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Fantasy Football 2013: 5 Under the Radar Superstars

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5 Under the Radar Superstars in 2013 Fantasy Football Drafts

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Fantasy football sleeper is a buzzword that you will hear early and often as you sort through the countless websites and magazines in preparation for your upcoming draft. The importance of a sleeper to your hopes of a championship is well documented. However, this is not an article about sleepers. Although not as widely publicized but certainly value picks, the names on this list do not constitute sleeper status simply because they are well known former impact fantasy players.

These are forgotten fantasy contributors based on early season ending injuries or uncontrollable circumstances that may have been rectified in the offseason. Adrian Peterson would be an outstanding example from last year’s fantasy drafts. Peterson returning from ACL surgery fell in to the second and even third rounds of most drafts last season. Not only was that a value pick for those who took the risk, but most fantasy football championship teams a season ago had Peterson on their roster.

Peyton Manning is another example from a season ago. Concerns about Manning’s neck injuries were undeniably an after thought following arguably one of his greatest seasons in the NFL.

This doesn’t always mean the player had to have suffered an injury the season prior. It could be a case of poor coaching, poor surrounding cast of teammates or some other uncontrollable factor. Brandon Marshall was drafted far below the production he had last year moving to the Chicago Bears.

Before getting into the list of players, it must be understood that these are not players that you can grab in later rounds. The three examples above were all players that were drafted in the top three rounds of last year’s fantasy drafts. These are former big names in new circumstances or back from injury that you can draft in positions under their value this fantasy season.

Here are five names to look at on draft day.

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Danny Amendola, New England Patriots

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Danny Amendola is a value pick that comes with a caution tag. Amendola is set to net close to or beyond 100 grabs this season in a high octane New England Patriot offense that is minus Wes Welker. Amendola is also a player that has a history of injury as a slot receiver. This is a high-risk draft pick that could have a potentially astronomical high reward if you chose to gamble on draft day.

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DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles

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DeSean Jackson is a former top ten wide receiver talent for the Philadelphia Eagles that has fallen off the radar of most prognosticators' preseason rankings lists. His fall was an easy one to predict as being trapped in an inefficient offense and plagued by injury the last two seasons has done significant damage to Jackson’s draft value. Enter Chip Kelly, a new offense and a fresh start for the former Cal Bear. The combination has the potential for tremendous upside. Increase this value pick if your league allows for return yardage.

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LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles

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LeSean McCoy was a major disappointment for fantasy owners last season. A top two RB in most drafts a season ago “Slim Shady” suffered much of the same issues as the previously noted Jackson. Lack of any significant production in the Eagles offense and an injury plagued season had McCoy owners kicking themselves for investing such a high pick on him. McCoy still has the talent to be the predicted top running back from a year ago only this season he can be drafted fairly cheaply. In the new Chip Kelly run Eagles offense, McCoy should be seen as a fairly safe pick with significant potential reward.

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Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals

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Is there a nicer guy to root for in the NFL than Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals? A wide receiver that was ranked in the top three of most fantasy drafts a season ago, Fitzgerald was the victim of a horrific Cardinal offense. Despite a tough season he remained loyal to the Cardinals organization and was never vocal about any frustrations he must have had. His loyalty and professionalism should be rewarded this season. WithBruce Arians, Carson Palmer and a new playbook, Fitz should find himself back at the elite level of NFL WRs.

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Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars

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Maurice Jones-Drew missed most of last season for the Jacksonville Jaguars due to injury. MJD is the proverbial fantasy football workhorse RB. In a league where most teams rely on two tailbacks these days, Jones-Drew is one of the few that garnishes the lion’s share of his team’s carries. He has been a perennial top three drafted fantasy running back through the years and rightfully so as he is a top three running back statistically when healthy. Yet most preseason fantasy football draft rankings have MJD outside the top ten RBs. What does that mean for you? You can draft Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees or Calvin Johnson in the first round and still have your stud RB available in round two.

Oh, and do speak highly of me as you’re accepting your fantasy football championship trophy.

Jim Heath is a Fantasy Football writer for Follow him on Twitter @jim_heath, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google