Want a fantasy football "sleeper" this year that not every one of your buddies knows about already? Spend a last-round pick on Miami Dolphins wide receiver Anthony Armstrong. Who the hell is Anthony Armstrong?
Though he was a star at tiny West Texas A&M, Armstrong went understandably undrafted by the NFL after college and ended up with the Dallas Desperados of the Arena Football League instead. In Dallas, he became a fan favorite and a breakout star. He caught the eye of current Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland, who was with the Cowboys front office at the time. When Ireland made the move to Miami, he brought Armstrong with him, adding the lightning fast receiver to the Dolphins' practice squad in 2008.
Still a relative unknown to even the Dolphins' rabid fan base, Armstrong turned a lot of heads in minicamps last month. When OTA sessions began in May, he was likely the eighth or ninth receiver on the depth chart. After lighting it up throughout the OTA sessions and in five minicamp sessions in June, Armstrong might very well end up being one of the main go-to wideouts in Miami this season. It's certainly not a given that he'll make the final 53-man active roster. But if he's on the field, watch out.
At 5-foot-11, 175 pounds, he's not a giant. But he's got speed — tons of it. Like No. 1 wideout Ted Ginn Jr., Armstrong's biggest task at hand will be learning to harness that speed, managing it to run precise and timely routes.
Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington spoke about Armstrong's lightning fast quickness with the South Florida Sun Sentinel last month.
"You can really tell the difference from his route-running from a year ago until now," he said. "He understands that his speed is his weapon, but only when he uses it appropriately. He can't just outrun everybody. He has to have proper technique getting off the jam and get good, clean releases. He's done a really good job of that this spring."
Every year, there's a receiver that emerges from nowhere to make an impact. Whether it be Marques Colston or Mike Furrey, these guys work their way up the depth charts and make it impossible for coaches to keep them off the field.
Anthony Armstrong could be that guy in 2009.
Just don't tell your fellow fantasy league owners. You'll want him all to yourself.