Week 1: Value Picks
There are some major question marks with Blaine Gabbert and the entire Jacksonville offense as a whole, but it was hard to ignore what rookie wideout Justin Blackmon did during the pre-season, hauling in 10 passes for 136 yards and one touchdown over three games. Blackmon is one of the most polished wide receivers to emerge from the college ranks in recent memory and should have a major impact as a rookie in Jacksonville as long as they can find a way to get him the ball.
Blackmon, who is going for a price of $5.28 in Week 1, will surely see his stock (and price tag) rise as the season goes on. Salary cap players looking for a bargain could do worse than Blackmon.
You know him, you probably love him just as much as I do, but the great news is that Brown can be scooped up in salary cap leagues for the bargain price of just $7.00. Brown, who is coming off a breakout sophomore campaign, is primed to join the elite class of fantasy wideouts this season and salary cap owners don't need my advice to figure out that you should lock in Brown at a discounted rate.
At just $10.56, salary cap fantasy owners should lock in Julio Jones at that discounted rate and enjoy the value all season long. There might not be a more promising prospect in all of football than Jones, who finished last season on an absolute tear (6 touchdowns in the final four games of the regular season) after battling injuries throughout much of his rookie campaign. Jones is a no-brainer for salary cap owners given his current Week 1 price and his tremendous upside.
Reggie Wayne turned in a solid season last year despite the Colts' nightmate quarterback situation. Wayne appears to be re-juvinated this season with rookie Andrew Luck under center and showed he still has something left in the tank by reeling in six passes for 74 yards on nine targets in the Colts' final pre-season game. Indianapolis also displayed a propensity toward moving Wayne around (putting him in the slot, etc.) in an effort to exploit favorable matchups in the pre-season, which bodes well for his regular season outlook.
Wayne can be purchased in all Yahoo salary cap leagues for just $8.91 in Week 1. If you need a bargain at the wide receiver position, Wayne might be the player for you -- especially against a Chicago secondary that struggled against the pass last season.
Salary cap football rewards players who score touchdowns, which is why Rob Gronkowski should be the most sought after tight end. However, if you don't have the desire to overspend on Gronk or one of the other elite tight ends, there is value to be found in his teammate Aaron Hernandez. Hernandez, who is going for the Week 1 price of $10.36, is also an attractive option at tight end because he has been used as a rusher in the backfield before; he will be once again this season, which is a nice bonus in salary cap leagues. Hernandez is no slouch in the red-zone either, catching five touchdowns of his own last season. A nightmare for opposing defenses to matchup with, Hernandez is worth the investment this season.