When I think of the AFC South and fantasy football I think of the highly coveted RB’s they have in the division as Arian Foster, Maurice Jones-Drew, and Chris Johnson are all 1st round talents. However there is much more fantasy value to be had in the division that will not require a 1st round draft pick. In fantasy finding these value players in the middle to late rounds is how you get the advantage in your league. Following are 3 players I feel can easily out play their current ADP’s. (all points/analysis use ESPN standard scoring and rankings)
1. Kenny Britt: Britt I have recently just discovered has gone under the knife once again having arthoscopic knee surgery on his left knee (he tore his RIGHT knee last year) and has been arrested due to a suspected DWI. Britt may be considered a repeat offender to the leagues substance abuse policy so it is possible that he may be suspended for some games this year. All these things will drive Britt even further down draft boards than he is now. Currently Britt is the 28th ranked WR and is 74th overall going between rounds 7-8 (65-80 overall) in the majority of mocks I have done. With the recent news I expect Britt to slip even further possibly another round or two. Last year in only two games he posted 271 yards and 3 touchdowns before being injured in his 3rd game and missing the rest of what looked like a breakout year with a torn ACL. He has big play ability and has talent to help your football team, but because of recent news I have to warn you it is a big risk to take. The reason I personally will take a flier on him is because he has more talent than any WR after round 7 and therefore I feel worth the risk. I would recommend you have at least 2 or 3 solid options at WR before drafting Britt though. If Britt misses 2 or 3 games I’d still feel comfortable taking him as a risk/reward player in round 7, any more than that however I might be looking for another option.
2. Reggie Wayne: Since 2004 Reggie Wayne has had only one season in which he has not posted over 1000 yards and 5 or more touchdowns. Not surprisingly that season was last year when he switched from one of the greatest ever quarterbacks in Peyton Manning to Lackluster Curtis Painter tossing him the ball. Despite the Colts failures last year which resulted in the first overall pick in Andrew Luck , Wayne still managed to record 960 yards and 4 scores for a respectable 113 fantasy points and 29th place finish among wide-outs. Now enter Andrew Luck who is the most highly touted QB since fellow Stanford Alum John Elway. Luck is head and shoulders above QB’s throwing the ball to Wayne last season so I see a very productive year ahead of him and I certainly feel he is better than the 39th ranked receiver and 103rd overall. Don’t let ranking be your guide and go with your gut…he definitely has better upside than Lance Moore and Michael Crabtree who are both ranked ahead of him. In my mocks he is going late in round 9 or later, very good value as he should at least match last years totals.
3. Matt Schaub: While Schaub is no longer a solid QB1 in fantasy football he is definitely a solid #2 and could be a good option to be a spot starter if you like to wait on your QB and play match-ups. Through 10 games last season he accumulated 2,479 yards and 15 touchdowns which prorated would have put him at 3,966 yards and 24 touchdowns on the season. When you consider these numbers and the fact that he averaged 4,570 yards and 26.5 touchdowns from 2009-2010 as well as averaged 15 fantasy points per game in 2011 you get very solid production. Even more impressive is the fact that he did well last year while only having Andre Johnson for a “full” 3 games. With Arian Foster and Ben Tate in town the Texans will be one of the few teams looking to run first but Schaub will still get enough passing plays to put up decent points, especially if Andre Johnson can stay healthy. Most mocks I have him going in round 9-10 which is actually about were I think his value is worth. The only QB’s who I would take ahead of Schaub who may be available in these rounds would be Ryan, Roethlisberger, and Cutler, after that don’t hesitate to grab him up.
These 3 player have great value in fantasy this year and each has potential to outplay their ADP’s. When you are drafting try and remember these 3 names as they have better value than many players being selected before them. As always comments are encouraged.