When we look back on this list I can honestly say there is a decent chance none of these guys make an impact this season. That is why they are not getting drafted! But there is also a decent chance a few of them will make some contribution at some point. These aren’t players I’m targeting in drafts in your normal 10-12 team, 5 bench player type leagues. These are for you crazies out there in 16 team leagues with 10 bench slots. You’ve got to fill those slots up and I know looking up no names can be time consuming, so I’ll take a stab at it for you.
Of course not all these guys are no names, especially if you’ve been paying attention in training camp and preseason. I’m not one to jump on preseason star bandwagons, but I can tell you I rather take a flier on a player who has made a good impression rather than one who took a crap in the coach’s car. So here are some guys to keep an eye on.
Anthony Dixon, RB, 49ers: After Glen Coffee found his true calling, Dixon saw his chance and took it. He has looked good in preseason and is backing up Frank Gore who has been known to get nicked up on occasion.
Ryan Torain, RB, Redskins: Back in the olden days Torain was a major sleeper for the Broncos, but was injured and went back to sleep. Now he’s trying to get that coveted sleeper status back by waiting for all the old and slow and injury prone Indigenous People RBs to fall over, which I can guarantee you, will happen.
Kareem Huggins, RB, Buccaneers: Ok, he may not be a sleeper in fantasy circles now, but to the general schmohawk (I think I served under him in ‘nam) he isn’t well known. He has played well in preseason and looks like the #2 in Tampa, where Caddy is running on bald tires. I know, I tried that quarter thing on him.
Javon Ringer, RB, Titans: The guy is legitimately good and only needs Dos Mil to turn into Dos Burros for him to have a great season. He will probably go to CJ’s owner earlier than you want to grab him, but he is worth taking.
Deji Karim, RB, Jaguars: He hurt his thumb, so you have to see how that turns out, but he’s got some loco skills and is worth a bench spot. He reminds me of a young MJD. Not MGD, that shizz is nasty.
Jordan Shipley, WR, Bengals: Carson Palmer’s limp noodle arm seems a perfect fit for Shipley’s get open quick skill set. He’s looked great in preseason and fits the offense well. He doesn’t play like a rookie or like Snookie.
Sammie Stroughter, WR, Buccaneers: When it comes down to it, he is probably going to be the #2 receiver. There are a lot of #2’s on that team, but he could be worth it on a deep PPR team.
Eric Decker, WR, Broncos: He’s not much of a sleeper compared to some of these schmos, but he looks like he could be the real deal. Not the elite #1 WR real deal, but the, get in there, go over the middle, catch anything real deal. Orton doesn’t have the arm of a goliath, so Decker’s 6’2” long armed frame could come in handy.
Buster Davis, WR, Chargers: Just being a wide receiver on the Chargers makes you a sleeper right now. Davis is looking like the #3 if he stays healthy. I’m more of a Legedu Naanee, Naanee, Naanee man myself, but he’s lost the sleeper goo from his eyes. Davis has the skill if he can stay on the field.
Greg Lewis, WR, Vikings: If he’s remembered for anything it will probably be for making a great catch on a great throw by The Favre to beat the Niners in the waning seconds last season, but as things are in Minnesota he does have the opportunity to step up and contribute.
Stephen Williams, WR, Cardinals: He’s been impressing everyone in camp and outshining Breaston and Doucet. If the quarterback shituation was a better one I would be higher on him, but as it is, he’s worth a deep look-see.
Victor Cruz, WR, Giants: You saw him go all Jerry Rice on the Jets the other night, but of course he’s still just fighting for a roster spot, but sometimes, even in the NFL, lightning can be caught in a bottle, or on the Chargers’ helmets.
Sage Rosenfels, QB, Vikings: He’s not great by any means, but he does have flashes of mean greatness. If I were pulling all the strings, I would trade Sage to the Cardinals for a Doucet, Williams, Breaston type. And I do think there is a chance he gets traded to a team where he could compete for the starting job. A commenter just asked about a league where you could start 4 QBs and it has a deep bench. Sage would be worth a flier.
Charlie Whitehurst, QB, Seahawks: His ability is still pretty much unknown, but he is backing up old man Hasselbeck, who has a funky back and a porous line. You do the sack-back-crack math.
Michael Hoomanawanui, TE, Rams: He should be on the list just because of his awesome name, but he also has a shot at being the Rams starting tight end. He’s been getting praise from the coaches and doesn’t have much competition.
Aaron Hernandez, TE, Patriots: He’s being drafted in normal leagues in the 150 range so he’s not unknown, but he has quite a bit of upside in the Patriots offense. I grabbed him as a backup the other day in a deep league and I was all tingly.