Training camps have gotten underway all across the National Football League and that means that the 2012 fantasy football season is right around the corner.
The easiest way to get an advantage in fantasy football is by knowing something your opponents do not. This is why sleeper picks are such a big deal. At FantasyPPR.com, we have revealed some of our sleepers in our sleeper series but today we are going to start examining five players you can draft in the mid-to-late rounds of your PPR (point per reception) league draft.
These players are guys that are a little under the radar and do not require a premium draft pick to acquire, nonetheless, they will help your fantasy team tremendously and getting players like that with mid-to-late round selections could spurn you on to a success 2012 fantasy season.
This sleeper series is dedicated specifically to PPR leagues with the first part of this five-part series profiling Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller
(Average Draft Position is courtesy Fantasyfootballcalculator.com)
C.J. Spiller -
When Spiller was coming out of Clemson, the expectation was that he would be a star in the NFL. Unfortunately, his first season was a bust and it took an injury to Fred Jackson, the Bills starting running back, before Spiller began to show why the Bills invested a top-10 pick in him.
Spiller also became relevant to fantasy owners when he averaged 105 total yards per game during the six games Jackson was sidelined. In that same stretch Spiller also scored five touchdowns and averaged four receptions per game.
Entering the 2012 season, Bills head coach Chan Gailey has stated that Spiller and Jackson are going to split carries 50/50. So there is reason to believe that Spiller’s performance earned him a much more prominent role in the offense. He is an explosive player and finished that last averaging 5.24 yards per carry after gaining 561 yards on only 107 carries. Spiller also caught 73 percent of the passes thrown to him as well, so he can excel in the passing game.
Fred Jackson may have more value in 2012 but it is going to be close. I expect Spiller to touch the ball at least 15 times a game, which makes him a solid flex player in my eyes with upside. Gailey is a very creative play-caller and he will find way to take advantage of both Spiller and Jackson. At times last season, he even lined Spiller up at receiver to try and take advantage of his natural pass-catching abilities.
Spiller’s average draft position is currently 72nd, which is the 6th round in a 12-team league and the seventh in a 10-team league. So at a reasonable price in terms of draft picks, fantasy owners can nab Spiller, who at worst is a solid flex player with RB2 upside.
The FantasyPPR.com projection for Spiller in 2012 is 150 carries for 750 yards and 45 receptions for 315 yards, which amounts to over a thousand total yards on the season. We are also projectiing Spiller to score eight total touchdowns. Combined, that production equates to 199 fantasy points over the course of the season for Spiller, which is why he is one of our top mid-round PPR sleepers entering the 2012 NFL season.