Fantasy Football Sleepers 2012: Unheralded Players Worth a Last-Minute Look
The 2012 NFL season officially begins with the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys playing on Wednesday and an entire slew of games take place on Sunday before a Monday night double-header to close out Week 1.
With the season so close to starting, it’s likely your fantasy league will hold its draft either Tuesday night or sometime before the Sunday games, if there hasn’t been one already.
Let’s take a look at some under-the-radar players you should target to help you win during your last-minute draft.
QB – Jake Locker
Will Locker be a solid sleeper in 2012?
The Tennessee Titans named Locker as the starter during the preseason and are prepared to go to war with the young signal-caller in Week 1.
Because of Locker’s unique skill set that combines a solid arm with quick feet and the ability to take off, he’s likely going to put up respectable numbers in 2012.
The Titans should be a contender in the AFC South race due to their strong running game and capable defense. Should Locker live up to his first-round draft status, he’ll make an impact for the franchise and your fantasy team.
RB – Ryan Williams
The Arizona Cardinals rusher is behind Beanie Wells on the depth chart, but that might not last long.
Williams is a second-year man that didn’t get a chance to play in his rookie campaign due to injury. He’s got something to prove in 2012 and should get plenty of chances to do so.
Arizona is going to struggle to move the ball in the air, as Larry Fitzgerald is the only capable receiver and John Skelton will be starting as of Week 1.
Expect coach Ken Whisenhunt to pound the ball as much as possible with Wells and Williams.
WR – Brandon LaFell
The Carolina Panthers have perhaps the league's best rushing attack on paper right now. Between QB Cam Newton and backs Jonathan Stewart, Mike Tolbert and DeAngelo Williams, there is no shortage of options to move the ball on the ground.
That means defenses will be honest and have to show respect to their skills by stacking the box and playing closer to the line of scrimmage.
Carolina’s receivers will certainly benefit from this, as it allows for tons of single coverage.
Expect Lafell, a third-year WR, to make the most of it and have a breakout year.
TE – Kyle Rudolph
The Minnesota Vikings aren’t looking like a great offensive team this season, but the fact of the matter is they will still be moving the ball and scoring.
Perhaps the best candidate to have a solid campaign and record a ton of TDs is Rudolph, a second-year TE that has Rob Gronkowski-like physicality and athleticism.
Rudolph will see a ton of check downs come his way and he should be a safety blanket for second-year QB Christian Ponder.
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