Offensive Rookies Worth Drafting in 2013

Another year another draft down and owners everywhere are scouring all sorts of facts and info on the rookies taken in this year’s draft, wondering if they are fantasy worthy.  A major concern for the fantasy world was that this year’s draft would be such a let-down from last years (top-3 picks alone were all fantasy studs in RG III, Luck and Trent Richardson).  The 2013 draft has been called “unsexy” and “boring” for people not big into football, yet for fantasy reasons I will respectfully disagree.

There are so many factors that go into whether a player is fantasy-worthy, especially a rookie.  As far as rookies are concerned, you have to see what kind of production came out of that position the year(s) prior, if they are a WR who is their QB, if they are a RB how good in their offensive live, will they have to compete for a starting role, as well as countless other factors.  Nevertheless, let’s take a look at the top-5 offensive rookies worth drafting in 2013.

TAVON AUSTIN– WR ST. Louis 5-9 175lbs

Look for Austin to fill the void left by Amendola this year.  (

Look for Austin to fill the void left by Amendola this year. (

The Rams traded up to get him, clearly wanted him, and will make him a focal point of their offense.  Austin will be joining forces with a deep threat in Chris Givens, whose speed had been compared to Mike Wallace’s (Givens averaged 16.6 ypr last year) and is a more than capable of several deep strikes down the field (5 receptions of over 50 yards last year with only 42 total receptions), as well as newly acquired Jared Cook who is a freakish athlete capable of lining up at TE or even the slot.  The biggest concern though is the Rams offensive line that has allowed Bradford to be sacked 71 times in 26 games.  Well to solve that the Rams went out and signed Pro Bowler LT Jake Long who should add some much needed extra protection for Bradford.  All of this surrounding Austin should allow him to have a pretty productive rookie season, one making him fantasy worthy.

WOULD I START HIM? In deeper leagues yes, he could be your WR 3/ Flex deepening on your league. Wouldn’t draft him until around the 7-9th round.

DEANDRE HOPKINS- WR Houston 6-1 214lbs

For the better part of a decade the Texans have tried finding a complimentary receiver to Andre Johnson, and they may have just done that with Hopkins.  Hopkins has big (10-inch), reliable hands, sub 4.5 40 speed, and is very durable.  While he may not be the deep-threat that could stretch the field, he is a good enough to catch the eye of Schaub who will have to look elsewhere than just Johnson (who was target an NFL-high on 60% of Houston’s plays last year).  He has been compared to Anquan Boldin and Roddy White, and while I am not saying he is that caliber just yet, that is good company to be compared to, coupled in with lining up across from Johnson, and do not forget about Arian Foster, Hopkins may find his way into your fantasy line-up.

WOULD I START HIM? Only as a WR3, would not use him in your flex spot just yet until he proves himself a little, but see no problem as a WR3.  Also have no problem drafting him as early as the 8-9th round.

EDDIE LACY-RB Green Bay 5-11 231

There is something to be said about a guy on Lacy’s size, and can still run a sub 4.5 40 (4.44 to be precise).  Then again he is going to Packers, a team that has not had a 100-yard rusher in 43 games, scored 9 total rushing TDs last season, and were led by Alex Green’s 464 rushing yards.  Then again, this is the same Packers team that allowed Ryan Grant to rush for 11 TDs a few seasons ago, a team in desperate need of a guy to finally step up in the backfield.  I know there are some mummers of his injury history with his turf toe at Alabama, and the fact that the Packers also drafted Jonathan Franklin, but even if he does end up splitting carries with him, if there is one thing Lacy can do is run people over.  That is a skill that comes in handy near the goal line.  So while I am not predicting a 1,000 yard season, do not be surprised to if Lacy’s TD total is in the double digits.

WOULD I START HIM? Possible flex player, definitely great reserve RB for bye-round and if he can stay health, could turn into a consistent starter.  Could see him going as early as the 7-8th round in drafts.

