Monthly Archives: August 2015


By MV August 27th 2015

Every year Wide Receivers hold the deepest list of sleepers. There are so many Wide Receivers to choose from which is why we will start most of our drafts with two Running Backs with our first two picks. As a baseline for identifying what constitutes a sleeper we used our Average Cheat Sheet and excluded the top 36 Wide Receivers listed. The Average Draft Positions are totaled from 5 of the biggest mock draft sites and we filtered by PPR 12 team league formats. We have included the Average Draft Position (ADP) and Average Cheat Sheet position (ACS) with every pick.

We will break the list into three categories:

1. Sleepers (Drafted as a 4-6 WR but could perform as a #3)
2. Deep-Sleepers (has a great chance to be fantasy starter)
3. You’ll feel like a genius (long-shot with the upside to take a flier on)


Eddie Royal – ADP – 11.5 ACS – WR49
The last time Jay Cutler and Eddie Royal played together Eddie had 91 catches. While this offense may have taken a step back with the departure of Marc Trestman, Adam Gase has been developing a reputation as an offensive mind and has an opportunity to make a name for his self. Eddie is dinged up a bit today going on missing his second practice with a hip contusion. No sweat everyone needs a little rest. With Kevin White out that leaves a large vacancy out wide and Royal gets the chance to fill in. He has been named the “camp MVP” and gets an opportunity to completely revive his career with the Bears.

Stevie Johnson – ADP – 12.5 ACS – WR52
Almost filling in for Eddie Royal enters Stevie Johnson. Stevie was a great Wide Receiver for the Buffalo Bills, and somehow managed to disappear in the 49ers limited and confusing offense. Stevie is going to be utilized in the slot and out wide. Philip Rivers has publicly endorsed Stevie as the player he is “most excited about”. Stevie Johnson should crack the 1000 yard mark for the 4th time in his eight year career.

Michael Crabtree – ADP 12.4 ACS – WR55
Crabtree is purely a value-pick sleeper that has an opportunity to outperform his WR 4-5 draft spot. Kaepernick and Crabtree could really never put it together, mostly because Anquan Boldin and him were so similar that it was difficult to get any differentiation. Playing opposite notable Star-Rookie Amare Cooper should help. Derek Carr has two excellent Wide Receivers and they will still be playing from behind in this new hi-tempo offense. Richard Sherman may have been right, but even a sorry WR could out produce a 12th round ADP.

Doug Baldwin – ADP 14.2 ACS – WR57
Doug Baldwin caught 67% of his targets in 2014. That was 10th best out of the top 50 Wide Receivers in terms of targets. Baldwin is the lowest ranked Wide Receiver 1 in the league. He is not the most exciting player in the league. He will surely benefit from the addition of Jimmy Graham. Jimmy is such a mismatch the safety will always have to keep watch, that should clear some space for some man to man opportunities. You good do much worse then Doug in the 14th round.

Brian Quick – ADP 13.1 ACS – WR50
I heard the comparison to T.O. I miss T.O., I love me some me. Better get your popcorn ready. It’s just a matter of time. Quick is a big powerful fast Wide Receiver that showed us flashes of greatness before going down with a season-ending injury. He suffered from very inconsistent Quarterback play as well. Nick Foles provides that bit of consistency needed to give Quick the opportunity. There is a very high ceiling for this young stud. Own him.


Markus Wheaton – ADP – 12.1 ACS – WR64
Well with today’s news of Martavis Bryant missing the first 4 weeks of the season for smoking that ganja his ADP should rise by a couple of rounds. Still, this is one of the most high-powered offenses in the league. Markus is in his 3rd year which is the year that most Wide Receivers take that next step to stardom. Ben Roethlisberger has been talking him up all camp. Markus was slated as the #2 Wide Receiver before the suspension of Bryant, but everyone was drafting Bryant before Wheaton. He will still be a bargain as a #4 WR in the 10th round.

Marvin Jones – ADP – 15.1 ACS – WR75
Did everyone forget this guy’s stat line in his rookie campaign? 15th round? I assume that his ADP is indicative of his slow start this year. Marvin got a kick in the butt from Coach Lewis a few weeks back for having a difficult time returning to the field. He then started working with the 2’s. He’s now lined up with the 1’s alongside AJ Green and receiving praise from Hue Jackson on his play. He is making good cuts and running great routes. His 2013 stat line was 51-712-10. Look for him to improve on all of those numbers with maybe 2-3 less Touchdowns.

