Training camp has begun and that means it is time to awake all of the Fantasy Sleepers. Each position has three categories of Sleepers: Keeper Sleeper (already established), Deeper Sleeper (who?), and Cheaper Sleeper (rookie).
Keeper: Chad Henne (Dolphins)
With the addition of WR Brandon Marshall, the Dolphins have the potential of having a 4,000-yard passer, 1,000-yard receiver, and a 1,000-yard rusher. Henne, a Big 33 alumnus, has a full year under his belt and 2010 will be his break-out season. Marshall’s ability to stretch the field will add big numbers to Henne’s Fantasy game.
2009 Statistics: 2,878 passing yards, 12 TD’s, 14 INT’s, 75.2 QB Rating, 274-for-451 (61%), 32 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD
2010 Statistical Prediction: 3,883 passing yards, 20 TD’s, 11 INT’s, 90.5 QB Rating, 302-for-470 (64%), 58 rushing yards, 2 rushing TD’s
Deeper: Chase Daniel (Saints)
I know exactly what you are thinking. Who dat? And what about Drew Brees? In case some of you forgot, Brees has been selected to be on the cover of Madden 2011. With that said, Drew Brees will continue the Madden Curse and will get injured. During the Superbowl run last season, Mark Brunell was the backup quarterback and was lost to free agency. In comes Chase Daniel (Who dat?). Despite never playing a down in the NFL, Chase’s high school and college careers proves that he will be a Deeper Sleeper in 2010. At Southlake Carroll High School in Texas, Daniel led his team to a National Championship, and was named the EA Sports National Player of the year in 2004. At Missouri, he was a Heisman Trophy candidate and finished with a school record of 13,256 career total offensive yards. Add the Saints offensive weapons to Chase’s amateur résumé and you get the NFL’s Deepest Sleeper.
2009 Statistics: Did not play.
2010 Statistical Prediction: 2,118 passing yards, 12 TD’s, 9 INT’s, 81.8 QB Rating, 168-for-279 (60%), 71 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD’s
Cheaper: Tim Tebow (Broncos)
Look for Tebow to take the starting spot from Kyle Orton in the first half of the season.
2009 Statistics: At the University of Florida, he had 2,895 passing yards, 21 TD’s, 5 INT’s, 164.17 QB Rating, 213-for-314 (68%), 910 rushing yards, 14 rushing TD’s
2010 Statistical Prediction: 1,818 passing yards, 10 TD’s, 6 INT’s, 71.8 QB Rating, 141-for-226 (62%), 695 rushing yards, 7 rushing TD’s
Keeper: LeSean McCoy (Eagles)
Shady will be sporting his old number 25 this season and it will prove to be a great decision. With the departures of Brian Westbrook and Donovan McNabb, McCoy will get a lot more of the workload. When attempting 36 or less passes, the Eagles were 11-2 last season. They went 0-4 (including playoffs) when attempting more than 36 passes. As the next Westbrook (and better), look for McCoy to have over 100 total yards per game. Defenses must watch out for #25 in the passing game. For all you Fantasy Football gamers, don’t be surprised if he throws for a TD (or two) in 2010!
2009 Statistics: 155 rushes, 637 yards, 4.1 YPC, 4 rushing TD’s, 2 fumbles, 40 receptions, 308 receiving yards, 7.7 YPC, 0 receiving TD’s
2010 Statistical Prediction: 288 rushes, 1,292 yards, 4.4 YPC, 11 rushing TD’s, 3 fumbles, 67 receptions, 536 receiving yards, 8.0 YPC, 3 receiving TD’s
Deeper: Arian Foster (Texans)
The Texans have a running back controversy and Foster is leading the pack. Steve Slaton was unable to hold onto the ball last season, so Houston drafted Ben Tate. The problem with Tate is that he is a rookie. It is going to take him a while to learn the playbook and it is going to leave plenty of time for Foster to steal and keep the starting position. During Foster’s four games last season, he averaged 13.5 carries for 64.3 yards per game. The Texans also won all four of those games, including the season finale against New England.
