NFL 2012: Fantasy Sleepers and Busts
You do not win a fantasy football championship with your first two picks. You win fantasy leagues in the middle and late rounds. Draft your defense or kicker at the very end. Go RB, RB unless there is tremendous value below. It's those middle picks that win you games. Without further ado, here are some sleepers:
Peyton Hillis, RB - Chiefs (65 overall)
Peyton Hillis was a beast in 2010 with the Browns. It earned him a spot on EA's Madden game. In terms of last year, Hillis wasn't hurt. He was just pissed because he wanted a new contract. That being said, he forcefully sat out of games last year.
At 26, Hillis is on a high powered offense with the KC Chiefs. Jamal Charles is ahead of Hillis on the dept chart, but all signs point to an even workload between the two. Hillis is set to explode this year and could provide high end #2 RB numbers. He has been going as late as 8th round in most ADP data.
Reach up and snag him in the 5th or 6th round, depending on your team and what's on your board. Hillis can catch out of the backfield and will get the goal line work. Remember how productive Charles was in a RB by committee? The coaches want to keep JC fresh for season, so expect some lighting and thunder in KC.
Maybe he isn't a super sleeper, but he is the starting RB for the Tampa Bucs. Doug Martin is an MJD type player, as he is a small bowling bowl. The Bucs moved up to get this kid and he's already been named the starter.
You can expect Martin to go in the 3rd or 4th round of your draft. He has a play making QB in Josh Freeman, a WR in Vincent Jackson and a solid O-Line. If Martin can put up 1,100 rushing 400 receiving and some 8-10 TDs then we have ourselves a great #2 RB. This may be a useful choice for those of you who are drafting a QB or WR in round one.
Wilson has looked great this preseason. He's playing behind the injury prone Ahmad Bradshaw, though. If the two split carries or Bradshaw goes down, expect to see big things from this big back.
Yes, Ronnie Brown is the starter in San Diego. And he will finish with more points than Ryan "Made of Glass" Matthews. A steal at where he is going, which is like 14th round; you're getting the starting RB for the Chargers ...
Yes, MJD finally ended his holdout. But that doesn't mean Jennings is done for, either. The Jags announced that Jennings will be the week 1 starter. Also, MJD may get injured due to being out of shape from his holdout (we've seen this movie before).
Meanwhile, Jennings is in the top 5 of rushing yards for RBs this preseason. Reports on why they didn't give MJD more money is because they like what they see in Jennings.
He may be 30, but Benson has some gas left in the tank, especially since he's playing with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Defenses will respect Rodgers and not Benson at game time. Expect some big runs from this former Bear.
Other RB sleepers -
- Donald Brown (starter, Indy) (68 overall)
- Ryan Williams (Possible starter, Cards) (85th overall)
- DeAngelo Williams (His stock has been soaring since Jon Stewart went down, 83rd overall)
Jon Baldwin , WR - Chiefs (Going undrafted)
This guy is built like Calvin Johnson. He is crazy big and fast. He is now playing as the #2 WR on the KC Chiefs. With Matt Castle healthy, and Bowe in camp, the Chiefs look to be a high powered offense this season. Look for Baldwin in the late rounds, this lottery ticket will surely pay.
Remember Jordy Nelson last year? I got him in the 15th round in 2011. He would then go on to score 15TDs for the season.
Eric Decker is this year's Jordy Nelson. You can put that in granite. In the Bronco's 3rd preseason game, Peyton Manning threw two TDs to Decker. He's also targeted him a lot. The two of a good rapport and expect Decker to possibly be even a 1 WR this year.
He is back with Josh McDaniels, but this time Tom Brady is his QB. Who else is buying this? Grab this guy there is great value with Lloyd.
Forget Mike Wallace. Brown has simply looked amazing this preseason. He also finished strong with Big Ben toward the end of last season, too. You can grab this guy as your #1 WR and feel very confident.
Outside the usual suspects, here are some studs dying to break out this year:
Go look at his numbers from last year. Now realize that he has Julio Jones, Roddy White and Gonzo to throw to. This is Matty's break out here. He seems to be going in the 4th round. It all depends how many QBs go early in your league. Expect top 5 numbers this season.
He is back with Brandon Marshall and the two are putting on a show this preseason. Cutler also has Alshon Jeffery. With Matt Forte and Michael Bush in the backfield, this is going to be the most explosive season Cutler's had since he went to the Pro Bowl. He is this year's Matt Stafford.
No, RG3 isn't this year's Cam Newton. It's this guy - Russell Wilson. Draft this guy with your final pick and park him on your bench. He can do it all.
Other QB sleepers -
Stay away from the following players -