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2012 Fantasy Football: 20 Sleepers

Check out my 2012 Fantasy Football Rankings and other features, including tons of 2012 Fantasy Football Mock Drafts and stock reports. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

2012 Fantasy Football - 20 Sleepers (Aug. 28):

This is a list of my favorite 2012 fantasy football late-round sleepers - underrated players whom you should target in the later rounds. The Average Draft Position (ADP) is found on

  1. Mikel Leshoure, RB, Lions. Bye: 5. ADP: 10.08.
    Mikel Leshoure has become a bit of a forgotten man in the wake of his injury and suspension. He'll miss the first two games of the season, but that could be a blessing in disguise because it'll give him more time to heal. Kevin Smith tends to get hurt a lot - as his fantasy owners discovered this past weekend - so Leshoure could step in as the starter sometime in October, or perhaps even sooner; he appeared as though he was healthy when he played 18 snaps at Oakland.

  2. Kendall Hunter, RB, 49ers. Bye: 9. ADP: 11.11.
    I've come to love Kendall Hunter as a fantasy sleeper this year. He's an exceptional runner; he has a good mix of speed and power, and he always keeps his legs churning. The only thing holding him back from being the starter right now is a Frank Gore injury, which is not an uncommon occurrence. Hunter will see plenty of action this season behind a powerful offensive front. He'll post big numbers once Gore goes down.

  3. Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks. Bye: 11. ADP: 13.09.
    I know it's only the preseason, but Russell Wilson has looked like a stud in each game. He was really impressive versus Kansas City's starters, leading the team to a score on six of the seven drives he played. Wilson can post great rushing numbers, so he's worth looking into as a high-upside QB2.

  4. Nate Washington, WR, Titans. Bye: 11. ADP: 9.01.
    I didn't like Nate Washington going into this season because Kenny Britt and Kendall Wright were the projected starters. That's no longer the case, as the injured Britt is facing a suspension. Washington will be Tennessee's No. 1 wideout until Wright gains some experience. I'm all for grabbing any team's top receiver at the end of the ninth round, assuming that the quarterback is at least somewhat functional. In the three games in which Jake Locker saw extensive action last year, Washington caught 22 balls for 307 yards and four touchdowns.

  5. Jared Cook, TE, Titans. Bye: 11. ADP: 12.07.
    Jared Cook is a really athletic tight end who caught fire at the end of last season. He definitely has TE1 potential, so he's a steal in the the middle of the 12th round.

  6. Kyle Rudolph, TE, Vikings. Bye: 11. ADP: 13.09.
    Kyle Rudolph has been Christian Ponder's favorite target throughout training camp and the preseason. Rudolph is a talented tight end who should have a big second season.

  7. Austin Collie, WR, Colts. Bye: 4. ADP: 12.07.
    Austin Collie suffered a concussion a week ago and consequently has seen his ADP drop into the middle of the 12th round. However, Collie's concussion apparently wasn't too bad and it looks like he'll be able to suit up Week 1. He's worth a shot in Rounds 11 or 12, given that Andrew Luck prefers throwing to him over anyone else.

  8. Rod Streater, WR, Raiders. Bye: 5. ADP: 15+.
    Carson Palmer has targeted rookie Rod Streater 17 times this preseason. That's more than double compared to the next Oakland wideout (Darrius Heyward-Bey, 8). The Raider announcers repeatedly stated that the talented Streater is going to be a big part of Oakland's game plan this season. He legitimately could be the next Victor Cruz.

  9. Jake Locker, QB, Titans. Bye: 11. ADP: 13.03.
    Despite a horrific showing at Tampa Bay, Jake Locker won the starting job. He then responded with a solid outing versus Arizona, so that was encouraging. While there's still a chance he could flop and lose the gig to Matt Hasselbeck, Locker should be drafted as a QB2 if you have a dependable starter because he has immense upside. He'll pile up rushing yards.

  10. Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Falcons. Bye: 7. ADP: 9.04.
    Michael Turner has looked slow and sluggish this preseason, which is hardly a surprise to anyone who paid attention to how much he struggled down the stretch last year. Jacquizz Rodgers makes Atlanta's offense more explosive, so I expect him to be featured pretty prominently this season.

  11. Taiwan Jones, RB, Raiders. Bye: 5. ADP: 14+.
    Everyone knows how injury-prone Darren McFadden is by now. The unbelievably fast Taiwan Jones easily won Oakland's backup running back gig. He'll be a big producer if/when McFadden goes down.

  12. Greg Olsen, TE, Panthers. Bye: 6. ADP: 11.05.
    Greg Olsen was a disappointment in his first year with the Panthers, catching just 45 passes for 540 yards and five touchdowns. The good news is that Jeremy Shockey is no longer on the roster, so Olsen should see more targets go his way. Ron Rivera recently said that Olsen can post Rob Gronkowski- and Jimmy Graham-type numbers.

