NFL: Ranking the 5 Best Under-the-Radar Preseason Performers
Thus far in the NFL preseason, there have been some players who have stepped it up and put on great performances, while others have taken a step back and underwhelmed. Even further, there have been some NFL players that, after previously flying under the radar, have emerged and had some very strong performances.
Every prospective or current fantasy team owner should be keeping an eye on these types of players. Whether or not you've already had your draft, free agent or late round pickups could mean the difference between winning a championship and missing the playoffs.
So, here are five players that have flown under-the-radar or been underrated in drafts but who have put on strong performances in the preseason.
5. Terrelle Pryor
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Terrelle Pryor struggled in his preseason debut, leading many people to write him off entirely. But since Carson Palmer still does not appear to be comfortable in Oakland, Pryor's strong play has been a glimmer of hope for Oakland fans.
Will he start this year? Probably not, but it's still good to see him playing well.
In his last game against the Lions, Pryor went 3-for-5 for 137 yards and two TD's and added 90 yards on the ground and a rushing TD (Per ESPN). With limited playing time, Pryor performed extremely well. Maybe he'll be used more in Wildcat situations this season. And if Carson Palmer goes down, Pryor could put up some really solid fantasy numbers.
He's a deep, deep sleeper at this point, but keep him in the back of your mind.
4. Eric Decker
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Eric Decker isn't really flying that low under-the-radar, but in my mind, I had a lot of questions regarding his potential fantasy production going into this season. The main criticism was whether or not his QB, Peyton Manning, could remain healthy after multiple neck surgeries and return to his previous form.
Well, despite struggles early in the preseason, Manning appears to be as sharp as ever, shown by his performance over the weekend in which he carved up the 49ers defense. Decker caught two TD passes from Manning, and it appears that they have a very nice rapport going at the moment (Per ESPN).
Decker really has a chance to break out and be an excellent WR this season. If you can, draft him as a solid WR3.
3. Kendall Wright
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Kendall Wright is a vastly underrated fantasy option. Wright is a rookie and lacks NFL experience and elite speed, but he's a talented player. And with Kenny Britt facing both suspension and lingering injury issues, Wright's going to start and has the potential to put up some solid numbers.
Wright's looked really good this preseason, and with the added playing time, he is definitely a real fantasy option. He's being drafted in about one-third of the leagues right now, but if you have the chance, get him. He's a great flex option.
2. Alshon Jeffrey
Alshon Jeffrey is a very deep sleeper right now, and although he doesn't have great speed, he's got great instincts, and his ability to catch the ball at it's highest point is elite. Jeffrey has a chance to start opposite Brandon Marshall this season, and if he does, he'll get a lot of targets and have a chance to produce some nice numbers.
Jeffrey is risky though, because he could easily go the other way and not put up good stats this season. He's a free-agent pickup right now, but if you're in need of some depth at WR, you should pick him up.
1. T.Y. Hilton
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T.Y. Hilton is one of my favorite sleepers heading into this season. Hilton had a TD catch against Washington and could possibly be as high on the depth chart as No. 2 once the season gets under way. And in an offense in which the ball will be thrown around like wildfire due to the lack of RB production, Hilton should see a lot of targets this year.
Hilton's a speedy guy who could have some big games this year. And as Andrew Luck continues to progress, there could be a lot of firepower in the Colts offense.
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