Under The Radar: Deep Fantasy League Sleepers

Michael WhooleySenior Writer IAugust 17, 2009

PITTSBURGH - MAY 01:  Frank Summers #44 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on during rookie training camp at the Pittsburgh Steelers Practice Facility on May 1, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

In the information age, a sleeper really isn’t a sleeper anymore.  Thus, in order to ensure that you wind up with a diamond instead of cubic zirconia, fantasy owners need to dig deeper than ever.  Bruno Boys Dominic presents us with some deeper sleepers for 2009 that could be worth monitoring or grabbing with a late round pick.


RB Frank Summers (PIT)

Selected in the fifth round in this year’s draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, many believe this 230-pound running back from UNLV is destined for the fullback position. 

However, he ran the 40 in an impressive 4.5 and catches the ball well.  So, it’s no wonder that visions of a young Jerome Bettis are dancing in the heads of some of the Pittsburgh coaching staff.

Even if he’s not a reincarnation of The Bus, with his size and ability, he could vulture some serious TDs.


QB Tom Brandstater (DEN)

Josh McDaniels made it clear that he likes to do things his way.  If Kyle Orton can’t become the QB he’s looking for, the new Broncos coach may decide to start grooming his pet project sooner than later.

Brandstater has good size, arm strength, and mobility.  If McDaniels believes he has the intangibles, he may try to create Denver’s own Tom Brady prototype.


RB Gartrell Johnson (SD)

This is a guy to watch, especially in keeper/dynasty leagues.  LaDanian Tomlinson is on the downturn of his career and Darren Sproles is a free agent after this year.  If Sproles plays well, he’ll be looking for big bucks next season and the Chargers may not be willing to give it to him.

Johnson is big, runs strong inside, and can catch the ball well.  Many say he is more suited for fullback, but that’s what they said about Matt Forte.

Depending on how things fall, Johnson could be the future back for this franchise.  Plus, if Sproles or Tomlinson get hurt this year, he could play a significant role immediately.


WR Juaquin Iglesias (CHI)

The 6'1", 205-pound Iglesias had a very solid college career at Oklahoma.  And, if he can play his way onto the field for the Bears, he has the talent to be a very productive possession receiver for Jay Cutler.

In a new offense, Cutler will be looking for his next Eddie Royal; Iglesias could be that guy.


WR Mike Thomas (JAC)

At Arizona, he was the Pac-10’s all-time leader with 259 receptions.  He’s fast, runs crisp routes and has great physical play-making abilities.  The only knock on him is his size.  But with veteran Tory Holt now in Jacksonville to show him how it’s done, Thomas could grow into a very special player for the Jaguars.


WR Limas Sweed (PIT)

Not sure if Sweed can still considered a sleeper after watching him make some great catches in their first preseason game, but lots of people have forgotten him.  He entered the 2008 draft touted as one of the top young wide receivers coming into the league.

He’s a huge target in the end zone and has good speed.  And with Hines Ward playing out the end of his career, Sweed should get more looks this year and could be on the verge of breaking out.  Keeper league owners should definitely monitor this guy.


RB Danny Ware (NYG)

Ware led the NY backs last preseason with an average of 5.5 yards per carry.  Unfortunately for him, the Giants had Derrick Ward and Ahmad Bradshaw to help carry the load for Brandon Jacobs.  With Ward gone to Tampa Bay and rookie Andre Brown out for the 2009 season, Ware could see some playing time and perhaps become what Ward was for the Giants last season.

Considering Ward racked up over a 1,000 yards behind Jacobs, Ware has some serious upside.


WR Dwayne Jarrett (CAR)

Jarrett looked great in camp and it seems like the time Carolina has spent waiting for him to develop may be well spent.  Besides an injury prone Steve Smith, the Panthers don’t have an elite collection of receivers.

If Jarrett can snag the No. 3 slot, he could quickly become one of Delhomme’s favorite targets.


WR Julian Edelman (NE)

Talk about versatility.  As a QB at Kent State, Edelman led the country with 1,370 rushing yards and passed for 1,820.  He also played safety and returned a few punts.  Now, he’s making the transition to wide out for a potent New England offense.  Belichick loves versatile players and, if given the chance, Edelmen has the speed and athleticism to be a major factor.


RB Justin Forsett (SEA)

With Maurice Morris gone, the Seahawks are in need of a premier back.  Julius Jones has shown flashes of what he can do in the past, but for the most part, has failed to live up the expectations, while T.J. Duckett is not an every down back.  The only reason Forsett dropped in the 2008 draft was because of his size.

Still, if MJD and Steve Slaton can do it, there’s no reason why this talented back can’t produce.  The Seahawks didn’t draft a running back for several reasons and this second-year back could be one of them.  Look for him to get more opportunities in 2009.


RB Glen Coffee (SF)

After an impressive training camp and a solid showing in the 49ers’ first preseason game, Coffee’s stock is rising.  Make no mistake—Gore is the starter, but expect Coffee to lighten some of the load.  And, if Gore gets hurt, which is not out of the question, Coffee could be looking at a lot of carries.

If the cards fall right, he could end up outshining most of the backs that went before him in the draft.


TE Jermichael Finley (GB)

After only two years at the University of Texas, Finley ranked third in school history for receptions by a tight end.  He’s 6'5", 247 pounds, and has great hands.  As Aaron Rodgers continues to develop into a great QB, he’s no doubt looking for the weapons to take him to the next level.

If Finley gets the opportunity to play, he’d be a huge red zone target for Rodgers.





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