Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/19/13
2013  BCS SLEEPERS“Sleeper” could be the most overused word in College Fantasy Football.  That being said, we all love to hear it. We look at the word as basically meaning "guys we want to get on our teams" and break it into a few categories:1 – “OUR GUYS”– These are guys we’ve got a good feeling for, and want to get on our teams. They are guys who usually possess a lot of potential upside and/or we trust to get it done week in and week out for us.  We call these “Our Guys” and our plan is to consider reaching for them a round or two earlier than normal to make sure they're on our squad2 – UNDERVALUED - A player who we feel is somewhat “Undervalued”.  That could mean he's a 2nd round pick, but we think his stats would prove worthy of a 1st. Usually it just means that we are higher, and in many cases considerably higher on this player than the general public.3 – LONG SHOTS- The classic definition of the word Sleeper… Long shots that most people have barely heard of yet we think have a shot to make something happen. These guys are usually reserved for the latter half of the draft or your last few roster spots as long shots. They also could be guys that are young and we think could be on the verge of a breakout season.  These are high risk players that are not worth burning a mid-round pick on.Our goal is to get as many of these guys on our teams as possible, knowing full well that many won't pan out. Probably half or even more won't work out, but if we get five of these guys and can cash in on two or three of them, we’ve probably landed ourselves a couple mid-to-late round steals.To give you a taste for how valuable sleepers can be to your roster, here are some of the guys we tabbed as sleepers prior to the 2012 season:QB Nick Florence, BaylorQB Marcus Mariota, OregonQB Matt Scott, ArizonaQB Jordan Lynch, Northern IllinoisQB Colby Cameron, La TechRB Ka’Deem Carey, ArizonaRB Duke Johnson, Miami (FL)RB Lache Seastrunk, BaylorRB David Fluellen, ToledoRB Kerwynn Williams, Utah StateRB D.J. Harper, Boise StateRB Adam Muema, San Diego StateRB Antonio Andrews, Western KentuckyWR Jordan Matthews, VanderbiltWR Michael Campanaro, Wake ForestWR Kasen Williams, WashingtonWR Brandon Coleman, RutgersWR Bernard Reedy, ToledoTE Ryan Otten, San Jose StatePretty good list, huh?  If you snagged a few of these guys in the middle to late rounds last year, chances are you faired pretty well.So, who do we like as sleepers this year?  Here are our BCS-only favorites:****BCS QuarterbacksBryce Petty, Baylor (Our Guy)This isn't the first time we've put a Baylor guy in this spot.  We were high on Nick Florence last year, and even higher on Robert Griffin III before he became "ROBERT FREAKING GRIFFIN III".  Plain and simple, Baylor QBs under Art Briles get the job done.  Petty has looked great in camp.  Like his predecessors, he is said to be quite nimble and should contribute nicely in the Bears' read-option rushing attack. Petty is worthy of QB1 consideration on draft day. We want him on all of our teams.Brandon Mitchell, NC State (Undervalued)Mitchell is a dual threat that would seem to perfectly fit new head coach Dave Doeren's offense.  Remember, Doeren comes to Raleigh via Northern Illinois, where he made Chandler Harnish and Jordan Lynch stud fantasy performers.  Mitchell, an Arkansas transfer, is the favorite to win the job over the immobile Pete Thomas (Colorado State transfer).  Mitchell has high upside and is worth a shot as a QB3 or QB4 on draft day, depending on your format.Nick Marshall, Auburn (Undervalued)When was the last time a star JUCO player landed in the hands of Gus Malzahn's offense at Auburn? Oh yeah, it was that Cam Newton guy. Marshall isn't the physicall beast like Newton (6'1, 210-pounds vs. Cam at 6'4, 245) but he possesses similar dual threat athletic ability. Marshall originally arrived at Georgia in 2011 as a highly touted QB recruit before they moved him over to defense.  He left UGA and landed at Garden City CC where he threw for 3,142 yards and 18 TDs to go along with 1,095-19 rushing. He did have a turnover problem at the JUCO level which, if he can't fix, could give him a quick hook during SEC play.Jameis Winston, Florida State (Undervalued)Like everyone else around the country, we're drinking the Kool Aid here.  Usually, we put a big "Keep Away" sign on Seminole QBs, but Winston seems to be a different breed.  The great unknown with the freshman is precisely what makes him so intriguing.  He's got a cannon for an arm and appears to be a major rushing threat.  Can he live up to the hype and become a Cam Newton or Johnny Football Lite? We're willing to find out as a reserve QB on our fantasy roster.Daniel Sams or Jake Waters, Kansas State (Undervalued)Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder is fantasy-friendly when it comes to quarterbacks. Just google Michael Bishop, Ell Roberson and Colin Klein as proof.  But there is no clear cut favorite to win the job as we write this.  