With preseason all but wrapped up and the exhibition season set to end on Thursday, it’s almost time for the real thing.
Next Wednesday night can’t come soon enough!
Soon the fall foliage will replace the summer rays and football will enthrall the nation as we are so eloquently accustomed to. And with this weekend being Labor Day weekend, it will be when most fantasy drafts take place.
So get cramming, study up and take a gander at these rising sleepers before your draft.
Lestar Jean: Houston Texans
Considering that the Texans have never had a good complimentary wide receiver option opposite Andre Johnson, Jean has as good a chance as anybody on the Texans’ roster to finally resemble a solid second option for Matt Schaub and the Texans.
Blessed with great size and speed, Jean may be just the receiver to be able to pounce on the single-coverage looks he is about to receive. Jean was set to break out last year before suffering a season-ending injury, but now that he is back to full health expect him to step up.
He’s a worth a late-round flier. Just ask Paul Greco.
Alfred Morris: Washington Redskins
Do you dare try to handicap the thinking of Mike Shanahan and his methodology for rotating running backs? Well then, if you are a risk taker then try Morris on for size.
While Morris did not play in Thursday night’s game against the Buccaneers, he did well enough in the last couple of preseason games to vault himself into the mix for carries in Washington.
You may be playing with fire, but if Shanahan sticks with Morris, he could pay off big dividends for your squad.
Randall Cobb: Green Bay Packers
While he has to contend for targets in a crowded Packers’ receiving corps, no one can doubt the big-time playmaking ability that Cobb possesses.
Cobb has the natural skills to be a great deep threat for Aaron Rodgers, and after a year of adjustments in the Packers’ offensive scheme, Cobb has a real chance to break out.
Russell Wilson: Seattle Seahawks
In a hotly contested battle to win the Seahawks starting quarterback job, Wilson beat out Matt Flynn and with that battle done with, Wilson is someone to keep your eye on.
People doubt Wilson because of his size (5’11), but he makes up for his lack in size by simply making plays. Wilson has a great arm and is a very mobile and that combination is something you shouldn’t just glance over.
Wilson could be a real find in the last few rounds of drafts.
David Wilson: New York Giants
Although incumbent Ahmad Bradshaw is firmly entrenched as the No. 1 running back for the New York Giants, Wilson has showed this preseason exactly why he was drafted in the first round.
Wilson has got (and pardon me for channeling my inner Mel Kiper) a great motor and has tremendous burst out of the backfield. When Wilson gets into open space, watch out.
With Wilson you have to be patient, though. Initially the Giants will ride Bradshaw while Wilson learns the ropes. But by mid-season expect the Giants to incorporate Wilson more heavily into the mix.
Wilson makes for an excellent low-risk/high-reward selection.
Kendall Wright: Tennessee Titans
Another rookie that has looked good in the preseason is Wright.
Wright was Robert Griffin III’s main man in college at Baylor and Wright is plugging right along with Jake Locker as his quarterback.
Wright is a great route runner with tremendous speed. Just give Wright time to gel with Locker and by season’s end he could possibly have the same effect in fantasy leagues that a Julio Jones and A.J. Green had last year. Yeah, he’s that talented.
Jared Cook: Tennessee Titans
While Locker gets adapted to being the full time quarterback for the Titans, he’ll have a few weapons at his disposal. I just named Wright as one of those potential targets, but don’t sleep on Cook either.
Cook has proven his a reliable target, especially in the red zone.
Novice quarterbacks tend to rely on tight ends as a safety valve, and you can expect Locker to connect with Cook on a lot of occasions this year.
Cook is worth a flier in the later rounds of drafts as a No.2 tight end, with upside for much more.
Jonathan Dwyer: Pittsburgh Steelers
If you saw Tuesday’s Google+ chat, you’d know I’m bearish on Isaac Redman while bullish on Dwyer.
Redman has done nothing to separate himself in the quest to be the guy in Pittsburgh while Dwyer has prospered when given the chance.
Dwyer is a burly, shifty runner who could easily steal carries away from Redman while Rashard Mendenhall gets back into shape.
Dwayne Harris: Dallas Cowboys
If you saw how Laurent Robinson flourished as the #3 wide receiving threat in the Cowboys’ offense last year and want the next best thing in Dallas, than Harris could be your man.
Harris has been phenomenal in the preseason thus far. Although he didn’t play in Thursday’s game against the Dolphins, Harris was studly in the Cowboys game against the Rams the previous week when he recorded three catches for 118 yards and two touchdowns.
With Miles Austin and Jason Witten banged up and Dez Bryant, well, being Dez Bryant, there is every real chance that Harris takes this role and runs with it.
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