NFL 2013 Fantasy Football Sleeping 7: Kenbrell Thompkins Is Bang for Your Buck

Alfred KonuwaFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2013


So what if Kenbrell Thompkins is an undrafted free agent.  This is New England—land of opportunity.  Safe haven for overachievers like Troy Brown and Kevin Faulk. 

Even Wes Welker was an afterthought in Miami before becoming a superstar under the tutelage of Bill Belichick's regime. 

And while this administration has been hit-or-miss as of late, Thompkins is in a good position to excel as one of Tom Brady's favorite weapons. 

The mass exodus of Brady's top targets from 2012 is cause for concern among casual fans.  But for savvy fantasy football gangsters, New England has become a bargain bin of robust fantasy studs. 

Shane Vereen, a healthy Danny Amendola and even Brady should all come off the board at least one round too late. 

Thompkins, the darling of Patriots' camp, may not come off most boards at all. 

It's the New England Patriots system that has produced fantasy gems over the years through air and ground regardless of star power.  Even when Brady went down in Week 1 of the 2008 season, Matt Cassell finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback, via Pro Football Weekly.

Now, with Brandon Lloyd, Rob Gronkowski, Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez out of the picture, somebody will have to account for all that lost production.  After a recent shift to a more uptempo offense, the Patriots run more plays from scrimmage than anybody.

New England's two-receiver sets featured Thompkins and Amendola as recently as last week.  Second-round pick Aaron Dobson was tabbed as the default sleeper of the Patriots offense given his high draft price, but Thompkins has outplayed his undrafted designation. 

Thompkins continues to take first-team reps, according to Rotoworld.  During the Patriots last preseason game against the Buccaneers, Thompkin's 21 snap counts were significantly higher than Dobson's two.

Luke Hughes of the New England Sports Network has taken note of Thompkins, whose consistency in camp has impressed Brady. 

RT @MikeReiss Emergence of WR Kenbrell Thompkins remains one of top storylines of Patriots training camp.

— Matthew Berry (@MatthewBerryTMR) August 13, 2013

The Boston Herald's Jeff Howe noted the budding chemistry between Brady and Thompkins, which seemed to be missing with Lloyd despite Lloyd's 911 yards receiving on 130 targets.

Brady has been as sharp as ever in camp and during preseason and seems poised for another top-five season.  Following an injury scare, Brady went 11-of-12 for 107 yards and a touchdown against the Buccaneers.  He's going to be alright. 

Thompkins stands to be one of the chief beneficiaries of the Patriots' precise, voluminous passing attack, which will be far better than the seemingly depleted roster suggests. 

2013 Projection: 60 Rec; 815 Rec Yds; eight TDs 

#Sleeping7: Alex Smith (QB; 16.12 ADP) | Le'Veon Bell (RB; 5.05 ADP) | Giovani Bernard (RB; 8.03 ADP) | DeAndre Hopkins (WR; 8.08 ADP) | Kenbrell Thompkins (WR; 12.03 ADP) | WR | TE | DEF

The 2013 Sleeping Seven is brought to you by a five-time Fantasy Football Champion.  It documents criminally unheralded players with an Average Draft Position (ADP) past the fourth round.  Combine a team of reliable studs with a steady diet of late-round overachievers, and a juggernaut awaits.

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