10 Players Every Fantasy Owner Should Feel Confident Drafting

Giancarlo Ferrari-King@@GiancarloKingFeatured ColumnistAugust 30, 2013

10 Players Every Fantasy Owner Should Feel Confident Drafting

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    As the start of the regular season closes in, it's time to examine ten players who every fantasy football owner should feel confident drafting.

    Putting potential injuries aside, using a combination of past production, recent news and projected stats, this list of players was constructed to help you make a deep playoff run in 2013.

    Now it's time to kick back, start the slideshow below and find out what ten players every fantasy football owner should feel confident drafting in 2013.

    *All stats courtesy of ESPN.com unless noted otherwise.

    *All Average Draft Position (ADP) information courtesy of FantasyPros.com

Matt Ryan

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    Coming off his second consecutive season where he managed to pass for over 4,000 yards, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan should be considered a lock to put up big numbers once again this season.

    Already surrounded by a slew of offensive talent—that includes Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez—the Falcons went out and bolstered their ground game when they signed veteran running back Steven Jackson to a deal this past offseason.

    Outside of his consistent production throwing the football, Ryan has always been healthy since entering the league. Missing just two games in his illustrious five-year career, Ryan has become a fixture in this high-octane Atlanta offense.

    Owners who end up drafting Ryan should feel confident that they are getting an elite fantasy quarterback who will help steer their team to success.

Danny Amendola

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    There's no doubt about it, New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola is going to have a big year.

    Sure the New England offense has been altered dramatically since last season, but the one consistent that remains is that future Hall of Fame QB Tom Brady is still throwing the football.

    With Wes Welker now rocking a Denver Broncos uniform, the 27-year-old Amendola comes to New England with aspirations of becoming Brady's new favorite target.

    Even with the recent emergence of undrafted rookie wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins, Amendola should still be considered the best option in this New England offense.

    Putting his past injury concerns aside—Amendola has managed to only play 12 games in the past two seasons—the upside for this former Texas Tech Red Raider is staggering.

    Fantasy owners understand that with Brady serving as his benefactor, it's not a huge stretch of the imagination to think that Amendola could catch over 100 passes and rack up close to 1,300 yards receiving.

Matt Forte

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    Even though he battled an ankle injury last season, Matt Forte still managed to rack up 1,434 total yards for the Chicago Bears offense.

    Now with his health back in check and a new offense to complement his skill set, Forte is a prime candidate to breakout and have a huge 2013 fantasy season.

    With Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times reporting that Forte is excited about being more involved in the Bears' passing game, things just keep getting better for the former Tulane standout.

    While he still holds solid value in standard scoring leagues, due to his lack of touchdown production in the past, Forte's value will be even greater in point-per-reception leagues.

    Averaging an incredible 9.93 yards per carry during the preseason, fantasy owners should be licking their chops at the prospect of having Forte on their roster.

Andrew Luck

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    Forget the notion of a "sophomore slump." Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck is going to have a big 2013.

    While the loss of Bruce Arians and his legendary vertical passing game will sting at times, the fact remains last year's No. 1 overall pick is now a more experienced QB entering his second NFL season.

    Looking for more balance in the offense, according to Craig Kelly of Colts.com, offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton has said the team will be focused on developing a power run game.

    Unlike last season—when Luck threw the football 628 times—look for a more balanced, precise offensive approach this year that the former Stanford Cardinal will benefit from.

    This balanced offensive approach Hamilton is bringing to the Colts will help Luck keep his turnovers down while keeping his touchdown output high.

    With a fantastic supporting cast surrounding him, the owners who draft Luck to their teams this season will reap the rewards of one of 2013's biggest breakout players.


Ray Rice

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    Don't let the Bernard Pierce talk scare you, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice is still a fantasy football stud.

    Although he had somewhat of a down year at the end of the 2012 fantasy football season, according to ESPN.com, Rice still managed to finish as the sixth-highest scoring running back.