MONTEE BALL- RB Denver 5-10 214lbs

This is a great scenario of a good player landing in a great spot.  Denver has an elite offense, and Peyton Manning has made many RB look great during his career. Ball is inheriting a great situation where, McGahee is turning 32 and likely on his way out after tearing his MCL and breaking his leg, Moreno is coming off of arthroscopic knee surgery, and Hillman has proved nothing more than that he is a good 3rd down back.  There are always a ton of opportunities to carry the ball on early downs, and despite Manning throwing for over 4,600 yards and 37 TDs, the rushing attack still managed 12 TDs, and over 30 rushing attempts/game.

WOULD I START HIM? Yes, as a flex, even possibly a RB 2 depending on his early season production.  Have no problem drafting him between the 5-8th round.

AARON DOBSON- WR New England 6-3 214LB

This one may be more of a sleeper pick, but I love Dobson’s chances to produce in New England.  Dobson (listed above at 6-3) gives the Patriots some much needed height at the WR position, since the other wide outs on the roster (minus the TE and newly acquired veteran Mike Jenkins who might not even make the final roster) average height teeters right around 6 foot.  Let’s also let history give us some confidence in Dobson moving forward.  Dobson is out of Marshal, where Brady’s last two WR out of Marshal have been Randy Moss and Troy Brown.  Those are two pretty solid names to follow up on, as Brady helped make Brown’s career, and resurrect Moss’s.   Nevertheless, while Dobson’s top-end speed is not phenomenal, he can stretch the field which is something the Patriots so desperately need. After failing to land Emanuel Sanders, expect Dobson to line up on the outside in his place, and give the Pats the chance to open up the field.

WOULD I START HIM? Flex/WR 3 dependent on your league.  Brady WR do not typically get tons of receptions, but expect Dobson to find his fair share, and especially find the end-zone.  Potential to move up to WR 2.  His stock will not be high, so you can grab him late after the 10th round.


TYLER EIFERT- TE Cincy 6-5 250lbs

This is one of those scenarios gone wrong.  Before the draft I believed Eifert had potential to be a fantastic surprise fantasy rookie this year, which was before the Bengals drafted him.  While this may be a great move for their team’s success this year, it crushed both Eifert’s potential value and Greshem’s as well.  A two TE set may work in New England, but it will not work in Cincy, and here’s why.  1 Andy Dalton is not Tom Brady. 2 Greshem and Eifert are pretty much the same player, the move and go type-players, whereas Gronk is an in-line killer, and Hernandez is the guy who can move and go.  Unless Greshem somehow leaves town in Cincy, avoid Eifert.

JUSTIN HUNTER- WR Tennessee 6-4 196lbs

Same sort of deal as Eifert, good player but not the best landing spot.  Hunter has inherited a QB in Locker who has yet to prove himself worthy of trust in the fantasy world, a RB in Chris Johnson who is as predictable as the weather in New England, and a WR who needs a big year for a new contract in Kenny Britt. Hunter, who is pretty much and undersized Britt, has to also worry about Nate Washington and Kendall Wright.  Although the Titans did trade up to get him so they might incorporate him more then I think they will.  Nevertheless, a few years down the road Hunter could be making some noise and be a very good fantasy WR, but just not this year.


Joique Bell, Chris Givens, and Other Players Worth Drafting in 2013

Entering the 2012 season, some players on this list where entering their rookie seasons, while others where coming off of less-than-impressive seasons.  Nevertheless, after this past season these players made their names relevant in the fantasy football world.  Without further adieu let’s take a look at players who are worth drafting next year.




After a strong rookie campaign (964 yards and 11 TDs), Williams fell off a bit his sophomore season, as well as the rest of the Bucs offense.  Yet, this year with the arrival of a bigger threat than himself in Vincent Jackson and a strong run-game in Doug Martin, Williams was able to have a bounce back season, reeling in 63 passes for 996 yards and a team-high 9 TDs.

Those numbers helped propel Williams to the #18 WR in fantasy (standard scoring leagues).  8 Times this past season was Williams able to gain double-digit fantasy points, three times he went over the 100 yard mark., 8 times he had 4 or more receptions, was tied for 9th in the NFL with 17 receptions of 20+ yards, and averaged 15.8 ypr.

