We’re all suckers for a steal on fantasy draft day. We scroll through pages of stats, looking for that diamond in the rough everyone else is going to miss. Sometimes we get him and he makes all the difference in the world on our fantasy roster. Sometimes we reach and our guy fails, leading to season-long ridicule from league-mates who are all too quick and happy to remind you of the bonehead move you made on draft day.
I’m here to hopefully help you avoid that ridicule and find a difference maker at each position that could help you win a few games and possibly help you in your quest to win your league.
Here is my 2013 Fantasy Football All-Sleeper Team.
Quarterback: Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs – Smith shouldn’t really be considered a sleeper, but he’ll get passed over time and time again on draft day. He was just as impressive during the first half of the season for the 49ers in 2012 as Colin Kaepernick was in the second half. I’d argue that he has an even more talented set of skill players in Kansas City to get the job done.
Running Back: Rashard Mendenhall, Arizona Cardinals– Mendenhall reunites with Bruce Arians in Arizona, hoping to revive a once promising career. Sometimes all it takes is a change of scenery to make everything click. If Mendenhall can fend off a couple of talented rookies and land the starting role, I think he’s in for a big year.
Running Back: Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams – Stacy has a real shot at being the Rams’ week one starter at running back, thanks in part to the suspension of one teammate and the lack of skills of others. Stacy was a beast at Vanderbilt, consistently putting up solid numbers against some of the best defenses in college football. He could be this year’s Doug Martin.
Wide Receiver: Jarius Wright, Minnesota Vikings – Wright stepped up and played a major role in the Viking offense after Percy Harvin went down in 2012. His efforts were an integral part of Minnesota’s playoff run. He’ll start the year in a No. 3/slot role, but don’t be surprised if he rises up to become Christian Ponder’s favorite target.
Wide Receiver: Ryan Broyles, Detroit Lions – The key word here is potential and Broyles has tons of it. Unfortunately, he also is recovering from a torn ACL for the second season in a row. It looks like he could be back on the field early if not by week 1. If this is the case, expect him to replace Nate Burleson as the Robin to Calvin Johnson’s Batman.
Tight End: Jordan Cameron, Cleveland Browns – It finally looks like Cameron, a former college basketball player, is going to start the year as the No. 1 tight end in Cleveland. The coaches love his work ethic along with his freakish size and athleticism. The Browns should be improved on offense and Cameron should play an important role in whatever success they are going to have.
Kicker: Caleb Sturgis, Miami Dolphins – When you draft a kicker, especially one as talented as Sturgis, you expect him to be the starter. He’ll be forgotten as the same old kickers come off the board in the late rounds, but he should be Miami’s starter from day one, likely putting up better field goal numbers than Dan Carpenter did in 2012.
Defense/ST: New England Patriots – The Patriots quietly improved as last season progressed. They finally look to have solidified their secondary and will start six former first round picks on the defensive side of the ball. The addition of Adrian Wilson should be huge as well as the fact that like always, the Patriots will play a total of six games against the Bills, Dolphins and Jets.
BY J.P. SCOTT ON JUNE 7, 2013