Fantasy Football 2010: Beanie Wells and the Top Ten Draft Sleepers
With most fantasy football drafts coming up, it's time to do some in depth research in order to gain an advantage over your opponents.
While acing your first few picks is obviously critical, I firmly believe that your ultimate success will be determined by your ability to identify and pick up those late-round gems.
Therefore, in order to help your efforts, here is my ranking and evaluation of the top 10 sleepers for 2010.
Note: Here are my Top Ten Fantasy Football Draft Busts.
Since the quarterback position is one of the deepest in terms of fantasy this year, I'd strongly suggest to take a long hard look at quarterback Matt Moore as a serviceable backup.
Last season, in five starts, he threw eight touchdowns and posted a 98.5 passer rating.
He also has a very solid supporting cast including star receiver Steve Smith, a dynamic running back duo with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathon Stewart, as well as a strong offensive line.
Moore is projected to finish with approximately 3,000 yards passing, 20 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions.
Another stacked position this year is at tight end. So, as opposed to spending a high pick on a player such as Antonio Gates or Dallas Clark, why not get great value in a later round with Zach Miller?
He is, by far, the Raiders' top passing target and should improve his stats with Jason Campbell.
Miller is projected to finish with approximately 70 receptions for 850 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Of all the losses that the Arizona Cardinals have suffered this past offseason, I felt that Anquan Boldin would have the least impact.
Why? Because Steve Breaston is a capable starting receiver. In fact, that may be putting matters lightly. In 2008, Breaston caught 77 receptions for 1,006 yards even though he was the third best receiver on the depth chart.
The only real downside about drafting him would be the team's terrible quarterback situation.
Breaston is projected to finish with approximately 60 receptions for 800 yards and 5 touchdowns.
With the expected emergence of Felix Jones, his teammate Marion Barber has been spiraling down fantasy football rankings.
However, according to various reports, Barber is still set to be given half of the carries. Moreover, he should be their primary goal-line back, giving him a great opportunity to score several touchdowns.
That being the case, he gives you great value in the fifth or sixth round.
Barber is projected to finish with approximately 700 yards rushing and 7 touchdowns.
A wise proverb states that when one door closes, another opens. That principle should apply with the Chargers as well, as I expect Malcolm Floyd to step up and be a reliable playmaker while Vincent Jackson undergoes a contract holdout.
Last season, Floyd had 45 receptions for 776 yards. With Antonio Gates being the only other true target, he should improve on those numbers.
Floyd is projected to finish with approximately 60 receptions for 800 yards and 5 touchdowns.
With the Raiders' offense much improved, Michael Bush should benefit tremendously.
He's expected to be the lead back in Oakland and will take an overall large role in the offense. He's played relatively well in his two years in the league, recording a 4.6 YPC average.
Bush is projected to finish with approximately 900 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns.
John Carlson has been one of the few bright spots for the Seattle Seahawks over the past two seasons. Last year, he registered 51 receptions for 574 yards and seven touchdowns.
With limited other passing options, expect the team's quarterback (whomever that may be) to look for him early and often.
Carlson is projected to finish with approximately 55 receptions for 650 yards and five touchdowns.
Kevin Kolb enters a near-perfect situation with the Philadelphia Eagles, which is why he is widely considered a top-12 quarterback.
He has pinpoint accuracy and his skill set is suitable for the West Coast Offense.
Moreover, he's got a set of dynamic weapons in his arsenal, including DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, and Brent Celek. Furthermore, the fact that head coach Andy Reid loves to pass the ball, makes Kolb an attractive fantasy choice.
Kolb is projected to finish with approximately 3,800 yards passing along with 25 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
Note: I realize he's no longer considered a 'sleeper.'
With a gunslinger like Jay Cutler at the helm and offensive guru Mike Martz calling the shots, I expect all of the Bears' receivers to improve.
Even though many are low on Hester, I expect him to emerge from the unit as opposed to Johnny Knox and Devin Aromoshadu. I believe he's the more experienced receiver and is more likely to pick up Martz' complex schemes.
Hester is projected to finish with approximately 60 receptions for 800 yards and six touchdowns.
Beanie Wells is certainly a name you want to keep a close eye out for come draft time.
With the incompetent Matt Leinart (or Derek Anderson) replacing Kurt Warner under center, expect the Cardinals to run the ball more.
Wells, last year's first round pick, played extremely well last season, as he rushed for 793 yards on a 4.5 YPC average along with seven touchdowns. Now that he's the lead back, those numbers should improve.
Wells is projected to finish with approximately 950 rushing yards and eight touchdowns.