With the 2012 NFL season fast approaching, the hype around the fantasy football season is what many people are really concerned about during the preseason.
Between the live draft parties and endless cheat-sheet updating, this is the busiest time in every fantasy owner’s season.
Even if you’re not insanely addicted to the fun of fantasy football, chances are you still play with friends and want to succeed. That’s where this latest list of fantasy sleepers comes in handy.
All of the following veteran stars are being picked in the mid-to-late rounds of the draft, but they will put up elite numbers this season.
If you can snag any one of these stars, consider yourself lucky!
Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianapolis Colts
After registering the lowest total of catches since 2004, Reggie Wayne and his 75 receptions are looking for a bounce-back year with rookie Andrew Luck under center.
With the young quarterback looking to Wayne as a veteran receiver to help guide him, Peyton Manning’s favorite target will become Luck’s go-to man and achieve upwards of 100 receptions in 2012.
While the risk of being with a rookie and the lack of 2011 production will have him dropping down the draft board, Luck isn’t a normal rookie and Wayne is still a stud. If you can get him late, this could be the ultimate steal.
While Willis McGahee had his comeback in 2011, he will continue the stellar play with what could be the best season of his career in 2012.
With Peyton Manning under center and McGahee coming off a season that saw him rush 249 times for 1,199 yards, the veteran running back is in a great position.
There is no real competition in the backfield for McGahee, so you can expect most of the goal-line carries will fall to the veteran as well. I’m looking for 300 carries in 2012 and over 1,500 yards rushing.
Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers
After missing several games with a foot injury and having it stifle his performance in others, San Diego Chargers star tight end Antonio Gates is looking to reach that elite level once again.
With Vincent Jackson out of San Diego and the receiver group lackluster at best, Philip Rivers will looks to his safety valve at the tight end spot even more often. If he can stay healthy, Gates will challenge for the most receptions in his career, but they will be of a shorter distance.
Gates will remain a huge red-zone target and find himself in the area of 85 receptions for 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns. That would make him a top-five tight end in my book, and you can get him in the middle rounds in most leagues.
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