Fantasy Football Sleepers 2013: Underrated Players You Must Draft

Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IIAugust 31, 2013

Aug 18, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) drops back to pass against the New York Giants during the second quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The key to winning your fantasy football league is by drafting some key sleepers that break out and have huge seasons, and there are a few guys that could do just that in 2013.

There's nothing more satisfying besides winning your league than drafting a sleeper that blows up a huge season.  Remember Doug Martin and Alfred Morris last season?  Arian Foster a couple of years back?  These are guys that helped owners win game after game.

So, which players are underrated and bound for big seasons?  Let's go ahead and take a look.

Note: Fantasy football rankings are from ESPN's Matthew Berry



Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts (No. 12 QB, No. 77 Overall)

All of the hype is going toward the new breed of quarterbacks like Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson, but true pocket passers can still put up some big points.

Enter Andrew Luck.

Luck is entering his second season in the NFL along with a number of exciting young quarterbacks.  Luck led his team to 11 wins, but his numbers weren't the best, particularly for a fantasy football QB.

That's going to change in 2013.

Pep Hamilton, Luck's former offensive coordinator at Stanford, has taken over as the Colts' OC and has changed the offensive scheme.  You won't see Luck sitting back in the pocket waiting for his receivers to constantly go deep this year.  Instead, you'll see quicker passes and shorter routes, setting up the big plays for later and giving Luck a chance to drop those turnover numbers quite considerably.

The touchdowns should increase as well.  Luck has some incredible talent to throw to, including Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen.  All of these guys can make plays, and that will lead to more points this season from Luck.

He's not Peyton Manning, but Luck is building his own legacy in Indianapolis.  Expect some big games from Luck this year along with the next few years.


Reggie Bush, RB, Detroit Lions (No. 18 RB, No. 26 Overall)

While he has never lived up to his expectations after coming out of USC, Reggie Bush has a legitimate chance to shine this year with the Detroit Lions.

Reggie Bush had two very respectable seasons with the Miami Dolphins, running for over 2,000 yards and 12 touchdowns, but it never felt like he was truly going to put up points in bunches.  

With the Lions, Bush won't be the focus of opposing defenses.  Opponents will be focusing on Matthew Stafford and the pass-heavy offense, leaving the rushing lanes open for Bush to make big plays.

Yes, it's true that Bush won't get as many carries behind such a pass-heavy offense, but it's not really that concerning.  He will be getting the majority of carries for the team, plus he can be a legitimate weapon in the passing game, as was seen this preseason.

If you're in a PPR league, Bush is already probably one of the top choices in your draft.  If not, Bush is still going to be a very valuable player that could put up a lot of points thanks to a change of scenery.


Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears (No. 57 WR, No. 141 Overall)

I'm sticking with the NFC North on this one because I truly believe that this is going to be a big year from sophomore Alshon Jeffery.

Let's make no mistake: Brandon Marshall is still going to get the majority of receptions.  Marshall is one of the best receivers in the league, and Jay Cutler is going to be targeting him often.  However, Jeffery is going to be able to get open with all of the attention going toward Marshall.  If he can stay healthy after missing 10 games last season, Jeffery could put up some big numbers.

The arrival of some new faces on the offensive line could also help Jeffery's numbers.  Players like Kyle Long and Jermon Bushrod will help give Cutler more time in the pocket, letting the receivers get open before Cutler is forced to make a throw.

Jeffery showed some flashes last season, but he is primed to put up much better numbers this year.  Expect him to be a valuable receiver to have on your bench.