Jun 17, 2013
More articles from Eric Hartvigson|
The NFL offseason is the true test for fantasy owners. Information is scarce, while everybody looks great in shorts (except Mark Sanchez). But in the words of famed head coach Vince Lombardi, “The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.”
Willis McGahee, RB, Denver – The Denver front office let it be known that rookie Montee Ball will be their feature runner in 2013 after the Thursday release of veteran Willis McGahee. Two weeks ago I predicted Ball as an early third-round pick. With McGahee on a flight out of Denver, Ball’s average draft position is bound to skyrocket and could very easily climb into the early second round on draft day.
Stevie Johnson, WR, Buffalo – Veteran wide receiver Johnson revealed the back injury that slowed him last season was a fractured vertebrate. With a rookie quarterback and a predicted run-heavy offense, the only Bill that has any fantasy value is C.J. Spiller (late second round).
Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Arizona – Mendenhall has taken control of the starting job in the Arizona backfield. In case you forgot, Mendenhall was the three-down running back for Bruce Arians back in their time together in Pittsburgh. Given the fantasy importance of the running back position, Mendenhall has an approximate average draft position in the early fifth round.
Lamar Miller, RB, Miami – The battle for the starting running back position in Miami has swung more than a teeter-totter on recess. Most recently, Miller collected the praises from head coach Joe Philbin this past week. Let’s not forget, Miller showed flashes of brilliance last season, but like many rookies ( David Wilson), Miller looked confused in pass protection. With a full offseason to work with the first team, Miller should be considered the lead dog in the Miami backfield. Just remember that Philbin was raised under strong running back by committee proponent Mike McCarthy, giving Miller early sixth-round value.
Michael Floyd, WR, Arizona – The 2012 first round pick, Michael Floyd, has been a standout at Arizona’s training camp. Coupled with new head coach Bruce Arians’ vertical passing game, Floyd could have fantasy value in the late rounds. However, the player I keep reverting back to is Carson Palmer. He’s a bona fide sleeper with an average draft position in the 12th round.
Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Indianapolis – Just last week I wrote about the number of teams that could use the services of Bradshaw. I guess the Colts read FantasySharks as they signed the veteran runner this past week. The fantasy ramifications will drop Vick Ballard from a possible sleeper to a late-round flyer (at best). Bradshaw also has limited value in what is expected to be a full-blown running back by committee. All the more reason guys like Rashard Mendenhall and Reggie Bush gain so much value.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh – When questioned about the extent of his recent knee surgery, Ben Roethlisberger stated, “I could play on Sunday if I had to.” The toughest of all the skill players, Roethlisberger could lose a leg and still find a way to get on the football field.
Christine Micheal, RB, Seattle – Seattle’s rookie running back, Christine Michael, was taking the majority of the Seahawks’ first team reps. It’s worth noting because Michael will likely be the Marshawn Lynch handcuff. Furthermore, as a diehard Seahawks fan I recognize Lynch (and Sydney Rice) will become a cap casualty next offseason. All you dynasty leaguers will want to swoop up Michael two rounds before his average draft position.
Tim Tebow, QB, New England – Oh yeah, some backup quarterback named “ Tim Tebow” made headlines after signing with the New England Patriots. When asked which position Tebow will play, in classic Bill Belichick fashion he responded, “we’re going to do what is best for our team.” No way Tom Brady ever comes off the field, right?