Fantasy Sports Fantasy Football

2013 Fantasy Football: Rant Sports Sleepers and Busts

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Top Fantasy Football Sleepers/ Busts

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Every fantasy football season there are tons of sleeper and bust lists out there. It seems to be the most popular aspect of preseason fantasy football and has created an enormous demand for the studs and duds entering each season.

This fantasy football season is no different. There are dozens of players that are currently generating a good amount of off-season buzz and this hype has caused their average draft position to climb with each passing draft. Last year it was RB Alfred Morris.

On the other side of the coin, there are always players to avoid. Sometimes a veteran is getting too old and he starts to quickly fall off. It can even be as easy as noticing that a player can simply never stay healthy and that it would be better to avoid the headache all together. Either way, these are reasons to consider a player a fantasy bust.

So before you clear off your draft board and start building your cheat sheets, make sure to go through this slideshow. The experts here at Rant Sports will go over the top sleeper and busts from each position and provide a brief description for some of the bigger names.

Enjoy the list and remember to grab your pencil!


Adam McGill

Adam Pfeifer

Jim Heath

Jeric Griffin

Adam McGill is the Senior Fantasy Sports Writer at Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @adammcgill83, like him on Facebook, or add him to you networks on Google here or here.

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Quarterback Sleepers

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Expert Picks:

Adam McGill - Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys

Adam Pfeifer - Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears

Jim Heath - Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins

Jeric Griffin - Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

QB Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears - Offensive line MUST be better, still has Brandon Marshall. Also gets Martellus Bennett and Alshon Jeffery is poised for a breakout year. Presence of Marc Trestman will make his job easier, and for the first time in his career, Cutler may finally get the opportunity to sling the ball around for fantasy owners. During his time in CFL, Trestman's QBs never posted less than 600 completions. Also, under Trestman in Oakland in 2002, Rich Gannon posted career lows in interceptions (10) and career high in completion percentage (67.7). Gannon also won MVP that year. (Adam Pfeifer)

QB Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals - Dalton was much more than a serviceable fantasy quarterback in his first two seasons and he improved from his rookie to sophomore campaigns. With the addition of Tyler Eifert, who adds another weapon in the passing game and more of a dedication to the passing game in Cincy in 2013, Dalton could easily be a top-10 fantasy passer in 2013. (Jeric Griffin)

QB Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins - Tannehill is the forgotten quarterback of the storied 2012 NFL draft class. Tannehill was welcomed to the league with far less fanfare than that of Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III – rightfully so, he finished far lower than Luck, RGIII and third round draftee Russell Wilson in touchdowns and fantasy points a season ago. That, however, is no reason to look past Tannehill during fantasy football drafts this season. (Jim Heath)

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Quarterback Busts

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Expert Picks:

Adam McGill - Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

Adam Pfeifer - Andrew Luck, Indianpolis Colts

Jim Heath - Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins

Jeric Griffin - Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins

QB Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts - He'll be fine, but won't be as good as owners are anticipating. Bruce Arians is gone, and with that, so are the days of Luck leading the league in passes traveling 20 yards or more. Luck's former coordinator from Stanford, Pep Hamilton, will implement a West Coast offense which will improve Luck's completion percentage and lower turnovers, but won't allow him to post monster fantasy numbers. Also, I don't expect him to rush for five touchdowns next year either. He'll be fine, but not the star people are making him out to be. (Adam Pfeifer)

QB Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins - RG3 was great as a rookie in 2012, but that torn ACL is going to cause more long-term damage than most people think. Add in the fact Mike Shanahan has been through verbal abuse this offseason over his handling of RG3's health last year and he won't allow his young signal-caller to take nearly as many chances this year, which will result in less-than-stellar numbers in Griffin's sophomore campaign. He won't be terrible, but he won't be a top-10 fantasy quarterback, either. (Jeric Griffin)

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Running Back Sleepers

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Expert Picks:

Adam McGill - David Wilson, New York Giants

Adam Pfeifer - Joseph Randle, Dallas Cowboys

Jim Heath - Danny Woodhead, San Diego Chargers

Jeric Griffin - Shonn Greene, Tennessee Titans

RB David Wilson, New York Giants - Wilson has everything you look for out of a breakout candidate. He has game-changing speed, ability, and now opportunity with RB Ahmad Bradshaw out of the picture. Wilson will now get the majority of the carries in New York, and while RB Andre Brown will also be mixed into the backfield, this is finally Wilson's team. (Adam McGill)

RB Joseph Randle, Dallas Cowboys - DeMarco Murray can't stay healthy and Dallas wants to run the ball. I see a ton of late-round upside here. (Adam Pfeifer)

