Metro’s 2013 Fantasy Football preview

LeSean McCoy could thrive under Chip Kelly and is easily a top 10 pick in your draft. Credit: Getty Images
LeSean McCoy could thrive under Chip Kelly and is easily a top 10 pick in your draft. Credit: Getty Images

NFL quarterbacks get the money, women and power. But in this golden age of passing, they don’t get the value in fantasy leagues.

When you sit down to draft this weekend, the easy play will be to take familiar names like Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning in the first couple rounds. Don’t do it.

The primary reason quarterbacks have become devalued in fantasy leagues is simply because there are so many good ones. Last year, 11 threw for 4,000 yards or more. If we’re in a 12-team league that starts one quarterback, we’re going to get a quality asset. Don’t believe me? Try to poke holes in this 12-man list: Rodgers, Brees, Manning, Cam Newton, Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford, Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan, Tony Romo.

The reason we can live with any of these 12 is because quarterbacks are generally the most durable of all the positions. We desperately need quality depth at running back and wide receiver because we’re going to incur injuries early and often at those spots.

We also can live with any of the 12 because of relative value in starting lineups. All this means is that the difference between the No. 1 quarterback and the No. 12 guy will be miniscule compared to the gap between the No. 1 wideout and the No. 36 wideout.

Lastly, there are tons of sleeper quarterbacks we can put on our bench. Michael Vick is a renewed threat to run for 800 yards, Jay Cutler is poised for the best year of his Chicago career and Ben Roethlisberger remains a difference-maker.

By being the last owner to take a quarterback, we set ourselves up to be absolutely stacked at the other positions and don’t lose much value by doing so. It’s a winning strategy to take with you to the war room.

3 SLEEPERS
Jordan Cameron, TE, Browns
Why: What do Kellen Winslow, Antonio Gates and Greg Olsen all have in common? They all had career years under new Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski – a former tight end himself. Chud will scheme to get Cameron, a highly athletic former basketball player at BYU, the ball early and often.

Michael Floyd, WR, Cardinals
Why: Arizona’s passing game features a one-two punch of improvement. First, they ditched the pathetic Kevin Kolb/John Skelton/Ryan Lindley trio for Carson Palmer. Second, they added vertical passing game guru Bruce Arians as their head coach. Floyd, a highly talented former first-round pick, will exploit single coverage.

Kenbrell Thompkins, WR, Patriots
Why: Thompkins is an undrafted rookie that was handed nothing. He simply went out and earned the starting “X” receiver job by outplaying the competition in OTAs, training camp and exhibition games. Thompkins will play every down at a position that saw Brandon Lloyd rack up 130 targets at last season.

3 BUSTS
Ronnie Hillman, RB, Broncos
Why: Hillman has attracted a following because he’s been running as the Broncos’ first-team back for virtually the entire offseason. The problem is he’s an outside runner that fumbles and is getting pushed hard by both second-round rookie Montee Ball and reliable veteran Knowshon Moreno. Hillman won’t keep the gig.

Tavon Austin, WR, Rams
Why: Don’t get fooled into thinking Austin will be a mini Percy Harvin as a rookie. He’s electric in the open field, but he’s not nearly as physical and might not even play in red-zone packages. The Rams suddenly have a lot of pass-catching firepower with Chris Givens and Jared Cook projected to lead the way in targets.

Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers
Why: Even if Rivers’ arm strength wasn’t rapidly declining, he’d be in a bad spot. The Chargers’ offensive line is among the league’s worst, he lost top wideout Danario Alexander to injury already and new coach Mike McCoy is installing a horizontal, quick-pass scheme.

3 RULES TO DRAFT BY
1. Don’t drink: Think alcohol is fun? Then you probably think losing fantasy leagues is fun too! The draft is a war or wits, don’t let yourself get clouded until it’s over.

2. Adjust your rankings if in PPR: Downgrade QBs heavily. Downgrade RBs that don’t catch (Marshawn Lynch, Alfred Morris etc). Bump up possession WRs (Randall Cobb, Danny Amendola).

3. Don’t take a defense or kicker before Round 12: They are too unpredictable and too dependent on matchups. We’re better off stockpiling depth at real positions.

FIRST ROUND MOCK
One-man mock. Standard scoring, non-PPR
1. Adrian Peterson – Once in a generation talent.
2. Doug Martin – Offensive line even better this year.
3. Arian Foster – Reduced workload still means 300 touches.
4. Trent Richardson – Gifted runner that’s centerpiece of offense.
5. LeSean McCoy – Chip Kelly will run more than you think.
6. C.J. Spiller – Stacked boxes won’t phase him.
7. Jamaal Charles – Look for 70-plus catches from checkdown captain Alex Smith.
8. Marshawn Lynch – Violent battering ram for a team that will be leading plenty.
9. Ray Rice – Ravens need him with Boldin, Pitta gone.
10. Alfred Morris – Not a fluke. Breaks tackles at elite level.
11. Calvin Johnson – Got tackled at 1-yard line six times last year.
12. Matt Forte – Role increasing under offensive guru Trestman.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Dr. Dre is king of hip hop with…

With $620 million in estimated pre-tax earnings, veteran rapper and record producer Dr. Dre topped Forbes list as the highest paid hip hop artist, ousting Sean "Diddy" Combs from the…

News

Bin Laden son-in-law sentenced to life in U.S.…

A seemingly unrepentant Suleiman Abu Ghaith, a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday in New York following his conviction on terrorism charges.

National

Bloomberg: Going green will grant you longer life…

Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg tells Metro that cities are where fighting global warming can make a difference, and increase people’s lifespan.

International

Ban Ki Moon: "Climate change is an issue…

My message to you is: make your voice heard and your actions count. Change is in the air. Solutions exist. The race is on. It’s time to lead.

Television

Craig Ferguson wants you to see his new…

Craig Ferguson thinks his new game show will become "a comedy show in which a game is played and money is won."

Television

Anthony Anderson on dealing with your 'ish'

Anthony Anderson discusses finding the humor in his "Black-ish" family.

Gossip

Photos: See who Robert Pattinson was caught holding…

Robert Pattinson has a new girlfriend.

The Word

The Word: Kris and Bruce Jenner's predictably public…

They said it wouldn't last — mostly because of that separation almost a year ago. And now, more than a year later, Kris and Bruce…

MLB

Bud Selig honors Derek Jeter as both prepare…

Bud Selig’s 22-year reign as commissioner will end Sunday, and while it’s had its share of negative moments, it also had Derek Jeter.

NFL

Column: Geno Smith not the answer for Jets…

There were highs for Jets quarterback Geno Smith in Monday night’s loss to the Bears and there were incredible lows.

NFL

3 things that went right in Jets loss…

It wasn't the result the Jets wanted, a 27-19 loss to the Bears, but this team deserves some credit.

Sports

Here's the 8 best and worst sporting goodbyes

With Derek Jeter set to retire following the 2014 Major League Baseball season, we look back at some of the great and not-so-great sporting goodbyes.

Home

NYC fall real estate hot list

The upcoming developments and areas everyone's buzzing about.

Style

Milan Fashion Week shows the best of Italian…

Metro rounds up the cut of the collections at Milan Fashion Week.

Tech

The 2014 Maker Faire saw robots, printers and…

Got a broken button maker? There’s a fix for that – and Tony Stanzione of the Fixers’ Collective says he can show you how.

Parenting

First look: Uniqlo's fall/winter 2014 kids collection

Get a sneak peek at Uniqlo's kids and babies fall/winter 2014 line.