Fantasy Football Sleepers 2012: Deep Sleepers Who Will Bring You a Championship

Matt BowenAnalyst IISeptember 1, 2012

Fantasy Football Sleepers 2012: Deep Sleepers Who Will Bring You a Championship

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    Fantasy football 2012 is now just days away as fans everywhere are trying to squeeze in one last draft before the 2012 NFL season gets underway on September 5. 

    Everyone knows who the top dogs in the NFL are, but it's the late-round sleepers who often make the difference between contenders and pretenders in fantasy football. 

    A new season brings the chance to prove your dominance and earn serious bragging rights around your local water cooler. Not wanting to drop the ball and lose respect amongst your football buddies, do your homework and plan accordingly. 

    Accepting anything less than a championship is a wasted season, so keep these deep sleepers in mind as you draft. 

The Extra Point: Draft Tip—Always Draft a Rookie RB with Your Last Pick

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    So, it's the last round of your draft, half of your comrades have already let auto-pick decide their fate and your turn is next. 

    You may not think your "Mr. Irrelevant" pick doesn't mean much, but it could be a gold mine. 

    Who should you draft? 

    A rookie running back; that's who. 

    Think about it, it's a win-win situation for your squad. The pick cost you nothing and you can stash the rook on your bench until his role is defined. 

    Keep this kid on the pine until at least Week 8. Starters get injured, opening the door for the untested to make their mark. Plus, knowing that he'll sit until he gets a shot is one less player to fret over when it comes to the mental battle on whether to start him or not. 

    A prime example is DeMarco Murray of the Dallas Cowboys in 2011, who was drafted late if at all last season and was a difference-maker in the end. 

    Murray didn't do much until he exploded in Week 6 to the tune of 253 on 25 carries, which sent fantasy owners everywhere scrambling to the waiver wire, breaking the bank on the bid for Murray. 

    While it's tough to predict just who that rookie will be this season, roll the dice and draft one with your last pick. 

Jeff Demps Is All the Rage Right Now, but Fans Will Have to Wait Until 2013

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    The New England Patriots made themselves better when they signed running back Jeff Demps after his trip to the 2012 London Olympics concluded. 

    With proven world-class speed, Demps will make an impact, but not quite yet. 

    The Patriots recently placed Demps on the injured reserve list, meaning that he's on the shelf for now.

    Even with the new NFL rules regarding the IR list, Demps will not see the field this season.

    Head coach Bill Belichick has long been known to have tricks up the sleeves of his famed hoodie and Demps is just another example. The Pats' essentially got another draft pick in 2012 that gets to learn the NFL game from the sidelines this season.

    With that being said, he'll be a hot commodity in fantasy drafts in 2013 and will take the NFL by storm. 

Looking for a Home Run Hitter? Draft Trindon Holliday

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    The Houston Texans have a home run hitter in return man Trindon Holliday.

    Although he is just 5'5", height doesn't matter when he's returning kicks.

    He proved his worth this preseason when he took back kickoffs to the house in back-to-back games. In the end, he scored three times in the return game. 

    He's a risky late-round pick considering his specialty is strictly the return game, but if you're a gambler you won't think twice about drafting Holliday. 

    His dynamic ability to make plays could earn him the occasional end-around touch on offense too.

    He may be an all-or-nothing type player, but if he goes deep he could put you over the top for the week.  

Justin Tucker Has Booted His Way to Respect

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    Really?

    A kicker?

    Yes, a kicker. Justin Tucker of the Baltimore Ravens wasn't taken in the 2012 NFL draft, but he has kicked his way onto the Ravens' roster.

    Equipped with a monster leg, the Ravens sent veteran kicker Billy Cundiff packing recently in favor of Tucker.  

    The Ravens should score plenty of points this season and Tucker will put up big fantasy numbers.

    Capable of knocking down 50-yard field goals with regularity, draft Tucker before you fall victim to him. 

Ryan Broyles Will Be a Difference-Maker for the Detroit Lions by Season's End

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    The Detroit Lions knew what they were doing when they drafted wide receiver Ryan Broyles in the second round of the 2012 NFL draft. 

    While it's true Broyles had knee surgery just some 10 months ago, he has the potential to be a solid NFL receiver for the next decade.

    After all, he only had 349 receptions for  4,568 receiving yards and 45 touchdowns while in college as a member of the Oklahoma Sooners.

    Teammate Titus Young has been getting a ton of publicity as a fantasy sleeper this season, but don't snooze on Broyles.

    The Lions don't have a running game and quarterback Matthew Stafford is like Drew Brees in the sense that he doesn't discriminate in regard to who he throws the ball to. 

