Fantasy Draft: Top 10 fantasy football sleepers

Fantasy Draft: Top 10 fantasy football sleepers
August 28, 2013, 11:30 am
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CSN Staff

Most fantasy football geeks enter each draft with a plan. The only problem is that most plans are ruined by the third round. Weeks of preparation can fly out the window when your top targets are nabbed by annoying league enemies. The key to avoiding a complete meltdown is dominating the middle and late rounds of your draft with swift, yet carefully crafted selections. Often times this will require you knowing a few crucial nuggets about a handful of potentially impact players that the rest of the competition is completely oblivious to.

Rotoword.com's Patrick Daugherty has cooked up a list of Top 10 underdrafted players, which will certainly help you identify more than one fantasy sleeper, including New England's rising rookie Kenbrell Thompkins.

Here are the first three names on the list (link to Top 10 below):

Frank Gore

ADP: 34.8

Off The Board: 21st amongst running backs.

One day, we’ll find out how the universe was formed. But even that won’t explain why Gore is going behind Darren Freaking McFadden in fantasy drafts this summer. Yes, Gore is old. But that simplistic “Do Not Draft” logic ignores two simple things: Gore is managed and manipulated as well as any running back in the league, and still pops off the screen on film.

There are going to be weeks where Gore’s workload leaves something to be desired, and he doesn’t produce like an RB2. But that’s going to be every week for McFadden. The same could be true for Maurice Jones-Drew (ADP: 25.3), and possibly even DeMarco Murray (ADP: 26.1). Gore is a safe pick, but not safe to the point of sorry. He is going to produce, and right now, it’s at a discount price.  

Kenbrell Thompkins

ADP: 131.6

Off The Board: 46th amongst receivers.

Here’s the deal: Wherever Thompkins is going, it’s too low. Forget the fact that Thompkins is an undrafted free agent, however hard that may be. He’s a deal so real, he’s locked himself in as the Patriots’ starting “X” receiver. That’s a position a fading Brandon Lloyd was able to wring 74/911/4 out of last season. With New England rebuilding its offense, Thompkins has played more snaps than any other Patriots receiver this preseason, and drawn the most targets from Tom Brady.

It would be silly to call Thompkins a guarantee to match Lloyd’s numbers. He didn’t play mistake-free football this summer, and as the cliché goes, hasn’t seen anything yet. But even 60/800/5 isn’t production you typically find out of the 132nd pick of a fantasy draft, and while it’s not a guarantee Thompkins will match Lloyd, it would be far from surprising if he surpassed him. Thompkins isn’t a sure thing, but he’s a dice roll whose “Yahtzee” odds are far higher than his ADP would suggest.

Daryl Richardson

ADP: 61.5

Off The Board: 29th amongst running backs.  

Richardson’s ADP has predictably skyrocketed, but he’s still a bargain in the latter RB3 range. The runners directly behind him — Montee BallRashard MendenhallLe’Veon Bell and Chris Ivory — are all riddled with question marks, while he’s foolishly going behind a gaggle of quarterbacks and mid-range WR2s. There’s nothing harder to find in fantasy football than starting runners, and D-Rich enters the season as a potential three-down back. Worries that he may eventually settle into a timeshare with Isaiah Pead….stuff them in a sack. Worry about what you know now, and not what might happen in November. Richardson has soundly out-played Pead this preseason, and needs to be treated like what he is: An every-down back with upside to spare.

Click here to see the rest of the Top 10 fantasy sleepers