If you missed the initial “Sleeper Math” post, you can read it here.
Let’s remind ourselves of the formula:
Sleeper Rating = Amount of Talent (Individual + Team Support) + Opportunity
Now that we have two weeks of regular season play under our belts things have changed. As I wrote about in a previous post this is a new era where our drafts are behind us and we start getting paranoid about our studs not panning out. Some players haven’t put up numbers and that is a good thing. So all the players I’m going to talk about here I look at within a “buy low” framework.
Calvin Johnson 19 (10+9) – Everyone expects production similar to Andre Johnson. I think that is reasonable. Don’t talk to me about how he has no quarterback and is on a bad team. Last year he had a worse QB, worse offense around him, and the worst team possible (0-16) yet he put up huge numbers. Strong work ethic, physical specimen, etc. But all the negativity I just rebutted; you can bet some owners are very nervous about those things. Play psychological warfare and see if you can steal him for a couple good players.
Steve Slaton 17 (9+8) – He has disappointed thus far but the offense looked dynamite last week. The yards, receptions, and touchdowns will be there. Astute owners and people who drafted him too high (1st round reachers) won’t cough him up but luckily most people are nervous nellies. If you get in to negotiations make sure you play up the fact that Chris Brown is listed as the short distance back and will snake TD’s from Slaton (personally I’m not all that concerned about this but other people are).
Marshawn Lynch 16 (8+8) – Is that Fred Jackson out there or Brian Westbrook? It’s been hard to tell through the first two weeks and you can bet that there are some Lynch owners getting very nervous about it. Personally I think Lynch is going to come in guns blazing, be the feature back, and get all the goal line carries. You can get him extremely cheap right now.
Wes Welker 16 (7+9) – This is for PPR only! If you own Welker in non-PPR odds are you overpaid for him. The Patriots offense isn’t what it was in 2007 but it’s also better than it’s been the first few weeks. Welker missed week 2 but it doesn’t seem like his injury will keep him out of any more games. From here on out he’ll be back to his old tricks and catching 6-10 balls every single week.
Brandon Marshall 16 (9+7) – The tough call here is whether or not Marshall will get the number of targets he needs to be his elite self. So far he hasn’t been spectacular but the reality is he’s as physically gifted as any other receiver in football. Owners should be willing to give a discount on him.
Mario Manningham 16 (8+8) – I can’t list this guy as a Tier III Sleeper even though he went undrafted in all but the deepest leagues. The cat is out of the bag about his talent and the Giants willingness to give him massive numbers of targets. You are going to have to give up something decent to get him. There will be a lot of smart fantasy owners this season who trade for him and seemingly give up “too much” but end up getting the better end of the bargain.
LeSean McCoy 15 (9+6) – Westbrook’s injury status is still uncertain. If he winds up missing significant time McCoy could deliver 2nd round value. I would be willing to pay for that type of potential production. He might be the best stash in fantasy football right now.
Percy Harvin 15 (8+7) – Still listed as the #3 on the depth chart in a lot of places but you and I both know how Brett Favre feels about turning young, nubile WR’s in to studs- he loves it. It is evident that Harvin is a superior player to Berrian and Sidney Rice and I just see him potentially being a breakout rookie.
Eddie Royal 15 (8+7) – The lack of targets in the first few weeks kill his value. Even so he is listed as the #1 receiver on the depth chart and the Broncos used him like crazy in the preseason. Dude’s got a lot of talent and he’s not a bad player to take a chance on considering the pass-happy offense that Josh McDaniel’s is integrating in Denver.
Ahmad Bradshaw 15 (8+7) I am downgrading his skill a little bit from the previous post. I am not convinced he has “Sproles-like” explosiveness. Even so the Giants offense is going to be respectable this season and Brandon Jacobs continues to punish his body along with defenders he collides with. Bradshaw hasn’t done anything spectacular thus far which should lower his asking price unless you are in leagues full of Giants fans like I am. Then you have to give up Brees to get him.
Chansi Stuckey 14 (7+7) – I really like what I’ve seen so far this season from Stuckey. I also like what I’ve seen out of Mark Sanchez’s willingness to target him in the Red Zone and on deep routes. There are worse stashes out there.
Nate Washington 14 (7+7) – He looked really solid this weekend after missing the Titans first game. They looked to get him the ball a lot more than Justin Gage and I’m not sure how seriously to consider that yet. Either way he’s worth tucking on your bench if you have room and need receiver depth.
Laurent Robinson 14 (8+6) – Another receiver that played a really nice game on Sunday. He’s usurped Donnie Avery as the #1 in St. Louis and his skill set could turn out to be better than advertised. I would love to rate him higher but St. Louis looks atrocious. It is very difficult to find #1 WR’s on the waiver wire. Here’s one.
Louis Murphy 14 (7+7) – What’s with all the receivers??? Look it’s not my fault they’re all coming out of the woodwork. Plus if you read my first “Sleeper Math” you’ll see that I nailed a lot of the running backs and whiffed on receivers ergo the imbalance in Tier III this time around. Isn’t it funny how when guys get drafted high and get a big contract they just aren’t hungry *cough* Darrius Heyward-Bey *cough.* Louis Murphy is yet another dude who wants that big contract and so he’s willing to fight and claw for everything he can get. He is now the #1 but again here’s another atrocious Offense.
Jerious Norwood 13 (8+5) – I can’t end this post without giving you a RB stash. Here’s another Sproles-clone for you and he’s in a decent Offense. Michael Turner had 28 carries last week. Do the Falcons have some sort of bet riding on how quickly they can get this dude injured? Maybe you’re one of those old dudes who don’t believe that a lot of carries increases your chances of getting injured. If, however, you like facts vs. glorifying a twisted view of the past I suggest stashing Norwood for when Turner wears down or worse.
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