In one of many 2010 Fantasy Football articles to come, here are my 2010 Fantasy Football Sleepers (Mid-Round). There will be many more 2010 Fantasy Football features this summer, including tons of 2010 Fantasy Football Mock Drafts, Player Rankings, and Training Camp and Preseason Stock Reports.
2010 Fantasy Football Sleepers (Late-Round):
Chad Henne, QB, Dolphins. Bye: 5.
I really like Chad Henne as a high-upside QB2. In his first year as a starter, Henne totaled 2,878 yards, 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 13 starts. Henne is a skilled quarterback with a big arm, but the reason he's a deep sleeper of mine is because of Brandon Marshall. According to my fantasy quarterbacks with new receivers article, Henne is projected to throw for 3,948 yards, 23 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. I could certainly see that happening.
Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions. Bye: 7.
It shouldn't surprise anyone if Matthew Stafford finishes as a top-12 fantasy quarterback this year. The Lions have surrounded Stafford with talented targets in addition to Calvin Johnson and Brandon Pettigrew (Nate Burleson, Tony Scheffler). They also added a potent running back (Jahvid Best). Stafford showed flashes of brilliance as a rookie, compiling 296 yards and a touchdown in one half against the Bears, and 422 yards and five scores versus Cleveland.
Stafford is a very high-upside QB2 and someone you should add to your roster during your fantasy draft.
Javon Ringer, RB, Titans. Bye: 9.
The handcuff you want for Chris Johnson. If Johnson gets hurt - which is likely because he was the running back to lead the NFL in rushing attempts - Ringer should be able to step in and compile great fantasy numbers. Ringer is a skilled runner who will have one of the top offensive lines in the NFL blocking for him.
Malcom Floyd, WR, Chargers. Bye: 10.
It's hard to believe that Malcom Floyd has been around since 2004 and is turning 29 in September because he's just coming on. Floyd notched career-highs in receptions (45) and yards (776) last year, and he'll be counted on as the No. 1 receiver while Vincent Jackson is serving his 2-4 game suspension. Floyd should be able to post solid numbers this season; this is his contract year.
Jabar Gaffney, WR, Broncos. Bye: 9.
What a shame - had the Broncos not drafted Demaryius Thomas, Jabar Gaffney could have been a 2010 fantasy star. In the final two weeks of the 2009 season, Gaffney registered 21 receptions, 282 yards and two touchdowns. Unfortunately, Thomas will be utilized in the Brandon Marshall role instead of Gaffney - or at least that's what I think Josh McDaniels will do. McDaniels is far from conventional, so there's no telling what he's planning. If McDaniels places Gaffney into Marshall's role like he did at the end of the 2009 season, Gaffney could be a legitimate WR2.
Brian Hartline, WR, Dolphins. Bye: 5.
As a rookie, Brian Hartline notched 31 receptions, 506 yards and three touchdowns. In addition to having more experience, Hartline will benefit from Brandon Marshall's constant double teams. The former Buckeye has a ton of upside.
Jacoby Jones, WR, Texans. Bye: 7.
The Texans drafted Trindon Holliday because they want Jacoby Jones to focus on his receiving duties. With a 6-2, 210-pound frame, Jones figures to be a solid red-zone threat at the very least (he scored six touchdowns last year). Take a shot on him in the final few rounds of your fantasy draft.
Mohamed Massaquoi, WR, Browns. Bye: 8.
Mohamed Massaquoi caught 34 passes for 624 yards and three touchdowns last year, teasing us with performances like his eight-catch, 148-yard outing against the Bengals, and his five-catch, 115-yard output at Detroit. Until Cleveland has a legitimate quarterback, however, Massaquoi will be nothing more than a fantasy backup.
Chaz Schilens, WR, Raiders. Bye: 10.
I liked Chaz Schilens as a late-round sleeper last year, but he suffered an injury in the preseason and didn't play until Week 10. Schilens had 29 catches for 365 yards and two touchdowns in eight games. He's coming off foot surgery, but if he's OK, he should be able to post solid numbers. Schilens is a talented wideout and will really benefit from Oakland's upgrade at quarterback.
Devin Thomas, WR, Redskins. Bye: 9.
Devin Thomas is a potential 2010 fantasy sleeper. He only had 325 yards and three touchdowns last year, but he accumulated 18 receptions, 254 yards and two scores in his final five full games of the season. Stability on the sidelines and at quarterback can only help Thomas' cause.
Mike Thomas, WR, Jaguars. Bye: 9.
With Torry Holt gone, Mike Thomas is Jacksonville's new No. 2 receiver. As a rookie last year, Thomas caught 48 balls for 453 yards and a touchdown, including 13 receptions for 132 yards during the final two weeks of the regular season. He's worth a late-round flier.
John Carlson, TE, Seahawks. Bye: 5.
Matt Hasselbeck called John Carlson a "fantasy sleeper" when he tweeted him happy birthday in May. I would agree with Hasselbeck. Carlson was asked to block on about 45 percent of his snaps last year. That's a high number but it was unavoidable; Seattle's offensive line was that bad.
However, look for that figure to drop down to about 40 percent in 2010. The Seahawks drafted Russell Okung and signed Chris Baker, a solid blocking tight end. He'll help out in the blocking department, allowing Carlson to run more routes.
The reason Peppers is a bad fit and it ain't because of his low stats, but because he would not fit Tampa's defense. The bucs had a guy similar to him in Mark Barron who is now with the rams. The 2nd rounder is fine, but the 3rd rounder is also terrible. Brian Hill sucks. Roderick Johnson in the 3rd would be better and Ryan Ramcyzk, Cam Robinson or Budda Baker in the 1st.