Allen Hurns – ADP – 23.1 ACS – WR65
Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson have been in competition all camp for who has been the best. I love it, healthy internal competition. There is a lot to like about this young offense which is why we have Blake Bortles listed as a deep-sleeper. Hurns is a big guy with wheels and will see just about every offensive play and get a whole bunch of targets. With an ADP of round 23, well he’s basically not getting drafted in a lot of leagues. The addition of TJ Yeldon and Julius Thomas is huge for this offense. If Blake takes the next step forward like we expect him to then Allen Hurns is in for a great year.

Cole Beasley – ADP – 22.7 ACS – WR 67
I am still not sure what the heck is going on with this running game. I cannot believe that they did not make a bigger move than Darren McFadden in free agency. They will throw a lot more than they have had to in years past. I am thinking it will look a lot like Tom Brady-esque high percentage passes to replace the run game. As Terrance Williams runs the deep routes and the world watching Dez look for Cole to get a lot of looks underneath out of the slot. I expect Cole to have about 80+catches this year with at least 6 scores. Not bad for Wide Receiver #67.


Corey Brown – ADP – N/A ACS – WR78
“Philly” Brown changed his name to Corey in the off season. Corey will be the starting Wide Receiver opposite Devin Funchess to start the season. Fantasy Football is all about opportunity and Brown has the best opportunity he may ever get in the NFL. He has been relatively quiet in camp since Kelvin Benjamin’s season ending injury including a dropped pass in last week’s exhibition game. Cam Newton will be creating stuff all season and Corey Brown may prove to be the lucky recipient.

Kamar Aiken – ADP – N/A ACS – WR81
Back in June there was talk of Kamar Aiken pushing Breshad Perriman for the #2 job and at least beating out Marlon Brown for the 3rd WR spot. Someone said Steve Smith is done and nobody has the guts to tell him yet. Funny. Now with Breshad Perriman’s status in total jeopardy with a strained PCL we like the opportunity Kamar Aiken has. We still like Breshad if and when he comes back, but there is room for Kamar to do well as a #3 Wideout in a Marc Trestman offense that does not really have a Tite End ready to catch a full workload.

Brandon Coleman – ADP – N/A ACS – WR87
This guy is 6’6 225 pounds and runs a 4.45 forty. Brandon Coleman will serve as the #3 Wide Receiver behind Marques Colston and Brandin Cooks. Coleman is being touted as the replacement red-zone target for Jimmy Graham. With Colston on the decline this opens the door for Coleman to kick the door open. Sean Payton named him “camp MVP”. With that speed and size, let’s hope he can catch in game action. This is the kind of opportunity and raw physical talent that has WR #1 upside potential.

Jeff Janis – ADP – N/A ACS – WR76
It is still unclear who will take the third spot in this high powered offense which is why both Jeff Janis and Ty Montgomery both made this list. Don’t draft them both, rather take a flier on one and hope you guessed correctly. Janis is 6’3 219 pounds and has been given praise by Aaron Rodgers as the guy that can take over the vertical game. We are not as high on Janis as Ty Montgomery but when Aaron Rodgers speaks we listen.

Ty Montgomery – ADP N/A ACS – WR N/A
The Green Bay beat writers believe Ty Montgomery will win the #3 job, but again, Rodgers is leaving the door open for Janis to gain the spot. We believe that Ty will end up with the job and if I was drafting today I would pick Ty first. A lot will be figured out in the final two preseason games, especially this weekend’s dress rehearsal. Green Bay ran in three Wide Receiver sets for 70% of their offensive plays last season. That makes this a great low risk gamble for the end of your draft.

Leonard Hankerson – ADP – N/A ACS – WR N/A
What a great landing spot for the fifth year 26 year old wideout. Leonard has great speed and should lock up the third Wide Receiver spot in this offense that likes to push the ball down field. If Roddy White’s elbow or any other issues keep him out for very long Hankerson could be lights out. Remember Harry Douglas, he proved that it is all about opportunity and there were a lot of looks to go his way. Leonard has a chance to solidify his role as a replacement to Roddy White and to work alongside Julio Jones. This could be big.

