Striking gold on fantasy sleepers can go a long way in helping you win your league, easier said than done right? Trying to figure out who those players are going to be takes a lot of time and research. Luckily for you I have come up with four at each position, starting with the wide-receivers.
Willie Snead, WR, Saints - Snead had a productive rookie season in New Orleans (69 Rec/984 Yds/3 TD). As a rookie, he only fumbled the ball twice with one lost, that ball security goes along way in the eyes of QB Drew Brees. Brees will be more inclined to throw to Snead now that they have built up some trust and have a year under their belts together. I see Snead surpassing his totals from last year by having 80+ Rec/1,108 Yds/6 TD's. He's a guy you won't have to use a high pick on, but could still get high end production when he's still available in the middle to late rounds.
Jordan Taylor, Broncos - Taylor has spent the majority of his career on the practice roster and was one of few receivers that was apart of the secret throwing sessions with Peyton Manning last season. Taylor's got some serious hands made evident by the OBJ like catch you can watch below. If he can make the team out of training camp he will be another weapon to be utilized by the Broncos. He will definitely be around for a late round pick or off the waiver wire early on.
Donte Moncrief, WR, Colts - Moncrief had a respectable season last year considering he only had Andrew Luck as his QB for seven games. Out of the six TD's he caught five came from Luck. Needles to say, Moncrief's value rely's heavily on Luck. Being second fiddle T.Y. Hilton, Moncrief will be selected after Hilton and will be available in the middle rounds. Much like Snead, Moncrief could offer some high end production so long as Luck can stay on the field.
Devin Funchess, WR, Panthers - Early reports out of the Panther's training camp thus far has been about how good Funchess has looked, catching TD after TD. However, training camp and the regular season are two totally different worlds. If he can carry over his confidence and dominance from training camp into the regular season, using a late pick on him could turn out to be a great choice.
With NFL training camps in full swing, now is the time to start looking ahead to the NFL fantasy season. Much like every sports fantasy season's, there are your regular stud performers, sleeper players that come out of nowhere to have an outstanding season, breakout players, and players poised to bounceback from the previous season. My goal, much like it is with my fantasy baseball posts, is to sift through the players and profile them for you so you don't have to.
Many teams have made changes to their QB and RB positions which will make for some interesting decisions come draft day. In Houston, will Brock Osweiler be able to prove the Texans made a good choice in signing him? Can Lamar Miller's skill set finally be utilized over the course of the season? How about RGIII? Is it plausible that he may be able to recapture the form he had in his rookie year, in which many would think he would rule the fantasy world as a QB for years to come. Those are all questions I intend to answer over the coming weeks.
Every year there are players drafted late that turn in top-20 fantasy performers. Here are a few wide-outs that I think you can draft in the later rounds yet can still play a big role on your fantasy team.
Sterling Shepard, WR, Giants - A second round draft pick by the Giants, Shepard will be looking to slot in behind OBJ as the second wide-out on the team. With Victor Cruz's health uncertain going into the season, Shepard has a golden opportunity to do just that. OBJ will get the bulk of the opposing defenses attention so look for Eli and the Giants to rely on Shepard to step up and make plays. (My projections: 73 Rec/988 Yds/6 TD)
Corey Coleman, WR, Browns - The 15th overall selection in the 2016 draft, Coleman is going to be relied upon to be the main cog in the Browns offense with Josh Gordon serving his suspension through the first five games. Coleman has the speed to stretch the field on deep balls and the breakaway speed to pile up yards after the catch. Once Gordon comes back from his suspension, the field will open up a bit and that will only benefit Coleman as the season progresses. (My projections: 78 Rec/1,063Yds/8 TD)
Sammi Coates, WR, Steelers - All the talk so far coming out of the Steelere's training camp is how great Coates has looked thus far. Many believed that with Markus Wheaton's strong season last year, all be it in a limited role, would be the guy to fill in for the suspended Martavis Bryant. However, new season's bring on new opportunities and Coates has been given one, and it seems as though that he doesn't want to relinquish it. (My projections: 65 Rec/889/ TD)
With the stretch run of the fantasy nearing with each passing weeks, some teams are still in need of help to bring home the championship we all covet. Here are four players that may be able to help you bring that title home this season.
Joe Musgrove, SP, Astros - Musgrove had quite the MLB debut on Tuesday, he struck out 8 Blue Jay batters over 4.1 innings after being thrust into the game after starter Lance McCullers left the game. Now that McCullers has landed on the 15-day DL, Musgrove has the chance to prove that he belongs in the rotation beyond his scheduled start on Sunday vs the Rangers. (Owned in 17% of Yahoo Leagues)
Mike Zunino, C, Mariners - Over the 12 games he's played in this season Zunino has slugged five homers and drive in seven. He's a major upgrade over Chris Ianetta, so as long as he's swinging the bat well he'll get the bulk of the time behind the plate. (Owned in 2% of Yahoo Leagues)
Ervin Santana, SP, Twins - Santana is in the midst of one of his more productive seasons. Over his last seven games, Santana has pitched to a 2.68 ERA with 32 strikeouts in 37.1 IP. If your looking for starting pitching for the stretch run of your fantasy season, Santana is your guy. (Owned in 35% of Yahoo Leagues)
Jim Johnson, RP, Braves - There aren't many closers left out there this late in the season, most teams already have that position solidified. However, the Braves are rolling with Jim Johnson right now who once saved 101 games over a two year span. He's not the same pitcher he used to be and he's also playing on a bad Braves team, but if your desperate for a closer, he may be the only one out there. (Owned in 22% of Yahoo Leagues)