We’ve already gone through our fantasy football breakouts for the 2014/15 NFL season, now let’s get to the sleepers. Here are some middle to late round players who could represent great value in comparison to where they are being drafted:
QB. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins- The Dolphins QB is currently going undrafted in 10 team leagues, and he has more upside compared to the QB’s ranked immediately around him. With another year to build chemistry with speedy WR Mike Wallace, Tannehill could easily improve in his 3rd season as a pro.
QB. Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans- Health is the #1 question when it comes to Locker’s fantasy value. He has a nice set up when you factor in the coaching staff, the surrounding receiving talent, the up-and-coming offensive line, and his own natural ability. If he can get through a full NFL schedule scratch-free, Locker could end up as a top 15 QB by seasons end.
RB. Bernard Pierce, Baltimore Ravens- With the Ravens starting RB Ray Rice receiving a 2 game suspension to kick off the season, Bernard Pierce will be the man in the backfield until further notice. The 3rd year RB will get his chance to show the Baltimore coaching that he can carry the load, and if he can produce at a high clip in those first 2 games, he could surpass Rice on the depth chart.
RB. Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers- San Francisco RB’s have been dropping like flies so far in training camp. With both Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James suffering injuries early, the 49ers backfield has lost a considerable amount of depth. With 31 year old RB Frank Gore running on his last legs, Carlos Hyde could become a prominent figure in this backfield sooner rather than later.
RB. Terrance West, Cleveland Browns- The Browns brought in Kyle Shanahan and his zone blocking scheme to help their rushing attack. Ben Tate is penciled in as the starting RB early in training camp, but he is incredibly injury prone. West is a must-have handcuff for Tate owners, and he could wind up being the more productive back of the two when it’s all said and done.
WR. Justin Hunter, Tennessee Titans- Hunter is currently being drafted outside of the top 40 WR’s in fantasy, which is blasphemy. He has the potential of becoming at least a #3 WR, if not a #2 if given the targets. He has insane natural talent, and if everything breaks right, he could become one of the premier young WR’s in the entire league.
WR. Jarrett Boykin, Green Bay Packers- History shows that the Green Bay offense is capable of fielding 3 productive WR’s in fantasy, and with James Jones now in Oakland, there is an open starting spot that’s Boykin’s to lose. And when you factor in the fact that there are even more targets to go around with the loss of TE Jermichael Finley, and that starters Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson have been susceptible to injuries in the past, it’s not hard to envision Boykin seeing a ton of playing time in an explosive offense.
WR. Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles- After cutting WR DeSean Jackson this offseason, the Eagles WR corps is highlighted by the likes of WR’s Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper, and Jordan Matthews. Maclin has a checkered injury history, and Cooper leaves a lot to be desired. If Matthews can make some noise throughout training camp and preseason, he could see extended action in an exciting offense that produces big plays weekly.
TE. Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals- The 1st TE drafted in the 2013 NFL Draft, Eifert will look to have an improved 2nd season as a pro. With so many high-upside tight ends being drafted ahead of him, such as Lions TE Eric Ebron and Chargers TE Ladarius Green, it makes sense to wait for a guy like Eifert, who has as much potential, but is going much later in drafts
D/ST. Tennessee Titans- The Titans defense was average for fantasy football last season, but they are being ranked this season as a lower-tier option. This makes little sense, as the switch to a hybrid 3-4 look could actually help this defense produce more sacks than in previous years. Add in the fact that they play in the low scoring AFC South, and Tennessee’s defense could surprise some people this season.
Thanks for reading, and let us know in the comments section below if you have any sleeper suggestions.