Category: Fantasy Football


I am the kind of fantasy football player who will have a lot of different leagues, but none are quite as fun as a money league among some of your friends.  Getting together, drinking some beers and as always trash talking and the criticizing every pick that is cast.  I like doing mock drafts, and to be honest I probably did about 75ish mocks this pre-season.  However no mock I have done could have prepared me for the unpredictability of this league, where Calvin went 4, Foster went 6 and McCoy went 7th.  Fortunately for me I walked away with a squad I feel will be in the playoffs.  So without further ado my completed roster round by round from pick 7.

1.7- LeSean McCoy:  How it is possible for Foster and McCoy to go 6 and 7 I’m not sure but I am not going to complain…only laugh about the luck I had in this draft.

2.4- Chris Johnson:  Can Chris Johnson bounce back from his lackluster year in 2011?  He has the potential we all know that, and it also appears that he has the motivation as well.

3.7- Cam Newton:  Cam Newton at the end of the 3rd round?  RIDICULOUS!  He has the possibly the highest ceiling in fantasy football, and even if he regresses a bit, I feel he is almost a guarantee to finish in the top 8.

4.4- Julio Jones:  Speaking of high ceiling’s Jones could easily post numbers that are off the charts, and is a solid WR1 for any team in any format.

5.7- Hakeem Nicks:  Hakeem Nicks’ foot injury likely played a big part in him falling this far, but it still does not stop the fact that I ended up with a WR1 at the end of round 5.

6.4- Percy Harvin:  Harvin is now in both my money leagues and like I said I think that Harvin has huge potential considering he was the 8th highest scoring WR in only 58% of the snaps.

7.7- Tony Romo:  I had two solid RB’s and three solid WR’s, there were no TE’s worth drafting so I decided to go for Romo so that I have great QB depth in case of an injury.  Romo in the 7th was awesome.

8.4- Peyton Hillis:  I think that Hillis is going to split carries this season and should also see the goal line work, very good value for my RB3.

9.7- Jeremy Maclin:  Maclin in the end of the 9th I simply have no explanation for…simply amazing.

10.4- Stevan Ridley:  It’s pretty obvious that Ridley is the most talented RB on the Patriots and if they are smart they will use him a lot this season to keep defenses honest.

11.7- Kenny Britt:  And another league I have Britt on.  With only a 1 game suspension, and the skills to be a top 10 WR I just couldn’t pas him up.  Either way he is my 5th WR so even if he does not pan out I’ll be fine.

12.4- Kevin Smith:  He’s a starter, and at this point in the draft that’s more than you can reasonably expect.

13.7- Titus Young:  He’s been tearing it up in the pre-season, and even if he don’t pan out it will be alright considering he is nothing but a reserve.

14.4- Jared Cook:  Cook can breakout like I said, and I’m not worried about my TE…after the top 3 its all a crap shoot.

15.7- Texans DST:  People were taking DST’s as soon as the 8th round and none of them were this defense?  It just does not make sense.

16.4- Garret Harley:  Same with kickers, they were coming off the board early and he somehow got lost in the shuffle.

So there you have it, my league winning roster…I know there are no such things as sure things in fantasy, but this team does not have any flaws that I can see anyway.  As always comments are encouraged.

The NFL over the past decade has become increasingly more pass happy making the QB position even more of a priority than in years past.  Think about the top QB’s in the league: Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Mathew Stafford, Eli Manning…all are pro bowl caliber signal callers and each of their respective teams have legit chances to make deep playoff runs and possibly end their season with the Lombardi trophy.  Like the NFL, in fantasy having an elite signal caller like Rodgers or Brady will help your team because the points these players can generate on a weekly basis are typically higher than other positions.  However because so many teams are airing the ball out, there are a number of QB’s who can lead your team this season.  Following are my top 24 signal callers for this fantasy season (24 because I assume most leagues are 10-12 teams and most teams have 2 QB’s on their roster) also all points/analysis/ADP use espn.com info and standard scoring.

1.  Aaron Rodgers (ADP-2.8):  He was the top QB scorer last season despite playing in only 15 games and managed to score 20 or more fantasy points in 14 of his 15 starts.  I mean really do I need to convince you why he is ranked 1st?

2.  Tom Brady (ADP-5.2):  Brady threw for 5,235 yards and 39 touchdowns last season without a true deep threat.  Now with Brandon Lloyd in town to stretch the field along with two elite TE’s and his favorite target Wes Welker, Brady is in for a great year.  Don’t forget the last time Brady had a deep threat (Randy Moss) and Josh McDaniels as his OC, he went off for 4,806 yards and 50 touchdowns!  Expect big things this season from him.

3.  Drew Brees (ADP-6.9):  He has been fantasy gold since arriving in New Orleans as he has averaged 4,732 yards and 33 touchdowns, and thrown for over 5,000 yards twice including the record setting 5,476 yards he had last season.  Sean Payton is suspended, but I don’t see it having too big of an impact on Brees this year, he knows the offense inside and out and should continue to put up big numbers.

4.  Mathew Stafford (ADP-12.0):  Stafford showed last season why he was a former #1 overall draft pick as he threw for over 5,000 yards and 41 touchdowns lifting the Lions to their first playoff appearance since 1999.  Detroit has plenty of weapons for Stafford to throw the ball to like Titus Young and Brandon Pettigrew, oh and that guy they call Megatron is pretty decent too.  Look for Stafford to again show he is among the league’s elite signal callers.

