Fantasy Football Sleepers 2012: Mikel Leshoure and Risky Players Worth a Gamble

Alex KayCorrespondent IAugust 18, 2012

ALLEN PARK, MI - AUGUST 01:  Mikel Leshoure #25 of the Detroit Lions go through the daily practice session at the Lions training facility on August 1, 2011 in Allen Park, Michigan.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Identifying and acquiring sleepers is always one of the most exciting—and potentially rewarding—experiences in fantasy football.

There are always a handful of high-risk, high-reward players lurking in the mid-to-late rounds that can pay dividends with a smart, calculated gamble.

Let’s take a look at some players you should keep tabs on and possibly select if the timing is right.


Mikel Leshoure – Detroit Lions

With Kevin Smith slated to be the starter, Jahvid Best working his way back from injury, it’s risky to select a player that is guaranteed to miss the first two games of the season due to suspension.

Leshoure is—at worst—going to be a goal-line touchdown vulture. He’s a solid 6’, 227 lbs. and an absolute tank in the red area.

He’s also durable, despite the freak Achilles tendon tear he suffered in training camp last year. You cannot say that about Best, and Smith will prove to be an overrated, mediocre rusher before you know it.

If you have a shot at the Lions RB late and need a high-upside player, pull the trigger.



Stevan Ridley - New England Patriots

The New England Patriots second-year player is due for a solid chunk of playing time now that BenJarvus Green-Ellis is gone.

His fumbles at the end of the 2011 season are in the past and he has a fresh page this upcoming year.  He’s going to take advantage of this by earning the starting job and dazzling opponents with his speed and agility.

The former LSU star should outperform his draft position if he doesn’t start fumbling the ball again, so take a chance on him late.



Jake Locker - Tennessee Titans

With Matt Hasselbeck sitting down at the beginning of the Tennessee Titans second preseason game, it seems Locker is getting close to locking up the starting gig.

If he lives up to the hype that made him a top-ten pick in last year’s draft, there is no question that Locker will be a valuable fantasy QB.

He’s got a great arm, a lot of mobility and could put up points with his arm or legs. Expect a Cam Newton-esque performance from the former Washington Husky if he gets the job.