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2013 Draft Prep: Sleepers, 2.0

Senior Fantasy Writer
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A lot has changed since the beginning of July with the start of training camp and preseason games.

So have my initial sleepers, breakouts and busts.

We're starting with second run at some Draft Day sleepers (you can see Sleepers 1.0 here). A lot of the same players I still strongly believe in (Eli Manning, Giovani Bernard, Ben Tate, Josh Gordon, Michael Floyd, DeAndre Hopkins and Jermichael Finley). But we're adding to the list to give you more options on Draft Day.

Here are 10 additional sleepers for you to consider on Draft Day.

Michael Vick, QB, Eagles: There are a lot of No. 2 quarterbacks I like this season, which is why we continue to say the position is so deep. Jay Cutler, Andy Dalton, Carson Palmer, Sam Bradford and Ben Roethlisberger all have the ability to be starting Fantasy quarterbacks, but none present the same upside as Vick. He is potentially among the biggest difference makers at any position, and you can draft him with a pick in Round 11 or later. The best thing about taking a flier on Vick is if he fails, or more likely gets hurt, you can drop him for someone like Joe Flacco (his Average Draft Position is Round 12), Alex Smith (ADP is Round 13) or even Brandon Weeden (ADP is Round 16). Or you could not carry a No. 2 quarterback at all. There's no risk with Vick this season but still all the same reward. He's looked great in two preseason games in Chip Kelly's offense, and even with Jeremy Maclin (ACL) out Vick can still shine. I'd gamble on Vick because for the first time since his comeback in 2009 there are really no expectations.
I'd take him ahead of: Jay Cutler, Andy Dalton, Sam Bradford

Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals: Palmer was surprisingly a quality Fantasy quarterback last season with the Raiders before getting hurt in Week 16. He had at least 18 Fantasy points in a standard league in 10 starts, with 20 or more points in five outings. That was with a mediocre receiving corps, but now Palmer gets the best receiver he's ever played with in Larry Fitzgerald and a pass-happy coach in Bruce Arians. He also has Michael Floyd, Andre Roberts, Rob Housler and the chance to throw the ball until his arm falls off. Arians was the offensive coordinator for the Colts last season, and Andrew Luck attempted the fifth-most passes in the NFL. Palmer isn't worth drafting as a starter, but he does have the chance to be a high-end No. 2 passer with plenty of upside.
I'd take him ahead of: Ben Roethlisberger, Josh Freeman, Matt Schaub

Eddie Lacy, RB, Packers: I originally had Lacy on my bust list because he arrived at training camp out of shape, has a lengthy injury history and is part of a crowded backfield. But heading into the third preseason game, Johnathan Franklin has been unimpressive and DuJuan Harris has only practiced on a limited basis because of a knee injury. Lacy, despite some poor angles in a photograph that went viral on Twitter, appears in good condition despite dealing with a hamstring injury during camp. He had eight carries for 40 yards in the second preseason game against the Rams, and even noted Lacy skeptic Pete Prisco, a CBSSports.com Senior NFL Columnist, has come around. He's a great flex option in Round 6 based on his ADP. Harris is also a sleeper with a late-round flier, and I'd rather have Harris than Franklin as the second-best running back in Green Bay.
I'd take him ahead of: Rashard Mendenhall, Montee Ball, Ahmad Bradshaw

Daryl Richardson, RB, Rams: Richardson has been named the starter for the Rams for Week 1 against Arizona, which is no surprise since he's outplayed Zac Stacy, and Isaiah Pead is suspended for the season opener. But there's a strong belief here that Richardson can hold onto the job all year barring an injury, and even if he loses carries to Stacy and/or Pead, Richardson will remain involved on passing downs. In limited playing time in 2012 as a rookie behind Steven Jackson, Richardson averaged 4.8 yards per carry (98 for 475 yards) and 6.8 yards per catch (24 for 163 yards). Give him 165 carries and 35 catches at those same averages and he's at 1,030 total yards (792 rushing, 238 receiving) with potentially five total touchdowns. That's a great flex option you can get in Round 6 or 7.
I'd take him ahead of: Andre Brown, Ryan Mathews, Ronnie Hillman

Bilal Powell, RB, Jets: Powell isn't a special talent. He's not even the starter for the Jets, which is a team that should struggle offensively this season. But Powell might get the chance for an increased role, and he's worth a late-round flier in all leagues. Chris Ivory, the expected starter, has a lengthy injury history going back to college, and he's struggled with a nagging hamstring during the preseason. His absence has allowed Powell to shine with 16 carries for 82 yards in limited work against the Lions and Jaguars. Last season, Powell closed the year with double digits in Fantasy points in three of his final seven games, so he could be a valuable reserve, especially if Ivory misses any time. Don't give up on Ivory yet, but put Powell on your radar.
I'd take him ahead of: Danny Woodhead, Jonathan Stewart, Fred Jackson

