Sleepers : the overused but highly-touted term used in fantasy sports to refer to a player who “no one” is talking about that will greatly outperform their draft position. The exact definition varies depending on the expert in question, and many people complain about sleepers not being deep enough for their “unbelievably competitive 28-team league.” To those people I say good luck drafting Chansi Stuckey .
I’m not going to get into a discussion of what really constitutes a sleeper, I’m just going to give you the goods; guys poised for breakout seasons who can be had late in draft. Cashing in on one late-round pick can win you a championship (as owners of Ray Rice last year can surely attest to), so pay attention.
All players currently have an Average Draft Position of 114 or higher (roughly 10th round for 12-team leagues) according to MockDraftCentral.com .
The former Wolverine is known for his cannon-like arm, which went woefully unused in his first season after replacing Chad Pennington at the helm in week three. Despite an extremely pedestrian receiving core, he still managed to post three games of 300-plus yards, which even more encouragingly all came within the last five games of the season. He also posted a 64 percent completion percentage over that period after only managing to get above 59 percent twice in the first 11 games.
Basically, he’s getting better. And now with an elite receiver in Brandon Marshall to toss it up to, look for Henne to post similar or better numbers than more well-known names like Donovan McNabb (ADP: 101.11), Eli Manning (ADP: 92.62) and Matt Ryan (ADP: 78.97).
Justin Forsett , RB, SEA (ADP: 121.27) – One of my favorite candidates for a Ray Rice -type breakout.
I was devastated when the Seahawks signed LenDale White in free agency. Luckily, the pain lasted only four days, as White was cut because of a pending substance-abuse suspension. This cut left the Seahawks back at square one again, with Forsett and the washed-up former Cowboy Julius Jones competing for the starting job in what Coach Pete Carroll called “an open competition.”
Forsett was a fantastic plug n’ play option when Julius Jones was being old and sitting out and was clearly the better back all season. He averaged 6.3 yards per carry when given the rock a minimum of 10 times and was good for 2-3 receptions.
His size might be the only thing holding him back. At 5’8”, 195 pounds, he’s not exactly a bruiser and his goal line carries might suffer as a result. But it’s worth noting that according to Pro Football Focus’s Elusive Rating System , Forsett was the most “elusive” back in the league last season, which bodes well for future success and his ability to carry a large workload. You won’t get better upside in round 10.