Tyler Lockett – ADP – N/A ACS – WR N/A
This one is a total flier. Tyler has big play ability and has a chance to be the man for a long time in Seattle. He is currently buried on the depth chart behind Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse and Super Bowl sensation Chris Matthews. Lockett looks to be the most talented out of the entire group. Matthews is sidelined with injury and Tyler will get some work with the ones. Dynasty leaguers take note, and deep leaguers he is worth a shot. Everyone else, just remember the name and watch that wire.


By MV August 27th 2015

Take a look at the Wide Receiver targets. This list the TOP 50 wide Receivers in terms of total 2014 targets. I then sorted them by the percentage of those targets caught. There are a few factors involved in why some have better percentages than others, but most notably are Quarterback play and Wide Receiver hands. Is anybody surprised that Randall Cobb, Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders and Odell Beckham Jr. are four of the top five? What about James Jones, Doug Baldwin and Eric Decker in the top ten?

When we take a closer look at each individual it gives us a jump-off point to decide if their opportunity will improve and where the trend line is at. This list helps us identify some undervalued Wide Receivers for 2015. Stay tuned for an update on our undervalued list.

WR's Targets 2014.jpg


Sleeper Quarterbacks

By MV August 23rd 2015

Finding a top 10 fantasy Quarterback in the scrap heap could be the best feeling ever. I remember drafting Jeff Garcia in the 16th round of the 2000 season as probably the 20th QB off the board. Total homer pick. I won the league that year and his 31 TD’s helped. This article will help you find that diamond in the rough and will enable you to feel comfortable waiting on the position. There is help out there.
The overwhelming majority of fantasy leagues are one Quarterback leagues and most of those are 10-12 team leagues. This article is then geared to those leagues, but the evaluation of the subject Quarterbacks does not change for 2 Quarterback leagues and deeper14-16 team leagues.
For the purpose of identifying a sleeper we will use our Average Draft CheatSheet and exclude the top 12 Quarterbacks from consideration. We will list their Average Draft Position (ADP) as based on a PPR 12 Team league setup. We have also included their Average Cheat Sheet position ranking (ACS).
We will tier the sleepers into 2 categories:
1. Sleepers (Great chance to break into the Top 10 QB’s in 2015)
2. Deep-Sleepers (has a chance to be a fantasy starter as a great matchup play)


We can make a case that all four on this list will break into the top 10 this year, but we recommend that these are drafted as backups when you wait on the Quarterback position. It is ideal to pair these guys up with Matthew Stafford – Eli Manning – Tony Romo – Matt Ryan. While Cam Newton, Phillip Rivers, and Teddy Bridgewater will all be fine backups, again, this is a list of QB’s that we are looking to break through as fantasy starters.

Colin Kaepernick – ADP – 11.6 ACS – QB16
A lot went wrong in San Francisco this offseason. The devastating departure of multiple key players on both sides of the ball presents some fantasy opportunity. Basic fantasy knowledge tells us that when the defense gets worse the offense will put up more points. The Niners will be playing from behind more than they have had to in recent history. Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman’s power run offense is gone. Under the supervision of GM Trent Baalke, Jeep Chryst and Jim Tomsula are running an up-tempo offense that better suits Kaepernick’s freak athleticism. Some circles believe that the disconnect from the front office and the coaching staff was Harbaugh’s unwillingness to loosen the reigns on Kaep. Colin worked out this offseason with Kurt Warner and they really zoned in on his delivery and pocket mentality. The addition of Torrey Smith adds a much needed deep threat that will help keep the offense from stacking the box, Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin just never had the ability to stretch the field. This offense will run at least 20% more plays this year. We don’t see Kaep running for more yards than last year (639), but he will have more rushing TD’s than he did last year (1). We see him scoring 3-4 on the ground and he has the upside to do much more.

