Fantasy Football Strategy, Advice, and Commentary
By: Dave Stringer — March 15, 2013 @ 10:07 am
The Falcons have themselves a workhorse at running back.
With a gaping hole at running back following the release of Michael Turner, the Atlanta Falcons have landed the top free agent at the position in former Ram Steven Jackson.
Reports indicate that Jackson will sign a three-year, $12 million contract.
Atlanta’s interest in Jackson was perhaps the league’s worst kept secret entering the free agency period. It is likely that only the lukewarm interest Jackson received from the Green Bay Packers kept him from agreeing to terms with Atlanta earlier.
In the 29-year-old Jackson, the Falcons gain a player long considered one of the league’s premier power running backs and perhaps the most consistent player at his position, as evidenced by his eight consecutive 1000-yard seasons. In 2012, he gained 1,042 rushing yards and scored four touchdowns while averaging 4.1 yards per carry. He also chipped in 38 receptions for 321 yards.
With Jackson on the roster, third-year player Jacquizz Rodgers will remain the team’s top backup, with Jason Snelling providing additional depth.
Jackson has ranked as the 17th, 11th and 14th fantasy RB in the past three years, as his low touchdown totals (4, 6, and 6, respectively) have held his ranking down.
In Atlanta, with one of the league’s leading offenses, Jackson figures to approach the 11 touchdowns Turner scored in 2012, meaning the only issues that could prevent Jackson from being a lower-tier RB1 in 2013 are injuries (two missed games over the last four years) and a decline in performance.
While Jackson will hit the dreaded 30-year-old mark prior to the season and has accumulated 2,395 rushing attempts and 407 receptions over his nine-year career, his performance in 2012 was not indicative of a player on the downside of his career.
His yards per carry was a respectable 4.1 (just off his career average of 4.2) and he caught 38 passes, making it the eighth straight year he has caught at least that many, while averaging 8.4 yards per reception. With Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez around to keep opposing defenses honest, Jackson won’t face the eight- and nine-man fronts he saw during most of his tenure in St. Louis.
In an era dominated by the running-back-by-committee approach, Jackson bucked that trend as a true workhorse during his stay with the Rams. However, with Rodgers in tow as his backup, and worthy of 8 to 10 touches per game, Jackson is likely in line for 250 to 280 touches in 2013. That should make him an upper-tier RB2 with an outside chance of low-end RB1 production. Rodgers is a solid handcuff and decent flex option in 12-team leagues.
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan gains another option in the passing game (Turner had a career-high 19 receptions in 2012), which should add to his production. He remains just outside of the big four at quarterback.
Jackson’s presence has little to no impact on White, Jones and Gonzalez.
By: Dave Stringer — March 14, 2013 @ 9:04 am
Wes Welker moves from Hall of Fame QB to another.
In one of the more stunning free agent signings in recent years, Wes Welker has agreed to terms with the Denver Broncos.
Unable to reach a deal with New England after playing the 2012 season under the franchise tag, Welker chose to leave the Patriots and end his longstanding and productive relationship with quarterback Tom Brady to sign with the Broncos, where he will join Peyton Manning.
In an era of ever-churning news cycles, Welker’s decision to leave New England for Denver will be debated for a long time, particularly given that he agreed to a modest deal (reportedly two years and $12 million) shortly after Brady signed a below-market extension that granted the Patriots an abundance of salary cap space.
Brady’s reaction to the deal will be almost as interesting as watching Welker on the field in Denver with Manning.
Regarded as the league’s premier slot receiver, Welker recorded 672 receptions during his six-year stint in New England, endearing himself to the team’s fan base with his solid production and toughness. He missed just three games due to injury despite suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the final game of the 2009 season.
Last season, Welker caught 118 passes for 1,354 yards and six touchdowns.
Well, the widespread assumption was that if Welker left the Patriots, he would be hard pressed to match his production in New England with his new team. However, if there is a quarterback that can keep Welker relevant, it is Manning.
If a 36-year-old Brandon Stokley can catch 45 passes playing out of the slot with Manning, Welker has a solid chance to surpass 100 receptions for the sixth time in the past seven seasons.
In Denver, Welker joins a pair of 1000-yard receivers in Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker, but there is little reason to suggest he can’t top 100 receptions and 1,000 yards with the Broncos. Throw in another six- or seven-touchdown season and Welker will once again rate as a high-end WR2 in 2013.