  13. Shane Vereen, RB, Patriots. Bye: 9. ADP: 13.06.
    Shane Vereen has lost the starting job to Stevan Ridley, but that's never a permanent thing with Bill Belichick. Considering Ridley's fumbling problems, the talented Vereen could reenter the starting lineup sometime down the road. He's definitely worth a late-round flier.

  14. Dexter McCluster, WR, Chiefs. Bye: 7. ADP: 15+. (PPR Only)
    Matt Cassel has targeted Dexter McCluster 17 times this preseason. McCluster is finally being utilized correctly - out of the slot - so considering that Dwayne Bowe looks out of shape, McCluster could catch a ton of passes this year.

  15. Steve Smith, WR, Rams. Bye: 9. ADP: 15+.
    Steve Smith is the Ram receiver you want in non-PPR formats. He's looked pretty healthy this season, so he might just be back to pre-2010 form. The only downside is that he doesn't have much touchdown potential, given the overall struggles of St. Louis' offense.

  16. Danny Amendola, WR, Rams. Bye: 9. ADP: 10.05. (PPR Only)
    As Marshall Faulk said during the Rams-Chiefs telecast, "Sam Bradford has his blanky back." Bradford loves throwing to Danny Amendola, who will once again serve as a solid PPR flex player.

  17. Tim Tebow, QB, Jets. Bye: 9. ADP: 15+.
    The rapidly regressing Mark Sanchez has predictably flopped this preseason, which means Tim Tebow will be the starter sometime soon. Tebow has proven to be a solid fantasy quarterback because of his rushing ability.

  18. Vick Ballard, RB, Colts. Bye: 4. ADP: 15+.
    Vick Ballard looked pretty good as a rotational back with Donald Brown in the Colts' preseason game at Pittsburgh. Donald Brown is not very good, so it wouldn't be surprising to see Ballard take over as the No. 1 back in the second half of the season.

  19. Lestar Jean, WR, Texans. Bye: 8. ADP: 15+.
    Lestar Jean was the talk of the Houston OTAs. He has certainly lived up to the hype in the preseason, leading Houston players not named Andre Johnson in targets from Matt Schaub. Again, you can check out the full list of 2012 Fantasy Football Quarterback Targets here.

  20. Devery Henderson, WR, Saints. Bye: 6. ADP: 14.05.
    Devery Henderson has proven to be a solid producer when one of the other receivers has been out of the lineup. Robert Meachem is gone, so that counts. Brees hasn't thrown to any receiver more than Henderson this preseason. Check out the full list of 2012 Fantasy Football Quarterback Targets here.

Leave a comment

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Alex 08-30-2012 01:31 pm (total posts: 1)
10     30

"The rapidly regressing Mark Sanchez has predictably flopped this preseason..."
you're out of your mind, have you even seen any Jets preseason games?
You gotta curb this mancrush you got going on TT, it's getting to be laughable.
There isn't anything wrong with it, of course, so long as you keep it out of your predictions.
Greg Gelyon 08-28-2012 07:55 pm (total posts: 1)
147     67


Forget all the haters. You do a great job. Keep it up my man.
dylan 08-28-2012 02:28 pm (total posts: 1)
45     651

The team I just drafted is:

P.manning QB
A.foster RB
W.macgahee RB
G.Jennings WR
S.smith WR
Miles-austin WR
A.hernandez TE
N.Washington FLEX
S.Hauschka K

walt suck 08-28-2012 12:37 pm (total posts: 1)
61     179

pretty much the same list and comments you wrote a week ago. good update walt. you're losing your touch bud and your man crush on Tebow is getting out of control. not that there is anything wrong with that
Sandro 08-28-2012 12:11 pm (total posts: 2)
12     20

@Nathanael Ich find euri Liga noed. Post mal d'League-ID. Waer sehr gern debii!
Sandro 08-28-2012 12:10 pm (total posts: 2)
10     16

@Nathanael Ich find euri Liga n
lax18 08-28-2012 10:29 am (total posts: 1)
117     258

tebow has looked awful this preseason, aside from running the ball he has done nothing to be considered the starter.

with all the tight end injuries jets are better off playing him there.
Mitch 08-23-2012 10:00 pm (total posts: 1)
18     13

I went to that fantasycalc. site and rg3 went down an entire round after that last preseason game. some people... lol
Nathanael 08-23-2012 06:24 am (total posts: 1)
11     24