Sam Bradford – ADP – 11.8 ACS – QB18
Chip Kelly is the Head Coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and we are buying in to his complete madness (See Ryan Matthews – Sleeper Running Back Part 1 of 3). Sam is due to put together a full season. His talent is undeniable and he has the opportunity of a lifetime. Remember what Chip made Michael Vick and Nick Foles look like, well Bradford in this offense could be a top three fantasy Quarterback if he only stays healthy. The run-heavy fast tempo offense could help Bradford stay upright. He has WR corp like he has never seen in Saint Louis a much improved offensive line and the arguably the best Running Back trio in the league. Reports are he has looked great in camp and that the team is “ecstatic” about him. He was lit up twice this weekend in his preseason debut, but managed to leave all put together. Stay healthy Sam, show us what you can do and why you were drafted first overall. We are rooting for you. Still in the late 11th round as a backup QB the upside of a total loss to injury is definitely worth the risk. The Eagles believe they have found the answer to their Quarterback position and we believe we found our answer to why it pays to wait this year on QB.

Carson Palmer – ADP – 13.8 ACS – QB17
Carson Palmer through 6 games was on pace to throw for 4336 yards 30 TD’s and 8 INT’s. He has had some health concerns the last few seasons and that is the reason his ADP is clear into the 13th round. John Brown provides a burst of speed that will help stretch defenses. We love Ellington’s pass catching ability and believe he will be a focal point in this offense. Sure handed Larry Fitzgerald is one of the greatest WR’s of all time. Michael Floyd has so much talent, and after he returns from injury in week 3-4 this team will be dialed in with weapons. Again, this is a matter of health. If Carson stays upright for 16 weeks he will be a great bet to crack the top 10.

Joe Flacco – ADP – 11.9 ACS – QB21
This guy always manages to put together monster games and then goes into the witness protection program for weeks. Joe Flacco is the new beneficiary of Marc Trestman’s offense. The problem here is weapons, where are they? I expect Justin Forsett to be the best recipient of the new offense. Breshad Perriman, whom we have tabbed as a sleeper for the upcoming season is suffering from a sprained PCL. He will likely miss the entire preseason, but at this point looks like he will be back for week one. Steve Smith is 36, but he can still play. Marlon Brown is the #3 Wideout and is worthy of taking a look in deep leagues if Perriman cannot go week one. Maxx Williams is a rookie Tight End and it is rare for a rookie TE to come in and be fantasy relevant. All that said, I will add two words: Josh McCown. Trestman has taken pedestrian Quarterbacks and helped them get better contracts. Joe will find people that want the ball and this offense will pick up steam in season.


Thes two guys are probably going undrafted in some leagues, but are two that have the opportunity to play well. Most leagues these two will go undrafted, but keep an eye on both of them they might be great matchup plays during the season. Two Quarterback Leagues, Deeper leagues and Dynasty leagues these are two that you can grab really late and you will be pleased with the payoff.
Derek Carr – ADP – 16.3 ACS – QB24
Derek Carr’s rookie season was that of which a rookie season should look like. He played well, he made some mistakes, and he got better as the season went on. The additions of Roy Helu, Michael Crabtree, and Amari Cooper make this entire team once again fantasy relevant. The Oakland Raiders are no longer a complete joke. While this offensive line is ranked #26 by our rankings, we see them as improved from 2014. Jack Del Rio is the best Head Coach this team has had since, well, Jon Gruden? Who knows, the point is that he is determined to win games and the organization is backing him and now out of JaMarcus Russell – Days cap hell they have an opportunity to build a real squad. They have named Derek Carr as their franchise Quarterback and they are clearly building around him. A 4000 yard 27 TD season would not be a ridiculous expectation for the sophomore.

Blake Bortles – ADP – 19.7 ACS – QB27
This is a big old dude with a lot of weapons. Blake Bortles is built like Ben Roethlisberger. Blake had an up and down rookie season as well. He worked on his throwing mechanics in the offseason and is primed to come in with a stronger arm. The addition of Julius Thomas as a serious redzone threat will help his TD ratio. Allen Robinson looked great last year as a big burner before leaving with season ending injury. Allen Hurns has reportedly been battling Robinson as the “Go-To #1” all camp. TJ Yeldon comes in as a talented every down back. This is a young group with a lot of talent. We think Blake will carve out a career as a big time Quarterback in this league for many years. This is a sneaky offense with upside everywhere, my bet is that we see major improvement this season rom Blake on his rookie 11 TD 17 INT campaign. We are thinking 25TD’s as his floor.

