential breakout candidate.
Earl Bennett – Chicago Bears : Bennett isn’t a flashy option but with Brandon Marshall in the mix and a heavy dose of Matt Forte and Michael Bush, Bennett is the type of guy who is a favorite target of Cutlers. When other folks are grabbing attention Bennett could get some targets with the defenses attention focused elsewhere. This could be Bennett’s break out year if Alshon Jeffery has a hard time producing in his rookie year. Consider him a deep sleeper.
Martellus Bennett – New York Giants : The Giants offense haven’t had a TE grab more than 50 catches in a season since 2007, and now that Bennett is out behind of Jason Witten’s shadow, he has a chance to produce. He’s got the athleticism and could easily form into one of Eli Manning’s favorite targets. Manning made Jake Ballard relevant and perhaps he can make Bennett relevant too. He can be had in mid rounds of your draft and could potentially be a nice surprise in 2012.
Tony Gonzalez -Atlanta Falcons: When you play in the league for 16 years you deserve a slow clap (start clapping now) and Gonzalez has proven to be a reliable fantasy TE for some time. Just when folks tried to count him out he came back with a good year catching 80 passes for 875 yards and seven touchdowns. Gonzalez is planning to contribute and stay productive in 2012. He’s worth a pick between rounds 6 and 8. With Roddy White and Julio Jones drawing coverages say hello to Mr. Gonzalez especially in the end zone.
Jacob Tamme/Joel Dreessen – Denver Broncos: Remember when we said Jacob Tamme who? Well now we know who Jacob Tamme is and we also know he has a relationship with Manning already. Peyton Manning makes everybody around him better. so whether its Jacob Tamme or Joel Dreesen one of the two is your guy. My pick would be Joel Dreesen if it comes down one, but monitor the situation going forward.
Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings: The word out of camp is that Rudolph has looked impressive. So much so, that he is “thee” TE option in Minnesota. The Vikings expect him to take a leap forward this season and he could easily become a favorite target of Ponder. You know how young QB’s love there TE’s. With the Vikings possibly playing from behind, expect them to pass heavily in the beginning of the season with Adrian Peterson being brought along slowly. He can be had in later rounds which increases his value for sure.
Buffalo Bills, D/ST : One word. Mario Williams. Ok how about two words: Mario Williams and Stephon Gilmore. Last season they were a top 12 fantasy D and with these two pieces of the puzzle added, they could potentially get better. I like their front four and they should be knocking on all the AFC east QB’s front door. (that rhymed) Its worth a shot when other teams in your league shy away from drafting them in later rounds.
Dallas Cowboys, D/ST : One area that needed to be fixed last year was the secondary, and this season the Cowboys put new front doors on the unit by bringing in rookie Morris Claiborne and signing Brandon Carr. With Rob Ryan getting another year to gel with his unit as a whole, they should be whole lot better than last season. They have looked pretty good this pre-season but Im sure people will pass over these guys come draft time so if you like to gamble, the Cowboys could be your option.