For an explanation about the numbers and rationale behind “Sleeper Math,” you can read the first column of the year. Congratulations to Ben Tate of the Houston Texans for graduating from “Sleeper Math.” He was in Tier III for the week 1 column.
Roddy White (19) – Back to back appearances in “Sleeper Math” for Roddy. The Falcons offense does not look as explosive as we thought it would be, but there should still be plenty of production to go around. Roddy is a stud and a great trade target if your team could use an elite receiver.
Antonio Gates (19) – I own Gates on a lot of my teams so this week he killed me. A big part of me wants to get on a plane, track him down, and re-create that scene from “The League.” The Pats just blanketed him all day which is why Vincent Jackson ripped it up. Gates should be back to his old self soon enough. Right now is a great time to buy low on him and make a trade.
Chris Johnson (18) – One way or another, this should be his last appearance on “Sleeper Math.” We all know why there should be pessimism about Chris Johnson; let me discuss the reasons to be optimistic. He had no OTAs and no pre-season. Like it or not, the first couple weeks of the regular season will effectively be his preseason. He carried the ball 24 times in Week 2 and although he was ineffective, it demonstrated that he is healthy enough to do it. There is just all this talk going around about how he got his contract and will now tank it. People need to realize that these NFL contracts can be slithered out of quite easily by teams. This is not baseball people. I am not guaranteeing that Johnson will go back to what he was 2 years ago, but right now his value is lower than it ought to be.
Ahmad Bradshaw (18) – He has not produced to his ADP thus far and Brandon Jacobs keeps rumblin’, bumblin’, and stumblin’ to vulture TDs. That being said, Bradshaw is really overlooked as an RB. He looks much healthier than he was last year, has a good offensive line to run behind, can run the ball between and outside the tackles, and catches it well. He is not the type of player who is electric enough to finish in the top 5 or 10 overall for the year, but he should be one of the most consistent and reliable players in Fantasy for 2011.
Dez Bryant (17) – Can the kid stay healthy? With Bryant, that is really the only question. We saw Week 1 what he is capable of. Normally I shy away from players with injury concerns but sometimes the upside is too much to ignore. This might be your last chance to get him on the cheap.
Jeremy Maclin (17) – The “mystery injury” stuff scared the bejeezus out of me in drafts this year. Subsequently, I do not own Maclin on any team. After watching him on Sunday I am drinking the Kool Aid. The argument could be made that he does not even belong on this list, but there are still a lot of owners out there who drafted him reluctantly and would be willing to part with him at a discount relative to his projected production from here on out. The “Mike Kafka factor” does not really concern me because the Eagles run a system where you can plug most anyone in at QB and you will get 250 yards a game.
Mike Williams (16) – Two straight bad weeks for him. This is make or break time. Maybe he cannot handle being a true #1 and having team’s game plan for him. That is a legitimate concern but also creates room to buy low. For the right price, I would be willing to snag Williams and hope he starts repeating 2010.
Daniel Thomas (16) – So I guess that whole “Reggie Bush as a feature back” thing is over with. Thomas had a lot of buzz coming out of the draft but was not quite up to snuff during training camp or the preaseason. His stock dropped considerably as Reggie Bush’s rose but that all changed on a dime in Week 2. He racked up 107 yards on the ground with 18 carries and had 1 reception for 10 yards. This might be the start of a big breakout and if so, this will be your last opportunity to get him before the price becomes too steep.
Thomas Jones (15) – He really could not look any worse so far and neither could the Chiefs offense. That being said, Jamaal Charles is out for the year and someone will have to carry the ball. Jones is injury proof and notched 896 yards rushing last season. I am not particularly crazy about 33 year old running backs but Jones could be very useful as a flex/bye week fill in option.
Dexter McCluster (14) – The Charles injury should open up some room for opportunity. The problem I have with McCluster is that he is such a hybrid type player that I do not see him getting a ton of total touches as a RB. He is still worth picking up though because I might be wrong about that and you never know what a player will do given opportunity.
Deji Karim (15) – He is the most likely player to be on this list all season. Regardless of how MJD is doing I love the potential that Karim has if he becomes the #1. In any deeper type of format, he is a must stash.
C.J. Spiller (14) – Fred Jackson looks like Marshall Faulk out there and the Bills offense is lighting up the scoreboard just like the “Greatest Show on Turf.” Spiller has really come a long way, however, and is a really nice deep Sleeper for your bench.
Javon Ringer (14) – Same situation as last week- both CJ2K and Ringer are on here. If I had Chris Johnson, I would be pretty intent on handcuffing him, especially since Ringer has played fairly well when he has been given a chance.