"Get out of my way - breakout time in 2012." (Icon SMI)
Fantasy Football Sleepers
Key fantasy football sleepers in your 2012 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:
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 2012 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 2012 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
In a word: "confidence" (or lack thereof). That is the answer to just about any question that can be posed about the first RB to be taken in the 2010 NFL Draft (9th overall). Coming into the league out of Clemson, Spiller was an explosive back that could take it to the house from anywhere on the field. However, over his last two seasons in the NFL, Spiller has floundered, and RB Fred Jackson has capitalized. Much of Spiller's lack of production can be attributed to hesitation, which is linked to confidence. A light clicked on for Spiller late last season, and his confidence and comfort in the offense was much improved. Jackson and Spiller will still be in a RBBC, but Spiller is the player to keep your eye on. One of the things you like to see as an indicator of future potential is, "How did you finish?" Almost no one finished better than Spiller in 2011. Ray Rice was a beast over the final 2 games as the #1 player over that period. Rice owners that didn't get to use those points can shed a silent tear now while no one is looking. OK, moment over. Spiller was the #2 RB over the last 2 games of last season. Spiller was the 3rd best RB in the final 4 games of 2011. Currently, Spiller's ADP has him coming off the board in the 7th round of a 12 team league. That is well into the backup RBs as RB #31 based on his ADP. Jackson is expected to return from his season ending broken fibula, but he will be 31 this season. While Jackson doesn't have the game carries that most backs his age have, he still had to suffer 31 years' worth of practice and abuse on his body. Spiller has talent to burn, and he has the proper work ethic to make a resurgence. This will only be Spiller's 3rd season in the NFL, and he is 6 years younger than Jackson. Considering that you can get Spiller 4 rounds after Jackson comes off the board, Spiller makes a great value selection. When you can get a player as electric as Spiller at a good value, you are setting up your fantasy roster for a potential difference maker. If you need a #2 RB to fill in, Spiller could put you over the top. If you just need more talent to help you make a trade, he can do that too.
Player Type: SLEEPER
DHB's NFL career got off to a horrendous start. First, he joined the Raiders, which has been a team struggling to establish an identity beyond their fan base, but finally seem to have things pointed in the right direction with a franchise QB now at the helm. Recall, it took Oakland three years (2007 - 2009) to finally come to grips with the fact that their #1 draft pick, QB JaMarcus Russell, was just a horrendous pick. Russell set them back a few years, as OAK floundered through the rest of the 2009 season and the entire 2010 season before settling on Carson Palmer after the start of the 2011 season. Palmer brings something to the table they haven't had in a long time on offense: stability. Second, DHB wasn't ready for the NFL in 2009. He came to Oakland from the University of Maryland, where he entered the NFL draft a year early, foregoing his senior year. Wide Reciever is a complicated position, particularly in the NFL where timing and chemistry with your QB is critical. However, DHB walked right into a nightmare QB situation with a team trying to find an identity on the field. The end result was an awful rookie campaign, complete with everything from alligator arms to hamstring injuries. The 2010 season wasn't much better for DHB, as he was still trying to get comfortable. However, the light clicked on in 2011, and he started to emerge from his shell to flash some of the talent that made him the 7th overall pick (and first WR to come off the board) in the 2009 NFL Draft. The chemistry that he and new QB Carson Palmer started to develop last season was very clear and no more evident than by DHB's strong finish, where he averaged 7 receptions, 118 receiving yards, and nearly a TD over his final three games. At 6'2" / 205 lbs with sub 4.3 second 40 yard dash speed, it's a little scary what DHB could do this season now with some stability at QB for the first time in his career. Oakland's defense is a work in progress after finishing the 2011 season rated 29th in total defense. This should translate to more pass attempts late in the game by the offense to try to catch-up, which is another feather in DHB's hat for 2012.
RB C.J. Spiller and WR Darrius Heyward-Bey are just 2 of 16 key fantasy football sleepers and busts picks for your 2012 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 2012 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.