Yahoo Fantasy Football is back, and those who have yet to draft are still wondering what players will have breakout years this season. While players like Adrian Peterson, Eddie Lacy, Aaron Rogers, Andrew Luck, and Antonio Brown are obvious and safe picks, every seasoned fantasy football pro knows that in order to win your league, you must pick well in the later rounds. While Yahoo has all of our sleepers listed in their top 200-player list, we believe they will all outplay their average draft position.
WR, Charles Johnson (Minnesota Vikings)
After acquiring veteran wide receiver Mike Wallace in the offseason, Charles Johnson appeared to be falling down the Vikings depth chart. While the 26-year-old, second-year player out of Grand Valley State only had 31 receptions for 475 yards and two touchdowns last season, most of his damage came in the second half of the year after establishing chemistry with Teddy Bridgewater. In late July, Adam Caplan of ESPN also praised Johnson after seeing him in Vikings camp.
Numerous reports also say that Johnson, not Wallace, appears to be Bridgewater’s favorite target in camp and the preseason. While numerous fantasy football rankings have Johnson listed as the 30th best wide receiver or lower, don’t be surprised if he finishes in the top 20 in fantasy football scoring. According to FantasyPros, his average draft position for a wide receiver is #41 in Yahoo, which is currently undervalued.
TE, Tyler Eifert (Cincinnati Bengals)
For a team with only one real receiving threat in A.J. Green, the Bengals are going to need help from their first round pick in the 2013 NFL draft, Tyler Eifert. While he has had a disappointing start to his career, Eifert has all the potential in the world to finish as a top 10 tight end or better this year for fantasy football purposes. With Jeremy Hill and A.J. Green moving the chains, the Bengals are going to have a lot of opportunities in the red zone this season. The 6’6″, 250 lb. tight end will be the perfect target for Dalton. According to FantasyPros, his average draft position for a tight end is #12 in Yahoo, which is currently undervalued.
TE, Owen Daniels (Denver Broncos)
At 32 years old, many believe the former Texans and Ravens tight end is on the decline. While he managed to avoid injury last year and play in 15 out of 16 games, he only had 527 yards and four touchdowns. He may have an opportunity for new life with Peyton Manning though. Over the past two seasons, former Broncos tight end Julius Thomas caught 24 touchdowns, despite missing five games. Owens is older than Thomas and clearly does not have his athleticism, but Peyton Manning loves to throw the ball to his tight ends. According to FantasyPros, his average draft position for a tight end is #11 in Yahoo, which is currently where it should be according to their rankings. We think he may sneak into the top 10 for tight ends for fantasy football leagues.
QB, Teddy Bridgewater (Minnesota Vikings)
Now in his second year, the former first round pick is looking to have his breakout season for the Minnesota Vikings. After posting an impressive 2,919 yards and 14 touchdowns in his rookie season, Bridgewater is currently undervalued in our opinion. According to FantasyPros, his average draft position for a quarterback is #15 in Yahoo, which is currently where it should be according to their rankings. In most 10 or 12 team leagues, Bridgewater is not being drafted as a starting quarterback, which we agree with. We do recommend picking him up in the later rounds though. He will make a solid backup quarterback, as well as a fill-in for bye weeks. By season’s end, we think he will be a very viable option as a fantasy football starting quarterback though.
WR, John Brown (Arizona Cardinals)
Cardinals wide receiver John Brown finished with 48 receptions, 696 yards, and five touchdowns during his 2014 rookie campaign. 2015 may be his breakout season for fantasy football owners. While Michael Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald are currently ahead of him on the wide receiver depth chart, Floyd is recovering from a finger injury and Fitzgerald is on the decline. With a healthy Carson Palmer back at the helm, Brown has a chance to grab the role as the number one receiver for the Arizona Cardinals. According to FantasyPros, his average draft position for a wide receiver is #42 in Yahoo, which is currently undervalued.
As always, make sure you select your guaranteed studs in the early rounds. While none of the five potential sleepers listed above are likely to help you significantly in the beginning of the season, they could be an important part of your championship run in the second half. All average draft position data was taken from FantasyPros, which references where players are being drafted in Yahoo Fantasy Football leagues. This information is subject to change, so make sure you review it for updates before your fantasy football draft.
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