I don’t believe there are such things as “Fantasy experts”. We all play fantasy sports year in and year out experiencing the highs and lows. Yet some talking heads on ESPN or Fox Sports will lead you to believe they have a special PhD in fantasy sports team management. Do what feels right and you can never go wrong!
WAGM Tip: Listen to the guys who win and win consistently in your leagues. They are usually the most knowledgeable GMs who know what they are doing.
There are a lot of names missing from my list that may appear on ESPN or Yahoo Sports. That is simply because I rank my players based on how I see their value & production using MY years of fantasy sports knowledge. The following rankings are MY OPINION and analysis. That is why I post my predictions. So at year’s end I can either be given credit or held accountable for my mistakes. I will gladly accept any boos & hisses thrown my way if I’m wrong, but you will soon learn how much I love being applauded when I am right!
For each analysis, I will spotlight the following:
- BUST: A player that will tragically underperform their draft status
- BOOM: A player that will amazingly outperform their draft status
- KEEPER: If you are beginning a keeper league this year, target this player
Okay, time to show my rankings for the 2013 season:
25. Mike Wallace: Speedy receiver…still on The Dolphins. Blah.
24. Torrey Smith: Joe Flacco’s #1 target, if that means anything.
23. Dwayne Bowe: Andy Reid should provide plenty chances for Bowe to have a decent season.
22. Anquan Boldin: It all depends on Kaepernick, but could be a steal in a non-PPR draft.
21. Steve Smith (CAR): It all depends on Cam Newton. Sorry for repeating myself somewhat.
20. Tavon Austin: The poor man’s Darren Sproles. Don’t believe me, just watch!
19. Reggie Wayne: The old man keeps chugging along. Luck should feed him plenty balls. PAUSE.
18. BUST! Marques Colston: Too many weapons in New Orleans to justify a high pick for this guy.
17. Andre Johnson: He’s aging and Calvin Johnson looks better at doing what he does.
16. Jordy Nelson: Green Bay has many weapons and its anyone’s guess who is the true #1 threat.
15. Randall Cobb: See above.
14. Victor Cruz: This player is a beast when he wants to be and Eli will get him the damn ball!
13. Danny Amendola: Not sure why others are low on Amendola. He’ll pick up where Welker left off.
12. Wes Welker: Peyton Manning is going to make Welker feel 5 years younger and 4 inches taller.
11. Larry Fitzgerald: Proof that a talented WR still needs someone to throw it to him. Pray for Carson Palmer.
10. Desean Jackson: All this talk about Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly’s new offense would seem to benefit a receiver like Desean Jackson. Well, that is to the untrained eye. What most people don’t realize about Kelly’s Oregon offenses is that they focus on quick 5-10 yard passes that end up being 60 yard touchdowns. Desean doesn’t exactly fit that mold. So why do I have him in my top 10? Well Michael Vick will be running for his life as usual behind the Eagles line and he’ll need someone to dump the ball off to. If defenses stack the line against Lesean McCoy, then Vick has only 1 option left. The other wideouts for the Eagles are either injured for the season (Jeremy Maclin) or are in racism rehab (Riley Cooper). Expect Desean Jackson to be Mr. Do-It-All in Philly as part of the new “Big 3”, McCoy, Vick & Jackson! (I just can’t quit these Eagles…I may need rehab also!)
9. BOOM! Mike Williams: If you read my QB & RB rankings, then you will know that my surprise team of 2013 will be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I have Josh Freeman in my top 15 quarterbacks and Doug Martin is my #2 overall running back. The NFC South has a habit of allowing mediocre teams a chance to rise to the top. While Atlanta & New Orleans made offseason moves to combat each other, Tampa Bay just spent a year getting to know each other better. This will be the second year Josh Freeman, Doug Martin, Vincent Jackson and Williams will all be together. So expect a lot of red zone targets for Mike Williams. Over the past 3 years, he has scored 23 touchdowns. If he can improve on his 7 TD a year average by even 1 TD he will be a guaranteed top 10 fantasy receiver. Did I mention he has 2 seasons over 950 yards receiving? He’s a sure bet to crack 1000 yards in 2013!
8. Vincent Jackson: I’ll keep this short since a lot of what I could say was said about Mike Williams. Vincent Jackson is the deep threat compared to Mike William’s short possession abilities. If Tampa’s offense is as organized as I believe it to be, then expect Jackson to take the top off of the defense week in & week out. Told you this one would be short. Draft Vincent if he is still there as the ‘sexier’ Green Bay & New York Giant receivers come off the board.
7. A.J. Green: A.J. Green is a Georgia boy, so he has a place in my heart since I live in the state. He’s uber talented and he will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come…even in 2013. My only drawback of this 6’4, 25 year old receiver is that his team is so inconsistent. Actually let me rephrase that, the Bengals are TOO consistent. His first two seasons were filled with 9-7 & 10-6 records. His quarterback Andy Dalton threw 13 & 16 interceptions respectively in those first two seasons also. Let’s look at the bright side, Dalton & Green’s touchdown production both increased in year two. That being said, there are rumblings in Cincy that if they don’t make it out of the Wild Card round this year, there could be massive changes. Those changes would not include A.J. Green but his quarterback could be on the hot seat and his Head Coach, Marvin Lewis, could be gone. Talent is not dictated by off the field concerns but it’s hard to catch 15 touchdowns when the guy throwing to you is worried about being replaced with Teddy Bridgewater! Green will have a great season, just not one good enough to draft him before the guys below.
