You didn’t think I was finished, did you?
Fantasy owners are always, always looking for sleepers to suddenly awaken and win their team the highly coveted “Shiva.” For those of you who don’t watch FX’s hilarious show, The League, the “Shiva” is just another name for the fantasy gold. The other day, I provided owners with a handful of guys who may come out of nowhere and drastically outperform their ADP, which in my eyes, is the true definition of a sleeper. So, with the season less than a week away (*cries like a schoolgirl), here are some more deep sleepers.
Kenjon Barner, Carolina Panthers: I know what you’re thinking. How can I trust anyone from the Panthers backfield? To that I say, sure, that’s a valid point. But unless you are in a very deep draft, you most likely won’t even be selecting Barner, so there is no risk whatsoever. Barner will have the opportunity, at least in the first five or six weeks, to make an impact. Jonathan Stewart landed on the PUP list, and is expected to be sidelined until Week 6. I think Barner will serve as a strong weapon for Cam Newton in the passing game, and if he makes some big plays and DeAngelo Williams struggles, Barner will definitely cut into the work. At 5’9″, 190 lbs, Barner obviously isn’t the biggest guy in the backfield, and per Christopher Harris of ESPN, the only running back of relative size to ever rush for 1,000 yards is Warrick Dunn. Still, in a backfield mess like Carolina’s, no one was banking on him rushing for anywhere near that number. Being the team’s third-down back is a strong possibility.
Quinton Patton, San Francisco 49ers: With Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham on the PUP list, Patton’s stock continues to rise, especially after his strong preseason. After missing the first two games, Patton wasted no time producing in his final two contests, catching two touchdown passes. One of which was an impressive 43-yard catch and run that showcased his talents. More importantly, it appears that Colin Kaepernick is favoring his rookie receiver. “He is a great player,” Kaepernick said. He is someone who just knows football. He knows hot to get open. He knows how to make plays. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do for us.” As of right now, Patton is expected to slide into the number three receiver spot in San Francisco, but he could very well find himself as the second guy, opposite of Anquan Boldin. Patton definitely has some upside in 2013, as well as down the road.
Kenny Stills, New Orleans Saints: Stills continues to have a very impressive preseason. During Sunday’s game against the Texans, Stills caught two balls for 54 yards and a score. He now has seven grabs for 140 yards and two scores during the preseason, and has clearly solidified himself as the Saints’ number three receiver. Stills is in an awesome situation to produce for fantasy owners this season. Over the past three seasons, quarterback Drew Brees has thrown the football more than anyone else in the league, and guys who have served as the team’s number three wideout in the past have had their moments in fantasy, such as Devery Henderson and Robert Meachem. No, they weren’t great by any means, but I think Stills is a more complete receiver than both of those guys, and playing in a division where there should be a ton of shootouts, fantasy points could be very evident.
Aldrick Robinson, Washington Redskins: The best news surrounding Robinson isn’t even about him. In a shocking announcement (sarcasm), Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III will play during Monday night’s opener against the Eagles. Duh. Now that we officially know RG3 will be under center, I think Robinson has some very appealing fantasy prospects for the 2013 campaign. The third-year wideout has had a very impressive camp, followed by a strong preseason. Sure, the Redskins love to pound the rock, and with Griffin returning from that ACL tear, perhaps they lean on Alfred Morris even more. However, the Redskins are a killer team when it comes to play-action, and Robinson is a guy with crazy speed that can get deep in a hurry. Last year, RG3 threw a very strong deep ball, posting a completion percentage of over 45% when throwing the ball 20-yards or more. I mean, how many times did the Redskins run the ball down team’s throats, and then suddenly, they hit their opponent with a play-action pass and Griffin would find a wide open guy like Leonard Hankerson. Robinson will make some big plays this season. Count on it.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.