By Moe Koltun, Matt Cott, and Matthew Schwimmer of Roto Analysis
With preseason games underway, we at RotoAnalysis are back to give you that fantasy football edge for the upcoming season. This week, we’re going into one “sleeper” who we think is undervalued at each position. From the average draft positions on CBS, there are some guys who we think are fundamentally undervalued by the average fantasy owner.
For even more of an edge, our 73-page draft kit with TheFantasyFix.com is available HERE.
Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins QB (CBS ADP: 64.1, QB #9)
Man do fantasy owners forget quick. Around Week 16, Robert Griffin III was slotted as a player who was a sure-fire top 5 QB and somebody who would be drafted in the top three rounds of nearly any league. Despite his injury suffered in the playoffs, RG3 is slipping too far. He finished in a tie for the 5th ranked QB last season and that was when playing only 14 complete games. His rehab has been going very well and it appears RG3 will be ready to go by Week 1. And don’t forget how amazing he was last season. RG3 had three 30+ point fantasy performances – that’s the kind of upside that wins you individual weeks and what you need to target in drafts. Getting it in the middle rounds? Now that’s value. Pairing RG3 with another option in the 12-16 range at QB (Eli Manning, Jay Cutler, Ben Roethlisberger, or somebody similar) is a great strategy to pursue in your draft.
Ahmad Bradshaw, Indianapolis Colts RB (CBS ADP: 64, RB #29)
‘Sexy’ and ‘sleeper’ seem like two words that could profile the same player aptly, but most of the time that turns out to be the opposite of the case. The real sleepers in fantasy football are the old standbys that get overlooked thanks to a combination of underrated talent and the opportunity for a high volume workload. Ahmad Bradshaw fits that profile to a T. Last season running behind a well below average Giants offensive line, Bradshaw managed 1,015 yards on 4.6 Yards Per Carry, six touchdowns and added another 245 yards in the receiving game. Bradshaw has had at least six TD’s and at least 207 receiving yards every year for the last four seasons despite missing time due to injury, and I think he will be Indy’s go-to back both on 3rd down and the goal line, meaning he should be in for a huge percentage of the team’s plays.
The Colts have greatly improved their offensive line, and Andrew Luck is only going to get better, so Bradshaw should have every opportunity to succeed after leaving New York. Yes he’s an injury risk, but going off the board as the 29th running back is about 7 slots too low in my opinion, and I’d have no problem popping Bradshaw as early as around the 50th pick overall. He has the potential for a 1400+ yard, 8-10 TD season if he can stay healthy all season.
Danny Amendola, New England Patriots WR (CBS ADP: 54, WR #18)
Danny Amendola is just about the only guaranteed aerial weapon for Tom Brady this season and unless he gets hurt, he is poised for a monster season. Amendola has shown bursts of potential in St. Louis, but has never put together a full season. Tom Brady won’t be scared to look Amendola’s way especially considering his other option main option will likely be Aaron Dobson, a raw rookie wideout. Filling Wes Welker’s role in the slot, Amendola could be even more efficient – he had just 2 drops last season compared to Welker’s league-leading 15. While the injury concerns cannot be forgotten, Amendola should be a low-end WR1 in weeks when he does play.
Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers TE (CBS ADP: 102, #10 TE)
The old cliché that running quarterbacks love to throw to tight ends seems to be sticking with Cam Newton. He targeted Olsen early and often last season, and especially in the second half. The Panthers quietly won 5 of their last 6 games and Cam Newton not so quietly won a ton of fantasy matchups for his owners. Olsen averaged 8.3 fantasy points per game in the second half. Over the whole season, that would’ve been good enough to make him the fourth best tight end. I’d say being the fifth tight end off the board is fair for 2013, and think he should be going at least two rounds earlier in CBS drafts.
Agree? Disagree? Questions? Tweet @RotoAnalysis and be sure to follow Moe @MoeProblems, Matt @KidCotti21, and Matt @Schwimingly. Check out their work on RotoAnalysis.com, as well as The RotoAnalysis Fantasy Sports Podcast.