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2015 fantasy football draft kit: Sleepers

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I was at the gym the other day. And yes, I realize this is a dangerous way to open a sleepers column. It gives off one of those, "Hey look at me" vibes you get from people who flood their Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts with photos of themselves working out. I mean, what a coincidence that there just happened to be a cameraman at your local gym who took a photo at the exact same time you worked the ropes! How fortunate for us. Or maybe you were shopping with your shirt off recently, and somebody just happened to capture the magic.

I won't call anybody out specifically. But let's just say his name rhymes with Akbar Gbajabiamila.

And before you get upset and think I've called out Akbar here, well, I have. But this photo is still on his Twitter feed, so it's clear he's not ashamed of it.

I digress, back to my gym story, which ties into sleepers (I promise). There was this dude who had been mean mugging me at the gym over the past couple of weeks. Which is kind of troubling. I like to be a considerate gym member. We're all in this together, right?

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So about a week ago, I was just trying to knock out some cable flies and the dude was all up in my business, again. My curiosity finally piqued and I was going to see what his deal was.

Instead, he walks up to me and says, "Do you know anything about fantasy football?"

And I'm like, "Not at all."

He then goes, "Oh, I thought you were Adam Rank."

And I said, "I am, I just don't know anything about fantasy football."

I waited for the rim shot, but it never came. But the crux of what happened was the dude just wanted a few sleeper recommendations. And the reason he stared for the past couple of weeks is that my offseason look includes a pretty epic (not the word the wife uses) neck beard that would make Andy Luck envious. Plus, I wear flat-brimmed caps pulled down to my eyes, too. Sorry, I don't have any photographic evidence of the look. I'm not fortunate enough to have a photographer with me while at the gym. Dare to dream to one day reach that status.


2015 FANTASY FOOTBALL SLEEPERS



But he did drop one interesting name during our conversation, Darren McFadden. I really like McFadden this year. I'm not sure he fits into the definition of a "sleeper," but I really like his chances for the Cowboys this year. (Also doesn't hurt I liked his work in Random NFL, too.) A lot of the knocks against McFadden are the exact same we had for Demarco Murray last year. He's injury prone. He's ... well, yeah, the injury prone thing is the biggest deal. But you will be amazed how healthy guys can be when they get a chance to run behind the Cowboys' offensive line (that got even better during the offseason).

Some will contend Joseph Randle is the guy to get during fantasy draft and that he's the true sleeper, as I saw reported around the interwebs. But I'm dubious of Randle. While he did have a nice little run last year (averaged 6.7 yards per attempt), he still runs too upright. He doesn't quite have the breakaway speed you would like to see from an elite back. I mean, the guy was a fifth-round pick in 2013. McFadden, for all of his faults, is still the most talented guy in the backfield and offers the most reward to you.

There will be a stigma to drafting McFadden. Seriously, just expect the hacky taunts now. Maybe somebody will throw a Band-Aid at you. But don't fret. A lot of choices that end up looking great in December are often mocked in August. I'm sure the guy or gal who drafted Murray in your draft last year was harangued at great length. But who was laughing at the end of the season? Spoiler alert, it was the person who drafted Murray.

Here are some other sleepers for the coming season.

Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins: I'm not sure if a quarterback can be classified as a sleeper, but the talent has been improved around him. DeVante Parker will increase his completion percentage single-handedly.

Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns: I loved Terrance West last year, but the Crow was better. He opened off-season work as the top back and now his starting center Alex Mack is back!

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T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars: Any time you have a chance to get a volume running back like Yeldon, dive in. The Jaguars improved their offensive line during the offseason, too.

Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons: Man, I wanted this to be Devonta Freeman. But Coleman could be the every-down back in Kyle Shanahan's offense. Which is a wonderful spot to be in. Although, Devonta Freeman said he won't go down without a fight. So how about this: the top RB on the Falcons depth chart is the sleeper. For the record, Freeman opened OTAs as the top guy.

Theo Riddick, RB, Detroit Lions: I mean, he has the seal of approval from backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky. So that's good enough for us. But dang, Ameer Abdullah could end up as the No. 2 back in Detroit. Another camp battle to watch.

David Cobb, RB, Tennessee Titans: I know, another rookie running back. But he's going to have a great opportunity behind Bishop Sankey.

Cody Latimer, WR, Denver Broncos: The Broncos want to move Manny Sanders into the slot to make room for Latimer. That's all I needed to hear.

Martavis Bryant, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: Touchdown machine with huge upside. The Steelers could be forced to throw early in the season.

Charles Johnson, WR, Minnesota Vikings: I should know better than to recommend another Vikings wide receiver. But I feel really good about this one.

Jaelen Strong, WR, Houston Texans: He fell a bit in drafts, which surprised me. But he landed in a great spot in Houston.

Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts: I know people expect a rebirth of Dre Johnson in Indy, but Moncrief will pass him by.

C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Houston Texans: So much for those comparisons to Rob Gronkowski. Those might have been premature, but I'm willing to give him another shot this year.

Richard Rodgers, TE, Green Bay Packers: I feel Aaron Rodgers is just narcissistic enough to want to target a guy named Rodgers repeatedly.

The NFL Fantasy LIVE podcast has returned! Listen in as our experts discuss 2015 sleepers, bargains, busts, draft strategy and more. Visit the Fantasy Draft Kit for more on what the gang discusses in the latest episode.


Follow Adam on Twitter @adamrank.

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