We are looking for 6 more active dedicated fantasy players in a standard scoring 10 player league. We are 3 longtime fantasy players from europe (switzerland) who loves the live draft, adjust weekly lineup, trades, free agent picks and a lot more, because we never give up. Its not how you start its how you finish.
If you are interested go to , join league and go to custom league.
League Name is: worldwide homepride
and the Live draft is at 26.september 3:00pm EDT thanks see you soon
Joe 08-23-2012 01:26 am (total posts: 1)
45     47


Guess you don't know much about fantasy. Tebow was the 18th best QB last year and he didn't play till week 5. He's a good quarterback but he's a great quarterback in fantasy football.
poop is in my butt 08-22-2012 09:43 pm (total posts: 1)
26     18

Didn't even have to draft Lestar Jean in either of my leagues I picked him up off Waivers
matt 08-22-2012 04:51 pm (total posts: 1)
382     429

walt -- just try to write something without praising tebow -- its getting obnoxious. top 20 defensive players in the league:
1. Tim Tebow NYJ
2. Patrick Willis SF

used to be a great site now its just a guy who couldn't pick a game if he tried and loves the worst qb in the league.

analysis ain't worth a damn anymore
BTZK 08-22-2012 04:11 pm (total posts: 1)
95     112

Until you see that Tebow is a FB glorified, you don't have any say about the JETS
eliasrapp98 08-22-2012 01:53 pm (total posts: 1)
12     11

Dammit Walter. Now all my friends will pick my sleepers! Amendola was my 15th round man!
Mike 08-22-2012 10:19 am (total posts: 1)
15     18

I'm sorry but Jared Cook is no longer a sleeper.

More 2012 Fantasy Football Articles:
2012 Fantasy Football: Home

2012 Fantasy Football Rankings:
2012 Fantasy Football Rankings: Quarterbacks - 9/2 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running Backs - 9/3 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide Receivers - 9/2 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Rankings: Tight Ends - 9/2 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Rankings: Kickers - 6/2 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Rankings: Defenses - 6/3 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Downloadable Spreadsheets - 9/2 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Auction Values - 7/28 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings (Re-Draft) - 5/6 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings (Dynasty) - 5/6 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Playoff Rankings - 1/2 (Walt)
Week 17 Fantasy Football Rankings - 12/27 (Walt)
Week 17 Fantasy Football Injury Reports - 12/27 (Walt)
Week 17 Fantasy Football Start Em, Sit Em - 12/27 (Walt)
Week 16 Fantasy Football Start Em, Sit Em - 12/20 (Walt) $1,000 Contest on - 11/4

2012 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets:
2012 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Traditional Scoring - 9/4 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: PPR Scoring - 9/4 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Touchdown Scoring - 9/4 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: 2-QB Format - 9/4 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Traditional Scoring PRINTABLE - 9/4 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: PPR Scoring PRINTABLE - 9/4 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Touchdown Scoring PRINTABLE - 9/4 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: 2-QB Format PRINTABLE - 9/4 (Walt)

2012 Fantasy Football Mock Drafts:
2012 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft - 8/23 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Mock Draft - 8/16 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Forum 2-QB PPR Mock Draft - 8/9 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Auction Mock Draft - 8/2 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Forum PPR Mock Draft - 7/27 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Forum 2-QB Mock Draft - 7/17 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Forum Standard 14-Team Mock Draft - 7/12 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Forum PPR Mock Draft - 7/6 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Forum Touchdown-Format Mock Draft - 7/4 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Forum Standard Mock Draft - 7/3 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Forum PPR Mock Draft - 6/22 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Forum Mock Draft - 6/14 (Walt)
The Four-Man PPR Fantasy Mock Draft - 5/18 (Walt)

2012 Fantasy Football Articles:
2012 Fantasy Football Stock: Training Camp, OTAs - 9/3 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Preseason Stock - 8/31 (Walt)
2012 NFL Preseason Recap, Fantasy Football Notes - 8/31 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football: Quarterback Targets - 8/31 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football: 20 Sleepers - 8/28 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football: Round-by-Round Strategy - 8/21 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Busts - 6/5 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Sleepers (Early-Middle Rounds) - 6/5 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football All-Value Team - 5/26 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Stock Report: Quarterbacks - 5/8 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Stock Report: Running Backs - 5/8 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Stock Report: Wide Receivers - 5/8 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Stock Report: Quarterbacks, Tight Ends - 4/3 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Stock Report: Running Backs - 4/3 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Stock Report: Wide Receivers - 4/3 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football: First-Round Bust History - 2/17 (Walt)
Running Backs with Most Carries - 2/17 (Walt)

Fantasy Football Rankings - July 30

2016 NFL Mock Draft - July 24

2015 NFL Mock Draft - July 23

2015 NBA Mock Draft - July 1

NFL Free Agents

NFL Picks - Feb. 2

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