2011 Fantasy Football Sleepers
After the Draft Update
Sam Bradford: Sam Bradford was the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2010 and deservedly so. He led a previously 1-15 to the brink of the playoffs in only one season. He started out very impressively showing off his accuracy and football intelligence. Although he seemed to hit a rookie wall at the end of the season.
He thrived despite losing his top two WRs and TE during the season forcing the offense to focus on the short passing game and not utilize Sam’s accuracy on the deep ball. The Rams have already made one upgrade, bringing in Josh McDaniels to coordinate the offense. He has worked wonders with QBs and should only help Sam’s development.
Most importantly and the X-Factor: the Rams have to upgrade their receivers. They made some strides during the NFL Draft by selecting Lance Kendricks (vertical TE with speed), Austin Pettis (possession WR), and last but not least Greg Salas who could be an immediate stud inside and has potential on the outside. Salas has the hands and Bradford the accuracy for the them to form a nice combo. Danny Amendola must be scratching his head and I was with Pettis & Salas selected. It wasn’t quite Julio Jones but certainly was an improvement. Things are looking up for the Rams as they found their future LT in Roger Saffold, Jackson remains strong, Spags is a solid coach, and Laurinatis was a steal. Sam is a great dynasty QB and should prove to be a valuable player in Fantasy Football for the 2011 season.
Others to consider:
- Josh Freeman: While it’s hard to expect the numbers to get better than in 2010, 25 TDs, 6 INTs-3400 yards, Williams, Benn, and Briscoe will grow as will Blount. OL should be upgraded. Caution: schedule will be much tougher.
- Interested to see where McNabb, Palmer, Hasselbeck, Kolb end up playing.
LaGarrette Blount: The big rookie made the most of his opportunity in 2010 supplanting Cadilliac Williams as the Buccaneers #1 RB. He ran with tons of power and looked at times impossible to take down, but one area of concern is his fumbling.
The thing that would make LaGarrette an even more explosive fantasy football players would be an upgraded offensive line. Tampa Bay exceeded everyone’s expectations except coach Raheem Morris and they did not while starting a bunch of different offensive line combinations.
Delone Carter: The newest Indianapolis Colt and my latest Sleeper for 2011. Read the article HERE.
Others to consider:
- Jonathan Stewart (Depends on how the roster shakes out, for ex: if they part ways with DeAngelo, Williams Stewart is shown he can produce (no matter the QB or situation).
Kenny Britt: I’ve long been a fan of Britt since his time at Rutgers but injuries together with poor QB play halted his breakout season. He taught me something about Fantasy Football, although I loved Britt’s skills late in the draft I refused to draft him because Fisher loved his vets so much and they were a run first team. I realize now that the strategy is flawed as talent at that time of the draft should outweigh most other considerations aside for a handcuff or so. Britt is so talented and CJ forces teams to play him honestly, nevertheless the X-Factor: who is his QB in 2011.
Others to Consider:
- Brandon Tate : The Patriots did not address WR in the draft. There’s no telling what, if any, moves the Patriots will make to upgrade with WRs. I loved his speed at UNC and he showed last season that it is back. Belichick got the most out of Branch last season, but I think we see Tate make strides this year. Drafting him in the 4th round was well worth the risk. Julian Edelman sure didn’t develop like some expected.
- Antonio Brown: Once he learned the offense, became the other outside WR opposite of Mike Wallace. Wallace is now a known commodity and teams will send coverage his way to prevent the deep ball. Brown was an excellent playmaker at CMU as a receiver and returner. Depending on how the Steelers address their OL, he could have a bigger than expected role in the offense.
- Eric Decker: Broncos were criticized heavily after taking Thomas over Dez Bryant. He was hurt for much of the 2010 season and according to the Denver Post he will miss half of the 2011 season recovering from surgery. Lloyd finally seems like he’s at a good place in his career and Royal isn’t going anywhere. Leaving Decker an opportunity as the possession WR. He has decent size and hands.
- Jerome Simpson: A speed guy who can get separation. Showed his development last year versus the Chargers and Cason. His limited highlight reel is impressive. TO and Chad are gone, he’s the most experienced of a young core.
Jimmy Graham: The former Bball player who was a double-double machine showed new observers why a guy who played football for less than two years was a third round pick of the defending Super Bowl champs. He really came on at the end of last season and I mentioned him early last year as his size on the outside was something the Saints would look to exploit. Jeremy Shockey has been released, opening the door for Graham to entrench himself as the starting TE in one of the league’s best offenses.
Others to consider:
- Owen Daniels: Played at less than 100% last season but finally got healthy at the end of the season. He just signed a big contract and shouldn’t be undervalued.
- Jermaine Gresham: Talent is undeniable and at the least Cincinnati just added A.J. Green. Clearly the Bengals are in rebuilding mode. The 2010 first round pick is a matchup nightmare and could be featured in the pass game if they clean house.
- Brandon Pettigrew: Had a great season in 2010 showing that he would be a productive regardless of who the starting QB was that week. There is little reason to doubt that he will continue to grow although I don’t think Scheffler is going anywhere and they just drafted Titus Young who take some targets away.
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