With Welker owning the slot, the team’s tight ends will almost certainly become persona non grata in the Broncos passing attack. Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen are once again expected to share that role, so neither will be worth owning for fantasy purposes.
Thomas and Decker both had outstanding seasons in 2012, and Welker’s signing shouldn’t have a major impact on their production as both players enter their fourth season in the league.
Of the two, Thomas has the most upside, having accumulated 1,442 receiving yards and ten touchdowns last season. He has the potential to become a top three fantasy WR in 2013.
Decker was the seventh-ranked fantasy WR in 2012, with 1,064 yards and 13 touchdowns. But since such a large portion of his production came from touchdowns, another top 10 fantasy season seems unlikely. Decker still shapes up as a mid-tier WR2 next season, however.
As for Manning, he moves from being a mid-tier QB1 to an upper-tier option, given the plethora of outstanding talent the team now possesses at receiver.
In New England, Brady will be left to lament the loss of his security blanket, as will his fantasy owners. Although reports indicate that the Patriots have signed former Ram Danny Amendola to replace Welker, he is little more than a poor man’s version—and an injury-prone one at that.
With Welker’s departure, Brady becomes a riskier fantasy option, though he remains an upper-tier fantasy QB for 2013.
By: Mike Krueger — @ 1:04 am
Fantasy highlights from Day 2 of free agency. It didn’t disappoint.
The biggest splash occurred when Wes Welker moved on from Tom Brady and into the arms of Peyton Manning. The Patriots reportedly offered the prolific slot receiver $10 million plus incentives for two years. The Broncos offered $12 million for the same time frame. This move creates a ripple effect in Denver. Eric Decker‘s fantasy value takes a hit along with the Broncos’ tight ends. Downgrade the fantasy value of Welker also. It’s hard to catch 100 passes with Demaryius Thomas on the outside… but our own Dave Stinger doesn’t agree.
Injury history is a huge red flag with Amendola.
After losing Welker, the Patriots turned right around and picked up Danny Amendola to fill the void. Long thought of as a poor man’s Wes Welker, Amendola’s fantasy value took a jump today but his huge injury risk limits his leap. He’s missed 20 games in the last two years.
If the Patriots hold firm with the receivers they have now, the biggest beneficiary may be TE Aaron Hernandez who is capable of playing in the slot and could rack up huge numbers if Amendola continues to demonstrate his brittle nature.
After a quiet Day 1, the running back position made some noise as Reggie Bush left South Beach for Detroit, signing a four-year deal. This gives Bush added upside but with Mikel Leshoure still in the mix and likely to get goaline carries, Bush’s value will be greatest in PPR leagues with 60 catches a real possibility.
Rashard Mendenhall reunites with Bruce Arians as the former Steelers running back signed a one-year deal with Arizona. Mendenhall tried to come back last season after tearing his ACL in early January of 2012. He never rushed for more than 50 yards in any game. If Mendenhall can win the starting job over Ryan Williams he may slide into low-end RB2 territory but with injury concerns and no quarterback play, that’s wishful thinking.
Tennessee added depth at running back, picking up Shonn Greene from the Jets. Both Greene and Chris Johnson take hits to their fantasy value with this move. Greene could become a vulture at the goaline and gives the Titans the option to form a RBBC if desired. This is still CJ2K’s starting job but a 65-35 split wouldn’t surprise me.
By: Dave Stringer — March 13, 2013 @ 10:40 pm
Bush’s PPR value is on the rise.
With the free agent market at running back lacking quality, the Detroit Lions moved quickly to address their need at the position, agreeing to terms with former Dolphin Reggie Bush.
Reports indicate that Bush will sign a four-year deal worth $16 million.
Detroit’s interest in Bush comes as no surprise to league observers, as the team had shown plenty of signs that it had given up on former second-round pick Jahvid Best due to his history of concussions and their need to add playmaking ability at the running back position.
Arguably the most talented running back available in free agency, Bush will assume the starter’s role in Detroit ahead of Mikel Leshoure, who had a disappointing sophomore campaign after missing all of his rookie season due to an Achilles tendon tear.
After five largely disappointing and injury-plagued seasons in New Orleans, Bush joined Miami prior to the 2011 season and topped 1,000 rushing yards for the first time in his career. In 2012, he played in all 16 games for the first time since 2006, finishing just shy of consecutive 1000-yard seasons with 986 rushing yards.
