Some fantasy football die hards are already drafting for the coming season, in some cases its rookies only and others are starting an early draft. In this NFL Draft Rookie round table we discuss the Sleeper Receivers (Wide Receivers and Tight Ends) for this season.
FFHD brought you the Pre NFL Draft Roundtable a few weeks back and you can check those out here – Day 1, Day 2, Day 3. It went so well that we brought back most of the guys, added a few more voices to the party to focus on the 2012 Rookie Sleeper Receivers.
- Pro Football Focus – Jeff Ratcliffe
- Dynasty Football Warehouse – Dan Heins and Jeff Melbostad
- Dynasty League Football – Eric Dickens and Tim Stafford
- Fantasy Knuckleheads – Greg Brosh
- NFL Draft Geek - Nolan Vasan
- Second City Fanatics – Matt Lane
- IDP Manor – Gary Davenport
- Roto Rankings – Scott Whitfield
- Average Joe – Josh Hreha
- Fantasy Football Help Desk - Mike Novick
Dynasty F. Warehouse – Jeff Melbostad -
Reuben Randle and Dwayne Allen
I really like the talent and potential combo of Reuben Randle. He is buried a bit on the depth chart right now with Nicks and Cruz ahead of him but he’s yet to reach his full potential and will blossom in the NFL in my opinion. He’s got the skills to put up numbers and fell into a good spot with the Giants. If he can carve out a role in that offense I think he’ll put up good numbers for a long while.
Dwayne Allen was a top 2 TE on nearly everyone’s board going into the draft but I think people are way too down on him after everything shook out on draft day. Sure Fleener hooked up with his long time buddy Luck and should be a favorite target of his. And yes Allen went to the exact same spot potentially killing his value as a backup TE. But not so fast. Allen is a better overall TE than Fleener and has the potential to be on the field much more. Fleener is a much more dynamic playmaker and will likely put up the more gaudy stats but Allen will have plenty of opportunity as well. This is a situation I’ll monitor closely as the season approaches to try and get an idea of how often Fleener will be on the field.
Dynasty League Football – Tim Stafford -
Marvin Jones and Michael Egnew
Again, need to go deep. Want to say DeVier Posey, but that’s not deep. My call here is Marvin Jones, CIN. He could easily beat Sanu out for the number two WR job across from AJ Green. It’s a wide open race between the two of them and Armon Binns. Shipley will play in the slot.
Michael Egnew, MIA. Pass catcher that can’t block on a team that needs receiving options. What the heck? I’ll give it a go in my sleeper TE slot.
Average Joe – Josh Hreha -
Chris Quick and LaDarius Green
Wide Receiver - Chris Quick WR – STL. Look at the Rams depth chart…exactly my point. I liked him a lot in the draft, and thought he actually landed in a perfect situation for him. He can develop a Rapport with Sam Bradford, and become his go to guy in this offense. The Rams D is not exactly the stingiest either, meaning they will be playing catch up, giving him every opportunity to produce right away.
Tight End - LaDarius Green TE – Chargers. As we have all seen over the past few years, Antonio Gates simply cannot stay healthy, and on the field. Green is essentially a Gates clone. At 6’6 he has ideal size, and athleticism, and Rivers loves throwing to his security blanket underneath. Add in the fact that Vincent Jackson has departed, and Green could be a viable option in the pass catching game, and is only a Gates injury away from being a potential game changer.
Dynasty League F. – Eric Dickens -
Marvin Jones and LaDarius Green
I’ve mentioned my love of the Marvin Jones’ pick here before. I think he was a steal in the late 5th and will immediately compete for the WR2 spot in Cincy with Mohamed Sanu. I think he is a polished route-runner and can make an impact right away. I’d give Nick Toon honorable mention.
TE – I don’t think we’ll see much from Ladarius Green in 2012, but long term I think he has the chance to become a very good Joker TE for the Chargers. It’s true that he can’t block, but the good news is that he won’t be asked to. He’ll be used as a WR most of the time.
Dynasty F. Warehouse – Dan Heins -
Marvin Jones and Michael Egnew
Marvin Jones is my deep sleeper here. It stinks that him and Sanu BOTH went to Cincy because they are so much alike. They are both the same size at 6′ 2″ 210lbs, but Jones is faster, has better hands, and runs better routes. Don’t ask me why he fell in the draft or why he isn’t getting more love, but he should line up in the slot alot and that is one big, fast, target for Dalton. I think he will eventually emerge.
Michael Egnew (Miami). I like this Missouri TE. He is big and quick for someone 6′ 5″ 250lbs. Miami has been looking for a go-to TE for years and never found a consistent performer. Rookie QBs seem to love their nooky-blankey TEs and I think Tannenhill to Egnew has a lot of potential. I feel he has the best situation for success as well.
Roto Rankings – Scott Whitfield -
Kendall Wright and LaDarius Green
Picking Kendall Wright of the Tennessee Titans for my WR sleeper was pretty easy. I went for the guy with the best QB and situation. Matt Hasselback will start week 1 and will continue to barring a poor start or injury. The situation is good for Wright as well with Kenny Britt coming off ACL surgery and he recently underwent a cleanup procedure that puts him out another 10-12 weeks. Even if he is “ready” for week 1, he will be eased back. Wright in the slot and big play ability after the catch presents huge upside. He also should be used a couple times a game deep, at least to just keep the safeties out of the box as they will be trying to defend Chris Johnson.
