NFL 2012: Fantasy Football Sleepers

August 28, 2012 at 1:34 pm Leave a comment

Better late than never.  Here are players I’ve been targeting in 2012 Fantasy Football drafts.  Sleepers have been fairly successful on the site since the first post two seasons ago.  Thus, I hope some or all of the players below will be helpful in winning your league.

Quarterback

Andrew Luck

I was already considering him to be a potential backup but he solidified that position in his first preseason game.  He show command of the pocket and showcased a variety of throws.  I like the young weapons around him with the vets Wayne and Collie to go along with a great young draft class featuring two of my sleeper WRs.  The defense isn’t strong, which should create more opportunities for the offense.  I like them to improve quite a bit this year, but wins don’t matter….production does.  I see Luck’s skills and intelligence finding the endzone quite a bit.  He looks like one of the most intelligent and pass-ready QBs I’ve seen coming into the NFL and think the production will follow.

Better to be LUCK than good.

Jake Locker

With the starting job and stellar supporting cast he might have most upside outside the top dozen QBs.  While he still has accuracy issues, he does make plays.  An incredible athlete who will accumulate points rushing and passing.  I really like the Titans  offense this year, as CJ2K is primed for a bounce back and they’ve added Kendall Wright to a solid core which includes Britt, Washington, Cook, and Williams.

Russell Wilson

I’ve been a fan since the beginning and in my post draft analysis I suggested he could start this season and that’s the right call.  As far as FFB, he’ll give you plays with his legs and he will put the ball on the money.  I’ve compared him to Drew Brees, which is certainly lofty, but similar skills exist.  Such as accuracy, timing, pocket awareness, and maybe most importantly the ability to throw receivers open.  I’ve taken him in the 13th round and think there are worse options out there if you take a top QB.

  • Earlier: Cutler, Flacco
  • Later: Cassell, Bradford

Running Back

Ryan Williams

My feelings for him are well-documented and now he finds himself in an advantageous position.  He has made a strong return to the field rushing for nearly 5 ypc and a touchdown. He showed his excellent cutback ability and vision.  The upside is there to be one of the best offensive players in the division.  I don’t think much of Beanie Wells who has been banged up.  Obviously, there is an injury risk but if both players stay healthy it will only be a matter of time until he steal the job, kinda like Willis last year.  Too good to pass up as RB4.

Explosive, when healthy….

Quizz Rodgers

These next two have a ton of upside and not much PPR downside.  Quizz could outscore Turner this year. Turner looks slower and Quizz is one of a bunch Sproles-like backs who will produce. The Falcons have added the screen and draw to their playbook just to get him the ball.  They need to do that more than last season when he was underutilized and Turner was a year younger.  Turner is still the #1 and will score his touchdowns, but he is burning out.

Kendall Hunter

Big fan of his coming out the Big 12, but I was concerned with how crowded the SF backfield has gotten.  The 49ers are like a hockey team these days with their substitutions, so his 2012 season wasn’t looking bright.  But, he was continued to produce while Gore’s decline is backed by statistics (over the last few years).  At the end of the season his role increased and it should again this year.  The chances of Gore playing all 16 games are slim.  It’s a tough situation, because one back will not emerge for the majority of carries, but his potential production is worth his late ADP.

  • Earlier: Willis, Brown, Benson, Jones, Wilson
  • Later: Leshoure, Turbin, Rainey

Wide Receiver

Malcom Floyd

He has stepped up as the #1 WR before, but my biggest question for him is how many games will he play.  Standing at 6’5 and running like a deer, Rivers loves to throw him the ball deep.  Finished last year with five games with 95+ yards in his last six games and scored TDs in the last three games.  Nevertheless, it is clear in my mind that I would rather have Floyd than the inconsistent Meachem.  Right now they are going close to each other in 9-10 round.

Justin Blackmon

The only two-time Bilietnikoff award winner has somehow surprised people with his play.  This guy is a beast.  So many jaw dropping plays in college, he is pro-ready.  In Jacksonville, he should see a lot of targets after ascending to number one, especially with Gabbert at QB.  He’s got the frame to destroy press coverage as well as sharp running before and after the catch.  I’ve seen him ranked way too low for weeks.

Danny Amendola & Davone Bess

What I like to call PPR pimps.  Without question the most reliable receivers on their teams and each could reach near 100 catches if they remain healthy.  Bess has been a devastating route runner since college in Hawaii and has great hands.  He should get plenty of looks for the Dolphins, who have little else and now Jake Long is out for some time.  Amendola similarly is a security blanket.  Caught 86 catches in 2010, but he is coming off an ugly injury from last year.  He looks fully recovered and it worth taking a shot on.

  • Earlier: Brown, Decker, T. Smith
  • Later: Kendall Wright, Rod Streater, Reuben Randle, K. Martin

Tight End

Greg Olsen

Coach Rivera has promised to involve the athletic TE more.  Olsen hasn’t really had a statistically dominated season, but has the pass catching ability, inside and out, to have a breakout season.

Kyle Rudolph

Slowed last year by injuries, the big mismatch is ready to be a threat in his second season.  Looking strong and quick, he is poised to be the #2 option on the Vikings and difficult to cover in the redzone.

  • Earlier: Fred Davis
  • Later: Cook, Kendricks, Allen

D/ST: Bills – Start a season filled with promise against the Jets. Also, Seahawks.


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