Unlike the drop-off from rookie season to sophomore season, I do not project that happening again; thanks in part to all the pieces around Williams now.  Another vital asset that could highly increase Williams’ value is the guy throwing to him, Josh Freeman.  Freeman’s past season is one that has been expected of him since the Bucs drafted him.  Throwing for over 4,000 yards and 27 TDs, is Freeman can duplicate that season again, watch out for Williams.

Where I would start them: As a low WR2/ high 3/  high Flex




Although he was not the starter at the beginning of the season, Ballard took advantage of the time he got when Donald Brown went down.  Even when Brown was still the primary back (up until about week 6) Ballard still got his share of the ball.  Yet despite only being the starter a limited time and having to deal with a timeshare in the backfield, Ballard was able to produce enough to make owners aware of him.

Throughout the 2013 campaign, Ballard carried the ball 211 times for 814 yards (3.9 ypc) for 2 TDs, adding 17 receptions for 152 yards and another TD.  While those numbers won’t make owners drool over him, they are noteworthy enough to make a worthwhile RB3/ Flex in 2013.

Also, if there are any concerns that Ballard won’t be the main back in Indy come next season, just know that in the upcoming draft the Colts have many, many other pieces to address before they start looking for a RB (so the likelihood they draft someone to replace him is low), and only the final four games of 2012, Ballard averaged 21 carries a game (as compared to Browns 14 carries a game he averages).

Where I would start them: RB3/  high Flex




The rookie WR had a modest first season in the NFL, catching 42 passes for 698 yards and 3 TDs.  Yet it’s not those numbers that have me intrigued about him heading into next season, it’s his situation.

It’s unlikely that Steven Jackson will be the Rams RB next year, handing the duties off to Daryl Richardson.  If that is the case, a RBs best-friend (other than good blocking) is a strong passing game. With Amendola’s inability to stay healthy, and Given’s deep-threat ability, he could have a very nice sophomore season.

In this past season, even though Givens did not catch a a ton of passes (and even if Amendola does return he is more of a slot guy) he did manage 16.8 ypc, including two games in which he only caught one pass (in week 4 and 5) he caught those passes for 51, and 52 yards.

Where I would start them WR 3/Flex




The Lions have not had a legit RB since Barry Sanders was in the backfield, and while Bell is no Sanders (I actually feel disrespectful for putting them in the same sentence) he can be a decent fantasy player next season.  Although Bell does have to share with Leshoure, Leshoure hasn’t done anything to solidify the #1 spot to himself.

What Bell does to make himself fantasy worthy (because it isn’t the carries since he only got 10+ carries twice all season) is his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.  In fact, Bell carried the ball 82 times for 414 yards and 3 TDs compared to his 52 receptions for 485 yards.  While on the other hand, Leshoure only managed 34 receptions for 214 yards.

So whereas Leshoure still have the carries lean in his direction, Bell certainly has shown that he has big-play capability and can catch out of the backfield.  It’s similar to Turner and Rodgers situation in Atlanta, but with Bell getting more carries than Rodgers.

Where I’d start them-  mid-level Flex




The Chargers are in need for a new deep-threat since the departure of Vincent Jackson and they just might have it with Alexander.  Missing the first 6 games of the season, it took Alexander no time to get comfortable, catching 37 passes for 658 yards and 7 TDs in only 8 games.

Alexander’s 17.8 ypc (tied for 2nd in the NFL with Cecil Shorts, only behind Vincent Jackson’s 19.2 ypc)  helped owners who grabbed him, as he scored double-digit points 5 times, catching multiple TDs twice, and 5 or more passes 5 times.  These numbers are convincing since Ryan Mathews has not lived up to expectations, and it seems as if Gates is on a downward spiral.  Another thing working for Alexander is his partner on the field, Malcolm Floyd.  Floyd is a good enough receiver to gain a lot of attention from opposing defenses.  With defenses not being able to fully key-in on Alexander alone, he could use his deep-threat ability to put-up some nice numbers next season, since we all know how much Rivers loves slinging the ball down field.

In fact of all the players on this list, Alexander in my opinion, will have the biggest season in 2013.  Mark my words.

