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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
Cowboys' Stephen Jones: Chris Johnson on team's 'short list'
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(9:31 pm ET) Free-agent running back Chris Johnson recently said he'd love to join the Cowboys. Though the Cowboys aren't in any rush to add another running back, Johnson isn't too far off the team's radar. 

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones was asked about Johnson in a conference call with season-ticket holders. Via the team's website, Jones said the team has at least some interest in Johnson

“We haven’t visited with Chris, and we can’t talk about him because he’s a free agent. But right now we’re looking at the guys that we have on our roster,” Jones said. “He is somebody that is on a short list of ours that we think could ultimately come in and do some good things for us if we asked him to. But I wouldn’t say it’s a priority right now.”

After running for 2,006 yards in 2009, Johnson has been unable to live up to expectations since. With the Jets a year ago, Johnson only totald 663 yards and one touchdown while notching just one start. 

The Cowboys added Darren McFadden this offseason after DeMarco Murray left for Philadelphia. Joseph Randle, Lance Dunbar and Ryan Williams are the other backs on the roster. 


Linebacker Dane Fletcher visits Patriots
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(9:13 pm ET) Free-agent linebacker Dane Fletcher visited the Patriots on Wednesday, according to a report from ESPN.com. 

Fletcher spent the 2010-2013 seasons with the Patriots before playing 2014 with the Buccaneers. In four NFL seasons, he's totaled 120 tackles and 4 1/2 sacks. 


Report: Vikings' Matt Kalil underwent two knee surgeries
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(9:09 pm ET) Vikings left tackle Matt Kalil underwent arthroscopic surgical procedures to both of his knees so far this offseason, according to a report from USA Today

Kalil also had injections to help manage joint pain. Both knees were scoped in January before having a Regenexx procedure performed on them in March. Kalil also had platelet-rich plasma therapy performed, too. 

Throughout the procedures, Kalil has been working out and rehabbing at the Vikings' team facility. 


Jets' Mike Maccagnan: 'Not actively shopping' Muhammad Wilkerson
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(8:58 pm ET) Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson has long been talked about as a potential trading chip. 

However, Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan, who appeared on The Michael Kay Show on ESPN New York 98.7 FM, said that the organization isn't looking to try and trade Wilkerson at this time. 

"We're not actively shopping Mo," Maccagnan said, via ESPN.com. "It's not part of our plans. But, again, his name comes up periodically at times, but nothing active right now."

Wilkerson has been productive for the Jets but is entering the final year of his contract. The Jets also just drafted Leonard Williams, who figures to earn some immediate playing time. 

"Mo's a good player, he's part of this organization and he's currently under contract," Maccagnan said. "We'd like to keep him in this organization. We just have to go through a process with him to figure out, you know, if we can find a middle ground."


Bengals' Whitworth posts tweet about Mike Brown, said wife did it
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(8:33 pm ET) A message criticizing Bengals team president Mike Brown was posted on left tackle Andrew Whitworth's personal Twitter account, according to ESPN.com. 

"Mike Brown told me I'm done here," the tweet read. "Said I can play this year and go home. So I told him I want a raise or I'll sit my a-- at home this …"

Moments after the tweet hit the social media site it was deleted. After deactivating his Twitter account, Whitworth logged back on but made his account private. 

Whitworth told ESPN that the tweet originated from his wife, who was trying to send a private message to a teammate for him. Whitworth said his wife is upset over the ordeal but downplayed the message as more of a joke. 

Whitworth is entering the final year of his contract. 


Eagles announce signing of three 2015 draft choices
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5:50 pm ET) The Eagles have announced that they have signed three of their draft picks. Included are second-rounder and cornerback Eric Rowe, sixth-rounder and cornerback Randall Evans and seventh-rounder and defensive end Brian Mihalik.

Cardinals announce move to Kareem Martin to OLB
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5:23 pm ET) What was rumored is now official. The Cardinals are moving Kareem Martin from defensive end to outside linebacker despite his 6-foot-6, 270-pound frame, per CBSSports.com NFL Insider Pat Kirwan.

Martin started two of the 11 games in which he played last season. He contributed eight tackles and one sack.


Cardinals announce waiver claim on CB Alfonzo Dennard
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5:17 pm ET) It certainly didn't take long for cornerback Alfonzo Dennard to land a job. One day after his release from the Patriots, the Cardinals officially announced a waiver claim on him.

The three-year veteran fell off the charts in 2014 after two strong years with New England in which he played in 23 games and contributed to 75 tackles.


Colts WR T.Y. Hilton not thrilled over drafting of Phillip Dorsett
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4:54 pm ET) Colts standout wideout T.Y. Hilton is talking like teammate and newcomer Phillip Dorsett is after his job rather than another wide receiver that can help his team.

But what Dorsett could prove to be is insurance in case Hilton leaves. The young veteran is approaching his contract year.

"There's nothing I can do about that," Hilton told the Indianapolis Star. "That's who they picked. That's cool with me." Hilton went on to talk about his "battle" and "competition" with Dorsett.

Dorsett is certainly no immediate threat to Hilton in regard to playing time. The latter racked up a career-high 1,345 yards in receiving a year ago with seven touchdowns.


Broncos NT Sylvester Williams working to improve game
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:45 pm ET) Broncos third-year defensive lineman Sylvester Williams has much to prove heading into the 2015 season. He must show he can play nose tackle and that he can fill the void left by the departure of Terrance Knighton.

Williams has been working toward accomplishing those goals. He stayed in the area during the offseason to better his game and remain in peak shape. He has emphasized diet and shedding body fat as well as film study in an attempt to learn of areas in his game that require improvement.

"I already went into this offseason with a lot of motivation from within," he told the Denver Post. "I put a lot on myself to get stronger this year and come back with a better year."

Williams started 13 games last year and contributed to 21 tackles.


 
 
 
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