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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
Giants' Bennett Jackson making transition to safety
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Giants second-year cornerback Bennett Jackson is spending the offseason transitioning to safety. 

"At the end of the day, I’m a DB,’" Jackson said, per the New York Post. "I think my strengths are cover skills, I got good speed and I got good ball skills. The thing it’s gonna take for me to get out there and make an impact is, I just got to learn the defense and really just communicate the calls fluently."

"It is all in front of him," coach Tom Coughlin said. "We think he can cover. He has done a good job of getting us lined up and then we will see how he plays."


O'Brien impressed with Jadeveon Clowney's work ethic
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Texans coach Bill O'Brien has been impressed with the work defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has put in to recover from microfracture surgery in his knee. 

"I've been impressed with the way JD's been working," O'Brien said, per HoustonTexans.com. "He's been out there. He's in early. He's rehabbing. But he's also being able to take part in some of the things that we do in the weight room. He's not able to do all of the things that we do on the field just yet, because of his rehab. But he's on the right track."


AJ McCarron throwing deep for Bengals
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron has recovered from the shoulder soreness that bothered him for most of his rookie year. 

McCarron is now throwing deep again. "I feel great," McCarron said, per the Cincinnati Enquirer. "Body feels great and I feel like I'm slinging it better than I ever have, really."


Brooks Reed injured, may miss time at Falcons' OTAs
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Falcons linebacker Brooks Reed suffered a groin injury during the recently-completed voluntary minicamp, per ESPN.

The injury was termed "minor", but it still might keep Reed from full participation in the Falcons' upcoming OTAs, which start Tuesday. 


GM: EJ Manuel on 'equal footing' with Bills' other QBs
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Bills general manager Doug Whaley denied reports that the team is moving on from quarterback EJ Manuel

The team acquired Matt Cassel and Tyrod Taylor in the offseason.

In an interview with Jim Rome, Whaley said, "I look at it this way, in this business controversy sells,. The more controversy that you can drum up then the more intereste people are going to be."

"For us we’re excited about the future of all three of those guys," Whaley said. "It’s going to be a great competition. And we can keep three quarterbacks. So I dismiss that as just someone trying to get something stirred during this down time and lack of media stories for the NFL." 

Whaley said all three quarterbacks have an equal shot of winning the starting job. 

"I look for him to come in and compete and try to take the job," he said. "Everybody has got an equal footing. It’s a clean slate for all four of our quarterbacks. We’re not tied to anybody. We just want the best man to start."


Bengals' Vontaze Burfict may start year on PUP
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict's rehab may not be progressing as quickly as the team had hoped.

Burfict had microfracture knee surgery and initial post-surgery reports said that he could be recovered by the start of training camp. 

This week, the team's website said that Burfict's status was "up in the air" and that a return by the start of the season would be a "tight call".

If Burfict isn't ready by the opener, the Bengals may choose to put him on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. 


So far, so good for Texans rookie CB Kevin Johnson
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) First impressions aren't necessarily important for first-round picks in the NFL. They are far more critical to lower selections and undrafted free agents who desperately need to raise a few eyebrows immediately lest they be back out looking for work.

But whether necessary or not, Texans first-rounder Kevin Johnson is making one heck of a first impression on Bill O'Brien. The clornerback opened some eyes at minicamp.

"This is a guy that's a very quick guy," O'Brien said. "He's a tall guy. He's a guy that has really good transition ability. He's got what I call really good recover transition. If he's getting beat, he can stick his foot in the ground and really make up a lot of ground.

"He's a very bright player. If you ask him questions in the morning meeting, he really has obviously studied the night before. He's working out on his own and doing things to help stay up on material that's being installed."

Johnson believes he needs to do the little things right to make a big impact in his rookie year.

"From the training room to the classroom to the film study, everything is just more detailed," he told the team website. "I'm just trying to take it all in and use everything around here and just get better."


Bears CB Tim Jennings could transition into slot role
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Bears cornerback Tim Jennings is "still trying to figure out" where he will fit into the secondary this season, the Chicago Tribune is reporting.

The nine-year veteran, who is entering his sixth season in the Windy City, has 95 career starts and led the league in interceptions in 2012. He is even a two-time Pro Bowler. But he spent significant time as the slot corner in minicamp. That's an unsatisfying role for him that he just might be forced to embrace.

Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio prefers his outside corners tall and physical. Jennings is 5-8, 185 pounds. He might still earn an outside role opposite Kyle Fuller, but do achieve that goal he must at the very least outperform free agent pickup Alan Ball, who better fits the ideal description.

If the words of new coach John Fox are any indication, that's unlikely to happen.

"Dimension-wise, he's built like a nickel corner," Fox said. "He's played it before."

Jennings has started all but three games over the last seven years.


Report: Cardinals' Daryl Washington unsure of NFL standing
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/22/2015) Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington is approaching the one-year mark for his suspension though his NFL status is still in limbo. 

But according to a report from FOX Sports 910 in Phoenix, Washington is unsure about his status with the league. He was suspended a year ago on May 30, 2014 for being a multiple offender of the NFL's substance-abuse policy. 

However, he was expected to apply for reinstatement a month ago but did not do so. 

Assuming Washington is reinstated to the NFL at some point he will likely be subjected to punishment under the NFL's domestic violence policy. On March 24, 2014, he pleaded guilty to assaulting his ex-girlfriend. 


Titans' Massaquoi rehabbing shoulder, to miss OTA's
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/22/2015) Outside linebacker Jonathan Massaquoi will not participate in the Titans' first organized team activities, per ESPN.com.

Massaquoi, who was claimed off waivers from the Falcons earlier this year, is recovering from shoulder surgery. He had a bone spur removed from the area, but the procedure was categorized as a minor cleanup.

Massaquoi recorded 22 tackles in 15 games with Atlanta last season.


 
 
 
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