Sams was used in a Wildcat role a little last year and is the greater running threat of the two. Waters is a highly touted JUCO transfer who is supposedly a polished passer with some mobility. We're rooting for Sams to win the job as we always opt for dual threat QBs in college fantasy football. He could legitimately rush for 1,000+ yards and 15-20 TDs.  If Waters wins the job, there is a chance Sams could play a role as a Wildcat QB, thereby eating into Waters' fantasy value.Keenan Reynolds, Navy (Long Shot)The Navy quarterbacks always seem to be overlooked on draft day. The reason is simple: they don't pass the ball enough.  You're relying almost solely on their rushing stats, which on the surface seems like a risky proposition. Sometimes, however, the Navy signal callers are worth the risk.  Reynolds is worth a roll of the dice.  Last year he split time under center with Trey Miller.  This year the job is all his.  If you totaled up Miller and Reynolds stats from last year, you're looking at 942 rushing yards and 13 rushing TDs to go along with 1,362 passing yards and 11 passing TDs.  That equates to a Top 35-40 QB in All-FBS leagues.  Vad Lee, Georgia Tech (Long Shot)Well if we're putting Reynolds on this list, we need to do the same with Lee.  The Ga Tech QB combination of Tevin Washington and Vad Lee tallied up 1,228 rushing yards and 29 rushing TDs in 2012.  That's TWENTY-NINE rushing TDs, folks!  Washington is gone, and Lee figures to be the man under center in 2013.  He won't always be consistent, but if you plug him into your lineups on the right days you will enjoy some monster performances.Tre Roberson, Indiana (Long Shot)He's only listed as a "Long Shot" here because he hasn't won the starting job yet.  Otherwise, he might have been one of "Our Guys". Roberson is stuck in a battle with Cameron Coffman and Nate Sudfield in fall camp.  Roberson was the team's starter to begin the 2012 season, but after a couple games he blew out his knee and was done for the year. Indiana still went on to lead the Big Ten in passing offense (3,734 yards).  The pieces are in place for another big season, and the 8 home games is a nice bonus.  Roberson is more valuable to fantasy owners than Coffman or Sudfield due to his ability to make plays with his feet, so we're crossing our fingers that he winds the job.Clint Trickett, Ford Childress or Paul Milard, West Virginia (Long Shot)With Geno Smith now suffering on the New York Jets, there are obviously big shoes to fill here. Your guess is as good as mine on who will ultimately win this Mountaineers' QB job.  We should know next Monday.  One would think that Trickett wouldn't have transferred here from Florida State unless he thought he had a great chance to win the job.  Whoever gets the gig should put up good numbers in Dana Holgersen's high-flying offense.BCS Running BacksMelvin Gordon, Wisconsin (Our Guy)If you go by the "eyeball test", Melvin Gordon passes with flying colors.  He has an extra gear that James White simply does not possess.  Will he be Wisconsin's RB1 this year?  It'll likely be a split carry situation to start the season.  But judging from the ADPs of the two players right now, we'd rather have Gordon at No. 88 overall than White at No. 18 (per CBS.com).Byron Marshall, Oregon (Our Guy)While De'Anthony Thomas gets all the hype (and rightly so), let's not forget that he is NOT a workhorse back.  DAT is a guy the Ducks love to move all over the place, creating nightmare matchups for defensive coordinators in both the passing and running game.  Oregon still needs that steady RB to get those 200-250 carries per season.  Right now, Byron Marshall is looking good in camp and while he might not be as flashy as true freshman super star-in-the-making  Thomas Tyner, he has more experience in the offense.  Tyner's injury last week, while reportedly minor, does give Marshall a leg up on winning a starting role.  If he can hold off Tyner, he's a virtual lock for a minimum of 1,000+ yards and 10-12 TDs.Jeremy Smith, Oklahoma State (Our Guy)Oklahoma State is another running back factory. Backing up Joseph Randle last fall, Smith rushed for 307 yards and 8 touchdowns.  So we know he has a nose for the endzone.  We also know he is the clear RB1 for the Pokes.  He's a very safe pick, in a great offense, with upside.Brendan Bigelow, Cal (Undervalued)Bigelow burst onto the scene last fall in Columbus against the Buckeyes, displaying his breakaway speed over and over again.  He had offseason knee surgery, which is a concern.  New head coach Sonny Dykes brings some excitement to the offense.  There are lots of unknowns here (health, new coach) but his talent is undeniable.  Take him as a reserve RB in All-FBS leagues, and see if he can live up to his potential.Traylon Shead, SMU (Undervalued)Zach Line exits SMU after several years of outstanding fantasy production.  Former Texas transfer Traylon Shead enters the fray.  