Where I’d start him- mid-high level WR 2/ very high WR 3/ Flex

Larry Fitzgerald, Mike Vick, and Other Fantasy Football Players to Avoid in 2013

Each and every year owners draft players whom they believe will help take their team to the promise land.  Yet, time and time again everyone of us (we are all susceptible to this) drafts someone who just stinks up the joint.  Sometimes such a high draft pick is spent on these players that you can’t drop them, and in some cases cannot even take them out of your starting line-up.  To avoid such stress, take a look at the players in which you should avoid in 2013.

Fitzgerald is not the only one upset by his performances, as owners everywhere are too (

Fitzgerald is not the only one upset by his performances, as owners everywhere are too (


After making his way to the #2 seed on my Least Valuable Player Of the Year, things are not looking up for Larry.  As I have said before, it is a shame to see such talent go to waste, but with no one to throw him the ball his fantasy value is dismal.  There was some hope for him, as his team was a front-runner to land Andy Reid, yet after he signed with the Chiefs the Cardinals are still left without a head coach for the time being.

With the Cardinals one real need, a quarterback, not a deep position in the upcoming NFL draft it is unlikely that Fitzgerald will get any of the help he so desperately needs.  In addition, one would hope that he could get some help out of his backfield, but the always injured Beanie Wells and their 32nd ranked (75.2 ypg) rushing offense gives me little hope that they can help.

To add insult to injury, this past season Fitzgerald was outscored by Cardinals #2 WR Andre Roberts (albeit it was 100 points to Fitzgerald’s 99 points) as Roberts caught 64 passes for 756 yards and 5 TDs, compared to Larry’s 71 receptions for 798 yards and 4 TDs.


Stats can sometimes be deceiving.  Johnson finished last year with 1,243 yards rushing and 6 TDs, adding another 232 yards on 36 receptions, good enough for the #13 RB in fantasy.  While those stats would make some players desirable, when you are talking about a former consensus #1 overall pick, the same rules do not apply.

Johnson, who was drafted on average between the 1st and 3rd round, had his NFL and fantasy numbers inflated by a few big games.  In week 4,7,9,10, and 15 Johnson scored 15,31,17,18, and 18 points.  While those are nice outings, those where the only games in which Johnson rushed for over 100 yards (all games he rushed for over 121 yards) and scored more than 11 points for his owners.  In hindsight, 7 times last seasons Johnson failed to score more than 5 points (even scoring 0 in week 5), and rushed for 56 or fewer yards 8 times.

Its also worth noting that Johnson had a career low in receptions, reception yards and a career high in fumbles and fumbles lost.

Amendola doing what else but being injuried (

Amendola doing what else but being injuried (


Ok, maybe do not avoid him, but definitely do not waste a high-round pick on him.  Like Fitzgerald, I think Amendola is a fantastic talent with  the potential to be a great fantasy player, but here is my issue; injuries.

Injuries have plagued Amendola throughout his short career, forcing him to miss 22 games in his 4 NFL seasons (to be fair he missed 15 games a season ago).  He also does not catch a lot of TDs (only 7 in 42 career games).  In addition, his career high for receiving yards in a season was in 2010 with 698.

Not to sound contradictory, Amendola does get a load of targets (about 7 a game) and catches the majority of them (just about 5 receptions a game). Nevertheless, he has had an inability to stay healthy and until he can show otherwise I would avoid him.


Albeit he missed 10 games with an injury and had trouble staying healthy, but the Steelers have made it clear that he is no longer to go-to back in Pittsburgh.

Its not that he was really outplayed by others who got more playing in his absence, in fact that’s not the case at all.  Dwyer and Redman combined for just over 1,000 yards and 4 TDs total.

However, it does seem as if Mendenhall has lost his spot in the Steelers rotation, if he does in fact stay in Pittsburgh.  If he does exit and go elsewhere it will be interesting to see who grabs him, and maybe he will come off of this list, as he has shown in the past that he can put-up noteworthy fantasy numbers, averaging over 1,100 yards and 10 TDs over his last 3 seasons (of course excluding this year).

