SLEEPERS – BCS QUARTERBACK
“Sleeper” could be the most overused word in College Fantasy Football. That being said we all love to hear it. We look at the word as basically meaning "guys we want to get on our teams" and break it into a few categories:
1 – “OUR GUYS”
– These are guys we’ve got a good feeling for, and want to get on our teams. They are guys who usually possess a lot of potential upside and/or we trust to get it done week in and week out for us. We call these “Our Guys
” and our plan is to consider reaching for them a round or two earlier than normal to make sure they're on our squad
2 – UNDERVALUED
- A player who we feel is somewhat “Undervalued”. That could mean he's a 2nd
round pick, but we think his stats would prove worthy of a 1st
. Usually it just means that we are higher, and in many cases considerably higher on this player than the general public.
3 – LONG SHOTS
- The classic definition of the word Sleeper… Long shots that most people have barely heard of yet we think have a shot to make something happen. These guys are usually reserved for the latter half of the draft or your last few roster spots as long shots. They also could be guys that are young and we think could be on the verge of a breakout season. These are high risk players that are not worth burning a mid-round pick on.
Our goal is to get as many of these guys on our teams as possible, knowing full well that many won't pan out. Probably half or even more won't work out, but if we get five of these guys and can cash in on two or three of them, we’ve probably landed ourselves a couple mid-to-late round steals.
Nick Florence, Baylor (Our Guy)
Florence has the unenviable task of following in the Shadow of Robert Griffin III, but don’t think that he isn’t ready for the limelight.
During the 2009 season Florence started nine games after RG3 was lost for the season with a knee injury. He has been in the program for a long time now, knows the offensive system, and more importantly has earned the trust of the coaching staff.
The most difficult task for Florence will be finding a new primary receiving target after losing Kendall Wright to the NFL.
But there is still plenty of talent left at Baylor. Oregon transfer running back Lache Seastrunk and Jared Salubi will provide a strong one-two punch on the ground to replace the departed Terrance Ganaway. Receivers Terrence Williams, Lanear Sampson, and Tevin Reese provide more than enough talent for the Baylor passing game to continue to run on high octane.
The schedule features tasty September match-ups. Depending on how well the Bears face against TCU and Texas at the start of October will determine how well they can handle their November schedule after they get by Kansas on November 3rd
Kain Colter, Northwestern (Undervalued)
Colter spent the 2011 season alternating between the quarterback and wide receiver positions. Dan Persa was the starting quarterback until an Achilles tendon injury left him hampered for the 2011 season.
Despite splitting time at quarterback, Colter passed for 672 yards, six touchdowns and one interception to go with 654 yards rushing and nine rushing touchdowns. With Persa gone the stage will completely be Colter’s for the 2012 season.
We at College Football Geek have long been fans of Northwestern quarterbacks due to the fact they tend to get overlooked on draft day year after year.
The Wildcat offense looks to be in decent shape despite losing Persa. Wide receivers Demetrius Fields and Christian Jones lead a deep but unproven group that flies under the radar.
The schedule has competitive but not devastating early match-ups with Syracuse, Vanderbilt, and Boston College before having two nice match-ups with South Dakota and Indiana. But the October and November games are much tougher with only two or three favorable fantasy match-ups.
Matt Scott, Arizona (Undervalued)
Scott will be leading the new spread option offense of head coach Rich Rodriguez. Although Scott only played in one game during the 2011 season, the fifth year senior has played in sixteen games over his career.
He is an athletic quarterback that can fit the style of the new offense, but Rodriquez went on record during the spring saying that he would protect Scott and not rush him as much as he had with his quarterbacks at Michigan and West Virginia. Scott’s 315 passing yards and four touchdowns in the spring game shows he has the ability to get the job done in the air.
The biggest thing that Scott has going for him in 2012 is the offensive line which has been a problem that last two years for Arizona. The Wildcats return all five starters upfront and you can rest assured they will help Scott keep the back of his jersey clean this fall.
Running back Ka’Deem Carey and wide receiver Dan Bucker could enjoy breakout seasons. The first three games look great for fantasy owners with Toledo, Oklahoma State, and South Carolina State. After that stretch there are good fantasy match-ups spread out during the season with Oregon State in week five, Washington in week eight, UCLA in week ten, Colorado in week eleven, and Arizona State in week thirteen.
