6 Fantasy Football Studs to Hold onto in Keeper Leagues for 2013
Alfred Morris and Robert Griffin III.
Both are rookies and chances are these fantasy football studs went pretty late in your league's fantasy draft. If you were lucky enough to get one of them, though, that draft choice may pay off for years to come in the form of a keeper pick.
With the 2012 fantasy football season over, here are six fantasy football studs that you should hold onto in your keeper leagues for 2013.
Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins, RB
Alex Trautwig/Getty Images
Perhaps the biggest sleeper in fantasy football, Alfred Morris was an absolute beast.
As a rookie, Morris won the Washington Redskins starting running back job and dominated fantasy football leagues, running for over 1,400 yards and 10 touchdowns on 300-plus carries.
Considering that Morris went undrafted or in the very late rounds of most fantasy drafts, those lucky enough to pick him up have an absolute gem. Morris is a top-10 fantasy running back heading into the 2013 season.
Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts, WR
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
After disappearing in 2011, Reggie Wayne bounced back better than ever in 2012.
Not only is Wayne top-10 in both receptions and receiving yards (102 receptions for 1315 yards), but he went very late in most fantasy drafts. With Peyton Manning gone, most owners thought Wayne was past his prime and had nothing left in the tank.
Sure enough, Wayne was by far Andrew Luck's favorite target this season. You cannot even try to compare Curtis Painter, Wayne's 2011 quarterback, to Luck. With Luck only improving with experience, Wayne will continue to have success in 2013.
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons, QB
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Matt Ryan has finally lived up to the hype and is now one of the best fantasy football quarterbacks in the league. Now that he is a part of a pass-heavy offense, Ryan has had a career year. He currently ranks fifth in both passing touchdowns and yards, with 31 touchdowns and 4,481 yards. He has recorded seven games with three or more passing touchdown.
Don't expect this production to stop either. Ryan has arguably the best wide receiver duo in the league in Roddy White and Julio Jones.
Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings, RB
Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Seriously, though, plenty of fantasy football owners were guilty of thinking that Adrian Peterson's career was on the decline. I expected him to still do well, but there is no way that I saw Peterson coming back from his ACL injury with his best season yet. He has already ran for 1,898 yards and will most likely crack the 2000-yard mark against the Packers Sunday.
In most leagues, Peterson dropped to either the second or third round. Heading into 2013, he is going to be the No.1 draft pick in many leagues, so keep Peterson on your team if you got him.
Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys, WR
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
I was ready to write off Dez Bryant as a bust. After two seasons of less than 1,000 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns, it looked like he was never going to pan out to be a stud receiver in the NFL.
In Bryant's last seven games, though, it is apparent he is by no means a bust. In fact, Bryant has made himself into a top-10 fantasy receiver heading into 2013. He has scored a touchdown seven consecutive games and recorded over 700 receiving yards in that span.
Heading into the 2012 season, Bryant wasn't drafted until the middle rounds in most fantasy football leagues. Next season, expect Bryant to be gone within the first few rounds.
Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins, QB
Alex Trautwig/Getty Images
I have always been afraid to draft a rookie quarterback in the earlier rounds for my fantasy football team, but Robert Griffin III made me look silly this year.
RG3 has had an incredible season, recording 3,100 passing yards, 752 rushing yards and 26 total touchdowns. What has set him apart from other quarterbacks this season is how well he has protected the ball, a rare trait in rookie quarterbacks. RG3 has only thrown five interceptions this season, which is the least among all starting quarterbacks.
If you got RG3 in one of the later rounds, then you have been blessed by the fantasy football gods. Heading into the 2013 season, I have him ranked as the fifth-best quarterback and will definitely be gone within the first three rounds.