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Early Sleeper Picks For 2013

Lamar Miller, RB, Miami – Miller is poised for success in 2013. Not very many people know about him because he played behind Reggie Bush his rookie year. There were reasons the Dolphins let Bush go, and a big reason was the trust they have in Miller. Miller’s yards-per-carry average was 4.9 in 2012. You can only expect this to stay the same or increase with the Dolphins’ new additions in the offseason. With Mike Wallace to stretch the field, defenses won’t be able to crowd the line with defenders. Miller will be even better in a points-per-reception league because he is a great pass-catching running back. The only downside to Miller is his pass-blocking ability. Reports before organized team activities (OTAs) said that would be the deciding factor on Miller and whether he is capable of being Miami’s workhorse.

Chris Ivory, RB, New York Jets – Ivory is just about the only player on the Jets offense that could be capable of putting up significant fantasy points. Ivory comes from New Orleans, where he was fighting for carries with three other running backs, so he is relatively unknown. Last year, Shonn Greene finished 15th in fantasy points for running backs while playing with the struggling Jets offense of 2012. While Greene isn’t terrible, he sure isn’t close to elite either. With Ivory coming in boasting a yards-per-carry average of 5.1, he has potential to be a top 15 running back.

T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis – Hilton is slowly molding into Andrew Luck’s favorite target. Both were rookies last year and helped each other be successful. While Hilton won’t be the No. 1 wide receiver this year, he is still an incredible deep threat. His 4.34 speed makes it very hard for corners to stay with him, and his 7.9 yards after the catch average was second among all NFL wideouts. As long as he beats out Darrius Heyward-Bey for the second wide receiver spot, he should be successful. With Ahmad Bradshaw or Vick Ballard at running back keeping defenses honest, and Luck throwing him the ball, he could have a huge increase in production this year.

Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland – Gordon is suspended the first two games of the season, which hurts his fantasy value quite a bit. In a way, though, this makes Gordon more of a sleeper pick as you will be able to pick him in a later round. After his two-game suspension, Gordon will make a huge impact on the Browns offense. He gives them the vertical threat that Norv Turner’s offense thrives on. Remember the breakout player that Danario Alexander was last year? From Week 2 on, Gordon will have as much success as Alexander, if not more.

Brandon Myers, TE, New York Giants – In a pass-heavy offense like the Giants, the No. 1 tight end will thrive. If Myers can progress in his pass-blocking ability, he could be in for a huge year. There may already be two very good wide receivers on the Giants, but Hakeem Nicks is injury prone, which puts Myers at a good place to receive a lot of targets. Last year in Oakland, Myers had a few huge games which revealed his true ability. He now has Eli Manning throwing him the ball instead of Carson Palmer, which should only increase his value. He should put up similar numbers to what Martellus Bennett did last year with the Giants.

Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia – Vick is a boom-or-bust pick. Last year, everyone was expecting great things from him but after injuries and poor play, he found a nice spot on the bench. With the change in coach to Chip Kelly, Vick should succeed. Kelly would like to run a very up-tempo offense like he did at Oregon. The Eagles have the right players to run this offense. Vick and LeSean McCoy make up one of the fastest quarterback-running back combos in the NFL. The Eagles recently drafted offensive tackle Lane Johnson, who is incredibly athletic and will fit perfectly into the Eagles offensive schemes. With DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin to spread the field, Vick should be able to do a complete turnaround from his 2012 season and put up substantial numbers. While I wouldn’t recommend drafting him as your No. 1 to start the season, he has the potential to be not only a No. 1 quarterback but a top 10 player at his position.

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