Saturday, August 17, 2013

3 Fantasy Football Sleepers

Everyone is always looking for that one guy who falls through the cracks.  That one person that is unnoticed.  That one athlete who is undervalued.  These players can be the difference between a good fantasy football team and a championship team.  Below are three of my fantasy football sleepers for the 2013 season.

1. He is 6'2'', 220 pounds and ran a 4.42 at the NFL combine.

Cordarrelle Patterson was drafted 29th overall by the Minnesota Vikings after playing one year of major college football at Tennessee.  He has the raw talent; however, his skill are unrefined.  Despite his lack of experience and "polish," Patterson is one of my fantasy football sleepers for the 2013 season.

As I wrote in Christian Ponder and Vikings Prediction, Patterson has the attributes that you cannot teach: size and speed.  A player can always learn to run better routes, but he must be born with the height and speed.  With his physical ability, he will pose as a difficult match-up for defensive backs.  Furthermore, he will have Greg Jennings, a veteran receiver, as a mentor.

He is the 70th ranked receiver (214th overall) on ESPN will likely be available for you to draft in the last round.  Ultimately, as a last round pick, he would come with minimal risk and a high reward.

2. This next guy is 6'5" and 237 pounds.  As a quarterback, he ran a 4.65 40 yard dash at the combine.

With his size and speed, E.J. Manuel could be the next Cam Newton.  Manuel was the first quarterback taken in the 2013 NFL Draft at 16th overall by the Bills.  Manuel has been impressive in his first two preseason games, going 10-12 for 92 yards and a touchdown pass in Friday's win against the Vikings.

Many people have criticized the Bills for drafting Manuel so early.  However, he has outperformed Kevin Kolb thus far, and his fantasy potential is very high.  I think it is worth drafting him as a backup quarterback, because he is a dynamic player and could end up being your starter.  Right now, he is the 32nd rated fantasy quarterback, so he should be available for you to take in the later rounds.

3. Martellus Bennett is 6'6" and 265 pounds and possesses 4.68.  Needless to say, he is a physical specimen.  He was targeted 90 times last season with the Giants, despite playing with an injured knee throughout the season.  He was acquired by the Bears and could be in for a breakout season (assuming the Bears have a better offensive line).

It is worth drafting Bennett as a backup tight end and seeing what happens this season.  Currently, he is the 13th ranked tight end on ESPN
All three of these guys have two things in common:  they are big and fast for their position.  They have the physical features that give them the potential to be a dominant force in the league.  Consequently, they are my fantasy sleepers.

Check out 2013 Fantasy Football Sleepers for a list of my other sleepers for the 2013 Fantasy Football Season.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Fantasy Football Draft Strategy

Here is my Fantasy Football draft strategy.  It is broken down by position.  I'm sure that there will be disagreements; however, this strategy has worked well for me.

Last year, the top six leading scorers in both and leagues were quarterbacks.  Therefore, I suggest picking a quarterback in the 1st round.  However, you don’t want your starting quarterback to be on a running team.  Also, make sure you pick up a solid back-up quarterback with a different bye week than your starter.  Needless to say, don’t draft a guy that can’t hit the broadside of a barn. 

Also, don’t draft quarterbacks that haven’t been named the starter yet (ex: Geno Smith).  You don’t want to be stuck with a player that is a back-up.  This goes for any position.  You can always pick them up in free agency later, once they’ve been named the starter.  

Pick running backs from teams that consistently run the football.  You don’t want a running back on a team that always passes (ex: Saints).  Also, pick running backs from good teams.  You don’t want a running back from a team that is always playing from behind and has to pass the ball. 

Furthermore, stay away from platoons in which the running backs split carries (ex: Panthers).  They do not work well for Fantasy Football.  Additionally, make sure your running backs are the starters on their actual teams, because back-up running backs in the NFL don’t produce consistent fantasy points. 
Take chances on sleepers.  Look for guys that are physical specimens (fast and big).  Also, look for good receiving backs, because they can rack up some nice points.

You want a wide receiver from a team with a good quarterback, otherwise they won’t get the ball (ex: Larry Fitzgerald in 2012).  They don’t necessarily have to be on a good team, they just need a respectable quarterback. 

The trend in the NFL is tall, strong, and fast wide receivers (ex: Calvin Johnson & Julio Jones).  This is because small cornerbacks can’t cover them.  During the draft, look for these types of receivers.  Of course, it’s also a good idea to draft wide receivers on passing teams.  

Draft a tight end that is big and fast, because they are too fast for linebackers and too big for defensive backs.  They create match-up problems.  A good tight end can be a huge asset to your team.

Pick a kicker from a team with a halfway decent offense, so they have the opportunity to kick field goals.  A kicker can be a good source of points.  However, if your kicker loses his confidence, get rid of him. 

Furthermore, don’t waste a roster spot by drafting a back-up kicker.  When your kicker has his bye-week, pick up a back-up just for that week.  Then drop him at the end of the week. 

Defenses are unpredictable at the beginning of the year.  Also, injuries happen throughout the course of a season, which affects the defenses.  It’s always a safe bet to go with traditionally good defenses.  I try to pick a defense with a good pass rush, because that will create turnovers, which means more points for me.


Pick solid players that can fill in during bye-weeks.  Your bench should consist of a back-up quarterback, a second defense, role players to fill positions, and sleepers.  You want to have a good bench, so that you have depth in case of injuries.  Also, the tiebreaker in match-ups is normally your bench points, so that is another incentive of having a good bench.

Check out Fantasy Football Draft Guide for more tips.