Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Pre-preseason Fantasy Football Sleeper Picks

I’ve all but given up on posting a mock draft on this site. Perhaps once my actual leagues start drafting, I will post one of those. Some ass decided that he was only going to draft Chargers, taking Antonio Gates with the 4th overall pick. Well done sir. Enjoy your 4-13 finish.

So, I decided it would be a nice time to highlight some sleepers. It’s too early to go all out and make insane assumptions, but these sleepers I feel pretty solid about. Some of them to even start for my potential fantasy football team.

Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis Rams (ADP 111): Sam Bradford managed 3,500 yards last season. Can you name two of his receivers? Unless you are a Rams fan or in the deepest league I’ve ever heard of, I’m guessing you can’t.

The Rams picked up a lot of targets for Bradford in the draft and snagged the underachieving Mike Sims-Walker from the Jaguars. With some weapons in his arsenal now, Bradford could improve on his impressive rookie stats and surprise a lot of owners this year. Being in the NFC West doesn’t hurt either.

Other quarterback sleepers who could have made the list: Kevin Kolb, ARI (ADP 118); Jay Cutler, CHI (122); Matt Cassel, KC (131).

Felix Jones, RB, Dallas Cowboys (ADP 58): Jones is going in the fifth round in nearly every mock that I have seen. He’s not exactly the deepest of sleepers, but he will perform far higher than his ADP will indicate. In PPR leagues, I have no doubts that he will be a top 10 back by the end of the year. His downside is obviously injury, and it remains to be seen how much time he will give up to Tashard Choice and DeMarco Murray, but we do know that he is the starter.

In training camp so far, it has been noted that he is showing he has matured over last season, been able to avoid the injury bug that is sweeping the league, and has been absolutely ripping through the defense on quick screens from Romo. I would have no problems starting Jones in my PPR league, opening up earlier draft picks for more receiver or quarterback talent.

C.J. Spiller, RB, Buffalo Bills (ADP 96): Spiller was one of the hottest rookie running backs in fantasy football drafts last season. But we know how that ended up. He had a good preseason in 2010 and went far earlier than any rookie should go, and ended the season as one of the biggest busts of the year. Spiller does have Fred Jackson standing in his way, but I would not be surprised to see Spiller amass more carries this year. He looks to be the future of the Bills running game, and he’ll have to prove himself this season. He is worthy of a bench spot with his upside.

Other running back sleepers who could have made the list: Ryan Williams, ARI (ADP 101); Rashard Jennings, JAX (133); Willis McGahee, DEN (141)

Roy Williams, WR, Chicago Bears (ADP 123): I’m a Cowboys fan. You probably know that. So you can imagine the disappointment I felt over the last three seasons with Williams bumming up the WR2 and 3 positions on my beloved team. And you can imagine my audible sigh of relief when he left. But there is a nagging pain the back of my head that says he could very well rebound his career in Chicago.

Quarterback, Jay Cutler has a ton to prove after his playoff “injury.” The Bears haven’t had any other receivers step up. So this could be a perfect marriage of two underwhelming potential stars. He’s a cheap pick up, and will no doubt be a starter. Everything seems to make sense, and you can get him on the cheap.

Mike Thomas, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (ADP 103): This is the classic case of somebody having to catch the ball. The Jaguars have to have some kind of passing game this season. Garrard has never been elite, but is pretty underappreciated at quarterback who gets the job done. Mike Thomas is seemingly the only man that he has to throw to this year. It’s really as simple as that.

I don’t have to show you Thomas’s past statistics. I don’t have to break down the Jaguar offense. I just have to say that what other Jacksonville receiver will possibly catch the ball this year? Getting a team’s WR1 in the 9th or 10th round sounds damn good to me.

Other wide receiver sleepers who could have made the list: Kenny Britt, TEN (ADP, 77); Jordy Nelson, GB (119); Danny Amendola, STL (128)

Kevin Boss, TE, Oakland Raiders (ADP undrafted): When I decided to write about him and went to look up his ADP, I was really hoping to not find it. And that wish came true. Kevin Boss isn’t even listed as a top 15 drafted tight end. But he will end up a top 10 by the end of the year.

He has been underutilized in New York for a long time now, so the best thing that could happen to his career (I never thought I’d say this about anyone) was to go to the Raiders. Zach Miller has been an impressive tight end in the past few years, he’s been a fantasy starter, and I like Boss as a replacement for him. Jason Campbell likes throwing to his tight ends (See Miller and Cooley), and Boss is a big man that can play when he is actually used.

Other tight end sleepers who could have made the list: Greg Olsen, CAR (ADP 172); Jared Cook, TEN (182)

There you have it. Lots of names are sure to move up and down throughout the preseason, but in case you have a fantasy draft in the next few weeks, these are definitely the top value names to look for in your later rounds. Good luck in all of your drafts.

If you've got a sleeper of your own, go ahead and post them in the comments with a reason they will blow up this year. Any questions, post them in the comments as well. And don't forget to add GodHatesLosers on Twitter!


  1. ummmm..... jimmy graham??? With no more shocky in the way.

  2. Exactly. He's the 6th highest drafted tight end. Hardly a sleeper. I'm going to avoid him though, because the Saints receiving/tight end corps is the least consistent group in football. He'll have 20 points one week and three the next. Just look at how Shockey performed in NO.