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5 Fantasy Football Sleepers That Will Help You Win Your League

Submitted by on August 27, 2012 – 4:23 pm2 Comments

With the NFL regular season only a week away, many of you are having your Fantasy Football drafts in the next couple of days. This season looks to be one of the more unpredictable in recent years, as injuries, changes in scenery, and the NFL’s transition into a passing league (with a special focus on tight ends that may or may not be the trend) makes it difficult to figure out how to draft effectively.

I’ve been playing Fantasy Football since before I was a teenager using a pencil and paper to keep track of scoring (yeah, I dated myself). I’d consider myself a professional and have won league championships in four straight seasons. As I tell everyone, Fantasy Football leagues are won in the mid to late rounds and not in the first three rounds. So save all your whining about not getting the first pick for someone else because that person usually never wins. Last year, I won by snagging Gronkowski, and the two years before that were all about Darren Sproles. Hell, back in 2007 I scooped up a fellow by the name of Jamal Lewis in the 10th round and he played a major role in helping me snatch a title.

2012 is all about the sleepers and you need one to win. So take my advice and find a way to grab one of these five guys and then hit me when you are celebrating your league victory.

Pierre Garcon

Even without Peyton Manning throwing him the ball, Pierre Garcon managed to have a productive 2011 season with 947 yards receiving and six touchdowns. Now that he’s with the Redskins and superfreak Robert Griffin III, I anticipate Garcon having a monster year in 2012. It’s not just because of his skills, which are already pretty remarkable. There are a few other variables that will assist in Garcon having a big year. For one, Fred Davis will take a lot of pressure off of Garcon. Unlike last year in Indy, defenses won’t zone in on Garcon alone or else Davis will kill them underneath. Right now I’ve seen him go as far as the 7th round on draft boards behind Miles Austin, Mike Wallace, and Dwayne Bowe. Big mistake as Garcon could light it up this year.

Jared Cook

While everyone is becoming tight end happy with Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, and Vernon Davis, they seem to be forgetting about Titans TE Jared Cook. In the final three games of 2011, Cook went wild with 335 yards receiving. Considering that he’s an athletic freak at 6-5 and 248 lbs, and that he had steady playing time in 2012, you can anticipate him building on last season’s flashes of brilliance.

Josh Freeman

Last season sucked for Josh Freeman after posting a remarkable sophomore campaign. He went from a 95.9 QB rating to 74.6 as his interceptions nearly quadrupled and his TD passes dipped. But with Vincent Jackson coming to town to play alongside Dallas Clark and Mike Williams, Freeman should be able to return closer to his 2010 form. Not to mention that Doug Martin and LeGarrette Blount should help open up the passing game. Freeman is way down on draft boards behind Jake Locker, Phillip Rivers, and Andrew Luck. If you aim high for Cam Newton, Michael Vick, or RG3, having Freeman as your backup is some pretty damn good insurance.

Davone Bess

In a case of “somebody-has-to-catch-the-damn-ball,” Davone Bess should end up being the #1 target in Miami. With Chad Johnson gone and the rest of the receiving crew in shambles, Bess could reap the benefits of Ryan Tannehill seeking a WR to build chemistry with. He already has two 75+ reception seasons in his portfolio and this could be yet another. If your league counts punt returns, he could be a huge benefit to your team. Bess is way, way down on draft boards behind the likes of Alston Jeffery, Doug Baldwin, and Santana Moss. You could likely snag him late and stash him on the bench or as a flex option.

Michael Bush

Bush might be the best #2 back in all of football right now. And considering that Matt Forte is used to having his goal line touches vultured by the likes of Marion Barber in the past, a grind ‘em down runner like Bush should come up big in the red zone. Oh yeah, offensive coordinator Mike Tice already suggested that both Bush and Forte could have 1,000+ yard seasons. In the past two seasons, Bush has had 15 TDs while rushing for over 1,600 yards in Oakland. With Brandon Marshall opening up the passing game in Chi-town, don’t be too surprised if Bush has a Mike Tolbert type of year. Considering that he’s ranked lower than Toby Gerhart, Evan Royster, and fragile Beanie Wells, scooping him up as a flex option or insurance in the event that one of your top backs gets injured wouldn’t be a bad idea.

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