His head coach June Jones says he might be the most talented RB he's ever coached at SMU. If things fall just right, don't be surprised if Shead flirts with Line-like numbers this fall.Tre Mason, Auburn (Undervalued)Gus Malzahn worked some RB magic with David Oku during his stint at Arkansas State.  Prior to that, he turned Michael Dyer into a solid fantasy producer during his first go-round at Auburn.  Next in line is Tre Mason, who seems to have a firm grip on the starting role.  He quietly rushed for over 1,000 yards and 8 TDs a year ago, and you have to figure he will build on those numbers in what should be a much-improved offense.Mike Davis, South Carolina (Undervalued)Reports out of Gamecock camp this spring were that Davis was lined up to have a big year. But keep your expectations in check -- Marcus Lattimore, he is not. But South Carolina has a complete team that should be playing from ahead much of the time.  That means if Davis is their main man on the ground, he'll get plenty of touches in 2013.John Hubert, Kansas State (Undervalued)Hubert's fantasy value is directly tied to the pending quarterback battle in Manhattan.  If JUCO passing specialist Jake Waters wins the job, Hubert's value increases as he would likely see more work in the running game and around the goalline.  If runner Daniel Sams gets the nod, Hubert's goalline carries decrease.Wayman James, TCU (Long Shot)James missed 2012 with a knee injury. He's a bigger back who has workhorse potential, but remember that TCU has used a committe approach for years.  Derek Henry, Alabama (Long Shot)Remember a freshman last year named T.J. Yeldon? He did alright as a backup to Eddie Lacy.  Lacy moves on, and this year's freshman du jour is the next man up. Henry is absolutely worth a roster spot in deeper leagues, and should serve as a handcuff if you invested a high draft pick on Yeldon.  Taquan Mizzell, Virginia (Long Shot)Here's a true freshman who's getting a lot of hype. You could argue that uber-recruit Mizzell is a "big fish in a small pond", which usually equates to major fantasy potential. He'll battle with the productive Kevin Parks for playing time this fall, but if UVA decides to make him T-Mizz The Man, he could explode in the ACC.Alex Collins, Arkansas (Long Shot)It's no secret that Bret Bielema likes to run the ball, and that philosophy won't change in the rugged ACC. He inherits RB Jonathan Williams, but his first major recruit was Collins - a Top 10 high school RB prospect.  It remains to be seen who Bielema will roll with as his main horse, but it wouldn't surprise us if he went with "his guy" Collins as the season progressed.Derrick Green, Michigan (Long Shot)Here's another impact rookie who has a shot to see significant playing time.  We would've liked him a lot more if Fitzgerald Toussaint didn't look so good in fall camp.  That's been a little bit of a buzzkill.Ryan Jackson, Houston (Long Shot)With Charles Sims shocking transfer to West Virginia, Jackson moves up the depth chart to the No. 2 spot behind Kenneth Farrow.  He'll split the carries with Farrow, and probably will end up with more receptions.  We like Jackson in deep PPR leagues.Matt Jones, Florida (Long Shot)Jones was ranked high on our post-spring cheatsheets before coming down with a weird viral infection that has kept him out of fall camp.  The illness has caused him to lose 10 pounds.  He is expected to miss the first two games of the season.  The team has a Week 3 bye.  Could he be planning a comeback in Week 4?  If healthy, this guy has big upside - even in the SEC where defenses reign surpreme.BCS Wide ReceiversDeontay Greenberry, Houston (Our Guy)Greenberry is a big time talent.  He originally committed to Notre Dame before changing his mind and landing in Houston.  He got his feet wet last year as a freshman (47-569-3) and will be asked to play a much bigger role in the offense in 2013.  They've moved him to an inside receiver spot.  If everything goes perfect, Greenberry could put up James Cleveland-type numbers as the go-to guy in the passing game.  For those of you too lazy to look up Cleveland's stats from 2009 -- 104 receptions for 1,214 yards and 14 TDs.  However, the offense was in much better shape back then both from a coaching and quarterback standpoint.Dorial Green-Beckham, Missouri (Undervalued)Liek Greenberry above, DGB was a mega-recruit a couple years ago.  He was a big disappointment early in 2012 which might have had something to do with QB James Franklin's injury problems.  DGB came on strong to finish the year, scoring 4 TDs in his final three games.  The kid's talent is undeniable.  If the offense can get their act together, he could have a breakout season.Jeremy Gallon, Michigan (Undervalued)This one is pretty simple.  Denard Robinson couldn't throw the ball.  Devin Gardner can.  End of story.  Brady Hoke's offenses produced some nice fantasy receivers at his previous stops at San Diego State and Ball State.  With Gardner spinning him the ball, Gallon has a chance to put up nice numbers.Paul Richardson, Colorado (Undervalued)Richardson had some huge games early in his career before he was besieged by injuries.  