Fantasy Football 2012: The Most Overrated Sleepers
Sleeper lists are everywhere...and a lot of names get more run than they deserve. Even incredibly talented players can be overrated in fantasy if they're in the wrong situation. In other cases, the player’s talent, situation and past production simply don’t suggest the likelihood of a breakout at any draft position.
Note: When a sleeper's average draft position rises too high, like Robert Griffin III's, they cannot be considered a sleeper anymore. RGIII is now (generally) being drafted as a QB1.
No doubt, Leshoure has the physical tools to be an effective runner in the NFL. But the Lions offense (which emphasizes the passing game and screens), depth chart and Leshoure's off-the-field issues point to less-than-stellar production and infrequent opportunities for the second-year player in 2012.
Leshoure will not be eligible to play until Week 3 because of a suspension, and that game will be his first regular season NFL action after missing all of 2011 with a torn ACL
Jahvid Best’s status for the season is still in question (as he is likely to start season on PUP list), meaning there isn’t much depth behind Kevin Smith. Leshoure is not an established pass-catcher though, with a career high in college of 17 receptions. He will likely be fighting for carries on first and second down only.
Cobb could be a solid No. 2 receiver on quite a few NFL teams. Unfortunately, he’s buried on the Packers' WR depth chart behind Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and James Jones. Tight end Jermichael Finley also commands targets from Aaron Rodgers, and Donald Driver could still see regular snaps as well.
Certainly, Cobb could produce as a fantasy starter if injuries sideline one or more of the Packers receivers, but his main value at this point would be as a return man.
Despite his speed, Cobb has never been a high yards-per-catch guy. Cobb averaged 15 YPC last season and only 9.4, 11.5 and 12.1 in his three seasons at Kentucky.
He would be a good pick for keeper leagues, but his statistical awakening is unlikely to happen this year.
Little was the Browns' second-round pick in 2011 and finished as the team’s leading receiver as a rookie. Still, Little did not produce much fantasy value, grabbing just 709 receiving yards and two TDs.
The Browns’ overall lack of experience on the offensive side of the ball will be a hindrance for Little.
Brandon Weeden (QB) and Trent Richardson (RB) will start as rookies along with rookie RT Mitchell Schwartz. Since Little has not shown a ton of big-play ability (just six of his 61 catches went for 20-plus yards), his steady play will be important to move the chains for the Browns — but it may not be enough to keep the Browns on the field.
Josh Gordon, the rookie from Baylor, could actually be a more rewarding late-round selection if he earns the starting spot opposite Little. He figures to be the deep threat for the Browns.
The production of Moss, at least in the second half of his career, has been more closely tied to his mental state than his physical state.
For now, Moss seems happy in San Francisco; his mentorship of the young receivers has been noted (by ESPN) and the team is expected to be a Super Bowl contender once again.
However, things could change quickly. QB Alex Smith has certainly improved under head coach Jim Harbaugh, but he has never been asked to make many deep throws to a receiver like Moss.
At this point in his career, Moss is mentioned as a sleeper, mostly because his past fantasy value and name recognition. Considering his age and projected role in a less-than-dynamic offense, any type of fantasy relevance for Moss this season would be a surprise.