Fantasy Smack Talk - Fantasy Sports Advice for Football, Baseball, and Basketball

2013 Fantasy Football: NFL Deep Sleepers

By Dustin Barkley

Fantasy Analyst

(photo by Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

With Danny Woodhead in San Diego, Shane Vereen is a must-have Stevan Ridley handcuff and a breakout candidate in his own right. (photo by Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

It’s hard to win a fantasy championship without making a few great late picks during the draft. Every year there are several players that get picked near the end of the draft that end up having huge fantasy value. Let’s take a look at a few deep sleepers that you may want to take a gamble on in the late rounds of your 2013 fantasy football draft.

Aaron Dobson NE | WR

Someone is going to have to step up and perform on this new look Patriots offense and I think Dobson could be that guy. I rarely suggest drafting rookie receivers, but his situation couldn’t be much better. He is a bigger receiver with solid overall talent and he is in a great position to maybe start on one of the best offenses in the league. You are going to hear a lot about Tavon Austin who is another rookie receiver with a big upside, but I think Dobson should be the first rookie off the board at the receiver position.

Fred Davis WAS | TE

Davis was putting together a solid year for the Redskins in 2012 before going down with an injury in week 7. The offense in Washington is a lot more high powered than in years past and Davis is in a great position to maybe have a big year. It does scare me that he didn’t find the end zone in any of his 7 games that he played in last year, but I still think the potential is there for him to be a top 10 fantasy tight end in 2013.

Brandon Myers NYG | TE

Myers was one of the few bright spots from the Oakland offense last year and he is now in a better location with the Giants. The Giants have proven in the past that they like getting their tight ends involved in the passing game and I think Myers is a perfect fit for that offense. I think he has the potential of getting close to double digit touchdowns and I especially like him in PPR leagues. He should get a ton of targets from Eli and I expect he will have around 80+ catches again this year.

Jake Locker TEN | QB

Locker had some solid games last year and if he hadn’t gone down with injury he would have had solid season stats. He is going to have to find a way to cut down on the interceptions, but the thing I like most about him his is potential with his legs. He certainly isn’t in the same category as RGIII or Kaepernick when it comes to running potential, but he did average almost 30 rushing yards per game. The overall upside of Locker is certainly high and I think he makes a great QB2 in the later rounds.

Danny Woodhead SD | RB

When Sproles left the Chargers I think that had a bigger impact to that offense than people realized. They have been a mess since he left and I think Woodhead can really help get that offense headed back into the right direction. I don’t think he is as good as Sproles, but he comes with a very similar skill set. He probably will not get a ton of carries, but I expect him to be heavily involved in the passing game and I wouldn’t be surprised if he racks up 1,000 total yards this year.

Shane Vereen NE | RB

When you look at the Patriots depth chart for their offense it doesn’t take long to realize that they could be in a bit of trouble. Welker is now a Bronco, Woodhead is a Charger, Hernandez is in jail, Gronkowski is banged up, and Amendola is just an injury waiting to happen. This leave Vereen as one of the Patriot’s best offensive weapons and I expect that they will find creative ways to get the ball in his hands. Even with all the question marks with that offense I still expect them to put points on the board and I think Vereen could have a solid fantasy season.

Johnathan Franklin GB | RB

The running back position for the Packers has been a revolving door over the last few years, but after drafting two solid rookie running backs with Lacy and Franklin that might change. As of now it looks like Lacy is in the lead for the starting gig, but for my money I would rather wait a few more rounds in the draft and grab Franklin. He was amazing last year for UCLA and I am more impressed with Franklin than Lacy when it comes to watching film from last year.

Zac Stacy STL | RB

When I look at the Rams running back situation I can’t help but think about the Redskins from just a year ago. There are currently 3 guys that could end being the starter and it’s anyones guess on who that might be. I have been impressed by all three at some point in their careers, but I like the idea of using a late round pick on Stacy. He was great in college and with Pead being suspended for the first game of the season all signs are pointing to Stacy getting at least one start. It looks like Richardson might be penciled in as the change of pace third down back, so on draft day I think Stacy might be the best bang for the buck since he should go later in the draft than Pead.

Cordarrelle Patterson MIN | WR

The Vikings offense lost a huge piece of the puzzle when Harvin went over to the Seahawks, but Patterson has the talent to potentially fill that void. This offseason all I have heard about is the other talented young receiver Tavon Austin for the Rams and no one is really talking about or hyping up Patterson. He was a human highlight reel for the Vols last year and I expect the Vikings to find creative ways to get the ball in his hands. I am not expecting a huge year, but I think he is well worth a late round flier especially if your league counts return yards.

Mark Ingram NO | RB

The hate for Ingram in the fantasy world will continue into 2013, but all this does is push him down the draft board even further. This makes him an interesting late round pick since he will still get a decent amount of touches and some goal line work. The Saints have shown that they don’t plan on giving him even close to a full work load, but if Pierre Thomas were to go down with an injury then this could make Ingram very relevant. Sproles is still going to be heavily involved in the offense, but Ingram certainly has some value in standard leagues and in my opinion has a decent overall upside.

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