Yeap, it’s that time of the year again, ladies and gentlemen! Fantasy Football season is upon us, and with that, marks my 3rd year of writing weekly articles here at Land of 10,000 Losses. Before we organized this site, I would spend hours a day answering text messages about who to start/sit, pickup/drop, buy/sell, etc., so I figured I should just start publishing my insights to everyone at once. Well, it turns out, that’s a double-edged sword – the more you share, the more people want to know. Either way, I still love doing it, so I hope you enjoy, and feel free to bring on the questions and/or general comments! You can tweet me directly at @Casey_Maikkula – and reach our group of contributors at @10kLosses.
Speaking for the five of us that started the site, it’s been amazing seeing just how much this thing has grown over the past 3 years, and we thank you for your support!
And with that, let’s break the seal on the 2013 fantasy football season with a few players (going in the mid to late rounds of fantasy drafts) at each position that I’m crushing on this season.
QB – Colin Kaepernick – SF – Not that he didn’t already have a coming out party to end last season, but I feel like he hasn’t even come close to realizing his potential. While everyone is still on the Robert Griffin III bandwagon, I will gladly sit on Kaepernick a few rounds later. Honestly, I think his floor is a top-8 QB, and his ceiling is the number 1 player overall. He’s got the speed of RGIII, arm strength of Matthew Stafford, and accuracy of Tom Brady – what’s not to like? If Kaepernick stays healthy, I fully expect him to end the year as the number 1 player in all of fantasy. If you’re playing the QB waiting game on draft day, don’t be afraid to jump on Kaepernick early, instead of reaching at another position. Confidence Level – 10/10
QB – Michael Vick – PHI – No surprise he was named the starting QB for the Eagles (he should have been from day 1), but now that he has, I can’t stop thinking about the possibilities for him in Chip Kelly’s offense. Watching the preseason, it’s not hard to notice the pace and innovation involved in that offense. The league has yet to catch up to the read-option offense, so I have every reason to believe defenses will struggle defending the Eagles, as well. If Vick can stay healthy (and that’s a very big IF), I could see him posting numbers similar to his breakout 2010 campaign. He’ll be drafted as a backup in most leagues, yet, I’d have no problem relying on him as a starter – provided you have enough depth at another position to trade in the event of an injury. Confidence Level – 7/10
WR – Michael Floyd – ARI – There’s a reason Floyd was drafted 13th overall last season, he’s got all talent and athletic ability to be a legitimate number 1 receiver (6’3″ 4.40 speed 37″ vertical). Unfortunately for Floyd, he spent all of his rookie season trying to catch passes from awful quarterbacks. Enter Carson Palmer, and problem solved. Palmer threw for over 4000 yards and 20 touchdowns for the Raiders last season – a team that doesn’t have a single go-to receiver; now Palmer has 2. With the Cardinals not having any sort of running game, and likely spending a good portion of the time playing catch up, I fully expect Floyd to breakout in a big way. I can definitely see 70 catches for 1000 yards and 8 touchdowns by season’s end. Confidence Level – 9/10
WR – T.Y. Hilton – IND – Hilton made many appearances on my weekly pickups articles last season, largely due to inconsistency – which is expected from rookies. But this season, I expect this to be the only time I get to write about him. This preseason, he’s tallied 7 receptions for 117 yards and 3 touchdowns – in the equivalent of just 1 total game. With Reggie Wayne and 2 solid pass-catching TEs on the roster, Hilton likely won’t catch close to 90 balls. However, I still believe he’s got the talent to put up over 1200 yards and 10-12 touchdowns – an expectation far more productive than his draft position would suggest. Confidence Level – 8/10
