Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2013 Draft Prep: Deep league sleepers

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

Not everyone drafts in a typical 10-team league with 14 or 15 roster spots. Some people are in deeper leagues. Sometimes those leagues have 14 or more owners and/or 17 or more rounds. When rosters get that deep, Fantasy owners need to learn some otherwise unfamiliar names.

One of the greatest challenges a Fantasy analyst has is finding a player that can be had with a late pick that turns into gold. One of those players was Alfred Morris last year, a running back we began hyping up over social media, live videos and online in mid-August. Little did we know he'd go on to be one of the best backs in Fantasy. We're on a mission to find this year's version.

FREE Draft Kits!
Mike Tolbert
Get everything you need to dominate on Draft Day in one convenient place with our Downloadable Draft Kit, complete with projections, rankings and outlooks for 2013!
Download your Draft Kit now!

After talking with some NFL analysts, watching three weeks of preseason games, tumbling over some rocks and swimming through some haystacks, I found nine players who weren't household names even five months ago that owners should consider with late picks. Note: the last name is the one I'm taking in Round 12 or 13 of every draft I am in.

Kenbrell Thompkins, WR, Patriots: This was someone who could have contended to be the "ultimate sleeper" but he played too well in the preseason and now everyone knows about him. But I'm including him on the list because it's cool to highlight players who were undrafted free agents and are on the cusp of starting. Thompkins' story is interesting: He had many, many run-ins with the law and has been arrested a number of times but went to college, kept his mind focused on football and has seemingly turned his life around. The cousin of Steelers receiver Antonio Brown, Thompkins is on track to start for New England after playing with the first-team offense in each of their three preseason games. He lined up everywhere and ran pretty much every route in the route tree. While secondary receivers don't always put up massive stats for the Patriots, Thompkins could be a receptions hog and even impact the main players in the New England offense from week to week. He's actually a solid Fantasy reserve with the potential to be a Flex starter.

Marquise Goodwin, WR, Bills: Goodwin is 5-foot-8 and 183 pounds -- not exactly Calvin Johnson. If you're that small and playing in the NFL then you'd better have fast legs, and Goodwin's got 'em. Seeing plenty of playing time with the first-team offense this summer, Goodwin has track speed to go with improved route-running and nice hands. With their up-tempo, run-heavy approach, Goodwin is a good weapon to have because the second a defense is focused on slowing down C.J. Spiller, E.J. Manuel can sling it over the top to Goodwin for the long score. Manuel has connected on a bunch of long passes in practice and Goodwin is someone who could contribute a lot of yardage without a lot of catches (his teammate Robert Woods will be more valuable in Fantasy to start the season). Buffalo should find themselves passing a decent amount this season, which also helps Goodwin.

Terrelle Pryor, QB, Raiders: The Raiders have no choice but to start Pryor, a tall passer with a fluid, effortless throwing motion and wheels to move around and out of the pocket. Just don't ask about the accuracy. He might not be an elite playmaker but compared to Matt Flynn he's a superstar. Make no mistake -- the Raiders are awful. The offensive line is bad, the receivers aren't great and Darren McFadden is always one injury away from being a disaster. Pryor's best preseason moments came against second-team defenses and he will for sure lay some eggs this year. But he'll also play from behind and run for his life pretty much every single week, likely putting up modest stats in the process. That's enough for me to look for him late in leagues that can start multiple quarterbacks.

Marlon Brown, WR, Ravens: If there's one thing the Ravens need in the wake of Dennis Pitta's injury and Anquan Boldin's departure, it's a big bodied wideout who can help move the chains. Brown has that look. At 6-foot-4 and 213 pounds, Brown's stature gives him a chance against press coverage and his speed is good enough to make an impact deep. Baltimore's receiving corps after Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones was weak when camp opened but the addition of slot guy Brandon Stokley and Brown's ascension up the depth chart has stabilized Joe Flacco's weapons. Brown might need to play good enough to leapfrog Jones in order to be a real nice Fantasy addition, but for now he's worth a flier in deeper PPR leagues.

Marlon Moore, WR, 49ers: It looks like Moore will replace Michael Crabtree in the Niners' starting lineup. He's never been special, but he's never worked with a quarterback like Colin Kaepernick before. I took a look at Crabtree's stats before Kaepernick and with Kaepernick and the difference is obvious. In 10 games with Kaepernick, Crabtree averaged two receptions, 36 yards and 0.5 more touchdowns per game more than in the 50 games prior. Everyone is so worried about how Kaepernick will do without Crabtree that maybe, just maybe, they need to spend a minute remembering what Crabtree was like without Kaepernick. Could it be that Kaepernick is such a good passer that he improves the receivers he works with? Might be. Moore is worth speculating on in deep PPR leagues that require three starting wideouts.

