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A typical fantasy football league consists of 12 teams nine starters (QB, two RBs, three WRs, TE, K, D) and anywhere from five to seven bench players. If you go with the latter bench allotment, you’re looking at 16 roster spots or 192 draft picks. By that definition, any sleeper should have an average draft position about 180 or higher.

 

Denver Broncos WR Jabar Gaffney doesn’t quite reach the 180 threshold, checking in with a ADP of 170 (61st WR) according to Mock Draft Central. He is, however, undervalued as the Broncos’ number one receiver.

 

He will not confuse anyone for Brandon Marshall, and in some ways that’s a good thing. He quietly goes about his business. Last year he hauled in 54 passes for 732 yards and 2 TDs. Head Coach Josh McDaniels is comfortable with Gaffney, having brought him over from New England last year.

 

So far Gaffney has had a productive preseason. He caught two passes for 37 yards in the opener against the Bengals. He followed up with six catches for 98 yards in the second game against Detroit.

 

The Broncos have several talented young WRs, but they will have growing pains. Eddie Royal is in his third season, but was an utter disappointment last year when many were expecting him to put up Wes Welker numbers. The Broncos drafted rookies Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker, but both have battled foot injuries. Unfortunately Thomas’ injury was an aggravation of a previous foot injury and it is still lingering, while Decker battled multiple injuries in college.

 

Thomas is the most talented WR on the Broncos, and will eventually take over as the top receiver. I just don’t see that happening this season. When you are adding WR depth late in your draft, don’t be afraid to take an unsexy pick like Jabar Gaffney. You don’t have to be sexy, as long as you’re steady.

 

What are your thoughts on the Broncos’ WRs?

Happy Birthday Janelle!

 


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A typical fantasy football league consists of 12 teams nine starters (QB, two RBs, three WRs, TE, K, D) and anywhere from five to seven bench players. If you go with the latter bench allotment, you’re looking at 16 roster spots or 192 draft picks. By that definition, any sleeper should have an average draft position about 180 or lower.

 

Houston WR Jacoby Jones has an ADP of 186 (64th WR) according to Mock Draft Central. His 27 catches for 437 yards last year did not raise any eyebrows, but his 6 touchdown catches did. As did his finish when he caught seven passes for 144 yards and a pair of scores in the final two weeks.

 

He is in a stiff battle with Kevin Walter (53-611-2) for the number two receiver role opposite of Andre Johnson. The Texans will operate in plenty of three-receiver sets so it’s not like the loser will not get their share of targets. Still, whoever wins the battle will have the higher value, which is pretty much a given. Walter has been fairly productive the past three seasons, but Jones has more potential.

 

My assumption is that Jones will take hold of the flanker position, relegating Walter to the slot. Jones will be more productive in standard scoring leagues while Walter will be more productive in PPR leagues. Walter’s ADP is 136 (49th WR), making Jones a significantly better value. I feel both WRs are worthy of making a fantasy roster. Right now I prefer Walter (click to see my WR rankings), especially with his 6’3″, 218 lb. frame as a red zone target, but if Jones can win the starting job, my opinion will change.

 

What are your thoughts on Jacoby Jones? Kevin Walter?


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A typical fantasy football league consists of 12 teams nine starters (QB, two RBs, three WRs, TE, K, D) and anywhere from five to seven bench players. If you go with the latter bench allotment, you’re looking at 16 roster spots or 192 draft picks. By that definition, any sleeper should have an average draft position about 180 or lower.

 

Houston RB Arian Foster is going with the 182nd pick according to Mock Draft Central. That is good for the 56th RB selected, meaning he’d be a RB4 or RB5 in 12-team fantasy leagues. He is going behind the likes of LenDale White, Larry Johnson, Tashard Choice, and Glen Coffee to name a few. LenDale doesn’t even have a gig. Foster is even behind teammates Ben Tate (26th RB, 58 overall) and Steve Slaton (39, 95).

 

The problem is, nobody informed Texans Coach Gary Kubiak. He called Foster “mature beyond his years” and hinted that Foster could have a firm grip on the top stop in Houston’s depth chart. Obviously he would split carries with Slaton and Tate, but clearly Foster should be going ahead of unsigned free agents, washed up backup RBs, and backup RBs that don’t figure to have many carries.

 

It’s not like Foster struggled last year. He ran for 257 yards on 54 carries (4.8 ypc) for 3 TDs. He added 8 catches for 93 yards. He did this in very limited playing time. When he got his chance in Week 16 and 17 he combined for 242 total yards (216 rushing) and 3 TDs. His ypc in those two games was 5.5.