One of Vick's many turnovers this season (

One of Vick’s many turnovers this season (


Maybe it’s personal bias, but I know I will catch some fleck for this proclamation, but in my opinion Vick is highly overrated in fantasy (and the NFL for that matter too).

Yes, I am fully aware that Vick can run and gain crucial points for owners, so before you go throwing the importance of a QB who can run in fantasy in my face just know that I am aware.

I’ll also save you the trouble of looking up stats, Vick has 39 career rushing TDs and over 5,500 career rushing yards.

But how about this, in Vick’s 11 year career (excluding 2009, and 2010 when he took over mid-season) Vick has played all 16 games only once.  ONE TIME!  He simply cannot stay healthy and is constantly getting hurt.

And despite the fact that does not even throw the ball the much (career high 423 attempts in 2011, compare that to a mid-level QB with a strong run-game like Schaub who averages over 500 attempts a season) Vick still manages to turn the ball over, a lot.  In fact, in only 10 games last season Vick threw 10 interceptions and fumbled the ball 11 times, compared to his 13 total TDs (12 pass, 1 run).

So yes, Vick can light it up for 20+ points any given week thanks to his legs, he can not do it for all 16 weeks (not to mention he’s getting older).  In addition, are his potential 5  big games worth having him for just that? Wouldn’t you rather a QB who will get it done consistently week in and week out?


Speaking of injury issues over a career, Gates has had his own issues with that.  Yet, this season he managed to miss only 1 game, although he did not impress owners with his performances.

Since 2003 (his rookie season) Gates has never been so unproductive in a season.  Catching only 49 passes for 538 yards (although he did manage 7 TDs) Gates set career lows across the board (with the exception of his rookie season).

Only 4 times this past season did Gates score double-digit points for owners, contrarily scoring 5 or less points in 11 games.  He caught 6 passes in a game twice season, catching 4 or less in all other games.  He also had a season high of 81 receiving yards in week 5, failing to g over the 100-yard mark all season.

Gates will be 33 come next season, which will also be his 11th in the NFL and things are not looking up for his fantasy value.


Turner's career could be on a downfall (blog.ajc.clom)

Turner’s career could be on a downfall (blog.ajc.clom)

The shelf life for RBs in the NFL is not a long time.  This upcoming season, Turner will be entering his 10th season and will be turning 31, both areas that make him an old-dog in NFL terms and it’s showing in his stats.

This season the Falcons made it clear that there will be a spot for Turner’s back-up Jaquizz Rodgers in their backfield.  It’s not as if Rodgers had a 1,000 yard season, because he is not that kind of RB.  He is a versatile, explosive, and big-play capability kind of guy who can steal touches from Turner, and it will be interesting to see how he is used next season.

Nevertheless, let’s take a look at Turner’s stats from a season ago.  Since becoming a feature back in Atlanta, Turner (while playing a full season) has never rushed for less than 1,340 yards, averaged less than 4.1 ypc,  scored fewer than 11 TDs, and carried the ball under 301 times (178 carries, 871 yards and 10 TDs in only 11 games in 2009).

Yet, this season, while playing all 16 games, Turner had 222 carries (an average of 5 less carries a game than a season ago), for 800 yards (gained 71 more yards in 5 less games in ’09), scoring 10 TDs, all the while averaging an embarrassing 3.6ypc.

Only twice this season did he carry the ball for 20+ times, compared to the 8 times he scored single-digit points for his owners a season ago.  All of these stats landed Turner the #17 RB spot in fantasy behind the likes of Steven Jackson and Shonn Greene.

Fantasy Football’s Least Valuable Players of 2012



Heading into this year’s draft, many players were highly sought after and highly drafted.  Yet, owners who used top picks to get some players did not have it pan out as they had hoped.  With that being said, let us take a look at this year’s Least Valuable fantasy Players.

Once more, like the Most Valuable Players, the LVPs are based on expectation vs. output and what it cost to get the player.  Nevertheless, without anymore interruption let’s start with:

3. Eli Manning

Manning almost hit 5,000 yards a season ago, yet this year (through 16 weeks) with only one game left, he is projected to have his lowest passing yardage season since 2008 (4,021, he currently has 3,740) and his first sub-4,000 yard season since 2007.  His 21 passing TDs are 8 off of where he was last year, though his 15 INT are currently one fewer than he had a year ago.

