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?
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.
And I'm like, "Not at all."
He then goes, "Oh, I thought you were Adam Rank."
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.
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.