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Fantasy South Bound

Fantasy South Bound

Looking for an under-the-radar stud this year? Look no further than the NFC South. You should never overlook the fantasy star power in Drew Brees and Roddy White as they will definitely be top picks and be high fantasy producers. That being said, who else in the NFC South will bring value and which will punch your opposing coach in the mouth? We are going to breakdown the studs followed by waiver wire players that will bring great value.

Let’s look at it from a positional standpoint.

Wide Receiver

1. Roddy White. He was a top fantasy producer last year. This year will be no different, except that now there will be less attention thrown his way.

2. Mike Williams. He is a clear-cut favorite of Josh Freeman. His size and ability will be plenty incentive for the chemistry to continue to develop into something beautiful.

3. Marques Colston. I see no reason why he won’t recover from the knee issue and become the receiver we are used to seeing. He has great upside, and when you look at New Orleans’ schedule, he has great matchups all year.

i. Now for the deeper value picks
    a. Robert Meachem. A healthy Meachem is a fun one to watch. He has stated that he is entering the season healthy and this year is an important one for the first-round draft pick. In 2009, he found a way to score every time he touched the ball. He probably won’t get drafted, but the ceiling is real high with this guy.

    b. Julio Jones. Here is a guy who will fit in right away. He probably won’t have a huge fantasy year, but should still give you some production as a sub.

    c. Arrelious Benn. He is due for a big year. With Josh Freeman as his quarterback it is all up to him. He has a good bit of upside, but be cautious. He may not be much of a producer if he doesn’t live up to his potential.

Running back  

1. Michael Turner. He seems to be the No. 1 guy in the NFC South. Certainly after last year. He is also my safe pick at running back. I personally forecast a slight decrease in carries for Turner.

2. Jonathon Stewart. No doubt Carolina is going to rely heavily on the run. He has shown he can be very explosive when given the rock. It’s looking like DeAngelo Williams might be on his way out of Carolina, meaning this would be a very important year for Stewart.

3. LeGarrette Blount. Last year, Blount had an excellent year as an undrafted free agent. He barely edges out Mark Ingram because he is a proven NFL player. He will also be featured in more roles this year than Ingram. He is in for another good year if he can stay healthy and keep his head on his shoulders.

    i. Deeper Value picks
    a. Mark Ingram. He will not go undrafted. He will be a great running back in dynasty/keeper leagues as his role will increase with experience. Look for Ingram to get a good amount of red zone carries this year.

    b. Jacquizz Rodgers. He will be the Falcons’ change-of-pace back in their run heavy style of offense. He should be your handcuff for Michael Turner if you own him.

    c. Reggie Bush. I could see a scenario where Bush has a breakout fantasy year with Mark Ingram in the mix. Keep an eye on him as he has great upside (as we are all aware of, but haven’t seen consistency from.)   

Tight end

This is the hardest position to rank out of all the positions. Like I promised, here are the rankings.

1.Kellen Winslow. Winslow will probably be the most targeted tight end in the NFC South. He is a beast on the field and this is the first season he has ever started completely healthy. He is in for a big year.

2. Jimmy Graham. He is, by some experts, “the next Antonio Gates.” That being said, last year he was one of Drew Brees’ favorite targets. Unfortunately he isn’t on the field every down until his blocking skills advance. He is an excellent pass catcher and will be very productive this season.

3. Tony Gonzalez. He is still one of the most talented tight ends in the league. He is a perfect weapon in the Atlanta offense. There is no telling when he will slow down, but I don’t want it to be when I own him as my No. 1.

    i. Other NFC South tight end to watch out for:

    a. Jeremy Shockey. He is headed for Carolina, and we all know a new quarterback’s best friend is his tight end. This could provide lots of targets for Shockey.

    b. David Thomas. Well he is technically a free agent. If he does return to the Saints he is a weapon that Drew Brees loves. He probably will only be fantasy worthy if Jimmy Graham goes down.

Quarterback

There are only four starting quarterbacks, so let’s rank them!

1.Drew Brees. Like I wrote earlier, there is not one defense on the Saints’ schedule that Brees cannot shred. He will be a top quarterback this year.

2. Matt Ryan. He might fly a little under the radar in the draft, but this season will be a big one for Ryan. He is a fierce competitor and has even more weapons at his disposal.

3. Josh Freeman. Not sold on Freeman yet? You should be. He is getting better by the week and will be a Top 15 quarterback this year. He will make a great backup or future trade.

4. Carolina. I say Carolina, because it isn’t set in stone who will start. If Jimmy Clausen or Matt Moore have a breakout preseason, they will be probably take on the starting position at the start of the season. I would stay away from this situation. Cam Newton has the most fantasy potential of the group.

The NFC South will be a hot topic for fantasy all season. The competition is fierce between New Orleans, Tampa Bay and Atlanta. Don’t lose out on some of these featured players.

Clayton Kelly – ctkelly85@yahoo.com

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FantasySharks.com began in 2003, disseminating fantasy football content on the web for free. It is, or has been, home to some of the most talented and best known fantasy writers on the planet. Owned and operated by Tony Holm (5 time Fantasy Sports Writer Association Hall-of-Fame nominee,) Tony started writing fantasy content in 1993 for the only three fantasy football web sites in existence at the time.