 

The second-year back isn’t taking the competition lightly. He is quoted as saying “I wasn’t up at 5:30 (a.m.) this offseason for nothing, so my mentality isn’t, ‘This spot is mine.’ My mentality is, ‘This spot is going to get taken. I am going to take it.’”

 

We’ll have to see how things play out during the next few weeks, but with quotes like that from Foster and Kubiak, I am willing to move Kubiak up my draft board. I would take him as a low-end RB3 or high-end RB4 if he continues to keep Slaton and Tate at bay. Click to see my update 2010 fantasy RB rankings.

 

What are your thoughts on Arian Foster?

A typical fantasy football league consists of 12 teams nine starters (QB, two RBs, three WRs, TE, K, D) and anywhere from five to seven bench players. If you go with the latter bench allotment, you’re looking at 16 roster spots or 192 draft picks. By that definition, any sleeper should have an average draft position about 180 or lower.

 

Rookie Cincinnati Bengal TE Jermaine Gresham has an ADP of 206 according to Mock Draft Central. That makes him the the second pick of the 18th round or the 20th TE to come off the board. That is right about where I have Gresham ranked among TEs (click to see my 2010 fantasy TE rankings). While his ranking puts him in the TE2 category, he has the potential to bust out in a big way.

 

He has great size (6’5″, 260), soft hands, and the ability to pick up yards after the catch with both his toughness and his elusiveness. He gives Carson Palmer a safety valve over the middle when Chad Ochocinco, Terrell Owens, and Antonio Bryant (assuming he’s healthy) stretch the field. He should also get plenty of targets in the red zone given his skill set.

 

He missed the 2009 college season with a knee injury, but was a real threat in 2007 (37 catches, 518 yards, 11 TDs) and 2009 (66, 950, 14). My modest prediction for Gresham in 2010 is 45 catches for 450 yards and 5 TDs, but I could easily see those numbers jump to 60-650-7.

 

In non-keeper leagues he’s worth taking a shot on with a late round pick. In deep keeper leagues though, he should be go much sooner as he has the potential to become one of the top TEs in the league in the next couple of seasons.

 

What are your thoughts on Jermaine Gresham?

 

 

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Image courtesy of Icon SMI

 

A typical fantasy football league consists of 12 teams nine starters (QB, two RBs, three WRs, TE, K, D) and anywhere from five to seven bench players. If you go with the latter bench allotment, you’re looking at 16 roster spots or 192 draft picks. By that definition, any sleeper should have an average draft position about 180 or lower.

 

Seattle Seahawks TE John Carlson has an ADP of 189 according to Mock Draft Central. I know he’s not Dallas Clark or Antonio Gates, but that seems awfully low. It would put him as the ninth pick in the 15th round and the 19th TE selected, going behind the likes of Brandon Pettigrew, Todd Heap, Marcedes Lewis, and Anthony Fasano. Click here to see where I have Carlson ranked among fantasy TEs.

 

That seems odd for a guy that has put up numbers since coming into the NFL. As a rookie he caught 55 passes for 627 yards and 5 TDs. Last year he caught 51 for 574 yards and 7 TDs. He had a lengthy drought that can explain why his stock is so low, but the talent is there.

 

He opened the season with a bang catching six passes for 95 yards and 2 TDs. He finished the season with a four-game TD streak. The middle 11 games left plenty to be desired as he scored just 1 TD and topped 50 yards just once. I think it had more to do with the offensive ineptitude of the Seahawks than a reflection of Carlson’s ability or lack thereof.

 

The Seahawks added Russell Okung in the recent NFL Draft and signed TE Chris Baker to handle the blocking duties. Carlson should be able to focus his attention on the passing game, which should make him a much more consistent fantasy threat.

 

Prediction:  70 catches, 770 yards, 5 TDs

 

Where do you have John Carlson ranked?

 

 

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Image courtesy of Icon SMI

 

A typical fantasy football league consists of 12 teams nine starters (QB, two RBs, three WRs, TE, K, D) and anywhere from five to seven bench players. If you go with the latter bench allotment, you’re looking at 16 roster spots or 192 draft picks. By that definition, any sleeper should have an average draft position about 180 or lower.

 

Arizona Cardinals WR Early Doucet sports an ADP of 263 according to Mock Draft Central. That would make him the eleventh pick of the 21st round and somewhere around the 85th WR taken. That would make him a WR7 in 12-team leagues, or most likely not on a roster.

 

I feel he has the upside to warrant taking a chance on him much earlier in fantasy drafts. For starters, he showed big play potential in last year’s playoffs combining for 14 catches for 145 yards and 2 TDs in the Cardinals’ win over Green Bay and loss to the Saints.

