2012 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Quarterback
Each year fantasy football owners gain a leg up on their competition by finding sleepers in their drafts. KFFL.com has identified these candidates for the 2012 season and analyzed why you want them on your team.
Other players fall into the undervalued category: Their fantasy stock isn't as high as it should be, and you often can land them on the cheap to help bolster your lineup. Generally, undervalued players are veterans that are coming off a down year or returning from injury and have slipped below the radar of most fantasy owners. KFFL will help you take advantage of their oversights on your quest to building a championship roster!
Note: All Average Draft Position (ADP) figures are based on standard-scoring, 12-team leagues.
2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics
The Bucs upgraded the talent around Freeman, who is coming off a miserable season. You could make the argument that he is undervalued, but sleeper seems more fitting considering how late he has been drafted, on average, this year. The fourth-year passer now has Vincent Jackson as a bona fide downfield threat, which should take pressure off Mike Williams. Tight end Dallas Clark enters the fray, and when he is healthy, few tight ends are more dynamic pass-catchers.
Tampa Bay improved the offensive line exponentially by signing Carl Nicks to start at left guard. He was the prized free agent of this year's OL class and perhaps second only to Peyton Manning among all coveted free agents. Doug Martin, a rookie rusher, looks to take over for LeGarrette Blount as the Week 1 starter. Count on somewhat of a tandem, but Martin's versatile style will be a welcomed change from the one-dimensional power-puncher.
Freeman's new head coach, Greg Schiano, is a no-nonsense personality and should do wonders for this youthful squad. Quarterbacks coach Ron Turner and offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan have found success with the position in previous stops, too.
Freeman himself has lost weight in effort to become more mobile. This should help him keep plays alive longer and create gravy points on the ground, especially near the stripe. He is a midrange or low-end No. 1 fantasy quarterback that you can land when QB2 options of the last tier come off the board.
2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics
Palmer started to show signs of life late in 2011, topping 365 yards twice and completing 69.7 percent of his throws over the final three games. All of that may be for naught after a coaching change in the Bay Area, but Palmer has the luxury of learning with a full offseason of preparation following a season in which he didn't play until Week 7.
The Raiders brought in Greg Knapp for a second tour as offensive coordinator; he employs a West Coast system that isn't afraid to take shots downfield. Knapp most recently spent two seasons as the quarterbacks coach of the Houston Texans, and he is well-known for his affinity for the zone-blocking scheme.
Darrius Heyward-Bey seems poised to break out in 2012, and second-year wideout Denarius Moore has the hallmarks of a special player in the making. Speedy deep threat Jacoby Ford should man the slot and has potential to be a dangerous weapon.
Oakland's O will benefit dramatically from the return of a healthy Darren McFadden, who is said to be 100 percent after a significant foot injury cost him the majority of the '11 season.
Palmer knows what this season means to his NFL career. He has been working harder than ever studying film and trying to master the West Coast offense before the season starts. Detractors point to Palmer's lack of mobility as a reason why he will fail in this scheme, but Matt Schaub is no more athletic than the soon-to-be 33-year-old and former Trojan.
Draft Palmer as a midrange backup and look to him as a matchup play early in the season. As the year progresses, he may force you into making tough decisions as to whom you should start.
About Cory J. Bonini
Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.
Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors. Follow @CoryKFFL
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