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Fantasy football sleepers: Daniel Thomas could take over


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Shonn Greene, RB, Jets: Jets fans tend to highlight his failure to live up to expectations, but Greene finished among the top 20 RBs last season. This season, the Jets will be running much more ... especially once Tim Tebow (inevitably) takes over.

Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Steelers: Antonio Brown has been a pleasantly productive surprise for Ben Roethlisberger and fantasy fans alike over the last two seasons, but it was Sanders -- drafted out of SMU in the third round of the 2010 draft -- for whom the Steelers had higher expectations. Injuries have kept him down thus far, but look for the guy wearing Lynn Swann's No. 88 to take off this year.

Jon Baldwin, WR, Chiefs: The bad news is, he's shown flashes off the field of being a throwback to the pain-in-the-butt diva WRs of the early 21st century. The good news is, he's got the same sort of talent as pass-catching prima donnas like Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco and Randy Moss. That Chiefs offense oughta be a juggernaut this season ... Matt Cassel notwithstanding.

Jared Cook, TE, Titans: He averaged well over 100 yards per game in the Titans' final three games last year, and with Kenny Britt's health a question mark and Nate Washington taking the top off the D, look for Cook (and rookie Kendall Wright) to cook in 2012.

Greg Little, WR, Browns: The Browns treated the 2011 rookie like their No. 1 WR last season, targeting him 121 times. I expect the strong-armed Brandon Weeden to be slingin' it this year in Cleveland, which oughta mean much better numbers going forward.

Daniel Thomas, RB, Dolphins: Last year, I told you Reggie Bush would have a great season ... and I was mocked viciously by my colleagues for it. This year, I predict Bush will return to his brittle ways (or perhaps be deployed as more of pass catcher on a team devoid of a top-tier WR), while the second-year player from K-State becomes Miami's top rusher.

Roy Helu, RB, Redskins: Everyone in DC is rightly excited about RG3 and the Redskins' shiny collection of new WRs, but don't forget that Mike ShanaTan still takes a shine to running the ball. Helu will be the feature back in 2012, and -- along with getting the bulk of the carries -- will catch more passes than most RBs in the league.

Michael Floyd, WR, Cardinals: It's taken a while to get past the old-school thinking that rookie WRs don't put up big numbers, but thanks to the likes of A.J. Green and Julio Jones, the day has finally arrived. Floyd is in a great spot playing opposite Larry Fitzgerald this year.

Peyton Hillis, RB, Chiefs: KC's loaded with explosive weapons, an improved o-line, and the need for a banger at the goal line. He won't repeat what he did in 2010, but at a position with diminishing value in the pass-happy NFL, Hillis will be a nice No. 2 for both the Chiefs and your fantasy team.

BenJarvis Green-Ellis, RB, Bengals: I'd normally avoid any player who's left the Patriots (they're just plain better at tapping into the distinctive talents of their players than most teams), but "the Law Firm" will benefit from a big increase in touches and a very good offensive line.

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