 

Not only that, but Anquan Boldin has moved on to Baltimore, meaning Doucet should have a bigger role in the offense. Obviously Larry Fitzgerald will be the primary target and Breaston will likely continue to be the deep threat. Doucet should see a big bump in targets working the slot.

 

Life would be better for all of the Cardinal WRs if Kurt Warner hadn’t hung up his cleats, but I feel Leinart will be solid. He’s had time to mature and learn the offense under one of the best QBs to ever play.

 

They have some solid match-up against the Rams twice, the Seahawks twice, the Raiders (he won’t have to face Asomugha), Bucs, and Chiefs. Their schedule helps his cause.

 

I’m not saying you should count on him as a WR4 even, but he could put up those kind of numbers. I’m just saying I would take a chance on him over some of the players who on average have gone before him in drafts. I’m talking about guys like Chansi Stuckey, Michael Jenkins, Armanti Edwards, Torry Holt, Troy Williamson, Sam Hurd, Juaquin Iglesias, Damian Williams etc.

 

Prediction:  65 catches, 800 yards, 4 TDs

 

What are your thoughts on Early Doucet?

 

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Image courtesy of Icon SMI

 

A typical fantasy football league consists of 12 teams nine starters (QB, two RBs, three WRs, TE, K, D) and anywhere from five to seven bench players. If you go with the latter bench allotment, you’re looking at 16 roster spots or 192 draft picks. By that definition, any sleeper should have an average draft position about 180 or lower.

 

Miami Dolphins WR Davone Bess sports an ADP of 241 according to Mock Draft Central. That would make him the first pick of the 21st round and somewhere around the 80th WR taken. That would make him a WR6 in 12-team leagues.

 

He had 76 catches for 758 yards and 2 TDs last year and 54 catches for 554 yards and a score as a rookie. I don’t expect him to suddenly break out as a third-year receiver like many have before him, but I think there is room for growth.

 

For starters, Chad Henne gained valuable experience last year, and will be more comfortable under center. They also added Brandon Marshall, who will command significant defensive attention.

 

With the focus on Marshall, the running game, and the Wildcat, Bess could go unattended. He has soft hands and a quick first step. The receptions could pile up. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him approach 90-100 receptions. The main drawback is he is an afterthought in the red zone. I don’t expect that to change. Still, he should be a solid WR4 or WR5 this year. He gets and added bump in PPR leagues.

 

Prediction:  90 catches, 900 yards, 3 TDs

 

What are your thoughts on Davone Bess?

 

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A typical fantasy football league consists of 12 teams nine starters (QB, two RBs, three WRs, TE, K, D) and anywhere from five to seven bench players. If you go with the latter bench allotment, you’re looking at 16 roster spots or 192 draft picks. By that definition, any sleeper should have an average draft position about 180 or lower.

 

San Francisco 49ers QB Alex Smith sports an ADP of 185, which means on average he’s the fifth pick of the 16th round. He has the 24th highest ADP of any QB behind the likes of Josh Freeman, Matt Cassel, and Kyle Orton.

 

I know he has been a disappointment, especially given his first overall selection in the 2005 NFL Draft, but I think we’re being kind of harsh on the young man, though personally I  have him as the 15th ranked fantasy QB. He showed enough last year to justify that ranking in my mind.

 

Smith completed 60.5 percent of his passes for 2350 yards, 18 TDs vs. 12 INTs, and a 81.5 passer rating. Those numbers don’t exactly bring Niner fans back to the days of Joe Montana or Steve Young, but they should lead fantasy owners to draft him before the likes of Josh Freeman, especially when you consider the weapons Smith has to work with.

 

Michael Crabtree was able to learn on the job last year, and is primed to have an even bigger impact in 2010. Josh Morgan is an adequate #2 receiver. Vernon Davis had nearly 1000 yards and 13 TDs. Frank Gore is very capable of catching the ball out of the backfield. Few teams can offer that assortment of weapons and yet he’s being drafted about sixty picks after Matthew Stafford.

 

Smith had at least 28 pass attempts in the Niners’ final seven games, which shows they aren’t afraid to open the offense up. Over that span he averaged 220.3 yards, 1.7 TDs, and 0.86 INTs. He didn’t do much with his feet last year, but he did average 10.6 rushing yards per game his first three seasons.

 

Is he a guy that I would target as a #1 fantasy QB? Of course not. I’d gladly take him as a QB2 though.

 

Prediction: 3600 yards, 22 TDs, 12 INTs, 120 rushing yards, 2 TDs

 

Where do you have Alex Smith ranked?

 

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