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Chris Givens, WR, Rams: In March, during one of our podcasts with Adam Aizer, I told him two of my favorite players this year are going to be Shane Vereen and Givens. The Vereen hype is off the charts, and now Givens is quietly gaining momentum. He's had a great preseason so far with four catches for 139 yards and a touchdown in two games against Cleveland and Green Bay. With Tavon Austin and Jared Cook getting all the hype as new additions to the passing game, Givens might be the best of the bunch. Last season, when Danny Amendola missed time, Givens took over. Amendola was out for five games in 2012, and Givens had at least eight Fantasy points in four of those five outings and benefited from the increased targets. That could continue this year, and he's worth drafting as a No. 3 receiver in Round 8 or 9.
I'd take him ahead of: Greg Jennings, Anquan Boldin, Miles Austin

Vincent Brown, WR, Chargers: San Diego is banged up at receiver with Danario Alexander (ACL) out for the year and Malcom Floyd (knee) and Eddie Royal (bruised lung) dealing with injuries. Someone has to catch the ball from Philip Rivers, and Brown should be the No. 2 target behind Antonio Gates. He was a popular sleeper in 2012 before a broken ankle kept him out for the season, but he should be 100 percent for the start of this year. It's also technically his third season, which is the year when receivers have a breakout campaign. His ADP is Round 12, and I'd gladly take him as my No. 4 or 5 receiver in that spot.
I'd take him ahead of: Emmanuel Sanders, Denarius Moore, Justin Blackmon

Kenbrell Thompkins, WR, Patriots: It's hard to find a receiver who's generated more buzz in training camp than Thompkins. All signs point to him being the starter opposite Amendola, and we know the allure of catching passes from Tom Brady has most Fantasy owners excited. New England's receiving corps is in flux with the loss of Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez, Brandon Lloyd and Danny Woodhead and Rob Gronkowski (back) hurt, and Thompkins could play a vital role in filling some of that production. He's easily worth a late-round flier, and if he has another strong preseason outing (he had four catches for 23 yards in the opener against the Eagles while working with Brady) then his value will rise. He's a great No. 4 or 5 receiver with the upside to be a starter in three-receiver leagues.
I'd take him ahead of: Sidney Rice, Cordarrelle Patterson, Aaron Dobson

Jordan Cameron, TE, Browns: If Thompkins has been the hot name at receiver, than Cameron has been the guy at tight end. There are four sleeper options emerging at tight end during the preseason with Cameron, Tyler Eifert, Zach Sudfield and Julius Thomas, but Cameron is the best of the bunch. He had three catches for 42 yards and two touchdowns against the Lions in the second preseason game, but that's just the eye-opener for most Fantasy owners. Digging deeper you'll find that Cameron gets the chance to play for a tight-end friendly coach in Rob Chudzinski, who has worked with Kellen Winslow, Jeremy Shockey, Antonio Gates and Greg Olsen during his tenure as an assistant. Cameron, like Gates, is a former basketball player, and if he can stay healthy he could be a Top 10 Fantasy tight end this year.
I'd take him ahead of: Brandon Myers, Owen Daniels, Brandon Pettigrew

Zach Sudfeld, TE, Patriots: The Patriots might have found gold in two undrafted rookies in Thompkins and Sudfeld, who played at Nevada. With Gronkowski potentially out for the season opener -- if not longer -- and Hernandez gone, Sudfeld could be the starter in Week 1 against Buffalo. He has played well in the preseason with three catches for 54 yards and a touchdown, and even when Gronkowski is healthy, Sudfeld could remain in the Hernandez role, which we've seen the past three years has been valuable in New England. He's definitely worth a late-round flier in all leagues, and he could emerge as a potential starter with another strong preseason outing. And if Gronkowski gets bad news that he's out for an extended period of time then Sudfeld could be a star.
I'd take him ahead of: Jermaine Gresham, Fred Davis, Coby Fleener

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg .

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Player News
Andre Williams could surprise again
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9/30/2014) Though I don't know that he's ready for a platoon role, believing his strong showing Week 4 at Washington happened mainly because the Giants saw fit to rest their starting running back in a blowout, rookie Andre Williams has the perfect matchup to make the most of whatever opportunities he gets Week 5 against Atlanta. The Falcons rank 28th against the run, allowing 153.5 yards per game, and have given up nine touchdowns on the ground, four more than any other team.

Even better, they've been sort of the magic elixir for running back tandems this season. Not only did the Vikings' Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon both have big games against them last week, the former rushing for 78 yards and three touchdowns and the latter rushing for 135 yards, but the Bengals' Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill both had big games against them in Week 2, the former rushing for 90 yards and a touchdown and the latter rushing for 74 yards and a touchdown.

Of the two lead CBSSports.com Fantasy Football analysts, Jamey Eisenberg ranks Williams the highest for this week, placing him 28th among running backs, so we're talking little more than an emergency flex option in standard 12-team leagues. Still, you wouldn't be completely out of your mind to play him coming off last week's performance.


