Tuesday, May 6, 2014

2014 Rookie Sleepers - Including IDP

Everyone knows Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, and Carlos Hyde could become major contributors to a Fantasy Football team, but unless you're in the top half of the first round, you won't have a shot at those guys.  Chances are, if you've built an Evil Empire, you are picking at the bottom of each round, so here are some players that should be available to you, as well as sleepers to keep in mind when drafting in 2014.

Jeff Janis - WR - The Tawas City, Michigan man is 6’3”, 219 pounds, and at the combine, he put on a show, including running a 4.42 forty, with explosion and immense agility (He posted a 3.98 time in the 20-yard shuttle and a 6.64 three cone time). His production was also excellent (even in DII) as he was second in the nation with 106 receptions and led all DII players with 1,635 receiving yards. He compares well to Jordy Nelson and, if drafted by a pass-first team, could put up WR2 numbers early in his career. 

Isaiah Crowell - RB - The former SEC player (Georgia) has the size to be a lead back at 5’11”, 224 pounds and although his athletic profile isn’t excellent, there’s nothing detrimental there either. He was highly recruited out of High School, but had to move to Alabama State following a 2012 arrest. Where and when he’s drafted will be a big factor on his final rankings, but if he gets carries, he could flourish. His closest comparables are Mike James and Brandon Bolden. 

Terence West - RB -  West led the Towson Tigers to the FCS Championship game and set the FCS record for touchdowns in a season with 42 in 2013. The man is a traditional bellcow runner, carrying an average of 25.8 times per game in 2013, and added 26 receptions. His physique (5’9” 225) is big enough for NFL banging and his 4.54 forty works well for his size. His comp is Michael Turner, and we’ll be interested to see what team he ends up on. His upside is top 15 RB with opportunity, but he has a lot of wear on the tires, so his production may not last as long as others.

Gator Hoskins - TE - Playing for the Marshall Thundering Herd, Hoskins is an intriguing option because he scored 25 times over his final two seasons at Marshall, catching 19 of 33 red zone targets (58 percent). All of his measurables are strong, except for his size (6’2” 253). Unfortunately, he may change positions (as of right now his NFL position is fullback) which will crush his fantasy stock. But, if the right team takes him, he may be used as a Charles Clay type. Keep a eye on him and if he’s a tight end in your league, he may be a nice sleeper.

Quincy Enunwa - WR - Enunwa was a leader for Nebraska on and off the field throughout the 2013 season. With a strong senior season, Enunwa put his name among the elite receivers in Nebraska football history. A little worrisome for teams is that at the combine, he pulled his hamstring after running a 4.45 forty. However, at 6’2”, 225 pounds, that time would have a massive impact if it was followed by a good performance in the other areas at the combine. He was a big time red zone producer, hauling in 11 of 23 targets for scores so his profile and red zone ability make him a good lottery pick selection.

Jeremiah Attaochu - LB - The OLB, who was born in Nigeria owns Georgia Tech's career sacks record with 31.5, which ranks fifth in ACC history. He is a raw player, but a heady, disruptive, relentless edge rusher who profiles (6'3" 243) as a 3-4 right outside linebacker. Attaochu Interviewed well and has the look of a trustworthy, long-term starter given his pass-rush ability, motor and makeup. Needs to get stronger, but compares well to Ahmad Brooks of San Francisco.

Kyle Van Noy - LB - The BYU star has all the tools, and size (6'3" 245) to be an excellent player in the NFL. His best fit is as a strong-side linebacker in a 4-3 scheme which would make him a crucial cog at the point of attack in run defense, where his gap discipline and hand usage would come into play. He has some maturity issues (DUI, taser incident) which may drop his stock a bit. He compares well to Akeem Ayers which would put him in the 80-100 tackles and 5 sacks range.

Ahmad Dixon - S - The former Baylor Bear was a highly recruited Texas prep who has the size (6'0" 205) and speed to be a solid box safety. He could earn a starting job in the NFL if he can stay focused, commit to a playbook and hone his eyes. Dixon was arrested on misdemeanor assault charges in September, but was subsequently cleared by a grand jury. It may take time, but if he gets a chance, he could be a tackle machine. Has comparables to Johnathan Cyprien.

Dominique Easley - DE - The Florida team captain had his season was cut short when he ruptured his right ACL and medial meniscus in a non-contact practice drill.  When healthy, he shows the ability to disrupt the backfield and pressure the quarterback. At 6'2", 288 pounds, Easley will fit best in an aggressive scheme in which he could use his quickness to slant, stunt and shoot gaps. If he gets healthy, has Greg Hardy type of ability.

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