Nevertheless, Manning was the most wanted QB outside out of the big-4 this year (Brady, Stafford, Rodgers and Brees), yet he has not lived up to any of that.  Eli is currently the 19th ranked QB in fantasy, behind guys like Roethlisberger who missed 3 and a half games.  His ranking has come from having 4 games of 5 or fewer points (including a 3-game stretch where he scored a combined 10 points).  He has also only had three 300+ yard passing games compared to 4 games in which he did not throw a TD pass.  He also does not rank in the top-10 in any of the major QB statistics (yardage, TDs, QB Rating).

2. Larry Fitzgerald

What a shame to have all the talent in the world and have nobody throwing to you.  I almost feel bad putting Fitzgerald on this list, but numbers never lie and facts are facts.

Fitzgerald was ranked the #2 WR, behind Megatron, in most preseason rankings.  Yet, with one week remaining, Fitzgerald is currently the #39 WR in fantasy, 1 point behind Percy Harvin (has not played since week 9),  2 points behind Jordy Nelson (missed 3 consecutive weeks), 52 points from being inside the top-1o WR, and 108 points away from #2 WR Brandon Marshall.

Only 5 times has Fitzgerald scored double-digit points, and caught 6 or more passes., while four times this season he only caught 1 pass.  His 69 receptions are his fewest since 2006 (missed three games that season) , his 785 receiving yards are his lowest since 2006 as well, his 4 TDs are his lowest since 2010 where he caught 6 (6 is lowest ever, also caught 6 in 2006).  Unless Fitzgerald can catch for over 215 yards, it will also he his first sub 1,000-yard season ]where he played all 16 games since his rookie season.

Mathews made is No.1 but for all the wrong reasons (

Mathews made it to No.1 but for all the wrong reasons (

1. Ryan Mathews (a.k.a the man who had more broken clavicles than touchdowns)

Mathews, my #5 ranked player overall in the preseason and experts had him just as high, fell flat on his face this season.  Although it really may not be fair to him, as the Chargers offense as a whole was distraught to say the least this year.

Although Mathews missed the first two games of the season, and will miss the final two, he still had a big enough sample size to classify him as big of a bust as he was.

In the 12 games Mathews played, 0 times he rushed for 100 or more yards, 8 times he rushed for 67 or fewer yards, only 3 times he rushed the ball 20 or more times, he averaged 3.8 ypc, 1 time he scored double-digit points, and only 1 time he found the end zone (surpassed by his two broken clavicles).

With such a poor output, Mathews is currently ranked the #30 RB, behind the likes of Vick Ballard (has not even been the starter all season), Andre Brown (missed 7 games, soon to be 8), Willis McGahee (been on IR since week 11), DeMarco Murray (missed 6 games), and Joique Bell (only rushed the ball 10+ times twice all season long).

Fantasy Football MVPs of 2012



It’s not just the first-round picks that make your fantasy team championship-caliber.  It’s the late-round and even free-agent pickups that can bring your team to the promise land.  With that being said, let’s take a look at this year’s top-5  Most Valuable fantasy Players.

Subsequent to jumping into the list, it is worth noting that the simplistic formula to figure out MVPs is expectation vs. output and what it costs to get the player.

Starting with:



5. Andrew Luck

Luck was drafted ,on average, between the 11th-13th round and had little-to any expectations as far as his fantasy value was concerned.  A team that had been gutted by trades and free-agency, Luck inherited an aging Reggie Wayne and a virtually non-existent run-game.  Yet he did not let that deter him from having a terrific rookie-season that is likely to lead  him to Rookie of the Year, and has led his team to the playoffs.

Through 16 weeks Luck had thrown for over 4,100 yards (7th in NFL) with 21 TDs yet 18 INT, adding another 5 TD on the ground to his stat-line.  Luck is the 9th ranked QB in fantasy and 10th overall (Ahead of Eli, Stafford, Flacco, and Dalton) thanks in part to having  7 games with 18+ points with 4 of those games netting he and his owners over 23 points.

