For this year’s sleepers write-up, I’m ignoring the top fifty players on my draft board. For the record, I had the rough draft of the list done by July 20 and have updated it with preseason games and additional information available. But these are not your top picks… just ones that could give you the edge.
Bishop Sankey, Tennessee Titans running back. The first running back taken in the 2014 draft (at number 54), Sankey steps into a running situation where Shonn Greene is the only incumbent (Chris Johnson is a Jet now), the offensive line is strong, the Titans don’t want Jake Locker throwing thirty times a game, and Ken Whisenhunt still likes Pittsburgh Steelers football. Opportunities are everything…but down the line, we might care more about Tre Mason or Carlos Hyde. [Production-wise, see also: Toby Gerhart]
Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts wide receiver. Seriously?! This guy is in a top 5/8 offense, with another top-15 wideout and a top-15 quarterback. Besides the injury, what was there to complain about with his effort or output last year? [Injury bounce back, see also: Roddy White]
Rashad Jennings, New York Giants running back. The whole NYG offense could be a bounce back candidate, but no one seems to be talking about Jennings, who was fine as a Raider and now moves to a real organization. Eli Manning will throw for his, but someone has to run the ball, and they really don’t want to turn to Peyton Hillis again. [New guy in a good spot, see also: Emmanuel Sanders]
Aaron Dobson, Justin Hunter or Markus Wheaton. This trio of wide receivers, from the Patriots, Titans, and Steelers, all have me thinking that they’re worth a shot because someone on those teams has to catch the ball (especially as a second banana to Julius Edelman and Antonio Brown, respectively, for the Pats and Steelers). [Someone has to step up, see also: Rueben Randle, Jarret Boykin]
Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings tight end. If I’m in a deep league, or someone wants to show off with several TE picks, I’m looking at Rudolph, the surest handed pass-catcher the Vikings have. (Seriously, you’re going to guess on Greg Jennings or Cordelle Patterson?) Enter Norv Turner, the offensive coordinator behind Antonio Gates and Jordan Cameron’s rise(s). [Old guy, new system, see also: Jordan Reed]