2009 Statistics: 54 rushes, 257 yards, 4.8 YPC, 3 rushing TD’s, 1 fumble, 8 receptions, 93 receiving yards, 11.6 YPC, 0 receiving TD’s
2010 Statistical Prediction: 187 rushes, 766 yards, 4.1 YPC, 9 rushing TD’s, 2 fumbles, 21 receptions, 248 receiving yards, 11.8 YPC, 2 receiving TD’s
Cheaper: Toby Gerhart (Vikings)
Look for Adrian Peterson (998 touches in 3 years) to get injured and Toby to take the rock running load for most of the season.
2009 Statistics: At Stanford University, he had 343 rushes, 1,871 yards, 5.5 YPC, 27 rushing TD’s, 0 fumbles, 11 receptions, 157 receiving yards, 14.2 YPC, 0 receiving TD’s
2010 Statistical Prediction: 203 rushes, 895 yards, 4.4 YPC, 11 rushing TD’s, 0 fumbles, 7 receptions, 58 receiving yards, 8.3 YPC, 0 receiving TD’s
Keeper: Mike Wallace (Steelers)
In 2009, Wallace was the Steelers 3rd wide receiver on the depth chart. With the trade of Santonio Holmes, Mike Wallace will become the number two receiver in 2010. Even without Roethlisberger for at least the first four games, Wallace will still put up Holmes-like numbers. You might think that the Steelers commitment to the run this season would result in less numbers for the WR’s. You are wrong. The Steelers must run the ball more effective, not necessarily more often. With Byron Leftwich and/or Dennis Dixon taking the snaps for a while, opposing teams are going to force the QB’s to beat them with their arms. This opens up a lot of deep play-action for speedster Mike Wallace. He led the NFL with 19.4 yards per catch last season.
2009 Statistics: 39 receptions, 756 receiving yards, 19.4 YPC, 6 receiving TD’s, 1 fumble, 5 rushes, 48 rushing yards, 0 rushing TD’s
2010 Statistical Prediction: 75 receptions, 1,263 receiving yards, 18.7 YPC, 7 receiving TD’s, 2 fumbles, 11 rushes, 129 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD
Deeper: Chaz Schilens (Raiders)
Chaz came on strong at the end of the 2009 season and I expect that to continue into 2010. At 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, he will start the season as the number one target. It doesn’t matter who ends up taking the snaps for the Raiders, Schilens is the go-to guy until Darrius Heyward-Bey finds his way back on the field (if he ever does).
2009 Statistics: In 8 games, he had 29 receptions, 365 receiving yards, 12.6 YPC, 2 receiving TD’s
2010 Statistical Prediction: 64 receptions, 827 receiving yards, 12.9 YPC, 6 receiving TD’s, 1 fumble
Cheaper: Arrelious Benn (Buccaneers)
With the departure of Antonio Bryant, the Bucs have a void at wide receiver. Expect Benn to have a big year in Tampa Bay.
2009 Statistics: At the University of Illinois, he had 38 receptions, 490 receiving yards, 12.9 YPC, 2 receiving TD’s, 0 fumbles, 7 rushes, 23 rushing yards, 3.3 YPC, 1 rushing TD
2010 Statistical Prediction: 59 receptions, 774 receiving yards, 13.1 YPC, 8 receiving TD’s, 1 fumble, 4 rushes, 71 yards, 17.8 YPC, 1 rushing TD
Keeper: Brent Celek (Eagles)
Two words…Kevin Kolb. In the absence of Donovan McNabb for 9 quarters, Kolb showed the Eagles fans that he is ready to take the throne. In Week 1 with limited action, Kolb found Celek three times for 16 yards. Of Kolb’s 55 completions for 718 yards in Weeks 2 and 3, Celek caught 16 of those passes for 208 yards. He had one catch for every 3.4 of Kolb’s completed passes. Celek also accounted for 28% of Kolb’s yards in Weeks 2 and 3. When McNabb came back from injury in Week 5, Celek’s production dropped significantly. He only reached the 100-yard receiving mark once with McNabb at QB after notching 100+ yards in both of Kolb’s starts.
