Fantasy Football Sleepers: Late Pickups Who Could Carry Your Team
For football diehards, fantasy football is the closest a fan can get to actually being involved in the game. Whether you are always looking for the next blockbuster trade or are comfortable with the team you have, it never hurts to monitor the waiver wires.
Here are four fantasy football sleepers who could prove to be worth your while.
Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos TE
The third-year tight end out of Portland State had only had one career reception prior to last night's season opener vs. the Baltimore Ravens. But the former basketball player proved himself to be quite the asset for Denver Week 1.
Thomas wrapped up last night as clearly one of quarterback Peyton Manning's new favorite targets, hauling in five catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns. Though probably not the case today, ESPN's Fantasy Sports Twitter account pointed out the following:
Julius Thomas is owned in 26% of leagues and was started tonight in 9%.— ESPN Fantasy Sports (@ESPNFantasy) September 6, 2013
Fantasy owners should be running toward the waiver wire, hoping they have the best wire position to be able to pick up Thomas. Though Thomas' availability throughout leagues is still probably large, that percentage is sure to be falling. Thomas could easily, after last night's showing, be considered for a starting slot on your team.
Percy Harvin, Seattle Seahawks WR
Yes, the former Viking is currently on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, but having Harvin on your bench could prove to be worth your time down the road.
Harvin is currently sidelined with a torn labrum, though Seattle designated him to the PUP list rather than the injured reserve. And according to a story from CBS Sports' Will Brinson, and a tweet from Harvin himself, the wide receiver is aiming for a Week 7 return.
What's goin 12th man just checkn in ...I'm making serious progress ...keep an eye on week 7...don't hang them 11's up.....we workn— Percy Harvin (@Percy_Harvin) September 4, 2013
Having a receiver sitting on the bench for seven weeks isn't the end of the world, especially given the stats that Harvin could put up after his return. When healthy, Harvin possesses a level of speed that is nearly unmatched throughout the league, putting up both receiving, running and even some kick-return numbers.
Storing Harvin away on the back end of your bench—assuming he does return in Week 7—really could benefit your team in the long run.
Indianapolis Colts Defense
Yes, the Indianapolis Colts defense. Just hear me out on this one.
The Indianapolis defense was no where near flashy last season. It was, at times, even dreadful. But general manager Ryan Grigson has made some serious acquisitions this offseason that put the Colts in position to have a very talented defense.
The secondary has been upgraded, with the additions of safety LaRon Landry (seen in the video) and cornerback Greg Toler. Both of those guys will join a secondary that heavily improved as last season went on, with corners Cassius Vaughn and Darius Butler, and safety Antoine Bethea returning.
On the defensive front, the Colts upgraded with additions of Aubrayo Franklin, Ricky Jean-Francois and rookie Bjoern Werner.
Indianapolis has a defensive roster full of potential that, combined with a weak schedule, could really shine for someone's team this season.
Brandon Weeden, Cleveland Browns QB
Weeden had a bit of a rough 2012 campaign, throwing for 3,385 yards, 14 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. But the second-year quarterback's stats shouldn't scare fantasy owners away.
Though I wouldn't recommend Weeden as a starting QB, he would be a very viable backup option to a starter.
Weeden is returning with a (for now) fully healthy running back in Trent Richardson, new receiving options in wide receiver Davone Bess and tight end Kellen Davis, and a solid returning offensive line led by tackle Joe Thomas.
With a solid line and good receivers, Weeden could excel under new coach Rob Chudzinski's new offense, leaving fantasy owners with a very good second option at the quarterback position.
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