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The key to winning your fantasy football league is being the commissioner and changing the rules to your favor on a weekly basis. If you can’t do this / aren’t the commissioner / don’t want to cheat your friends, there’s another glimmer of hope in your pursuit for fantasy football immortality: sleeper picks. Pick up this year’s equivalent to Arian Foster in the fifth round and you can be on your way to glory. Tom Brady, Michael Vick and Jamaal Charles aside, let’s take a look at some of the less-hyped guys you want to keep an eye on:
Dez Bryant – WR, Cowboys
Last year Bryant scored seven touchdowns in ten games, as a rookie, despite playing with two different QBs. A healthy Tony Romo will help the scarily strong Bryant come into his own this year. I still like Miles Austin and Felix Jones, too, but Bryant will become the beast of the Boys.
Matthew Stafford – QB, Lions
Matthew Stafford has the ability to utilize the unfair tactic known as “throw the ball at Calvin Johnson.” I say “at” instead of “to Calvin Johnson,” because one just needs to get the ball in the general vicinity of Megatron to have it be caught. The Lions throw the ball over 57% of the time, and a healthy Stafford can sling it with the best of them.
Chad Ochocinco – WR, Patriots
Randy Moss in Oakland. Randy Moss in New England. Deion Branch in Seattle. Deion Branch in New England. Chad Ochocinco in Cincinatti… I think you see the pattern here. Tom Brady made Danny Woodhead a household name, imagine what he’ll do to a household name?
Danario Alexander – WR, Rams
The Rams have a young QB (Bradford) who looks like he’ll be a star. Now he just needs somebody to throw to. Donnie Avery isn’t tough enough, Mike Sims-Walker isn’t real person as far as I’m concerned and Danny Amendola has done nothing to make me think he can be a consistent threat. This leaves Alexander, who, if he can stay healthy, has shown flashes that he can become a legitimate deep threat that Bradford needs.
LeGarrette Blount – RB, Buccaneers
If you don’t pick Blount he might punch you in the face. Though that (probably) won’t happen for real, Blount put up impressive stats once he became the full starter in Week 11. From Weeks 11-17 he was third in the league in rushing, and first in yards after contact. Plus he’s the only good back the Bucs have got.
Kyle Ayers is a contributing writer for CBS Local