Fantasy Football 2013: Ensuring Sleepers and Busts are "Who You Thought They Were"

By Jim Heath
Adrian Peterson
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The two most popular buzzwords in all of Fantasy Football leading up to league drafts are “sleeper” and “bust.” In fact, if the Internet (once popularly dubbed the information superhighway) were indeed a highway, Google express lanes would have to be constructed just to facilitate sleeper and bust traffic between now and the kickoff of the 2013 NFL season.

As you venture out on your quest for the proverbial diamonds in the rough – a word of caution. Read all articles that discuss sleepers and busts within the context intended by the author.

You see, somewhere along the line the definition of sleeper and bust has been, dare I say, skewed depending on what prognosticator you chose to trust. Sure, there was a time when a sleeper was simply defined as a complete unknown that rises to fantasy significance or in some cases fantasy excellence.

The problem is, I don’t believe unknowns exist in today’s Fantasy Football world. How could they? If equipped with any electronic device that has Internet access, you can instantly find multiple articles with varying analysis of every offensive player in the NFL. The days of the unknown are behind us.

Therefore, the definition of a sleeper and bust in my book has evolved with said changing times. For instance, a bust to me is simply any player whose season ending stats fall significantly below said players ADP.

On the flip side a sleeper is, you guessed it, any player whose season ending stats are significantly better than said player’s ADP.

For instance, I have no problem saying players like Jamaal CharlesDoug Martin and even Adrian Peterson have a high probability of being busts in 2013. And the reason I have no problem saying it is because data backs my argument. Charles and Martin were inconsistent last year and data from the last five years clearly shows that projected top five running backs rarely finish the season in the top five.

However, in that declaration there is nothing saying Charles, Martin and especially A.P. won’t have a solid season; it is simply following the recent Fantasy Football laws of probability and a direct reflection of my personal phobia of drafting top five projected NFL backs.

Know the author’s intention, read with an open mind and without bias. Remember you must play this game with your head not your heart. If the above statement associating Charles, Martin and A.P. with the word bust twisted your tail simply because you’re a fan – you missed the sentence confirming probable solid seasons from all three.

Happy trails and best of luck in your travels, may your season be uplifted by the stats of a sleeper unless you’re competing against me – in which case may a bust or two on your team find their way. Cheers.

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

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