Forgotten Fantasy Football Finds
Every year as we enter a new fantasy season there is rampant speculation over how much impact the rookie wide receivers and running backs will have. Players who typically get left out of this discussion are high draft picks from the year before that either because of injury or inactivity have mostly been forgotten about by the fantasy community. But in many cases these players are in a better position to make an impact in their second year than their rookie counterparts.
Greg Little – Drafted only one pick after Torrey Smith last season he manged to catch 61 passes for 700 yards without really making any noise at all. This year he will be playing with a much more capable quarterback who is able to get the ball down field. But the main reason Little could be an intriguing fantasy target this season is that he is the unquestioned #1 receiver on his team this year and with a full offseason to prepare he could take off.
Ryan Williams – Even though Ryan Williams was drafted in the second round in 2011 he was only the 2nd running back taken off the board. The Cardinals didn’t draft him this high to let him sit on the bench. They drafted him this high because they know Beanie Wells is not their long-term answer at running back and it is only a matter of time until the ultra-talented Williams is the Cards’ starter.
Daniel Thomas – In two early season games last season Daniel Thomas ran for 107 yards on 18 carries and 95 yards on 23 carries – he may very well have been on his way to being the Miami Dolphins lead back. Then he injured his hamstring and never looked like the same player again the rest of the season. In fact he was downright awful. But with a new coaching regime comes a new opportunity and I don’t think there is any guarantee Reggie Bush ends up as the Dolphins starting back.
Vincent Brown saw limited action late in the 2011 season but he was impressive when he did play. This year he has the inside track to the Chargers #3 receiver position. On top of that the two starters in front of him have had plenty of chances to start earlier in their careers and have always failed to impress. It’s never a bad idea to grab a 3rd receiver from a team with an elite quarterback, he is just one injury away from being an impact fantasy player. (Editors Note: Vincent Brown has suffered a broken ankle and is projected to miss the first 8 weeks of the season.)
Randall Cobb – Speaking of 3rd receivers playing with elite QB’s, why not pick the guy playing with the best one. Cobb is better than James Jones and Donald Driver and will see plenty of playing time this season. He also works as a handcuff for Greg Jennings (or simply a bet on him continuing to be injured) until he proves he can return to full health in a regular season game. Really like Cobb as a late round pick this season.
Leonard Hankerson – The Redskins brought in plenty of receivers this offseason but I am not sure they can push Hankerson down on the depth chart. Pierre Garcon appears to be the #1 in Washington but the #2 job is up for grabs. At 6’2 Hankerson might also be the Redskins best redzone target at the receiver position.
Lance Kendricks – If you are looking for a deep sleeper at tight end then Kendricks could be your guy. His stats last year were not impressive but the entire Rams team was a disaster in 2011. This year he returns as the top tight end target in a revamped passing attack.
Alex Green – The recent signing of Cedric Benson might make this deep sleeper appear less appealing but I still believe Green has a shot at the starting job. Benson has played in Cincy and Chicago, two teams with very different offenses than the Packers. With only a few weeks on the team Benson might not be able to climb up the depth chart in time to supplant Green.
Follow me on Twitter – @LastWordBrown