5.  Cam Newton (ADP-16.5):  Anyone who was wise enough to draft Cam last season with a late round pick or else plucked him off the waiver wire was rewarded with huge dividends as he threw for over 4,000 yards and had 31 total touchdowns.  Newton had arguably the best rookie campaign in NFL history which was remarkable considering that he had very limited time to get prepared because of the lockout last season.  Some will argue that Cam is in for a down year, but even if he throws for 3,300 yards 20 touchdowns and 15 interceptions (very pedestrian numbers) his running ability will vault him again in the top 10 of QB’s.  For instance if he throws for the above mentioned numbers and has an additional 450 yards and 5 touchdowns on the ground (he had 706/14 last season) he would end up with 257 fantasy points which would have placed him 9th among QB’s.  So by drafting Cam you are getting a player who’s floor is a top 10 QB and who’s ceiling could potentially be the top scorer in fantasy.

6.  Eli Manning (ADP-27.6):  Eli is the most underrated passer in the NFL and showed last year he belongs in the discussion among the top QB’s in the league as he threw for 4,933 yards and 29 touchdowns.  With the weapons he has in Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz and rookie Ruben Randle I feel very confident in Eli as an upper echelon QB1 in fantasy and is the best option if you do not want to spend a 1st or 2nd round pick on your signal caller.  While I do like Eli this season I would not reach for him in the 3rd round which is were his current ADP is but would consider grabbing him with a late 4th or early 5th round pick.

7.  Tony Romo (ADP-50.0):  Romo has been one of the top fantasy QB’s for a while now as he has averaged 4,292 yards and 31 touchdowns the three seasons he has been healthy enough to play all 16 games.  He does have a bit of injury risk as he has missed multiple games 2 of the past 5 seasons and is playing with a pretty poor offensive line.  However I still feel that Romo is worthy of the #7 rank and is still a fine QB1 for your squad.

8.  Phillip Rivers (ADP-61.4):  Fantasy football players tend to have short memories which will cause Rivers to fall on many draft boards because of the abysmally high 20 interceptions and 5 lost fumbles he had last season.  However he did get better as the season wore on throwing for 16 touchdowns and 6 interceptions in the second half of the season compared to 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in the first.  Despite his struggles he still had 4,624 yards and 27 touchdowns last season and has averaged 4,400 yards and 30 touchdowns the past 4 seasons.  Don’t hesitate to take rivers he is going to be just fine this season.

9.  Michael Vick (ADP-38.3):  If Vick could stay injury free for an entire season he could be fantasy’s top scorer, but it is something he just has not been able to do most of his career.  When he is on the field he is a fantasy machine as he still has speed and elusiveness to gain considerable statistics on the ground.  If you draft Vick make sure that you invest in a solid QB 2 someone like Matt Ryan (who himself can easily be a top 10 option this year), Jay Cutler, or Big Ben as insurance.

10.  Peyton Manning (ADP-44.6):  I went back and forth ranking Vick and Manning but decided that since Vick has higher upside and both players in my opinion need a solid backup plan I would give the edge to Vick.  You know the warning signs he had neck fusion surgery and has not played in nearly 2 years, but if anybody can come back from that its Manning.  He has the best mind of any QB in history and so I feel confident that Manning can bounce back and have a terrific year.  If he stays healthy I think 4,000 plus yards and 30 touchdowns are easily in reach.

11.  Matt Ryan (ADP-61.9):  Ryan finished last season with an 8th place finish in fantasy points and enjoyed a breakout season with career highs in both yards and touchdowns with 4,177 and 29 respectively.  The Falcons are moving toward a more heavily pass oriented attack which will only benefit Ryan.  He is easily capable of posting top 10 numbers yet again and is a huge bargain this year.  He has an ADP right behind Rivers at 61 which is worth his value because he is the last QB I would truly feel safe with leading my fantasy team.

12.  Jay Cutler (ADP-97.4):  Cutler I think is in for a career year as he finally has a solid stable of WR’s to throw to lead by Brandon Marshall.  Couple this with the fact that he has one of the leagues best catch passing backs in Matt Forte and you get an offense who is poised to be explosive.  Offensive line troubles aside Cutler should be a Fringe QB1 in standard leagues and a solid starter in leagues with 12 plus teams.  Given his ADP of 97 he is an absolute steal!

13.  Matt Schaub (ADP-86.4):  If you were to prorate Matt Schaub’s numbers last season you would get 3,996 yards and 24 touchdowns which is pretty impressive considering Andre Johnson was only available for a “full” 3 games with him.  The Texans like to run and run and run some more but now that Schaub is healthy again and has Johnson back I think he is in line for a good bounce back year.  Don’t forget the previous two seasons in 2009 and 2010 e averaged 4,570 yards and nearly 27 touchdowns.  He should be fine and with a ADP of 86 he is well worth the pick.

