By on July 17, 2010

Kory’s 2010 Fantasy Football Sleepers

 Here are my sleeper picks for 2010. First off, let me offer a few disclaimers.  I’m not the type of guy who will pick every skilled player 24 or younger and then, when only 10 of them actually hit, pride myself on having some gift for selection- I hate when people pick 70 sleepers, get a handful right, and then completely ignore the 65 they missed. When drafting, it is always nice to have a sleeper or two on your team; if they do hit, they will give your team that needed boost .  However, you do not want to be the guy with a team full of sleepers, none of which ever materialize.

 Also, I will do my best not to state the obvious: Dez Bryant is not a sleeper because everyone knows about him and his ADP will relate accordingly. I define a sleeper as a player that might run under radar and will then get drafted later than what his production reveals.  I’ll list a couple obvious players the “experts” are calling sleepers. I’m not advocating that you shouldn’t  draft these guys, but am merely suggesting that they are really not sleepers.

 Finally, this is a dynamic process.  Malcolm Floyd is a sleeper. Vincent Jackson is going to miss games and may get traded. Floyd will get picked in between the 9th and 10th rounds. The definition of a sleeper, in my opinion, is a new, young starter, one in a good situation, and one who provides late draft value. Once his ADP is in the 50s or 60s, everyone at your draft will be jockeying to get him. Therefore, he is no longer a sleeper.  So here are my picks:

 Chad Henne, QB, Dolphins- Most articles will favor Joe Flacco or Kevin Kolb. This is a prime example of my point. Flacco and Kolb are not sleepers because everyone expects them to thrive and they are in good situations to do so. Thus, when everyone at the draft table labels a player a sleeper, he transcends the sleeper status. So why Henne?  At the end of last season, he had a couple 300-yard games. Out goes Ted Ginn and in comes Brandon Marshall. Can anyone say upgrade? Bonus sleeper: Matthew Stafford.  Don’t laugh.  He has one of the best WRs in the game (Calvin Johnson) and a good, young TE (Branson Pettigrew).  Most figure they can cause damage because the opposing D cannot stop them.  

Monterio Hardesty, RB, Browns- He is a big back who will eventually be the starter. He will also be running behind one of the best run-blocking lines in the league.  Moreover, don’t forget Lawrence Vickers is a punishing fullback, as well.  These components all add up to a late round steal. Not sleepers: Ben Tate, and LeSean McCoy.  They are the starters on solid offenses. 

 Michael Bush, RB, Raiders- The Raiders managed to rid themselves of the pricy JaMarcus Russell and they will eventually try to do the same with McFadden, too.  Yet Bush averaged 4.8 YPC last year and the offensive line, as well as the QB play, are going to be much improved. You may have to sit him on your bench for the first couple weeks, but he could be a very nice late-round draft pick.

 Devin Aromashodu, WR, Bears- Everyone has the better-known Johnny Knox in this spot. I prefer his counterpart “Aroma,” and while I don’t think Martz will turn the Bears into a sequel for the Greatest Show on Turf, I do think he will do his part. In his last four games he went 22-282-4. You can’t ignore numbers like that.

 Brian Hartline, WR, Dolphins- This pick goes in conjunction with what I said about Henne earlier. Marshall will draw all the attention to one side of the field, thus leaving Hartline one-on-one with the other. Look for a big year. Definitely not, Malcolm Floyd, as for reasons discussed earlier.

 John Carlson, TE, Seahawks- Here is a perfect example as to why it is so important to pay attention to offensive lines. In 2009 Carlson had to block on Seattle’s putrid line. This year he gets to run around and actually catch the ball. And not Jermichael Finley; he broke out last year.

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