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Featured Pros: Rest of Season Sleepers and Duds

by dave
Oct 10, 2010

If you’re like me, the only fantasy football thinking you’re doing right now is about who you should start today. My head hurts from trying to decide between Bush and Torain, and it’s not because of my Saturday night beer binge.

But championships are won by the guys that are thinking about the rest of the season, not just about this weekend’s games. They somehow grab the hot guys before they get hot, and trade away the cold guys before they get cold. The only way to time the market is to start thinking about the future now!

With that in mind, we asked a few fantasy experts to give their take on sleepers and duds for the rest of the season. Read on to get some quick advice from this week’s Featured Pros: Pat Fitzmaurice from Pro Football Weekly, John Paulsen from The Scores Report, Josh Moore from, Kevin Roberts from NFL Soup, and Ryan Parr from Fantazzle.

Name one “sleeper” for the rest of the year and tell us why you think he has a shot at becoming a stud.

Pat Fitzmaurice – Pro Football Weekly: Mike Wallace is ready for liftoff now that Ben Roethlisberger is back, but that’s probably too obvious an answer. Instead, I’ll stick with a guy I’ve been pimping since the preseason: Mike Williams of the Buccaneers. He’s a superstar in the making. Williams has already had a couple of decent games, but he could detonate coming out of a bye week.

John Paulsen – The Scores Report: I don’t know if he’ll become a ‘stud’ but Brandon Tate should have an opportunity to become a solid fantasy WR3 as he takes over for Randy Moss in New England. Let’s say that, in addition to his current 3.5 targets per game, he gets two-thirds of Moss’s targets (5.5 * 0.67). That’s about 7.2 per game. He’s currently converting 79% of his targets into receptions, which is unlikely to continue since he’ll probably be running deeper routes. Let’s say he converts at 60% and averages, say, 14.0 ypc (he’s currently averaging 12.3 ypc). That works out to 4.3 catches for 60 yards per game. And we haven’t even accounted for touchdowns or his explosive return game yet.

Josh Moore – I think Ryan Torain comes in and immediately gets nearly all the carries for the Redskins. Clinton Portis is currently out 4-6 weeks, but I am always skeptical when I see an injury time frame of that length. Some reports are even speculating Portis could have seen his last carry as a Redskin. Pierre Garcon is another nice sleeper who has been dropped in some leagues. Loads of upside here.

Kevin Roberts – NFL Soup: He might be a deep sleeper, but I had my eye on New England running back Danny Woodhead before he even started getting touches, and now with Randy Moss out of town, I am certain that the Patriots will be more balanced than ever. That means more out of their rush attack, and likely more opportunities for Woodhead, who can make an impact as a runner and receiver. It may take some time, but Woodhead is one injury away from being a hot waiver wire add, and in deeper leagues, is already being used as a decent Flex play.

Ryan Parr – Fantazzle: The Saints spread the ball around a lot, and as we have seen, Chris Ivory has the talent in the New Orleans offense to move the ball and make things happen. The Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush injuries don’t hurt his chances either.

Name one guy that has performed well through the first quarter of the season that you think will become a “dud” for the remainder of the year.

Pat Fitzmaurice – Pro Football WeeklyMichael Vick will come back at some point and be exposed for the mediocre quarterback he is. Runner-up is Peyton Hillis. As much as I respect him for what he’s doing, he just can’t keep up the level of production that he’s hit the last couple of weeks. As tough as he is, and as much as I like the Browns’ offensive line, there’s a reality check looming.

John Paulsen – The Scores Report: While ‘dud’ is a strong word, I don’t think Tom Brady is going to keep up his current Top 7 standing throughout the remainder of the year. I like Brandon Tate and think he’ll be an adequate replacement for Randy Moss, but there really is no replacing Randy Moss. He’s the type of receiver that can affect the game without seeing a single target because defenses have to account for his deep speed on every snap. Brady is going to miss that and I think it will depress his overall numbers. Also, his schedule the next five weeks (which includes BAL, SD, MIN, PIT) is very unfavorable.

Josh Moore – Sell high on Brandon Lloyd after his fast start to the season. Lloyd has never been a consistent performer, and rookie Demaryius Thomas will be pushing Lloyd for playing time.

Kevin Roberts – NFL Soup:  I don’t believe in Mark Clayton. His entire career, all he’s been is inconsistent and unreliable. Playing for the Rams and starting, he’s either going to finally develop into a true number one guy, or he’s going to crumble. He gets tons of targets and Sam Bradford loves him, but I would not be shocked at all to see rookie Mardy Gilyard and even Brandon Gibson to start demand more targets as the season goes on.

Ryan Parr – Fantazzle: I’m not saying Arian Foster will not produce for the rest of the season but the production he is currently showing us will not keep up. Steve Slaton and Derrick Ward each showed us some potential last week and Foster hasn’t done anything for a full season (or a few games, for that matter) in the past.

We also asked our five Featured Pros to tell us which player they would rather own for the rest of the season out of each teammate tandem below (only 3 players were unanimous – LT, Ryan Mathews, and Steve Smith – NYG):

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I’d like to thank this edition’s Featured Pros for providing their insights! Be sure to visit their respective sites for more quality advice and content.

Good luck with today’s games everyone!

Photo Credit: Link

Featured Pros