Fantasy Football Sleepers 2013: Low-Profile Players Primed for Breakout Seasons

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Fantasy Football Sleepers 2013: Low-Profile Players Primed for Breakout Seasons
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Since its inception, fantasy football has progressively become one of the most popular aspects of the NFL. Countless fans across the world play, often creating more than one team and dedicating hours to crafting the perfect squad.

The key to building a fantasy football title contender, however, is, and always has been, finding the diamonds in the rough.

Every position has depth when it comes to players who could exceed expectations. With that being said, finding the true sleeper picks is a matter of evaluating an abundance of factors and not just the ability that each player possesses.

Fortunately, the breakout fantasy football players that you need to watch can be found below.

 

Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans

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ADP: 170.0

Position: Quarterback

Experience: 3rd Season

2012 Season Statistics

11 GP; 2,176 YDS, 56.4 CMP%, 10 TD, 11 INT; 41 ATT, 291 YDS, 1 TD

 

More times than not, a quarterback who was selected in the first round of the 2011 NFL draft wouldn't be viewed as "low profile." Due to a horrendous offensive line and injury concerns, however, Jake Locker has seen a major drop in draft stock and now fits that bill.

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Even with that knowledge, don't hesitate to select him as the later rounds roll around.

In one short offseason, the Titans have turned one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL into one of the best. Not only have they added players such as rookie guard Chance Warmack, but the Titans acquired physical tight end Delanie Walker to bolster their pass and run blocking.

Running back Chris Johnson will reap the benefits but don't think that means Locker will just stand by idly as the Titans' offense makes drastic improvements.

Kenny Britt is finally without a serious injury, Kendall Wright is fresh off of a very productive first season and both Nate Washington and Damian Williams appear to have developed chemistry with Locker. The key for Locker is Wright, who works marvelously out of the slot and caught 64 passes as a rookie.

As long as the Titans remain healthy, Locker is in store for a breakout season—and he's going undrafted in the average fantasy football selection process, per ESPN.

 

Brandon Myers, New York Giants

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

ADP: 111.0

Position: Tight End

Experience: 5th Season

2012 Season Statistics

79 REC, 806 YDS, 4 TD

 

During the 2012 NFL regular season, Brandon Myers quietly put forth an elite performance with 79 receptions for 806 yards and four touchdowns. He was fourth amongst tight ends in receptions and sixth in yards, displaying his fantasy football value in point-per-reception leagues.

With the New York Giants lacking an established No. 3 receiver and Hakeem Nicks battling injuries throughout the duration of his career, that makes Myers an attractive option.

For all of his production, Myers still has an average draft position of 111.0, per ESPN. For that reason, his "breakout season" hasn't officially arrived, as thriving with the Oakland Raiders doesn't seem to have instilled confidence in fantasy football owners.

Fortunately for Myers, the Giants are a team that will air it out early and often. Ahmad Bradshaw is now with the Indianapolis Colts and Andre Brown is on the short-term injured reserve list due to a broken leg, per NFL.com, leaving New York's run game to rely upon the relatively unproven David Wilson.

Even if Wilson is to shine, Eli Manning is the franchise player, and his quality of play will determine just how far the Giants go. With a weak defense, that makes Manning's ability to throw the football even more valuable and Myers' value subsequently rises.

Expect him to step up with yet another big year and officially break out.

 

Bilal Powell, New York Jets

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

ADP: 148.4

Position: Running Back

Experience: 3rd Season

2012 Season Statistics

110 ATT, 437 YDS, 4 TD

 

The New York Jets continue to have uncertainty at the quarterback position. With that being said, the headlines may be focused on Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith, but the Jets have another issue that is equally as debilitating.

Since Thomas Jones departed in 2009, the Jets' ground-and-pound style of offense has been ineffective due to the lack of a true featured back—sorry Shonn Greene fans, but it's true.

In 2013, the Jets will look to power back Chris Ivory and balanced runner Bilal Powell to shoulder the load. Even if the Jets are committed to the future and start Smith, their best success offensively has long come when they pound the rock.

Expect Powell to be the runner who separates himself and benefits most from the opportunity to take on a large portion of the carries.

Powell ran for 437 yards and four touchdowns on 110 attempts last season but secured the four scores during his final seven games. During the six outings that he attempted at least 10 rushes, Powell averaged 53.2 yards on 12.7 carries.

Those aren't spectacular numbers, but Powell has flashed every-down value and should be a quality fantasy football player by season's end. The Jets will certainly give him the rushing attempts necessary to prove his worth.

 

Chris Givens, St. Louis Rams

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ADP: 117.1

Position: Wide Receiver

Experience: 2nd Season

2012 Season Statistics

15 GP, 42 REC, 698 YDS, 3 TD

 

The St. Louis Rams have received a great deal of praise for drafting former West Virginia Mountaineers teammates Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey. Both players should offer improvements to the Rams' receiving corps and each have the versatility to either work out of the slot or run deep routes.

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Just don't forget about Chris Givens.

For all of their hype, Austin is 5'8 and 174 pounds, and Bailey is 5'10" and 193 pounds. Givens, meanwhile, is 6'0" and 198 pounds, and possesses the size and strength that Brian Quick cannot provide from so far down the depth chart.

For that reason, Givens is the most likely Rams receiver to become a red zone favorite for quarterback Sam Bradford.

Givens caught 42 passes for 698 yards and three touchdowns in 15 games during his rookie season. Those aren't spectacular statistics, nor should they be viewed that way, but running back Steven Jackson is no longer with the team and the Rams are replacing him with the unproven Daryl Richardson.

As a result, the Rams will rely on Bradford's arm and Givens is the No. 1 option in St. Louis. Even still, his average draft position is 117.1, per ESPN, which is 35.5 places below Austin.

Take him before the rest of the world wakes up.

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