2009 Statistics: 76 receptions, 971 receiving yards, 12.8 YPC, 8 receiving TD’s, 0 fumbles
2010 Statistical Prediction: 89 receptions, 1,163 receiving yards, 13.1 YPC, 11 receiving TD’s, 1 fumble
Deeper: Jermichael Finley (Packers)
Donald Lee got benched last season and Finley stepped right in. With Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, Finley has the opportunity to become one of the elite tight ends in the NFL. Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, and Jermichael Finley are going to torch the opposing defenses, leading the Packers deep in the playoffs this year.
2009 Statistics: 55 receptions, 676 receiving yards, 12.3 YPC, 5 receiving TD’s, 1 fumble
2010 Statistical Prediction: 74 receptions, 901 receiving yards, 12.2 YPC, 6 receiving TD’s, 1 fumble
Cheaper: Rob Gronkowski (Patriots)
Gronkowski was drafted in the 2nd round after sitting out the 2009 season. Ben Watson has moved on, but the Patriots brought in Alge Crumpler. However, Gronkowski appears to be the top receiving tight end with the declination of Crumpler’s offensive production in the past two years.
2009 Statistics: Did not play due to injury.
2010 Statistical Prediction: 58 receptions, 841 receiving yards, 14.5 YPC, 7 receiving TD’s, 0 fumbles
Keeper: Dan Carpenter (Dolphins)
This should be a no-brainer if Chad Henne has the season that most of us expect. A better offense usually means better numbers for solid kickers.
2009 Statistics: 25-for-28 FG (89.3%), 37-for-38 PAT (97.4%)
2010 Statistical Prediction: 29-for-34 (89.3%), 44-for-44 PAT (100%)
Deeper: Garrett Hartley (Saints)
Who dat? Hartley played with Chase Daniel at Southlake Carroll High School in Texas. He took over for John Carney in Week 13 and never looked back.
2009 Statistics: In 5 games, he was 9-for-11 FG (81.8%), 10-for-11 PAT (90.9%)
2010 Statistical Prediction: 28-for-33 FG (84.8%), 39-for-42 PAT (92.9%)
Cheaper: Graham Gano (Redskins)
Gano is not a rookie, but I put him in the Cheaper category because he only appeared in 4 games last year. He is Washington’s number one guy so expect some numbers.
2009 Statistics: In 4 games, he was 2-for-2 FG (100%), 4-for-4 PAT (100%)
2010 Statistical Prediction: 25-for-29 FG (86.2%), 39-for-39 PAT (100%)
Keeper: Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers reacquired Bryant McFadden and Troy Polamalu and Aaron Smith are healthy again. Add draft picks Jason Worlids, Thaddeus Gibson, Crezdon Butler, Stevenson Sylvester, and Doug Worthington into the mix and you get the best defense in the league.
2009 Statistics: 305.3 yards per game, 324 points, 47 sacks, 13 recovered fumbles, 12 interceptions, 3 TD’s
2010 Statistical Prediction: 276.1 yards per game, 259 points, 53 sacks, 16 recovered fumbles, 16 interceptions, 4 TD’s
Deeper: San Francisco 49ers
2009 Statistics: 326.4 yards per game, 281 points, 44 sacks, 15 recovered fumbles, 18 interceptions, 3 TD’s
2010 Statistical Prediction: 316.9 yards per game, 279 points, 43 sacks, 17 recovered fumbles, 23 interceptions, 3 TD’s
Cheaper: Buffalo Bills
The Bills spent 4 of their 9 draft picks on the defensive side in April. The newcomers include Torell Troup, Alex Carrington, Danny Batten, and Arthur Moats. The Bills defense will surprise many this season. They are a good pick up when your top defense is on a bye-week.
2009 Statistics: 340.6 yards per game, 326 points, 32 sacks, 5 recovered fumbles, 28 interceptions, 2 TD’s
2010 Statistical Prediction: 312.0 yards per game, 296 points, 31 sacks, 13 recovered fumbles, 31 interceptions, 3 TD’s
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Written by Black&Yellow