NFC South fantasy sleepers

Posted July 08, 2010 @ 12:48 p.m.
Posted By Dan Parr

This is the third in a series of opinionated fantasy football columns that will be posted daily in July and August, providing fantasy owners with some insights to consider as they prepare for their drafts. You can get an in-depth preview of the upcoming fantasy football season with the purchase of the Yahoo! Sports / Pro Football Weekly Fantasy Football Guide 2010, available now in newsstands and bookstores, or online at PFWstore.com.

It's hunting season for fantasy players. While the NFL's stars are well-established, the lesser-publicized players that owners collect late in drafts can make a big difference. With that in mind, we've selected an NFC South sleeper and supersleeper at each position for fantasy draftniks to keep an eye on.

Quarterback: Matt Moore, Panthers — Moore delivered when given an opportunity to start late last season and compiled a touchdown-interception ratio of 8-0 in the Panthers' final four games. Carolina added some talented rookies to a receiving corps that badly needed a boost, which should only help Moore. There has been speculation about rookie Jimmy Clausen unseating Moore as the starter in the preseason, but the job is likely Moore's until he proves he no longer deserves it. He's a quality No. 2 in most leagues with the potential to become a starter if he picks up where he left off last season.

Supersleeper: Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman

Running back: Derrick Ward, Buccaneers — Ward was underutilized last season, and he didn't do much with the 114 carries he received, rushing for just 3.6 yards a pop and one touchdown. He hasn't exactly gotten off on the right foot this offseason either — he was criticized by Bucs coaches for missing OTAs because of pain caused by tooth extractions. Despite the issues, Ward should get more carries in 2010, and could bounce back. Cadillac Williams is the only back ahead of him on the depth chart, and Williams has struggled to stay healthy in the past. With Ward's stock so low, he could be a decent value pick.

Supersleeper: Saints RB Lynell Hamilton

Wide receiver: Arrelious Benn, Buccaneers — The Bucs could end up starting both Benn and fellow rookie Mike Williams at receiver, but Benn, who was selected two rounds ahead of Williams, appears to be a lock to start at flanker. Benn has the potential to become the go-to receiver right away for second-year QB Josh Freeman. The Bucs were drawn to Benn because of his run-after-the-catch ability, and as Freeman matures, so too will the team's passing game. Benn is a definite No. 3 receiver in most formats and could become a quality No. 2 before the season is over.

Supersleeper: Falcons WR Harry Douglas

Tight end: David Thomas, Saints — Thomas' value depends largely on Jeremy Shockey's health. The ex-Patriot made a career-high 35 catches last season and received a decent chunk of playing time when Shockey was sidelined by injuries, as he has been in every season of his career. Thomas would become a valuable No. 2 tight end in deep leagues if Shockey were to miss time again in 2010.

Supersleeper: Panthers TE Gary Barnidge

Placekicker: Matt Bryant, Falcons — Bryant will have to beat out Steven Hauschka for the placekicking job in training camp, but Bryant has more experience, which could give him a slight edge. While Bryant is the front-runner, whomever wins this battle could be a very productive fantasy kicker. Atlanta's offense has the potential to finish in the top 10, and the placekicker should have plenty of opportunities to score.

Supersleeper: Buccaneers PK Connor Barth


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