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Salvage a tragic fantasy football draft with sleepers

Whether your first-round pick has torn his ACL in almost every season of his career or your star wide receiver has already got a concussion in training camp, there is still plenty of time to make smart choices and get back into the top echelon of your fantasy football league. Although the Super Bowl rematch between the Panthers and the Broncos was already played Thursday, here are some smart pickups to fill up that weak spot in your lineup.

If you’re looking for a decent WR probably still on free agent market, look at Tyler Boyd. The Bengals second-round pick out of Pittsburgh had a heck of a college career, posting bigger numbers than Larry Fitzgerald did when he was a Panther. Not only does Boyd have talent, he will be getting many targets as well because the Bengals are projected to start Boyd alongside star WR A.J. Green.

Josh Doctson of the Washington Redskins is also an option at WR. Although he is a rookie dealing with a lingering Achilles injury, he will more often than not be lined up as the No. 3 receiver alongside Desean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, so he will get plenty of targets from close relative Kirk Cousins.

Another WR option would be the newly acquired Philadelphia Eagles WR Dorial Green-Beckham. Because of Green-Beckham’s size at 6 foot 5 inches and 237 pounds, he will be used as a red-zone target, giving him huge upside. The 23-year-old sophomore is a potentially huge breakout candidate.

Looking for running backs? Check out Seattle’s Christine Michael and Minnesota’s Jerick McKinnon. With Seattle starter Thomas Rawls coming back from a horrific ankle injury last season, Rawls will be sharing handoffs with Michael. Minnesota’s 31-year-old starter Adrian Peterson has been carrying a heavy workload for a very long time, which makes him injury-prone. If you pick up Michael or McKinnon, you could capitalize on potential injuries and get value out of Seattle’s and Minnesota’s run-heavy schemes.

If you are getting really desperate, you could pick up New Orleans’ Tim Hightower. With starter Mark Ingram coming off last season’s shoulder injury, it could take Ingram a little bit of time to get back into rhythm. Though this would be unlikely that Ingram would sustain another injury this season, you could always pray to the ACL gods (this tactic has worked on Jordy Nelson, Kelvin Benjamin, Le’Veon Bell and Dion Lewis, to name a few 2015 injuries).

If you want to roll the dice on defense, pick up the Jacksonville Jaguars defense/special teams. The Jags have made huge moves in the offseason, acquiring Prince Amukamara, Tashaun Gipson and Malik Jackson in free agency and drafting standout Seminole Jalen Ramsey. They also have 2015 first-round pick Dante Fowler returning after he was taken out by the ACL gods in the preseason. They have a tough early matchup against the Chargers, Ravens and Colts, so I wouldn’t recommend playing them at the beginning of the season.

Houston Texans QB Brock Osweiler could also be a good pickup. He has a strong supporting cast of WR in Pro Bowler DeAndre Hopkins and former Fighting Irish Will Fuller. Additionally, newly acquired RB Lamar Miller had a breakout season with the ‘Fins last year, which certainly takes some pressure off of Osweiler.

Hopefully this helps you to get ahead of the game and start thinking more progressively about the future of your fantasy football team.

Good luck with your season!

-Ryan Lin


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