Picking in the middle of your fantasy league can make or break your team a lot of times. If you're like me, you know things can change drastically depending on how rounds 7-13 go.
These are the guys that you hope don't play for you unless of injury or bye weeks, and next thing you know, they are starting and putting up insane numbers for a three or four week stretch.
So here go some of the guys to look out for if you haven't had your draft as of yet, and also that you might be able to steal in a trade for cheap. Some are big names and some are up and comers.
Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, Steven Jackson, Michael Turner, and Maurice Jones-Drew went really early.
Did you get one? Possibly. But you don't want your whole team to rely on them.
By round six and seven most folks have found a way to definitely have one of the above, or the second batch of guys right below them. Now you are either looking for a flex or if you gambled a second back.
Clinton Portis might be the guy.
Some East Coast leagues might grab him earlier, but he has been on a lot of sleeper lists. If round six, seven or eight come around and you see him, snatch him up.
He and Miike Shanahan are reuniting and if feels so good.
Ray Rice Frank Gore, DeAngelo Williams, Ryan Grant, Ryan Mathews all have passed long ago and you better have gotten one of them.
You're thinking third wide receivers now, flex positions and maybe second quarterback as round seven rolls around but you see a name that intrigues you and not just because it's French.
Yes, we're talking about the "Haitian Sensation" himself, Pierre Garcon.
He is Peyton Manning's fastest target and might end up being his favorite. Gonzalez is back, Collie is there and so are Wayne and Clark.
But don't forget Pierre.
Jamaal Charles, Shonn Greene, and Jahvid Best are now all gone and if you still don't have a back, fantasy football probably isn't for you.
Basically what I am saying is, get some yard chewers as early and often as you can. Running backs are plentiful, but don't wait because of that.
One of the biggest fantasy rumors I've read everywhere is that Ahmad Bradshaw is going to unseat Brandon Jacobs as the New York Giants starter.
It hasn't happened yet, so he could be ripe for the plucking if you have a draft this week.
Round seven, eight or nine isn't too early for him.
Here's what's happened in my drafts so far, the run on big name backs and receivers and then the top 5 or so quarterbacks go and everyone rushes, (no pun intended) back to the running back well.
But you are going to need a starting QB if you didn't grab one, and if you did, you are going to need someone to compete with him if he isn't Rodgers, Brees, Brady, Manning, or Rivers.
Or if you did get those guys, you need a bye week guy or someone if the dreaded injury bug comes who can keep your team afloat.
There is Favre backlash all over the country. And with the Rice and Harvin situations, it is understandable.
But the guy still is a gunslinger. And it is round eight.
He had his career worst yards from scrimmage last year and he still has never rushed for over 600 yards in a season.
But he remains productive. Even more so in a PPR (points per reception) league.
(By the way, even though I explained it, if you don't know what a PPR league is and how to play in it, don't. People will take advantage of you.)
Back to Bush, he catches lots of passes and has been running extremely hard this preseason.
No, I refuse to insert a Kim Kardashian joke here. (But feel free to drop some in the comments).
Anyway, there is lots of buzz around him. So I am campaigning for Reggie Bush in late round six through round eight.
I am a big proponent of the double up. Some might say I am obsessed with it.
But, it has won me titles.
By double up I mean if you have Favre why not grab one of his favorite targets?
That way when he throws a touchdown to that guy, you get double the points.
And I have to tell you, if you are trailing and he goes to your guy twice, it feels like you're running through a pasture with the wind at your back. Just beautiful.
Harvin has been ill, but he had migraines at Florida and carried the Gators at times.
Rounds seven through nine.
Maybe folks are holding a grudge. Because if you drafted LT really early last year, you probably lost your league title unless you made some quick moves on waivers.
But it's a new season, he is on a new team in a new role.
Let it go, people.
If he is staring at you in round seven or eight, you have to take him. He is running really hard, still can break away and the passes that they want to throw to Joe McKnight, will go to LT early.
You have to forgive San Diego LaDainian, and embrace New York LT.
If you're like me, you've promised yourself you are not going to get burned by washed up receivers.
It happened in the past with Torry Holt, Jerry Rice, Lynn Swann, (if you've been playing for awhile) and you have vowed not to let it happen again.
But you have most of your starters and TO is just sitting there, no his best behavior, smiling at you.
It's late round nine, and you can't resist.
Don't be ashamed, it's the right move. And if anyone gives you a hard time, mention that Antonio Bryant was cut, so it's TO or bust for Cincinnati.
Then give him a hug and welcome him to your team.
There is only one thing better than beating a good friend or trash talker in Fantasy Football.
And you know what I'm talking about... Being right about a guy.
What if this is the year that it all comes together for Jay Cutler.
And you played him, how great will that feel when you pick up that winning fantasy check, er, belt. (We play for free, right?)
The word once was that he had more tools than John Elway, or a better arm, or better smile. He had something better than Elway.
What if this is the year he puts it all together?
You can say you grabbed him in the ninth round.
Every year, Miller has two monster games. double-digit catches and triple-digit receiving yards. Those were the games when JMR would put down the Purple Drank and remember that Miller could be a fantasy tight end stud.
I apologize to Mr. Russell. That was a cheap shot if you are reading this.
And if you are, put it down.
If Jason Campbell can stay upright and stay off of those carts that carry players off, Zach Miller might be a top seven tight end disguised as a round 10 or 11 pick.
I've been hard on the guy for pledging, after several years in the league, that he would run hard this year.
And some people are worried about his lack of carries this preseason.
But if you are willing to gamble in rounds 10-12, you might want to try him out.
The combo of his pledge and being penciled in as the starter might mean something.
Or being that no one knows what goes on in Bill Belichick's mind, it could mean he gets cut before the season.
If he gets you his first 1,000 yard rushing season, I want my cut of the winnings.
If he gets cut, I am truly sorry.
I won a league with Big Ben as my QB last year.
And the feeling is that the Commish will cut down his suspension to four games.
If you have a starting quarterback and you have most of your starters and it is round 11 or 12, snatch up big No. 7.
He is going to have something to prove.
Kevin Walter is the starter across from Andre Johnson, which is why Jones is a sleeper and a 10-13 round pick.
But things can change and he has breakout potential. He has looked really good in the preseason and racks up the YAC, (or the RAC, whichever you score at home).
Keep an eye on him if he is still around late.
The funniest moment of my last draft was when a buddy of mine spent top dollar on Vincent Jackson in an auction league.
Sorry to out you like this, Brion, but it was fun times.
I'm not saying to grab him any earlier than rounds 11-13, but what if he comes in after week four and picks up where he left off?
And if he doesn't, you spent a 12th round pick on him. (I just shrugged, just so you know that I am trying to convince you.)
I like Cribbs. He finds ways to make things happen.
Is he a prototypical receiver? No, but neither is Devin Hester.
Cribbs will find ways into the end zone. And with a wily vet like Jake Delhomme checking down to him he will break a few.
Definitely worth a late round flier.
That's it, folks.
You are now ready to dominate.
And as stated before, I want my cut...