Fantasy Football 2011: Jamaal Charles Headlines AFC West Fantasy Must-Haves
Get ‘Em & Forget ‘Em: AFC West
Despite the lockout, or perhaps because of nothing better to do, savvy fantasy owners are still prepping for their late summer drafts. Here’s a quick look at a potential fantasy player per team to seek out and one to avoid.
Big name players may be included only because I believe they need to be grabbed even earlier than one may expect. Likewise, they may make the forgettable list due to age, injury, new talent, or lack thereof. Whatever the case, this is a simple, yet thought-provoking look at the AFC West's best bet for fantasy fruition and failure.
Get 'Em Denver Broncos: Tim Tebow
WWJD? In this case, the J equals the two head John’s in D-town: Elway and Fox. The most likely scenario: a trade of Orton leaving Tim Tebow at the helm. Tebow’s going to have his struggles, but you can’t ignore his average of 24 points per start in 2010.
He’s an ideal No. 2 QB who you can spot start and hope to trade—especially when you'll be able to get him in the 10th round or later. Not only will he grow as a passer, but he’ll also be Denver’s best rushing scoring threat inside the red zone.
Forget 'Em Denver Broncos: Knowshon Moreno
Don’t be fooled by his 1,000 plus total yards and eight TD’s. Knowshon’s potential is limited by Tebow’s rushing prowess, as well as the likely addition of another RB post-lockout—DeAngelo Williams?
I see him as RB No. 3 at best and he could possibly become a glorified third-down back. Let someone else gamble on a RB with only two 100-yard rushing games in two seasons.
Get 'Em Kansas City Chiefs: Jamaal Charles
I know Jamaal Charles is a no-brainer, but I think he should be heavily considered with the No. 1 overall pick in PPR leagues. His unique blend of speed, vision, pass-catching and durability makes him a candidate for 2,000 total yards and 15-18 TD’s.
A healthy Dexter McCluster, burly rookie receiver Jonathan Baldwin and a declining Thomas Jones will combine to keep D’s honest while boosting his workload. The sky’s the limit.
Forget 'Em Kansas City Chiefs: Dwayne Bowe
I’m always leery about drafting former malcontents, let alone a year after they breakout. Bowe’s highly unlikely to match his TD numbers from 2010 and Jonathan Baldwin will slowly eat into his red zone targets as the rookie progresses.
Finally, I expect the passing game to be most negatively affected by the departure of OC Charlie Weis. Let someone else overpay in the third round.
Get 'Em Oakland Raiders: Michael Bush
A bit of a strange recommendation here as I’m not sure Bush will be with Oakland. However, I like him no matter where he plays this fall.
He’s a must-grab for McFadden owners if he remains a Raider—his eight TD’s in 158 carries combined with his 4.4 lifetime ypc make him a likely scoring threat at all times. Couple that with DMC's fragile frame and Bush appears to be a great RB steal in the latter rounds.
Forget 'Em Oakland Raiders: Zach Miller
Draft Miller if you are happy with 60 catches and four to six TD’s from the TE position. Sure, you can get him after the elite talent is off the board, but you get what you pay for in this case: a talented, but limited upside player in a weak passing offense.
Personally, I'd rather roll with the upside of a more athletic TE on a more prolific passing attack.
Get 'Em San Diego Chargers: Vincent Jackson
Assuming he’s in town, Jackson should thrive in this pass-happy offense. Rivers is elite and loves to throw deep; Jackson is squarely in his prime and thrives in battling for the long ball.
Don’t be surprised to see V-Jax become option No. 1 in the SD offense as Antonio Gates, mired by foot injuries the past few years, turns 30.
Forget 'Em San Diego Chargers: Ryan Mathews
Yes, he burned me last year; however, I’m avoiding Mathews this year because he appears brittle and not suitable for a full workload. Mike Tolbert isn't going away—especially in the red zone.
Also, don’t forget three of his seven TD’s and nearly 20 percent of his rushing yards came in a meaningless Week 17 tilt against the hapless Broncos. I'm not buying the post-hype after falling for the pre-hype last year...neither should you.