Picking players in the early part of the draft is easy. It is in the later rounds that picking quality players can be more difficult.
Last season players like Michael Turner, Chris Johnson, and Kurt Warmer eclipsed all expectations.
It is players like that whom are taking in the later rounds that can make all the difference for your fantasy team.
In my first article on sleepers I targeted players like Derrick Ward, Anthony Gonzalez, and Kyle Orton.
Here is a list of five more players I like in the later rounds.
Cedric Benson will be drafted as a No. 3 or no. 4 running back. That will go between rounds 7-9. However he has upside to be a quality No. 2 option.
In the ’08 season Benson had a disappointing 2 touchdowns. However he did have career highs with 214 carries for 747 yards, and 20 receptions for 185 yards.
With Carson palmer now healthy, and Benson the featured back in Cincy. His numbers should increase for the ’09 season.
Benson is in a pass first offense. Which is good for him since he wont face as many 8 man boxes.
As the featured back in Cincy, Benson should see about 15 carries a game, and a lot more goal line opportunities this year.
With the emergence of Vincent Jackson as the No. 1 WR, and a disappointing 2008 season for Chambers. Chris Chambers is now seen as the 3rd option in chargers passing attack.
In 2008 chambers had a career worst with only 33 receptions for 462 yards, and 5 touchdowns.
Chambers scored 4 of those touchdowns by week 3, and the other touchdown came in week 5. Week 5 is also when he injured his ankle. An injury that seemed to slow down the rest of his season.
Despite his disappointing '08 season Chambers remains in a high powered offense. He also has lots of motivation to perform this season. Since this is a Contract year for Chambers.
Vincent Jackson also plead not guilty to a DUI charge in February. This is Jackson's second DUI. The first was in 2006, and he was still on probation when the second occurred.
The DUI could possibly result in Jackson being suspended for up to 4 weeks. If a suspension were to happen. Chambers stock would take a huge boost during those games.
This season the cowboys are looking to have a more “Romo Friendly” offense. To achieve this I foresee the cowboys to utilize the run more.
The Cowboys are also looking to put Marion Barber back into is dominate position as the Close of the game.
Which will put Felix Jones as the starter. He will have the role that Julius Jones once had.
Last Season was cut short for Felix when he injured his toe. He had 30 carries for 266 yards and 3 touchdowns. That is an impressive 8.9 average per carry.
Felix is a home run threat every time he touches the ball. Also the Cowboys have been practicing the “Razorback” formation, which is their version of the wild cat. If they use this formation in games then Felix will be the Key to it success.
So look for Jones to have some monster games this season.
On the downside Marion Barber will still be the stud fantasy back on the Team. He should receive all of the goal line carries and will face the defense after they are tired.
Last season Schilens had a mediocre rookie season He played in 6 games and 15 receptions for 226 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Most of the attention this season will be on Rookie WR Darius Heyward-Bay. The over drafted Rookie out of Maryland. Will be targeted by many in the late rounds because of his upside.
He is a good-sized WR at 6’2” and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds at the combine. Which makes him the fastest Player ever in the NFL at the 40-yard dash.
However during OTA’s Heyward-Bay has suffered a nagging hamstring injury. This is a situation that needs to be monitored in training camp and preseason.
Hamstring injuries have a tendency to have a very negative impact on WRs.
If the injury continues it could not be good for Heyward-bay’s rookie season.
It would limit his one good assets. Which is his speed. Heyward-Bay still needs a lot of work on his hands and route running before he can become a top WR in the NFL.
After OTA workouts a report out of the Contra Costa Times reports that “Chaz Schilens is the raiders best WR.” It also says that he has out performed WRs Johnnie Lee Higgens, Javon Walker, Heyward-Bay.
The Contra Costa Times also reported the Schilens “is a go up and get it receiver who should be the go-to guy”.
On the downside the raiders do not exactly have a high-powered passing attack.
If Schilens does become the No. 1 WR for the Raiders. He should be a nice No. 4 option on a fantasy roster with upside.
Leftwich is still in the middle of a Quarterback battle. Between himself Luke McCown and rookie Josh Freeman.
Freeman is the long-term answer for the Bucs. However after Last season when Leftwich proved he could still get it done. When he had to step in for Injured Ben Roethlisberger.
Leftwich had 303 yards 2 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. He also added 1 touchdown on the ground.
Leftwich should provide the Bucs with the best chance to win this season. An in my opinion should win the starting QB job.
The Bucs are very interested in free agent WR Plaxico Burress.
If the Bucs sign Burress. With other additions this off-season Derrick Ward, and Kellen Winslow. Should make Leftwich a No. 2 option with lots of upside.
If Burress is signed by the Bucs Leftwich could be targeted late in all drafts.
If the team stays as is in most leagues Leftwich will be left un-drafted. In which he would be a nice waver wire addition to teams in need of a QB.
Look for the Bucs Offense to be higher powered this season than projected. Making their QB a nice sleeper for the ’09 season