WR – Chris Givens – STL – Givens is another big-play dependent rookie WR that made numerous appearances on my pickup list last season. While I don’t expect Givens to ever become a complete receiver, like Hilton, I do think Givens will see a boost in targets after the departure of Danny Amendola. Tavon Austin is undoubtedly the most talented receiver on the Rams, but I think Givens will be the most-trusted target for Bradford. Could see him push for 1000 yards and 6 touchdowns. Confidence Level – 7/10
WR – Josh Gordon – Oh hey, another 2nd year receiver! Maybe the whole “The 3rd year is the year when WRs breakout” notion can be put to rest. Anyway, all joking aside, Gordon was another rookie WR who showed his big play ability last season, and I expect much bigger things this season. With Norv Turner calling the plays in the Cleveland, expect Gordon to see plenty of down-field targets. Even with a 2-game suspension to start the season, I could still see him reaching 1000 yards and 6-8 touchdowns. Confidence Level – 7/10
RB – Lamar Miller – MIA – How could I not start the running back portion of this article with Miller? He’s probably the most talked about fantasy player since Reggie Bush left for Detroit, and rightfully so. He’s an electric running back, with a big enough body to carry the full load – if only the Dolphins would realize Daniel Thomas isn’t that good. He’ll still likely spend this season in a timeshare with Thomas, but he’s got the talent of C.J. Spiller, so even on only 15 touches, he could churn out 100 total yards a week with a touchdown here or there. 1200 total yards and 6 touchdowns could be on the horizon. Confidence Level – 9/10
RB – Daryl Richardson – STL – I don’t think I could talk this guy up anymore than I did last season. So, what more can I say? He’s another electric player who proved his talents enough for the Rams to let Steven Jackson walk. Many still expected Isaiah Pead to win the job, but he failed to do so this preseason, and while he’s suspended, Richardson will have 1 week to take the job and never look back. Don’t be surprised if Richardson rushes for over 1000 yards and 6-8 touchdowns. Confidence Level – 9/10
RB – Jonathan Dwyer – PIT – Not sure what it is that I see in this guy that the Pittsburgh Steelers don’t, but they continue to push him down the depth chart, only for him to end up climbing back up given the opportunity. Last year, Dwyer was clearly the Steelers’ best running back – and at just 23 years old, you’d think they’d found their franchise back. Nope. They proceeded to select another very talented RB in the 2nd round of the draft, Le’Veon Bell. At the beginning of training camp, many reports stated Dwyer was on the roster bubble. 5 weeks later, and an unpredictable lisfranc injury to Bell, Dwyer has vaulted to the front of the depth chart for the foreseeable future. I’d definitely take him late in the draft in hopes they actually give him a solid work load. Confidence Level – 6/10
TE – Jordan Cameron – CLE – After Jimmy Graham, the TE position is a mess this year – which is causing many people to reach for Graham in the 1st or 2nd round of drafts. Big mistake, and I’ll tell you why. Meet Jordan Cameron. Another former collegiate basketball player turned NFL TE, like Jimmy Graham, who just needed time to adapt to the game. I predict this is the season he breaks out in a big way! As I mentioned before with Josh Gordon, Norv Turner is now calling the plays, and he has about the most TE-friendly system you can find. Brandon Weeden has already identified Cameron as his favorite target in the preseason – to the tune of 6 catches for 79 yards and 2 touchdowns. I fully expect an 80-900-8 line for the season, or better! Confidence Level – 10/10
TE – Zach Sudfeld – NE – Sudfeld could be just another example of a preseason stud that doesn’t translate to the regular season. However, with an opening at TE in New England, I don’t think he’d be getting all the starting reps if they didn’t plan on using him. If Sudfeld can put together some big weeks while Gronkowski is out, the Patriots will continue to find ways to get him the ball, even when he’s back. Sudfeld is definitely worth a late-round flier. Confidence Level – 7/10
TE – Rob Housler – ARI – Another player to benefit from Carson Palmer’s arrival. Palmer turned Brandon Myers into a more-than-serviceable fantasy TE last season, so who’s to say he can’t make Housler a star. Confidence Level – 6/10