Don’t Sleep: Week 1

Though he looks like Charlie from Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Danny Amendola is no scoundrel.
Photo Credit: Jeffrey Beall 

It excites me to be joining the team at Sons of Roto! First off, I would like to take a moment to officially introduce myself to you readers. My name is Jesse and I am from Washington State (not DC). I am currently enrolled at Central Washington University and am competing in collegiate Track & Field. Sports are my passion and I hope I can be a positive addition to this website. Okay, enough of that crap. Let’s get started on what we really came here to do. I know many of you have already drafted, so I am here to give you some under-owned skill position players at each position that should be picked up in more leagues. Percentage owned based on ESPN leagues.

More after the jump:

Ryan Fitzpatrick (BUF) 22 percent owned – Even though he played in a struggling offense last season, Fitzpatrick put up respectable numbers. 3,000 yards passing, 23 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions is pretty good for a player that not only has to play for the Buffalo Bills, but he is also not even being drafted in 78 percent of ESPN leagues. I expect the Bills to rely heavily on the passing game once again and for Fitzpatrick to match his numbers from last season. You could do a lot worse when you need someone to fill in on a bye week.

Other quarterbacks worth mentioning: Matt Hasselbeck, Tennessee (9 percent owned), Chad Henne, Miami (5 percent owned).

Running Backs
Marion Barber (CHI) 16 percent owned – Before his recent calf injury, Marion the Barbarian seemed to have his legs back under him after last season’s disaster. Barber should at least be a touchdown vulture. I even went so far as staying away from Matt Forte in fantasy drafts because Barber has looked so good in his limited time. Health permitting, the Barbarian should approach double digit touchdowns this year and will kill Forte’s value. Pick up Barber if you are in a touchdown heavy league and prepare to feel like it is 2009 all over again if you own Matt Forte.

Deji Karim (JAX) 7 pecent owned – Karim became a must own handcuff for Maurice Jones-Drew as soon as Rashad Jennings was placed on injured reserve with an ACL injury. While he is very raw, he has the talent to be a difference maker in fantasy leagues if something happens to MoJo. Given the knee problems of Jones-Drew, that is a real possibility. If I own MJD, I am running to pick up Karim right now. Hell, I am picking him up in many of my leagues because he could be a fantasy stud if Jones-Drew goes down.

Other deep sleeper runningbacks: Demarco Murray, Dallas (14 percent owned), Kendall Hunter, 49ers (8 percent owned), Jason Snelling, Atlanta (8 percent owned).

Wide Receivers

Danny Amendola (STL) 34 percent owned- Even though he doesn’t really qualify as a deep sleeper since he is 34 percent owned, Amendola should be owned in ALL leagues in my opinion. With Sam Bradford ready to make strides from his rookie to sophomore year, Josh McDaniels coming into town, and Steven Jackson to help open up the passing game, Amendola is primed for a big season. Another little known fact is that Amendola tied Larry Fitzgerald for the league lead in red zone targets last year with 24. With pass-happy Josh McDaniels now in town, there will be a lot of opportunities for Amendola to make some big plays out of the slot. A breakout similar to the one Brandon Lloyd had under McDaniels is possible, but Wes Welker-type numbers are more likely. I expect a ton of receptions for Amendola, and if his red zone targets remain high, he should convert more of those into touchdowns this season.

Nate Burleson (DET) 25 percent owned- Nate Burleson is a player that I enjoyed watching every game as a Seahawk, and I have always admired his ability. So far this preseason, it looks like his has a good connection with Matthew Stafford and he is finding his place in Detroit’s offense opposite of Calvin Johnson. With Megatron demanding a lot of double teams, Burleson is going to find himself in a lot of one-on-one opportunities. He has also been a big red-zone threat this preseason. In his first three preseason games he had three TDs. While I don’t expect him to get a touchdown every game, something around eight TD’s is possible.

Other deep WR sleepers: Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (20 percent owned), Jacoby Jones, Houston (7 percent owned), Greg Little, Cleveland (10 percent owned).

Tight Ends

Jared Cook (TEN) 14 percent owned – The physical freak might finally be coming into his own with Tennessee. The 361 receiving yards and one touchdown last season don’t look like great numbers, but 154 of those yards (along with his score) came in the final two games. With Matt Hasselbeck coming into town to stabilize the quarterback position, Cook could be in line for a big year as the second option in the passing game behind Kenny Britt. He will finally be given the opportunity to shine and a double-digit touchdown breakout is possible.

Todd Heap (ARI) 16 percent owned- For the first time in Heap’s career he will be suiting up for a team other than the Baltimore Ravens. While going to Arizona may not be the best thing for his Super Bowl aspirations, this might just be the best thing that could have happened to him from a fantasy perspective. Heap is headed to Arizona, where he can be a difference maker in the passing game. Remember when Kevin Kolb took over as the starting QB for the Eagles? Who was his favorite target? All of a sudden, Brent Celek became a fantasy star. Don’t expect Heap to all of a sudden turn into one of the best tight ends in the league, but I can see him sniffing the top ten in scoring. With secondary defenders staring at Larry Fitzgerald every play, Heap will be able to take advantage and make some plays.

Other TE sleepers worth mentions: Visanthe Shiancoe, Minnesota (7 percent owned), Lance Kendricks, St. Louis (17 percent owned).

So there you have it. If you think I am super bad ass and cool, then pick up these guys. If you think I don’t know anything, then you are wrong because I clearly know everything. Shoot me an email or follow me on twitter if you have any comments.

Twitter: @JessePotes


About Starbonell

Starbonell is the co-founder of Sons of Roto and one of the most insightful and colorful fantasy analysts in the game. Mixing intelligent and well-researched advice with an entertaining style of writing that is easy to digest, Starbonell is the king of info-tainment.