Want to avoid drafting one of this season's fantasy busts? Nate Wenneker's got the info you need to make the safe pick.
Summer typically brings two things, the colorful array of Fireworks and the influx of Fantasy Football Guides and cheatsheets at your local bookstore. For years, nothing was more enjoyable as opening that crisp new magazine to see who the legions of fantasy rankers said were the best players in the upcoming season’s draft. Just like every other fantasy analyst during the preseason, I sit down and decide where I think each player should be placed in order of value. However, there’s an important question I ask when I decide who I draft. Do I really want this player on my team? Here’s the list of players who I feel confident in drafting on my team and those who I will likely pass over on the draft board. For me it comes down to one question, “Who can you trust”?
Reggie Wayne, IND
Reggie turns the big “35” in November, but there are no signs of diminishing skills. In 2012, he averaged over 10 fantasy points a game and had over 1300 yards. In the past nine seasons, his worst season was 960 yards and 75 receptions in 2011. What’s most impressive about Wayne is since 2002, he has missed zero games. That’s right none. You’d be hard pressed to find any receiver that dependable.
Randall Cobb, GB
With the departure of Greg Jennings, this is the year for Cobb to cement himself as the top receiver in Green Bay. As Jordy Nelson continues to struggle with injuries, this could be a huge season for Cobb. I would expect Cobb to get over 100 targets this year and he’s versatile enough to see a decent number of rushing attempts. He is currently going in round three in most leagues, if he is still around for you in the 4th round, it’s a great value.
Torrey Smith, BAL
Once again, what’s important to me is consistency. I want to know what I’m going to get out of each player. While Torrey Smith is sometimes feast or famine from a game to game perspective, his consistency for the past two seasons is something to take notice of. In 2011, Smith had 95 targets with 50 receptions and 841 years. In 2012, he had 110 targets, 49 receptions and 855 yards. His fantasy points per game in 2011 and 2012 were just over 8 points per game. Smith has some upside with Anquan Boldin no longer in Baltimore and I like him as a late 5th- early 6th round pick.
Greg Jennings, MIN
Jennings searched the globe for somewhere colder than Green Bay, Wisconsin and found it in Minnesota. While I think there’s a lot of talent left in the 30 year old, I don’t think Christian Ponder is going be able to get Jennings the ball effectively and given his injury history the past two seasons, I think I can find better talent in the 6th or 7th round (T.Y. Hilton or Stevie Johnson).
Tavon Austin, STL
Austin looks like he could be the guy in St. Louis. He is a talented rookie and should be picked up in Dynasty and Keeper leagues if available, but I’m steering clear of him in most standard or PPR leagues simply because he’s going to be drafted too high in most leagues. He is an unproved talent and his current ADP has him being drafted early in the 7th round.
Kenny Britt, TEN
If you’re looking for a player that has a ton potential and looks like he could take the next step to being fantasy relevant, you’ve found him in Kenny Britt. The only issue is that it never happens. Britt has never delivered over 800 receiving yards in any season and in the only two seasons when he played over 14 games; he averaged less than 6 fantasy points per game. He is worth a pick-up in deep leagues, but his injury history also makes him risky play.
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