Could Geno be one of the best 2014 Fantasy Sleepers?
Everyone knows that the draft is one of the most important parts of your fantasy football season, as it shapes your entire team for the season. However, it is those late round selections or waiver wire pickups that can really make the difference and help you to win your league. Every year some lesser known players emerge and become critical to your teams chances of winning your league. If you can identify who they might be at this stage of the season, you can be ahead of the curve and have them on your bench and ready to help you when they seize their opportunity. Over the next few articles I intend to identify a number of players who are going late in drafts or players who could outperform their adp, and could help you win your league. I will be starting off with Quarterbacks and Wide Receivers.
The Quarterback position is deeper than ever and due to the fact that most league only start 1 it has also become devalued. I would recommend waiting as long as you can before selecting a QB.
Geno Smith: NYJ
Smith was a bit of a Jeckyll and Hyde player last season having some great games and some truly awful ones. However he should have learned a lot from his 1st season under centre and the Jets have done a lot to improve offensively. Last season Smith had a non-existent receiving core and still managed to produce on occasions. With the addition of Eric Decker this season he has a legitimate WR1 and should find much more success. The addition of Chris Johnson at RB should also help open up the field for Smith to make more throws. I also believe that Stephen Hill could emerge into a good starter and give Smith another weapon on offense. In most leagues Smith will be waiver wire fodder, but I would select him late in the draft as I see plenty of upside in the Jets QB.
Ryan Tannehill: MIA
Tannehill is entering his 3rd season at QB and has been a little disappointing so far. However over the past 2 seasons he has shown signs that he could make the plays to make his team succeed, and can make the players around him better. This season with the introduction of a new offensive co-ordinator I expect his numbers to improve and think he is a good selection late in drafts. His chemistry with Mike Wallace has been improving and he already has good chemistry with Hartline and Clay. Quarterbacks tend to make a leap around age 25 or 26 and I think this can be Tannehills year.
Other QB sleepers I like:
He had a decent season last year, and the Cardinals have improved a lot this year. He has plenty of weapons around him and is going very late in drafts.
Manning is coming off a terrible season where he threw interception after interception. This season he will be operating in a new offensive scheme and this could make him one of the top scoring QB’s. He has had a shaky preseason so far, but that should only push his adp even lower and he could end up being a potential bargain
Dalton has been a real boom or bust player so far in his career. However, if he can become more consistent he could be a steal in drafts, as he has lots of offensive weapons and has shown he can put up big numbers.
The running back position is one of the most important in Fantasy Leagues (especially Redraft) and can make or break your season. Therefore it is important to have a good collection on your team.
James White: NE
The Patriots Offensive Line is one of the best in the league for run blocking and their offense should lead to plenty of production for fantasy purposes. Rookie James White who was taken in round 4 of the draft, has looked good so far in pre-season and practice and could have a good shot at seeing playing time this season. The only player standing in his way is Steven Ridley (who could be one fumble away from the bench) as Shane Vereen is more of a change of pace back who will be used in different packages. I think the Patriots will find a way to use him and he will eventually emerge as the starter ahead of Ridley. He is also a good investment in Dynasty as both Vereen and Ridley are in the last year of their contracts. If he continues to perform well in pre-season he will start to rise up draft boards, but currently he is a good investment towards the end of your draft.
Andre Williams: NYG
Jennings is the clear starter in New York, but with Wilson having to retire it leaves the path open for Williams to become part of a 1-2 punch for the Giants. Coach Tom Coughlin has been known to use multiple backs and Williams has looked very good in practice and in the pre- season games so far. He has been getting looks at the goal line and should see enough touches in each game to become a viable starter. His only downside is that he is a terrible pass catcher and needs to improve in pass protection. However, he should improve over time and if Jennings were to get injured at any stage throughout the season his touches would greatly increase. At the moment he can still be had late in drafts, but his adp is on the rise.
Other RB sleepers I like:
Terrance West (CLE)
There has been a lot of hype about West, but his adp has remained quite low. Tate is his main competition, and he is quite injury prone. He could take over the starting job at some point this season.
Darren McFadden (OAK)
When the Raiders signed MJD from the Jags it caused McFadden’s adp to plummet. They should form a committee this season. However when healthy McFadden is the more explosive back and is the back I would draft in Oakland.
Jonathan Grimes/Alfred Blue (HOU)
Arian Foster has a history of missing games, so it is entirely possible that he will miss some time this season too. The Texans just cut Brown which shows they have confidence in Foster’s other backups. Whichever back wins the no.2 job(and at this point it looks like Grimes) will be worth selecting in the late rounds of your draft.