4.  Doug Martin

Martin was taken off of the board as early as the 4th round and as late as the 8th round in most drafts.  Concerns lingering around him were the fear that Blount would steal some carries.  Yet, Martin alleviated those concerns, racking up 44 carries in the first two weeks, on his way to back-to-back double-digit performances.

With 16 weeks now in the books, Martin is the number 3 fantasy running back, and has over 1,700 all-purpose yards (1,312 on the ground  good enough for 6th in the NFL and 454 through the air) and 11 TDs (10 rushing tied for 5th in the NFL 1 receiving).  He has had four 100-yard games, two games with multiple TDs, 15 games with multiple receptions, and only 3 single-digit performances all season.



3. Robert Griffin III

Known for his immense athletic ability, owners drafted RG III in the 8th-9th round in the majority of drafts.  Owners who took him, hopes that he would somehow resemble Cam Newton and his rookie campaign. Those who took the chance on him had their gutsy choice payoff.

For the majority of the season, RG III was the #1 fantasy scorer.  Yet, having to miss time due to injuries, Griffin is still the 5th QB in fantasy, and 5th scorer overall.  Like Newton, Griffin has had his success through the air ( 3,100 passing yards 20 TD to 5 INT) and on the ground (752 rushing yards and 6 TDs).  Griffin had produced eight 20+ point performances with three of those going for 30+ points.  In fact Griffin’s only single-digit performance came when he was knocked out of the game early vs. the Falcons in week 5.

2. Alfred Morris

Undrafted in most drafts, Morris far exceeded his non-existent expectations.  Morris, currently the #6 running back through 16 weeks, has been a model of consistency for fantasy owners who have him everywhere.

Only two games throughout the season has Morris failed to reach 76 rushing yards, which he has more than offset with his 6 100+ rushing yard-games during his rookie season.  Morris has scored double-digit fantasy points in 12 games this season, with two of those games netting him over 20+ points.

Morris is averaging an impressive 4.7 ypc, on his way to gaining 1,413 rushing yards (4th in NFL) and 10 TDs  (5th in NFL) through 16 weeks.  The unknown player-turned fantasy stud has also carried the ball 20 or more times 9 times this season, becoming a real work-horse.

Peterson has been nothing short of amazing this season.(

Peterson has been nothing short of amazing this season.

1. Adrian Peterson

Is there even an argument here?  After recovering from major knee-surgery, it was unsure if AP would even be ready to go come week 1.  Yet some owners still took a chance on him, as he was drafted on average as early as the 2nd round and as late as the 4rh on average.  Those owners who took the risk were highly rewarded.

Peterson, who is the #1 running back by 35 points over #2 Foster, is also the only player who is not a QB to be in the top-10 (Peterson is #8).  AP has posted an incredible seven games with 20+ points (including a 31-point performance in week 9 vs. Sea).  In back-to-back-to-back weeks Peterson posted 28,28, and 27 points.  He also has 9 games where he has rushed for over 100 yards, and two games with over 200 yards rushing.

All of this amazing success this season has Peterson leading the NFL in rushing yards (1,898 which is 408 yards ahead of Lynch and under 200 yards away from Dickerson’s single-season record) yards/game (126.5) and is second in the NFL with 11 rushing TDs, while he is also averaging an awe-inspiring 6.0 ypc.

Week 16 Pick-Ups

For those of you still in the running this late, congratulations.  However, as we all know, it doesn’t matter how late in the season it is, injuries can happen (like with AP last year in week 16).  If that’s your issue, or other extenuating circumstances have any of your starters out, do not fear I have some week 16 players who are likely still available in your league.

