Plenty of stock and excitement goes into your fantasy football team's first round pick, and of course rounds two and three carry with them significant star power also.
But what about rounds six, seven, and eight? Those mid to late round guys that are either household names, or rookies with promise?
Lately, such guys as TEs Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham and Aaron Hernandez, RBs Arian Foster, Darren Sproles and Fred Jackson, among many others, have shown us that unknown or perfectly recognizable names can be the difference between winning on Sunday when discovered before stardom. What the listed players have in common is that you didn't have to draft them high, once upon a time that is.
We are looking for the new crop of players you won't draft high, but who will blow up your stat sheet with gaudy numbers.
Before any of these players became early round phenoms that they are now, they were in that mid to late round range. Remember how excited you were when that guy you drafted turned out to be really good? Well, gentlemen, and those awesome ladies who play fantasy football, the mid to late rounds are where you separate yourself from the rest of your league. Let's take a look at this year's crop of breakout stars who will help your teams to the big game.
Who will be Cam Newton or Victor Cruz in 2012?
The big three:
RB Doug Martin, Tampa Bay:
Recently, Martin was named the starter in Tampa's backfield over LeGarrette Blount. Armed with similar skills as Chicago star Matt Forte, and an offensive line that figures to be one of the best, Martin is expected to put up some pretty solid numbers as a rookie, and will make for a great mid round pickup if you're lucky enough to get him. Rds 4-6.
WR Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears:
All they are saying in Chicago is that Jeffery has what it takes to be a true No. 1 receiver in this league. Possessing all the athletic ability in the world, and some motivation, Jeffery is in line to be a star quickly. Also, having a quarterback like Jay Cutler and a running mate of Brandon Marshall's caliber certainly doesn't hurt his development. Rds 9-12.
QB Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks:
It looks like the Seahawks will be challenging San Fransisco for the division now that Mr. Wilson has arrived. With a great arm, above average football intelligence and good running ability, I expect Wilson to put up numbers similar to Newton's rookie year. Before you get too excited, I said similar, not exactly like Cam's historic season. Still, a guy who can score with his feet and his arm makes for a pretty decent backup QB, or possibly—by mid season—your starter. Rds 10-12
Keep your eye on:
TE Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings
WR Mohamed Sanu, Cincinnati Bengals
RB Ronnie Hillman, Denver Broncos
RB Rashad Jennings, Jacksonville Jaguars