In Miami, Bush finished 2011 as the 12th-ranked fantasy running back, dropping a couple of notches to 14th this past season as he clearly established himself as a quality lead runner for the first time in his career. Those were impressive feats given his previous production in New Orleans coupled with the lack of playmakers and questionable quarterback play in Miami.
The Lions clearly don’t have the offensive issues that Bush had to deal with in Miami. With Calvin Johnson lining up out wide and strong-armed Matthew Stafford at quarterback, opposing defenses will have to pick their poison, and it is safe to assume they will choose to double cover Johnson rather than Bush.
That should translate into Bush facing fewer eight-man fronts, as well as having plenty of open space in the passing game. It should be noted that he hasn’t topped 45 receptions since the 2009 season and failed to reach 300 receiving yards in each of the last three years.
Expect those trends to change in 2013 given the Lions reliance on their running backs in the passing game. Bush should approach 1,000 rushing yards and 400 receiving yards provided he remains healthy. Throw in seven or eight touchdowns and he would rate as a low-end RB1 or high-end RB2 in 2013.
If you’re looking for red flags, there are a couple. First off, Leshoure is a solid short-yardage back and Joique Bell isn’t a slouch in that area either. Their presence will cut down on Bush’s looks inside the 5-yard line. Secondly, Bush’s injury history can’t be ignored (20 missed games during his tenure in New Orleans), although he did miss just one game during his two-year stay with Miami.
Given Bush’s solid upside and recent run of good health, fantasy owners should feel comfortable drafting him as an upper tier RB2 in 2013.
By: Mike Krueger — @ 10:11 am
Whew. It was quite a day as the NFL kicked off the calendar year with over 50 players changing teams. Here’s a quick recap of the fantasy highlights…
After a very public phone conversation between Buffalo GM Buddy Nix and Tampa Bay GM Mark Dominik, in which Nix was heard longing for a franchise QB, Ryan Fitzpatrick got cut… Hmmm. Expect the Bills to go after a QB early in the draft. They have pick No. 8.
Chase Daniel, backup to Drew Brees in New Orleans, signed in KC. He’ll backup Alex Smith as the trade between the 49ers and Chiefs will be filed with the league today.
All was quiet on the RB front on Tuesday. We’ll be watching Steven Jackson and Reggie Bush closely today. As we speak, Bush is paying a visit to Detroit while it appears the Packers may have cooled on Jackson.
The Pittsburgh Steelers tendered offers Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman allowing them to match any offers they receive in free agency. Dwyer and Redman will likely share duties at running back for the Steelers in 2013 unless the Steelers pursue a free agent running back or address the position in the draft. This is a fantasy situation will have more clarity by the time training camp comes around in late July.
The Giants re-signed Ryan Torain. He’ll provide depth behind David Wilson and Andre Brown.
Wallace to Miami. The biggest move of the day was expected.
The Dolphins got their man for 5 years, $60 million with $30 million guaranteed. Mike Wallace will provide a much-needed lift to Miami’s offense but his fantasy value may have taken a hit into the low-end WR2 territory.
Surprisingly, Jerome Simpson was re-signed by the Vikings. They currently have the worst wide receiving corps in the league after trading Percy Harvin to Seattle.
Darrius Heyward-Bey got the axe in Oakland while the Jets retained Santonio Holmes. Holmes battled foot problems last season and didn’t play a snap past Week 4. His guarantee for 2013 ($7.5 million) forced the Jets to keep his services. On a team in rebuilding mode, Holmes will be a very risky WR3 in fantasy drafts this summer.
Some interesting moves in this category. Jared Cook landed in St. Louis and judging by the contract he got (5 years, $31 million, $19 million guaranteed) he should be a focal point of the offense. His fantasy stock is on the rise.
Martellus Bennett left the Giants for Chicago and gives Cutler a legitimate receiving threat at the position.
Anthony Fasano was signed by Kansas City. He will be paired with the oft-inured Tony Moeaki. While Andy Reid likes to use the tight end position, neither will have much fantasy value unless one is thrust into a clear starting role.
The Titans lost Cook but gained Delanie Walker from San Francisco (4 years, $17.5 million, $8.6 guaranteed). He hasn’t had a chance to be a primary target at his position and is better known for his blocking ability. He’ll likely share time with Taylor Thompson.
