Fantasy Football Sleepers 2012: Skill Position Rookies Ready to Dominate

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IAugust 26, 2012

August 19, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Indianapolis Colts tight end Coby Fleener (80) during warm-ups before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers  at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

There are going to be plenty of rookies putting up excellent fantasy numbers this season, and some of those players are falling outside of the bright fantasy spotlight.

There are players like Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Trent Richardson who are near locks to produce, and they will be drafted early in most fantasy drafts.

Below are three rookies you won't have to spend early picks on, but will produce like you did. 



Alshon Jeffery, WR, Bears

Alshon Jeffery is far from a polished receiver, but he is a 6'3", 216-pound wideout with great instincts.

This is going to make him invaluable in the red zone. Jefferey's size and strength make him a nearly impossible one-on-one matchup in those situations, and with Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte also stalking around for the Bears, teams are not going to be able to consistently devote two defenders to Jefferey.

Jeffery has a chance to earn a starting spot alongside Marshall at some point this season, and even if he doesn't, his red-zone production gives him value. 


Coby Fleener, TE, Colts

Just like they are at the quarterback position, the Indianapolis Colts are starting over at tight end. They lost Dallas Clark and Jacob Tamme from last year's roster, so they drafted Coby Fleener to help fill the void.

Fleener was one of the most highly regarded tight end prospects in the draft, and as fate would have it, he went to Stanford, where he caught passes from the Colts' newest franchise quarterback Andrew Luck.

Luck successfully connected with Fleener for 34 receptions, 667 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. 

A tight end is always a nice security blanket for a QB, and that is especially valuable for rookie QBs.


Rod Streater, WR, Raiders 

The Raiders have young receivers. They have a clear top three with Darrius Heyward-Bey, Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore, but Ford and Moore are already struggling with injuries, and they struggled through them last year.

This makes the Raiders' fourth wide receiver position especially valuable, and the undrafted rookie Streater appears to have the inside track to that position. In the Raiders' third preseason game, Oakland went to Streater early and often. He was targeted seven times and caught five.

Streater's playing time is likely to be inconsistent, but he is quickly developing into the Raiders best wide receiver on third down and in the red zone. 

This young pass-catcher is no lock to produce. If the Raiders receivers are healthy, his playing time will be sparse, but he could be a valuable piece to this offense.