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Wallet 2013: Antonio Brown, come on down

Smile, you’re a Pockets Player (USAT) Let’s set up a couple of issues up entrance about this Faux Football racket.

First off, it is a sport of opinions. We’re speculated to disagree on many, many things – that is why we have now a sport in the first place.

Strategy is great, but bear in mind any technique can work (even a nasty one) for those who choose the proper gamers. Gene McCaffrey likes to say that in case you present him a very good strategy, he’ll find a group in first and in last using that technique. The meeting sport plan is just the first step in a 4-month journey.

Today I’m going to focus on “my guys” – the Yahoo Fantasy Football gamers I’ve drafted essentially the most by August, and some areas the place I disagree with business consensus. You may agree with a few of these picks, a handful of them, or perhaps none of them. That doesn’t guarantee success or doom for either one of us; the sport is far more dynamic than that.

I welcome your suggestions and I welcome your Wallet Picks as properly – the recurring themes that may go a protracted way to defining your 2013 season. To the clipboard:

Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers: It might not appear like it at first glance, but Brown quietly had a development season in Yr 3 (it is necessary to realize he missed three video games with a bum ankle). His touchdowns crept up from two to five, and he showed extra versatility as a route runner (albeit his YPC also collapsed within the course of). The Steelers clearly plan to function Brown as their go-to choice in 2013, the brand new split finish within the offense. And heck, take a look at all of the lacking items right here – Mike Wallace is gone, Heath Miller is coming off an injury, Le’Veon Bell is not healthy but. Someone will decide up the slack, and let’s look to Brown first.

Brown’s present receiver ADP of 24 affords great room for revenue – I would be fine slotting him as a WR2 anyplace. And I know many of you can be lucky sufficient to land him as your third wideout.

Eddie Lacy, RB, Packers: While we ought to be cautious with what the eyes inform us in August, sometimes it’s a must to belief your instincts, too (see Russell Wilson 12 months ago). Lacy’s achieved every thing we wanted to see on the August tape – run decisively inside, decide up the blitz, often show some lateral abilities (albeit he’s a power guy first and foremost).

The Green Bay offensive line isn’t ideally suited, however Lacy will enjoy the benefit of the Aaron Rodgers show – each protection headed to Lambeau Field is targeted on defending the passing. DuJuan Harris is completed for the 12 months and Johnathan Franklin hasn’t accomplished something. I expect Lacy to take this job and run with it, easily the best of the rookie operating backs.

Rueben Randle, WR, Giants: The learning curve is steep for any first-yr wideout, and Randle, predictably, did not do a lot in 2012. Nonetheless, the sunshine began to go on within the ultimate couple of weeks; he had a forty three-yard grab in the Week sixteen loss at Baltimore, and he torched the Eagles for 2 touchdowns in Week 17.

The Giants went out of their way to reward Randle’s growth in spring exercises, and he is slotted behind a couple of harm-inclined receivers (Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks). Randle can even see quite a lot of work with the starters anyway, as the Giants choose to maintain Cruz within the slot. There’s a major upside with the 12 months 2 receiver, and it’s coming at a national ADP common of about 50 on the huge receiver place. Sure, please.

Greg Olsen, TE, Panthers: It took him some time to get comfortable in Carolina, but look at the second half manufacturing: 40 grabs, 496 yards, four touchdowns. With Steve Smith at the tail end of his career and nothing new added to the Panthers passing recreation (I do not dislike Brandon LaFell but he’s not a monster-upside guy), I give Olsen a powerful chance to grow to be Cam Newton’s main goal in 2013. A perfect middle-spherical choice.

Show us your recreation face, Tony Romo (USAT) Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys: I’m mostly playing the market in the course of the QB board, content to take what the room gives me. But I can’t help however have a sweet tooth for Romo, mostly because of the presence of the ridiculously-talented Dez Bryant. If Bryant goes bonkers and scores 15-20 instances (attainable; have a look at those second half sport logs), Romo comes along for the journey. And the opposite puzzle items look good in Large D: reliable Jason Witten, rededicated Miles Austin. Even the shaky Dallas operating game matches the narrative here; the Pokes will need to score by way of the air.

Phil Dawson, PK, 49ers: There is a lengthy-standing fantasy in fantasy football that suggests you possibly can’t forecast the excessive-variance kicker position. That’s a bunch of bunk. There are logical patterns that come into play with kickers. It is really one of the best spots to barter.

You desire a kicker tied to a successful workforce, before everything (be it for the lengthy haul or on every week-to-week streaming foundation; the same goes for your defense, by the best way). Teams trailing by huge numbers within the second half do not kick many subject goals – it becomes finish-zone or bust on each possession. You need a kicker tied to a powerful protection and a strong operating game. Think of the setup that sparked Justin Tucker’s terrific rookie 12 months in Baltimore.

