Finding those diamonds in the rough is the goal of every fantasy football participant. It's never easy, mind you, but coming up with an unheralded or overlooked fantasy player and then having them come through big for your season is a tremendous feeling.
You certainly have to know what to look for, but you can't take each player at face value. Looking at the player's team and his respective situation helps weed out those who can make an impact, fantasy-wise, during the season.
The following three players will likely have an impact—and early—for their teams. It would be wise to at least take a peek at them and see if you can pluck them off the waiver wire before someone else beats you to it.
Isaac Redman, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
With Rashard Mendenhall on the bench to start the year while he is recovering from an ACL injury, Redman looks poised to get the bulk of the carries to start the season. While preseason reports have not been good regarding the 27-year-old back, he is still expected to start Week 1.
While he only accrued 479 rushing yards in limited time last season, Redman still averaged 4.4 yards per carry. Since Mike Tomlin took over the Black and Gold, the Steelers have been known to run the ball at a high percentage. That means lots of carries for our man Redman, and I see him using this opportunity to put up impressive fantasy numbers.
The Lions have the best receiver in football in Calvin Johnson, and one of the best young arms in Matthew Stafford. Where does Burleson fit in? Well, after having a solid career in Minnesota and a forgettable stint with the Seahawks, he signed a $25 million deal with the Lions in 2010. He has done a solid job of complementing Johnson, having caught 73 balls for 757 yards and 3 TD last year. I see his TD numbers going up, considering that Johnson will only continue to see double coverage all over the field.
Owen Daniels, TE, Houston Texans
Like the Lions, the Texans have a plethora of options when it comes to moving the chains. Arian Foster and Andre Johnson are the top dogs for quarterback Matt Schaub, but I see Daniels having an impact this year. His numbers from a year ago (54 catches, 677 yards and 3 TD) prove that when he stays healthy, he will be a productive pass-catching tight end.