Christine Michael, RB, Seahawks: Most people will recognize Michael's name -- he was the hard-charging back at Texas A&M who totaled 2,791 rush yards and 34 scores over four seasons. He had the potential to be a great Fantasy weapon until the Seahawks took him with their second-round pick. Peculiar, why would the Seahawks take Michael when they already have Marshawn Lynch as well as second-year player Robert Turbin? Turns out the front office loved Michael. He's made them look good in a pair of preseason games, rushing for 186 yards on 27 carries (a sick 6.9 avg.) with a 25-yard reception. There's an injury history with Michael and there's also the reality that he might only see five carries per game -- he is behind Lynch after all. But if you're into drafting talent, Michael's a cinch to eventually be a Fantasy contributor.

Play Playoff Challenge!
Player Challenge
NEW Playoff Challenge Championship Edition offers one more way to play postseason Fantasy Football and compete for cash prizes. Join now before time runs out!
Join a new league!

Alfonso Smith, RB, Cardinals: I found myself going back and forth with the Cardinals' rookie running backs for this space when I sat down to watch Arizona's preseason games and realized Smith was running second-string! Not bad for a guy who has been cut three times by the Cardinals, only to re-sign every time. He's got some quickness and pass protection skills and that's enough to keep him as the second back for the Cards to start the year. Ryan Williams' knee is perpetually hurt, Rashard Mendenhall is no spring chicken and who knows just how much rookies Stepfan Taylor and Andre Ellington will play. If Mendenhall breaks, Smith looks like the leader in the clubhouse to take his reps. That makes him a late-round candidate in a year that's very thin at running back.

Kenny Stills, WR, Saints: One of the first names I had on my deep sleeper list was Joe Morgan. When the Saints drafted Stills I thought it was odd because Morgan had great top-end speed and even decent size -- why did they need Stills? They obviously liked his game and wanted him for depth but a major knee injury for Morgan thrusted Stills into the No. 3 receiver race. On multiple occasions this preseason I've seen Stills show off his tremendous deep speed as well as make some heady plays. One in particular came when Stills saw playing time in place of Marques Colston. A play broke down and Drew Brees bought some time, moved out of the pocket and hit Stills at the pylon for a touchdown. Stills might be a rookie but he hasn't played like one this preseason, and the Saints always find offensive players who are diamonds in the rough among late-round picks and undrafted players (Colston, Pierre Thomas, Chris Ivory). There's major potential here, even if he's fourth fiddle behind Marques Colston, Lance Moore and Jimmy Graham (and maybe even Nick Toon).

Tyler Eifert, TE, Bengals: Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden had a lot of glowing things to say about his rookie tight end, but one thing you just can't grasp from the story is how enthusiastic Gruden was over Eifert. It was obvious. In the story he compared his offense to New Orleans' offense. I asked him if that meant Jimmy Graham was who he saw in Eifert. Gruden didn't temper his answer saying "I do very much so." But what impressed me more was that Gruden said they've thrown the kitchen sink at Eifert and he still doesn't make mistakes. A wrist injury kept him from playing in the Bengals' third preseason game but Gruden probably doesn't mind keeping his secret weapon away off their opponents game film. But the biggest selling point is that Eifert is a much-needed mismatch threat in a West Coast offense led by a quarterback with deep-ball question marks. That means he'll check down or find seam routes to his athletic tight end, or hit him with a high pass in the end zone when he's against a smaller defender. Eifert's a phenomenal late-round pick you can begin your Fantasy season with as your starter at tight end.

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

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Redskins bring back tight end Niles Paul on three-year deal
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:11 pm ET) Redskins have re-signed tight end Niles Paul to a three-year deal worth approximately $10 million, per CBSSports.com NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reports.

Paul, 25, caught 39 passes for 507 yards and one touchdown last season. He has 735 career receiving yards and two scores since joining the league in 2011.


Report: Bears re-sign QB Jimmy Clausen
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:06 pm ET) The Bears have re-signed quarterback Jimmy Clausen on Friday, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

New Bears coach John Fox drafted Clausen in 2010 when he was in charge of the Panthers. The new Chicago front office are reportedly uncertain of Jay Cutler's future with the club, so Clausen's role with the team remains to be seen.

Clausen, 27, got the start over Cutler in Week 16 before suffering a concussion. He completed 23 of 39 passes for 181 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, and was unable to play the season finale.


Lions lock up kicker Matt Prater to three-year deal
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(11:59 am ET) The Lions have signed kicker Matt Prater to a three-year deal on Friday, per the team's official website. Terms of the deal were not made public.

