For those of you waiting for the Fantasy Football Draft Guide, Jeff Mans’ Rankings are live. The online magazine and website will be available early next week. For me, this weekend was re-reading the draft guide masterpiece, reading a Grisham novel (Sycamore Row) and watching a couple of flicks: Heaven Can Wait, Into the Darkness and Iron Man 3 which I then watched this alternate ending.
I will admit it up front that I did not watch Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. However, it is, in my opinion, the best Star Trek movie that ever created. Please if you disagree, tweet to me @RickWolf1 or to @GlennColton1 as I know Glenn is a huge Wrath of Kahn fan. It does not get that much better than having the over acting of William Shatner coupled with love lost, son found and the death of your best friend who saves hundreds of lives. This is the drama that makes for a great movie, however overacted it is. Funny that over the years I have watched comedians make fun of the classic overactor. Everyone from Jim Carey to Kevin Pollack and even freakin’ Peter Griffin playing Captain Kirk to Frank Caliendo playing Denny Crane.
So the reason to use these Star Trek movies this week is that we are always in search of a deep sleeper who will crush the competition. Isn’t that Kahn. He slept for 15 years after Space Seed in the original series and arose to be a super villain. Great stuff. So let’s look at five DEEP SLEEPERS. By “deep sleepers”, we mean players than can be taken in the last 5-6 rounds of your draft.
McCoy: Where are we going?
Kirk: Where they went.
McCoy: Suppose they went *nowhere*?
Kirk: Then this will be your big chance to get away from it all.
Latavius Murray – Raiders Running Back – I know that all you MJD and RunDMC fans think that I am crazy. Well, maybe I am, but we are talking deep sleepers. How much deeper can it get than predicting that the third string running back for a poor offensive team will have fantasy value. Let’s break this down. Murray is 6 foot 3 inches tall and weighs in at 223 pounds. Good size for a runner. He has 4.4 speed and was enormously productive at Central Florida and has instincts. He is behind two guys who have been constantly hurt. His Offensive Coordinator dubbed him as the guy in training camp with the “biggest upside”. Murray was a sixth round pick in 2013 and missed last season with a foot injury that required surgery. He is back and better than ever. Taking him in your last five rounds makes good sense. This is our deepest sleeper today.
Tre Mason – Rams Running Back – Was talking to Jeff Mans yesterday about the Rams. Their Offensive Line has gotten a ton better and it was already good. OT Greg Robinson is a beast and out of guess what school…yep…Auburn. With Mason running behind a familiar blocker and a pulling tackle at times, he should have success. What about Zac Stacy, you ask? Well, as long as he can stay healthy, he will see plenty of carries, but the game plan each week should have them smashing the ball down the opponent’s throats. Stacy will carry the load, but if he were to run the ball as much as last year for 16 games, he would run it over 330 times. Mason is not great in pass-protection and we have yet to see how he does with the all-important ball security, but he has the talent to succeed should he get the chance. He had 1816 yards and 23 TDs as a Junior at Auburn, if given the chance, he will get it done.
Markus Wheaton – Steelers Wide Receiver – 2nd year is the new 3rd year is what Glenn Colton wrote in the 2014 Fantasy Football Draft Guide. Wheaton didn’t get much of a chance last season only making six receptions all season. With Emmanuel Sanders off to Denver, the opportunity is there. He has competition from the uber talented Martavius Bryant, but it is his job to lose. He will stretch defenses and be the downfield threat like Mike Wallace was two years ago. Big Ben is throwing better than at any time in his career, but Todd Haley plays a short passing game and no-huddle offense that will limit his targets. That said, you could do a ton worse with your 14th round pick.
Justin Hunter – Titans Wide Receiver – Hunter is another 2nd year wide receiver with a starting opportunity. Hunter knew this was happening with Kenny Britt & Damian Williams leaving. He began hitting the weight room. He bulked up and his 6 foot 4 inch frame should allow him to be a better red zone target when PPR darling Kendall Wright and Tight End Delanie Walker are bottle up. Hunter’s main problem is the quarterback. Jake Locker suffered the dreaded Lisfranc injury last year. Also, he will be protected by a rookie running back which will mean a slow start for the Titans’ passing game. Be patient with Hunter. He will come around by week four or so and pay dividends all the way into your playoffs.
Eric Ebron – Lions Tight End – Ok. Crazy. Tight ends take time to develop. Ebron only scored eight TDs in college. He is good but why waste a late pick on a second tight end that might not be effective until the second half of the season. The answer is UPSIDE. Detroit will have a prolific passing game anchored by Calvin Johnson on one side and the underrated Golden Tate on the other. They need more options and Ebron can catch the ball. Compared to Vernon Davis for talent as a pass catching tight end, and he is lining up in the slot more than 50% of the time now and is learning three positions. Most think he will not produce much this year, but I am a believer that by week 5 or 6, you will be able to play Ebron versus the Bears and Vikings.
Kirk: Romulan Ale. Why, Bones, you know this is illegal.
Well, you will need a drink if you are relying on these players. These are the players that get you one or two wins later in the season. When playing fantasy football, you should never give up. Changing the conditions of the match up that you have on a week to week basis is fair as long as it is within the rules. Over the years, I have seen a lot of attempts at cheating that seemed to be within the rules. That is when being a strong commissioner is important. Winning is not easy and takes every roster spot. Even that last wide receiver is important to the success of your team. The running backs above are most likely only drafted as the handcuff to MJD, Run DMC or the Zac Attack, but they are good players. The wide receivers could be real threats to help you win. Remember, that you should never give up as even if you think you are dead, there may be a way to resuscitate you. When your championship comes down to the final weeks, keep fighting to save your team and definitely don’t be human…
Dr. McCoy: Are you out of your Vulcan mind? No human can tolerate the radiation that's in there!
Spock: As you are so fond of observing, doctor, I am not human.
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Rick Wolf is a leader in the fantasy sports industry. Wolf is a founding Board Member and one of only fifteen FSTA Hall of Famers including Bill James, Ron Shandler, Glenn Colton and Matthew Berry. Wolf is the Co-Host of Colton & The Wolfman every week on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio. With college friend, Glenn Colton, he has won three LABR Expert baseball titles and four FSTA Expert football titles. Twitter: @RickWolf1
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