6. Roddy White: Matt Ryan has a new contract after the Atlanta Falcons rewarded him for his loyalty. Ryan came in during plenty turmoil. Mike Vick and Bobby Petrino had just left town and Owner Arthur Blank was ready to write a blank check to whoever could resurrect the Falcon’s franchise. None other than “Matty Ice” came to the rescue. You are probably wondering why I am talking about Ryan, Blank, Vick and Petrino instead of Roddy White. Well it’s because Roddy White has always been an afterthought in the Falcons organization. If he was the #1 receiver he claims to be, there wouldn’t have been a need to bring in Tony Gonzalez, or Julio Jones. Roddy White is as talented of a wide receiver as there is in the league but during his early days, he had a lot of drops. Those follies went away when pocket QB Matt Ryan came into the picture but just when White looked like the focal point of Atlanta, then comes the new cast of characters. Gonzalez and Jones will steal targets from Roddy. Roddy was targeted more than Julio last season but that’s mainly because Jones wasn’t at 100% health for every game. White is 31 years old this season and Julio looks like the future. Add on top of that, Tony G. will be having another victory lap before he retires. Balls will be hard to come by in Atlanta and I think Roddy may be the odd man out. Even still, he’ll perform better than 90% of the other flankers. So draft this guy ONLY after Julio Jones is gone…but before the other guys on less talented teams (A.J. Green, Victor Cruz, Larry Fitzgerald, etc.).
5. KEEPER! Julio Jones: He is one of the youngest of the Atlanta Falcons wide receivers. And there will be plenty weapons in the Peach State this season, young and old. Last season he didn’t have many big games for that very reason. His youth and determination to improve upon last year’s campaign will thrust him into the #1 spot in the ATL. If he can avoid injury, he will be the main reason Matt Ryan is a top QB in 2013. Let’s just hope he and Roddy can coexist when one has a 200 yard game and the other only has 45 yards for the day. Draft Julio early but if you get a chance, take Roddy with your next pick!
4. Brandon Marshall: Over 1500 yards and 11 touchdowns was Marshall’s stat line in 2012. Who is silly enough to believe a second year with Jay Cutler will provide anything less than that? In 2013 I expect Brandon Marshall to dominate. I’m talking over 1500 yards and 15 touchdowns this year. He has always been a talent but his behavior has been the problem. Same goes for Cutler. For some reason these two knuckleheads love each other and they love producing touchdowns together. The Chicago Bears have a new coaching regime but that shouldn’t stop Marshall’s production. Last year he didn’t have a comparable #2 receiver and he still put up eye popping numbers. Coach Marc Trestman wants a shorter passing game. Hopefully Marshall can adjust to that but if not, I’m sure Cutler will go off script and throw it to his reliable target. Last time I checked, there’s no other All-Pro caliber option on the team. Marshall could end the season as the #1 receiver or #5, but I don’t expect much less than that. Draft with a clear conscious knowing that unless he spazzes out, he will be a great asset. He’s still ONLY 29 years old! Two years younger than Roddy White…
3. Demaryius Thomas:
Did you see what he did last season? If not I suggest you watch the replays. 1434 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns was the welcoming gift Thomas offered to Peyton Manning. This will be year two and Peyton only has a couple years left. So we all know he will put 110% effort into the 2013 campaign. Peyton wants another Super Bowl ring and Demaryius is part of his master plan. He’s fast, big (6’3, 229lbs) and hungry for more in 2013. Wes Welker will loosen up the safeties over the middle of the field while Thomas goes over the top. And don’t worry about Montee Ball. His running skills will get the Broncos to the Red Zone, where Demaryius will eat up smaller cornerbacks like he has the munchies in Denver!
2. Dez Bryant: Quarterback Tony Romo has his new contract. Before his new deal, Romo seemed to acquire a bit of amnesia. He forgot Miles Austin was his #1 target and he fell in love with Dez Bryant. In 2012 Dez Bryant had almost 1400 yards and 11 TDs. I am high on the Cowboys offense just as I am with Tampa Bay. The difference is that the Dallas Cowboys have a history of supplying big numbers in the passing game. Sure I could go on about Romo’s inconsistent play, Coach Jason Garrett’s unsure future, or Jerry Jones’ obsession with being his own general manger but I’d rather just look like a genius when Dez catches 15 touchdowns to go along with 1500 yards. Miles Austin who? Draft Dez or Damaryius after Calvin Johnson. You can’t go wrong with either.
1. Calvin Johnson: If you are reading a fantasy football column, then you don’t need me to explain why this guy is #1 overall. Same approach as I took with Adrian Petersen. If you need a Wide receiver, this guy goes first, no questions asked.