While I sit here in the midst of my keeper league fantasy draft, I wish there was an easier path to victory—something as simple as an Avada Kedavra spell mouthed from the lips of Lord Voldemort. Alas, it never is that easy.
Fantasy football is all about capitalizing on value. Essentially, fantasy football is economics—there is a certain value that can be placed upon each individual player.
Factors such as a player’s expected workload, age, health and supporting cast determine the value of a player. There always are players that out-perform their draft position, and the owners of these players usually are ones that end up having championship winning teams.
For the upcoming season, these are some of the players I think have the potential to produce better than their average draft selection.
Philip Rivers, who is currently coming off draft boards around the fourth round, put up some good stats last year with a bunch of no-names as his wide receivers. With Vincent Jackson back, look for Rivers to potentially put up MVP-caliber numbers.
LeGarrette Blount probably is best known for going Muhammed Ali on a Boise State player (talk about a punchline). Once he took over the starting running back gig in Tampa, he finished third in rushing yards from weeks 11 to 17. No one else is really a threat to poach carries, so he could wind up being a top-15 running back.
Chad Ochocinco is past his prime, but I thought the same of Randy Moss when he came to New England. While I don’t foresee Moss-type numbers for Ochocinco, this drama queen can still put up an 80-1200-9 stat line. He currently is going around the eighth round, but in the sixth round he could become a bargain.
Joseph Addai certainly is not a sexy pick for your team. Once considered one of the top running backs in the business, he is just another name on the board.
His football career is comparable to Britney Spears’ musical one: just sort of blah at this point, but can put out a good game/tune once in a while. Consider him to be a good flex option around the eighth round.
Matt Ryan is the quarterback of a team, the Falcons, that is predominately a running team. But the addition of highly-touted rookie receiver Julio Jones, gives “Matty Ice” another weapon to work with in the passing game. Once the first seven or eight quarterbacks are off the board, I have confidence in Ryan to become an upper-echelon talent.