14.  Ben Roethlisberger (ADP-81.5):  Big Ben was somewhat of a disappointment the past 2 seasons but is poised for a bounce back campaign.  The Steelers rushing attack is lead by a banged up Issac Redman, and Jonathan Dwyer.  Rashard Mendenhall may not be on the PUP list but is still not going to see the field anytime soon.  With the lack of a run game Pittsburgh will have to air it out and they have a trio of talented WR’s who can get the job done in Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, and Emanuel Sanders.  If Ben can stay healthy which may be a challenge due to his past ailments (has not played a full season since 2008) he could live up to his ADP in the 9th round.  I however would not by any means stretch for him.

15.  Carson Palmer (ADP-135.4):  I do not see why so many people are down on Palmer this year, I think he played very well considering he came in mid-season to a new team.  If you were to prorate Palmer’s numbers last season he would have amassed 4,688 yards and 23 touchdowns.  He did have a lot of interceptions last season with 10 in 9 starts, but give him some slack he had to learn a new system in the matter of two weeks.  I think Palmer will be fine this season as he has had time to learn the offense and work with his receivers, so all things considered he should be a fine QB2 who is ridiculous value with an ADP of 135 in the middle of the 14th round!

16.  Jake Locker (ADP-144.1):  Locker in 3 partial games accumulated 586 total yards and 5 combined touchdowns with no interceptions good for 46 fantasy points (15.3 avg).  I can’t wait to see what this kid can do as a starter this season.  Yes he has some accuracy issues but because of his ability to gain yardage and touchdowns on the ground I feel he has great upside, and to be honest I prefer QB2’s with high upside instead of middle of the road QB’s with low ceilings.  (also its worth noting that his ADP is likely to rise quickly considering he is now the starter.)

17.  Andrew Luck (ADP-112.9):  As you likely already know Andrew Luck is the most highly touted QB since fellow Stanford product John Elway came into the league.  Andrew has all of the intangibles that it takes to become an elite QB in the league.  Still he is a rookie and will have some growing pains this season, but considering the Colts are likely to be playing from behind often this season he will be throwing the ball quite a bit.  Don’t discount the colts, they still have some play makers like Reggie Wayne and Austin Collie and have drafted additional help via the draft with Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen and Ty Hilton.  Also he has ability to add points on his legs as he had the same 40 yard dash time (4.59) as Cam Newton.  All things considered I’d rather have Luck on my roster than any other rookie including RGIII.

18.  Robert Griffin III (ADP-85.2):  Like I said I’d rather have Luck on my roster, but RGIII is another great QB2 who can post solid numbers this season.  If you were to combine Rex Grossman’s and John Beck’s numbers last season you would get 4,009 yards and 18 touchdowns.  RGIII is considerably more talented and with the addition of Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan to the receiving corps along with his obvious upside he brings in the running game, he should be a very strong QB2.

19.  Joe Flacco (ADP-119.5):  Flacco is a pretty good QB2 this season as he has averaged 3,615 yards and 22 touchdowns the past three seasons.  He has decent receivers in the sure handed Anquan Boldin and a deep threat in Torrey Smith, not to mention the best pass catching back in the league in Ray Rice.  Can Flacco take the next step this season?  If he does he will be worth every bit of his draft slot.

20.  Josh Freeman (ADP-120.9):  Freeman had an off year with a whopping 22 interceptions and only 16 touchdowns only one year after posting 25 touchdowns and 6 interceptions.  However the entire Buccaneer team appeared to quit during the season, that should not be the case this year.  With the addition of Carl Nicks at guard the Buc’s have one of the best O-Lines in football so he should have plenty of time to throw the ball.  The arrivals of Vincent Jackson and rookie Doug Martin will also add fire power to help stimulate the offense this season.  Considering his ADP you really aren’t risking much to get him.

21.  Ryan Fitzpatrick (ADP-138.1):  Fitzpatrick started the season strong with 64 fantasy points through the first 3 games then struggled for the rest his season.  He was very up and down as he scored 14 or more fantasy points in 7 contests while scoring single digits in the same amount of games.  If he can stay steady this season he could drastically outplay his ADP.

22.  Andy Dalton (ADP-120.1):  Dalton had a great rookie season with 3,398 yards and 20 touchdowns which was even more impressive considering he had limited time to prepare for the season with the NFL lockout.  He has one of the best young talents to throw to in A.J. Green and if he can avoid a sophomore slump should put up even better numbers.

23.  Alex Smith (ADP-117.8):  Smith is the definition of a game manager, he is efficient with the ball and his main job is to not lose the game for them.  Many look to the additions of Randy Moss, Mario Manningham, and A.J. Jenkins and instantly think that Smith is in for a career year.  However I look at the addition of Brandon Jacobs and LaMichael James into an already stacked backfield and see the 49ers running and running and running some more this season.  And ask yourself this…even if he is in store for a career is that really saying much considering his best season came last year with 3,144 yards and 17 touchdowns?  I think not.  Don’t be a fool and reach for Smith because he is still just average, however if he falls to the 12-13th round he is not a bad option.

24.  Christian Ponder (ADP-170):  Ponder is going un-drafted in many leagues because there is such a strong stable of QB’s this year.  Still I think that ponder can be a decent QB2 this season especially if the Vikings realize the need to use Harvin more and once Jerome Simpson comes back from a suspension.  At this point in the draft you could definitely do worse.

