"I know of a player in Tampa Bay due for a big season and his name isn't Mike Evans...just sayin'..." (Cliff Welch / Icon SMI)
Fantasy Football Sleepers
Key fantasy football sleepers in your 2015 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
Some of the Docs' past fantasy football sleepers include:
2014: WR Emmanuel Sanders & TE Antonio Gates (16th round 2014 ADP)
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 2015 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 2015 fantasy football sleepers:
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
Coleman is lightning in a bottle, and it's hard to not giggle like school girls when looking at his fantasy potential. Taken in the 3rd round of the 2015 NFL Draft as the 73rd overall pick, he is an absolute boom or bust NFL (and fantasy) pick. Coleman has all the freaky attributes you want as a sleeper pick in fantasy. He is explosive with big time speed, good size at 5'11", and a perfect north-south runner that is well suited for new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's running scheme. Like his father, Mike Shanahan, Kyle Shanahan has developed a strong reputation for developing previously unknown RBs into fantasy machines (2008: HOU RB Steve Slaton; 2012 and 2013: WAS RB Alfred Morris). In college, Coleman played for Indiana. So for those of you highlight reel geeks, take a moment and consider those random highlights of some guy from Indiana you saw last season. That guy was Coleman. Coleman lit up the Big 10 for over 2,000 rushing yards. He was only the 3rd RB in the history of the Big Ten to accomplish this feat in the regular season. The big difference is that the other two (Melvin Gordon and Larry Johnson) ran behind big, talented offensive lines. Coleman ran behind... the Indiana Hoosier offensive line. This brings us back to his explosive capability. Many of Coleman's yards he had to get on his own by burning opposing defenses for long plays. Twenty-eight of Coleman's career-rushing TDs were of 43 yards or longer. Eight of those were 64 yards or longer. Coleman passed on his senior season to enter the NFL draft; otherwise, those numbers would be even higher. The nice thing with Atlanta is that the Falcons are "all-in" on Coleman. Atlanta has paved the way for Coleman to emerge as a feature RB this season, having shown RBs Steven Jackson and Jacquizz Rodgers to the door. This leaves role-playing and undersized RBs Devonta Freeman (5'8") and Antone Smith (5'9") as competition. The Falcons' passing game is good and will keep opposing defenses honest against the run. The speedy turf of the Georgia Dome also works to the favor of an explosive RB like Coleman. Overall, the situation is set up well for Coleman to emerge this season, and he can be had later in your fantasy football draft. His current ADP has him going in the 6th round, which is a good value pick for a RB with the talent and circumstances that Coleman has entering the 2015 season.
Player Type: SLEEPER
Don't ever count out a veteran WR with a strong personality when coupled with a rookie QB. The speed and complexity of the NFL takes a toll on all rookies, but particularly rookie QBs. The NFL playbook is unreal, and it is a giant step from playing QB at the college level to playing QB at the NFL level. For one, all defensive lineman run like deer with the size of a T-Rex. Two, the speed and recovery of DBs in the NFL can leave rookie QBs realizing balls they used to fit in space now turn into interceptions in the NFL. And we are just starting to scratch the surface. This is where a veteran WR can be like a port in a storm for a ship in rough seas. Take for instance the 2011 season of Carolina WR Steve Smith. So many folks counted out Smith that year. After all, he was 32 years old and coming off a season where he only got 554 receiving yards and 2 TDs. Enter rookie QB Cam Newton, and Smith was all over him like white on rice in mini camps. The end result translated to one of Smith's best years as a pro with 1,394 receiving yards and 7 TDs. Ironically, Jackson turns 32 years old this year too. Don't underestimate a former Pro-Bowl WR paired with a rookie QB. A strong personality in the huddle and a big frame can go a long way to getting a significant increase in targets when a rookie QB is running for their life away from these DL T-Rex's. Without question, a key factor for WR success is to have chemistry with their QB. Each QB throws a unique ball with unique delivery that affects timing. If a WR can sync with his QB, they emerge for big years. One of the advantages of veteran WRs is that they have gone through this process several times in their careers, and like anything in life, you get pretty good at things with more experience and time. Jackson is not a new commodity to fantasy, but the shine on his apple is gone as fantasy geeks across this land are always looking for the "next big thing". There are never enough TDs, yards, or receptions, and the mentalities of the "grass is always greener" and "just around the next corner" reign supreme in fantasy. Second year WR Mike Evans represents such a candidate to further cultivate this mentality. Fantasy has anointed him a top-10 WR as of the time of this writing, and folks are ready for even bigger numbers this year. 12 TDs are not enough for Evans (fantasy expects more), and they figure he should at least get 12 TDs again this year. However, fantasy can sometimes be exactly that--fantasy. On a bigger picture, loads of WRs have played in the NFL, but a relatively small few have ever notched double-digit TDs in a season, let alone back to back seasons. In fact, there have been numerous Pro-Bowl WRs that never crossed the 10 TD thresholds in their careers. Ironically, Vincent Jackson is one of them. Is this the year Jackson crosses the 10 TD mark? Maybe, but this does stand to be a year where Jackson significantly outperforms his Average Draft Position (ADP). Last year was last year, and it's a completely new slate with a completely new QB in town. All NFL players are extremely competitive and prideful, and you can bet Jackson is going to be all over his rookie QB with a sense of urgency. At 6'5" / 241 lbs, Jackson can bully opposing DBs, and Jameis Winston is a classic pocket-passer that can throw a nice touch ball high for a player like Jackson. Unlike Evans, Jackson is going much later in fantasy drafts. At the time of this writing, Jackson's Average Draft Position (ADP) has him going in almost the 8th round of a 10 team league and the 30th WR overall. He makes a great value pick with all the skills, favorable circumstances, and intangibles to rebound for a big year, and he is a name to keep in mind during your draft.
RB Tevin Coleman and WR Vincent Jackson are just 2 of 16 key fantasy football sleepers and busts picks for your 2015 fantasy football draft. The complete list, along with our exclusive 2015 Draft Advisor Software, Overall Rankings (450+), In-depth Projections, Player Profiles (300+), offensive line rankings (run and pass), and more are included in our 2015 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!