Fantasy Football: Sleepers to Claim for Week Three: Niles Paul

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Sep 21, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants tight end

Larry Donnell

(84) is tackled by Houston Texans free safety

Kendrick Lewis

(21) at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

3) TE Larry Donnell, New York Giants

Larry Donnell is a guy who came into the NFL as an undrafted free-agent in 2012. The 25-year old got onto the roster last season. This year, he’s emerged as Eli Manning‘s favorite target among New York’s tight-ends.

Donnell is big and athletic at 6’6″ 265lbs. but is not yet considered a good in-line blacker by the team. However, that doesn’t matter for fantasy purposes, other than the fact that it might limit his snaps (and opportunities).

I was again slow to jump on the Donnell bandwagon for a couple of reaosns: 1) he continued to be listed down the depth chart, and 2) TE’s are rarely impact fantasy assets. Still, you can’t ignore that fact that Donnell has been getting targets for 3 consecutive weeks.

Through 3 games, Donnell has 18 catches for 182 yards and 1 TD, including 6 receptions for 45 yards on Sunday. Donnell’s numbers project out to 971 yards receiving with 5 TDs, which would be a fine season for most fantasy TE’s.

Again, the bargain-hunting fantasy football owners needs to keep panning the waiver wire and undrafted list for over-looked gems. These guys can provide invaluable depth, and give you the ammunition to make trades to shore up your roster weaknesses.

Early in the season, you need to quickly move on from the guys that don’t work out—and focus on the ones the continue to get consistent opportunities from their team.