From Young Guns to Dinosaurs… Just Looking for Fantasy Potential
The Young Guns – These up and comers are still looking to make a name for themselves.
JAX WR Mike Thomas – With Jax WR Mike Sims-Walker expected to leave the team, Mike Thomas is hands down the #1 WR option in Jacksonville. I’m not sure at the moment who will start at QB for Jacksonville, but whoever it is will be targeting Mike Thomas and Mercedes Lewis a lot, who else do they have? Look to see an improvement from his 2010 number of 800 yards and 4 TD.
OAK WR Louis Murphy – Entering his third season Louis Murphy is still attempting to make a name for himself in the NFL. He had a solid rookie year followed by a slight sophomore slump in 2010, largely due to injuries. Murphy is however, the most well rounded wideout on the raiders lineup over speedsters Heyward-Bey and Jacoby Ford. The fantastic play of Jacoby Ford however may have hindered Murphy’s chance to cement himself as the teams top receiver. He saw 78 targets last year, the most for a raider WR.
OAK WR Jacoby Ford – If Louis Murphy doesn’t see as much opportunity this year, you will probably know why, Jacoby Ford. Ford finished last season a high note as he made multiple eye popping catches in the final weeks of the season. Not only can the speed demon catch, be he had 2 rushing TD’s as well and over 1000 return yards. Ford has the ability to make an impact is multiple ways and will have increased value in leagues that score return yards. Great option as #4 WR or sleeper.
CHI WR Earl Bennett – Hester had his chance to be the # WR in Chicago, he couldn’t do the job. Johnny Knox was targeted 100 times last year but was only able to catch 51. Maybe it should be Earl Bennett’s turn to try his luck as the top option. Mike Martz claims he wants to use Bennett more and Bennett seems to have pretty good chemistry with QB Jay Cutler. The Bears could really use a clear cut #1 WR and perhaps Earl is that guy.
The Dino’s – These “old men” could surprise you with what the are still capable of
PIT WR Hines Ward – Hines Ward is no longer the #1 receiver is Pittsburgh, seems like a lifetime. Fr the first time since 2000 Ward was unable to reach 900 yards on the season (even with postseason) and only had 5 touchdowns, it is clear that the young speedster Mie Wallace now the top wideout for the Big Ben. Hines Ward is still however a key part of the Steeler offence that he has been a part of for over a decade. Time and age may be catching up with Ward, but there are still a few quality seasons left in his gas tank. He has dropped to about the 120th overall pick on average in yahoo leagues. Ward still has chemistry with Ben, good hands and a wealth of experience; he could provide a great back up for your team.
TEN/FA WR Randy Moss – If you had Randy Moss on your squad last year then I don’t need to recap what a utter disappointment he was bouncing from team to team making almost no impact. Will this season be any different? It’s hard to imagine it will be, especially if you still have the bad taste of Moss from last season. However, Moss is still only about 2 seasons removed from being the top wideout in fantasy. He is a freakish talent who when healthy and HAPPY can be a real force. Watch to see where Moss ends up this season because he could be worth a pick in the final rounds in the hopes he shocks us once again.
CIN/FA WR Terrell Owens – Owens enjoyed a solid fantasy outing last season after being a non-factor for a season in Buffalo. Its unlikely he will remain in Cinci another season, so more and more speculation is in the future. One of the main concerns coming into this season for Owens is not only his age, but the off season surgery he had in which he is not fully recovered. Media sources claim he could wait until late preseason to consider joining a new club. Like Moss, Owens is a rare NFL talent, but age and personality are problems people wont quickly look over. But if Owens ends up on a pass heavy offence or with a QB he “likes”, he could have another season like last.
BAL WR Derrick Mason – Anquan Boldin was supposed to come to Baltimore and be the #1 option at WR, but by the end of the season is was clear that the 37-year-old Mason was once again Joe Flacco’s favorite target. Mason finished with 800 yards and 7 TD’s, almost identical numbers to the younger and stronger Boldin. Numbers like those warrant a draft pick higher than around 130th overall, which is where he is being taken is most yahoo leagues. Same team, same Quarterback, a wealth of experience and still a tough body, Derrick Mason could be a nice steal in the late rounds of your draft when looking for WR depth.
BUF WR Lee Evans – Evans is a tough player to gauge, he looks so fast and talented, but just seems to struggle at putting up consistent numbers. The reason I like Lee Evans to have a bit of a comeback this season is the emergence of Stevie Johnson. Johnson exploded last year as the top option for QB Ryan Fitzpatrick as he reeled in over 1000 yards and 10 TD catches. Johnson is clearly the #1 receiver in Buffalo now and will demand most of the attention from defenses, which could open things up for Lee Evans to boost his numbers. He always seems to be a lock for one week of like 5 catches for 3 TD’s anyway.
This is the end of my article of Dino’s and Young Guns who just may help your team late in the draft.
P.S. The lockout is ending is its quite possible Free Agency will change the fantasy landscape quite a bit. I will be doing my best over the next couple days to stay up to date on signings and transactions, followed by a post about it!
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