Aug 16, 2012
Everybody knows who the top 10 players are at each fantasy football position and that why it’s a no-brainer to target guys who consistently produce monster fantasy football numbers such as Drew Brees, Ray Rice, and Calvin Johnson. Often times what separates a good fantasy team from a great one is the owner who finds value in the second half of his or her fantasy football draft. These later-round difference makers are referred to as fantasy football sleepers or undervalued players.
Sleepers are typically lesser known players or those with one or two NFL seasons under their belts, while undervalued players tend to be overlooked veterans, or guys who let down fantasy owners for one reason or another the previous season. Sometimes a player’s situation gives owners pause and his draft position takes a hit. Whether a player is a true sleeper or simply undervalued, he must meet the following criteria: (1) he’s likely to outperform his preseason ranking and projections; and (2) he’ll deliver a much higher return on your investment (i.e., draft pick or auction price).
Now that you know how we determine who made the cut, check out our 2012 Fantasy Football Sleeper Quarterbacks.
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Josh Freeman, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Once considered one of top rising players in the league, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman was quickly humbled. He posted some impressive numbers in his second year in the 2010 season when he threw for 3,451 yards with 25 touchdowns and just six interceptions. As the 2011 season approached Freeman became saw his stock rise from sleeper to starter at a time when the teams weren’t even practicing because of the lockout. Apparently that was practice time Freeman desperately needed because he went regressed in 2011, throwing 3,592 yards with 16 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. His completion percentage rose, from 61.4 to 62.8, but his average yards per attempt fell, from 7.3 to 6.5.
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The Buccaneers made massive changes in the offseason, firing coach Raheem Morris and replacing him with former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano. They also got to work on the roster, signing guard Carl Nicks and wide receiver Vincent Jackson as well as drafting running back Doug Martin in Round 1. These moves made Tampa Bay significantly better offensively. Nicks is a veteran from the New Orleans Saints and can help provide the pass protection Freeman needs. Jackson gives the team a veteran presence out wild that they sorely needed, and this alleviates a lot of pressure off of Mike Williams. Martin provides the Buccaneers with a good one-two punch alongside LeGarrette Blount. Freeman is capable of so much more than he showed in 2011 and the offseason changes will go a long way to facilitating those changes for the positive.
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