Guys we’re keeping our eye on include Reggie Bush, Steven Jackson, Greg Jennings, Wes Welker and Danny Amendola. The frenzy is under way.
By: Mike Krueger — March 12, 2013 @ 8:57 am
Harvin wanted out of Minnesota. He got his wish on Monday.
The day before free agency proved to be an eventful one, with a number of teams making moves in preparation for the frenzy set to come. No move was bigger than Percy Harvin being dealt by the Vikings to the Seahawks for, reportedly, a trio of draft picks including Seattle’s first-round pick (#25 overall) and seventh-round pick in 2013, plus a mid-round pick next season—rumored to be a third-round selection.
Harvin has had a rocky ride during his four years in Minnesota, often at odds with management about playing time, injuries and his contract. He suffered a sprained ankle in Week 9 and was placed on IR in Week 14, never to return to the team despite the Vikings making it to the playoffs and losing to the Packers during the Wild Card round. Even though head coach Leslie Frazier was saying all the right things, by season’s end it was clear Harvin’s days were numbered in Minnesota.
Harvin’s move to Seattle will reunite him with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who was with Minnesota when they drafted Harvin in 2009. This move works on a lot of levels for the Seahawks, giving them a smaller, quicker, multi-talented weapon on offense to pair with the bigger Sidney Rice. Harvin will also add game-breaking ability in the return game. Nobody has had more kick-return touchdowns (5) since 2009 than Harvin.
Vikings – Christian Ponder is a QB2 who just lost his best receiver. He’s damaged fantasy goods until further notice.
This move leaves the receiving corps in Minnesota without a leader. With Jerome Simpson testing the free agent market, Jarius Wright and Stephen Burton and their 27 combined catches would be lining up outside if the Vikings were to play today. Expect Minnesota to be active in free agency, pursuing the likes of Greg Jennings, Danny Amendola or even the expensive Victor Cruz, who comes with a hefty first-round pick price tag.
Tight End Kyle Rudolph’s value holds steady but could use the assistance of a proven threat on the outside. If the Vikings choose to address their receiver needs through the draft and fail to get a proven wideout, Rudolph will be a marked man by defenses in 2013.
Seahawks – Russell Wilson gets the biggest fantasy boost from this trade. His stock was already on the rise after averaging 31.3 fantasy points over his last five games (including the playoffs). He now has one of the most explosive weapons in the league at his disposal, giving the Seahawks a very balanced offensive attack. Wilson is shaping up as a low-end QB1 in the 8–12 range.
Harvin was my #4 ranked fantasy wideout last preseason and was on his way to living up to the ranking until injury struck in Week 9. The benefits of a familiar voice on staff and a new contract stroking his ego will serve Harvin well, but posting 110 catches and 1,200+ receiving yards will be a challenge. Those numbers he was on pace for prior to injury last season will be difficult to come by in Seattle with a capable Sidney Rice on the outside and Golden Tate a viable third receiving option. I do expect Harvin to lead the team in receiving and give fantasy owners bonus points in the running game, but a low-end WR1 in the 10–15 range is likely his ceiling unless the Seahawks make a conscious effort to open up their offense, which ranked last in pass attempts with 405 last season.
By: Doug Orth — March 1, 2013 @ 6:04 pm
Throughout their history, few teams have shown more disregard to developing quarterbacks through the draft than the Kansas City Chiefs. Since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, only three quarterbacks drafted by the Chiefs – Mike Livingston (1969-79), Steve Fuller (1979-82) and Todd Blackledge (1983-87) – won a game for the franchise. Put another way, Blackledge – in 1987 – was the last quarterback selected by Kansas City to win a game for the Chiefs.
Another San Francisco QB is headed to Kansas City.
Over that time, one trend has developed: Kansas City typically has a need for a quarterback and the San Francisco 49ers typically have a signal-caller to spare. Even though the transaction cannot be made official until March 12, the teams essentially wrapped up a deal on Wednesday to send Alex Smith to the Chiefs in exchange for a second-round pick in the upcoming draft (the 34th pick) plus a conditional third-rounder in 2014 that can escalate to an additional second-rounder. Smith is the latest Niner-turned-Chief quarterback on a list that includes Steve DeBerg, Joe Montana, Steve Bono and Elvis Grbac. Shockingly, former San Francisco quarterbacks have accounted for 95 of the franchise’s 404 wins – 34 more than the aforementioned trio of KC-drafted field generals.
