Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fantasy Fantasies - 5 Keepers and a Sleeper

Hide your wife. Hide your kids. Fantasy football is upon us, so pull yourself out of your post-Olympics withdrawal and prepare for the greatest time of the year. Here are five must-have players if they're on the board for you and one can't-miss sleeper.

When asked if he should be considered the best running back in the league, Arian Foster responded, "it depends on your cup of tea." Well, if the fantasy gods bless you with the number one pick in your draft this year, throw yourself a tea party with this man. Number 23 is the go-to option on one of the best offensive systems in the game, and if you see him in the open field with only one guy to beat, go ahead and get the ice pack ready for the defender's ankles. Whether it's rushing, receiving, or spitting haikus, Arian does it all and makes it look easy.

You know a player is good when you watch a slow-motion replay and still can't figure out how he did what he did. I call them the DVR players, and Lesean McCoy is at the top of that list. The Eagles are poised for a bounceback year, and if last year was any indication, Andy Reid will find as many opportunities as possible to get Shady the rock. If you're in a PPR league, a Mike Vick shovel pass will be your new best friend.

Usually it's a bad idea to have a team's entire offense feature one person, but Ray Rice has proven to be capable of shouldering the load. Though Torrey Smith is the downfield option and Anquan Boldin moves the chains, Rice racks up the yards on the ground and on dump-off passes.  You know what you're gonna get with Ray, and consistency is never a bad thing in the 1st round.

The last time Drew Brees had something to really play for, the Saints won the super bowl. Don't get me wrong -- I'm not going to sit here and try to compare Hurricane Katrina to Bountygate, but let's just say that his barks in the huddle might have a bit more juice this year than last. And if nothing else, I will be interested to see how many more ways New Orleans can use Brees name on a jersey. I already locked in "Shoot the Brees" at +350 to show up on the next commercial.

The bad news is that the Lions still won't have a solid running game. The good news is that the Lions still have Calvin Johnson to lob the ball to. Someone please tell Megatron to take the game seriously because it just looks like he is toying with his opponents right now. You don't need an episode of Sports Science to figure out that CJ can grab anything thrown in his zip code, but if you need a mailing address, you can tell UPS to find him in the endzone.

Of course, fantasy drafts are often judged by your sleepers, and if you have a chance to snag Brandon Marshall (who most sites have ranked outside of the top ten wide receivers), snatch him and stash all your burger wrappers. Marshall is reunited with QB Jay Cutler, who must be ecstatic to finally have a legitimate #1 wideout again. And we can all be ecstatic that the biggest storyline on the Bears is no longer the Vanderbilt connection that Cutler and Earl Bennett share.

So there you have it. Enjoy your fantasy drafts and all the hope and optimism that comes with the territory. May your studs stay healthy and your sleepers stay overproducing.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images, AP (Paul Sancya), Clarksville Sports Network, and Toby Canham


I wouldn't say Marshall is a sleeper exactly since he's pretty up there to begin with ... Doug Martin or Issac issac Redmond would qualify more even tho Redmond prolly only starting 6-8 games

trying so hard to trade calvin johnson right now

I see a sleeper as anyone who will outperform his draft position. Definitely not as deep a sleeper as others, but his head is on the pillow.

Cutler will find a way to suck. Redman is already hurt, Dwyer FTW!

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