Every fantasy player’s dream is to go upside-heavy at the end of his or her draft en route to finding two or three gems that take their team from steady to the No.1 point-producing lineup week after week.
Perhaps that is why they call them sleepers, because most of the time, they only work out in your dreams.
There is a difference between breakout players (players expected to have big years because of their developmental curve) and sleepers, who fall through the cracks and should not be on anyone’s radar until the eighth or ninth round.
It is these later rounds that any fantasy champion will tell you are the most crucial. Not only are you building depth, but you are insuring the many risks you took in the earlier rounds.
Panthers tight end Greg Olsen has been on many breakout and sleeper lists before, and every time, he has failed to meet either category’s expectations. When Jay Cutler arrived in Chicago with no real receiving talent, many thought Olsen would put up incredible numbers with the strong-armed quarterback.
He did not, mainly because he had trouble being the primary guy in the receiving corps. Now, with Steve Smith proving to have a solid rapport with fantasy star Cam Newton, he does not have to be the main guy.
And that is what makes a great sleeper, a talented player with a great opportunity and only a small amount of pressure to succeed.
Building a great team is all about risk, risk management and doing your homework on bubble guys like Olsen who could go either up or down.
Olsen is a risk given his history of being useless for fantasy purposes, but here are five other sleepers who, like Olsen, are in the right place at the right time.
Data from fantasyfootballcalculator.com/adp was used for the body of this analysis