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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
Bills awarded waiver claim for QB Matt Simms
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(5/29/2015) The quarterback situation in Buffalo has gotten a little more complicated on Friday. The Bills were awarded their waiver claim on QB Matt Simms, who was released by the Jets on Thursday, according to the team's official website. 

Simms has played just four games and has completed 19 of 39 passes for 195 yards, with a touchdown and an interception in his career.


Falcons waive LB Prince Shembo due to animal cruelty charges
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/29/2015) The Falcons have decided to waive linebacker Prince Shembo on Friday after he was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, per nfl.com.

"We are aware of the charges that have been filed against Prince Shembo," the team said in a statement. "We are extremely disappointed that one of our players is involved in something like this. Accordingly, we have decided to waive Prince Shembo."

Shembo recorded 59 tackles in 16 games for the Falcons last season.


Rams RB Trey Watts suspended four games
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/29/2015) Rams running back Trey Watts has been suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, according to profootballtalk.com.

Watts, who made the team in 2014 as an undrafted free agent, played in 14 games last season and rushed for 30 yards on seven carries.

Watts is eligible to return for Week 5 against the Packers.


Falcons LB Prince Shembo charged with cruelty to animals
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/29/2015) Falcons linebacker Prince Shembo is being accused of killing his ex-girlfriend's dog and has been charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, per The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Police said Denicia Williams, Shembo's ex-girlfriend, reported on April 19 that Shembo had killed her Yorkie.

Williams took the dog to Shembo's residence and left them unattended at some point. When she returned, the dog was unresponsive.

Shembo recorded 59 tackles in 16 games for the Falcons last season.


Seahawks' Kam Chancellor: 'This is the strongest offseason I've had'
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/29/2015) Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor feels good. He should, he's finally healthy.

Chancellor, who has become accustomed to rehabbing nagging injuries during the offseason, is practicing with the team during organized team activities for the first time in a while, per The News Tribune.

“I feel great. Back to football form. Feel fast. Feel strong. I just feel good out there," Chancellor said. "I think this is the strongest offseason I’ve had since I’ve been in the league. I’ve been actually able to train in the offseason instead of having surgeries.”

Chancellor recorded 78 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble in 14 games last season.


Cardinals RB coach: David Johnson 'reminds me a lot of Matt Forte'
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/29/2015) Cardinals rookie runningback David Johnson received a huge compliment from his position coach, per nfl.com.

Running backs coach Stump Mitchell said the third-round pick reminds him of a Pro Bowl running back.

"He reminds me a lot of Matt Forte," Mitchell said. "You can put him outside and use him as a receiver and he's a good runner."

Mitchell sees the comparison between the two when it comes to Johnson's ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, something Forte has excelled at throughout his career.

"He has excellent hands and he's a bigger target to throw the ball to," Mitchell said. "He's going to be a big piece of the puzzle before this season is said and done."

Johnson rushed for 1,553 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior at Northern Iowa last year.


Patriots Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler absent at OTA's
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/29/2015) Patriots cornerback and Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler was noticeably absent from organized team activities on Friday, per nesn.com. It's unclear why Butler was not at practice.

Butler recorded 15 tackles in 11 games last season, but most noticeably came up with a game-clinching interception in the waning moments of Super Bowl XLIX.


Cowboys excited and cautious with return of LB Sean Lee
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/29/2015) Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee tore his ACL during organized team activities last year. This year, he has been limited to individual drills during non-padded parctices, per The Dallas Morning News.

Cowboys linebackers coach Matt Eberflus said the team is happy to have Lee back but that they will pace him along slowly.

"He's a ball of energy and excitement and that represents who we are," Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said. "He's moving well. We're just being smart as we get him ready to go. But he's got a lot of good quality work in."


Chiefs' Jeremy Maclin getting work in as a punt returner
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/29/2015) Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin was the Chiefs' prized free-agent pickup this offseason, which makes it that much more intriguing that he lined up to return punts during practice on Thursday, per ESPN.com.

Maclin, who signed a five-year, $55 million deal with the Chiefs, was a premier punt returner in college and played the role sparingly -- with little success -- with the Eagles.

Coach Andy Reid said the team is preparing Maclin just in case he's needed to return punts or kicks because of injuries.

We just want to make sure he is ready,’’ Reid said. “You have limited numbers that you can dress on game day, so you don’t know what rotation you are going to have there with the receivers and returners. So it gives you an opportunity to keep him fresh. We don’t work him every day like the other guys. It’s kind of an every other day deal, so just to make sure that he’s okay and can still do that, but he’s not going to be the primary guy doing it right now.”


Eagles CB Byron Maxwell guarantees trip to Super Bowl 50
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/29/2015) Eagles cornerback Byron Maxwell knows what it takes to make a Super Bowl run, he's appeared in two straight as a key member of the vaunted Seahawks defense.

Now, Maxwell is confident the Eagles will make a run to the big game and he will make his third consecutive appearance, per NFL.com.

"Because I've been there before," Maxwell said. "Knowing what it's like if we go that far. Because we're gonna go that far this year, meaning the playoffs and the Super Bowl. We're gonna go that far. Hopefully that experience I already had, I can help them."

The Eagles haven't made a Super Bowl since their 24-21 loss to the Patriots in 2004, but Maxwell didn't backtrack with his comments.

"You can take that as a guarantee," he said. "That's just me believing in my team and the product we're going to put out there on the field. I really do believe that. I have no choice but to think that way."

Maxwell, who signed a six-year, $60 million deal with the Eagles this offseason, recorded 39 tackles and two interceptions in 13 games last season.


 
 
 
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