Fantasy football sleepers: The case for Reuben Randle

With the first slate of Sunday games rapidly approaching, it is safe to say we are in the full swing of fantasy football season.

With it comes the endless line up tinkering, waiver wire scavenging, and trade requests, and soon enough it will become a part of our every day routines for the next five months.

Despite weeks of anticipation and preparation for the fantasy draft and this overwhelming commitment to the sport, odds are there is still a hole in your starting line up, or a debate over who will be your flex player.

If you still are in need of a starter with upside for week 1, look no further than the criminally under-ranked (WR44 on ESPN for week 1) Reuben Randle, a strong option as a flex play or a low-end WR2. In addition, Randle is available in about 30% of ESPN fantasy leagues, and will likely be a low-cost trade target.

New York Giants

If Eli Manning can bounce back from a disappointing 2013 season, Reuben, and all Giant receivers, will become even more fantasy relevant.

After the injury to first-round draft pick Odell Beckham, Randle is immediately elevated to second on the Giants wide receiving depth chart. Starting alongside Victor Cruz, Randle will not only be in a position for increased production, but also will benefit from Cruz drawing the majority of defensive attention.

Randle finished 2013 with 41 receptions, 611 receiving yards, and 6 TDs, primarily as the third wide receiver in a struggling Giants offense. His history of consistent production in a limited role bodes very well for his prospects in an expanded role for week 1.

Also a threat to score in the red zone, Randle has 9 career touchdowns on just 60 career receptions.

Couple this with a matchup against Detroit’s 30th ranked fantasy defense to opposing wide receivers, and you have a potential breakout player who is currently overlooked by many analysts and pundits.

With a growing chemistry with quarterback Eli Manning, Randle has a ceiling of developing into a legitimate fantasy football contributor. If he is available on the waiver wire in any league, he is definitely worth an addition and starter consideration, depending on your lineup. If not, it may be a worthwhile investment to trade for him before games start and hope he develops into a true fantasy WR2. While it is certainly more of a risk moving forward, Randle has the history to show he may be worthy of such consideration.