Dawson has to battle the fickle winds of San Francisco, but large deal – we’re speaking about someone who linked on 14-of-15 distance kicks (50-plus) in Cleveland, of all places, the final two seasons. The Niners are a possible playoff crew and the defense and floor sport present the perfect backdrop. I’m shocked to see some trade scribes tired of Dawson – all of the pieces join here. I’m not going to throw heavy assets at any kicker, but when I’ve my choice of all of them, Dawson’s the play.

Joique Bell, RB, Lions: Whereas I am bullish on Reggie Bush for 2013, we additionally have to be aware of his damage concerns. Bell turns into the intriguing upside backup in Detroit (it is not Mikel Leshoure), a nifty combination of inside energy and pass-catching versatility. Bell goes to have a job on this team both manner, and maybe he is a High 20 back if something happens to Bush.

Anquan Boldin, WR, Niners: I like to search out a number of Ibanez All-Stars in every fantasy sport, the boring-but-dependable veterans who seldom command a giant price tag. Boldin’s no longer a Professional Bowl contender, however the Niners want him to be a 3rd-down choice and chain-transferring target in place of the injured Michael Crabtree. You may chase upside elsewhere, however I have no problem with the expected flooring here, say 800-950 yards and 6-8 touchdowns. An ideal WR4. (I also performed the Ibanez card a couple of instances with Reggie Wayne and Wes Welker, sooner than Boldin of course.)

Ray Rice, RB, Ravens: He is not a shiny toy, no longer a buzzy player. You won’t find Rice on any of the journal covers. But I’m a ground-pushed proprietor in the case of first-spherical picks or huge-ticket items, and Rice is one of the most secure gamers you could find. Bernard Pierce is around, positive, but he is not going to scale back Rice’s workload too much. And with Boldin and Dennis Pitta gone, the Ravens might need to throw an extra 20-30 passes in Rice’s course over the balance of the year.

From zero to hero? (USAT) Ryan Mathews, RB, Chargers: He’s burned you, he’s burned me, he is burned nearly all of us over the past few years. Mathews has been hurt in San Diego, he was continuously damage in Fresno, and he in all probability got here out of the womb with a questionable tag. But the market has lastly adjusted to Mathews, to the point that you can land him as a RB3 or RB4 in lots of leagues. Reliable starter? Heck no. But when you can grab Mathews as an upside swing only, I am going to positively log off. The offensive line has been upgraded in San Diego (it’s not nice but it surely’s better than final yr’s horror present), and Mathews appeared spectacular throughout the exhibition season.

Chris Givens, WR, Rams: Here’s a rookie season that did not get sufficient fanfare, a quick 698-yard marketing campaign from a modest 42 receptions. Givens can score from anywhere on the field and he was everywhere in the tape in August, looking each bit like a sophomore breakout candidate. Let the opposite guys in your league give attention to Tavon Austin; the more polished Givens is the Rams receiver you want.

Before we wrap this up, let’s quickly point out a few non-Wallet players of notice, in two classes:

- Players I in all probability like greater than normal consensus: Emmanuel Sanders, Tony Gonzalez, Cecil Shorts, Owen Daniels (very a lot an Ibanez All-Star), Vincent Brown, Jeremy Kerley (final spherical), Mohamed Sanu (could rating eight times), Stevie Johnson (some fleas here however low cost getting silly), Dwayne Bowe, Michael Floyd (or maybe I merely agree with the thrill), Matt Forte (particularly in a Trestman scheme), Bilal Powell.

- Players I probably like less than basic consensus: Marques Colston, Robert Griffin III (undecided how much he can or will run in 2013), DeMarco Murray, DeSean Jackson, Vincent Jackson (he’s terrific however something’s up with Josh Freeman), Tom Brady (all the time good however they’ve lost plenty of talent, clearly), Giovani Bernard (better than Regulation Agency, sure, but not satisfied he takes over immediately), Shane Vereen (received trendy awfully fast), Brandon Marshall (go safer in Round 2-3), Montee Ball, DeAndre Hopkins (as a rule, I am not chasing rookie wideouts), Pierre Garcon, Michael Vick, Jamaal Charles (not Prime 5 for me), Mark Ingram, Ryan Broyles (buried in late August), Greg Jennings, Chris Ivory, and of course the Non-Wallet 5 (click on that group right here).

I’ve had my say; the floor is yours now. What widespread-hyperlink gamers are able to rock for you in 2013? And on the flip facet, who’re you avoiding?