Thursday - Feb 25, 2021

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Sleepers – QB’s

Sleepers.  Every Shark is looking for them around this time of year.  Picking the right one wins titles and separates the true champion from the ordinary chump with a cheat sheet.  Some pan out and some don’t.  Players that look like Hall-of-Famers in preseason are sometimes practice squad material by Week 2.  Others pan out and are the edge you need to take home some hardware.  In any case, the homework you do now will pan out BIG for you later in the year.  If you pay attention…


Here are my top 5 sleepers at each position.  Some are young talents who haven’t produced before.  Others are veterans who have been thrown onto the scrap heap by many, but are in a situation to produce and represent great value.  In any case, they’re not sure things but represent great value for where you’re likely to draft them.  And that’s what matters to you.  Don’t chase them…they’re all risky and if someone is willing to draft them higher than they should be, let em’ go.  None of them should be considered in the first 3 or 4 rounds of a draft of any size.  But as the studs disappear from your draftsheet…keep these names in mind.




Carson Palmer QB Cincinnati Bengals

Yeah, I know…he’s a Bengal.  And Bengals have burned almost all of us in the past, haven’t they? Akili Smith, Ki-jana Carter, David Klingler…the list goes on and on.  But forget that for now.  Palmer will be available late in your draft, and take my word for it, the boy has some mad skillz!!  The Bungles are actually a respectable team now, and the moons are lining up for Carson to have a good year.  He’ll be throwing to some solid receivers in Chad Johnson, Peter Warrick, T.J.Houzmancantspellit, and Kelly Washington.  Rudi and Perry run well enough to keep the D honest.  And I’m willing to say that Palmer is the best talent the Bengals have had since that Albino guy left town.  What was his name?  Buster?  Anyhow, expect Carson to go through some growing pains as his first year as a starter, but a 3500 yard / 20+ TD year is a realistic expectation…a great value for where he’s being picked in drafts I’ve seen.  Don’t be afraid to draft this guy as your backup in a late round.  In my humble opinion, Carson the makings of becoming a stud of Ron Jeremy proportions.  And without the back hair!!  No disrespect, Hedgehog…


Rex Grossman QB Chicago Bears

The Bears finally have a real-life quarterback!  Rex ripped up the SEC at Florida and came out early to be a Chicago Bear last year.  He’s got the arm and attitude it takes to succeed as a pro, and he’s a complete afterthought in every draft I’ve seen where the participants aren’t gnoshing on brats and wearing Ditka jerseys.  The Bears haven’t traditionally been known as a fantasy haven for QBs, but don’t think new coach Lovie Smith didn’t learn a trick or two from Vermeil and Martz in St. Louie.  They’ll score their share of points, and Grossman will be in the mix.  Another great value in most drafts.  And after all, it’s just plain cool having a guy named Rex on your team!


Jay Fiedler QB Miami Dolphins

Wait a minute…a guy who’s started 53 games in the last 4 years for a perennial contender?  And he’s a sleeper?  You bet!  This guy’s going totally UNDRAFTED in many leagues, and I’m really wondering why.  The Fins traded for A. J. Feely, a guy who’s started a whopping 5 games in his career and who couldn’t even hold the starting job in college (no thanks to Joey Harrington on that one).  Yet Feely is getting all of the love.  Huh?  I can understand the desire for change in Miami, but start with the coach and not the QB!  Fiedler has done nothing but win, at least until December rolls around.  I expect to see him starting within the first couple of games, if not right from the opener.  Chambers, Booker, and McMichael are a very dangerous receiving trio, and with no apparent running game to speak of (sorry Minor lovers), the Fins are going to have to stretch the field a bit to keep the D off the field.  Be patient, and watch Fielder put up solid backup numbers for your squad at a bargain price.  Hey, what’s that houseplant Ricky left in his locker?  Kind of looks like Poison Ivy, but… 


Rich Gannon QB Oakland Raiders

Again, a ‘sleeper’ we’ve all heard of.  Oakland is the land where All-Pros go to die, and they certainly have their share of over-the-hill stars.  But bad football teams often make for good fantasy quarterbacks, and I’m in the camp that Gannon has a little more tread on the tire.  How quickly we forget, this guy threw for a whopping 4600+ yards and 26 TDs just two short years ago.  And while I’m in full agreement that he’ll never sniff that rarified air again, he’s available incredibly cheaply in most mocks I’ve seen.  Rice and Porter aren’t bad, and ol’ Al Davis always seems to field a team that gambles deep and throws the pigskin.  The Raiders signed Kerry Collins in the offseason, who I believe would be a very competent starter for the Black-and-Silver, and will be sometime in the future.  But so far in camp, every indication points to Gannon as the starter, and Oakland loves his warrior mentality.  Barring injury, I can easily see him putting up top 15 or better numbers.  And he can be had  cheaper than a “William Shatner Live from the Apollo” album.  Don’t be afraid to pick up this old hand in a late round…you’ll be glad you did


Tim Rattay QB San Francisco 49ers

Joe Montana.  Steve Young.  Jeff Garcia.  There always seems to be a good fantasy QB on the 49ers.  Garcia is now toiling for the lowly Browns, so we’ll be seeing a passing of the torch again.  And the hands-on pick for the job from Niners coaching and management seems to be Tim Rattay.  This guy put some absolutely sick numbers in college and has been learning on the bench for the past 4 years…he’s ready and capable.  While not possessing a cannon for an arm, he’s a perfect fit into the short accurate passing mantra of the West Coast offense.  And best of all, he’s completely off the radar in many fantasy leagues.  A few things to watch here…he’s been hurt in camp and hasn’t taken many snaps.  And the receiver corps is exceptionally inexperienced in San Francisco this year.  Pay attention the next couple of weeks to both Tim and to Ken Dorsey, who’s been getting most of the preseason snaps and could also be considered for this sleeper spot if Rattay can’t answer the bell for the season opener.  Whichever way it breaks, I can promise that the starter will no longer sound like a cast member from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that…  

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