So there you have it fantasy fans my updated QB rankings for the 2012 season.  Hopefully I did this with enough time to help those of you with late drafts.  As always comments are encouraged.

I have looked for draft bargains across the league and end my search with the NFC North.  The division has some big time fantasy studs like Aaron Rodgers and Calvin Johnson but also some players who are flying under the radar who can provide nice depth for your roster.  I may sound like a broken record, but it is important to realize that finding players who are available mid to late in fantasy drafts are what separate the good teams from the bad and it takes a lot more research than simply looking at a rankings list.  The following players as well as other draft bargains I have listed were not chosen because of rankings or projections but on my instincts that they are being undervalued in fantasy drafts this season.  Finding fantasy gems like Victor Cruz or Jimmy Graham are extremely difficult and is often a combination of analysis and luck.  So following are three players who I feel have the opportunity and skill set to outplay their current ADP.  (all points/ADP/analysis use ESPN standard scoring and ESPN ADP)

1.  Jay Cutler (ADP, 99.4):  Cutler has not exactly lit up the fantasy world since being traded to Chicago, but when you stop and look at the talent around him is it really all that surprising?  No disrespect to Earl Bennett or Johnny Knox but Brandon Marshall and Ashlon Jeffery offer a lot more explosiveness to help Cutler in the passing game.  Cutler had his best season in 2008 throwing for 4,526 yards and 25 touchdowns with the Denver Broncos.  With the exception of last season in which he only played 10 games, Cutler has never thrown for under 3,200 yards and 20 touchdowns.  Prorate his 2011 totals he would have posted over 3,700 yards and 20 touchdowns.  With the upgrades at WR this season and Matt Forte signed to help with screens and underneath routes, Cutler has very good upside this season.  I have him as my 13th ranked QB and could be a spot starter this season or your QB1 if you play in a 12 team plus league.  If his O-line can step up from their abysmal performance last season I think Cutler has potential to post 4,000 plus yards and 25 or more touchdowns.  Don’t hesitate to take Cutler this season as he can be taken after round 9 and has potential to be a top 10 QB this season.

2.  Percy Harvin (ADP, 59.6):  Harvin was the 8th highest fantasy scorer among wide-outs last season which makes me wonder why he is being drafted as the 21st WR towards the end of the 6th round.  Despite only being in on 58% of the offensive snaps (per ESPN) he managed to score an impressive 165 points.  What is more impressive is how he came alive during the second half of the season as he scored 114 points during his final 8 games compared to 51 in his first 8.  With Adrian Peterson’s injury uncertain at this point I see the Vikings leaning heavily on Harvin this season both out wide and in the backfield giving him plenty of opportunity to produce.  Harvin is viewing this season as a contract year something that is always a bonus for fantasy purposes and should he pick up where he left off last season can be a solid WR1 who can be had at a WR2 or 3 price.

3. Michael Bush (ADP, 89.5):  Michael Bush has the skill set to be a top fantasy back in the league however he has chosen to go from backing up Darren McFadden to backing up Matt Forte.  Still the Bears did not pay Bush a $14 million contract to just ride the bench and should be utilized a good amount in Chicago especially near the goal line as he is one of the best TD vultures in the League.  Forte will get the lion share of the carries but Bush will get enough looks that could make him a decent RB3 or 4 who could be used in the flex or for bye weeks.  Bush could post 700 plus yards and 7 plus touchdowns this season and is a must have handcuff for Forte owners.

So there you have it fantasy fans the conclusion of my attempt to locate the top draft day bargains this fantasy season.  Hopefully these players pan out this season and can help you in your fantasy leagues.  Thanks for reading and if you have not already done so please check out the rest of my posts about draft bargains.  And as always opinions and comments are encouraged.

 

The NFC South has some powerhouse fantasy talent with the likes of Drew Brees and Cam Newton highlighting the division.  Besides these two big names there are many other household fantasy names that will be drafted in the first 5 rounds such as Jimmy Graham and Julio Jones, but there are also nice options available in the middle to late rounds who can help your fantasy team this season.  Following are three names that are great bargains this year and can both help you and also out play their ADP.  (All points/ADP’s/analysis use ESPN.com and ESPN standard scoring)

1.  Brandon LaFell (ADP, 152.9):  Dez Bryant, Victor Cruz, Julio Jones, Jordy Nelson…what do all of these players have in common?  They are WR2’s on a team with a 4,000 plus yard passer who are all being selected in the early rounds of fantasy drafts.  So where is the love for Brandon LaFell this season?  Now I am not saying that LaFell has the upside of any of these players but he certainly has a lot of upside and I think it is outright ridiculous he is being drafted behind the likes of Terrell Owens, Michael Floyd, Randall Cobb and many other WR’s.  In limited action last season LaFell posted decent numbers with 613 yards and 3 touchdowns on only 36 catches.  LaFell’s 17 average yard per catch last season was the 12th highest in the NFL ahead of big play receivers such as DeSean Jackson, Mike Wallace, and A.J. Green.  This season as the number 2 wide-out in Carolina with Steve Smith drawing most of the coverage I feel LaFell has good upside and could easily post 800 plus yards and 5 or more TD’s worthy of a flex play in standard formats.  I would not draft him to be my WR3 but as a WR4 or 5 with a lot of upside.  Considering his upside and the fact that he can be drafted in the last 2 rounds in drafts make him my top bargain, not only for the NFC South, but for the entire NFL.

