Stoppage Time Sports’ 2013 Fantasy Football Breakout Candidates

Dec 28, 2012


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By: Jordan Hall, Stoppage Time Sports, @jordan_hall23
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As a Detroit Tigers fan, I waited years for Alex Avila to get his chance. When he busted onto the scene in 2009, you could tell that the son of assistant General Manager Al Avila, was going to be an impact player. Yet for two years, I suffered through watching Gerald Laird handle the majority of the catching duties while Avila was being groomed.
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When Avila finally got the call in 2011, as a regular everyday, starting catcher, he was an American League All Star and hit .295. I knew it was coming but it seemed like for so long, he was road blocked, unnecessarily.
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Unfortunately, there are loads of guys in the National Football League that are in the same situation. They are simply waiting for somebody in front of them to leave or fall off, so they can finally claim what is rightfully there’s.
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I have highlighted six guys that I strongly feel will get the chance to strut their stuff in 2013. Whether it will come via the incumbent leaving or just plain getting too old, fat, and slow (looking at you Michael Turner,) I think each guy on this list has potential to be a fantasy stud if the cards are dealt right.
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Julian Edelman has been my guy as long as I can remember. I have a strange fascination with Kent State University, so I have followed his career since college. When he came into the league and instantly made an impact on special teams, I started to believe that just maybe, this small school guy had a future in this league.
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The more I have watched Edelman as a receiver the more impressed I have been. He flat out, is a Wes Welker clone. He has a tremendous feel for defenses, has great hands, and is shifty as all get out in the open field.
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Wes Welker is going to be a free agent after the season. I know that Tom Brady loves Wes more than Giselle, but it seems hard for me to believe that The Hoodie will bring him back when he has a ready-made replacement on his squad already. This may be the most impactful roster decision of the off-season for fantasy owners.
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When I tossed out Michael Turner’s name earlier, you probably thought you were about to read another article about how amazing Jacquizz Rodgers would be with a chance. That is completely incorrect. I am all about Jason Snelling.
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Jason Snelling has always intrigued me. I think part of it is that he plays with Michael Turner; by comparison, all running backs look like a breath of fresh air compared to him. I think there is more to it than that though. He has averaged almost 4 yards per carry over his career, and while that isn’t amazing, it is pretty solid. I think Michael Turner’s stay in Atlanta is nearing its conclusion so that leaves a load of carries unaccounted for. I think Snelling claims a great deal of them.
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I know you are thinking to yourself, what about Jacquizz? Here is my opinion on the little one. He is just that: too little. As bad as Turner has been this season, there is a reason that the Falcons didn’t rely on Rodgers more. He is just not big enough to handle a full workload. Because of that, I think he will stay in his third down back type role and Snelling will vault to the top instead.
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While I am sure that there will be no early 2013 rankings out there that doesn’t feature C.J. Spiller as a top 10-type running back, I think he is worth mentioning as a guy who is about to run into more playing time.
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I truly think that the Fred Jackson nightmare is over. I think it is highly unlikely that Fred is back in Buffalo next year, meaning a full workload for Spiller. If this is the case, there should be no reason that Spiller doesn’t put up top 5 fantasy running back numbers.
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Much like Michael Turner, I expect Steven Jackson to be playing for a different team next fall. This leaves Daryl Richardson as the guy in the Gateway City. I think there is a lot to like about Richardson. He is shifty and instinctive, and is a very solid open field runner.
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I worry with Richardson that the Rams will bring in another back to complement him or give more carries to Pead this coming year. Regardless, Richardson is a name to remember because if he gets 20 touches a game, he’s going to put up huge numbers.
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As all my regular readers know, I have a thing for David Wilson. I believe in him, I believe that he is one of the best pure runners in the game, and I believe that in 2013, the Giants will hand over the keys to him. Think about it, they didn’t draft him in the first round to platoon forever. With as many holes as they had, they didn’t draft him to provide insurance for Ahmad Bradshaw. He’s going to be the guy.
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With being the guy comes more responsibility, and I think Wilson is up to it. He is averaging 5.1 yards per carry this season and in the two games that he started, he posted a combined 155 rushing yards, and 2 touchdowns. He is firmly out of Tom Coughlin’s doghouse. I will call it right now; if Ahmad Bradshaw departs and the full-time gig goes to Wilson, there are only two running backs in football I would rather have, Adrian Peterson and Arian Foster.
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There is still a lot of story to play out in this particular instance, but definitely keep him on your fantasy radar going into 2013.
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Lastly, I think in his second year, Lamar Miller will finally break out. I do not think that the Dolphins are going to retain Reggie Bush, leaving a gaping hole in the backfield. I am not a huge fan of Miller’s talent, I think he is slightly above average, but you cannot argue with playing time. I think there is a strong chance that Miller will get around 270 carries in 2013. If he gets the rock that many times, he will undoubtedly be a top 25 running back, one you can probably get as a flier at the end of your draft. Not to hedge, but I think that there is just as good of a chance that everything I have said about Miller could also be true of Daniel Thomas, we’ll have to see how this one plays out.
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Happy Friday Everyone. Got to get down on Friday.
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Jordan answers all fantasy questions on Twitter @jordan_hall23 or #stsfantasy

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