Fantasy Football Sleepers

Fantasy Football Fantasy Football Projections

By Guest Writer Jack Concannon:

Tannehill now has the tools to take his game to the next level.

Tannehill now has the tools to take his game to the next level.

Many fantasy owners will spend hours preparing their strategy for the first few rounds but will have only a vague idea of what they are going to do in the later rounds. People with this strategy are forgetting one of the most critical parts of fantasy football: leagues are won on the waiver wire and in the late rounds. Nobody ever won their league because their first two picks were that great. Being able to pick the right “sleepers” out of the abundance of bench players available is what separates winning fantasy owners from losing fantasy owners.

This list will consist of sleepers who I feel could have fantasy big impacts this year. I will be the first to admit that picking the right sleepers is equal parts luck and skill. Some of these guys will not pan out but I’m confident that most of these players will at least surpass where are they are currently being drafted.


Quarterback Sleepers

Ryan Tannehill – Miami Dolphins

New Dolphins offensive coordinator Bill Lazor is installing a whole new offense in Miami that is going to focus on making plays through the air. Ryan Tannehill enters his third year in the league with a new weapon in Knowshon Moreno and the potential for a big season with this new offense. Even in what was a relatively disappointing season last year he failed to reach double-digit points only three times. Cam Newton also failed to reach double digits three times. The relative consistency was there he just needs to start making more big plays and this season could be the season where Tannehill and Mike Wallace finally start connecting down the field.

Josh McCown – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers’ goal this past offseason was to land a starting caliber quarterback and they felt like they did it after signing Josh McCown. Everyone knows he did a spectacular job filling in for Jay Cutler last year in Chicago, but most people don’t know just how well he did. If his average per game production in the six games he played in full last year were to be spread out over the whole season he would have been the third highest scoring quarterback in fantasy. Many people believe his weapons last year were what drove his success but he has solid weapons this year in Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans, and Doug Martin. I don’t think he will finish as the third highest scoring quarterback this year but a top ten finish is definitely not out of the question.


Running Back Sleepers

Tre Mason – St. Louis Rams

On the surface it may look like Tre Mason was drafted into a bad running back situation in St. Louis but the situation there actually makes him a prime fantasy sleeper. He’s going to be backing up Zac Stacy who played great in the ten he started games last year but Stacy is still relatively unproven. If Stacy struggles (a real possibility) or gets hurt Tre Mason is going to be the bell cow of that offense and he has the skills to embrace that role and thrive.

Lamar Miller – Miami Dolphins

Last season many people drafted Lamar Miller as a flex or even a RB2 because of his potential as the Dolphins’ starting running back. Owners who drafted him last year might have been one year too early as Lamar Miller may get another opportunity to make a splash this year despite his disappointing performance last year. This offseason the Dolphins brought in Knowshon Moreno to be the starting running back but he reportedly showed up to OTAs out of shape and is now taking third team reps. Given this information and Moreno’s injury history Lamar Miller could easily get a second chance as the Dolphins’ starter and as long as he still has the same explosiveness he had at the University of Miami just three years ago he should take advantage of the opportunity.


Wide Receiver Sleepers

Mike Evans  – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers drafted Evans with the seventh pick to be the number two option behind Vincent Jackson and they are going to use him extensively. Perhaps Evans’ best trait is his ability to go up and get jump balls; a trait that makes him particularly valuable for fantasy if they target him on fade patterns in the end zone. The Buccaneers didn’t use their high first round pick on Mike Evans so they could not target him. They will target him on the field and you should definitely target him in your drafts.

Riley Cooper – Philadelphia Eagles

Riley Cooper had a solid year last year and his numbers improved significantly with Nick Foles under center as opposed to Michael Vick. Now DeSean Jackson is gone and the combination of Jeremy Maclin and Cooper he will have to pick up the slack. Despite all of this you can still get Cooper in the tenth round.


Tight End Sleepers

Jace Amaro – New York Jets

Of all the sleepers on this list Jace Amaro is the biggest long shot because unlike the others (with the exception of Tre Mason) there’s a solid chance that he barely gets on the field in New York. There’s also a good chance might become one of the featured weapons in that offense. Amaro isn’t worth a pick on draft day but watch him on the waiver wire. If Geno Smith’s play improves and Amaro is being targeted you should swoop in and pick him up.

Delanie Walker – Tennessee Titans

Titans tight end Delanie Walker has the skills to be a fantasy TE1. The problem is that the Titans didn’t give him the ball consistently enough last year to be truly valuable but he had a better year than most people realize; quietly finishing as the twelfth highest scoring tight end in fantasy. He’s going to build off of that for this year. Definitely worth a late round pick.



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