5 Fantasy Football Studs Who Came Out of Nowhere in 2012

Matt Schreiber@@schreiberstakeAnalyst IIIDecember 19, 2012

5 Fantasy Football Studs Who Came Out of Nowhere in 2012

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    In a season filled with pleasant surprises and disappointments, it has been business as usual in the NFL thus far in 2012. We have made it to Week 16, which means in most fantasy football leagues, only two teams remain.

    If you took the gamble on Michael Vick, hoping he would return to his usual fantasy form, you were let down. If you thought this was the year Ryan Mathews would stay healthy and dominate between the tackles, you were wrong.

    Unless you had a crystal ball, it's likely you didn't draft Robert Griffin III in the first round. We can say the same for many players this year. 

    Here, we will take a look at five guys aside from RGIII who have taken the fantasy world by surprise in 2012.

5. Stevan Ridley: RB / New England Patriots

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    It was hard to predict Stevan Ridley's production preseason, as the Patriots have extreme depth at the running back position. In ESPN Fantasy Football leagues, Ridley's average draft position was 52.9. 

    Through 15 weeks in 2012, Ridley has nearly tripled his 441 rushing yards from 2011 with 1,105, and has 10 rushing touchdowns. The second year back out of LSU seems poised to be a threat in fantasy football leagues for years to come.

4. Heath Miller: TE / Pittsburgh Steelers

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    According to ESPN.com's Live Draft Results, Heath Miller's average draft position was 132.6, and he was the 17th tight end taken. In PPR leagues, Miller is ranked third overall. 

    While Miller has always been a reliable target for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, he has never been a reliable fantasy option for owners until this year. 

    Through 15 weeks, Miller has racked up 68 receptions on 92 targets for 771 yards. His eight touchdowns are the most he's had since entering the league in 2005. 

    He is on pace to break his own record of 789 receiving yards that he set back in 2009. 

3. Brandon Myers: TE / Oakland Raiders

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    Brandon Myers was a waiver wire move in most leagues in 2012.

    Most people had not even heard of Myers prior to this season, but it is evident Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer was aware of his talent.

    Myers has been Palmer's go-to guy this year. He has caught 72 balls on 94 targets for 39 first downs and four touchdowns. 

    The 39 first downs show that when Palmer needs a guy to make a play, Myers is easy to rely on to make it happen. The fourth year tight end out of Iowa has seen his role increase throughout his career.

    Through 14 games in 2012, he is the sixth ranked tight end in PPR leagues. He will be a sleeper once again to perform well in 2013.

2. Randall Cobb: WR / Green Bay Packers

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    It's hard to even fathom that Randall Cobb played quarterback for the University of Kentucky. As Greg Jennings is aging and Jordy Nelson battles injuries, Cobb is becoming Aaron Rodgers' favorite guy to throw to.

    In 2012, Cobb has hauled in 77 of his 99 targets for 892 yards and seven touchdowns. He has also added 132 rushing yards on 10 carries along with a total of 1,217 return yards and one punt return touchdown.

    While he currently sits as the 12th overall receiver in PPR leagues, where he was pre-ranked before the season as the 47th best wide receiver. Man, has he come out of nowhere.

    Cobb is only 5'10" and 192 pounds, but he is a speedy little guy. This dangerous threat will remain one of Aaron Rodgers' favorite targets for the foreseeable future. 

1. Alfred Morris: RB / Washington Redskins

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    If you needed a crystal ball to draft RGIII in the first round, then you needed 300 M's. Cleo's to predict that Alfred Morris would rush for over 1300 yards through 14 games in his rookie year.

    The first-year back out of Florida Atlantic University was drafted in the sixth round of this years draft. He showed off some of his talent in the preseason, but with the way Mike Shanahan shuffles through running backs, you can never be sure which one to snag for your fantasy football team.

    Well, Morris has finally become that reliable guy we can trust to perform for our fantasy teams. His 2012 campaign is no fluke. The guy is nearly impossible to bring down. Look for this guy to have similar success in 2013 as well.