Prater was signed to a one-year deal after being cut by the Broncos on Oct. 3. He converted 21 of 26 field goals in 11 games for the Lions in 2014. Prater noted in January that he would like to return to Detroit in 2015, and now his wish has come to fruition.


Percy Harvin's days with the Jets are numbered
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(11:55 am ET) With Brandon Marshall reportedly traded to the Jets, it appears as if Percy Harvin's days in New York are numbered. According to CBSSports.com NFL Insider Jason la Canfora, the Jets are expected to part ways with Harvin.

Harvin, who reportedly refused a reduction in his 2015 salary, was slated to make $10.5 million next season. The 26-year-old Harvin hauled in 29 passes for 350 yards after joining New York in the middle of the 2014 season. The Jets traded a fifth-round pick for Marshall, and will owe Seattle a sixth-round selection if they cut ties with Harvin.


Bears agree to trade WR Brandon Marshall to the Jets
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(11:13 am ET) The Brandon Marshall era in Chicago has come to an end.

After it was reported earlier in the week that the Bears were shopping the veteran wide receiver, Chicago finally decided to move the embattled wideout. They agreed to trade Marshall to the Jets for a fifth-round draft pick on Friday, according to CBSSports.com NFL Insider Jason La Canfora. The move is pending a physical.

Marshall, 30, grabbed 61 receptions for 721 yards and eight touchdowns in 13 games during the 2014 season. he has 773 career receptions, which is the most by any active platyer without a playoff apeparance. He is due to make $7.7 million in 2015 and is under contract through 2017.

He will be reunited with new Jets coach Todd Bowles, who was the assistant coach of Miami 2010-11 when Marshall was a member of the Dolphins.


Report: Dolphins confident they will land DT Ndamukong Suh
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:56 am ET) The Dolphins will be calling Jimmy Sexton to discuss their interest in signing Ndamukong Suh once free agency begins. According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins remain confident about their chances of landing Suh.

The impending free agent is scheduled to visit the Raiders next week. Outside of Miami and Oakland, the Colts, Jaguars, Giants, Redskins and the Lions have all reportedly expressed interested in Suh. According to Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel earlier this week, owner Steve Ross may be prepared to make a high bid on Suh, who could sign the largest deal by a non-quarterback in NFL history. Kelly noted that rival executives believe that Suh to Miami is a "done deal."

Suh is coming off a contract that paid him over $12 million annually, and will likely command a $100-plus contract once he hits the open market. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 draft completed his fifth season in the NFL with the Lions. He has totaled 181 tackles, 36 sacks and one interception in his career.


Report: Saints restructure Marques Colston's contract
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:40 am ET) It appears as if Marques Colston will be staying put with the Saints. According to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports, Colston has reportedly restructured his contract for the 2015 season.

Details of his restructured contract were not made public. Colston was set to make $6.9 million and count $9.7 million against the cap in 2015. Last season he caught 59 passes for 902 yards.


Colts won't re-sign veteran WR Reggie Wayne
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:34 am ET) The Colts announced Friday that they will not re-sign veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne, making him a free agent come Tuesday, per the team's official website. Wayne, who will turn 37 in November, had triceps surgery last week and may still be mulling retirement.

"It will allow (Reggie) to seek a better opportunity for playing time elsewhere if he so chooses," team owner Jim Irsay said in a statement.

Wayne played in 15 regular season games for the Colts in 2014, totaling 779 yards on 64 catches with two touchdowns. He has caught 1,070 passes in 14 seasons in Indianapolis.


Agent: Dolphins, Chiefs, Browns, Texans in on Brian Hartline
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9:54 am ET) Drew Rosenhaus, Brian Hartline's agent, made an appearance on WQAM radio in Miami and revealed that the Dolphins, Chiefs, Browns and Texans are all among the options for Hartline, per ESPN.

In a move to save cap space, Hartline was cut by the Dolphins last week. He visited the Browns on Tuesday, the Bears on Wednesday and the Texans on Thursday. The Patriots are also reportedly interested in his services, though Rosenhaus did not mention them. The 28-year-old has never caught more than four touchdowns in a season.


Brian Orakpo open to playing for Cowboys or Texans?
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9:47 am ET) Brian Orakpo made an appearance on NFL Network on Friday, and revealed that he'd be open to playing for the Cowboys or Texans -- the teams in his home state of Texas, according to the Washington Post.

Orakpo, 28, was not franchise tagged by the Redskins, and is set to hit the open market on Tuesday if Washington fails to sign him. He said that talks between his camp and the Redskins are "minimal," though he believes a deal can be struck in time if the numbers are right, per ESPN.

"I hope those guys can turn it around and win for those fans and that whole market because it's great for football," Orakpo said.


 
 
 
Rankings