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Fantasy football deep sleepers: Tim Tebow could rise in '12

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Draft kit | Sleepers | Busts | Breakouts | Bargains | Strategies

 

 

Jake Locker, QB, Titans: Locker didn't see much time on the field as a rookie, but he showed flashes of potential when allowed a chance. In fact, he scored 14 or more fantasy points in two of the three games where he posted 16 or more pass attempts. If he can unseat Matt Hasselbeck atop the depth chart in training camp, Locker will be worth a late-round flier.

Tim Tebow, QB, Jets: You knew I couldn't leave out Tebow! While Mark Sanchez will enter the season as the starter for Gang Green, does anyone have any doubt that Tebow will start a few games? When you consider how well he performed for the Broncos and fantasy owners in 2011, I think Tebow is someone to draft late in deep leagues -- or grab off the waiver wire.

Vick Ballard, RB, Colts: Donald Brown is slated to be the top runner in Indianapolis this season, but he's never proven to be a reliable No. 1 option at the NFL level. Enter Ballard, a rookie out of Mississippi State, who has all the makings of a deep sleeper in fantasy football. He's someone to target with a late-round flier in seasonal leagues.

Mike Goodson, RB, Raiders: If you've been playing fantasy football for the last four years, you know it's not a question of if Darren McFadden gets injured -- it's a matter of when. Enter Goodson, a veteran runner out of Texas A&M who the Raiders coaching staff loves. If he can hold off Taiwan Jones in camp, Goodson will have some real late-round appeal.

Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Falcons: The 30-year-old Michael Turner has posted 300-plus carries in three of his last four seasons and is a candidate to break down in 2012. While Jason Snelling is second on the depth chart, I would also remember Rodgers in the event that Turner falters. He's a lightning-fast runner and will have some flier value in the late rounds of drafts.

Jon Baldwin, WR, Chiefs: Baldwin was all put invisible in his rookie season, catching just 21 passes for 254 yards and one touchdown. But that, my friends, is what makes him a deep sleeper in 2012. Baldwin, who has drawn comparisons to Vincent Jackson for his size and physical style of play, should warrant a late-round look in most formats.

Greg Little, WR, Browns: The Browns drafted a new quarterback (Brandon Weeden) and a new running back (Trent Richardson), but an impact wide receiver wasn't among their additions. That's good news for the value of Little, who remains the top option in the pass attack. While he did drop too many passes as a rookie, there is still some upside with him.

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Titus Young, WR, Lions: Young didn't do himself any favors when he got into a fight with free safety Louis Delmas during the offseason. However, he's still in a position to see a prominent role for the pass-laden Lions. If he can unseat Nate Burleson on the depth chart, look for the Boise State product to post improved numbers. He's worth a late-round selection.

Jared Cook, TE, Titans: Cook is one of the biggest teases in fantasy football. He's been invisible in each of the last two seasons, at least until the final three weeks -- that's when he's come out of posted great numbers. Whether or not that trend continues remains to be seen, but he's well worth drafting as a No. 1 fantasy tight end in 2012.

Kyle Rudolph, TE, Vikings: A second-year tight end from Notre Dame, Rudolph should see an increase in targets as one of the top options in the pass attack for Christian Ponder. A great pass catcher with soft hands, he could turn into a nice No. 2 fantasy option or even a low-end starter in a best-case scenario. Target him in the late rounds.

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