Fantasy Football 2014: Sleepers & Busts
When it comes to fantasy football, it doesn’t get better than debating “sleepers” and “busts.” For the most part, everyone knows who can be counted on to rank in the top ten or twenty, but it’s your theories after that that determine your drafting philosophy and how you build your team.
It’s pretty simple: some guys need Peyton Manning to produce, some don’t. Hunter doesn’t. Predictions have him falling as far as the sixth or seventh round, and that’s silly. He’ll be good this year.
Eighty-seven receptions, nearly 1,300 yards, and 11 touchdowns. Those were Eric Decker’s numbers with the Broncos last year, good for top ten fantasy production amongst wide receivers. Guess who’s filling Decker’s void in Denver? Sanders. Now, he’s not as big as Decker, meaning he may have more trouble fighting off press corners, but he is faster and better after the catch than Decker. But the biggest reason he’s on here is because I’m seeing him go in Round 7 or 8 of most drafts, after guys like Terrance Williams. That’s a joke. Please don’t be that guy (or girl) who misses Sanders because you decided to draft Terrance Williams first. C’mon.
As far as I can tell, Woods is a sleeper for one reason, and one reason only: He’s playing in Buffalo. But look closer, and you’ll see that Woods had a nice little season last year. With Stevie Johnson drawing double coverage, Woods was dangerous in the slot and as a number two receiver. This year, with the even more talented Sammy Watkins getting all the attention, Woods is primed for even greater success. Think of it this way: FantasyPros ranks his average draft position as 76, and yet 96 percent of experts have him going higher. They’re right, he should.
Look, dislike him or hate him – because no one loves the guy – he’s the number one receiver in St. Louis. He’s going to get the ball. With Zac Stacy tearing it up on the ground, the underrated Britt will have his chances. You may not like Bradford either, but he’ll hit a wide open receiver, and Britt has the skills to get that open against single coverage. Definite sleeper pick.
After micro fracture surgery to his knee last year, everyone forgot about the rookie tight end out of Cincinnati. But this year, he’s healthy, and so far in the preseason, it doesn’t matter who’s throwing him the ball, he’s taking it and galloping for chunks of yards. Of all the sleeper picks on this list, Kelce is the one I see with the best chance to explode this year. He has the size, speed, and hands to frustrate opposing defenses. Draft him.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me thrice… Jared Cook, ladies and gentlemen!
Can we stop with this? Please? Can we give up on Mark Ingram? He’s just not the NFL player we thought he was going to be. Let’s come to terms with that. I’ll admit that I was sucked in by this Sports Science video. And now I can admit that was stupid. I hope you can too.
Foster’s here because of how high people are drafting him. Many draft “experts” have him going at or around the tenth pick. That’s a joke. For one, Foster’s playing in a different offense than he has the past couple years, one that doesn’t use the one cut and go system he excels in. That, coupled with the fact that he was injured for much of last year drops him out of the first round. Your first round pick has to be a reliable S T U D, and Foster’s not that this year.
Murray’s also here because of how high people are taking him in drafts. He’s not a first rounder. First and foremost, there’s his injury history, but let’s look past that for a moment. Let’s use common sense. Murray will be playing on a team with one of the worst defenses in the league. Last year, they were historically, record-settingly bad, and pretty much all they’ve done since is accumulate more injuries. Meaning they’re going to have to pass to keep up. Meaning they won’t be running. So there’s that. Yes, there’s an upside for him in PPR leagues, but that upside does not push him back into the top 20 picks. He’s a third or fourth round pick.
No. No, no, no, no, no. Don’t do it. Don’t you do it. Roll Tide all you want, but stay the hell away from Richardson. You don’t owe him anything, even if you are an Alabama fan. It’s fine – you can learn to let go. He doesn’t play for Alabama anymore. With time, you’ll learn to hate him like Michael hates Toby. For now, just don’t draft him.