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Ryan Fitzpatrick as a fantasy sleeper?

6/25/2014

Is it ever too early to start thinking about fantasy football?

Well, yes. Sometimes it is.

But now is a reasonable time to start since there's no real football happening and fantasy drafts will start in about a month and a half. Our fantasy staff is hard at work to help with that. They analyzed busts, sleeper picks and breakout picks for this season. They define a sleeper as someone not ranked in a position to be a starter, but one that could be a weekly starting option or a star by the end of the season.

One sleeper option will be particularly interesting to Texans' fans:

Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Houston Texans: It's no fun picking a sleeper quarterback who is being universally drafted, so Fitzpatrick makes for a deep-sleeper candidate in his first season with the Texans, as he's not even ranked in our top 30 at the position as of this writing. As if having Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins to throw to, not to mention Arian Foster in the backfield, isn't enough, need I remind you that Fitzpatrick actually finished 12th among QBs in fantasy points in 2011 and threw at least 23 touchdown passes three straight seasons (2010-12) with the Bills and Titans? Once you have your starting quarterback, I think it's important to find a backup who has the ability to have a monster week if you need to use him in a pinch or as a bye-week fill-in, rather than one who will simply "not hurt you." While he's certainly prone to interceptions, don't forget that he has 11 games with three or more TD passes over the past four seasons, and that's more than Joe Flacco (9), Jay Cutler (8) and Cam Newton (6 from 2011-13). --Keith Lipscomb

Lipscomb was the only fantasy analyst to pick Fitzpatrick as a sleeper quarterback. The others took Johnny Manziel, Jay Cutler, Mike Glennon, Josh McCown, EJ Manuel, Philip Rivers, Jake Locker, Carson Palmer or Ryan Tannehill. So there was some variety. Lipscomb's numbers make a compelling case, though. And in fantasy football only numbers matter.