Fantasy Football Sleepers 2013: Breakout Stars Ready to Explode
Nobody knew who Alfred Morris was before the 2012 NFL season, yet the Washington Redskins' sleeper running back was one of the top fantasy football players at his position last season.
Like Morris, there are a few players ready to break out with huge seasons in 2013, and you'd be smart to target them earlier, perhaps, than they're being projected.
These men are primed to explode with highly productive seasons, and they'll give you a steady stream of points from week to week.
Here are the sleepers you need to land in order to dominate your fantasy football league in 2013.
Lamar Miller, RB, Miami Dolphins
When sifting through the chatter regarding Miller and the Dolphins, the running back has generated nothing but positive—nay, rave—reviews of late.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has already declared Miller as the team's starting running back in 2013, according to NFL: Around the League:
Tannehill: Lamar Miller is our running back http://t.co/OcTZxEyOCV— NFL: AroundTheLeague (@NFL_ATL) June 4, 2013
Furthermore, according to Chris Perkins of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Miller is getting looks at a potential kickoff returner this upcoming season:
#Dolphins giving RB Marcus Thigpen, RB Lamar Miller, WR Jasper Collins & CB DeAndre Presley looks at KOR.— Chris Perkins (@chrisperk) June 12, 2013
This could significantly boost his fantasy stock in leagues that count return yards
In limited work last year, Miller did well for himself, averaging 4.9 yards per carry with one touchdown. Given the level of talent Miami has in its receiving corps, it's not hard to imagine some huge running lanes opening up for Miller this upcoming season.
Coby Fleener, TE, Indianapolis Colts
Fleener didn't do much for the Colts last year, catching just 26 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns. Then again, he wasn't utilized much last year and only took the field for 461 snaps (via Pro Football Focus; subscription required).
Head coach Chuck Pagano doesn't expect Fleener to be a wallflower in 2013.
Pagano, in comments distributed by the Colts (via ProFootballTalk.com), spoke about Fleener, saying: “You saw today, he made some outstanding catches so he’s making progress every day. What did he have, 20, 30-some catches last year? That should double.”
Fleener is one of the new breed of tight ends that has entered the league in the last decade. He's blessed with excellent size (6'6" and 246 pounds), and Todd McShay clocked him running a 4.45-second 40-yard dash at his pro day last year:
TE coby Fleener just ran 4.45 40— Todd McShay (@McShay13) March 22, 2012
Which player is poised for the biggest breakout season in 2013?
Given his familiarity with Luck from their days at Stanford, and given his size/speed ratio, it's not inconceivable that Fleener could be one of the top receiving tight ends in the league in 2013.
Montee Ball, RB, Denver Broncos
One of the most prolific running backs in college football history, Ball wasn't highly touted during the NFL draft scouting process. Scouts talked negatively about his lack of explosion and wondered if his heavy load in college would hurt him in the pros.
He didn't help his cause at the combine, running a subpar 40 time of 4.66 seconds, which only further bolstered the argument against him as an explosive running back.
Don't tell that to Peyton Manning, however, who has had nothing but positive things to say about this young man. According to CBS Fantasy Football, Manning recently said the Broncos would "count on" Ball "in a big way" in 2013:
The Broncos are the perfect team for Ball. With Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker stretching defenses in the passing game, Ball will have plenty of opportunities to chew up chunks of yardage between the tackles.
Furthermore, Ball's prowess near the goal line will be of great use to Denver, which struggled to score touchdowns in the red zone on the ground last year.
Ball will score a lot of touchdowns in 2013 as he finishes off drives near the goal line.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78
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