Sam Bradford- QB St. Louis Rams

After making minced-meat of the Vikings 29th ranked fantasy defense versus QBs and their NFL ranked 23rd ranked pass defense (throwing for 377 yards and 3 TDs)  is facing The Bucs this week who are:

  • Ranked last in fantasy vs. opposing QBs, allowing 19.4 ppg
  • Ranked last in the NFL allowing 311 passing yards/game
  • Ranked 30th in the NFL allowing 25 passing TDs this season
  • Owned in 39% of leagues


Cecil Shorts- WR Jacksonville Jaguars

After missing week 14 against the Jets with a concussion, Shorts made owners’ worries a thing of the past as he scored double-digit fantasy points for the 7th time in his last 8 games (including 5 TDs and 4 100-yard games in that span).  In week 16 he faces New England who:

  • Ranked 23rd in fantasy versus opposing WR, allowing 23.3 ppg
  • Have only held WR without a TD 4 times this season
  • Have allowed 30+ points to opposing WR 3 6 times this season
  • Rank 29th in the NFL allowing 270 passing yards/game
  • Have allowed 20 TDs to WR this season
  • Owned in 65% of leagues


T.Y. Hilton- WR Indianapolis Colts

He was on my list last week and he delivered, catching 3 passes for 78 yards and a TD.  The TD catch was his fourth in the last five games, and this week he faces the Chiefs who:

  • Rank 18th in fantasy to opposing WR allowing 20.8 ppg
  • Have allowed 22+ points to opposing WR 8 times this season
  • Rank 23rd in the NFL allowing 25 passing TDs this season
  • Owned in 51% of leagues


Mark Ingram- RB New Orleans Saints

5 out of his last 6 games he has gotten double-digit carries, including a season-high 90 rushing yards and a TD against the league’s leading rush defense (TB) a week ago.  Maybe he hasn’t panned out to what the Saints would hope to be, but as far as fantasy is concerned he’s been decent as of late.  This week he faces Dallas who:

  • Ranks 17th in fantasy allowing 15.9 ppg to RB
  • Have allowed 100+ rushing yards 7 times this season
  • Have only held two opposing RBs to under 10 points
  • Ranked 15th in the NFL allowing 115 rushing yards/game
  • Ranked 20th allowing 12 rushing TDs this season

RG III vs. Andrew Luck, Whose been the more impressive fantasy stud?




The number one and two overall pick from this past year’s draft have far exceeded their high expectations, not only in the NFL but in fantasy as well.

In previous articles I have proclaimed my distrust in rookies as fantasy studs, but I have been wrong before.  Nevertheless, let’s take a look at some stats and figure out who has been the more impressive fantasy player.

First is RG III who:

  • Leads fantasy in scoring (259, standard scoring leagues)
  • Has 8 games with 20+ points, with 3 of them with 30 or more
  • Averages 21.6 points/game
  • 6th in NFL completion % (67.4) (218-325)
  • 3rd in NFL passer rating (104.4)
  • 10th  in NFL in rush TD (6)
  • 19th in passing yards (2,660)
  • 14th in pass TD (17)
  • only 4 INT
  • 2 games with multiple rush TDs
  • 222 pass yards/ games
  • 714 rushing yards (6.8 yards/carry)
  • 8 rushing fumbles (only 2 lost)
  • 4 games with multiple pass TD
  • 3 games with over 300 passing yards
  • 7 games with 215 pass yards or fewer

Andrew Luck

  • 8th leading scorer in fantasy (212 points)
  • Only 2 single-digit scoring games (one against Chicago in his rookie debut)
  • 4 games with 20+ points
  • 6 games with multiple pass TDs
  • 2 games with multiple rush TDs
  • 4th in NFL passing yards (3,596)
  • 14th in pass TD (17)
  • 16 INT
  • Tied for 14th in NFL rush TD (5)
  • 300 passing yards/ game
  • 55.5 competition % (279-503) almost 200 more atp than RG III
  • 76.1 QB rating
  • 6 games with 300+ passing yards, 1 with 400+
  • 2 games with 225 passing yards or less

Now, after looking at the numbers, it’s not even close.  RG III is has been the better fantasy player, no contest.

Even if we were just comparing QB’s in fantasy,  RG III would get the edge because he leads QB’s in scoring, but he doesn’t, RG III leads ALL players in scoring.  How can you argue against a guy who has outscored everyone in a league where scoring is everything?

Yet, it is worth noting that if we were talking NFL here, Luck gets my nod for rookie of the year, because I feel he has meant more to his team, is the better quarterback overall, and has had far less weapons to work with than RG III.