Fantasy Football Draft 2012: Sleepers to Keep an Eye on in Later Rounds

Ryan HeidrichCorrespondent IIJuly 4, 2012

Fantasy Football Draft 2012: Sleepers to Keep an Eye on in Later Rounds

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    While football season is just around the corner, fantasy football enthusiasts are beginning to set their eyes on their drafts.

    Everyone who plays fantasy football knows that it’s hard to win a championship unless you find sleepers in the late rounds.

    Players like Rob Gronkowski and Cam Newton helped fantasy football players win championships last year.

    Every year, fantasy football experts study all the players in order to be the first one to project a late-round player that will end up earning a team a championship.

    Here are three late-round players who you should look out for this year.

Eddie Royal

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    The Chargers have been looking for a player like Eddie Royal ever since Darren Sproles left for New Orleans. They think they have found their guy in Eddie Royal.

    Royal signed as a free agent and is slotted to be the third wide receiver behind Robert Meachem and Malcom Floyd. This is what will keep Royal on the board as fantasy drafts go on.

    People will be reluctant on selecting a team’s third receiver, but if the indications coming out of Chargers camp are true, then you should jump on the chance to land Royal.

    The Chargers will plan on using Royal every chance they can. He has the ability to line up all over the field and with his speed and explosiveness, Royal is a touchdown threat every time he touches the ball.

    Royal may have had some bad seasons in Denver, but with a fresh start in San Diego, we should see the type of numbers that we saw Royal put up in his rookie year.

    If you are need of a wide receiver and Royal is still on the board, snatch him up as soon as you can.

Danny Amendola

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    Danny Amendola is another potential late-round steal. He showed promise in his 2010 season when he had a three-week touchdown streak.

    Amendola missed all but one game in 2011, but he is looking to have a rebound year in 2012.

    He has a similar skill set to Eddie Royal and can break off a big play at any moment. Amendola catches a lot of balls and if he can figure out his ability to separate and break tackles, he will shoot to fantasy stardom.

    Amendola should reap the benefits of another year of Sam Bradford’s growth. The Rams will look to spread the ball around much like the University of Oklahoma did when Bradford was there.

    Amendola, who played for Texas Tech University, fits perfectly into this type of offense.

    Amendola is going to have a fantastic year, and if you find him still on the draft board as the end of the draft approaches, grab him while you can. 

Josh Freeman

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    Josh Freeman and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a terrible year in 2011. It was bad enough to cost Raheem Morris his job.

    With a new coach and a revamped offense that includes new additions Vincent Jackson and Dallas Clark, Josh Freeman should have a solid year in 2012.

    The addition of Jackson to the passing game is what will really help jump start Freeman’s level of play.

    The Bucs have been in search of a dynamic receiver since they drafted Freeman out of Kansas State University.

    When Jackson is motivated and wants to play, he is one of the best wide receivers in the game.

    The Buccaneers may not win many games this year, but it won’t be Freeman’s fault. He will have a solid and consistent year, which is everything you want in a fantasy quarterback.

    If you do not land one of the top quarterbacks, don’t stress. If you find Freeman late in the draft, he will not disappoint.