2.  Doug Martin (ADP, 78.4):  New head coach Greg Schiano has said that making Martin the Buccaneers lead back is the plan this season.  Though he is still only 2nd on the depth chart it seems as only a matter of time before he surpasses incumbent starter LeGarrette Blount for the starting gig.  He is only a rookie but he should see plenty of snaps this season as he is very efficient in both pass blocking and catching out of the backfield, two areas that Blount struggles with.  It is always risky drafting a rookie runner in the NFL but considering he is being drafted as the 28th RB off the board toward the end of the 8th round he should be well worth the risk.  In a 10 team league I think it is safe to grab martin as early as the 5th or 6th round, and I like him a lot more than players Roy Helu, Stevan Ridley, and Jonathan Stewart who are all being drafted ahead of him.  All things considered Martin is capable of 1000 plus APY (all purpose yards) and 5 plus touchdowns making him a low end 2 or solid flex play in standard 10 team leagues.

3.  Tony Gonzalez (ADP, 90.2):  I still do not understand why so many fantasy players are taking Jimmy Graham or Rob Gronkowski in the 2nd round when you can get a solid TE like Gonzalez 7-8 rounds later.  I understand the logic that because they can score points like WR1’s it gives your team an advantage, but in order to get a top 2 TE you will have to forgo a WR1 or solid RB which to me is not worth it.  Gonzalez is a lock for the Hall of fame as he is the most decorated TE in NFL history.  Since arriving in Atlanta he has posted 867, 656, and 875 yards and 19 total touchdowns.  He is a solid TE that you can grab in round 9 that can post just as solid of numbers as many TE’s being selected ahead of him.  Atlanta is looking to air it out this season and I think that Gonzalez could have a very successful final season, probably somewhere in the neighborhood of what he did last season 850-900 yards and 7 touchdowns.  Once the top TE’s come off the board don’t hesitate to snag the seasoned vet and be happy when he produces similar production.  Oh and here’s one last fun fact about Tony Gonzalez…since 1998 he has only missed 2 games due to injury so he should be good for the whole season.

There you have it my top draft bargains for the NFC South.  This is a division with a lot of talent in the middle and late rounds so this list was a challenge but I did my best.  As always comments are encouraged.

 

 

 

The NFC East is one of the most stacked divisions in the NFL in terms of fantasy football players.  Their are many players in the division who will be taken in the first few rounds like McCoy, Murray, Romo, Vick, Manning, Cruz, Nicks, and Bradshaw just to name a few.  And while these players are all fantasy producers, there is still value to be had in the middle to late rounds that can help you win your league.  Following are 3 players I feel offer the most value for their draft slots… (all analysis/points/etc. done at ESPN.com and use standard scoring.)

1.  Fred Davis:  Fred Davis has tremendous value at TE this season and could easily post top 10 numbers at his position.  In 2011 Davis accumulated 796 yards and 3 touchdowns in only 12 games before being suspended for the final 4 games.  Last season with sub-par QB play he still managed 9 or more fantasy points in 7 out of the 12 games.  Now with RGIII running the offense I see a lot of targets for Davis because of his ability to get open and stable of unproven/mediocre WRs in Washington.  Chris Cooley appears healthy this season but Davis has proven he is worth the being the starting TE this season and Cooley should not put a dent in Davis’ production this season.  Currently Davis ADP (average draft position) is the 9th TE off the board and 104 overall meaning he should be available in round 10 and offer great value for your fantasy squad.  He should have numbers at least close to players like Vernon Davis (ADP: 52), Jason Witten (ADP: 60) and Jermichael Finley (ADP: 67), so considering that he can be had 50 to 30 picks later than these players he is the definition of a draft bargain.

2.  Robert Griffin III:  After the insane rookie season Cam Newton had last season, people are drooling over RGIII thinking he can produce similar numbers.  I’m not so optimistic because Newton had the best rookie season in NFL history throwing for over 4,000 yards and combining for 31 total touchdowns (14 on the ground, an NFL record for QB’s.)  That being said RGIII still has a high ceiling this season as he can rack up fantasy points both through the air and on the ground.  If you were to combine the statistics of Rex Grossman and John Beck last season you get a 4,000 yard 18 touchdown QB.  That being said RGIII is head and shoulders above these players and is well worth his current ADP as the 13th QB and 82nd overall off the board.  RGIII is still a rookie so you have to expect some growing pains this season, but I think he is well capable of a 3,300 yard 20 touchdown campaign through the air and an aditional 400 plus yards and 4-5 touchdowns on the ground.  I like to project conservative that way I don’t overvalue players, so assuming he can manage these numbers with about 15 interceptions (a high amount) would put him around 250 fantasy points which based off of last year numbers would have him as the 9th place QB and would have outscored Philip Rivers, Michael Vick and Ben Roethlisberger.  When you look at QB2’s you want upside so RGIII is one of the best available this season as he can easily reach and surpass the above mentioned projection.

