It is almost fantasy draft time and your important league winning decisions start by figuring out who your "sleepers" are going to be.
Others will thumb through magazines, gravitating toward the same names.
What you need is another way to unemotionally uncover sleepers.
I present to you: math.
"What?" you say, "I was told there would be no math!"
Not to worry, because there is a one-of-a-kind system that does the number crunching for you. And that is the FantasyOmatic algorithm.
How It Works
These ratings can help you make important decisions like starts and sits, trades, and even whom to draft.
All you have to do is to pick the higher rating. That's it. The math is no more difficult than comparing prices at the supermarket.
Applying the algorithm to 2015 fantasy football drafts
The way to mathematically find a sleeper is to take all of the players with high algorithm player ratings and find the ones who project to have more opportunities in the coming season.
Part of what goes into the player rating is the ability for players to overcome tough matchups. In 2014, Bryant averaged 12.32 fantasy points per game when playing against what the algorithm determined were strong defenses. That was the sixth-best fantasy output of any wide receiver in 2014 against similar matchups.
Bryant was able to post that production even though he only played 295 snaps, averaging a mere 29 percent of the offensive snaps in each game played. Since he sat out the first six games, he also only had the third-most wide receiver targets on the team in 2014, further reducing his chances.
Despite this limited number of snaps and targets, he led the league in to two huge statistical receiver categories:
Regarding new opportunities, there are plenty of additional snaps and targets to be had in Pittsburgh in 2015. After all, the Steelers have averaged 233 receptions per season over the last two years, third most in the NFL.
Wheaton's move will open up the second wide receiver spot on the outside for Bryant leaving 283 more routes available for Bryant to run -- twice as many as he had last season. With more routes come more targets, and as we learned with Bryant above, more targets means more fantasy points.
For example, even just a 30 percent increase in targets this season would give Bryant an average of six targets per game. If he maintains his FPPT metric, or stays close, he should score 10 to 12 fantasy points per game on six targets. That is in the range of the fantasy production seen in 2014 by players like Kelvin Benjamin, DeAndre Hopkins, Mike Evans, Alshon Jeffery and T.Y. Hilton -- most of whom are considered WR1s (at least on their team).
So, the algorithm's 14th-best wide receiver player rating for Bryant means great things for his fantasy potential in 2015. The algorithm projects him to produce around a fourth or fifth round value this season, yet he's currently going in Round 14 in NFL.com fantasy drafts. If you can grab him any round after the fourth as a borderline WR2, WR3 or flex option, then you have yourself a sleeper.
Let me guess ... you like math now, right?