Are You Ready? 2011 Fantasy Football Sleepers!
Let’s be honest, most of us are glad this football season is proceeding as scheduled, and it’s not because we think our favorite team is going to win the Super Bowl. Heck, many of us love a team that is a playoff longshot every year.
But we can always dream about building that fantasy football dynasty! And we do. Sometimes, you pick a championship team on draft day. Sometimes, you have to make trades, or pick up key free agents (like Michael Vick last year).
Every year, all of the glossy, expensive, football publications come out with their predictions as to who will be the sleepers, and who will be the busts. Of course, nobody can predict injuries – and every season there are a few that have a lasting, and immediate, impact on fantasy football owners.
I’ve had multiple fantasy teams every year, for @15 years now. Like all fantasy football guys, I certainly have my opinions on the upcoming season. Based more on intuition and feeling, than statistics, here are my fantasy football sleepers for this 2011 season. I’ve got six good ones. Remember these names. And your welcome, by the way….
6) Roy Williams – WR – Chicago Bears — Yes, the Bears offense is still; inconsistent, boring, unconventional, and downright ugly. But what they have lacked in recent years is a big target in the end zone. Roy Williams is not fast, and his hands have been a question in recent years, as well. But when the Bears get close to the goalline – and Matt Forte continuously gets bottled up – Jay Cutler will look to throw to Williams. Their other receivers are tiny. Williams may not get a ton of yards, but double digit touchdowns this year is a sure thing.
5) Felix Jones – RB – Dallas Cowboys — Marion Barber finally wore out his Dallas welcome, and the full time running back position belongs to Felix Jones. He is a very good pass catcher out of the backfield, and if he really does get the goalline carries this year, the sky is the limit. The Cowboys offense this season should be very explosive, and when opposing defenses are thinking pass – Jones has big play ability on every snap.
4) Tony Romo – QB – Dallas Cowboys — No, I am not a Cowboys fan – but the ‘Boys will be back in 2011 – at least on offense. Romo is primed to have a great season, and if Dallas plays any defense at all, they should be a playoff team. Romo will find his new favorite target, Dez Bryant, early and often. He’s also still got security blankets Miles Austin and Jason Witten, too. If the “O” line can protect him, Tony Romo is primed and ready for a lot of wins, and an incredible year, statistically.
3) Kevin Kolb – QB – Arizona Cardinals — I had Kolb on this list last year, and I admit, I was wrong. But there is no looking over his shoulder this year, as he is clearly the man in Arizona. The Cards running game is still very poor, as is the defense, in large part. This means that Kevin Kolb will be throwing the ball a ton this season – mostly while attempting to come from behind. The win/loss record might not be great, but his numbers at season’s end will be much better than most are expecting. This is the opportunity that Kolb has been waiting for.
2) Chad Ochocinco – WR – New England Patriots — It’s no secret that Ochocinco has wanted out of Cincinnati for a while, and now he has the chance of a lifetime as a Patriot. Tom Brady says that the two have developed some chemistry between them already – that could mean crazy numbers for Ochocinco. Though Brady likes to spread it around, he still likes to throw deep, and Ochocinco will be that deep threat. Expect big touchdown and yardage numbers from Chad Ochocinco this year.
1) Ryan Matthews – RB – San Diego Chargers — There were huge expectations for Matthews last year, but injuries never let him really get loose until the last month of the season. The Chargers are fantastic all around on offense, and will be able to score with any team in the league. Philip Rivers will be the main focus for every opposing defense, as he should be. But Matthews has already busted three long runs this pre season, and Norv Turner says he’ll get the ball a lot more this season. Mike Tolbert who? This is going to be a breakout year for Ryan Matthews.
Tomorrow, we will go over the busts.