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.