BY DEREK BARSNESS, Couchsideshow.com writer
If you are fortunate enough to still be contending in a fantasy football league, chances are you had a little bit of good fortune this season.
For some managers, the benefit of a healthy team with minimal injuries is a recipe for smooth sailing into the league championship. For others, it could be the result of drafting a sleeper or combing the free agents throughout the season. Here’s a look at some of this year’s fantasy sleeper studs that likely have you playing in the championship and a few duds that may have ruined your season early.
• Cam Newton: The rookie has had a sensational fantasy season. Passing for over 3700 yards and running for another 600. He has nearly as many rushing touchdowns (13) as passing (17). Outside of a small percentage of leagues, Newton was drafted near the end of most drafts or picked up on the waivers after week 1. Just to show how good of a bargain Newton has been this season, take a look at these stats from a quarterback drafted in substantially higher rounds. 3900 yards passing and 30 total TDs (29 passing, 1 rushing). Any guesses? Anyone? Bueller? These stats belong to none other than Tony Romo. So Newton owners, you got your money’s worth.
• Fred Jackson: Before going down in week 10 with a broken leg, Jackson had amassed over 900 yards rushing, 39 catches for over 400 yards receiving, and 6 TDs. These are solid numbers for any back, especially if your league is PPR.
• Rob Gronkowski: Are you kidding me? Gronk and his partner in crime Aaron Hernandez both have the capabilities to put up solid fantasy numbers. The trouble that most fantasy owners saw in Gronk is whether or not he would be Brady’s go to guy on short yardage downs, or if Hernandez would get priority. This scared most owners away from taking either him or Hernandez. But those lucky enough to have gambled on Gronk saw huge dividends in over 1100 yards and 15 TDs. These are much better numbers than the highly valued Antonio Gates who has just 600 yards and 6 TDs this season. In our auction draft Gronkowski went for $5, Gates for $29.
• Victor Cruz: The NFL sophomore out of UMass has put up great numbers for many fantasy owners. His almost 1200 yards and 7 TDs put him in the top 10 in points scored for WRs, just behind Roddy White and AHEAD of Larry Fitzgerald.