Bryan Bennett/Marcus Marioti, Oregon (Long Shot)
Let’s start off by mentioning our reasoning for placing the Oregon quarterbacks in the “long shots” category.
Bennett looked to be the obvious starter after having a strong showing during the 2011 season when he stepped in for an injured Darron Thomas. But Marioti had a breakout showing in the spring and has vaulted himself into a full-blown position battle.
A starter will most likely not be named until well into fall camp, adding uncertainty to drafting one of these two guys before a starter is officially named.
Before the time a starter is named, drafting either Bennett or Marioti are long shot sleepers due to the high risk potential that the guy you chose doesn’t win the job. But once a starter has been named, that guy could vault to an “our guy” caliber sleeper.
The Oregon offense is a favorite stomping ground for fantasy owners and 2012 looks to be another stat filled campaign.
The eventual starter will enjoy an amazing opening schedule with the first difficult match-up rearing its head on November 3rd
with a road trip to USC. Even after that match-up, the only other tough game on the schedule is a home match-up with Stanford on November 17th
Bryn Renner, North Carolina (Long Shot)
What has us excited about Renner’s fantasy prospects for 2012? Two words – Larry Fedora. Fedora comes to Chapel Hill after a successful stint as Southern Mississippi where he fielded an open spread offense that could post quality fantasy numbers.
Renner’s average of 15.46 fantasy points per game in 2011 will surely get a boost in the new offensive system. Renner’s best value as a sleeper is in BCS only leagues, and it might be too much of a stretch to draft him in an all-120 team format if your league is not a “deep league.”
But there is still plenty to like about Renner in 2012. He will have a solid running back in Giovanni Bernard who can create balance in the offense while running behind a strong and experienced offensive line. Erik Highsmith is the only proven weapon on the outside but sophomore T.J. Thorpe has the athleticism to make an impact this fall.
Like most ACC teams, there are not many difficult match-ups on the schedule. Back-to-back October games with Virginia Tech and Miami look to be the toughest patch on the schedule.
Michael Eubank, Arizona State (Long Shot)
If you’re looking for the ultimate “boom or bust” caliber long shot sleeper, Eubanks could be your man.
Todd Graham takes over the Sun Devil program and will bring his high tempo spread offense with him. This system is very different than the spread Arizona State ran in 2011, utilizing more QB runs in the ground attack.
This is what makes redshirt freshman Eubank so intriguing.
He has the best running ability of the guys battling to be the starting quarterback, and he exited spring camp in the top spot on the depth chart. Fall camp will hold more competition but it looks like Eubank has the right stuff to hang onto the job.
Eubank will have help surrounding him in the offense. Running back Cameron Marshall will look to be the bell cow of the ground game, while receivers Jamal Miles and Chris Coyle will be able to make plays above and below the defensive coverage.
The schedule will not be very accommodating for Eubank. After opening with Northern Arizona, he must face Illinois, Missouri, Utah, and California. November doesn’t look much better with three of the four games being on the road against Oregon State, USC, and Arizona.
Jameill Showers, Texas A&M (Long Shot)
There is good news and bad news for fantasy owners looking at Texas A&M in 2012. The good news is the arrival of former Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin who will be installing his pass-happy spread offense. The bad news is that this new offensive system will have to go face-to-face with very athletic SEC defenses that have the speed and power to get after the quarterback.
Showers takes over at quarterback with very little experience, only attempting five passes in his college career. Not only will his pass attempts go up in the new offense, but the fact Texas A&M might find themselves playing from behind could lead to some “garbage time” fantasy points.
The biggest fantasy worries about Showers are two-fold: 1) will running back Christine Michael steal too many scoring opportunities away from Showers and 2) will Showers be plagued with too many sacks and interceptions when he faces these tough SEC defenses?
Time will only tell on those questions.
As for the Christine Michael question, Showers does have the ability to run the ball himself and he could end up stealing scoring opportunities away from Michael. Showers does have an experienced group of receivers led by Ryan Swope and Uzoma Nwachukwu to help ease him into his new starting role.
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