If you’ve been doing your due diligence with draft preparation, most likely you’ve come across numerous deep sleeper articles recommending everyone from Antonio Brown to James Brown as late round sleepers to target in your draft.
The problem is a good portion of the players being endorsed have ADPs (average draft positions) above round 10 and are not what I would label as late round flyers.
I’m going to assume most of you play in 10 or 12 team leagues with 16 rounds, so let’s concentrate on what value there is deep in a 16 round draft. Deep means the 12th round or later in leagues this size.
• Ryan Broyles – Detroit Lions: (ADP 10 team 13.10-12 team 11.10) Broyles has had an uphill battle recovering from two ACL tears in as many years, and is now rehabilitating trying to be ready for training camp. Broyles showed what he is capable of in week 12 last season snagging six receptions for 129 yards against a pretty stout Houston defense. But with Nate Burleson going into training camp almost 100% recovered from a broken leg suffered last season, Broyles will have to be healthy and have a good showing to hold him off and secure the number 2 spot.
• Chris Givens – St. Louis Rams: (ADP 10 team 15.03-12 team 12.11) The Rams drafted Brian Quick in the second round of the 2012 draft hoping he would quickly adapt to the NFL game, but fourth round pick Chris Givens was able to see more playing time than Brian Quick and out produced him by a wide margin. He was targeted 80 times, which is considerable for a rookie, and managed almost 700 yards receiving and three touchdowns. He has good chemistry with Sam Bradford and if he takes a step forward in his second year his upside is considerable.
• Golden Tate – Seattle Seahawks: (ADP 10 team 15.06-12 team 13.02) The acquisition of Percy Harvin in the off-season had Tate scratching his head wondering what his role would be. But according to head coach Pete Carroll there will be enough at the trough for all. Having scored seven total touchdowns and finishing strong last season Tate appears ready to take the next step, “Golden is really ready to be a terrific football player,” Carroll said, “We love what he does, and we just have to get him the ball more and spread it around to him”. With Tate out wide and Harvin attracting lots of attention from the slot, look for Tate to eclipse his 2012 targets, receptions and touchdowns in 2013.
• Rueben Randle – New York Giants: (ADP 10 team 16.01-12 team 14.04) I could rattle off Randles 2012 stats to influence you, but with only 19 receptions and 250 snaps from scrimmage, his inexperience could sway you the opposite direction. Having said that, he is very talented, has good size (6’3-210 pounds) and has an impressive team leading 15.7 YPC (yards-per-catch average). Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride has been impressed with his performance at OTAs, “Oh, he is going to play -– he is going to play a lot,” Gilbride said. “He will play first and second downs. He will be an outside receiver for us. Whether he is at the ‘X’ or the ‘Z,’ he is going to play. He is looking like he deserves to be out there a significant time.” Convinced?
• Robert Woods – Buffalo Bills: (ADP 10-12 team 16.01) The Bills 41st overall pick in the 2012 draft sits number three on the Bills depth chart as a rookie. The USC product isn’t the biggest or fastest wide receiver ever drafted, but he has great hands, is a polished route runner, and at only 6’1 has great leaping ability. He will see plenty of playing time and if he can adjust to the physical play and speed that NFL defensive backs possess, he will help the Bills and your fantasy team this year, not next.
• Donnie Avery – Kansas City Chiefs: (Undrafted) The Chiefs finally have a legitimate wide receiver opposite Dwayne Bowe. Avery is a speedster who can get deep in a hurry and if he’s able to enter camp fully recovered from a high ankle sprain he has a good chance to emerge as a starter. With 60 receptions for 781 yards and three touchdowns last season and going undrafted in most every draft on earth, he is the quintessential late round lottery value. Don’t sleep on this one folks.
Bottom Line: There are two prerequisites these players need for success, talent and opportunity. The talent is there, and opportunity is smiling at them. Hopefully, for us, they’ll smile back.
Remember; “If you dare nothing, then when the day is over, nothing is all you have gained.” Stay calm, be flexible, stick to your draft plan, and don’t be afraid to take chances!
P.S. Our FakePigskin 2013 Draft Guide will be released on August 1st in PDF form for FREE! Simply go to our home page and sign up to receive it and our newsletter in the upper right corner right under our banner.