NFL Quick Snaps: The guys nobody are talking about
Zeus and I believe, like most fantasy gurus, you win the draft in the mid to late rounds. Of course these are not the sexy picks everyone is talking about. You will find 80% of the material out there on the first few rounds and top tier players that accompany them. Every year, however, there are guys that go later in the draft and end up making you look like a genius, not to mention sometimes winning you the league. No I'm not talking about the guys that go undrafted either. I'm talking about those crazy pick ups off the waivers that pan out you can't pre-plan for; those you just need to check back during the season and let us help you find them. Last year we saw guys like Fred Jackson, Jimmy Graham, and AJ Green become those sleepers you need to hit on. So who are those guys nobody is talking about that you need to know? We're about to tell you:
Zeus- AB was a great pickup for plenty of teams last year. Dude caught 70 balls for 1100 yards and some people still don't know his name. The only thing that held him back from having a star struck season was that he only touched paydirt twice. In Pittsburgh the run first mentality is going, going, gone. Big Ben is going to pass the ball and Wallace cannot be the only man who catches it. Look for Antonio to catch around the same number of balls, for about the same number of yards with a slight increase in touchdowns. Draft not early, but often!
Thayse- Is that what they are calling him now, AB? This guy flew under the radar last year, no doubt. Entering his third year and being a solid starter and expected piece to their offense, I do see some greater production as a result. A guy you could go WR2 with if you choose to focus on other positions early, or one heck of a WR3/Flex option in the middle rounds.
Zeus- Martin just rocked the last two years at Boise State . He runs with power and aggression. I believe he takes over the RB1 spot week 1 in Tampa , and never looks back. Doug Martin will make fantasy owners proud this year as a flex play later in the season. I say draft him in all dynasty drafts while you can, but in standard drafts pick and choose your time to pounce. He will not put up eye popping numbers, but his fantasy stats will be serviceable and helpful on bye weeks. This is a risk worth taking.
Thayse- As with any rookie, let's see him prove it. I will say he landed in one of the best places for a chance to start. He is more valuable in PPR leagues as I anticipate him to have around 35-40 catches out of the backfield. That offense in general still feels sluggish to me, but with improved weapons all around he is a late round 10-12 area guy that could pan out while others are taking Ocho thinking he will return to form. Give Martin a shot instead.
Zeus- Thayse is really high on this kid for some reason this year, but I am not. I would say if you have a LATE pick and there are not too many players that you are hot on, grab him and take a chance (but he plays for a terrible offense). Luck may be a good QB, but I think he struggles in 2012 and so will the running game. This is Donald Brown's first year being the lead back, but I still say he finishes with 8-900 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Thayse- Let's define "really high." If we're talking about scouting past pg 1 of the depth charts for a player with probability to have a break out year you can pick up after your starting roster is filled, then yes I am really high on Brown. People have already forgotten how good he was in college. He is entering only his fourth year as a player and never had more than 150 touches in any year yet. Peyton was running the show his first two and then last year was just a debacle. He still averaged 4.8ypc. If he can get 200+ touches this year, I like his chances to go over 1,000 yards.
Zeus- Rivers struggled last year. I know that as well as anyone because I had to endure him as my QB1 and hated life. But even if Rivers struggles, he still throws the ball a ton and that is great for his WRs. Meachem is in a new atmosphere where he is no longer the 4th target in the passing game and he should flourish. I think he has a very strong year and I think all fantasy owners should make sure and snag him when they can, he is a diamond in the rough.
Thayse- The guy is still young, has an impressive average yards per catch the last three years, and is probably licking his chops at an opportunity to be a focal point. With the Saints he had only completed 40-45 catches per season. The opportunity to double that in SD is quite lucrative. If he can move on from being just a deep threat receiver, I like him in the 6-7 round range in most drafts.