2010 Fantasy Football Sleepers


By NFL Fantasy Football Analyst Russ Bliss, April 12th, 2010

Every year we look for them. Those diamonds who are often overlooked by others in our fantasy football drafts. The art of identifying the true sleepers each season is one that can make the difference between having a good team, and a championship caliber team. While there is still a lot of time between now and our fantasy drafts, it's never too early to speculate on who could be some of the prime 2010 fantasy football sleepers.

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At QB, there are 3 names that stand out to me: Kevin Kolb (Eagles), Matt Leinart (Cardinals), and Chad Henne (Dolphins). Kolb steps into an offense he ran to near perfection last season for two games and with the young supporting cast around him getting more experienced, it is not hard to imagine Kolb finishing in the top 10 of the 2010 fantasy football rankings. Leinart takes over in Arizona and despite the loss of Anquan Boldin still has one of the best WR corps in the league to help him out. Henne acquitted himself well when pressed into action last season and while the weapons around him aren't nearly in the same category of Kolb's and Leinart's, he still had some surprising solid games in terms of fantasy production in 2009. If the Dolphins can upgrade, and I expect they will, Henne could be a great fantasy sleeper as he likely will be somewhere around the 24th QB selected in many fantasy football drafts.

Three guys to look out for at RB are Fred Jackson (Bills), Shonn Greene (Jets), and Felix Jones (Cowboys). The Bills are likely to trade Marshawn Lynch and draft a complimentary RB to Jackson (who had over 1,000 rushing yards in 2009). Luck is when preparation meets opportunity and the same holds true in identifying your 2010 fantasy football sleepers. Jackson is going to get his opportunity this year. Greene shouldn't be pegged as a sleeper but because everyone is still holding onto the memories of glorious seasons gone by for LaDainian Tomlinson, a lot of people are assuming LT will be the primary guy. I don't know what games they were watching last season, but Greene is likely to be drafted after Tomlinson and I will be shocked if Greene doesn't out-produce him by at least 2-1. Greene's career is on the rise while LT's is sinking into the sunset. Jones has playmaking ability and since Marion Barber has proven he can't be a feature RB, Jones is going to get more playing time in 2010. A bit undersized, Jones has great speed, great hands, and is electrifying to watch. He will still have a timeshare with Barber (and maybe Tashard Choice, too) but Jones will be the best fantasy bet of the group.

At WR, there are PLENTY of potential fantasy football sleepers, but I'll throw out three names who are deep sleepers: Mike Wallace (Pittsburgh), Early Doucet (Cardinals), and Devin Aromashodu (Bears). With Santonio Holmes out in Pittsburgh, Wallace gets to step in and be the starter. Wallace performed well above expectations in Pittsburgh last season as a rookie 3rd WR and showed a knack for making plays. In 2010, he'll get a chance to prove he can also be a playmaker in terms of fantasy football production as well. Doucet will battle Steve Breaston to replace Boldin in Arizona and after watching Doucet really come into his own in the playoffs, I think Doucet has the makings to be the better starter. Aromashodu is one of 5 Bears WR's who could emerge as the best fantasy bet in Mike Martz's offensive system. Martz has always managed to get stats from his QB's and WR's, and while Aromashodu hasn't received the publicity of Devin Hester, Johnny Knox, or Earl Bennett, he was the guy Jay Cuter kept lobbying to get on the field more often. When the Bears did that last year, Aromashodu proved to be a playmaker. He also possesses superior size to the other Bears WR's and while anything can happen between now and the start of the 2010 regular season, Aromashodu is one of those fantasy football super sleepers I am tracking closely as go through the off-season.