Fantasy Sleepers: Quarterbacks and Running Backs
The term “sleeper” is tossed around fantasy football community often without definition or regard. Players are hailed as sleepers who are going as top 12 QBs or top 24 WRs and really aren’t under the radar at all. For me, I want a player outside of the top 10 rounds of 12 team drafts (after pick 120,) and not drafted as a starter at their current average draft position. Who can you take at the very end of your draft that will heavily outperform their draft position and make an impact on your team? My list is below!
Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals
Bruce Arians has been an offensive coordinator and head coach that focuses on the passing game and isn’t afraid to air it out. Before tearing his ACL in 2014, Carson Palmer was on pace to throw for over 4,400 yards and 35 touchdowns in an offense with legitimate receiving threats like Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, John Brown, and Andre Ellington. The ACL injury is making fantasy players shy away from Palmer, but if he is healthy and starting for the Cardinals, you can expect at least 250 yards a game with 2-3 touchdowns, perfect for a bye week or if you are streaming QBs.
Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins
The fall of Robert Griffin is well documented and it is a make or break year for the Redskins coaching staff and face of the franchise. From injuries to being benched, Griffin has not been the fantasy QB he flashed as a rookie. Only 25 years old, the Redskins have added offensive line and weapon help to try and turn the offense around. Griffin has huge upside as an athlete and player and worth investing late in your draft as a backup who could put up starter numbers.
Charles Sims, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, despite a weak offensive line, have an offense that could really flourish. Between new franchise QB Jameis Winston and receiving weapons like Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson, and Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Tampa could move the ball early and often this season. That should lead to scoring opportunities at the goal line. Doug Martin is the current starter but has dealt with underperformance and injuries while 2nd year RB Charles Sims was handpicked by the current regime to become the starter. He is current going very late as an RB4 or RB5 and can be a bench stash if he becomes a starter.
Matt Jones, Washington Redskins
Rookie RBs are a worthy investment in fantasy football and often outperform their average draft position. Last season, rookies like Branden Oliver, Andre Williams, Tre Mason, and Isaiah Crowell all outperformed where they were drafted and helped teams get fantasy championships. My pick this season to be that player is the Redskins Matt Jones. He is big, can catch, and can block, the three requisites to get on the field in the NFL. Jones struggled at Florida with a dysfunctional offense but appears to be the heir apparent to Alfred Morris. He should have a role this season and could break out if Morris falters or has an injury. He is worth a bench spot for his potential alone.
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