2013 Sleepers RB – Fantasy Football Undervalued Draft Picks
Shane Vereen - It’s a little disappointing to see Vereen’s week three performances in the preseason end by fumbling the football and being benched, I wouldn’t read too much into it. Vereen wasn’t the only Patriot to be benched for fumbling in the game and I believe it was just Coach Bill Belichick making a point before the regular season gets under way.
New England will count on Vereen in a big way, especially in the passing game so for those of you in PPR leagues we will need to give him low-end RB2 consideration. In standard leagues, Vereen is nothing more than a backup option until he proves he can post enough fantasy points weekly, without reception points included, to be a starting option.
Giovani Bernard – Bernard has outplayed BenJarvus Green-Ellis in the preseason and he will play in a committee at the worst to begin the season. It shouldn’t be long before the coaches figure out that Bernard should be the starting option because of his versatility, and that he’s just a better running back than Green-Ellis.
Big upside here, and if he should land a feature back role at some point, he has RB1 potential and will be a fantasy stud in the future.
Daryl Richardson – Zac Stacy and Isaiah Pead have failed to get much done this offseason and Richardson has run away with the starting job. Richardson is a terrific early RB3 option, but I wouldn’t look to him as a top 20 option at his position.
I need to see more from Richardson in the red zone and we shouldn’t expect more than six touchdowns this season.
Danny Woodhead – PPR special in Woodhead as he should be used in a role similar to what we saw from Darren Sproles in his time with the Chargers. Over 50 receptions should be a given so pickup Woodhead cheep in PPR leagues.
Bernard Pierce - A fumble in the teams third preseason game and nagging injuries are concerning but we can’t look past his play last season. Pierce has the ability to be a starting running back at some point in his career, but it’s clear the Ravens aren’t the same team without Ray Rice on the field.
Pierce will see time in the offense, but until an injury to Rice should crop up he won’t be an option worth starting.
Andre Brown – Brown will open the year as the Giants third down back and main goal-line option. While David Wilson has a chance to be a special back in the league, Brown will be in a heavy time share with the second year back to open the season.
Bilal Powell - I liked Powell coming out of college but he wasn’t ready to make an impact in his rookie season. Last year Powell earned a time share by the second half of the season with Shonn Greene and played well. Now he is in a committee with Chris Ivory and Ivory had his share of injury problems in a limited role in his time with the Saints.
Joique Bell - Bell outplayed Leshoure in the second half of last season, and he will be the main backup to Reggie Bush. We know Bush has had his share of health problems in the past and now that he’s playing on turf again, his knee injuries could be a problem again.
Christine Michael / Robert Turbin / Spencer Ware – We should expect Turbin to be the main backup to Marshawn Lynch but both rookies Christine Michael and Spencer Ware have shown well in the preseason. Michael has the ability to be a starter in the league at some point and could unseat Turbin for touches, but we will have to wait until an injury to Lynch before these runners are relevant fantasy options.
Chris Polk – Polk has had a solid offseason and while Bryce Brown may open the year as LeSean McCoy’s backup, Polk may have an impact at some point. If McCoy goes down, don’t forget about Polk and savvy fantasy owners will pick him up if they miss out of Brown (assuming he would even be on the waiver wire at that point in your league) so keep him in mind.
LeGarrette Blount - We could see a heavy rotation in New England with Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen and LeGarrette Blount to open the year. While Blount won’t be a starting option week one, he could be a fantasy factor off the waiver wire at some point.
Lance Dunbar - A foot injury could cost Dunbar the first game or two of the regular season but he was clearly in line to be DeMarco Murray’s backup. We know Murray is injury prone so keep an eye on Dunbar’s health.