    Give Broyles some time because he will make a big difference for the Lions in the latter half of the season.

Bobby Rainey Looks Like He'll Get Plenty of Touches

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    The Baltimore Ravens now have two rookie running backs to spell fantasy stud Ray Rice when needed. 

    Although Bernard Pierce is currently listed as the No. 2 running back, it will be Bobby Rainey that shines this season. 

    During the preseason, Rainey only managed 55 rushing yards on 23 carries, but his value lies in his ability to catch the ball. He had 163 receiving yards on 14 catches with two touchdowns this preseason, and quarterback Joe Flacco won't be afraid to hit Rainey in the flat. 

    Owners of Ray Rice shouldn't be afraid to handcuff him with Rainey with the expectation of a late-season payoff. 

Marvin Jones Will Emerge as the No. 2 for the Bengals

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    The Cincinnati Bengals are log-jammed at the No. 2 receiver position right now, but Marvin Jones will emerge with the job within the first five games of the season. 

    The rookie from California Berkeley has his work cut out for him, but will seize the day once the season takes off. 

    The Bengals need a No. 2 receiver to break out and help quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green and Jones will become their man.

    He may have only totaled nine catches in the preseason, but Jones averaged 16.7 yards per catch. That means that opposing defenses have to respect him as a big-play threat and give Green the relief he desperately needs. 

    You should be able to draft Jones without hassle; don't be shy. 

Keshawn Martin Will Be a Possession Receiver for the Houston Texans

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    The Houston Texans hit the jackpot when they drafted Keshawn Martin in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL draft.

    He may not be the biggest or fastest wide receiver in the league, but he sure is crafty with the ball in his hands.

    It's no secret that the Texans have a stout running game, but star wide receiver Andre Johnson needs some help in the receiving game.

    Martin's two fumbles in preseason Week 3 may show a weakness, but consider it the best lesson of all for the rookie. He'll will quickly become a fan favorite in Houston. 

    Expect him to play a vital role for the Texans running the underneath routes this season. He'll be a steal in the late rounds of PPR leagues. 

Is Travaris Cadet the Next Darren Sproles?

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    Rookie Travaris Cadet will be a dynamite back for the New Orleans Saints in 2012.

    Undrafted out of Appalachian State, Cadet made himself known with an impressive preseason. 

    In five games, he tallied 39 rushes for 132 yards on the ground, but what caught the attention of all is the fact that he caught 30 passes for 246 yards and two touchdowns. 

    Saints quarterback Drew Brees loves the dual-threat capabilities of fellow running back Darren Sproles, and Cadet looks like a perfect understudy. 

    While it's true that the Saints currently have five running backs on the roster, Cadet is on the team for a reason. 

    Draft him before he's gone, he'll be a pleasant surprise this season. 

Cole Beasley Is Not to Be Taken Lightly

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    The Dallas Cowboys have found the spark plug they desperately need in undrafted rookie wide receiver Cole Beasley. 

    Beasley has made the 53-man roster and will see considerable targets this season.

    With No. 1 receiver Miles Austin constantly battling injuries and No. 2 Dez Bryant constantly battling himself, Beasley will emerge as a trusted pair of hands this season for quarterback Tony Romo

    The rookie had a breakout game in preseason Week 2 when he had seven catches for 104 yards. He followed it up with three catches for 40 yards in Week 3 and ensured himself a spot on the roster. 

    Now set to begin his career against the New York Giants on September 5, Beasley will showcase his talents on national television. 

    Don't hesitate to take Beasley as your draft winds down. 

Don't Be Late on Drafting Chris Rainey

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    Rookie Chris Rainey is the fire starter that the Pittsburgh Steelers have been searching for.

    The Steelers will try to get the ball in Rainey's any way possible as he'll return punts, rush the ball and even lineup as a receiver in certain sets. 

    Just draft him, you won't be disappointed. Don't miss the boat. 

Nick Foles Is Currently a Backup, but for How Long?

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    It may be unheard of to take a backup quarterback in fantasy football, but you may want to think twice when it comes to Philadelphia Eagles rookie Nick Foles. 

    Foles won the No. 2 spot by going 40-for-63 through the air for 553 passing yards and six touchdowns this preseason. 

    While it's true that the Eagles have quarterback Michael Vick to run the show, his health is always a concern.

    Vick has only played an entire 16-game season once in his nine-year NFL career, so the odds that Foles will get to start at least once in 2012 are pretty solid.

    Considering that no one in their right mind drafts non-starting quarterbacks in their fantasy leagues, Foles will be ripe for the picking. 

    You may be called crazy, but you'll be laughing last. Beat the waiver wire when Vick falls to injury by drafting Foles.