2013 Sleepers QB / K / D/ST – Fantasy Football Undervalued Draft Picks
For most fantasy owners, the investment for a starting kicker and team defense will be low, and we know the depth at quarterback is ridiculous. Still, it’s time to take a look at some sleepers at each position that could be valuable options to start the season, or are at least worth considering early in the season off the waiver wire.
To kickoff our list we have Sam Bradford. The NFL season is about to begin and while the Rams have had their struggles over the years we should put our online football betting odds on this team fighting for a playoff birth in 2013.
Sam Bradford – While Daryl Richardson has had a strong offseason, fellow young running backs in St.Louis like Zac Stacy and Isaiah Pead have struggled. The Rams will be a pass-first offense and we should see them spread defenses out using both rookie receiver Tavon Austin and tight end Jared Cook in the slot.
Bradford should have a productive season and while I wouldn’t recommend him as a starter to begin the season, he’s worth holding as a solid backup. Hey, injuries happen and some quarterbacks (like Matthew Stafford a year ago) don’t perform up to the level we expected in the summer.
Holding Bradford would be good insurance for your starter before the season begins.
Carson Palmer – Arizona has a new Head Coach in Bruce Arians and a new, aggressive outlook in the passing game. The offensive line will have their struggles but a savvy veteran in Carson Palmer at quarterback should help them.
Michael Floyd has improved from his rookie season, Andre Roberts is a terrific third option and Larry Fitzgerald is still one of the better receivers in the game. Palmer will throw often, so look to him as a respectable backup.
E.J. Manuel – It’s only preseason, but I love what Manuel showed in his two games. Don’t be surprised if Manuel is ready to go for week one, and he might even win the starting job if Kevin Kolb continues to struggle before September.
Rams Defense – A solid young group, this team not only has terrific corners but their front line could emerge as one of the better groups in the league. We know this team plays well in their division and Coach Jeff Fisher will put them in positions to win every week.
Bengals Defense – We should be concerned about the Bengals secondary, but the front seven is solid. This will be one of the top five teams in sacks, and if they can improve on their turnovers, Cincinnati will be a weekly starting option.
With Giovani Bernard added to the running game this team has a chance to control the clock and help the defense stay fresh throughout games and the season.
Patriots Defense – Only the Bears had more turnovers as a defense last year and New England will be one of the more opportunistic groups again in 2013. Perhaps they won’t be a top ten unit in points given up, but this group is better than some might think.
I have them as a top five team defense this summer, and playing against the Bills (hopefully Kevin Kolb will start week one) and the Jets to open the year doesn’t hurt.
Steelers Defense – Pittsburgh always seems to bounce back well after missing the playoffs the year before. While this group is going through a rebuild situation, don’t sleep on them as a low-end starter or quality backup (if you plan to hold two defenses) option.
Chiefs Defense – Playing against the Chargers and Raiders for four games in their division doesn’t hurt the Chiefs odds of being a successful fantasy option. Kansas City may not be a playoff team in 2013, but they will be a much-improved team and the defense will be worth using at times.
Bills Defense – I love what Colts bust first-round pick Jerry Hughes is doing as the team is using him in a Terrell Suggs hybrid role. There are some concerns in the backfield with this team, but when they play teams like Jets week three, we shouldn’t shy away from picking him up off the waiver wire.
Randy Bullock – Houston has been a quality place for kicking production. Bullock suffered an injury that cost him the 2012 season. I haven’t heard anything that would suggest he’s not going to be the option to start this year. Bullock has a good leg and was picked in the draft over 2012 breakout rookies Blair Walsh and Justin Tucker last year.
Phil Dawson – For some reason I didn’t think Dawson had a strong leg, but watching him in the preseason and going back and looking at his numbers in Cleveland, I was wrong. When Akers was healthy, he was a top-notch option for fantasy owners and Dawson should have a terrific season.
Greg Zuerlien – Huge leg but Zuerlien needs to prove he can be accurate or he could fall into the category of Mason Crosby as time goes one. Zuerlien is in a terrific situation and his big leg makes him a top five option at the position.
Josh Brown – Lawrence Tynes had a career year in New York last season and Brown will benefit from being in a good situation this year. A low-end starter to pickup on draft day, don’t sleep on Brown as an option if you plan on waiting for a kicker.