Sleeper Running Backs Part 3 of 3

“You’ll feel like a genius”

Sleeper Running Backs Part 3 of 3
By MV August 15th 2015

Now for the 3rd segment in our sleeper Running Back list. We will call this the “You’ll feel like a genius” list. This is a list of sleepers that can be grabbed in the back half of your draft and have the upside to be superstars if the stars align. Again as a baseline for identifying what constitutes a sleeper we used our Average Cheat Sheet and excluded the top 30 Running Backs listed. The Average Draft Positions are totaled from 5 of the biggest mock draft sites and we filtered by PPR 12 team league formats.

Roy Helu – ADP 13.1
Surprisingly Roy Helu is only 26, it feels like he has been in the league for a long time. Right now he is listed as the number two RB behind Latavius Murray, but he will settle into a role as the third down option on this new up-tempo Raider offense. That is a role that has proved well for him in Washington giving value to him in PPR leagues. A lot of stock is being placed on Latavius Murray to be the star of this ground game while his career really has been two big runs. If Murray does not pan out Helu figures to be more than a third down back, he could be a three-down back. We love this pick for easy PPR value as a backup flex, with the upside of an RB 2.

Danny Woodhead – ADP 10.8
PPR leagues take notice. With Antonio Gates out Phillip Rivers will need to find a new security blanket. Back comes Woodhead. He is clearly the 3rd down RB in San Diego and he will mix his way into the run game as well with rookie Running Back Melvin Gordon taking the bulk of the carries. In 2013 he caught 76 passes for 605 yards and 6 TD’s while rushing 106 times for 429 yards and 2 TD’s. After breaking his ankle and fibula in 2014 in a flukish play he has stepped back in full form in his PPR monster role. I have expectations for him to improve on his 2013 numbers and slide into the top 15 RB in PPR formats. Enjoy flex-starter stats from your 4-5th drafted Running Back.

Duke Johnson – ADP 9.3
While we do not typically like leg injuries to Running Backs in the preseason we still love Duke Johnson. Duke has the highest ADP on this list and still might prove to be the best value. He currently has a strained hamstring that has him sitting out, but comes back to practice today. The Browns reportedly have been very conservative with him despite having big plans for him this year. Meanwhile, neither Terrance West nor Isaiah Crowell have taken the lead job and built separation. Duke Johnson plays the game like the Steve Smith of Running Backs; he knocks people out of his way with his stiff arm. He runs through the hole like Adrian Peterson. He is fast, smart, confident, mean, and physical. Two issues: 1. he plays for the Browns 2. He is a Running Back for the Browns. It has been a long while since we had a Brown RB that was truly fantasy relevant. I will say that he is a difference maker and the Browns are focused on ground and pound with a good defense. Likely if he remains quiet for the preseason it will keep his ADP reasonable. He will end up as the starting Running Back for this team.

David Johnson – ADP 10.11
At his current ADP this is not much of a bargain, but with his recent hamstring injury, possible signing of Chris Johnson and Bruce Arians declaration of “no way in hell I’m putting him out there” he should drop significantly in drafts. When he goes almost undrafted or 13th round or later, grab him. He is a big Running Back that should gain the role of 2nd on the depth chart plus short yardage back. He looks a little like Matt Forte when he runs. He might be a better fit on this team than Andre Ellington. We will be looking for him late in the draft as a flier.

Matt Jones – ADP 16.2
Matt Jones is a very confident and has high expectations of pushing Alfred Morris out of a full time job. Jay Gruden has spoken very highly of his 95th overall draft pick. He is going really late in drafts and could do what he set out to do. He was working with the 3’s in the first preseason game, which is great, we like our sleepers to remain quiet in the preseason. He is big, fast, and physical. He has good vision for a big guy. He did not catch a lot of passes out of the backfield in his collegiate career, but that had more to do with the game scheme at Florida. He is athletic enough to catch and could be a complete back.