RB Shonn Greene, Tennessee Titans - With a much better offense around him and a lightened workload for Chris Johnson, Greene could possibly see enough work to make him a top-25 fantasy running back in 2013. The Titans are planning to use him as a change-of-pace back the same way they used LenDale White in 2008 when the former USC Trojans star rushed for almost 800 yards and 15 touchdowns. (Jeric Griffin)

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Running Back Busts

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Expert Picks:

Adam McGill - Darren Sproles, New Orleans Saints

Adam Pfeifer - Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins

Jim Heath - Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings

Jeric Griffin - Montee Ball, Denver Broncos

RB Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings – I am in the minority when it comes to Minnesota Vikings Adrian Peterson this Fantasy Football season. Listen, I love the guy, he’s an NFL ambassador and he was arguably the best football storyline in 2012, but A.P. is a Fantasy Football bust in 2013. Here’s the thing, most folks are drafting AP with dreams of grandeur to include the shattering of basically every single season rushing stat in NFL history. And although I too am in the corner of the former Oklahoma Sooner running back, I simply see no way those things see fruition in 2013. I see AP’s ceiling as his traditional work load; border line 300 carries, a bit over 1,300 yards rushing and double digit touchdowns. Which are most certainly not numbers to scoff at, but they do fall well short of the record-breaking numbers expected by most. (Jim Heath)

RB Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins - Many people are putting a ton of stock into Miller, and I get it. He's young, freakishly fast, and most importantly, finally has opportunity. Reggie Bush is gone, so Miller will be the featured back for the Dolphins. However, I'm not sold that an unproven guy will be the top-20 fantasy back everyone is making him out to be. Miami has some offensive line concerns after losing Jake Long, and I think backup Mike Gillislee is A LOT better than people realize. Tread carefully. (Adam Pfeifer)

RB Montee Ball, Denver Broncos - Ball can't pass block worth a flip and he won't see the field until that changes because Denver isn't about to put Peyton Manning's health at risk. On top of that, Ronnie Hillman is likely to get at least as many carries as Ball this year, if not more. So if you've been planning on taking Ball late as the next Willis McGahee, don't because it will be a waste of a pick. (Jeric Griffin)

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Wide Receiver Sleepers

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Expert Picks:

Adam McGill - Chris Givens, St. Louis Rams

Adam Pfeifer - Robert Woods, Buffalo Bills

Jim Heath - Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals

Jeric Griffin - Vincent Brown, San Diego Chargers

WR Robert Woods, Buffalo Bills - This isn't just a homer pick, but I think Woods has some serious hidden value. He will likely slide into the Bills' number one flanker position, with Stevie Johnson shifting to the slot. A guy who has a strong combination of size and speed, not many rookie wideouts have an immediate opportunity to start like Woods does. Guys like Johnson and C.J. Spiller should take away most of the coverage, giving the athletic Woods single coverage quite often. He also has the 6th-best fantasy schedule among wideouts, which certainly doesn't hurt his cause. Considering he is being drafted extremely late (if at all), fantasy owners could be grabbing a potential WR3 for a free agent price tag. (Adam Pfeifer)

WR Vincent Brown, San Diego Chargers - A lot of people don't remember, but this kid was a rising star in 2011 and then missed 2012 with a broken ankle. Although the Chargers' offense won't be what it once was, Philip Rivers' million pass attempts have to go somewhere and Brown is likely to be the new No. 1 target in San Diego. (Jeric Griffin)

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Wide Receiver Busts

Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Expert Picks:

Adam McGill - Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers

Adam Pfeifer - DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles

Jim Heath - James Jones, Green Bay Packers

Jeric Griffin - Mike Wallace, Miami Dolphins

WR Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers - Smith will start the season at 34 years old and it is only a matter of time until the speedster starts to slow down. I would rather spend a mid-level draft pick on a guy that has more upside, as opposed to someone that has already reached their ceiling. (Adam McGill)

WR DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles - Never been a fan of the guy. I think Jackson is a one-trick pony, and until he can add some versatility and other dimensions to his game, he'll be a risk fantasy investment. Chip Kelly's style of offense should help get Jackson the right looks to succeed, but I don't like drafting guys who are solely based off big play potential. (Adam Pfeifer)

WR Mike Wallace, Miami Dolphins - First of all, this guy was never as good in Pittsburgh as everyone made him out to be. Second of all, the offense in Miami isn't going to be this record-setting unit in 2012 like everyone is saying, which means fantasy owners who are high on Wallace are in for a huge disappointment this year, especially if he's drafted in the first five rounds. (Jeric Griffin)

