We all love talking about sleepers.
Some of them actually turn out to be true.
Those of you who thought Arian Foster was one are nodding your heads.
Those of you that thought Beanie Wells was one, like myself, well...
But this year is going to be different, right?
All of our sleepers will work out, and they won't suck...or get injured...or, well you get the idea.
Still, maybe I shouldn't be writing this article. I didn't see Arian Foster or Brandon Lloyd coming last year!
Aw, what the heck.
It's difficult to call him a sleeper when everyone else also considers him to be one.
Here's my thinking, though.
As much as everyone does ignore Fred Jackson, there's a reason.
He's not very exciting.
And here's another thought for you.
With the emergence of an actual passing game with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm, C.J. should see some more room to run.
Not to mention he's a good receiver out the backfield.
It will take a few weeks, but I think once Buffalo falls out of the AFC race, C.J is going to start getting more of the work.
And when he does, you'll be glad you stashed him.
OK, not a deep sleeper, I'll admit.
But a sleeper nonetheless.
Listen, I know he's had injury issues, and he's not your prototypical No. 1 receiver.
But with Donovan McNabb throwing him the ball a lot, and I do mean a lot, he should get a lot of points.
After all, who else could McNabb throw to?
OK, there's someone else. But he's later in the slideshow.
Just hold it for a minute...
I'm getting to the really deep sleepers.
But Manningham is one of those guys that's tough to like.
I mean, he's in New York, and they run the ball a lot, right?
And Eli Manning isn't special, right?
Well, those may or may not be right, but let's look at Manningham's stats as usually the third option last season in New York:
60 catches, 994 yards and nine TDs.
And he'll be the second receiver this year.
Not to mention the fact that everyone knows about Hakeem Nicks.
So...I'm saying it now:
Manningham will come close to equaling Nicks' numbers, not including touchdowns.
You heard me.
Not falling for Beanie Wells again.
Once Williams gets a feel for the offense, they will split carries.
And once the coaching staff realizes the talent they have in Wells, they probably won't.
Just an opinion.
(On a side note, I am a Cardinals fan, so I really hope Beanie does well, but I'm not counting on it.)
This guy hasn't gotten love since his second year in the league.
I remember those days...when Addai was healthy.
Well, he always gets injured.
You realize he's in just his fifth year in the league?
It sure doesn't seem like it.
You know the featured back for the Colts is being drafted in the eighth round of many standard leagues?
James Starks is being drafted ahead of him for Pete's sake.
I think Addai is a steal there personally, as if he can stay healthy, he's going to get well over 1,000 total yards, and probably seven to eight touchdowns.
You probably feel like shooting something when you think about Matthew Stafford.
All that talent...and he's always injured.
I chalk it up more to bad luck...and the lack of an offensive line.
But man, if he can stay healthy, he'd be a borderline starter, with weapons like Calvin Johnson, Brandon Pettigrew and Jahvid Best, he should put up some numbers.
So I was at the Fan Fest at Bank of America this past Saturday.
And watching the Panthers offense run, it was obvious of one thing:
They like Olsen.
With the new offense instilled by Rob Chudzinski, the tight end is going to be featured more in Carolina this year.
Besides the fact that it will be Cam Newton throwing the ball, and he'll look for dump offs a lot at first, you know where Chudzinski came from before going to Carolina?
Tight end is really rather deep this year, so you can wait on one, I feel like.
Unless you get one of the top few: Dallas Clark, Jermichael Finley or Antonio Gates.
But consider this:
The only difference between those guys and Pettigrew?
Pettigrew had 73 catches for 759 yards last year, but just three scores.
If he can score four or five more times, that's top five production.
From a guy ranked outside the top 10.
I'll let off the tight end gas petal in just a second; I promise.
But if you want to hear about a guy who could be the second coming of Antonio Gates, look no further than Graham.
A basketball player up until his final year of college, Graham did well once he took over for Jeremy Shockey.
And the Saints do like to spread the ball around.
Not to mention the fact that Brees looks towards him in goal line situations.
So hear me out on this one.
The Raiders will have to throw sometime, yes?
And other than Darren McFadden, is there a consistent receiver on the Raiders?
Now that Zach Miller is gone...um, no.
Ford's speed makes him a dangerous weapon, and the Raiders really should get him the ball a few times a game.
That might be all you need.
As a backup receiver with a ton of upside, what's not to like?
Before you roll your eyes, do you want to have Derrick Mason on your bench, or a guy who could go off in Josh McDaniel's offense?
I didn't really want to think about it, either.
But then I remembered it's Ryan Torain we are talking about here.
The oft-injured Ryan Torain.
So, yeah, Hightower should see the field a lot this year.
Now I've heard, and Cowboys fans can correct me if I'm wrong, that the 'Boys want to get Murray on the field this year as a rookie.
Now, Tashard Choice and Felix Jones are in front of him, and both have been impressive at times, so this is a risk.
But again, what if Jones gets hurt like last year?
And Choice is no shoe-in to get the load at running back.
I'm just saying is all.
One of these days, we'll all be right about Bernard Scott.
I mean, c'mon Bengals...Cedric Benson? Again?
You couldn't draft a replacement running back?
At least let Scott play. Seriously...
If Cotchery goes to Baltimore, he's an interesting play.
Baltimore loves Anquan Boldin, but apparently, Joe Flacco does not.
He seemed to prefer Derrick Mason.
And Cotchery plays similarly to Mason in my opinion—good hands, good route runner, possession receiver.
But I wouldn't draft him unless he does indeed go to Baltimore.
Michael Turner has seen the ball a lot over the last few years.
The wear on his body has to take its toll sooner or later.
I'm counting on sooner.
And with Jerious Norwood out, Rodgers becomes the change of pace back, although Jason Snelling did resign.
Rodgers is probably only for really deep leagues, but keep an eye on the diminutive running back.
I almost forgot you Visante!!!
Seriously though, Shiancoe might have an even bigger upside this year than he's had in previous memory.
We all saw how well Cooley did in Washington with McNabb at the helm (just no touchdowns).
I think it's safe to say though, unless the Vikes sign someone else, that Shiancoe will be the go to guy in the red zone for McNabb.
With Kyle Orton now back as QB, Decker becomes an interesting late rounder.
From what I've heard, coaches like Decker, and he could become the No. 2 starter alongside Brandon Lloyd if he beats out fellow second year man Demarius Thomas.
Thomas was a first rounder, though, so he'll be given plenty of chances.
He, however, is coming off an injury, so methinks maybe, just maybe, Decker will get a lot of looks as the season progresses.
Yeah, I know.
We all got burned by Tate last season.
So will we get burned by him this season?
Now that Kevin Kolb is in town, the Arizona receivers at least become fantasy viable again.
And in Roberts' case, he becomes very interesting.
While Early Doucet is the bigger and sexier name, Roberts may have the No. 2 job to start the year.
And in my mind, he's a great compliment to Fitzgerald, doing a lot of dirty work underneath.
Just someone to keep in mind for that last pick...