My '09 Sleepers

"Who are your sleepers?" It's the question I get asked all the time working for a fantasy sports company. Of course, the context of your league might make one player a sleeper and another overpriced. But after just finishing my 10th draft, here's who I targeted late in many leagues - mostly the second half of the draft. This list is late, but hopefully helps since many are probably still on the waiver wire. Last year I hit the ball out of the park with these picks. Not that it will happen again, but last year Chris Johnson, Dangelo Williams and Steve Slaton won many leagues for me. I'll be lucky to find one such gem in this group. And check out the comments on last year's blog to see how some of these sleepers were mocked (and others were touted).

ADP values courtesy of MockDraftCentral


Not really sleepers, but I've been trying to get these three guys in a lot of leagues where they've gone lower:

-Knowshon Moreno - DEN - APD 64 - The rookie upside play in a backfield clouded by mediocre veterans. This summer's knee injury may reduce his value in some leagues, which is fine since you're taking him for him to win the job in the second half of the season.

-Chris "Beanie" Wells - AZ - ADP 68 -  Sure, Arizona ran the ball a league-low 34 percent of the time last regular season, but that could change if Wells starts having a few big games.

-Donald Brown - IND - ADP 84 -  At the end of the 2008 season the failures of the running game had people asking "was it was the offensive line or the running backs?" President Bill Pollian answered that by taking a running back with a 2009 first-round pick. He should get a third of the touches right away and Joseph Addai's frequent injuries could quickly make him a primary back in one of the leagues best offenses.

Deeper RB Sleepers

-Shonn Greene - NYJ - ADP 168 - All the preseason love for Leon Washington has seen Green's stock fall in leagues. His preseason rib injury seems minor. Is it that hard to see a scenario where Thomas Jones gets hurt/slides in production and Greene wins the job?

-LeSean McCoy - PHI - ADP 104 - Bryan Westbrook's ankle injury remains somewhat of a mystery and McCoy's pass catching ability could make him a similar player in the offense.

-Ahmad Bradshaw - NYG - ADP 114 -  With Andre Brown hurt he's a clear No. 2 on a team that rushed the ball 500+ last year.

-Rashard Mendenhall - PIT - ADP 101 -  He's had a buzz killing preseason, but he's still the upside play on a run-first offense.

-James Davis - CLE - ADP 130  - An under the radar productive college player behind a tired veteran. Unfortunately a strong preseason and negative talk from the coaches about Jamal Lewis has see his ADP soar in late-drafting leagues.

-Glen Coffee - SF - ADP 172 - A strong preseason, he's pretty much an injury play behind Frank Gore.

-Le'Ron McClain  - BAL - ADP 124 - He was 8 of 17 on goal-line carries. Right now he seems like the odd man out among the Baltimore backs, but is Willis McGahee going to stay healthy? He's a nice endgame gamble for a team that runs a ton.

-Jerome Harrison  - CLE - ADP 218 - With all the buzz for James Davis, Harrison still averaged 7.2 YPC in 34 attempts last season and 6.2 YPC in 2007. A preseason knee injury has him slipping out of most drafts, but who's to say he's not the guy getting the ball when the Browns finally give up on Lewis?

-Benard Scott - CIN - ADP 204 - The Division II player of the year is the upside play to Cedric Benson. Betting against Benson has paid off most of the time.


Not really sleepers, but I've been trying to get these three guys in a lot of leagues where they've gone lower:

-DeSean Jackson - PHI - ADP 54 - Second-year receiver in a pass-happy offense.

-Kevin Walter - HOU - ADP 77 - I'm high on the Houston offense and Walter seems to be forgotten. His 9.5 yards per looks was fifth best among all wideouts with 90 targets or more.

-Donnie Avery  - STL - ADP 83 - He's a No. 1 receiver in his second year that often goes late in drafts due to his foot injury (which doesn't look like a problem for Week 1)

Deeper WR Sleepers

-Robert Meachem - NO - ADP 209 - Third-year, receiver with great speed in a pass-happy offense. Sure, he's disappointed before but the price to get in on some of the New Orleans aerial action is low.

-Josh Cribbs - CLE - ADP 257 - He's show he's a great playmaker in the return game, but now he may become the No. 2 wide receiver. He's undrafted in most leagues.


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