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Fantasy football deep sleepers: Blaine Gabbert is no joke

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Titus Young, WR, Lions: The Lions did nothing to improve their secondary, which means lots of shootouts in 2012. Assuming Calvin Johnson will be either quadruple covered and/or suffering the effects of the "Madden" curse, someone's gonna have to pick up the slack. The sophomore from Boise State will be that someone.

Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens: I've made as much fun of Joe Cool as anybody ... but my hunch is that offenses with two good pass-catching tight ends (like the Ravens have in Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta) will copy the Patriots' approach and flourish. Flacco might not be the best QB in the league, but he will be a top 12 scorer at his position this year.

Blaine Gabbert, QB, Jaguars: Alright, I know it seems like a joke ... but just 'cause the Yellow Mullet (copyright pending) didn't play as well as Cam Newton, Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco did in their rookie seasons doesn't mean he's doomed to go the way of Akili Smith and Ryan Leaf. Then again, maybe he is ... but at least he's now surrounded with some actual capable pass catchers, and he's got one of the most productive runners behind him. I think he'll take advantage of it in 2012. Or not.

Jordan Shipley, WR, Bengals: A.J. Green will get lots of attention from defensive coordinators after his dynamite rookie season, which means Shipley (and Jermaine Gresham) will enjoy lots of room to roam.

Mikel Leshoure, RB, Lions: The Lions were high on Leshoure going into 2011 before a knee injury ended the Illinois RB's rookie season before it started. He'll roll this season ... but be forewarned: you and he may have to wait out a little weed-related suspension.

Kevin Kolb, QB, Cardinals: Obviously, we don't know yet if he'll even be the starter, but as Matt "Money" Smith likes to say, "Money plays in this league." In other words, bank on him being under center this season, making him well worth a flyer as your No. 2 QB.

Baron Batch, RB, Steelers: Isaac Redman will be the starter, but the speedy Batch -- who was by all accounts gangbusters in training camp before getting hurt -- will be the classic change-of-pace runner/pass catcher in what oughta be a dynamic offense on the banks of the three rivers this season.

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Alshon Jeffrey, WR, Bears: The Bears will reap the fringe benefit a legit No. 1 guy like Brandon Marshall provides: putting a guy like Jeffrey in the No. 2 role. Yeah, Jeffrey's got some of those dreaded "character issues," but with role models like Marshall and Jay Cutler, what could possibly go wrong?

Kendall Hunter, RB, 49ers: No chance I'm alone with this pick, so add my voice to the cacophony forecasting some time on the sidelines for the aging Frank Gore, opening up opportunity for the speedy youngster. Yeah, I know Brandon Jacobs is in the mix, too, but a move across the country will do nothing for Jacobs' threadbare tires.

James Starks, RB, Packers: The Packers might only run the ball five times a month, but with Ryan Grant gone you can at least bank on Starks getting all five of those carries in 2012. He was crummy last season, but I think coach Mike McCarthy will try to keep passrushers at bay this year by establishing some semblance of a running game.

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