We here at TBF have never done anything to do with fantasy football. I’m not quite sure why but it’s time rectify that situation. Many of you have plans set up to pick your teams soon or some may have already done a few online drafts. There always the big names that go first and then you start to dig to find value in players that no one else would care about. Well, we are here to help you find those value players that have potential to turn into game changers. So here it is. Our first ever fantasy football sleepers edition.
Michael Floyd- First up is a player that is close to my heart as I am a Notre Dame Fight Irish fan from way back. I loved watching the plays he made in South Bend and helped take my team back towards the top. Well two years later Floyd is nowhere to be found. Being drafted by Arizona would have been a good spot for him if they had a good quarterback. This year that’s the case. Arizona went out and got a proven quarterback in Carson Palmer. Now Floyd has the chance to breakout this season opposite of future hall of famer Larry Fitzgerald. Teams will be covering Fitzgerald pretty tightly as they know Palmer will find comfort in him. That will be where Floyd comes in and plays the “Robin” role in the wide receiver duo. Also, being in a Bruce Arians’ offense, as well all know, will benefit him even more.
Bernard Pierce- Colts fans know who this guy is. He is the amazing back-up to the great Ray Rice. Pierce is a speed/power back that can bruise it up the middle for 3-4 yards or break one outside for a touchdown. NFL analysts all summer have been raving about this guy and how he could steal some carries away from Rice this season. I’m not completely sold on that but nevertheless; Rice needs a break in the game. In that break comes Pierce. Now I wouldn’t be looking to take Pierce until the later rounds in your draft, but if you’re looking for a RB to fill a spot on your bench for that “just in case” moment, he would be your guy.
Chris Givens- All the news that is surrounding the St. Louis Rams wide receiving corps is about Tavon Austin. The first round burner is all but being named Rookie of the Year thus far. No one is paying much attention to Givens and what he brings to the table. He had a pretty productive rookie campaign with almost 700 yards receiving but his downfall last year was he only snagged 3 touchdowns. In their second year under the tutelage of Jeff Fisher, the Rams offense will be better. Bradford is going to be looking to live up to the hype that was bestowed upon him when he came into the league and Givens will be a large part of that. Jackson is gone in St. Louis so the Rams will most likely be looking to air it out more. Givens is another one that if you’re looking for a 4th or 5th receiver, he would be a solid pickup as his stock will rise as the season progresses.
Joseph Randle- A rookie running back as a sleeper? I know it’s a little crazy but this is a special situation. Randle is in a unique situation in Dallas. He will more than likely be backing up Demarco Murray who has shown he has durability issues. That will open the door for Randle to come in and “steal” some carries. Randle is coming out of a spread offense at Oklahoma State but he has great ability to make people miss and get to the second level of the defense. I’m looking at this one as DeMarco Murray 2.0. Murray took the league by storm as a sleeper in the league. He took advantage of the time he was given and I think Randle will do the same.
Alshon Jeffery- Alshon didn’t have the rookie season that most Bears fans were hoping for and he didn’t show much of anything to the rest of the league. This season though should be a different story. Jeffery has a year of experience under his belt and will be looking to show what he is made of this season. He couldn’t ask for a better situation if you ask me. He has the number one receiver opposite him that eats up a ton of coverage, a running back that makes the linebackers and cheating safeties stay on close to the line, and a quarterback who can get him the ball. Now, all Jeffery has to hope for is that Cutler has his head screwed on straight and that Marshall doesn’t get jealous and upset if Jeffery gets a few more targets this season. I think Alshon should be in the 3rd or 4th wide receiver range. Don’t draft him to early but if he is available in the later rounds, snatch him up.
Alex Smith- Alex Smith has always been the “red-headed stepchild” of the league. He never really lived up to his hype but as he was beginning to hit his stride, his job is taken from him by some young guy named Colin. Well, Smith found a new home with a new head coach who also has something to prove. Being matched up with Andy Reid is amazing for Smith’s career. We all remember what Reid did when he had a good quarterback at the helm of his offense before and now he has it again. Not only does Smith have a great coach, but the supporting cast around him is amazing as well. Jamal Charles, Dwayne Bowe, and Tony Moeaki just to name a few are going to benefit from this as well. Smith is a solid back-up QB in fantasy leagues and in his current situation has the ability to be a top 5 QB by the end of the year.
Darrius Heyward-Bey- You didn’t think I would do a fantasy sleepers edition without mentioning at least oneColt player did you? DHB has more to prove than most. Yes he was drafted way too early but a crazy owner who fell in love with his speed but that isn’t his fault. DHB has talent and coming to Indy he will have the chance to finally show that talent. He has obviously great speed but he also has very good size to go along with that. I mean he was able to still get just over 600 yards and 5 touchdowns last year on a horrendous Oakland team. That opens up the question; what can he do with Andrew Luck throwing him the ball? A ton is what I say. Go ahead and call me a homer but its true. With Wayne and Hilton taking some of the pressure off DHB he has the potential to be a 100o yard receiver. He is a solid 3rd option at the WR spot in fantasy leagues and if this plan works as well as we all think it will, you will be thanking me come January when you picked him up and won your fantasy league.
Those are my sleepers people. Obviously things may change if injuries happen during camp and the preseason but this is my list. Happy drafting everyone and good luck in your respective leagues.