Ladarius Green of the San Diego Chargers may seem like the obvious choice to some and not so much by others. I think the reasons some folks might not consider him a sleeper are the reasons why I like him. Obviously SD has a top flight TE in Antonio Gates, but he hasn’t played a whole season since 2009 and the other TE’s on the roster don’t compare to Gates and Green’s athletic ability (Randy McMichael and Dante Rosario). With the departure of Vincent Jackson and Mike Tolbert, the Chargers are one Gates misstep from being in a world of hurt. With a lot of teams implementing two TE’s I can see Chargers pressuring defenses with 12 personnel (1 RB 2 TE 2WR) Mathews in the back field, Gates and Green inside with Floyd and Meacham outside. With Rivers at QB that’s a line up I want a piece of and when looking at rookie TE sleepers? Green is my guy!
IDP Manor – Gary Davenport -
DeVier Posey and Michael Egnew
The Houston Texans have seemingly been looking for a complementary receiver for Andre Johnson for years, and although DeVier Posey’s 2011 season was a nightmare the 6’2” Posey is an excellent route-runner with good hands who has a solid shot at surprising some people as early as this season.
The Miami Dolphins are hurting for playmakers in the passing game, and should Ryan Tannehill start at some point he’ll need all the underneath options he can get, so former Missouri standout Michael Egnew has some deep sleeper appeal as a rookie at the tight end position.
FantasyKnuckleheads – Greg Brosh -
Mohamed Sanu and Dwayne Allen
Wide Receiver – Mohamed Sanu (Bengals): Sanu doesn’t have great speed, but his toughness and solid hands will give Andy Dalton a safety net. Marvin Jones is in the picture for the No. 2 spot across from A.J. Green, but I strongly believe the Bengals like what they have seen out of Manu so far in mini camps. This battle is one of a few positions I have listed in my Five Positional Battles To Keep An Eye On In Training Camp article.
Tight End – Dwayne Allen (Colts): Considering this year’s class at tight end wasn’t very deep, I’ll throw Allen’s name out there. There are rumors that the Colts want to try and copy what the Patriots have done at tight end with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, so Allen could compete for looks with Coby Fleener. Allen has soft hands and is a solid route runner. He also excels as a pass blocker, which will help his value on passing downs.
Pro Football Focus – Jeff Ratcliffe -
Nick Toon and Evan Rodriguez
Despite a crowded WR corps, Nick Toon makes for a very interesting prospect with the Saints. This kid out of Wisconsin has a nice frame at 6’2″ and 215 lbs, but does not have the speed of some of the other WRs in this draft class. However, his ball skills and ability to use his body to get position on defenders makes him a viable red zone target for Drew Brees. We could be hearing Toon’s name on Sunday’s as early as this season.
As a Temple grad, this is a homer pick for me, but I really like Evan Rodriguez of the Bears. He doesn’t have the size of Rob Gronkowski or Coby Fleener, but Rodriguez is a good route runner with great hands. The Bears aren’t known for getting their TE involved in the offense, but the word on the street is that they intend to change that this season and will look to get the ball to Rodriguez. There certainly are rookie TEs with higher floors, but few with higher ceilings than Rodriguez.
Second City Fanatics – Matt Lane -
Brian Quick and LaDarius Green
Brian Quick. The Rams are loving him in camp and Sam Bradford has no real no.1 Target. I think if Quick gets the targets he’ll prove a good WR2/3 in fantasy leagues.
Ladarius Green. I’m not expecting Gates to stay healthy all season, in fact I can see him missing around 6-8 games. This will give Green the opportunity to be the no.1 TE for Rivers and he has the ability to make some plays in the passing game for San Diego.
NFL Draft Geek – Nolan Vasan -
Mohamed Sanu and Orson Charles
I would be surprised if Mohamed Sanu did not get 50 catches this year at least for the Bengals. This situation reminds me so much of ARZ a few years back with A.J Green/Larry Fitzgerald and Sanu/Anquan Boldin. Sanu is the perfect compliment to Green, as a possession receiver, he effectively works the middle and underneath, and at 6-2, will get plenty of looks in the Red Zone. Kendall Wright will be great too, but Sanu’s much more off the radar.
Definitely Orson Charles here. Playing along with Jermaine Gresham, Charles will be split out wide, and play as the flanker. Right off the bat, he will be the Bengals 4th receiving option, and will see the field right away. Also lookout for SD TE Ladarius Green who will serve the same role there with Antonio Gates
FF Help Desk – Mike Novick -
Juron Criner and LaDarius Green
With the Oakland Raiders not having a legit #1 unless you count Demarius Moore which I don’t, I think Juron Criner has a huge chance of succeeding in this league. He is not a burner by any means but can catch everything, runs great routes and is willing to learn. With little to no competition in Oakland and to top it off I am sure Mr. Palmer had a say in drafting Criner makes me think he could be in for a great career and a very good rookie season.
To the Tight end position which to me would be easy if Egnew or Allen landed in different spots but they didn’t so I am going with LaDarius Green. This pick is mainly for dynasty owners for the 2013 season because I think Gates is about done with the NFL the injury’s are just piling up on his legs. Look for Green to pick up the offense in year one and come on strong in his second season.