NFL fantasy football: 10 deep sleepers to target

  • By Marcas Grant NFL.com
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Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers: Yes, it's come to this for a guy who flirted with being an elite fantasy QB. This year, Rivers has a new coach with a track record of helping quarterbacks succeed and a receiving corps that's as deep as any he's had in his career. He won't land in anyone's top 10 at the end of the season, but there could be more value here than there's been in recent seasons.

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Robert Woods, WR, Buffalo Bills: The Bills offense will be centered around C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson and the run game. But beyond Stevie Johnson, there aren't any reliable targets. Woods is a precise route runner with quality hands -- just the perfect combination to be a No. 4 fantasy wideout with upside.

Jordan Cameron, TE, Cleveland Browns: With Norv Turner as offensive coordinator, Cleveland's offense has more to offer in 2013. That bodes well for Cameron, who will be given every chance to prove his worth in the Browns offense. With the deep threats on the outside, that should create plenty of room in the center of the field for Cameron to work. Look for him to be a nice bye-week option in deeper leagues.

Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns: Speaking of those speedy wideouts, Gordon was a bona fide home run threat in 2012. He'll fill that role again in 2013. The difference is that Cleveland seems set to employ a more vertical passing attack. If he can sustain a measure of consistency, he'll provide some later-round draft value for fantasy owners and could flirt with a 1,000-yard season.

Johnathan Franklin, RB, Green Bay Packers: Eddie Lacy is likely to be the first Packers running back off draft boards this season, but Franklin shouldn't be completely overlooked. The UCLA product is a tough runner with good speed and could earn some carries in an unsettled Green Bay backfield.

Geno Smith, QB, New York Jets: The Jets offense still has some issues, but things seem to be trending in Smith's direction. With new management in place, Smith will be given every chance to take over the team's offense. It might take some time before he's a consistent fantasy contributor (a few more weapons in the passing game would help, too), but Smith is worth taking a flier on.

Rod Streater, WR, Oakland Raiders: Streater had his moments in 2012, beginning with the preseason. Unfortunately, he battled drops and was caught in Oakland's ever-fluctuating WR depth chart. This season, much of the traffic in front of him has been cleared away, which gives him ample opportunity to be more of an impact player.

New Browns coach Rob Chudzinski likes to use his tight ends, so Jordan Cameron has some real upside.
New Browns coach Rob Chudzinski likes to use his tight ends, so Jordan Cameron has some real upside. (Tony Dejak/Associated Press)

Joseph Randle, RB, Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys still like DeMarco Murray, they're just not sure they can trust him to stay on the field. That's where Randle comes in. He'll compete for Dallas' No. 2 running back spot and could see significant work in the event Murray can't fulfill his duties as the lead rusher.

DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans: Similar to Woods in Buffalo, the Texans are searching for someone who can be a complement to their top receiver. Enter Hopkins, who is expected to be a contributor on the field pretty early. He might not be a fantasy contributor right away, but he's definitely someone to keep an eye on.

Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals: Eifert will likely start training camp behind Jermaine Gresham on Cincy's depth chart. But as the best pass-catching tight end from April's draft, the Notre Dame product will have a chance to steal a few snaps and targets as the year progresses.

Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for NFL.com. You can find him on Twitter @MarcasG.

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