Fantasy Football Sleepers 2013: Waiver-Wire Options Who Will Bolster Your Squad

Mike MoraitisAnalyst ISeptember 4, 2013

Aug 18, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (81) runs with the ball against New York Giants corner back Laron Scott (34) during the second quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The problem with drafting too early is that it can leave fantasy owners looking for players as a result of injuries or unforeseen benchings for some of their picks. However, don't worry, because there are plenty of waiver-wire options to go after before the season begins.

It's easy to make those early picks to add superstars to your roster that will produce every week, but many fantasy leagues are won when owners make the right calls on waiver-wire players.

Let's take a look at some sleepers that you may not have considered who could make big impacts on fantasy squads around the globe.


Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Indianapolis Colts

As one of the newest members of the Indianapolis Colts, Heyward-Bey is flying under the radar as a viable fantasy option for owners in need of wide receivers.

Heyward-Bey has spent his entire four-year career with the Oakland Raiders, and not surprisingly he hasn't put up stunning numbers—the Raiders have been notorious for having major quarterback problems.

His best season came back in 2011-12, when he caught 64 passes for 975 yards and four touchdowns. In 2013-14, Heyward-Bey will be working with the best quarterback he's ever had throwing to him in Andrew Luck.

According to, Heyward-Bey is listed as the team's No. 2 receiver, and that's ahead of one of the more trendy picks in fantasy this season, T.Y. Hilton. Also per, Heyward-Bey is owned in just 21.4 percent of fantasy leagues, so he's likely available at the moment.

But don't wait. Once Heyward-Bey puts up a big game in the Colts' pass-first offense, he'll be a hot commodity and won't be on the waiver wire for long.

Even if he isn't going to be a starter on your squad right away, he very well could be at some point this season.


Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets

It's likely that people will avoid Powell at all costs because he's a member of one of the most inept teams in the NFL, the New York Jets, but there is some upside to picking up Powell off the waiver wire.

In 2012 Powell had 110 carries for 437 yards and four touchdowns for an offense that was inept, to say the least. Granted, that isn't a big sample size, but Powell did average four yards per carry, which isn't bad, considering that he had no offensive line in front of him.

On top of that, Powell was also an option in the passing attack, with 17 catches for 140 yards. Those numbers figure to increase now that, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today Sports, New York will be going with a rookie quarterback in Geno Smith who will likely use Powell as a safety blanket when nothing else is open.

The Jets may be bad this season, but their offense couldn't get any worse. In fact, the addition of Marty Mornhinweg as offensive coordinator in place of Tony Sparano should help the Jets improve drastically on offense.

Head coach Rex Ryan loves to run the ball, so Powell will get his looks as long as he's consistent. According to, Powell is owned in just 26.7 percent of fantasy leagues and is currently listed as the team's No. 1 running back on the depth chart ahead of Chris Ivory.


Fred Davis, TE, Washington Redskins

Davis has had a rough couple of years with the Redskins, but 2013 is the year that he could break out.

According to John Keim of, Davis has dealt with everything from a suspension to a torn Achilles tendon last season and is ready to prove doubters wrong. Davis said the following:

I feel like the underdog. The third time is the charm. This is going to be a good year for me. I’m physically and mentally ready, and it’s my fourth year in this offense, so I’m ready.

Even head coach Mike Shanahan likes what he's seen from his tight end, according to Keim:

What I have seen is very encouraging. [Davis] has played well, he has caught the ball well, he has blocked well. Hopefully he can continue to do that.

In 2011 Davis caught 59 passes for 796 yards and three touchdowns in 12 games. Last season, Davis didn't start out as a major target, but in his last four games before his injury against the New York Giants, Davis became more prominent in the Redskins' passing attack, catching 19 passes.

There's no question that Davis has a chance to be a major target for quarterback Robert Griffin III, so he certainly stands as a great option, should owners need a last-minute tight end. shows that Davis is owned in about 55 percent of fantasy leagues, so grab him while you can.