Yeah, it’s a bit late in the season to be telling you about sleepers, I know. I’m also a bit late to the party to maybe put you in the know before everyone else. It’s also too late to tell you not to have eaten 5 chili cheese dogs. Now your wife has parked you on the couch for the night and you reek of onions…among other things. With all that said, it’s time we take a look at a deep call and see why Kendall Hunter will bring the thunder this season. Off-Rhymes! Hrm, something seems missing…I know what it is! I haven’t interrupted myself to tell you about other cool Razzball things. The first reminder is that we have at least one more league open as of this typing for the 2012 Razzball Football Commenter Leagues and you can win some pretty sweet swag as the grand champion. My second reminder is that Razzball went BIG and got to be a part of an interview of Maurice Jones-Drew and Brent Celek. Our resident lady’s man and all around cool guy Tehol Beddict – aka LT aka a young, pre-crazy Tom Cruise – got to be a part of the action and represented Razzball like a boss. Check him out here before you dive into the sleeping Hunter. And with that, away we go to what may be the final sleeper post of 2012. Unless of course I feel like throwing one at you on Wednesday after everyone has drafted. I’m kinda ruthless like that, don’t put it past me. Now on with the show!
I’m gonna go meta on you to start – if meta means what I think it means and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t – Kendall Hunter is a sleeper because Frank Gore and Brandon Jacobs are not. Gore isn’t because he’s going as the 21st back off the board in yahoo drafts and Jacobs isn’t because he’s…well, he’s Brandon Jacobs. But overall, Gore – on the surface – looks like he had a reliable 2011 season, having played 16 games, i.e. a full season while rushing for over 1200 yards. Surface stats can be so misleading, just ask any Frank owner from last year. Gore wouldn’t play a quarter here, a half there due to bumps and bruises. Man, the NFL should really implement a quarters played rather than games played. But in any case, Gore’s production dropped dramatically last year in the one area that people in PPR hate to see: receptions. He had been a lock for 45 to 50 receptions in any given season until last year when – though fairly healthy – he only hauled in 17 passes. That’s Michael Turner territory and it doesn’t bode well for his prospects of turning in a strong season this year with all the help San Francisco has enlisted. Speaking of help, let’s get back to Jacobs and throw in LaMichael James while we’re at it. Let me just say that Brandon’s stellar two season run from 2007 to 2008 were a long time ago. Not in human years, mind you, but in Running Back years. The man is 30 and coming into the season with some preseason bumps and yet many people are still drafting him. And in LaMichael, you have an – though gifted – incredibly small back who isn’t physically built to take on the rigors of 20 to 25 touches in a game. With that, the news out of 49ers camp is Hunter has been declared the backup to Gore and as I mentioned earlier this preseason, I’m interested. And if you need a reason to find out why I’m interested, I suggest you check the last two games of his game log from 2011. He didn’t set the world on fire but in 28 carries, he amassed 149 yards on the ground to go with over 20 yards of receiving. Like I said, not groundbreaking but do you wanna know what IS breaking? Frank Gore and fast. San Fran is going to maximize it’s Running Back depth this year to keep Gore healthy for the playoffs and I’m pretty sure Kendall will be a huge part of that. So with that said, if you have a draft upcoming, happy Hunterings!