May is here and if you are as obsessed as I am it may be time to start thinking about Fantasy Football! Free Agency and the 2013 NFL Draft have come and gone and there have been some dramatic changes in the NFL player landscape that are worth noting. In this post we will highlight a few team player moves that are sure to impact how you value players in this season’s draft.
#1 – One of the most interesting developments in Free Agency was with the Patriots Wide Recievers. Gone are Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd. Welker was replaced by a similar, yet injury prone, talent in Danny Amendola. Some of you may recognize the name as he was a PPR monster when healthy the past few seasons with the Rams. If healthy, Amendola in the Pats offense figures to be a top 10 WR particularly in PPR formats. The injury risk is significant however and for that reason I grade him as a 4th round talent for the 2013 Fantasy Draft. If the injury risk wasn’t there I would have him as a solid 3rd round talent. Both Gronk and Hernandez get a bump in value due to the lack of WR talent on the Pats. If it wasn’t already obvious before, Gronkowski gets a bump to #1 on this seasons TE rankings moving past Jimmy Graham.
#2 Speaking of Pats WR’s Wes Welker goes to the Broncos. Welker is a talented player and should do well with the Broncos this season. That said the Broncos now have 3 solid WR’s on the roster and not enough chances to go around. Eric Decker gets a big downgrade here as him and Wes are similar players. I still think Demaryus and Welker are starting players on your fantasy squad bot these former WR1′s get a downgrade to WR2 due to Denver’s talented but now very crowded WR core.
#3 Chris Ivory – In the 2013 draft the NY Jets traded a 4th rounder to New Orleans for RB Chris Ivory. Fantasy enthusiasts will remember a number of occasions where Ivory took advantage of opportunity in New Orleans crowded backfield and had some breakout games. I am advising caution here however. I believe Ivory is an explosive player and is a sleeper player this season but the Jets also acquired RB Mike Goodson from the Raiders. Goodson has also flashed as a backup and is being paid a similar wage as Ivory. The Jets backfield is looking like a committee situation and combined with their horrible offense there is no reason to consider any of their RB’s starting material.
In addition to some of the free agency items listed above there are some rookies to watch in the upcoming 2013 Fantasy Football draft,
#1) Eddie Lacy RB Green Bay – Lacy has little competition in Green Bay and is likely to be a day one starter. His playing time will likely be based on how well he can block. As of this moment he is a flex option with the possibility of rising to RB2 status by the time the season rolls around. Consider him a sleeper.
#2) DeAndre Hopkins WR Houston – Houston has been looking for a WR to step up and take the pressure off the injury prone Andre Johnson. They spent a high draft pick on Hopkins and I would expect to see him starting from day one. WR’s can take some time to adjust to the NFL and I wouldn’t look to start Hopkins on day one but by the middle of the season he could be a solid starting player on your Fantasy squad.
#3) Tavon Austin WR Rams – The Rams lost Amendola in the offseason. Austin is a dynamic player that could see carries out of the backfield as well as potential scores on Kickoff and Punt returns. This is another rookie to target in the later rounds of your fantasy draft.