Cameron Artis-Payne – ADP 16.8
Cameron Artis-Payne is another mostly undrafted fantasy player. He is currently buried on the depth chart, but the local reports have Cameron as the favorite to take over for Jonathon Stewart when he goes down with a perennial injury. He has the type of talent to be a complete back that can take a game over late. He owned games last year with Auburn. Artis-Payne is an obvious hand-cuff to Jonathon Stewart, but he could be the surprise sleeper of the year. We love him, especially where we can get him.
Lance Dunbar – ADP 19.4
This is a smart, low-risk gamble. If the Cowboys don’t make any other moves than Lance Dunbar stands to be heavily involved with this offense. He will be the third down back for this team with an incredible offense. He will also get his bulk of carries as a change of pace back. Joseph Randle is one more underwear heist away from suspension and Darren McFadden is clearly going to miss games. Dunbar would then slide into the starting Running Back role. Remember if DeMarco Murray was still in Dallas he would be the clear consensus first overall. Lance has value as a fill in in all PPR formats, but has the upside to be the sleeper of the year.

Sleeper Running Backs: Part 2 of 3

Deep – Sleeper Running Backs

By MV August 9th 2015

Part 2 we will be focusing in on the next tier of Running Back Sleepers which we have dubbed “Deep-Sleepers”. These are players that with a little bit of circumstance an opportunity to become a fantasy star is possible. This is a low-risk high-reward list of RB’s that you should be targeting late in drafts. When you are filling out your roster it is always important to carry at least 50% of your bench as Running Backs. It pays to take fliers on these names; injuries happen, schemes change, and talent rises to the top. In short, this list of deep-sleepers is a total evaluation of talent coupled with opportunity.
Again we used our Average Cheat Sheet and excluded the top 30 Running Backs listed. The Average Draft Positions are totaled from 5 of the biggest mock draft sites and we filtered by PPR 12 team league formats.

We will break the list into three articles as we tier the sleepers into 3 categories:

1. Sleepers (very likely to outperform their ADP)
2. Deep-Sleepers (has a great chance to be fantasy starter)
3. You’ll feel like a genius (long-shot with the upside to take a flier on)


Ryan Matthews – ADP 9.5
Maybe I am just buying into Chip Kelly’s madness. I will say I am a believer in how he runs an offense. Ryan Mathews is probably the most talented backup Running Back in the NFL. It is speculated that Ryan stands to carry approximately 1/3rd of the Eagles run plays. Chip loves to run the football, a lot. In 2014 the Eagles ranked first in the NFL with 70 run plays per game. This offense could support more than one fantasy relevant Running Back. Mathews and Murray are very similar runners, but Mathews is a bit more athletic and has the potential to break through the line with a slightly better burst. The Eagles offense is a run-first scheme with a one cut and go style. Some at the Philly Inquirer say that Ryan is a better fit for this offense than Murray.
Mathews has been known as oft injured. He played 12, 14, 12, 16, and 6 games in his first 5 seasons. Now it’s time for the extrapolation game: he played the equivalent of 3.6 seasons and averaged 250 carries for 1100 yards and 40 catches for 300 yards while finding the end zone 6 times per year. Not bad. DeMarco Murray has missed 11 games in the last 4 years as well. It is impossible to forecast injuries but injury risk provides an opportunity to take a gamble on a low-risk candidate. Mathews is exactly that with an ADP of 9.5. The Eagles have an excellent offensive line that we have ranked as the 8th best in the NFL. Philadelphia was the perfect landing spot for Ryan Mathews, and he should have the best season of his career.

Tre Mason – ADP 8.1
Todd Gurley is a ferocious beast of a running back. His combination of power and speed is undeniable. This is about Tre Mason though. First of all, Tre was pretty good last year. He will start the season as the starting running back for the St. Louis Rams while Todd Gurley is going to be eased into game action for at least the first half of the year. Gurley might eventually take the job over and then take the league by storm, but he is coming off a torn ACL and Mason played well in his rookie year. There are no guarantees coming off a torn ACL. We are only 10 years removed from it being a career-ending injury, so I will put my stock in the guy that already has the job 4 rounds later. Even if he splits carries down the stretch Mason should provide a solid ROI on his 8.1 ADP. I make a living on starting RB’s that have talent drafted in the 8th round. Tre Mason has dropped 10-12 pounds this year to improve his quickness (he looked pretty quick in the clip), and Jeff Fisher is known to be conservative with rookies. All in, Mason might be the safest pick of this group.