But that is enough of the historical significance. New HC Andy Reid and GM John Dorsey had little choice but to pursue the most established veteran quarterback on the market in a year where the incoming rookie class doesn’t appear to possess a single must-have talent at the position. Combined with Reid’s history of developing quarterbacks and the fact he holds Smith in high regard, the Chiefs can make the case their new employee is a battle-tested quarterback that is a proven winner. Furthermore, the overall compensation for Smith wasn’t quite what it was for Matt Schaub or Kevin Kolb – other veteran quarterbacks less accomplished than Smith when they were traded.
Reid stated in his opening press conference the Chiefs needed to find the next Len Dawson, who incidentally was another quarterback the franchise did not draft (selected and traded by the Steelers to the Browns, who later released him). Few Kansas City fans will argue that Matt Cassel needed to go and Smith is an upgrade – even if he has earned a reputation as a “game manager”. (Anyone who watched the Chiefs’ offense last season should be able to appreciate a quarterback who can manage a game.) Whether the “game manager” tag is an appropriate one is a discussion for another day, but what Smith does have for the first time in years is a front office that is invested in him and a coach that has publicly stated that he has long been a Smith fan.
So the question becomes: will fantasy owners join Reid aboard the Smith bandwagon? Just as importantly, how does his arrival affect the fantasy fortunes of players such as Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe (if he returns to the team)?
Smith was in the midst of a career year in 2012 before a Week 9 concussion effectively ended his 49er career and gave birth to the rise of second-year stud Colin Kaepernick. How much of his “late development” stemmed from the fact he worked under seven different offensive coordinators and how much of it was the coaching and confidence he received from HC Jim Harbaugh and OC Greg Roman? It’s a fair question. In fact, I think most people would agree that after seven seasons and 75 NFL starts, we still really don’t know who Alex Smith is or what he could become. If only for that reason, the soon-to-be 29-year-old Smith is about as much of a wild-card as there is entering the 2013 season.
Fortunately, we do know that Reid has admitted on several occasions he can’t help himself when it comes to the passing game. As a result, there is a very good chance Smith will set career highs across the board. Another factor in Smith’s favor is that Reid has consistently received a lot of production from his quarterbacks, even taking a strong-armed option quarterback out of Syracuse in Donovan McNabb and molding him into an efficient West Coast passer. Therefore, I think that while learning yet another system isn’t likely to yield immediate results, most of us can agree Smith is transitioning from one quarterback-friendly offense to another.
In regards to his new supporting cast, it’s hard to believe the biggest beneficiary from the Reid-Smith marriage will not be Charles. While the NFL’s fourth-leading rusher this season is a bit more reliant on speed and a bit less reliant on elusiveness than Brian Westbrook or LeSean McCoy, all of them are accomplished receivers. Given the fact that the 2013 Chiefs would look a lot like Reid’s early teams (without DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin) if Bowe leaves via free agency – and more like the Eagles prior to Maclin’s arrival if Bowe stays – there’s every reason to believe Charles will be a 50-60 catch player either way. Charles’ fantasy outlook was going to be better than in 2012 because of the way Reid utilizes his backs, but a solid Smith can only help his week-to-week consistency.
Bowe makes the most interesting fantasy case. In this whole San Francisco-Philadelphia dynamic, he compares most favorably to Michael Crabtree. When focused and properly motivated, however, Bowe could be the most dominant wide receiver that Smith has thrown to in his career and the second-most dominant one Reid has coached. I can only assume Reid received some kind of assurance from management that Bowe would remain a Chief – be it via a new contract or the franchise tag – before he took the job or else the new coach is open to the idea of seeing his new quarterback start out the same way McNabb did (with the likes of Charles Johnson, Torrance Small, James Thrash and Todd Pinkston serving as the main receivers). Since I doubt the latter is the case, Bowe has a chance to be the first high-volume receiver Reid has coached since Terrell Owens. While that level of production is unlikely, it could happen – Bowe has already flashed that kind of ability.
In closing, the Chiefs either made a savvy move in trading for a “proven” veteran in a year where the rookie quarterback talent pool appears to lack a clear-cut “franchise quarterback” or severely overpaid because need trumped common sense. If Smith’s last two seasons were a sign that he was just a late bloomer that needed someone to believe in him, then Kansas City took a significant step forward with this move. While the price was to acquire was a bit steep in my opinion, I have little doubt that Smith will be at least serviceable in reality and fantasy, pending any improvements the Chiefs make at receiver this offseason. Assuming Bowe returns, Smith should be a viable QB2 in 12-team leagues in 2013 while a happy Bowe could easily return to top 10 WR status.