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Tight End Sleepers

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Expert Picks:

Adam McGill - Owen Daniels, Houston Texans

Adam Pfeifer - Jordan Cameron, Cleveland Browns

Jim Heath - Jermichael Finley, Green Bay Packers

Jeric Griffin - Robert Housler, Arizona Cardinals

TE Jordan Cameron, Cleveland Browns - Dude is a freak of an athlete. I mean, seriously. Go watch is Youtube videos of him dunking a basketball. You want these kind of hops on your fantasy team. He's also in an ideal situation to be productive. Both Norv Turner and Rob Chudzinski have historically favored tight ends in their offense, including Greg Olsen's career 2012 campaign under Chudzinski in Carolina. Cameron is the only guy on the depth chart that makes sense to be the guy, and with Josh Gordon suspended for the first two games, Cameron should be the focal point of the Browns passing game. (Adam Pfeifer)

TE Rob Housler, Arizona Cardinals - Carson Palmer made a fantasy star out of Brandon Myers in Oakland last year and the stage is set for him to do the same with Rob Housler in Arizona this year. The third-year pro out of Florida Atlantic had four games with at least five catches last year with the Cardinals' sorry excuses for quarterbacks throwing him the ball, so don't be surprised if he's a top-10 fantasy tight end in 2013. (Jeric Griffin)

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Tight End Busts

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Expert Picks:

Adam McGill - Brandon Myers, New York Giants

Adam Pfeifer - Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings

Jim Heath - Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys

Jeric Griffin - Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers

TE Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings - Again, I don't like drafting guys who depend on one thing. With Rudolph, it's touchdowns. Sure, he dazzled fantasy owners with nine scores last season, and you may not find another tight end that will be targeted more in the red zone. But I hate having inconsistent players on my team, and Rudolph was just that. He posted three zero-point fantasy games last year, and when he didn't score, he was useless. I'm still not sold on anyone other than Adrian Peterson to move the ball up-and-down the field in this offense, and unless he is inside the opponent's 20-yard line, Rudolph won't provide much fantasy value. (Adam Pfeifer)

TE Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers - Everyone is calling Greg Olsen a top-10 fantasy tight end this year, but he's nowhere near that. It's fine to draft Olsen as a solid TE2, but to take him as your starter in a standard league would be foolish. Sure, he set career highs in catches and yards in 2012, but he had no goal line targets and only one 100-yard game. Expect more of the same this year with Cam Newton hawking all the red zone opportunities on the ground. (Jeric Griffin)

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Kicker Sleepers

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Expert Picks:

Adam McGill - Phil Dawson, San Francisco 49ers

Adam Pfeifer - Dan Bailey, Dallas Cowboys

Jim Heath - David Akers, Detroit Lions

Jeric Griffin - Steven Hauschka, Seattle Seahawks

K Phil Dawson, San Francisco 49ers - Dawson is a veteran kicker in an explosive offense and that normally transitions into points for a fantasy kicker. Dawson may not lead the league in field goals this season, but he will consistently get between 6-10 points a week. (Adam McGill)

K Dan Bailey, Dallas Cowboys - Doesn't have the strongest leg in the league, but Bailey is often overlooked as one of fantasy's best kickers. In 2012, he converted 29 of 31 field goals and he'll get plenty of opportunity to kick field goals in Dallas, whether there offense plays like it's capable of, or they struggle in the red zone. Also, you want a kicker that kicks a lot, right? Well, over the past two seasons, Bailey is tied for third with 68 field goal attempts. (Adam Pfeifer)

K Steven Hauschka, Seattle Seahawks - Hauschka has been solid in is two years with the Seahawks, but with an offense that's ready to explode in 2013, he should have a ton of extra points and then added field goal attempts with Seattle's offense in opposing territory more often than not. (Jeric Griffin)

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Kicker Busts

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Expert Picks:

Adam McGill - David Akers, Detroit Lions

Adam Pfeifer - David Akers, Detroit Lions

Jim Heath - Mason Crosby, Green Bay Packers

Jeric Griffin - Garrett Hartley, New Orleans Saints

K David Akers, San Francisco 49ers - Towards the end of last season, we saw Akers struggle. Remember in 2011 when he was one of the top fantasy kickers out there? Fast forward to 2012, and Akers was almost cut from the 49ers for being so poor. He's in Detroit now, replacing my favorite fantasy kicker of all time in Jason Hanson. However, I think Akers just doesn't have the leg he used to, and I also feel like Detroit will convert in the red zone much more often than in season's past. (Adam Pfeifer)

