Greetings Raider Nation! Our friends at Buffalo Wild Wings have declared today to be National Fantasy Draft Day, which means they'll be hosting tons of draft parties around the country at their hundreds of locations. As part of that effort, they're sponsoring this post in which I will list a few fantasy sleepers both from the Raiders and around the rest of the league. These are guys who have slipped down draft boards but could make a big impact for your team this season.
For the record, tomorrow is my birthday and I will be emerging from my cave and visiting a Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner. The food is great and I am a boss at the trivia game they have on all the TVs at the tables.
Rod Streater- At this point I don't trust the passing game one little bit. The offensive line without Veldheer is going to struggle and the receivers are going to have to rely on their size and speed to get themselves open. Denarius Moore is fast but small and I think Streater will make a bigger impact in relation to where he is getting drafted this year. I would have put Brice Butler here but he's behind Streater, Ford, and Moore on the depth chart. Keep an eye on Butler though, I love the kid and I think he can be huge if he cracks the first string.
Terrelle Pryor- There is absolutely nothing that Matt Flynn has done thus far that inspires any confidence in me that he can lead this team down the field consistently. Behind a good line as he had in Green Bay, where he can take his time and fire to an excellent receiving corps, he is fine. Running for his life in Oakland, throwing to sub-par receivers is a recipe for disaster.
Pryor, on the other hand, is well-suited for such a challenge. While he does make the occasional boneheaded mistake, he has shown poise and the ability to actually move the ball and score points. Granted, he has primarily done this against second-string defenses, but the fact remains he has actually done it, whereas Flynn has done jack squat. Not only am I predicting that Pryor will be the starting quarterback this season, I am predicting he will make a serviceable backup fantasy quarterback. He won't be quite what Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick brought to their teams last season (all three were vastly more polished passers coming out of college), but he will be better than Flynn behind this patchwork line and that's all that matters.
Sleepers from the rest of the league:
Michael Vick- He has been named the starting quarterback in Philadelphia. If you ever watched Chip Kelly coach at Oregon, you know he likes to have his quarterback run a lot and anyone in a Chip Kelly offense can put up video-game numbers. Vick looked stellar this preseason throwing to Desean Jackson (another guy going way too low this year) and he can put up RB2 rushing stats while simultaneously putting up QB1 passing stats. The last guy to do that was... why, it was Michael Vick before he killed all those dogs.
Brandon Weeden- I don't know if any of you have watched any Browns football this preseason, but Weeden is lighting it up. Norv Turner is his new offensive coordinator, and Weeden is looking like a vintage Philip Rivers. I would not be surprised one bit if the Browns made some noise this season and possibly eked out a Wild Card berth. Weeden doesn't have the greatest targets in the league, but Rivers never had that much either aside fromVincent Jackson.
Daryl Richardson- Yeah, I don't know who he is either, but I know he is the starting running back on the Rams, a team which also employs Jake Long. The Rams are probably going to pass a lot with Sam Bradford and all those speedy wideouts they have, but Richardson has a steady gig and that's all you ask for in a backup RB.
Anquan Boldin- He will be the Niners #1 wide receiver this season with Michael Crabtree lost to injury. We all saw what kind of numbers Crabtree put up with Kaepernick last year and I think Boldin can do similar things for a fraction of the draft price.
Torrey Smith- He's the prime passing option in Baltimore, playing with an elite quarterback, and he has blazing speed. That's a recipe for top-5 WR1 numbers and that's what he'll give you at the price of a mid-tier WR2. Don't pass on Smith in the sixth or seventh round.
Greg Zuerlein- He's a really good kicker with a huge leg (like Jano huge) who plays in a dome for a team that may struggle to score touchdowns. You can also get him in the last round. This year's Blair Walsh.