5 Sleepers to Watch on Your Fantasy Football Waiver Wire in 2012
Darren Sproles. Cam Newton.
After the first couple weeks of the 2011 NFL season, every fantasy football owner was running to their computers trying to add these two players from the waiver wire.
Having players that can unexpectedly dominate like these two on your team can make you the best fantasy football owner in your league.
For the 2012 season, here are five players that could go undrafted but still have the potential to put up big fantasy numbers.
Jacob Tamme, Denver Broncos, TE
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Two years ago, Jacob Tamme took over the starting tight end position when Dallas Clark got injured midway through the season.
Before then, Tamme had not caught a pass all season.
As soon as he entered the starting lineup, though, he became a fantasy stud. Tamme went on to catch 67 passes for 631 yards, while also recording four touchdowns.
Tamme is now in Denver, but luckily for him, he will still be catching passes from Peyton Manning. Any starting receiving target for Manning always has great fantasy value.
Since Tamme is the only starting target on the Denver Broncos' offense that has previously played with Manning, don't be surprised if he becomes one of the top tight ends in league.
Mike Goodson, Oakland Raiders, RB
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Mike Goodson is the 2012 version of Michael Bush.
With Bush in Chicago, the Oakland Raiders brought in Goodson to be their backup running back. Remember who he is backing up, though.
McFadden is almost guaranteed to get injured at some point next season. Not once in his NFL career has he played an entire season.
Goodson has put up some impressive numbers in his limited playing time. In his three starts in 2010 with the Carolina Panthers, Goodson had 390 total yards on offense.
As soon as McFadden goes down with an injury, look for Goodson to become one of the better fantasy running backs.
Peyton Hillis, Kansas City Chiefs, RB
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In 2010, Peyton Hillis was one of the best fantasy running backs in the NFL.
Scoring 13 touchdowns and running for over 1,000 yards, he looked like he was a rising star. Unfortunately, Hillis was arguably the biggest bust in last year's fantasy drafts.
He went from being a first- or second-round pick to being on everyone's waiver wire by the end of the season.
Now that Hillis is with the Kansas City Chiefs, he should have a bounce-back year.
He is no longer the No.1 running back that he was with the Cleveland Browns, but Hillis should still see plenty of touches.
Not only is Jamaal Charles coming off of a severe knee injury, but he also gets a limited amount of carries. In 2010, he only had more than 15 carries in five games. That same season, the Chiefs' other running back, Thomas Jones, had at least 15 carries in 10 games.
Do not be afraid to draft Hillis because of his poor 2011 season and the fact that he is in a two-running back system. He will get about 15 carries a game and rack up plenty of touchdowns, since he will be the Chiefs' goal-line running back.
Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots, RB
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The problem with taking a New England Patriots running back is that you never know who is going to be getting the carries.
The Patriots use a ton of running backs. Even with BenJarvus Green-Ellis going to the Cincinnati Bengals, the Patriots still have Stevan Ridley, Danny Woodhead, Shane Vereen and Joseph Addai.
Ridley is expected to be the starter for the Patriots, and he showed some flashes last year. He had at least 10 carries in only four games last season. In those four games, though, Ridley ran for a total of 307 yards and averaged over six yards per carry.
If Ridley wins the starting job, then expect big things. Like Ridley, Green-Ellis was not a big-name running back, but he put up great fantasy stats in his last two seasons, scoring 24 touchdowns.
Chad Ochocinco, Miami Dolphins, WR
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Some may think he is washed up and done for, but Chad Ochocinco's fantasy stock significantly improved when he signed with the Miami Dolphins.
Many people thought Ochocinco was going to make an impact in New England last year. He had seven seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards and was going to have Tom Brady throwing to him.
Instead, the complete opposite happened. Ochocinco could not figure out the playbook and fell all the way down the depth chart.
Now that he is with the Dolphins, Ochocinco has a great chance of becoming a starting wide receiver again.
His main competition is going to be Brian Hartline and Davone Bess. Compare that to having to beat out the New England Patriots' receiving targets in Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.
The difference between those two receiving groups is like day and night.
He is not going to put up numbers like he did in Cincinnati, but if Ochocinco becomes the top receiver for the Dolphins, then there is no reason why he should not be a solid No.3 wide receiver option.