Fantasy football is finally back. This time of year is great and fantasy drafts will soon be in full swing. It’s easy to look at the top of the fantasy draft rankings and tell which players are most coveted but there are some later round steals in this draft that could make this a great fantasy season. Let’s break down five solid draft day steals you may want to consider drafting:
Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Minnesota Vikings
Coming off of a very quiet 3,000 yard season in which this rookie passer had very little supporting cast in 2014, Bridgewater understandably enters 2015 as an interesting sleeper. The Vikings leading gainer on the ground in 2014 was Matt Asiata with 570 yards and Bridgewater was third in rushing with 209 yards. With the return of Adrian Peterson, Bridgewater will face defenses with more to worry about than just the Vikings passing attack. His production increased in the last 3-4 games last season and I expect that to get better with a year under his belt and a great running game to back him up. The team bringing in burner Mike Wallace only helps his cause and fantasy owners could be getting a borderline QB1 for the cost of barely a QB2.
Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts
Gore is 32 years old and many believe is on the downward slide of his career after not being re-signed by the 49ers. The Colts are desperate for a running game and may finally have something with this consistent 1,000 yard veteran rusher. He will be the secondary option in a prolific passing offense but he should have quite a few opportunities when the Colts are near the goal-line. Gore has proven in the recent past age is mostly just a number, so as long as he can stay healthy yet again in 2015, he should at least provide fantasy owners with strong RB2 production.
Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins
After a down year in 2014 with newcomer to the Redskins, DeSean Jackson, look for Pierre Garcon to return to 2013 form. In 2013, Garcon caught a league high 113 passes for 1,346 yards. The Redskins QB situation is a battle that will likely play out for most of the season. If Robert Griffin III emerges as the starter then that makes Garcon that much more of a steal in this draft. The biggest obstacle for Garcon is the dysfunction that seems to be surrounding the Redskin’s organization.
C.J. Spiller, RB, New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees loses his favorite target to the Seahawks, opening the door for the Saints that remain to fill Jimmy Graham’s shoes. This is a great opportunity for Spiller coming in from the Bills. He is not an every down back but the Saints don’t really use an every down back. Mark Ingram will get the bulk of the carries but Spiller will see his share. He will be a legitimate replacement for Darren Sproles, who left after the 2013 season. Spiller’s opportunities will come as a 3rd down back and a dynamic receiver out of the backfield. If he stays healthy, he could be a steal, especially in PPR formats.
DEF/ST – Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons had the worst defense in the league in 2014, so improvement is the only direction they can take. One benefit for the Falcons is they play in the worst division in the NFL and they have six games against those teams. Tampa Bay will likely be a turnover machine in 2015 with rookie quarterback Jameis Winsto at the helm. The Saints lost their best offensive weapon they had and will be looking to be more balance and the Panthers are simply inconsistent. New coach Dan Quinn will have this defense attacking and that will help cover up for some of the personnel issues they may have. They wont be the #1 fantasy defense around but there will be weeks that they will score fantasy points. Consider Atlanta as a decent streaming option you can either nab late in your fantasy football draft or pick up early in the season on the waiver wire.