I know what you're thinking, "Rohan you are crazy to be posting fantasy football sleepers in MAY. It is way way too early." For the most part I agree with you. But let's face it, right now we are at peak boredom in the NFL offseason. Every piece of football related news is either about a 49er being arrested, or someones 100th mock draft. Personally, I rather be start thinking ahead to fantasy football because it does not hurt to start having a plan in place. And what better place to start your plan than identifying what sleepers to target during your draft.
Picking or drafting the right sleeper is essential to any successful fantasy football team. There are few things more satisfying than gambling on a player and it paying off. The rush you get is better than any form of Viagra out there. Now without further to do let's get to my 2014 Fantasy Football Sleepers.* Also just as an FYI these are not in any particular order:
Something you should know about me right off the bat is that I love me some wide receivers. I especially love speedy wide receivers. Why? Because sometimes these guys change the game. Tavon Austin is an extremely dynamic player who did not have a good season due to lack of consistency. I like Tavon because he is used as runner and a receiver in the Ram's offense. Which means for fantasy owners, more chances for TDs or receptions for PPR players. I have a feeling Tavon's sophomore season will be much better because he will have another year under his belt and hopefully better play from Sam Bradford.
2.) Zach Ertz TE Philadelphia Eagles
Full disclosure, I'm a huge huge huge Eagles fan. If you hate the Eagles try not to hold it against me. That being said I am very honest about Eagles players because I know their strengths and weaknesses extremely well. With that in mind, Zach Ertz is the Eagle (not named Jeremy Maclin) that is most likely primed for a breakout year. These are stats comparing Zach Ertz's rookie season, to the rookie seasons of the top 15 TE's in the NFL in 2013 based on receiving yards.
via bloggingthebeast.com (h/t BleedingGreenNation.com)
Not bad huh? Zach is another gifted athlete that plays big with a lot intensity. In fact NFL.com compared him to Jason Witten (Source here) last year during the draft. With another year of Chip Kelly's offense under his belt I'm expecting big things from Zach Ertz.
3.) Jay Cutler QB Chicago Bears
This will be Jay Cutler's year. Everything is set up perfectly for him. He has two top 15 receivers in Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall as well as fantasy stalwart RB Matt Forte. I say this without hyperbole that Jay Cutler could be a top 5 QB this year in terms of STATS, if he can stay healthy. When drafting him it would be safe to draft either his backup or another QB later because of his injury risk. When he was healthy last year, he had at least 20 points in six out of ten starts.
4.) Jarret Boykin WR Green Bay Packers
One of my rules in life is: Always start a receiver that is starting for Aaron Rodgers. I admit that this is not catchy nor does it rhyme in an awesome way, but it is an important rule to follow in Fantasy Football. Now some of you may be thinking: "Wait a minute, Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson are two very good receivers, will Boykin get any touches?" To which I would merely reply "Not to worry" First thing is first, while dynamic, Randall Cobb is a bit of an injury risk after being injured most of last season. Also with most CBs covering Jordy and Randall, Boykin has a chance to get easier receptions and TDs. Not to mention because of ARod throwing to him, Boykin is a much safer bet than a second receiver on an OK team. Boykin also ended up with 49 receptions for 681 yards and 3 TDs. Not bad considering Matt Flynn was the one throwing to him for most of his time starting.
Khiry Robinson is one of the more popular picks amongst "experts" for sleeper candidacy. Khiry was undrafted from West Texas A&M last year and worked hard to make the Saints final roster. With Darren Sproles now an Eagle (Wooooo) and Pierre Thomas pushing 30, Khiry has the opportunity to challenge Michael Ingram for the starting role. Khiry made quite an impression for the Saints in the playoffs averaging 4.9 YPC in two playoff games. Bill Parcells even remarked to Sean Payton that Khiri Robinson resembles HOF RB Curtis Martin. (Source: here)
This ends my sleeper list for now. I'm sure it will change once the draft occurs. If you have any questions or comments let me know!
*Subject to Change