By: Dave Stringer — January 18, 2013 @ 9:11 pm
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1. Jimmy Graham, Saints – Graham saw his FPts/G average drop from 12.3 in 2011 to 10.1 this past season but still shapes as the top rated fantasy tight end for 2013 with Sean Payton and Drew Brees leading the charge in New Orleans.
2. Rob Gronkowski, Patriots – Here’s what I said last year in assessing Gronk as the number two tight end: “He’s a beast but is he a beast that can stay healthy?” After two broken arms in 2012, that assessment holds.
3. Jason Witten, Cowboys – Witten was a PPR demon in 2012 with a career-high 110 receptions for 1,039 yards (the second-highest total of his career) and three touchdowns. For a player who has had such an illustrious career, it is hard to believe that he has topped six receiving touchdowns just twice ten years and that limits his fantasy upside.
Olsen enters 2013 as a borderline top-five fantasy tight end.
4. Greg Olsen, Panthers – In 2012, Olsen finally fulfilled the promise the Bears saw in him when they used a late 1st round pick to grab him in the 2007 draft, hauling in 69 receptions for 843 yards (both career highs) and five touchdowns. The Panthers will have a new offensive coordinator in 2013 but expect more of the same from Olsen.
5. Aaron Hernandez, Patriots – Injuries limited Hernandez to a career-low 10 games in 2012 as he racked up 51 receptions for 483 yards and five touchdowns. His FPts/G averaged dropped 1.7 points to 7.8 but expect more in 2013. However, with Wes Welker likely back in the fold, Hernandez is barely hanging onto top-five status at tight end.
6. Owen Daniels, Texans – Daniels started the season strong with 555 receiving yards and six touchdowns in his first 10 games before slumping badly over in his last five (just 161 receiving yards – he missed one game). At 30 years of age, Daniels isn’t likely to improve on his production in 2013.
7. Dennis Pitta, Ravens – Pitta was the epitome of streaky in his breakout 2012 campaign, totaling 94 of his 109 fantasy points in eight games. Look for more production as he enters his fourth year in the league but expect the inconsistency to remain.
8. Brandon Myers, Raiders – Myers was a waiver wire find in 2012, finishing the season with the 5th most receiving yards amongst tight ends and as the 9th ranked fantasy player at his position. A free agent, Myers is expected back in Oakland and shapes up as a top-10 fantasy tight end in 2013.
9. Fred Davis, Redskins – An Achilles injury ended Davis 2012 season prematurely but he remains a young, talented tight end capable of putting together a breakout season in 2013. If only RGII had stayed healthy.
10.Vernon Davis, 49ers – Mercedes Benz talent, Lada production (am I dating myself there?) Davis has seen his yardage and touchdown total decline every season since his career-year in 2009 (965 yards and 13 touchdowns). With Michael Crabtree emerging as Colin Kaepernick’s favorite target, Davis rates as a low end TE1 in 2013. After a solid first game with Kaepernick under center (83 yards and a score), Davis managed just six receptions for 61 yards over his final six regular season contests.
11.Jermaine Gresham, Bengals – Gresham has improved upon his reception and yardage count in each of his three season but his performance still leaves something to be desired. At some point, a breakout seems likely but I’m not sold it will happen in 2013.
12. Kyle Rudolph, Vikings – With nine touchdowns, Rudolph was tied with Graham for the second most touchdowns amongst tight ends. Unfortunately, his yardage total was a bit of a bust with just 493 receiving yards, the third lowest total amongst the league’s top 25 ranked fantasy tight ends. As you know, relying on touchdown production is generally a recipe for fantasy disaster.
13.Antonio Gates, Chargers – Gates couldn’t blame injuries for his poor performance this season as he put up his lowest FPts/G average since his rookie season way back in 2003. His reception total, total yards and touchdowns were either the lowest of the last nine years or tied for it. He also failed to top 59 receiving yards in 14 out of 15 games. Let the pylon in your pool grab Gates earlier than he should go.
Others to consider are the Steelers Heath Miller (recovering from a late season torn ACL), Jermichael Finley (the Packers perennial tease) and Tony Gonzalez (is he really going to retire?).
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