The fantasy football world has this way of falling in love with players, oozing over them like girls do when it comes to Justin Bieber at a concert. It is pretty remarkable, the love fest that takes place come draft time. Player A goes to Team A and you hear “ohhh that guy is going to be great in fantasy, yeah I am drafting him.” Or my favorite, “Outside of Adrian Peterson, this is the guy you want to pick.” And last is, “I have a list of sleepers and I can’t wait to fool all of you. Championships are won with sleepers.”
Our infatuation with players that made headlines or wooed us last season make us forget about everyone else. The hype outweighs the performance and we generally make the bad pick in the draft. I am here to give you the players I love and hate just to get your mind flowing on the other guys when entering your draft. All these players range from the second pick in the draft all the way to the later rounds where you see owners make it or break it.
Players I love
It has been a while since we mentioned Maurice Jones-Drew when it comes to football. Last year, he injured his foot and was practically done. Then he gets into a little spat with a bouncer at a club and lays it in him. Now we enter football season, camps start up, nerds to their fantasy drafts and they see the name Maurice Jones-Drew pop up and we all forget about him. I didn’t. Jones-Drew has been a great fantasy player and a great back in the league despite being on the Jaguars. I am really high on him entering this year.
First, he is completely healthy. He played five games last year and then was put on the shelf. In the draft, the Jags addressed the offensive line by drafting Luke Joeckel with the second overall pick, which means you have Eugene Monroe at left tackle and Joeckel at right. In between they are fairly decent while Jones-Drew covers up the weakness in it. We forget that Maurice produces when healthy, and he is healthy so he will produce.
Look at the numbers when healthy, he is a 1400 yard rusher and a 40 catch guy. Those numbers alone translate to a top 8 player at the running back position.
Everyone forgets about Marcus Colston in the New Orleans Saints offense. We get caught up in Drew Brees owning the quarterback position and throwing points on the board. The pecking order for the Saints is Brees, Jimmy Graham, Darren Sproles and THEN Marcus Colston. He has been one of the most consistent wide receivers over the past couple years yet we forget about him. Well I am telling you to not forget this time.
Over the past three years, Colston has surpassed 80 catches and seven touchdowns. He is a model of consistency and that’s what you want outside of your elite picks.
When it comes to Jamaal Charles, I am in love with him. Ever since he came on the fantasy scene I have been a big fan of him. This past year he returned and posted 1,509 yards all while being on the worst team in the league. This year they addressed the offensive line, locked up Dwayne Bowe, acquired Alex Smith and want him to start and to top it off they hire Andy Reid to be their Head Coach. All moves I love.
Andy Reid knows how to use his running backs, you give Jamaal Charles an offensive guru and he will make you look like a guru. Does anyone remember Charlie Weis as the coordinator for the Chiefs? I do. I envision Jamaal Charles to be the top running back this year. A gamebreaker runningback with blazing speed and a coach who loves to cater to the running back. Look back at Reid with Lesean McCoy. A case can be made for a number two selection.
I love this player and if you look at the numbers and his point production in the fantasy world you will see he is a top 12 player in PPR leagues. His numbers aren’t sexy but his point production is. Last year he missed some time and still finished in the top 15. When he is healthy, Darren Spoles is a top 5 player, seriously look it up. He is Brees’s dump down lover. He will get his carries but his strength is his pass catching ability in the Saints offense and let Sproles be your strength in your offense as well.
You would be getting a top 5 back in the later rounds and it’s the best ROI you’ll get.
Dwayne Bowe : Getting Alex Smith, Bowe has the size and speed to dominant. We’ve seen it. Pair him with a smart QB and a great coach. He will be a steal.
Peyton Manning: Signing Welker, on top of having Decker and Thomas. Oozing with fantasy points. Will be a top QB again. Going under radar with Kaepernick, Wilson and Luck getting the love.
Players I Hate
When it comes to the ‘Muscle Hamster’ I am not a fan of him. I don’t know if its because I am a contrarian when it comes to him. Let me make this clear. I owned him last year and loved it. He reeled off some crazy games against Oakland and Minnesota. Caught 49 balls and nearly 500 yards receiving. If I had the number two pick in the draft Doug Martin is not my pick. I would take Jamaal Charles, Lesean McCoy and possibly Arian Foster over Doug Martin.
Outside of his 4 good games, he was pretty ineffective and frustrating. At the time, when being taken in the third-fourth round that’s ok, I’ll take that. But I am not going to accept that if he is the number two pick in the draft. I need my first pick, second pick overall to be the real deal and deliver every game, not four games out of 16.
Mr. Jackson was dealt to Atlanta and it was a significant upgrade over Michael Turner. I mean Turner was atrocious. He had no speed, big thighs and had concrete hands. Footballs and hands don’t mix for Turner. Insert Steven Jackson, a running back who has HANDS and WHO CAN CATCH! This may sound all good and dandy but lets also insert a running back who has 2,395 attempts for a career and averages 284 attempts the past five seasons. The running back will hit the wall soon. We have seen it with Ladainian Tomlinson, we could see it with Steven Jackson.
I am not gambling my second running back spot with a potential wall. All it takes is an injury and it’s downhill from there.
There is so much buzz and hype coming into this year when it comes to Lamar Miller. And I disagree with it. Out with Reggie Bush in with Lamar but expect the same production. I think it is a year too early for Miller. Last year, Miami’s offensive line struggled on numerous occasions. Miller’s draft stock is real high right now, and everyone is banking on his gamebreaking ability. Yeah you will get some of THAT, but you will also be a frustrated owner who has a running back that is getting his carries taken away from him at the goal line, and a running back who will likely break down.
The Phins know that but they are also going all in with Lamar. Next year can be the year to hype him up not this year.
When Amendola became a Patriot the NFL world went bonkers, “oh Brady got his new Welker”, “Insert Danny Amendola, and the Patriots and Brady will never miss a beat.” While this may be true, and people have the belief that Amendola will be fine and get a plethora of catches. What is also true is Danny Amendola is one diving catch away from breaking his collarbone. He has been in the NFL for four years and three of those years he has been injured and missed lots of time.
In New England’s offense we tend to forget that the slot receiver (Welker) roams the middle of the field, runs numerous option routes to the middle of the field and gets lit up on occasions. Wes Welker was a tough, gritty player. Can we say the same for Danny Amendola? I have owned both of these players on numerous occasions and have been left with anger only from one of them. I am sure you can guess who that is.
Eric Decker & Wes Welker
I couple these two players together well because they are on the same team and I do not want either. I could be completely wrong on this but I am more of a fan of Demaryius Thomas than these two receivers. There can only be so many balls to go around and Thomas is their deep threat, they addressed running back by drafting Montee Ball. And I just don’t believe Welker is going to get the same production he once got in New England, a huge decrease in receptions.
Same for Decker, he flourished as the number two. He was Denver’s physical receiver who Peyton loved. These two will cancel each other out and give you headaches.