Top sleepers for your fantasy football draft

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Posted: August 21, 2014

It's the time of year when fantasy enthusiasts obsess over draft order and which players will be available when the time comes to make that fateful first-round pick. Jamaal or Shady? Peyton or Brees? Bud or Miller?

But as important as your initial pick can be, it pales in comparison to the handful of selections you'll make - or miss - several rounds later.

Who are this year's hidden gems? Let's take a look at my sleeper picks, broken down by position.

(Note: ADP, or "average draft position," indicates where the player is typically being selected within his position."QB14" means he's the 14th quarterback taken on mock draft sites. Compare to my Fantasy Fools "FF" rankings).

Jay Cutler, QB, Bears (ADP QB14; FF QB5). Longtime readers will be shocked to see this because I've always been a Cutler detractor. But with the blue-chip receivers at his service, Cutler's arsenal is fully loaded. He could have an elite year if he simply cuts down the boneheaded plays.

Josh McCown, QB, Buccaneers (ADP QB24; FF QB11). He was masterful as Cutler's replacement in 2013 and he was rewarded with a big contract and another pair of talented, jumbo-size receivers in Tampa Bay. Draft him as your backup and you may be rewarded with starter-quality stats.

Zac Stacy, RB, Rams (ADP RB14; FF RB8). Stacy proved he could handle the bell cow role as a rookie. All he needs is for Sam Bradford to stay healthy and give him some cover.

Rashad Jennings, RB, Giants (ADP RB21; FF RB14). His current ADP is virtually identical to his final 2013 ranking in Oakland, which makes sense only if you think he won't keep his new starting gig. With David Wilson retiring, only fourth-round pick Andre Williams stands in his way.

Mark Ingram, RB, Saints (ADP RB49; FF RB28). A perennial disappointment, Ingram is listed as the Saints' starting RB. With Darren Sproles gone, and playing for a free-agent contract, he's absolutely worth a late-round flier.

Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Broncos (ADP WR28; FF WR19). The ex-Steeler steps into the lucrative role vacated by Eric Decker, who is not blessed with Sanders' speed or overall skill set.

Kenny Stills, WR, Saints (ADP WR 51; FF WR32). With Lance Moore and Sproles both out of the picture, Stills will get his chance to shine opposite Marques Colston.

Markus Wheaton, WR, Steelers (ADP WR57; FF WR38). The second-year speedster is already listed as the starter opposite Antonio Brown.

Jarrett Boykin, WR, Packers (ADP WR54; FF WR42). Boykin put up some impressive numbers in 2013 when Randall Cobb was lost and before Aaron Rodgers went down. The third-year receiver has some serious breakout potential as the Packers' third wideout.

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