Fantasy Football Sleepers 2014: Breaking Down Most Enticing Late-Round Targets

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVAugust 30, 2014

Tennessee Titans wide receiver Justin Hunter (15) pulls in a touchdown reception over New Orleans Saints cornerback Corey White (24) in the first half of a NFL preseason football game in New Orleans, Friday, Aug. 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)
Bill Haber/Associated Press

From injuries to coaching changes to offseason roster tweaks, depth charts across the NFL can change drastically from season to season. That leaves fantasy football constantly in flux, and 2014 looks no different.

New positions have opened up in prolific offenses, and some young, dynamic playmakers are emerging across the league who are ready to shock the world of fantasy. Picking these players higher than their average draft position (ADP) can yield incredible results as you look to find diamonds in the rough for your team.

Here's a look at the most valuable sleepers to choose from in fantasy this year.


Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee Titans

Bill Haber/Associated Press

Coming off a promising rookie season, Justin Hunter is bracing for a big impact in the Titans offense under new head coach Ken Whisenhunt.

Whisenhunt is implementing a strong passing attack with Jake Locker, and Hunter will be the primary big-play receiver alongside chain-moving impacts from Kendall Wright and Nate Washington. Both Hunter and Wright should be in for big years in 2014, but Hunter's leaping ability and breakaway speed make him a lethal deep target.

The NFL got a sampling of his game last year when he averaged 19.7 yards per catch including four touchdowns—one being a game-winner. But he wasn't a featured part of the Titans offense last year, and he has been improving drastically over the offseason and throughout the preseason.

NFL on ESPN noted he finished as one of the league's preseason leaders:

Whether or not Locker is able to stay healthy, Hunter will prove to be an invaluable target. At 6'4" and 200 pounds, he's a matchup nightmare for defensive backs and adds the speed and athletic ability to make opponents pay.


Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers

Mathew Sumner/Associated Press

Fantasy experts continued their hobby this season of sleeping on Philip Rivers, and like in years past, he's about to make owners who select him very happy.

The 32-year-old was expected to regress last season, and he came out and posted the best season of his career. Behind 4,478 passing yards and 32 touchdowns, he finished as one of the top-10 players in all of fantasy last season.

After taking the Chargers to the playoffs against the odds last year, he's looking to do so again and will have a number of weapons in his arsenal. Danny Woodhead is a productive option out of the backfield, and Keenan Allen and Eddie Royal will prove to be big-time targets for him.'s ADP has Rivers being selected in the ninth round on average, behind Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III and Tony Romo. But if Rivers has nearly as much success as he did last year—and there's no reason to think he won't—then he'll be more than worthy of a starting QB spot. 


Khiry Robinson, RB, New Orleans Saints

Bill Haber/Associated Press

Someone has to take Darren Sproles' carries in New Orleans, and Khiry Robinson is proving to be that guy in 2014.

With only 224-career yards, Robinson has yet to make a big impact, but it's opening up for him in 2014. He has emerged as a popular target for Drew Brees in the passing game, with good vision to craft out running lanes in open space.

His impact in the backfield figured to be small at first, but Robinson has now emerged as the No. 2 running back on the depth chart behind Mark Ingram—overtaking Pierre Thomas. 

Robinson has a very low value, coming in with an ADP of 130 and ranking around backs like LeGarrette Blount and Ahmad Bradshaw. But if he begins to have a Sproles-like impact on the Saints offense and the run game doesn't take off, Sean Payton and crew will be upping his touches considerably.