One of the keys to winning your fantasy football league is the ability to recruit Sleepers. “Sleepers” are NFL players who are drafted much lower rounds in their fantasy football drafts than their final statistics warrant. In shopping terms, this is like buying a 22-ounce bottle of Not Your Father root beer (the 19.9% version…mmmmmmmmmm) at A&W prices. In the world of full-season fantasy football, this is the path to the league championship. We’ve seen championships won on the heels of Sleepers every year. They’ve come out of nowhere to record monsters years after being double-digit wire picks or quits. When you can grab a player late in your draft who becomes your No. 1 producer at a certain position, you my friends have a true Sleeper. Below are some projected fantasy football sleepers by position for the 2015 season.
2015 fantasy football sleepers
Quarterback: teddy bridgewater (Minnesota) – Teddy took over Matt Cassel’s kidneys at Minny in Week 4 in 2014 and never looked back. He was poised, confident and productive and returned in 2015 as the opening game starter with experience and new toys. He had a trio of running backs to turn the ball over last year, but none of them were named Adrian Peterson. One would think the Vikings would crush Peterson since he has fresh legs, which is possible, but having him in the backfield will open up the passing game a lot more than last year’s timeshare. The Vikings also improved in WR by trading the aging Greg Jennings and adding stretcher Mike Wallace. On top of that, the Vikings will have a healthy TE Kyle Rudolph to add to the mix. Teddy is being drafted in double-digit rounds as a QB2, but there’s no reason not to believe you won’t find more games you don’t want to start with him.
Also considered: Derek Carr (Oakland), Ryan Fitzpatrick (Buffalo)
RB: jose randle (Dallas) – As much of an idiot as owner Jerry Jones is, there’s no way he’s going to let DeMarco Murray go and be satisfied with bringing in RB Darren McFadden to replace him unless he’s confident in his backup RBs from 2014. I think the McFadden’s move was a sympathy move from a fellow Razorback alumnus, as McFadden has been a real bust since being drafted by Oakland in 2008, though injuries are the main reason. He was very talented in college, but you have to wonder how much his speed has affected his high number of injuries. With McFadden already battling hamstring injuries, Randle is strengthening his position as the opening game starter when Dallas realizes McFadden is as far from a reliable workhorse as I am. Randle is only 23 years old and has a great combination of size and speed. Even if Randle starts the season with only 15 carries per game, I expect good things, since he probably could get 100 yards per game behind that huge Cowboys offensive line.
Also considered: David Cobb (Tennessee), David Johnson (Arizona)
WR: nick toon (New Orleans) – We introduced the Saints’ Brandin Cooks to the spot last season and he made us look smart … until he missed out with injury. He returned this season and is healthy, but the Saints have rebuilt his offense and, in the process, lost TE Jimmy Graham and WR Kenny Stills. With WR Marques Colston aging, Cooks will need a running mate, and we hope Toon will be that mate. He is entering his third year in the league and seemed to catch on with quarterback Drew Brees towards the end of 2014 when he had 17 of his 23 career receptions from him in the last 6 games of the season. Even though the Saints started to rely more on the ground game last season, there’s no way they won’t keep Brees’ throwing arm active and we see Toon MUCH more involved than ever in the past. He should be able to catch it with his latest WR pick and not risk much for a big lead, which makes him a great fantasy football sleeper.
Also considered: Allen Robinson (Jacksonville), Davante Adams (Green Bay)
YOUR: Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Tampa Bay) – Jenkins was highly regarded starting his rookie season in 2014, but he spent the season limping with foot, ankle and back issues and made little impact. He comes into 2015 healthy and with a rookie quarterback, which is often a good thing for a pass-catching tight end, as a rookie quarterback often checks quickly and finds the TE on him when the pass rush is off. about. At 6-foot-6 and 262 pounds, Jenkins will be easy for quarterback Jameis Winston to find on the field. The Bucs added new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter this season from Atlanta. Atlanta put the ball in the air more than all the teams minus two last season so there should be plenty of opportunity to get that ball into Austin’s big hands in Tampa.
Also consider: Rob Housler (Cleveland), Josh Hill (New Orleans)
K: Connor Barth (Denver) – Barth came aboard in 2014 after the Broncos kicked Brandon McManus to the curb and quickly went on to make 15 of 16 field goal attempts and all of his extra points. Barth didn’t line up for any really long field goal attempts, but he had shown the strength of his leg during his four seasons in Tampa, so he’d expect to see those opportunities present themselves in the air in Denver this season. Denver’s offense may not be the powerhouse this season that it has been since quarterback Peyton Manning joined the team, but they will provide Barth with more than ample opportunities to compete for the league’s scoring title.
Also considered: Greg Zuerlein (St. Louis), Blair Walsh (Minnesota)
D: Miami Dolphins – The Dolphins were slightly above average last season with DE Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon causing a bit of havoc. In the off-season the Finns added Ndamukong Suh and now this defensive line is one of the top 2-3 units in the league. With the added pressure, you can also expect an increase in fumbles and interceptions. Expect the defense to really rack up points in the first half of the season as neither opponent has a scary offense, expect a game in Foxboro and honestly hope the Patriots drop a notch this year.
Also consider: New York Jets, Minnesota