Sunday, August 18, 2013

Top 5 Fantasy Football Quarterback Sleepers

Every year, we start off the season thinking about those big names, the guys in fantasy football and the NFL that can take our fantasy football team to the top, or be the biggest fantasy dud ever since believing Doogie Howser M.D. could be real (you know who you are!). Today, we are going to take a look at quarterbacks, specifically, those guys that are falling under the fantasy football radar, for better or worse, and how and when to get these gems of fantasy goodness on your fantasy football roster!

Andrew Luck

Why is Andrew Luck a fantasy football sleeper?

Simple...he gets the job done, but gets lost in the hustle and bustle of the fantasy football and NFL world among names like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and the previous starting quarterback for the Colts, Peyton Manning.

In his first year with the Indianapolis Colts, Andrew Luck racked up 4300+ yards in the air with 23 touchdowns...not bad for a rookie year. But these totals are only a surface-level glimpse of what talent can lie underneath for Andrew Luck and his fantasy football owners.

This year, Reggie Wayne is still a key target, albeit an aging one at 34. But, you also get fantasy value from T.Y Hilton, a second year receiver who showed signs of fantasy football 'goodness' last year, and Darrius Heyward-Bey who is known around most fantasy football water coolers as 'the get' from free-agency last season (41 receptions for 606 and 5 touchdowns). Lets also give a nod to second-year tight ends Dwayne Allen (45 receptions for 521 and 3 touchdowns last year) and Coby Fleener (26 receptions for 281 and 2 touchdowns); together could prove to be the next great two-headed giant of tight ends for a fantasy football team.

Where does Andrew Luck go in my fantasy football draft?

If you are right on the money, and you have some stars at running back adn wide receiver for your team, picking up Andrew Luck in rounds 6, 7 or 8 of a ten-team league would force me to give you a gold-star my friend. People will be grabbing Eli Manning, RG3 and even Tony Romo ahead of Luck, simply because, it's Andrew Luck. Look to the trends, though, my friends, and you will see the light in sight...

Ryan Tannehill

Why is Ryan Tannehill a fantasy football sleeper?

Simply put, his situation changed in a way to allow him greater success without people taking enough notice...simple. Getting Mike Wallace changes things, escecially because year after bloody year, Miami has needed a dependable deep-threat to go along with an arm. And now they have both.

Trends are what I like in fantasy football, however, Tannehill doesn't have it...282 for 3200+ yards and a touchdown ratio that makes you a QB3 or QB4 at best. But, I will say this, when receivers get the types of quarterbacks they need, or quarterbacks get the types of receivers they need, the duo because an instrumental of fantasy football win!

Let's also not overlook, with all the talk of Mike Wallace, the impact of having Dustin Keller (28 receptions for 317 and 2 TD in half of a season last year), as well as Brain Hartline's continued growth (74 receptions for 1083 yards and a touchdown), Brandon Gibson (51 receptions for 691 yards and 5 touchdowns with the Rams last year) and second-year receiver Rishard Matthews.

Where does Ryan Tannehill get drafted this year?

Well, you can expect nearly 4000 yards this season, and close to 20 touchdowns, if not more. These stats put him as a solid #2 quarterback on your team, with potential to blow up and be a situational spot. This all makes him a 7th to 10th round pick.

Carson Palmer

Why is Carson Palmer a fantasy football sleeper....again??

The Arizona Cardinals...ya, literally him landing on THIS team, THIS season equates to what a lot of experts and just fantasy football fans alike are projecting to be a sleeper kind of season for the 33-year-old quarterback. Larry Fitzgerald needs a's a proving fact that Harvard, Yale and Canton have all shown (ok, not quite, but it's true!!!).

With Kurt Warner, a perfect example of a fantasy football quarterback of unknown and sleeper-value made good, Larry Fitzgerald managed three season with at least 1400+ yards receiving and 10 or more touchdowns. Since, he flirts with both...2009 was a great season (1000+ yards receiving and 13 touchdowns), but once the reigns were handed over to Matt Leinart....hmm...1100+ and 6 touchdowns? Last year, it was more of the same statistically for Fitz...71 receptions for 798 and 4 lowly touchdowns.

Carson Palmer can use star receivers and lesser-tiered ones. Last year, he was playing with an ever-changing starting lineup of hands and managed a 4000-yard season (345 of 565 for 4018 yards and 22 touchdowns). In Arizona, it's more of the same, but with a star wide receiver. Michael Floyd showed a lot of spark in teh final two games of NFL action last year (15 catches for 213 and one touchdown)...but he needs to do more than the one catch for 18 yards in the latest pre-season game. Rob Housler is a tight end that is also showing signs of dependability (last year, finished with 45 catches for 417 yards)...but he has 4.4 speed and can run routes, so this could open up a lot of possibilities.

Where does Mr. Carson Palmer go in my fantasy football draft?

Let me put it this way, Carson Palmer is a number two quarterback, with hints of possibly huge games if played right. This means he will be available in later rounds (9th through the 12th). However, it doesn't mean he isn't worth a higher pick if need be. I can see him getting some consistent points, but they play in a hot division and it could hurt more than help in a couple of the weeks I'm looking at.

EJ Manuel

Why is EJ Manuel a fantasy football sleeper this year?

He's in the midst of a quarterback showdown, he finishes out the first pre-season game by taking his team on a 10-play, 92-yard touchdown drive. He is on a team that has no clear-cut 'star' receiver. And lastly, it's the go #*$# yourself!

The biggest problem, and the newest with EJ Manuel, is the fact he just got hurt. Nothing major, but a minor knee problem that will have him miss the remained of the pre-season, as well as get his knee drained and looked at. I don't, however, think this will lose him the starting I would have an injured EJ Manuel over a healthy Kevin Kolb any day.

Where does EJ Manuel get drafted this year?

Probably late, late, late; especially with this injury. Look to take him as an alternate (last round pick), or even as a post-draft selection from the pine. He will be starting sometime this year, but if he re-aggravates his knee, you taking him before the last three rounds of your draft, well, it will be like draft Ryan Leaf (ya, I said it!!!).

Sam Bradford

Why is Sam Bradford a fantasy football sleeper yet again this year?

Sam Bradford has shown that through adversity and sub-par receiving corps, that he can get the job done. 3500 yards and 23 touchdowns in a season does not make a tier one quarterback...however, it shouldn't make him a QB3 option either.

What has changed for him is both a blessing and a curse for most quarterbacks. Namely, Steven Jackson has flown to Atlanta, and Bradford finds himself surrounded by a literal short-stack of running backs in Daryl Richardson, Isaiah Pead and Zac Stacy, who will all not amount to forcing this offense into run-first mode.

As far as additions go, look for Jarod Cook at tight end (awesome player potential here) and Tavon Austin (yes a rookie, but what a great situation he comes into!) to work hard in the slot. You can also bet on Stedman Bailey, Chris Givens, Austin Pettis and Brian Quick to show signs of solid depth and some, large play potential, for the Rams' passing game.

Where should you take Sam Bradford in this year's fantasy football draft?

Solid round 9 pick...simply put. He is a #2 option, and could possibly show some signs of situational play if your other QB is tier 3 or lower. I think some weeks are going to be heartaches, especially at Seattle, Houston and San Francisco.

That's it for my look at sleeper picks for your fantasy football team at the quarterback position.

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