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Fantasy Football Tips: 10 lists of 5

Updated on August 17, 2012
Haven't you had enough of Darren McFadden burning you?  Stay away.  He's overrated every year and lets you down every single time with his injuries.
Haven't you had enough of Darren McFadden burning you? Stay away. He's overrated every year and lets you down every single time with his injuries. | Source

1. 5 overrated players

Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons: He's soaring up the draft boards in many fantasy rankings. He's even higher than Roddy White on many lists. As mentioned in my latest hub, Julio is ranked the 2nd overall WR on rotoworld, and #2 on many other sites as well. Don't buy it.

Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers: Can he do it again? Don't bank on it. Is 1000+ yards and 8 TDs within reach? Certainly. Can he echo 1200+ yards and 15 TDs? Probably not. Do you really think he's a round or two better than Harvin?

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers: Let's talk about Jordy's QB. With all due respect to Rodgers, he is the best QB in fantasy, and he should be the first QB taken, but why should you believe he can throw 47 TDs like ESPN has him projected as? Aren't the other teams professional? That projection is 3 TDs shy of an NFL record(50 TDs) held by Tom Brady. What kind of projection is that?

Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans: 20, 31, and 11. Those three numbers represent the number of games Andre Johnson has played in the last two seasons combined, his age, and where ESPN has him ranked.

Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland Raiders: Let's play the numbers game again. 45, 1, and 4. That represents the number of games McFadden has played in his NFL career(out of a possible 60), the number of 1000-yard seasons he's had, and the number of times he's burned fantasy owners. Why should this season be any different? Yet, ESPN has him ranked 28th overall, and many people are still high on him. Which is reasonable considering he's still very young, but enough is enough. Take Sproles a round later and thank me later.

Gonzo, even at the age of 36, can still have a very productive fantasy season.
Gonzo, even at the age of 36, can still have a very productive fantasy season. | Source

2. 5 underrated players

Darren Sproles, RB, New Orleans Saints: Like the segue? Anywho, Sproles was one of the most consistent fantasy players last year. He also stays healthy despite his stature. He caught 86 balls and had 87 rushing attempts last season. He amassed for 1300+ yards from scimmage. Expect more of the same. He's now in offense that gives him the touches he deserves. He was often utilized in San Diego, but you don't have to worry about that anymore. The TDs won't be plentiful but the receptions will be, and that's important especially in PPR leagues.

Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianapolis Colts: Like many players that are aging, you can expect Wayne to show some pride and have a nice bounce back season. The days of Peyton throwing to him are over, but you should keep an eye on Andrew Luck in the preseason. That guy is pretty good and can make some great throws. Huge bounce-back candidate.

Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers: If there was any TE you thought could break the records that Rob Gronkowski broke last year, you probably thought it would have been VD, right? Don't think for a second that VD's playoff run was a fluke. It could be the start of something great between Alex Smith and VD. If they can continue off that, and with the additions of Moss and Manningham, that could open up more opportunities for VD to be an elite option. Wouldn't be at all surprising if VD is the #1 TE in fantasy this season when it's all said and done. I've got my money on Jimmy Graham, but VD could be up there with him. Considering the value at which you can get Davis in the sixth or seventh round, that's not bad at all.

Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos: It's understandable that owners fear Peyton's durability coming into this season. Don't let that scare you away. ESPN projects Peyton Manning as the 9th QB taken. That is too low for such an elite QB option.

Tony Gonzalez, TE, Atlanta Falcons: He's 36, but he's still a great TE option. He is the main redzone threat for Matt Ryan. He is a nice, steady option if you happen to not get one of the elites. 70+ receptions, 800 yards, and 8 TDs is nothing to snooze at out of the TE position.

3. 5 names for your fantasy team

Brady's Bastard Children

You Can't Spell Elite w/o Eli

Jamaal Charles in Charge

Ridin with the Brees

All Aboard The Victor Cruz

Blackmon looks to get past his drama-filled offseason so he can put up some big numbers.
Blackmon looks to get past his drama-filled offseason so he can put up some big numbers. | Source

4. 5 rookies to target

Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: This one is pretty obvious. He was already pretty much the starter, and with the addition of Carl Nicks, Tampa's line will be one of the best in football and Martin should have an impact almost immediately.

Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins: Admittedly, I'm higher on Tannehill than most. He has great mechanics, nice arm strength, and great feet. All characteristics of a good QB. Watch him in preseason and see if he earns the starting job. He could be a solid play for years to come in keeper leagues. Add him speculatively in keeper leagues.

Justin Blackmon, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: I can't recall the last time a WR that went in the top 10 of a draft not getting much hype in fantasy. Some of that can be because of Blackmon's off-the-field problems, but Blackmon could be a fantasy force in a short-passing system. He could be a great option in PPR leagues. Don't sleep on him.

Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts: Again, this one is pretty obvious. One of the best QB prospects in over a decade, Luck should make a fantasy impact right away, and accumulate great stats on a mediocre team.

Kendall Wright, WR, Tennessee Titans: With the injuries and looming suspension of Kenny Britt, Wright can make an immediate fantasy impact if he gets a healthy amount of looks.

Talent isn't the question, how long he'll last this season is the question.
Talent isn't the question, how long he'll last this season is the question. | Source

5. 5 rookies to avoid

Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins: Considering every team in the NFCE has a dominant pass rush, it won't be an easy time for RGIII. Add to the fact that the Redskins schedule is absolutely brutal, I'd be very weary of RGIII. He definitely has the talent for sure, but it won't be an easy transition to the NFL. This is not the Big 12, and drawing this division is as tough as it gets in the NFC.

Trent Richardson, RB, Cleveland Browns: See RGIII. Tough division. Brutal schedule. He's already had knee surgery, although not serious. You can do better.

Coby Fleener, TE, Indianapolis Colts: It's not that there isn't anything to like about him. He was a nice target for Luck in college and all, but this is the pros. There are better options in Wayne and Collie. Rookie TEs typically don't make an immediate impact in fantasy. There are better options at TE out there.

Brian Quick, WR, St. Louis Rams: Stay as far away from as possible. He has nice upside, but there's no reason to expect an immediate impact at this point. Still very raw. He's about two or three years away.

Michael Floyd, WR, Arizona Cardinals: There's a lot to like about him. He's fast and tall, but like Quick, he's not ready to make an impact this season. But he should be ready more quickly than Quick. About a year away from really being fantasy relevant.

Mike Williams is as good as a bounce-back candidate as there is.
Mike Williams is as good as a bounce-back candidate as there is. | Source

6. 5 players nobody is talking about that you should draft

Chris Ponder, QB, Minnesota Vikings: He's having an outstanding camp, and showed signs of life down the stretch last season. He could end up finally being the franchise QB the Vikings have coveted for so long. He has the weapons, he has the running game, and he has an improved offensive line. The NFC North is really developing some QB star power.

Mike Williams, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Look for a nice bounce-back this year. Josh Freeman isn't as bad as he was last year, and neither was Mike Williams. Adding Vincent Jackson can only help open up looks for him.

Laurent Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: He's a legitimate deep-threat, and if anything, the Jags should take more shots down the field this year because they have him. Blaine Gabbert is showing some signs of life as well. That could be huge for Robinson. If anything, just draft him to stash him and see how he responds. It can't hurt.

Ryan Williams, RB, Arizona Cardinals: I don't know what it is about him, but I just like him. Can't trust Beanie to stay healthy. You really can't trust Ryan to either, but it won't hurt to take a late flyer on him.

Eddie Royal, WR, San Diego Chargers: Call this a hunch. The last time Eddie Royal had a Pro Bowl QB, he was a fantasy animal. He caught 91 balls for 980 yards and scored 5 TDs. His quarterback was Jay Cutler that year. The quarterback he has now is 4x Pro Bowler, Philip Rivers.

7. 5 useless stats

This receiver led the entire NFL in targets. He caught 100 balls with 1,296 yards and 8 TDs. His teammate, who is also a WR, is ranked ahead of him on draft boards on at least 20 different fantasy sites. This receiver's name is Roddy White.

This receiver was targeted 131 times(t-12th in the NFL) while catching 75 balls, and having 960 yards with 4 TDs. His QBs were Kerry Collins, Curtis Painter, and Dan Orlovsky. Obviously this receiver's name is Reggie Wayne. The quarterback he has now throwing to him is named Andrew Luck.

