It’s hard to win a fantasy league 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 and end up having huge fantasy value. Our experts give you a list of deep sleepers that you you may want to take a gamble on in the late rounds of your 2012 fantasy football draft.
Tebow is the ultimate gamble this year, but I think it could pay off. Each website that runs fantasy football is a little different when it comes to position eligibility, but the potential for Tebow to get running back eligibility is very real for 2012. If that is the case and he ends up taking over the starting quarterback job at some point he could be a fantasy stud. There are a lot of question marks here, but he is going to go so late in most drafts I still consider him a low risk high reward player.
Collie didn’t have that great of a year last year, but with the arrival of Andrew Luck things are certainly looking up for the Colts offense. With Dallas Clark and Garcon both off the team, there should be more targets for Collie. The Colts will more than likely try to keep a lot of the routes fairly short for their rookie quarterback, and this should work perfectly for Collie who is more of a possession type receiver. I think he could be a great guy to target in PPR leagues, and I think he could even have value in standard leagues as well.
The Bears have had a lot of problems trying to find wide receivers that they can count on, that’s why they went out and got Brandon Marshall and drafted Jeffery in the second round. Jeffery might not start the year as the #2 guy for the Bears, but they drafted him for a reason and he will spend plenty of time on the field. We expect Marshall to get a lot of attention from the opposing defenses, so this should open things up for the rest of the Bears receivers.
The Bengals former first round pick is entering his third year in the league, and we are expecting big things. The Bengals offense was pretty solid last year, and as this young group gains experience they should only continue to get better. Gresham has breakout year written all over him, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he ends up being a top 5 tight end this year.
Cook is a talented tight end, and if he can carry how he finished last year into 2012 he could be in line for a monster season. The tight end position is fairly deep this year, but if you miss out on the top guys I like the idea of waiting and trying to get Cook in the later rounds. The Titans have a lot of weapons on offense that are going to require the attention of opposing defenses, and that should make it pretty easy for Cook to get open.
All things considered for Little last year, he had an amazing rookie year. He played on one of the worst offenses in the league, and he was still able to grab 61 balls for over 700 yards. We expect the Browns to struggle again on the offensive side of the ball in 2012, but Little could be one of their bright spots. Little is a very talented young receiver that is worth a look in the later rounds, and we see no reason why he can’t improve on his numbers from a year ago.
The Panthers have been searching for a solid number two receiver for years, and I think they have finally found him. LaFell is entering his 3rd year in the league, and we see no reason why his numbers will not continue to be on the rise. Even if Steve Smith stays healthy for the entire year I think LaFell could have a lot of big games, and potentially even flirt with over 1,000 receiving yards.
The Lions offense was able to stay healthy for the most part last year, and they impressed a lot of people with how many points they were able to put on the board. Young is going to be a big part of that offense this year, and with Megatron getting so much attention Young should have no problem getting open. Burleson is still with the Lions, but we think Young should have no problem surpassing him this year as the second best receiver on that team.
A lot of people forget that Vereen was drafted in front of Ridley in last years draft, and in our opinion has a bigger upside. It’s really hard to trust any of the New England running backs, but Vereen is going to go so late in drafts it makes him a low risk gamble. With Green-Ellis out of town this is going to open the door for guys like Vereen to get more carries, but only time will tell how the carries will be disrupted in New England.
Pead put up huge numbers in his last year with Cincinnati, and with an aging overworked Steven Jackson in front of him he could get a chance to show us what he can do. The Rams drafted Pead to eventually take over for Jackson, so they have faith in this young man to be able to handle the load. Even though he needs an injury from Jackson to have a lot of value, I still think he is well worth a roll of the dice as a late round gamble.