Here’s a look at some of the biggest names around the NFL regarding this coming fantasy football season. While you may not agree with some of this advice, over- paying for these players or avoiding these players could cost you your season. Fantasy football is all about where you’re getting your players, so if can you avoid over-paying and grab some late round steals, it puts you in a great position for the post-season.
Turner is about that age where fantasy value tends to start making turns for the worse and the experts are letting everyone know this. I think Turner is still a good pick and with nobody taking snaps away from him, unless he gets injured he should rush for over 1,000 yards again and see plenty of goal line carries. Turner is worth the risk, just don't over spend on him due to his age. The Falcons experimented with a pass heavy offense early last year and it didn't work out. Expect them to stay balanced and ground and pound with Turner.
Brady is 35 and is at that age where his numbers should start to decline based on history. Brady is an exception to the rule. QB's are protected so well in this day and age, Brady should have no problems duplicating his 2011 success. Brady lost Green Ellis as his RB who has never fumbled in his NFL career and this puts the ball in Brady's hands at the goal line. The Pats are returning their starters from last year and added two new WR's to open up the deep ball for Brady. Take him with your first round pick if he is sitting there or you might regret it if you don't.
I'm frankly shocked that some experts are taking Newton as the 2nd QB in the draft as high as 3rd overall after only one season. This is way too much of a risk and not enough reward to use this high of pick on a second year QB. The risk doesn't add up for if he hits a slump or defensive units figure him out like they did to Vick last year, he could be a player you’re afraid to start after a few bad games. Outside of Steve Smith who only stands at 5'9, he has no credible WR's. This is way too much of a risk to suggest drafting him this high. Newton only threw three more touchdowns to interceptions last year, and while he may have caught teams off guard like Mike Vick in 2010, those teams now have 16 games of tape to watch. If you're considering Newton with Brady, Rodgers, or Brees on the board, you may be a little crazy...
Cutler is coming off an injury and the last few years he hasn’t been a huge fantasy player in most leagues. I think this year will be the year you could get great value out of him in the middle rounds. Cutler now has his two big Wide Outs he had wanted for years in Chicago and, with Forte signed, they should use him in the passing game as well. I can see Marshal and Cutler combining for close to 1,400 yards this season giving him a true number one receiver. Draft Cutler if he is sitting there at the end of middle rounds.
I know he had a great game in the playoffs vs. the Saints but stay away from Alex Smith. The Saints had one of the league's worst defensive units last year and if you're going to base your season off of one game, just watch the following week with what the Giants 25th ranked defense did to Alex Smith and his WR corps. He has shiny new weapons but the 49ers win games in the trenches, beating you off the snap on both sides of the ball. These weapons were added so that at the end of games the 49ers have more than one weapon in the passing game. These additions at WR won't change the way the 49ers win games, ‘If it ain’t broke then don’t fix it!’ Overall, this is too much of a risk and not enough reward. Pass and draft a player like Manning or Rivers in the mid rounds whom the offense runs through their hands.
Gates is a huge risk but he comes with a great reward, even at 32 years old. You have to be very careful here not to over pay for Gates. I don't see Gates finishing the entire season but if he is still there in the middle rounds take a flyer on him after you’ve filled your other roster spots. If you're looking for a solid performer at the position week in and week out I suggest going after Gronk or Graham, but you’re going to pay much more for either of those players. With Vincent Jackson gone, Gates will be targeted early and often. If he stays healthy, he will be the steal of your draft class.
Typically one of the few defensive units worth drafting, but not this year. The Ravens have lost Suggs, reigning defensive player of the year, until at least December. Jarret Johnson left the team to go to San Diego. He's a player who tends to get overlooked by other big names but this loss is huge. Ed Reed is unhappy and injury prone and Ray Lewis is 35 years old. It's safe to say don't draft this defense. If the Ravens go undrafted and you can get them as a free agent then they would be worth the risk, don't use a draft pick on this team. My suggestions for defense is use the waiver wire and start the defense playing the worst offense that week.
Yes, one of the best backs in the NFC makes this list. Why? for the sole reason that Forte will be losing all the goal line carries to Michael Bush. Chicago fans know all too well that this is the one area Forte just can’t get it done. Bush has proven he can expect those carries to go to him. Forte will still have a great year in total yards, both on the ground and in the air, but losing those goal line carries drops him down the board. I don't think Forte is a first round pick at this point. I would draft him late in the 2nd or early in the 3rd depending on the size of your league.
Typically every expert and fantasy owner has their own take and this is just based on my opinions of the upcoming season. Please feel free to leave a comment to defend your player, where you would draft them and why.