Fantasy Football Sleepers 2012: Under-the-Radar Player to Watch at Each Position
The 2012 NFL offseason is winding down with the preseason halfway over. As players and teams are preparing for the Week 1 kickoff, fantasy fanatics are working hard on their big boards and fine tuning their draft strategy.
Finding value in the latter rounds is the most important aspect of a great draft and is a sure way to make the playoffs. It’s also what separates the champions from the chumps.
Here’s a look at some positional players expected to go late in most drafts that could make a big impact in 2012.
QB – Carson Palmer
While the Raiders quarterback is having a rough preseason (16-of-30, 140 yards, two interceptions), he’s got the weapons and system in place to have a successful regular season.
Wide receiver Denarius Moore hasn’t been active and Jacoby Ford was letting easy passes slip by, which obviously hurt Palmer’s stats.
Expect the former Bengals star to have a great year now that he’s got a full training camp and preseason under his belt with Oakland.
RB – Doug Martin
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a lot of RB trouble last year due to injuries, so they attempted to shore the position up by acquiring the Boise State standout.
As a first-round pick, Martin is seriously expected to contribute at a high level and he’s likeliy going to get a chance this season, considering LeGarrette Blount is already suffering injury scares.
Martin is a tough runner who is also capable in the passing game, something that Blount simply cannot do. He’s the all-around back that Tampa needed and should eventually win the starting gig.
WR – Brandon LaFell
The Carolina Panthers are going to be a solid squad in 2012. Cam Newton will be much improved and should build upon his excellent Rookie of the Year campaign.
Is LaFell a Solid Sleeper?
One of the main beneficiaries of this should be LaFell, who locked up the No. 2 job across from Steve Smith.
Last season, Newton and Smith obviously built a rapport and the two consistently linked up for big gains. Now that the former Auburn star is more comfortable in the offense, he will be able to get the other receivers involved.
Expect LaFell to have one of the best statistical outings of any No. 2 receiver in the league.
TE – Kyle Rudolph
The Minnesota Vikings aren’t likely to accomplish much on the gridiron and will experience a lot of growing pains, but Rudolph might be a surprise bright spot on this team.
He’s a young TE that can easily become one of Christian Ponder’s favorite targets. There aren’t a lot of elite options for the QB to throw at aside from Percy Harvin and Rudolph could be seeing a lot of checkdowns head his way.
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