He is back healthy again, and in new head coach Mike MacIntyre's revamped offense, he has some potential to become fantasy relevant once again.Chris Harper, Cal (Undervalued)New head coach Sonny Dykes is as fantasy friendly as they come. Harper figures to be the Cal's WR1.  Last year, Dykes' leading receiver was Quinton Patton who lit up fantasy scoreboards with a 104-1,392-13 statline.  We're not saying Harper will approach those numbers in the first year in this offense, but he is one to watch.Nelson Agholor, USC (Long Shot)The WR2 at USC always seems to have fantasy value.  If you're in a BCS-only league, Agholor is worth a draft pick.  He'll see lots of one-on-one coverage with stud Marqise Lee lining up opposite of him.Martavis Bryant, Clemson (Long Shot)Is there room for two fantasy wide receivers on this year's Clemson squad? YES! Sammy Watkins will get his touches, but with DeAndre Hopkins gone, Bryant could be sneaky good in deeper leagues.Markeith Ambles, Houston (Long Shot)Here's another WR2 to keep on your radar.  Ambles is a USC transfer who is arriving at fall camp a bit late as he was working out some academic issues.  He has the talent to become the Cougars' WR2.Dontre Wilson, Ohio State (Long Shot)The hype machine is getting a bit out of control for Mr. Wilson. Are you a believer?  The rumblings are that Wilson could be used much like Percy Harvin in Urban Meyer's old Florida offense.  If that is the case, he obviously holds fantasy value.Demarco Robinson, Kentucky (Long Shot)Outside of Randall Cobb, Kentucky hasn't exactly been a major fantasy destination in recent years. However, the Wildcats are installing a version of the Air Raid offense this fall which is exciting.  This is a team that will be playing from behind often, which should help Robinson see plenty of targets in garbage time.  He doesn't have tons of upside, but still holds some value in BCS leagues.The Baylor Dudes Not Named Reese (Long Shot)Outside of Tevin Reese, who is going to catch all of the balls in the Baylor offense? As we've outlined on this site already, there are many possibilities.  The sexiest names are freshmen Robbie Rhodes and Corey Coleman.  But will they really rely on first-year players when experienced guys like Jay Lee, Levi Norwood and Antwan Goodley are available?  Time will tell. Keep an eye on the practice reports in the final weeks of fall camp and roll the dice on one of these guys in the last rounds of your league.The West Virginia Dudes (Long Shot)This situation is dicier than Baylor's.  At least the Bears had a proven producer returning in Reese, and a hyped QB in Petty.  WVU has neither.  Take your pick from SO Jordan Thompson, JR Kevin White, JR Mario Alford or maybe FR Shelton Gibson.  One should emerge as a fantasy producer.The Washington State Dudes (Long Shot)Sophomores Gabe Marks and Dominique Williams are the safest bets to put up receiving stats in Mike Leach's (potentially) potent offense.  Last year, the Wazzu offense fell flat on its face.  In Year 2 of the Leach Experiment, you would think they would rebound in a big way.  But there isn't a clear No. 1 guy to hang your hat on.  Take a chance on either Marks or Williams in standard formats, and hope for the best.BCS Tight EndsDevin Funchess, Michigan (Our Guy)Like with Gallon above, Funchess will benefit from Devin Gardner under center.  Funchess made a nice splash as a freshman.  He only caught 15 balls on the year, but 5 were for scores.  Look for many more targets this season as the Wolverines actually cultivate a real life passing game.Luke Kaumatule, Stanford (Our Guy)The Cardinal just keep pumping out fantasy tight ends.  Kaumatule is supposed to be the next guy to watch.C.J. Uzomah, Auburn (Long Shot)He makes our list simply because of Gus Malzahn's return to campus.  C.J. might not be draftable in most formats, but he's worth keeping on your waiver wire shortlist. Malcolm Johnson, Miss State (Long Shot)With Marcus Green and a bevy of wide receivers graduating, Johnson will see a major increase in production this fall.  He has the ability to get downfield.  It's not sexy drafting players from Mississippi State, but Johnson should be a quiet under-the-radar producer.O.J. Howard, Alabama (Long Shot)Howard was one of the top tight end recruits in the country.  He could step as a true freshman and become a nice redzone target for veteran QB A.J. McCarron.Troy Niklas, Notre Dame (Long Shot)Notre Dame has produced some quality tight ends in recent years -- Tyler Eifert and Kyle Rudolph to name a few.  Niklas could be next.Dan Vitale, Northwestern (Long Shot)As a freshman DIAPER DANDY, Vitale didn't do much during the season until the final two games where he caught 16 balls. He won't be drafted in most formats, but is worth keeping an eye on.Gerald Christian, Louisville (Long Shot)This transfer from Florida is yet another weapon for Teddy Bridgewater to target.  There may not be enough balls to go around.  He's a late round pick with upside in BCS-only formats.
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