2013 Draft Prep: Sleepers, 2.0
It's one thing to identify sleepers back in July, but now is when it really matters. Our Jamey Eisenberg takes another shot at finding players you should target late.
A lot has changed since the beginning of July with the start of training camp and preseason games.
So have my initial sleepers, breakouts and busts.
We're starting with second run at some Draft Day sleepers (you can see Sleepers 1.0 here). A lot of the same players I still strongly believe in ( Eli Manning , Giovani Bernard , Ben Tate , Josh Gordon , Michael Floyd , DeAndre Hopkins and Jermichael Finley ). But we're adding to the list to give you more options on Draft Day.
Here are 10 additional sleepers for you to consider on Draft Day.
, QB, Eagles: There are a lot of No. 2
quarterbacks I like this season, which is why we continue to say the
position is so deep.
all have the ability to be starting Fantasy quarterbacks, but none
present the same upside as Vick. He is potentially among the biggest
difference makers at any position, and you can draft him with a pick in
Round 11 or later. The best thing about taking a flier on Vick is if he
fails, or more likely gets hurt, you can drop him for someone like
Draft Position is Round 12),
(ADP is Round 13) or even
(ADP is Round 16). Or you could not carry a No. 2 quarterback at all.
There's no risk with Vick this season but still all the same reward.
He's looked great in two preseason games in Chip Kelly's offense, and
(ACL) out Vick
can still shine. I'd gamble on Vick because for the first time since his
comeback in 2009 there are really no expectations.
I'd take him ahead of: Jay Cutler , Andy Dalton , Sam Bradford
, QB, Cardinals: Palmer was surprisingly a
quality Fantasy quarterback last season with the Raiders before getting
hurt in Week 16. He had at least 18 Fantasy points in a standard league
in 10 starts, with 20 or more points in five outings. That was with a
mediocre receiving corps, but now Palmer gets the best receiver he's
ever played with in
a pass-happy coach in Bruce Arians. He also has
and the chance to throw the ball until his arm falls
off. Arians was the offensive coordinator for the Colts last season, and
attempted the fifth-most passes in the NFL. Palmer isn't
worth drafting as a starter, but he does have the chance to be a
high-end No. 2 passer with plenty of upside.
I'd take him ahead of: Ben Roethlisberger , Josh Freeman , Matt Schaub
, RB, Packers: I originally had Lacy on my bust
list because he arrived at training camp out of shape, has a lengthy
injury history and is part of a crowded backfield. But heading into the
third preseason game,
has been unimpressive and
has only practiced on a limited basis because of a knee injury. Lacy,
despite some poor angles in a photograph that went viral on Twitter,
appears in good condition despite dealing with a hamstring injury during
camp. He had eight carries for 40 yards in the second preseason game
against the Rams, and even noted Lacy skeptic Pete Prisco, a
CBSSports.com Senior NFL Columnist, has
come around. He's a great flex option in Round 6 based on his
ADP. Harris is also a sleeper with a late-round flier, and I'd rather
have Harris than Franklin as the second-best running back in Green Bay.
I'd take him ahead of: Rashard Mendenhall , Montee Ball , Ahmad Bradshaw
, RB, Rams: Richardson has been named the
starter for the Rams for Week 1 against Arizona, which is no surprise
since he's outplayed
is suspended for the season opener. But there's a strong
belief here that Richardson can hold onto the job all year barring an
injury, and even if he loses carries to Stacy and/or Pead, Richardson
will remain involved on passing downs. In limited playing time in 2012
as a rookie behind
Richardson averaged 4.8 yards per carry (98 for 475 yards) and 6.8 yards
per catch (24 for 163 yards). Give him 165 carries and 35 catches at
those same averages and he's at 1,030 total yards (792 rushing, 238
receiving) with potentially five total touchdowns. That's a great flex
option you can get in Round 6 or 7.
I'd take him ahead of: Andre Brown , Ryan Mathews , Ronnie Hillman
, RB, Jets: Powell isn't a special talent. He's
not even the starter for the Jets, which is a team that should struggle
offensively this season. But Powell might get the chance for an
increased role, and he's worth a late-round flier in all leagues.