3.  Ruben Randle:  Randle I have heard draw comparisons to his teammate Hakeem Nicks because they have similar size and speed.  There has been a lot of buzz surrounding him this offseason and because of a broken foot from Nicks this offseason Randle has been able to gain more chemistry with Eli Manning this season which can only help his value this season.  Nicks should be ok to start week 1 so Randle will be on the field only in 3 WR sets, but should still be able to produce decent numbers this offseason.  Also don’t forget that Nicks has yet to have a full season without injury so by drafting Randle you will likely have some games were he is a starter.  I think that for Randle to record 700 yards and 4 plus touchdowns is well within reach.  These numbers would equate to roughly 100 fantasy points this season making him great value considering he has a current ADP as the 46th WR and 135 overall meaning he is available in round 13-15.

So there you have it my top bargains for the NFC East.  Considering the amount of talent that is available in the first few rounds it was actually harder than usual to find the bargains in this division compared to others.  But as with all divisions value can be had at all points in the draft, and I have done my best to find 3 players who offer the value that can help you this season.  As always comments are encouraged.

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The NFC West is has very few fantasy studs in the division with only 4 players being worthy of a pick in the first 5 rounds (Fitzgerald, Lynch, Jackson, and Gore.)  Outside of these players there are really only a handful of players who offer decent value in fantasy.   I have done my best to find 3 players who I think offer the best value and have good potential to outplay there ADP’s.  So without further ado my top bargains for the NFC West. (all points/analysis/mocks done using ESPN.com standard scoring.)

1.  Doug Baldwin:  Baldwin, an undrafted rookie out of Stanford made a big splash in his rookie debut recording 4 receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown against the formidable San Fransisco defense.  He then went on to have an impressive year with 788 yards and 4 touchdowns on only 51 receptions.  These are impressive numbers considering he played primarily out of the slot.  Referencing a bleacherreport.com article I read a while back “Baldwin’s fantasy production was the same pace as Larry Fitzgerald last season, scoring half the points in half the time.”  Now I am in no way saying that he has the kind of potential of Fitzgerald, I am just saying that when he gets the time and looks he can produce.  He was pretty up and down last season but still ended up with a respectable 99 fantasy points scoring at least 6 points in 8 games.  Currently he is being drafted as the 65th WR with an ADP of 170 meaning he is going largely undrafted in standard leagues.  With Mike Williams out the door and career disappointment Sidney Rice and lackluster Golden Tate the only other wide-outs who can steal looks in the passing game, Baldwin should have a pretty solid year.  I’m thinking he has 800 yard 5 touchdown upside, which is very good value for someone who can be selected in the final 3 rounds of drafts.

2.  Beanie Wells: Last year Wells had the breakout season Cardinal fans had been hoping for since being drafted 31st overall in 2009 recording 1,047 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns placing 15th among RB’s with 159 fantasy points in only 14 games.  Wells has be plagued by injury his short career and sophomore Ryan Williams who missed all of last season will push Wells for playing time making Wells your prototypical risk/reward pick.  Wells is currently on the PUP list and had an off season procedure on his knee, but all signs point to him being fine for the start of the regular season where he should maintain his starting role.  Currently Wells is being drafted as the 26th RB off the board at 67 overall putting him toward the end of the 7th round.  I think that if healthy Wells should put up solid numbers worthy of a low end RB2 or high end RB3 in standard formats.  I’d highly recommend you draft Ryan Williams as a very valuable handcuff to the often injured Wells who is currently being drafted as the 48th RB and 140 overall putting him in round 14-15.

3. Alex Smith: Smith is coming off of his best year as a pro with 3,144 yards and 17 touchdowns, while adding 179 rush yards and 2 additional touchdowns.  Smith is not a flashy player who can go in and score a bunch of points but he is a QB you could use on a bye week or as a spot starter if you prefer to wait until the late rounds of the draft for your signal caller.  He is the equivalent to cafeteria food; kind of bland with not a lot of flavor but there is definitely worse options.  In 11 games last season Smith had 12 or more fantasy points but also never reached 20 or more points in a single contest.  A lot of people are pointing the new additions to the passing game with Randy Moss, Mario Manningham, and A.J. Jenkins joining Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis, concluding that Smith is in line for a big season passing the ball.  I’m not so optimistic, because I look to two other additions of the offense this offseason in Brandon Jacobs and LaMichael James who join Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter to create a formidable backfield.  I think the 49ers will do what they always have done and try and run the ball down defenses throats, but I still feel Smith will get enough passing attempts to draft as a safe reliable QB2.  Currently Smith is being selected as the 17th QB and 119 overall putting him at the end of round 12.  That is right about right for his skill set this season.  Like I said he wont give you eye popping numbers but 3,300 passing yards and 20 touchdowns is something Smith is capable of.

So there you have it fantasy fans another addition of my draft bargains.  Hopefully this helps you as our fantasy drafts are coming ever closer.  As always comments are encouraged.

