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Maurice Jones-Drew is one of our 2014 Fantasy Football Sleepers
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Fantasy Football Sleepers

Key fantasy football sleepers in your 2014 draft

Fantasy football sleepers that develop into primetime players can give your team a huge advantage over your opponents. Needless to say, selecting players later in your draft that yield early pick production can make for a long season for your league mates.

Some of the Docs' past fantasy football sleepers include:

2013: WR Alshon Jeffery & RB Zac Stacy
2012: RB C.J. Spiller & RB Stevan Ridley
2011: WR Jordy Nelson
2010: WR Hakeem Nicks & WR Mike Wallace
2009: WR Miles Austin
2008: RB Steve Slaton & WR Calvin Johnson
2007: WR Braylon Edwards
2006: RB Frank Gore
2005: RB LaMont Jordan

These are not your run-of-the-mill fantasy football sleepers on everyone's radar for their respective draft year. These fantasy football sleepers proved to be major superstars that could be had very late in fantasy drafts of their respective draft year and brought home fantasy championships for many folks. Drafting sleepers of this high caliber later in your draft makes a huge, substantial impact on the odds of you winning your league championship. Consequently, it is no secret that many championship teams can point to some "surprise" fantasy football sleepers during their draft that were real difference makers for their team. With that in mind, the Docs have crunched the numbers and uncovered numerical trends that increase the odds of picking successful 2014 fantasy football sleepers during your draft. A list of those players along with detailed commentary providing insight regarding why these players are considered fantasy football sleepers is provided below. Enough with the talk, let's get to our 2014 fantasy football sleepers:

Click the link below to check out the Docs' 2014 busts:
Fantasy Football Busts

For more information on what is meant by a "fantasy football sleepers" or "Average Draft Position", click here (or read the information located at the bottom of this article).

  Player Type: SLEEPER Team Position
  Christine Michael SEA RB

A top performer at his position in 5 out of 7 physical tests at the NFL combine, Michael has first round talent despite being drafted in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Michael's draft stock slipped to the second round because he had trouble staying healthy in college. Last season, Michael was only given 18 carries, so you don't have a lot of professional experience to base Fantasy optimism on for 2014. Michael's early offseason average draft position has him getting drafted at the end of the 8th round in standard 12 team leagues. That is certainly backup territory for most fantasy teams. Marshawn Lynch will continue to be Seattle's #1 RB option, and Lynch will remain the back to own. Lynch is a superstar, so don't get any idea about Lynch losing his job to Michael. However, Lynch will start to lose some carries to Michael. The team has repeatedly stated that they plan to get Michael more involved. Seahawks positional coaches have commented on how exceptional Michael has looked this offseason. Even with Michael syphoning off some carries from Lynch, he still has little fantasy value. However, Michael has the talent to be a home run if Lynch misses time. Lynch carried the ball 366 times last year through the regular season and the playoffs. 370 regular season carries is a statistictal number that impacts RBs ability to recover from the abuse. Many RBs have broken down after that excessive usage. Our Running Back Carries article is one of the more popular ones on the site. 366 regular and post season carries combined don't throw up the red flag for Lynch, but that is cause enough to throw up a caution flag. In our eyes, Lynch has an elevated chance of missing time in 2014. More than a few times, a studly backup has elevated fantasy teams to greatness. That was the case with Larry Johnson behind Priest Holmes and with Sean Alexander behind Ricky Watters. If you want to win your Fantasy league, you have to swing for the fences now and then. Michael fits that mold and he could be a difference maker in 2014. If you own Lynch, you had better make certain that you add Michael.

  Player Type: SLEEPER Team Position
  Maurice Jones-Drew OAK RB

After 8 years in Jacksonville, it was time for a change, and that is exactly what Maurice Jones-Drew (MJD) sought in the off-season. MJD will undoubtedly benefit from the breath of fresh air playing for a new NFL franchise. Once he became available, several teams came immediately calling, including the Patriots and Steelers. However, once all the smoke cleared, MJD wanted to be in Oakland. At 29 years old, MJD has several playing years left in his career, and the fact that he chose Oakland, particularly considering the other teams that were interested in him, says a lot without explicitly saying a lot. Oakland made several off-season moves that will make them better offensively, including signing QB Matt Schaub (HOU) and WR James Jones (GRB). The fact Oakland signed MJD to a three year deal and offered only a one year deal to RB Darren McFadden also gives reason to pause. McFadden has been plagued with injuries throughout his six year career, and he has only been able to make 57 of the possible 96 starts during that time (59%). McFadden isn't getting any younger, and his hamstrings aren't getting any more robust. MJD has done a much better job staying on the field, despite being the only offensive weapon in JAX. When all 11 defenders are singularly focused on shutting you down as an RB, it's a miracle MJD was able to experience any kind of success, let alone three seasons were he averaged almost 1,800 yards of total offense and 11 total TDs per season (2009 - 2011). Now playing in the offense heavy AFC West, MJD is in a good place fantasywise. Oakland is going to have to keep the offensive gunning when facing the scoring machines of DEN, SDG, and KC. As a dual-threat run-catch option out of the backfield, MJD will be able to stay on the field in just about any offensive formation. He also is well known for being a bowling ball with his low, strong runs, which makes him option #1 on the goal line. MJD has been a workout warrior this off-season and in great shape, making him a strong value pick later in your draft with upside to be an every week starter for your team.

RB Christine Michael and RB Maurice Jones-Drew are just 2 of 16 key fantasy football sleepers and busts picks for your 2014 fantasy football draft. The complete list, along with our Draft Advisor Software, Overall Rankings (450+), In-depth Projections, Player Profiles (300+), Draft Magazine, and more are included in our 2014 Total Draft Package, which and can be purchased for just $11.95. Everything is updated each and every week to account for injuries, trades, and depth-chart adjustments that occur during the NFL Preseason. Just click on the button below to get access today!

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What are fantasy football sleepers?
Fantasy football sleepers are players that significantly outperform their average draft position. In short, if you are fortunate enough to select a good "sleeper" pick, you were able to grab a player that yielded much higher production than otherwise anticipated prior to the NFL season. Consequently, you want to select your fantasy football sleepers a round earlier than you anticipate them being taken by your league mates. However, you do not want to select your fantasy football sleepers too early as this gives you the opportunity to use those earlier picks on more reliable players while they are still available.

What is "Average Draft Position"?
Average Draft Position is an indicator of when a player could be selected based on the average of hundreds of drafts completed by various fantasy football leagues and mock drafts. This is very helpful information when evaluating potential fantasy football sleepers. For those that are interested, checkout our article,
Fantasy Football Mock Drafts, for direct access to free resources containing mock draft and ADP information for the 2014 fantasy football season.

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