Monte’s Fantasy Football Sleeper Picks
It’s that time of the year – NFL Fantasy Drafts! With the preseason getting underway, you start thinking “Who am I taking with the third overall pick!?” We all know the big names of Aaron Rodgers, Calvin Johnson, and Arian Foster, etc. However, the sleeper picks are where we cash in, right? That tenth round, third wide receiver you take on a flyer who turns out to be Victor Cruz, salsaing his way to a league title for you. Check out my 2012 sleepers!
As an avid fantasy football player, I have been doing some research on whom may be this year’s big sleeper picks – some late round guys that could bring a trophy and maybe some green your way come January.
1) Titus Young – WR, Detroit Lions. This may be a biased pick, given the fact that Monte loves his Detroit Lions. However, this could be Young’s year. In his rookie campaign, the kid hauled in 48 passes for 607 yards and 6 TDs while being behind Megatron, Calvin Johnson and Nate Burelson. While teams are looking to double up Johnson and his monstrous stats, my man-crush, Matthew Stafford, is poised to target Young more this season. In his last four games of 2011, Young caught 17 passes and 4 TDs. CBS has him projected to grab 61 passes, 884 yards and and 8 TDS, ahead of other known names like Anquan Boldon, Michael Crabtree and Santonio Holmes.
2) Peyton Hillis – RB, Kansas City Chiefs. It may be hard to put the former Madden Cover Boy and former 1,000 yard runner into a sleeper pick category, but the situation he is in this season looks dandy. Hillis is reunited with his old offensive coordinator in KC after a rough 2011 as a Brown. We saw Hillis rack up 1,177 and 11 TDs back in 2010 under OC Brian Daboll. The starter in KC, Jamaal Charles, had 1,467 yards on the ground in 2010 to lead the league in rushing. Sadly, Charles tore up his ACL in week two last season. Enter Hillis – a back with proven capabilities, plenty of tread on the tires, and the backup to a guy who is fresh off a bum knee. CBS has him projected for 779 yards and about 8 TDs.
3) Eric Decker – WR, Denver Broncos. Last year, Decker caught 44 passes for 612 yards and 8 TDs with a lot of throws coming from the legend we call Tebow. How good do you think his third season will be this year with the ball zipping off of Peyton Manning’s arm? CBS has the kid getting 74 passes, 994 yards and 7 TDs. His projected stats put him ahead of Dwayne Bowe, Reggie Wayne and Vincent Jackson. I may go one step further than CBS and put this guy very high on my radar in the draft.
4) Petyon Manning – QB, Denver Broncos. Huh!? Sleeper? Well, be honest – you’re ready to pick a QB, who you taking? Brady, Brees, Rodgers, Newton? How many names can you list off before Peyton comes off the board? I bet you can almost hit double digits. Manning missed all of last year following several neck surgeries and he’s in a brand new system. The four time MVP can certainly fly under the radar in the QB class this year. There is a chance that Peyton goes in the sixth round this year and CBS has hit projected to toss 4,412 yards and 31 TDs. Would you take those stats in the sixth round and call him a sleeper? I would.
5) Cedric Benson – RB, Green Bay Packers. Another oldie but a goodie. Benson has ran for over 1,000 yards the last three seasons and hasn’t hit that “magic number” for running back to decline yet. At 29, he may still have some carries in him. With the arm on Rodgers, the Pack haven’t had much of a need to run the ball, and that’s a darn good thing given the crop of backs they had. James Starks and Ryan Grant both amassed over 500 yards to be the top two rushers on the team. When is the last time you can remember a machine of a team like Green Bay demolish the league and have zip on the ground? Even Brady and the Pats had some ground work with Green-Ellis and Laurence Maroney. Grant had the makings to be a star before an injury cost him the season in 2010. Benson is predicted to rushf or 742 yards and score 5 TDs – pretty good flex spot in my mind.
What about yourself? Any sleeper picks you’r eyeing in this year’s NFL fantasy drafts?