The AFC North has some great defenses which often scare some people from taking some of their players for fantasy because many of the games they play will be against tough opponents.  However I recommend that you don’t over think and go with the best talents, when your drafting and don’t let things like tough schedules keep you from selecting them.  Always go with your gut, that’s the best strategy in my opinion.  So following are three players who’s talent should outshine their tough schedules and be fine picks who offer great value.  (all points/mocks/analysis based on ESPN standard scoring)

1.  Antonio Brown:  Brown stepped up last year for Pittsburgh as he recorded 69 receptions for 1,108 yards and 2 scores.  Just for perspective Mike Wallace who is being selected 4 to 5 rounds ahead of brown only recorded 3 more receptions and 85 more yards.  Wallace did however manage to find the end zone 8 times compared to Brown’s 2.  Brown has excellent value this season as he essentially matched Wallace the whole season and is available in rounds 7-8 compared to round 3 where Wallace has been falling.  If Brown had somehow managed to score a few more TD’s last season I feel he would be drafted somewhere in round 5.  Half of the games played last season Brown recorded 8 or more fantasy points and had 5 with double digits. Critics will say that his size will limit his potential, but he has quickness to burn corners and I don’t see undersized receivers like Steve Smith, and DeSean Jackson struggling too bad.  The touchdown total should come up this season making Brown a steal in round 7.

2.  Torrey Smith:  Smith has been taken mostly in round 8 or 9 between 70 and 85 overall.  Funnily enough he is usually the WR taken after Brown as ESPN have them ranked pretty close.  Smith was the definition of unpredictable last season as he scored 11 or more fantasy points in 5 games (including a 22 point and 34 point performance), while scoring 5 or less in 10 contests.  He finished his season with 841 yards and 7 touchdowns helping him accumulate 123 fantasy points good enough for a 23rd place finish among WR’s.  Smith is the WR you want to own in Baltimore this season as Boldin has been slowing down and has failed to post 900 yards in consecutive seasons.  Smith should outperform his rookie campaign and could see close to 1000 yards and 5-8 touchdowns, not bad considering he can be had in round 8.  I wouldn’t recommend Smith be your WR2 but he is a good WR3 who can be used as a flex spot in hopes he has a monster game because of his explosive game play.

3.  Jermaine Gresham:  Gresham had a very solid sophomore season as he had 56 rec for596 yards and 6 touchdowns scoring 87 fantasy points for a 13th finish among TE’s.  He has very nice size at 6’4 and has great athletic ability making him a good target in the redzone.  When you look at the receiving options in Cincinnati outside of A.J. Green you don’t see very many talents that could take looks away from Gresham.  This will be the first off season he gets to work with Andy Dalton so his totals from 2011 should easily go up.  I think he is in line for an increased role this season as the lack of WR will cause Dalton to target Gresham more often leading to a potential 3rd year breakout for the young TE.  He has added value in PPR leagues as he had 9 games last seasons with at least 4 catches. Gresham has been going in the last 2 rounds and even un-drafted in the mocks I have completed meaning he can be taken with very little risk.  I would draft Gresham to be a solid TE2 who actually has potential to be in the top 10 at his position this year.

So there you have it fantasy fans my draft bargains for the AFC North.  These players offer you great value in your drafts so when the time comes don’t hesitate to take them.  As always comments are encouraged.

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.

As stated in my latest entry I have decided to write a series of columns about the top 3 draft day bargains by division.  I started off with the AFC West with Eric Decker, Carson Palmer, and Malcom Floyd making the list.  So now time to go to the East coast and see what the AFC East has for in terms of bargains.  (all points based on ESPN standard scoring,  and mocks done are 10 team league, at ESPN.com)

1.  Aaron Hernandez:  Am I the only one who remembers that Aaron Hernandez was 3rd in fantasy points last season among TE’s, or in other words was the top scoring TE not named Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham?  I ask because I think the fact that Aaron is ranked as the 7th best TE and 93rd overall behind James Starks and Lance Moore on ESPN.com is preposterous.  I suppose that many are foreseeing a decline in production this season due to the addition of Brandon Lloyd, but I am not one of those people.  Lloyd will be stretching the field this season and opposing defenses will be more concerned with shutting down Gronk and Welker meaning Hernandez will have plenty of opportunities to take advantage of.  One trait Bill Belichick prizes in his players is versatility and Hernandez is one of the most versatile players in the league as he can be lined up next to the tackle, in the slot, and in the backfield.  The departure of Green-Ellis leaves a void in the running game so I actually see Hernandez getting a decent amount of work in the backfield this season racking up some rushing yards.  Most mocks I have done have him coming off the board in the 8th or 9th round (70-90 overall).  I very rarely target a TE before the 6th round and considering Hernandez can be selected this late he likely will be the TE I target in my drafts.

2.  David Nelson:  Nelson is not nearly as bad as many people think and is going undrafted in almost every mock I have so far.  ESPN ranks him as their 79th best WR…31 slots lower than his 48th place finish in 2011.  Last season he finished with 61 catches for 658 yards and 8 touchdowns.  Fantasy wise his numbers were good for 9 games last season with at least 6 fantasy points and 4 with 9 or more.  Donald Jones appears to have the the number 2 WR spot in Buffalo but I still see Nelson having a better season.  He is a great red zone threat standing at 6’5 and he was the tied for 4th with Calvin Johnson for targets inside an opponents 10 yard line.  Stevie Johnson will be getting the majority of the coverage leaving Nelson with plenty of one-on-one opportunities to use his big frame to and make plays.  He is entering his 3rd season in the NFL, the season that most WRs have breakout seasons, and while his production may be some what limited I don’t think its a stretch for him to post 700 plus yards and 7 or more touchdowns this season, making him incredible value for someone who can be taken in the last round or on waivers this season.  Remember his name as you could definitely do worse with your final pick in the draft.

