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Dynasty Sleeper: Andre Caldwell

This year’s free agency frenzy has seen many big name players change teams, but it’s also had its fair share of “under the radar” signings as well. For owners in dynasty leagues, it’s easy to just focus on the big names at receiver like Vincent Jackson, Reggie Wayne and Brandon Marshall when reviewing the past few weeks of player movement.

It’s a mistake.

There have been some subtle moves by some teams that could produce some viable fantasy players in dynasty leagues. I covered many of these in the recent Free Agency Blog, but some of these moves have justified their own post here on DLF.

Enter Andre Caldwell.

The Denver Broncos wasted no time in signing Caldwell to join Peyton Manning in Denver. He joins a receiving corps that features Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Jason Hill and Matthew Willis among others. Realistically, there are no guarantees about what kind of playing time Caldwell may get, but it seems the third receiver job would be something that would be in his grasp to begin the season.

The 26 year old Caldwell had his share of ups and downs playing for the Bengals during his four year career. His career totals are rather modest and include 124 catches, 1,172 yards and six touchdowns, with a rather disappointing 9.5 yards per catch average. His measurables are plenty good, though. He stands at 6’1″, weighs around 215 pounds and runs a sub 4.4 forty.

The numbers don’t tell the whole story, though.

Whenever Caldwell has been on the field for extended time, he’s produced. We saw a flash of his ability in the last three games of 2010 when he averaged 90 yards per game and had 15 total catches. Unfortunately, he’s always been buried behind the likes of Chad Ochocinco, Terrell Owens or AJ Green. He’s also had many opportunities to take a stranglehold on a starting job, but failed to get the job done each time.

In Denver, Caldwell gets a re-birth of sorts with a quarterback who tends to make everyone a little better. Remember, Peyton Manning loves to spread the ball around and he made guys like Brandon Stokley, Jacob Tamme, Austin Collie and Blair White into household names, all while making players like Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark and Marvin Harrison into fantasy juggernauts.

Caldwell isn’t a viable threat to the jobs of Demaryius Thomas or Eric Decker – that doesn’t mean he should be overlooked in dynasty leagues, though. Thomas and Decker have both had their share of injuries and Caldwell would get an even bigger boost if one of them was to miss time. Remember, too, that Caldwell is a willing blocker. Manning tends to reward those players who put the team first.

The Broncos could be in play to add yet another receiver to the mix during the draft, but Caldwell is at least a player to monitor, if not add at least temporarily in deep dynasty leagues as a prospect who may have not yet shown us all he has to give. He’s not going to turn into the next Calvin Johnson, but he could emerge as a flex play in deep leagues if everything falls right for him.

While all the other owners in your league are focusing on the big names landing in free agency, keep it here to DLF – we’ll make sure to take a look at the entire landscape in dynasty leagues.

Ken Kelly

Ken Kelly

Senior Partner - Executive Editor at DynastyLeagueFootball
Ken is a corporate trainer by day an a tireless editor of dynasty content by night. His passion for the World Champion Seattle Seahawks is second only to his love of fantasy football and the dynasty format.

Ken is on Twitter at DLF_KenK
Ken Kelly

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. tidewaterjc

    March 29, 2012 at 4:32 am

    Glad I scooped him up in 2 leagues last week before this article. Excellent evaluation Ken!

    • DLF_KenK

      March 29, 2012 at 7:26 am

      Well, you need to take this one with a grain of salt for sure. My goal for the post is just to basically have owners pencil him down as a possibility for one of their last few roster spots in deeper leagues. In leagues with more than 25 spots, teams typically have room for some projects.

      The likelihood of him emerging isn’t great, but we define sleepers a little differently than other sites. This Summer, we’re going to see sleeper lists full of players like Demaryius Thomas, Stevan Ridley and Ryan Mathews.

      Reallly? C’mon.

      Many sites are scared to go out on a limb and drop some names who will likely flame out. We recognize the intelligence level of our readers is superior to that of virtually any other site out there (just visit the forum and you’ll see), so we won’t insult our readers by playing it safe.

      That being said, Caldwell is what he is – a guy to pencil down at the moment and see what happens with the Broncos during the draft. He’s not without talent and landed in a great spot.

      As always, we’ll go out on a limb and suggest some flyers. We’ve historically hit more than we’ve missed.

  2. Chris H

    March 29, 2012 at 10:05 am

    nice article, please keep them coming. we use a 1000 blind bid for waivers and i missed out on caldwell. that said i was able to grab dreesen. do you see him having any value? with the pick up of peyton’s old friend in tamme, as well as their two young developmental te it seems it may be a wasted roster space. casey is available and with the exit of dreesen is he the better stash te?

  3. Alan Bauerle

    March 29, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Nice article thanks! Now he’s on the waiver wire in our league. I have the 14th 15th n 28th pick in the draft. Gonna use my 1.3 on one of the big 3. Would you use one of my 2cnd rounders on him or wait till the 3rd. Our league is deep n anyone that plays w Peyton is def worth a shot.

  4. RobertBobson

    March 29, 2012 at 10:17 am

    I really like this sleeper call.

  5. Miguel

    March 29, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    See, THIS is a real sleeper. Even though I probably won’t target him (at least not at the moment), it’s refreshing to see this kind of analysis and “mining” that most fantasy writers are too timid or too uninformed to do. Well done, keep ’em coming.

  6. StevieMo

    March 29, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Might be a bit risky if Manning is not 100%. You do have to assign a risk premium to anyone associated with Manning. One good hit and the dude could be done, with no discernible backup anywhere in sight, or his arm could be 60% of what it was.

    • DLF_KenK

      March 29, 2012 at 8:13 pm

      You certainly do have that to worry about. Thing is, if he’s one of the last players on your roster (as he should be), it wouldn’t be too hard to cut bait and move to the next project.

      Good luck!

  7. Mangelo

    March 29, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    But he couldn’t beat out Jerome Simpson for the flanker spot and Shipley beat him out for the Y. Those are not difficult hurdles to overcome. I remain a skeptic.

  8. Howard

    March 29, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Good article, but the dynasty sleeper that you should be talking about is Golden Tate. That’s the guy that is outside the norm that websites don’t talk about. Is Caldwell a sleeper, yes but his name is out there because of Manning. He was non existent in Cincy. Tate is going to his magical 3rd year.

    • Steve Wyremski

      March 30, 2012 at 4:48 am

      I’m with you on Tate. He certainly showed some nice signs towards the end of last year and Rice has proven he can’t stay healthy.

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