One of the keys to winning your fantasy football league is the ability to recruit Sleepers. “Sleepers” are NFL players who are drafted much lower rounds in their fantasy football drafts than their final stats justify. In terms of shopping, this is like buying a 22oz bottle of Not Your Father root beer (the 19.9% version… hmmmmmmmm) at A&W prices. In the world of full-season fantasy football, this is the path to the league championship. We have seen championships won on the heels of Sleepers every year. They’ve come out of nowhere to record monsters years after being double-digit wire picks or waivers. When you can grab a player late in your draft who becomes your #1 producer at a certain position, you my friends have a true Sleeper. Below are some projected fantasy football sleepers by position for the 2015 season.
2015 fantasy football sleepers
Quarterback: teddy bridgewater (Minnesota) – Teddy took over Matt Cassel’s kidneys at Minny in Week 4 in 2014 and has never looked back. He was prepared, confident and productive and returned in 2015 as the starting game starter with experience and new toys. He had a trio of running backs to turn the ball over last year, but none of them were named Adrian Peterson. One would think the Vikings will crush Peterson since he has fresh legs, which is possible, but having him in the backfield will open up the passing game much more than the time-share of last year. The Vikings also improved at WR by trading aging Greg Jennings and adding stretcher Mike Wallace. On top of that, the Vikings will have a healthy TE Kyle Rudolph to add to the mix. Teddy is being drafted in double-digit rounds as QB2, but there’s no reason not to believe you won’t find more games you won’t want to start with him.
Also considered: Derek Carr (Oakland), Ryan Fitzpatrick (Buffalo)
RB: joseph randle (Dallas) — As much as owner Jerry Jones is a jerk, there’s no way he’s going to let DeMarco Murray go and be content to bring in RB Darren McFadden to replace him unless he’s confident in his 2014 backup RBs. McFadden’s move was a sympathy move from a fellow Razorback alumnus, as McFadden has been a real bust since he was drafted by Oakland in 2008, though injuries are the main reason. He was very talented in college, but one has to wonder how much his speed has affected his myriad of injuries. With McFadden already battling hamstring injuries, Randle is strengthening his position as the starting game starter when Dallas realizes that McFadden is as far from a reliable workhorse as I am. Randle is just 23 years old and has a great combination of size and speed. Even if Randle starts the season with just 15 carries per game, I’m expecting good things, since he could probably get 100 yards per game behind that huge Cowboys offensive line.
Also considered: David Cobb (Tennessee), David Johnson (Arizona)
WR: nick toon (New Orleans) – We introduced the Saints’ Brandin Cooks in the spot last season and he made us look smart … until he was lost to injury. He returned this season and is healthy, but the Saints have rebuilt his offense and, in the process, lost TE Jimmy Graham and WR Kenny Stills. With WR Marques Colston getting older, Cooks will need a running mate and we hope Toon will be that mate. He is entering his third year in the league and seemed to catch up with quarterback Drew Brees in late 2014 when he had 17 of his 23 career receptions in the last 6 games of the season. Even though the Saints started to rely more on the running game last season, there’s no way they won’t keep Brees’ shooting arm active and we see Toon MUCH more involved than ever in the past. He should be able to catch it with the latest WR pick of his and not risk much for a big lead, making him a great fantasy football sleeper.
Also considered: Allen Robinson (Jacksonville), Davante Adams (Green Bay)
YOU: Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Tampa Bay) – Jenkins was highly regarded entering his rookie season in 2014, but he limped through the season with foot, ankle and back problems and made little impact. He comes into 2015 healthy and with a rookie quarterback, which is often a good thing for a pass-catching tight end, as a rookie quarterback often checks quickly and finds his TE when the pass rush is off. about. At 6’6″ and 262 pounds, Jenkins will be easy for quarterback Jameis Winston to find on the field. The Bucs added new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter this season from Atlanta. Atlanta put the ball in the air more than all teams minus two last season so there should be plenty of opportunities to get that ball into Austin’s big hands in Tampa.
Also consider: Rob Housler (Cleveland), Josh Hill (New Orleans)
K: Connor Barth (Denver) – Barth came on board in 2014 after the Broncos kicked Brandon McManus to the curb and quickly made 15 of 16 field goal attempts and all of his extra points. Barth didn’t line up for any really long field goal attempts, but he had shown the strength of his leg during his four seasons in Tampa, so he would expect to see those opportunities present themselves in the air for Denver this season. Denver’s offense may not be the powerhouse this season that it has been since quarterback Peyton Manning joined the team, but they will give Barth more than ample opportunity to challenge for the league scoring title.
Also considered: Greg Zuerlein (St. Louis), Blair Walsh (Minnesota)
D: Miami Dolphins – The Dolphins were slightly above average last season with DEs Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon causing a bit of havoc. In the off-season, the Finns added Ndamukong Suh and now this defensive line is one of the top 2-3 units in the league. With the added pressure, you can also expect an increase in fumbles and interceptions. Expect the defense to really rack up points in the first half of the season as neither opponent has a scary offense, look forward to a game in Foxboro and I honestly hope the Patriots drop a notch this year.
Also consider: New York Jets, Minnesota