Rashad Jennings should come roaring back
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9/30/2014) After being limited to just three touches in the second half of a blowout victory Week 4 at Washington, Giants running back Rashad Jennings has a chance to get back in his Fantasy owners' good graces in Week 5. He'll be facing a Falcons defense that just gave up 241 rushing yards to the Vikings, making them 28th against the run. They've also allowed nine touchdowns on the ground, four more than any other team.

Because rookie Andre Williams performed so well in relief of Jennings last week, rushing for 66 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries, you may be worried the two will split carries in some form or fashion going forward. While I don't think that's much of a concern -- Williams was already getting 5-10 carries a game and not doing much with them -- I'm not sure it really matters with this matchup. The Falcons have been the magic elixir for running back tandems this season. Not only did the Vikings' Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon both have big games against them last week, the former rushing for 78 yards and three touchdowns and the latter rushing for 135 yards, but the Bengals' Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill both had big games against them in Week 2, the former rushing for 90 yards and a touchdown and the latter rushing for 74 yards and a touchdown.

Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard both rank Jennings among their top six running backs for Week 5, and I agree wholeheartedly. He remains a must-start despite the disappointment of last week.


Alfred Morris running into tough matchup
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/30/2014) For as good as Alfred Morris is, owning him in Fantasy can leave you disappointed at times, given the Redskins' sometimes-inconsistent usage of him. You might want to skip the headache in Week 5, with the Seahawks on the way Monday night.

Morris has been productive in each game so far, and currently ranks fifth in the NFL in rushing yardage through four games. Unfortunately, he faces one of the toughest tests in the league this week. The Seahawks have yet to allow an opposing running back to score even six points this season, and their lone touchdown allowed came from little-used Packers fullback John Kuhn in Week 1. Morris has yet to face Seattle in his career, and they are unlikely to give him a very warm welcome.

Morris is nearly a must-start Fantasy option on a weekly basis, but this is one time you might want to avoid relying on him. The workload should be there, but Morris ranks outside of the top-30 for running backs in both Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard's Week 5 rankings.   


Jets add LeQuan Lewis, subtract Brandon Smith
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9/30/2014) The Jets signed cornerback LeQuan Lewis to their practice squad and released corner Brandon Smith from the squad, reports the New York Daily News.

Panthers add Tauren Poole, Horace Miller to practice squad
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9/30/2014) The Panthers signed running back Tauren Poole and linebacker Horace Miller to their practice squad.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins an interesting long-term prospect
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/30/2014) Buccaneers tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins returned from a foot injury and immediately served as a key part of the offense in Week 4. Does the rookie second-rounder have sleeper Fantasy potential moving forward?

Seferian-Jenkins was targeted on seven of quarterback Mike Glennon's 42 throws in Sunday's game, a number that left him third on the team. He brought in three of those passes, a decent number considering Glennon struggled with his accuracy all game. The fact that Glennon looked his way so often might be a good sign, since it was the pair's first game together.

After a collegiate career that saw him total 1,840 yards in three seasons, Seferian-Jenkins has a chance to become a big part of this Tampa Bay offense. However, he obviously has a lot to prove before you want to rely on him. Keep an eye on Seferian-Jenkins' play in Week 5 against the Saints, and consider adding him if he and Glennon show a good rapport. 


Lions put Montell Owens on IR
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9/30/2014) The Lions put running back Montell Owens on injured reserve with a hamstring injury, ending his season.

LaMichael James signs with Dolphins
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9/30/2014) Former 49ers running back LaMichael James signed with the Dolphins, reports Fox Sports. San Francisco released the oft-injured back following the season opener.

Luke Willson has a lot to prove with increased role
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/30/2014) The Seahawks will turn to Luke Willson to start at tight end in the coming weeks, with Zach Miller sidelined by ankle surgery. Should Fantasy owners take notice?

Miller had logged 83.5 percent of the team's snaps through three games, so Willson should be in line for a much larger role as the starter. Of course, Miller was nearly a nonfactor in the passing game so far, having been targeted just seven times. Between he and Willson, quarterback Russell Wilson has targeted tight ends just eight times on 87 attempts, after 20.6 percent of his passes went their way a year ago.

Willson might be the better pass catcher of the Seahawks tight end tandem, but we don't have much to go on here. There are better tight end options worth targeting on waivers, at least until Willson proves himself. 


Christian Ponder preparing to start
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9/30/2014) Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder took the first-team reps Monday and Tuesday while rookie Teddy Bridgewater watched with an ankle injury. "I'm preparing to play, but we're hoping the best for Teddy," Ponder told reporters.

"I've talked to Teddy. He's doing everything he can to prepare and be ready to play."

Ponder has started 35 games, but none with Norv Turner as offensive coordinator. He could be under center Thursday in Green Bay. "It's a very different style of offense than what we've ran the previous three years," Ponder said. "Without Adrian [Peterson], it's different. Defenses play us differently without Adrian. I'm comfortable and fit well in it."


 
 
 
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