K Garrett Hartley, New Orleans Saints - Everyone is high on Hartley again this year, but he's going to be a disappointment once again. The Saints' offense gave him a truckload of extra points last year but also the second-fewest field goal attempts among starting kickers. Expect more of the same in 2013. (Jeric Griffin)

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Whole Def/ ST Sleepers

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Expert Picks:

Adam McGill - Pittsburgh Steelers Defense

Adam Pfeifer - St. Louis Rams Defense

Jim Heath - Arizona Cardinals Defense

Jeric Griffin - Baltimore Ravens Defense

St. Louis Rams - They may get overlooked by the dominant defenses in Seattle and San Francisco, but NFC West member St. Louis has a stellar defensive unit of their own. Guys like Chris Long, James Laurinitas and Janoris Jenkins are only going to get better, the offense should also be better, which keeps them off the field. (Adam Pfeifer)

Baltimore Ravens - Everyone is saying to steer clear of the Ravens this year, but I actually think they're a solid sleeper. With new stars on the roster like Elvis Dumervil who will record plenty of sacks, Baltimore could see enough production to sneak into the top 10 fantasy defense units this year. (Jeric Griffin)

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Whole Def/ ST Busts

Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Expert Picks:

Adam McGill - Arizona Cardinals Defense

Adam Pfeifer - New England Patriots Defense

Jim Heath - Pittsburgh Steelers Defense

Jeric Griffin - Chicago Bears Defense

New England Patriots - They have the potential to be a top-5 fantasy defense consistently, but that's just the problem. They haven't been consistent. Too often do the Patriots give up monster point totals to teams like Buffalo. I expect this team to be involved in a lot of shootouts as well. They'll get the turnovers, but they'll also allow their fair share of points. (Adam Pfeifer)

Chicago Bears - The Bears aren't going to be a "bad" fantasy unit this year, but they won't be the juggernaut they were in 2012, either. However, many fantasy owners will draft them way too high expecting the same extremely high level of production and won't get it. The departure of Brian Urlacher and the change in coaching staff are both going to be big reasons why Chicago's defense comes back down to earth in 2013. (Jeric Griffin)

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IDP Sleepers

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Expert Picks:

Adam McGill - LB Clay Matthews, Green Bay Packers

Adam Pfeifer - DB Da'Norris Searcy, Buffalo Bills

Jim Heath - DB Patrick Chung, Philadelphia Eagles

Jeric Griffin - LB Bruce Carter, Dallas Cowboys

LB Clay Matthews, Green Bay Packers – Matthews has racked up an amazing 42.5 sacks over his first 58 games in the league, but yet the linebacker is getting no love this off-season. The four-time Pro Bowler is currently ranked 30th in ESPN’s IDP rakings, but I guess they don’t count sacks in their analysis. (Adam McGill)

DB Da'Norris Searcy, Buffalo Bills - He'll step in and replace George Wilson, and asked to do a heck of a lot for the Bills. Buffalo has always wanted to get this guy on the field, but the stellar play of Jairus Byrd and Wilson prevented that from happening. Now, he'll see the majority of snaps in a friendly safety scheme. He'll be stuffing the box a lot, which provides some serious tackle upside. Remember, a few years back Wilson was one of the more productive safeties in fantasy. A younger, more athletic Searcy has tons of upside. (Adam Pfeifer)

LB Bruce Carter, Dallas Cowboys - When Sean Lee went down in 2012, Bruce Carter more than rose to the occasion before his season was also cut short early by injury. In fact, he recorded 38 tackles in the next five games after Lee's injury, a pace which would have given him 121.6 for an entire season. In other words, he could easily be a top-20 fantasy option in IDP leagues this year. (Jeric Griffin)

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IDP Busts

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Expert Picks:

Adam McGill - DE Julius Peppers, Chicago Bears

Adam Pfeifer - DB Charles Woodson, Oakland Raiders

Jim Heath - LB Jon Beason, Carolina Panthers

Jeric Griffin - LB Daryl Washington, Arizona Cardinals

DB Charles Woodson, Oakland Raiders - The move back to Oakland won't do this legend any good from a fantasy standpoint. Opposing offenses will keep the ball away from this ballhawk, and after coming off an injury-ridden 2012, Woodson is older with no upside. With a boatload of young, burgeoning safeties in the league, look elsewhere. (Adam Pfeifer)

LB Daryl Washington, Arizona Cardinals - Washington was a fantasy beast in 2012, but a four-game suspension will kill his fantasy value in 2013. A lot of folks are going to draft him anyway based on his 2012 totals, but don't make that mistake. (Jeric Griffin)