2013 Fantasy Football Sleeper: Green Bay Packers' Jermichael Finley

By Jim Heath
Jermichael Finley
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is the man in Wisconsin.

It seems like simple logic to me, along with everyone who lives in the modernized world and owns a functioning computer, phone or television. Well, apparently everyone but Packers tight end Jermichael Finley, that is.

Finley, against better judgment, found himself in a tiff with the Packers’ “golden boy”, and it cost him — and everyone that drafted him last season — a boatload of Fantasy Football production. As it turns out, if your fantasy value relies on a quarterback throwing you the ball and you chose to anger said quarterback … he doesn’t throw you the ball anymore.

Of course, as the season went on, the two eventually did make up and Finley salvaged some yardage down the final month of the 2012 NFL season. Significant yardage, as it turns out, because it showed the fantasy world Finley’s early-season absence was not due to a lack of physical ability, but instead an inability to control his yapper.

Before the infamous quarrel, Finley actually was projected as a top-five tight end in most Fantasy Football preseason player rankings. That didn’t happen of course, but I see no reason why similar expectations couldn’t be there this season (assuming the tight end learned his lesson about who rules the roost in Green Bay).

That said, in researching for the 2013 Fantasy Football season, I have found the damage to Finley’s stock took a far bigger hit than anticipated. He has dropped as much as 10 spots in preseason tight end rankings. Ouch.

The good news is Finley’s drop is potentially your gain. Due to his bonehead mistake, you can expect to nab Finley far below his talent level in this year’s fantasy drafts.

This story gets better. Double-digit touchdowns left Packers Country when Greg Jennings signed with the Minnesota Vikings in free agency, and chances of James Jones catching 14 touchdowns this season are basically slim to none. Yet, I’d guarantee you Rodgers will still throw his plethora of end zone strikes, meaning someone has to make up the difference.

Could that someone be Finley? I think so. Although it seems like an oxymoron to label anyone in the Packers’ offensive juggernaut a sleeper, that is exactly what Finley is. You can wait until later rounds to grab him, and then realistically expect your low investment to net top five-fantasy production.

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

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