Fantasy football owners are always looking for the next great sleeper draft pick. While many owners jump on as many big name players as they can, other owners strategically draft position players with their eyes on sleepers that might stretch into the late rounds of the draft. The owners who target these sleeper players are the ones who can surprise the rest of their league with a 2010 championship run on the backs of these surprising superstars.
Michael Bush – The Oakland Raiders fans want Darren McFadden to be the running back savior they have been hoping for. However, they might have already had their star running back on the team before they ever drafted McFadden. Bush has averaged about 4.6 yards-per-carry and with McFadden injury prone, Bush might get a chance to build onto his 2009 season when he eclipsed 100-yards twice. Fantasy football drafts might see him drop all the way to the last picks before someone grabs him.
Bernard Berrian – With Brett Farve coming back, Minnesota wide receivers have value once again. Sidney Rice is missing half the season following surgery and Percy Harvin has missed a lot of preseason with migranes. Someone needs to catch Farve’s passes and Bernard Berrian is a proven commodity. Berrian spent much of 2009 hampered by an injured leg but he is healed and is ready to step back up and be a leading receiver. Most fantasy football owners won’t be looking at him in 2010 but you should and you might find him in the later rounds, a great bargain pick.
Larry Johnson – There are three running backs in Washington this year. Clinton Portis remains the starting running back but Larry Johnson and Willie Parker, both former studs, are pushing for playing time. Of the three players, Larry Johnson has the most to offer. He was a star on a really bad Kansas City team and he will be a star on a much better Redskins team in 2010. Mike Shanahan produces star running backs at an alarming pace. Portis has been injury prone over the past couple of years and Johnson will be there to pick up the pace.
Terrell Owens – It is hard to imagine Terrell Owens as a sleeper but consider this. Teams were slow in taking him in 2010 because everyone thinks he has nothing left to offer. If NFL teams don’t want to try their luck with him, why would a fantasy football owner? The reason Owens is worth grabbing is because Carson Palmer loves the guy and is the best quarterback to throw Owens the ball since Donovan McNabb. If you’ve been watching preseason games, you know Palmer loves to throw the ball to Owens and that means lots of fantasy points this season.
Chester Taylor – Chester Taylor took many carries away from Adrian Peterson at Minnesota and Matt Forte is not Adrian Peterson. Taylor is going to take carries away from Forte this season and, while Forte is going to be taken in the first few rounds, Taylor will last at least seven or eight rounds later. Taylor is going to at least equal Forte’s 2010 fantasy football numbers and is someone you can pick up at a value while grabbing other players early in the draft.
Arian Foster – Steve Slaton came into the 2009 season as the lead running back in Houston. He had a breakout season in his rookie year and was posed to move up to the upper echelon of fantasy football running backs. Then Slaton started fumbling the ball and Houston started giving carries to other backs. Arian Foster stepped up and, in the final two games of 2009, ran for 216 yards and three touchdowns. The writing for Slaton was on the wall when Houston drafted Ben Tate in the 2010 NFL Draft but the rookie is already injured and out for the year, opening the door for Foster to have his own breakout year. Foster is a player that might drop to the tenth round or later, a steal for a starting running back.