I wouldn’t necessarily call the following guys sleepers for the 2015 Fantasy Football campaign, but these are guys that you should be able to snag as your QB1 in some of the later rounds, so you can stock up at the other skill position players in the earlier rounds. The first 3 guys listed below never miss any time due to injury which is critical when making your playoff run.
With a current ADP of QB12 (90th Overall) Eli can be scooped up around the 7th round in 12 team leagues. Manning has been the Rodney Dangerfield of Fantasy Football since entering the league in 2004. And maybe rightfully so as he never surpassed 4,000 yards passing until 2009. Since 2009 he has gone over 4,000 yards four times including a 4,900 yard effort in 2011, and just missing 4,000 in 2012 (3,948) and 2013 (3,818).
There is every reason to believe Eli can equal or improve on 2014’s numbers: 4,410 Yards, 30 TD’s, 14 INT’s. The 14 INT’s were his lowest since 2009, and his 30 TD’s were his highest since 2010. Odell Beckham wasn’t able to play until Week 5, and after their Week 8 bye the Manning/Beckham combo was unstoppable. Beckham averaged 9 Receptions, 133 Yards, and 1 TD per game from Week 9 to Week 17. Not too shabby for a rookie.
Rueben Randle quietly had a decent season, and stepped up his game once Cruz was lost for the season. If Cruz can come back from his nasty patellar tendon injury the Giants may field one of the better WR corps in the NFL. They also added Shane Vereen in free agency who has proven to be a reliable pass-catcher out of the backfield. Eli is also a pillar of health and never misses any games, so you can feel confident that he will be there for your fantasy playoff run.
The recent injury to LT Will Beatty certainly doesn’t help things as he is expected to be out for up to 6 months. They may have to insert 2015 1st round draft pick Ereck Flowers @ LT now instead of RT as was being anticipated. Beatty was the only OL that received positive grades for the Giants in 2014, so this will be something to monitor as we start getting closer to the preseason.
I think Joe Flacco can be one of the best values at QB for the 2015 fantasy campaign. At a current ADP of QB19 (174th Overall) you can get Flacco around the 14th round. Depending on league format this is where some of the mid-range DEF/ST start to go off the board. Flacco finished as a Top 14 QB in 2014, and should be able to sneak into the Top 10 in 2015. Marc Trestman is now the Ravens’ Offensive Coordinator, and he seems to be able to get the best out of his QB. Say what you want about Jay Cutler, but Trestman was able to get him to cut down on his bad decisions in the two years he was there.
Justin Forsett came out of nowhere last year, and was surprisingly good running inside, and was a threat out of the backfield. With Trestman in town expect to see more play-action passing, and plenty of screen passes helping to pad the passing stats.
The Ravens lost Torrey Smith, but he never became anything more than a WR3, and seemed to get dinged up often. They added Breshad Perriman in the 1st round of the draft and he is an overall better talent than Smith with measureables similar to Josh Gordon. They still have a solid pass catcher in Steve Smith and also added TE Maxx Williams and WR Darren Waller in the draft, so Flacco should still have some solid receiving options.
With a current ADP of QB13 (100th Overall) Tannehill is a bargain at his current price. Tannehill finished in the Top 10, and as high as QB7 depending on your scoring system. Tannehill had over 4,000 yards in 2014 and finished with 27 TD’s. There is no reason to believe that he won’t finish over 4,000 yards passing again in 2014, and he should equal or surpass 35 TD’s.
Tannehill lost Mike Wallace in a trade with the Vikings, but they added Kenny Stills via trade, and Greg Jennings and Jordan Cameron in Free Agency. They also added 1st round draftee WR Devante Parker in the draft who is apparently tearing it up at OTA’s. Also don’t forget about 2nd year WR Jarvis Landry who grabbed 84 balls good for 758 yards and 5 TD’s in his rookie year.
The Dolphins running game should get better with the addition of Jay Ajayi. Ajayi won’t overtake Lamar Miller right away, but he is a definite threat in the passing game, and could end up being a favorite of Tannehill’s in the screen game. Tannehill is also very athletic for his size, and can rack up some extra yards on the ground in addition to his passing stats.
Teddy Bridgewater: Bridgewater should improve on 2014’s stats, but I don’t see him as a reliable starter option just yet.
Sam Bradford: See Mark Sanchez and Nick Foles. If those two can flourish in Chip Kelly’s offensie there is no reason Bradford can’t. He is always hurt though and hard to trust. Boom or Bust.
Carson Palmer: Was putting up Top 10 QB1 numbers when he played in 2014. If he can stay healthy he has all of the weapons needed to excel in Arian’s offense.