As part of the premium content package, we’re not only releasing exclusive team capsules (complete with commentary), but also focusing on one sleeper from all 32 teams in the NFL.
These sleepers all have varying levels of “sleeperness,” but all merit a little more talking about than we had room for in the dynasty capsules for each team. Some of these players are deep dynasty sleepers who could merit a spot on your bench in a deep league, while others are players who may contribute a little faster than the deep prospects, but deserve more attention than they may be getting. By definition, a sleeper could mean something a little different to everyone, but we’re simply doing the best job we can to unearth one player from each team who fits the category in some way, shape or form.
We’ll just never insult you with a comprehensive list of “sleepers” that includes such names as Demaryius Thomas, Ryan Mathews or even someone like Stevan Ridley. You’re all too good for that.
While many of these players will undoubtedly fizzle, we figure there’s value in looking more closely at these deeper prospects and players. We invite you to keep an open mind and even re-assess your value on those who may be rostered in your league. You may even consider adding a few of these deeper prospects we focus on this Summer who are free agents in your league – after all, some are destined to pan out, too.
Tony Moeaki, TE KC
Age: 25 (6/8/87)
Although he struggled with injuries throughout his college career at the University of Iowa, the Kansas City Chiefs selected Moeaki in the third round of the 2010 NFL draft and he immediately impressed the team with his hard work and excellent hands. His professional career got off to a great start as he caught a touchdown in his first game, a Monday Night Football matchup against the San Diego Chargers. That strong play continued early in the season, as he regularly led the team in targets and receptions.
Moeaki was a consistently reliable player in the Chiefs offense, although he did miss one game due to a concussion. Moeaki eventually eclipsed the team record for a rookie tight end, as his 47 grabs easily besting Tony Gonzalez’ mark of 33. As the 2010 season concluded, Moeaki became somewhat of a hot commodity in dynasty leagues as fantasy managers envisioned the second coming of Gonzalez in the Chiefs uniform. Moeaki’s value continued to rise throughout the offseason as owners reflected on his impressive rookie season.
Early in September, soon before the official start to the season, the Chiefs placed Moeaki on the injured reserve list after it was revealed that he had torn his left ACL. The reports regarding Moeaki’s rehabilitation have all been positive and he has been quoted as saying he should be at full strength in time to participate in training camp.
Moeaki’s loss left the team exposed at tight end, with veteran Leonard Pope starting and collecting only 24 receptions for just under 250 yards. Unsatisfied with their tight end depth and uncertain if Moeaki would truly be ready by week one, the team was forced to be aggressive in free agency. They signed tight end Kevin Boss, who had been recently released by the rival Oakland Raiders. Boss’ numbers have been declining each season and his stint in Oakland lasted only one year before the Raiders decided he wasn’t worth the price tag.
With that said, Boss is now penciled in as the starting tight end and Moeaki is still rehabbing his knee, so there are questions regarding what role the former Hawkeye can play for the Chiefs. The good news is that Boss will likely play the traditional tight end role thanks to his above average blocking ability. Moeaki should see plenty of snaps and targets as a pass catcher in the same mold as other big athletic tight ends like Aaron Hernandez and Jimmy Graham. While he is a long shot to match the production of these top tight ends, Moeaki has a great chance to match or exceed the numbers from his rookie season, which were good enough to place him as TE17 in PPR leagues.
Moeaki is still a young player who has already proven himself to his teammates and to fantasy owners. He provides a lot of upside as a backup fantasy tight end in dynasty leagues and could even fill a role as a bye week starter, should he prove to be healthy.