Okay, so you just read about who you can scratch off your draft boards this year, now you need to know who to go for, especially in the later rounds. Because, let’s be honest; your league is won by drafting well in the middle to later rounds. While last year, your opponent gambled in the 14th round on Bengals backup running back Bernard Scott, you took a chance on Eagles QB Michael Vick. Those are the picks that win championships. So, here you go; list #2 to take into your draft. The sleeper picks that will win you a fantasy football championship this year. (ADP is the Average Draft Position based on a 12-team standard league snake draft)
1. Sam Bradford – QB St. Louis Rams (ADP: 106) – Bradford finished in the Top 15 for QB’s last year as a rookie. He set records for completions and TD’s and only Peyton Manning threw for more yards as a rookie. All this with a makeshift receiving corps. The Rams have tried to help Bradford by bringing in talented, but injury-prone Mike Sims-Walker and by drafting Tight End Lance Kendricks and receiver Greg Salas. Bradford is getting drafted around the ninth and 10th round, but could easily reach the top ten for QBs this year with better receiving options and pass-happy Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels running the show. He’s a QB2 with significant upside.
2. Beanie Wells – RB Arizona Cardinals (ADP: 75) – Okay, I’m drinking the Kool-Aid. Last year Wells was drafted as a RB2, but produced as a RB5. He was terrible. But Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt said that Wells is the lead back in Arizona and not only do I believe it, but with new QB Kevin Kolb running the offense, I think the running game will significantly improve. Wells is someone who has the opportunity and potential to produce RB2 numbers at a RB4 price. I’m in.
3. Greg Olsen – TE Carolina Panthers (ADP: 155) – The Panthers traded for Olsen shortly after the lockout and it couldn’t be a better for him. In Chicago, Olsen’s talented were wasted as Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz apparently hates Tight Ends. Now in Carolina, not only is he in a TE-friendly offense, but with rookie QB Cam Newton running the show, he’s going to need a safety valve. Enter Olsen. He’s getting drafted as a flier at the end of the draft. Make him your flier as a TE2 and he will produce TE1 numbers.
4. Alex Henery – K Philadephia Eagles (ADP: 190) – Yeah, I get it. You’re asking yourself, “How can he put a kicker on a sleeper list?” Well, I admit, this is a homer pick. I’m a life-long Nebraskan and I would go against the grain and take former Husker Henery a round or two before the last round. But I have a legit reason. He is the most accurate kicker in the history of college football. Yeah, Henery is THE MOST ACCURATE KICKER IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL HISTORY. And he is on arguably the most high-powered offense in the NFL. That means he could very well win you ever close game that you are in. Trust me on this one.
5. Danny Woodhead – RB New England Patriots (ADP: 129) – The Patriots grabbed Woodhead off of the New York Jets practice squad early in the season and he ended up being a perfect flex player by the end of the season as he averaged 5.6 yards a carry and scored six touchdowns. He’s not a starter, but he will fill in better than most. And he graduated from my alma mater Chadron State College. But it’s not a homer pick…seriously.
6. Rashad Jennings – RB Jacksonville Jaguars (ADP: 134) – Jennings proved last year that he can handle the workload filling in admirably for lead RB Maurice Jones-Drew in the last two games of the year. MJD is recovering from off-season knee surgery and probably won’t make it through all 16 games this season. Whether you draft MJD (ADP: 13) or not, drafting Jennings anywhere after the 10th round is a steal.
7. Jacoby Ford – WR Oakland Raiders (ADP: 109) – Owner Al Davis loves speed and he has that with Jacoby Ford. He is a national champion sprinter and has the speed to take any reception to the house. He has a great repoir with QB Jason Campbell. With no other real competition, Ford could turn out to be the #1 guy in Oakland which will yield some solid WR3 results at a WR4 price.
8. Jay Cutler – QB Chicago Bears (ADP: 125) – Cutler started off last year hotter than Olivia Wilde. But then his attitude started creeping in and he finished the year with an MCL injury that was universally-criticized. This season, he arrived to camp leaner and more focused. Being drafted as a low-end QB2 at the end of the 10th round, this could end up being Grand Theft Robbery.
So there you go. Sleepers to help you win your league. Did I miss one? Let me know who. Any other comments? Send them my way!