Rookie Fantasy Football Sleepers

It has been one week since many of the top college standouts have achieved one of their dreams, a chance to play professional football.  The pomp and circumstance event is held every year, in the city of all American cities, New York.  As a self-proclaimed National Football League chameleon, my thoughts were not about who my team would draft at their position, as I don’t have a favorite team, but rather what players would most likely become this year’s fantasy sleepers.

We all know that fantasy goodness doesn’t just come from talent alone, but that you need players to be in the right positions on the right teams and at the right time.  If a player such as Justin Blackmon doesn’t have the right team members, he fails.

If he isn’t issued the the correct receiver routes for his talent, he becomes a lost cause.  If this draft’s arguably best wide receiver doesn’t have the right teammates and coaches, he may also never flourish in this competitive league.  That’s why I take a look at some of the draft’s sleepers that could help out your fantasy team this year.

There are plenty of productive players who came out of the draft. Here’s four to look for this fantasy season.

Besides the obvious top 5 picks (Luck, Griffin III, Richardson, Kalil, and Blackmon) one of the two most fantasy influential picks in the first round was Michael Floyd.  He has the size, the skills, and the stats (stats are similar to Justin Blackmon) to be a top NFL wide receiver.  Add that to giving him one hell of a mentor and teammate in the Arizona Cardinals #1 wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, and you have yourself a chance for a breakout receiver.  The Cardinals have proven they can support two starting fantasy receivers, if not three (Remember when Fitzgerald, Breaston, and Boldin were all on the same team?).

The biggest detractor may, in fact, be the quarterback situation.  Kevin Kolb was less than stellar in his starting quarterback role last season before getting injured and everyone after him wasn’t much help either.  If Kolb can get it together this season, and with the weapons he has he better, Floyd could easily be a flex play much of the season.  He has all the talent to win one-on-one battles, and that’s all he’ll be facing with Larry Fitzgerald being double covered.

Michael Floyd has all the skills to be this open in the NFL.

David DeCastro.  Sure, he may be an offensive lineman, but he is now a lineman for an offense that has struggled recently because of their injured and aging line.  Remember that we are talking influential picks at this point and DeCastro has the chance to have a great affect on the already oozing with talent skill positions of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  How DeCastro plays affects the stats and opportunities of at least 3 fantasy starters in Ben Roethlisberger, Mike Wallace, and Rashard Mendenhall.

When Ben gets enough time in the pocket, which he hasn’t had in the past couple of seasons, he can be a top 5 fantasy QB.  Of course, Wallace’s receiving performance depends on the quarterback throwing to him not getting sacked or injured.

Also, Mendenhall is recovering from a bad year last year that could partly be blamed on the offensive line.  If David DeCastro plays to his potential, you could see a rise in the second and third wide receivers of Antonio Brown and Emmanual Sanders.

Two of the most intriguing running backs to watch for or pick up in super deep leagues are Chris Polk and Edwin Baker.  Edwin Baker only two years ago was the workhorse for the Michigan State Spartans with 1,201 yards rushing with 13 touchdowns against some pretty solid college defenses in the Big 10 (On a side note: Can we please change the names of these conferences with numbers in them when those numbers aren’t true anymore?).  Baker is a player who needs to be used consistently to do well, which is why last year lost efficiency as Michigan State spread the ball around more between their running backs.

If given the chance in San Diego with Mike Tolbert now gone and an injury prone Ryan Mathews, he could have a chance to become a #2 fantasy running back, otherwise, expect him to be a running back who may get 1-3 carries a game.

Chris Polk is arguably the best undrafted free agent in the past couple of years.

What may be the shocker of the draft, running back Chris Polk goes undrafted and signs with the Philadelphia Eagles where he will start at the bottom of the depth chart and have to work his way up.  The most logical explanation of why he wasn’t drafted is that he has quite a bit of mileage on his legs from college, getting over 250 touches for three out of his four seasons with the Washington Huskies with no less than 1250 total yards in those 3 seasons.

I would look for Polk to become a solid flex play by mid-to-late season as injuries begin to tear at Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy.   If there is a “touchdown vulture” every season, I would place $30 of my $100 betting limit on Polk to become that guy this season.

Well that’s it for now.  Who do you guys think will be this year’s football fantasy sleepers?

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About nichbeesley

Nicholas Beesley is a Michigan State University student majoring in television and film, a producer for MSU&U, and a lifelong wrestling fan. Also, he will gladly argue over facts, but will spend hours trying to form a simple opinion on any topic that’s not wrestling or fantasy football related.

View all posts by nichbeesley


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