Fantasy Football 2010: Ranking the NFC's Top Sleepers

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IAugust 31, 2010

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 28:  Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers passes against the Oakland Raiders during an NFL preseason game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on August 28, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

If you're looking for a list of "hidden gems" that could provide a nice boost to your fantasy football team this season, watch closely in the late rounds for these sleepers on your draft board.

Here's a list specifically ranking some of the NFC's top sleepers.

(1) Justin Forsett, RB, Seattle Seahawks

Last Season: 114 rushing attempts, 619 rushing yards, 4 rushing touchdowns

2010 Projected: 225 rushing attempts, 1012 rushing yards, 5 touchdowns

Justin Forsett provided a nice surprise for the Seattle Seahawks last season and stood out in comparison to the under-performing Julius Jones.

Last season Forsett proved his value to the squad, but will have to show what he can do for new head coach Pete Carroll. 

In all four games in which Forsett got double digit carries, he averaged at least five yards per rush. 

The arrival of speedy running back Leon Washington could loom over Forsett this season and cut into his carries and overall playing time.

Forsett should still see a hefty amount of carries this season and is a nice pickup in the late rounds of many drafts and even a nice waiver addition in others.

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(2) Tim Hightower, RB, Arizona Cardinals

Last Season: 143 rushing attempts, 598 rushing yards, 8 rushing touchdowns

2010 Projected: 125 rushing attempts, 453 rushing yards, 8 rushing touchdowns

Tim Hightower is expected to split reps with Chris Wells, but still plays a role in the Cardinals offense. 

Hightower has a great knack for finding the endzone, scoring 18 rushing touchdowns over his two year career. 

Hightower is also one of the best in the league at taking advantage of his limited carries, as he has only received 143 rushing attempts in both of his NFL seasons. 

Hightower is a late round pick that is a great guy to plug into a backup running back slot, or even a flex position. He'll do one thing that's sure to score you a hefty amount of points: score touchdowns.

If Tim Hightower is hanging around late in your draft, don't be afraid to snag him, plug him into your roster, and kick back while you watch him produce.

(3) Carnell Williams, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Last Season: 210 rushing attempts, 821 rushing yards, 4 touchdowns

2010 Projected: 200 rushing attempts, 756 rushing yards, 3 touchdowns

After fending off numerous amounts of knee injuries, Carnell "Cadillac" Williams has still found a way to play and contribute in the National Football League.

Last season Williams was an unexpected fantasy star, producing solid performances all season long.

Coming off a season with 1,040 total yards and a career high seven total touchdowns, it will be interesting to see if Cadillac can continue to produce this season. 

Cadillac will be the featured back for the Buccaneers, but should still split carries with Derrick Ward. Cadillac would be a great late-round grab, as he would be another option to fill in as a backup running back or flex position on your starting roster. 

(4) Alex Smith, QB, San Francisco 49'ers

Last Season: 225/372, 2,350 passing yards, 18 touchdowns, 12 interceptions

2010 Projected: 307/504, 3,098 passing yards, 20 touchdowns, 14 interceptions

Alex Smith showed flashes in his 11 starts last year, posting a fair 213.6 yards per game and a 60.5 percent completion rate.

For the first time in a while, the '49ers are loaded with young receiving talent, and head coach Mike Singletary has shown signs of mixing it up a bit and going to the air.

The biggest question that remains with Smith is his accuracy. He has struggled to accurately deliver the ball on a consistent basis.

If Smith is allowed to attack the defensive secondary and "air it out" this season, he could be a really nice backup quarterback this upcoming season. 

It'd be a good idea to sub Smith into your lineup when he goes up against the softer defenses of St. Louis and Seattle, two times each.

(5) Mike Williams, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Last Season: DNP

2010 Projected: 57 receptions, 730 receiving yards, 4 receiving touchdowns

Mike Williams is known by many to be a scary-good athlete, but a kid who has trouble with maturity and discipline.

Williams was selected in the fourth-round (101st overall) by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Williams had 60 receptions for 837 yards and 10 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2007-08, when he set a Syracuse record by catching a touchdown pass in nine consecutive games. 

Shooting up the depth charts, Williams now finds himself as one of the top targets in the Buccaneers' passing game.

Take a look around at the wide receivers on the waivers in your fantasy football league. If you see Mike Williams and are in need of some receiving, give him consideration.

If he can get things going, and mature himself both on and off the field, watch out for Mr. Williams. 

(6) Michael Hoomanawanui, TE, St. Louis Rams

Last Season: DNP

2010 Projected: N/A

Not only is this kid's name memorable, his game is as well. 

In the preseason, Michael Hoomanawanui has erupted to lead the Rams with eight catches, 112 yards and two TDs.

Michael had his biggest preseason game against the New England Patriots in which he recorded four catches for 53 yards and two touchdowns.

He appears to be showing signs of developing a budding relationship with fellow rookie quarterback Sam Bradford.

Whether or not Bradford becomes the starting quarterback for the Rams or not this season, Michael could become a nice option for a pretty sad St. Louis offense.

It's likely that Michael Hoomanawanui will be an easy waiver wire addition, as there are very few who really know about him. 

(7) Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers

Last Season: 22 receptions, 320 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns

2010 Projected: 36 receptions, 476 receiving yards, 3 receiving touchdowns

Jordy Nelson may not be known by too many fantasy owners who live outside of "the cheesehead state." Nelson has slowly been making a name for himself playing in Wisconsin, slowly contributing more and more for the Packers each season.

With the explosive offense the Packers look to have this season, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers in full stride, look for each and every piece of the Packers offense to have a nice year.

Even though he is a depth guy for the Packers—sitting behind Greg Jennings, Donald Driver and Greg Jones on the depth chart—Jordy is a guy who can contribute to your team. 

Jordy is not a guy you would want to take in your fantasy draft, but if he is sitting on waivers and you're in need of some solid hands, pick him up.

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