    With Anquan Boldin and Dennis Pitta missing from the Baltimore offense, look for Rice to make the most out of his increased touches in 2013.

    For those who worry, all the Pierce talk is just, well, talk. According to The Baltimore Sun, the Ravens don't have any plans to dramatically alter the division of playing time in their backfield.

    A proven fantasy football commodity, drafting Rice this season is a no-brainer.

Larry Fitzgerald

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    After experiencing a down year in 2012 thanks to an atrocious group of quarterbacks throwing him the ball, expect Arizona Cardinals superstar wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald to get back to doing his thing in 2013.

    One of the most physically gifted players in the NFL today, Fitzgerald now will be the beneficiary of new head coach Bruce Arians' incredible vertical passing game.

    With a new starting quarterback in Carson Palmer, reaching 1,000 yards and posting double-digit touchdowns is pretty much a lock for Fitzgerald this season.

    Currently being selected as the seventh wide receiver off the board in most fantasy drafts, Fitzgerald's value is superb.

    With Arians and Palmer now in Arizona, fantasy general managers should be confident once again having Fitzgerald in their starting lineups on a weekly basis.

Tony Romo

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    A forgotten man in most fantasy circles, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo is ready to put together another big fantasy year in 2013.

    Last year, finishing as the eighth-best scoring quarterback according to ESPN.com, Romo threw for 4,903 yards and 28 touchdowns.

    Currently being selected as the 12th QB off the board in most fantasy drafts, Romo's average draft position makes him an incredible value for fantasy owners.

    A draft strategy marvel, loading up your roster with talent at other key positions and drafting Romo as your starting QB later on has "fantasy championship" written all over it.

    While he may not throw the pigskin 648 times again like he did last season, there's no reason not to believe that Romo can't toss 30 touchdowns and break the 4,500-yard passing mark again in 2013.

Lamar Miller

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    Forget Daniel Thomas, Lamar Miller is going to be the workhorse running back for the Miami Dolphins this season.

    After rushing for 35 yards on eight carries against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week, Miami Herald columnist Armando Salguero reported that Miller has earned his place as the Dolphins starting running back.

    Shouldering the majority of the workload, the versatile 22-year-old is in prime position to have a breakout year. Thanks to his earth-scorching speed and great vision—Miller averaged 4.9 yards per carry off the bench last season—fantasy GMs should get excited about this young Miami RB.

    With high praises coming from legendary running back guru Pete Bommarito—who called Miller "the fastest running back" he's ever seen—Miller's ability to hit a home run is just another reason why fantasy GMs should be confident drafting him this season.

Greg Olsen

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    Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen might not get the same hype as Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham, but this former University of Miami big man is going to finish 2013 as one of the top scorers for his position.

    Thanks to his fantastic chemistry with Cam Newton the pair has linked up 114 times for 1,383 yards and 10 touchdowns in two years. Over their time together, Olsen has done more than enough to earn the trust of his quarterback.

    Another thing to consider when drafting Olsen this season, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), is that Olsen was on the field for 1,028 snaps last year. That total puts him in third place for the most snaps taken by a tight end behind only Jason Witten and Brandon Myers.

    With Olsen a lock to be out there on the field, his size and skill set will make him not only a great target in the middle of the field, but also a serious red-zone threat.

Antonio Brown

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    With Mike Wallace now in Miami, the Pittsburgh Steelers have turned to Antonio Brown to become their No. 1 wide receiver.

    Thanks to the lack of playmakers on the Pittsburgh offense and his diverse skill set, Brown should soak up targets like a sponge all season long.

    It's not a stretch to think that Brown will put up solid numbers throughout the year with an even greater chance to rack up major points in point-per-reception leagues.

    Remember that two seasons ago, Brown finished with 69 receptions for 1,108 yards receiving and three touchdowns.

    Now with tight end Heath Miller coming back from a knee injury and Wallace gone, Brown has become a huge factor in the Pittsburgh offense.

    With a healthy Ben Roethlisberger throwing him the pigskin, it's time to draft and start Brown with confidence this season.