Well since most fantasy drafts are happening very soon, I decided to shorten this up and list all of my sleepers. These guys won’t be tops in the league but they should be great values for how late they can be drafted. Consider this list additions to the ones that I have been posting throughout the week.
Chad Henne, Miami Dolphins-Henne was thrown into the fire last year and performed admirably with basically zero offense around him. Their best receiving threat was Davone Bess….undrafted free agent from Hawaii if you haven’t heard of him. Ronnie Brown, one of the best running backs in the league at taking short passes for long gains, was lost in the middle of the season due to injury and TE Anthony Fasano pulled quite the vanishing act (talentwise) during the year. This year, the Dolphins added elite receiver Brandon Marshall who should help out Henne immensely. Ronnie Brown will be back and I am expecting a strong season for Henne. Fearless Forecast: 3500 yards, 23 tds, 10 interceptions
Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants- Although Brandon Jacobs is listed as the feature back, Bradshaw looks primed to steal the starting gig from him. In limited action this year, Bradshaw looks to have fully recovered from his ankle and shoulder injuries that plagued him last year, and looks more explosive and agile than Jacobs. Don’t be surprised if he’s available very late in your draft and if he ends up getting more carries than Brandon Jacobs this year. Fearless Forecast: 30-40 receptions, 1000-1100 total yards, 6-8 tds
Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers- The rookie from Fresno State was electric last year, amassing 1800+ rushing yards and 19 tds. He immediately becomes the strongest candidate to replace LT as the feature back. Darren Sproles has proven himself to be most effective as a change of pace back/receiving threat, not as a starting back. Matthews should therefore be considered the primary back on a very dangerous offense that, without Vincent Jackson, should be more prone to running than they otherwise would have been. Fearless Forecast: 10-20 receptions, 1200-1300 total yards, 8-10 tds
Michael Bush, Oakland Raiders-This one is a little more dangerous. Bush has proven that he can be lethal when given enough carries (Week 15- 18 carries, 133 yards, 1 td vs Broncos; Week 10-14 carries, 118 yards; Week 17 ’08-27 carries, 177 yards, 2 tds). Justin Fargas is gone and Oakland’s three running back competition has turned to Bush vs Darren McFadden. McFadden, often injured and ineffective, is slowly becoming a bust and I believe Bush is the more talented back and will win the starting job over Run-DMC. Fearless Forecast: 10-20 receptions, 1000-1100 yards, 8-10 tds
Santana Moss, Washington Redskins- Moss has really been a hit and miss player the past couple of years. Some games he comes out and goes nuts, but in plenty of other games he disappears which makes him a very dangerous pick. He might win you a couple of weeks but could very well put up a goose egg a couple of times. The reason I like him this year is that he is still the best wide receiver in an offense now run by the strong armed Donovan McNabb. Moss has the speed to be the deep threat and McNabb has the arm to hook up with him (if you need proof just look at what McNabb did repeatedly with Desean Jackson last year). Washington’s young receivers are not stepping up so Moss is securely planted as the top option and new coach Mike Shanahan should only serve to improve Moss’s value. Fearless Forecast: 70-80 receptions, 1000-1100 yards, 6-8 tds
Malcolm Floyd, San Diego Chargers- Vincent Jackson is one giant question mark. He’s holding out and there are even rumors that he could be traded to the Seahawks. Someone has to step up and replace him as a giant red zone and deep threat. That guy is Floyd, he’s 6’5″ and is part of one of the most prolific offenses in the league. Philip Rivers puts up huge numbers every year and someone besides Antonio Gates has to pulling some of these passes. Once again, Malcolm Floyd is the guy I expect to step up and become the primary receiver in this powerful office. Fearless Forecast: 65-75 receptions, 900-1000 yards, 8-10 tds
Visanthe Shiancoe, Minnesota Vikings-Yeah we knew it was going to happen, Brett Favre is back…..well at least until Tavaris Jackson kills him for stealing his thunder once again. Shiancoe was morphing into one of Favre’s top red zone targets. Now Shiancoe won’t get a ton of receptions or yards but he is a touchdown machine and will serve as a good plug in tight end if you need a replacement or a starter (that would be kind of desperate). I had him a couple of years ago and he served well so just don’t count on him to be super consistent but he will have some decent games. Fearless Forecast: 50-60 receptions, 500-600 yards, 10-12 tds