Bishop Sankey – ADP 8.10
After a subpar rookie season many have written Bishop Sankey off, so much for a “ramp-up period”. Sankey was the first Running Back selected in the 2014 NFL draft. This was a very inconsistent offensive team last year and the offensive line did not make Bishop look any better. Titan’s camp buzz has been surrounded around Marcus Mariota’s professional composure and his passing ability. Marcus has no interceptions yet which serves as a huge confidence builder. That confidence should help him develop consistency on an offense that could use a facelift. We are betting that he will make this team better. Early camp reports from say that Bishop Sankey has clearly been the top Running Back after the first full week of training camp. He has shown plenty of burst through the line into the secondary and has shown better instincts. He added seven pounds of muscle in the offseason which will make him a stronger and more durable back. It is hard to be in love with anyone in this offense, but with an ADP at 8.10 for a starting Running Back we see the value. Sankey carries some solid flex option value rather than true sleeper upside.

Sleeper Running Backs

Part 1 of 3

By MV August 1st 2015


It is time to use that word that is synonymous with fantasy football, sleepers. Today, with as much information as we all have it is difficult for us to tag anyone as a “sleeper”. We define a sleeper as a player that is greatly undervalued and has an opportunity to be a fantasy force while being drafted as a backup. As a baseline for identifying our sleepers we used our Average Cheat Sheet and excluded the top 30 Running Backs listed. The Average Draft Positions are totaled from 5 of the biggest mock draft sites and we filtered by PPR 12 team league formats.

We love a lot of Running Backs late in the draft this year, and we have a list of about 15 RB’s that we will be targeting as great value in our drafts. We will break the list into three articles as we tier the sleepers into 3 categories:

  1. Sleepers (very likely to outperform their ADP)
  2. Deep-Sleepers (has a great chance to be fantasy starter)
  3. You’ll feel like a genius (long-shot with great upside)



Doug Martin – ADP 7.5

We won’t call him by his corny nickname. It has been a disappointing couple of fantasy years since his breakout 2012 campaign where he had 319 carries for 1454 yards and 11 TD’s. He also had 49 catches for 472 yards in his rookie season. That performance landed him in the 1.1 – 1.3 spot in most drafts in 2013. He started off real slow in 2013 then went down with a season-ending injury. He came back in 2014 weighing in at 225 and reportedly had struggled with conditioning. Doug Martin is now down to 210 pounds and is saying he is in the best shape of his life. The passing game gets an upgrade with 1st overall Jameis Winston throwing to one of the best trios in the NFL. Charles Sims has not looked very good in the offseason and it should be Doug’s job. The Bucs offensive line is not one of the best, but they spent 2 second round picks on lineman that should both start. All in, this is a much better offense than it has been in recent years. Doug is playing for a contract and this could be the year that he puts it all together.


Chris Ivory – ADP 8.5

Chris Ivory has been on the “sleeper” radar since being traded from New Orleans in 2013. The Jets brain trust admitted to lightening Ivory’s workload last year in attempt to keep him upright. Chris has been sidelined a few times in his carrier to injury, but he played all 16 games last year. Chris had 880 yards and 6 TD’s last year on 198 carries. We can see him getting more than that this year. Chan Gailey is the new OC and could bring a new dynamic to this offense which is still handicapped by Geno Smith. Still, Brandon Marshall could be a huge help. Best case scenario Ryan Fitzpatrick takes over as the starter.  This is a backfield that is littered with interesting talent, but Stevan Ridley is still sidelined with a torn ACL and could land on the PUP list. Chris is 27 and we are betting that this will be his career year.


Shane Vereen – ADP 6.8

Remember we are listing PPR format sleepers. Shane is another guy that has been on the radar for a couple of years. Vereen went down in week 8 with a fluke hand injury in 2013, but was on pace for 94 catches and 854 yards with 6 TD’s with 416 and 2 on the ground. Even if Rashad Jennings is healthy Vereen will perform. This is a pass first offense and Vereen is one of the best receiving backs in the league. He ran a disgusting wheel route in New England and with a better overall receiving core group in New York it will open things up for him even more. Eli and him will develop a bond as the check down option when things get messy. Reports are that is already occurring and he Shane is seeing much more than passing down work. His mediocre season in 2014 was a combination of Bill Belichek and the muddiest backfield in history. But thank you Bill, your inconsistent use of Vereen will serve as a benefit to his ADP this year. We love this guy as a consistent point producing flex option.