Let’s remind ourselves of the formula:
Sleeper Rating = Amount of Talent (Individual + Team Support) + Opportunity
Let the bye weeks begin! This is where we start to separate the men/women from the boys/girls. Depth finally starts to pay off or punish depending on how savvy you’ve been. Again all the players I’m going to talk about here I look at within a “buy low” framework.
Calvin Johnson 19 (10+9) – Still hasn’t put up the big digits. It’s going to happen, people. In case you haven’t noticed the Lions offense is better than it was last season and while Stafford is no world-beater he’s a lot better than the chump-fest they were rocking at QB in ’08.
Steve Slaton 17 (9+8) – Leading off the same way I did last week. I’ll stop singing the same tune once these players start to deliver and then you won’t be able to get them any more. How can Slaton not produce this season? I’m not even sure if that’s a rhetorical question.
Roddy White 17 (9+8) – Come on Roddy this was supposed to be your huge breakout season! He hasn’t delivered the way anyone anticipated yet but the offense has looked really good so far in Atlanta. Expect him to start turning it on. Unless there’s something I don’t know. I hate secrets.
Wes Welker 16 (7+9) – Another guy I had last week. He didn’t play again so his value’s still got to be depressed. The injury concerns might be enough to scare his owner. In PPR he is going to be an absolute monster from here on out. I really believe that.
Brandon Marshall 16 (9+7) – Eddie Royal has been awful. Marshall is looking better and better. This might be the last week you have a chance to buy somewhat low on him.
Donovan McNabb 16 (8+8) – That Offense is explosive, Kevin Kolb proved that. After this bye week he’s got Tampa Bay then Oakland, two cupcakes. Then the schedule gets tougher. But right now I feel like you can get him cheap and he will put up solid numbers if he stays healthy.
Jericho Cotchery 16 (7+9) – I thought Stuckey would be vulturing more targets than he has been. It is still too early to tell but Cotchery may really be emerging as a 2nd Tier receiver.
Eli Manning 16 (8+8) – I want to say something crazy, like that Eli Manning will have more fantasy points than Tom Brady this season. As an Eagles fan I hate to say it but I think he’s starting to come in to his own. He’s got the best O-Line in football, a great running game, and better receivers than we thought. He is a game manager so I don’t see his ceiling being as high as some other QB’s but I’m starting to respect Eli more and more.
Percy Harvin 15 (8+7) – You’re probably getting sick of Percy. I’m going to keep singing his praises until he gets too expensive.
Ahmad Bradshaw 15 (8+7) Another player I won’t shut up about. Jacobs looks like a young Jamal Lewis except Jacobs refuses to keep his feet moving. I don’t know where his explosiveness relative to size went but he just looks like he’s moving in slow-motion out there. Meanwhile Ahmad Bradshaw looks like a total stud and will be huge if/when he becomes the primary back.
Jerome Harrison 15 (8+7) – He played really well in his first start with Lewis out. He’ll be relegated to backup duty but with how washed up Jamal looks don’t be surprised to see Harrison there by the end of the season. James Davis has been everyone’s favorite Sleeper, so much so that I think he’s getting over-valued.
Glen Coffee 15 (7+8) – This Gore injury might turn out to be nagging. Obviously we all know that Coffee is the starter for the next few weeks but he might be worth “over-paying” for because there’s a chance he’ll be the #1 there long term.
Tashard Choice 14 (8+6) – A really difficult call here. Both the backs in Dallas he’s competing with have injury concerns and histories of not staying healthy. There is a chance that Choice could end up getting some games in as the #1 guy and as he showed last week he can be a playmaker.
Donnie Avery 14 (7+7) – Laurent Robinson looked so studly. St. Louis is such a train wreck. Last year Avery was a relatively productive young player who looked like he could have potential. I don’t know what to think of him now, especially since Kyle Boller is the field general. But I guess every team has to have a #1 receiver even when it doesn’t look like they do.
Jamaal Charles 14 (8+6) – If LJ stays healthy all year I’ll be surprised. Charles was a little dinged up early in the season but he looks healthy and is playing some good football. He is another very popular stash of mine.
Bryant Johnson 13 (7+6) — He’s getting a lot of looks on the other side of Megatron. The Lions’ D will get them in some deep holes and Stafford will have to try to throw them out of them.
Andre Caldwell 13 (7+6) — Palmer equated Caldwell’s role in the offense to what T.J. Houshmandzadeh’s used to be. That is good news for Mr. Caldwell.
You can follow me on twitter: @Razzball_Drew