, the expected starter, has a lengthy injury history going
back to college, and he's struggled with a nagging hamstring during the
preseason. His absence has allowed Powell to shine with 16 carries for
82 yards in limited work against the Lions and Jaguars. Last season,
Powell closed the year with double digits in Fantasy points in three of
his final seven games, so he could be a valuable reserve, especially if
Ivory misses any time. Don't give up on Ivory yet, but put Powell on
I'd take him ahead of: Danny Woodhead , Jonathan Stewart , Fred Jackson
, WR, Rams: In March, during one of our
podcasts with Adam Aizer, I told him two of my favorite players this
year are going to be
Givens. The Vereen hype is off the charts, and now Givens is quietly
gaining momentum. He's had a great preseason so far with four catches
for 139 yards and a touchdown in two games against Cleveland and Green
getting all the hype as new additions to the passing game,
Givens might be the best of the bunch. Last season, when
missed time, Givens took over. Amendola was out for
five games in 2012, and Givens had at least eight Fantasy points in four
of those five outings and benefited from the increased targets. That
could continue this year, and he's worth drafting as a No. 3 receiver in
Round 8 or 9.
I'd take him ahead of: Greg Jennings , Anquan Boldin , Miles Austin
, WR, Chargers: San Diego is banged up at
out for the year and
(bruised lung) dealing
with injuries. Someone has to catch the ball from
, and Brown should be the No. 2 target behind
. He was a popular sleeper in 2012 before a broken ankle
kept him out for the season, but he should be 100 percent for the start
of this year. It's also technically his third season, which is the year
when receivers have a breakout campaign. His ADP is Round 12, and I'd
gladly take him as my No. 4 or 5 receiver in that spot.
I'd take him ahead of: Emmanuel Sanders , Denarius Moore , Justin Blackmon
, WR, Patriots: It's hard to find a
receiver who's generated more buzz in training camp than Thompkins. All
signs point to him being the starter opposite Amendola, and we know the
allure of catching passes from
has most Fantasy owners excited. New England's receiving corps is in
flux with the loss of
(back) hurt, and Thompkins could play a vital role in filling some of
that production. He's easily worth a late-round flier, and if he has
another strong preseason outing (he had four catches for 23 yards in the
opener against the Eagles while working with Brady) then his value will
rise. He's a great No. 4 or 5 receiver with the upside to be a starter
in three-receiver leagues.
I'd take him ahead of: Sidney Rice , Cordarrelle Patterson , Aaron Dobson
, TE, Browns: If Thompkins has been the hot
name at receiver, than Cameron has been the guy at tight end. There are
four sleeper options emerging at tight end during the preseason with
but Cameron is the best of the bunch. He had three catches for 42 yards
and two touchdowns against the Lions in the second preseason game, but
that's just the eye-opener for most Fantasy owners. Digging deeper
you'll find that Cameron gets the chance to play for a tight-end
friendly coach in Rob Chudzinski, who has worked with
tenure as an assistant. Cameron, like Gates, is a former basketball
player, and if he can stay healthy he could be a Top 10 Fantasy tight
end this year.
I'd take him ahead of: Brandon Myers , Owen Daniels , Brandon Pettigrew
, TE, Patriots: The Patriots might have found
gold in two undrafted rookies in Thompkins and Sudfeld, who played at
Nevada. With Gronkowski potentially out for the season opener -- if not
longer -- and Hernandez gone, Sudfeld could be the starter in Week 1
against Buffalo. He has played well in the preseason with three catches
for 54 yards and a touchdown, and even when Gronkowski is healthy,
Sudfeld could remain in the Hernandez role, which we've seen the past
three years has been valuable in New England. He's definitely worth a
late-round flier in all leagues, and he could emerge as a potential
starter with another strong preseason outing. And if Gronkowski gets bad
news that he's out for an extended period of time then Sudfeld could be
I'd take him ahead of: Jermaine Gresham , Fred Davis , Coby Fleener