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Sleeper Spotlight: New England Patriots

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.

Brian Hoyer, QB
Age:  26 (10/13/85)

So, when is a sleeper a player who may never even see the field in 2012?  When that sleeper is none other than Brian Hoyer.

In his limited action as the Patriots backup quarterback over the past three years, Hoyer has posted a total of just 286 passing yards with one touchdown and one interception and a completion percentage of 62.8%. Those numbers aren’t exactly jaw-dropping. In fact, his collegiate numbers at Michigan State aren’t even anything to write home about. After all, he threw for just nine touchdowns and nine interceptions in his Senior year.

So, what’s the big deal then, you ask?

The Patriots obviously think highly of Hoyer’s development as they gave him a second round tender as a restricted free agent this season. After unsuccessfully shopping himself around the league, Hoyer signed on to battle Ryan Mallett to be the Patriots backup again this season. It seems no team was willing to give up an early round draft pick and sign Hoyer to a long term deal right now. After all, there was little reason to do that since Hoyer will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season and the Patriots are likely accepting the fact they’ll settle for a compensatory draft pick for losing him next Summer.

Hoyer is not an imposing physical specimen by any measure. In fact, it’s pretty clear that Mallett has better physical skills. However, Hoyer has been praised for his football IQ and command of a huddle. Those traits could make him a possible target for a team as soon as this off-season if they were to suffer an injury at the position.

Many quarterbacks have sat back and been backups, then found success on another team. Players like Matt Hasselbeck and Matt Schaub immediately come to mind. At the very least, Hoyer is likely to find himself in a position similar to Matt Flynn next year as a highly though of backup quarterback with a chance at commanding a new offense.

In a best case scenario for Hoyer owners (and a horrible one for those owning Tom Brady) is that an injury presses him into action this year so we can see if his solid preseason performances can translate into regular season games, similar to what happened with Matt Cassel a few years back.

At worst, Hoyer is a player to grab off the wire now to hold on to for the season, very similar to Matt Flynn last year. While you’d have to exhibit a serious amount of patience and likely burn a valuable roster spot on a player who will never see your lineup this season, the reward with Hoyer at this time next season could be great. After all, how often can you just grab a potential starting quarterback off the waiver wire for nothing?

Keep close tabs on the preseason and camp performance of Hoyer this year – he could just be the next diamond in the rough.

Ken Kelly
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Bowser
10 years ago

Seems that if his name was MATT Hoyer he would be better off.

sabertooth
10 years ago

There is also the potential that Hoyer or Mallet is traded in the preseason this year, although that is unlikely.

john harstad
10 years ago

Unless your dealing with a 45 man roster I can’t see holding him for the year.
I doubt very much he’s starting for anybody in the future.

Admin
Reply to  john harstad
10 years ago

He’s rostered in several leagues I’m in w/ 30 man rosters…also, if it follows the Kolb/Flynn blueprint, it can be very valuable to do so.

I typically don’t have that kind of patience w/ the QB position, but he’s one that at least makes sense if you can afford the roster spot.

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