3.  C.J. Spiller:  Spiller was one of the most productive fantasy players from week 12 and beyond after filling in for an injured Fred Jackson.  He scored 89 of his 108 fantasy points (81.6%) in the final 6 games of the season averaging just under 15 points per game.  Spiller has the tools to be a featured back in the league though that likely won’t be the case in 2012 as a healthy Fred Jackson will take the lion share of the carries.  He certainly showed that he deserves more than the 3.1 touches per game he was getting prior to Jackson’s injury.  I see the Bills getting creative with Spiller possibly incorporating two back sets, splitting him out wide, and in a variety of ways to get him the ball in space so he can showcase his big play ability.  If he can get around a dozen or so touches a game I feel he can easily out play his current ADP of the 8th and 9th round.  He definitely has better upside than the players like Mark Ingram and Steven Ridley who ESPN have ranked ahead of him.  If you have Jackson on your roster you may want to consider taking him in the 7th round as he will be an extremely valuable handcuff as Jackson is aging and coming off of injury.

All three of these players have great value this season and can easily outplay their current ADP’s.  Remember these names as they have potential to add good depth to your roster and are better than many players that are being taken ahead of them.  As always comments are encouraged.

Its finally mid July and the NFL regular season is only 8 short weeks away, so if you haven’t been preparing for the upcoming fantasy season now is the time.  Personally one of the best parts of playing fantasy football is the preseason analysis and evaluation involved with trying to draft the best team.  Doing mock drafts, reading articles and stats, determining the players you think can perform above expectations to me is half the fun.  I recently saw an article posted on bleacherreport.com that listed the top 10 players in the AFC North, and followups to other divisions.  This gave me an idea to do something of a similar nature.  I have decided to post my top 3 draft bargains in each division because I feel this will be more beneficial.  I don’t think you need to read an article about why players like Aaron Rodgers, Ray Rice, and Larry Fitzgerald are all top players in their divisions, because chances are you can come to that conclusion yourselves.  Instead I have opted to give you some players who have great value and who can easily outplay their current ADP’s (average draft positions.)  So without further ado my top 3 bargains in the AFC West…(all points based on ESPN standard scoring)

1.  Eric Decker:  Decker was very sporadic last season as he scored double digit fantasy points 7 times (4 with Tebow), and scored 4 or less points in every other contest.  That being said is it really that surprising considering he had the leagues worst “throwing” QB passing him the ball the majority of the season?  I like Tebow, I think he is a great athlete and a wonderful human being, however he is QB in the NFL that struggles to throw the ball…that’s a problem.  Now with Peyton Manning in town slinging the ball all over the field Decker finds himself in a position to explode this coming season.  Decker has been working with Manning since the Broncos first signed him and has routinely been putting in extra time with him working on routes and timing after practice and on their own.  This extra time I feel is invaluable and will lead to Manning to feel the most comfortable with Decker than any other WR this season, thus leading to more opportunities for Decker to produce.  Manning will put Decker in a position to be one of the better bargains this year in fantasy.  In the mock drafts I have completed he is usually going in round 7 or later.  I feel that to get a WR who has 1,200 yard 8 TD potential this late definitely qualifies him to be my top bargain pick in the AFC West.

2.  Carson Palmer: Palmer is no longer one of the better passers in the league, but he certainly deserves more credit than he is being given this off-season.  I currently have him as my 16th rated QB right now because I feel he has more upside than many people think.  After taking over as starter after Oakland’s bye in week 9 he posted 15 or more fantasy points in 6 of his 9 starts which is pretty impressive considering he came in mid season after a long furlough from playing ball.  In that span he accumulated 2,637 yards and 14 touchdowns (13 passing, 1 rushing) which prorated would have came out to 4,688 yards and 23-25 touchdowns on the season.  He has a talented group of young WRs who are all capable of creating separation and have the ability to take it to the house when they have the ball in space.  Add a healthy Darren McFadden running the ball opening up passing lanes and Palmer has a chance to shine this season.  Palmer is a great QB2, and depending on how deep your league is could be a possible spot starter.  Most mocks I have completed this season have Palmer going in round 13-14 which is great value.

3.  Malcom Floyd:  Every Sand Diego Charger fan knows all too well the potential that Floyd has to become a great receiver.  He has great size and speed standing at 6’5 and running a 4.5 40 yard dash.  He has not played a full NFL season the past two years as injuries always seem to creep up on him which will make him slide down many draft boards.  last season in only 12 games Floyd managed to post 856 yards and 5 touchdowns which prorated would have put him at 1,143 yards and 6-7 touchdowns.  I think that Floyd will have a better chance than Robert Meachem to become Rivers top WR in 2012 because of their current chemistry and his knowledge of the offense.  His big body gives him an edge to get red-zone targets because defenses will be focused on shutting down Antonio Gates.  All things considered I feel Floyd has great value and if can stay healthy can out play his ADP of round 9-10 (based on mocks I have done).

So there you have it some good players who I feel have great value and can outplay their ADPs.  If you are in the middle to late rounds and your looking for someone to draft remember these 3 names.  As always comments are welcome.