This QB will play 10 of his 16 games against teams who finished in the top 15 in sacks last season. He faces the entire top 5 in sacks from last season. These teams are the Minnesota Vikings, the Philadelphia Eagles(2x), the New York Giants(2x), the Baltimore Ravens, and the Cincinnati Bengals. He also faces the Dallas Cowboys twice who finished 7th in sacks, and the St. Louis Rams who finished 15th in sacks. This list does not include the Pittsburgh Steelers who were the #1 overall defense. The QB that faces all these teams is Robert Griffin III.

Last season, 19 running backs carried the ball at least 200 times. Of those RBs, 15 of them rushed for at least 1000 yards. Only one of those RBs averaged 5 yards a carry. His name was Reggie Bush.

This receiver was targeted 149 times(6th). He caught 99 balls for 1,310 yards, and 11 TDs. Only six receivers had more receiving yards. Only three receivers had more TD receptions. Only six receivers averaged more yards per game. Only three receivers caught more passes that resulted in first downs. What if I told you that this receiver wasn't a receiver? What if I told you that this receiver was a TE? This beast's name is Jimmy Graham.

8. 5 players less than 5% owned that will make an impact this season

Joel Dreessen, TE, Denver Broncos: There's just something about Dreessen. There's also something about Peyton. He loves TEs. If Tamme doesn't come through, Dreessen will.

Lance Kendricks, TE, St. Louis Rams: Maybe his breakout party was supposed to be this year and not last year?

Mohamed Sanu, WR, Cincinnati Bengals: Reports are that Sanu has a legitimate shot to be the #2 WR.

John Skelton, QB, Arizona Cardinals: He's better than Kolb, and he will start. There, I said it.

Tony Moeaki, TE, Kansas City Chiefs: Coming off an injury, Moeaki was a solid #2 type TE in fantasy two seasons ago. He could perhaps come back and be a solid option. Could be a nice bye week option.

I love Frank Gore, but I hate him.  Not too much to like about him going into this season.
I love Frank Gore, but I hate him. Not too much to like about him going into this season. | Source

9. 5 100% owned players that will be busts

Stevan Ridley, RB, New England Patriots: It's simple, too many mouths to feed.

Beanie Wells, RB, Arizona Cardinals: Injuries, injuries, and more injuries.

Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins: He's too boom or bust, and with the Redskins brutal schedule this season, there will be more bust than boom.

Roy Helu, RB, Washington Redskins: You just can't trust Shanahan. Never ever trust Shanahan.

Frank Gore, RB, San Francisco 49ers: Crowded backfield and they've made it public that they'll keep his workload down. Pass.

The Cowboys D/ST could be a nice sleeper.  The Cowboys look to put the D back in Dallas.
The Cowboys D/ST could be a nice sleeper. The Cowboys look to put the D back in Dallas. | Source

10. 5 kickers or defenses to target

Bears D/ST: Devin Hester, and an elite turnover-forcing defense. Nuff said.

Dan Bailey, K, Dallas Cowboys: Offense that racks up a lot of yards, but doesn't punch it in the endzone. Should be plenty of opportunities for Bailey.

Cowboys D/ST: A much improved secondary should lead to more sacks and turnovers. Also, Dez Bryant could be returning punts, and he's a legitimate threat to take it to the house any given time. Felix Jones will be returning kicks. He's also a legitimate threat to take it to the house.

Eagles D/ST: Will get a lot of sacks and turnovers. DJax will still be returning punts. A lot to like here.

Mason Crosby, K, Green Bay Packers: As reliable as it gets and he will get plenty of opportunities to score for such an explosive offense.

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    • jhinson19 profile image

      Josh Hinson 5 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      Good hub. I like it. But just because ESPN projected him 47 TD (Aaron Rodgers) doesn't make him overrated by any means. It's actually a legit number. I don't think he'll hit 47 but I wouldn't be shocked at all if he hits over 40. Maybe 45. Green Bay is a west coast offense. They pass the ball constantly. And with Aaron Rodgers throwing and having Cedric Benson and James Starks in the backfield, it's good reasoning. They barely have a run game. Everything else in the hub is very good though. Well put together.