NFL Fantasy Football 2011: 10 Risky Picks Worth Taking This Season
Without risk there is no reward.
As with any fantasy draft, there is always a measure of risk in some picks. Deep down, you have to trust your gut and have the wherewithal to take a gamble on perceived pitfalls.
Listed here are 10 potential players that, while they may come with risk, have enough juice and upside to pay huge dividends in 2011.
1. Chad Ochocinco, New England
Ah yes, the Tom Brady factor. We all know Brady is many things: Super Bowl champion, suave dancer, Mr. Bundchen, etc. Now add "King Midas" to the list, as everything he touches turns to gold.
With a new healthy change of scenery and being around a winning organization, expect Chad Ochocinco to thrive in New England.
2. Matthew Stafford, Detroit
With the love Matthew Stafford is getting in drafts these days, this selection doesn’t seem too much of a risk, per se. But the guy does seem to get injured a lot. Don’t reach and make Stafford your starting quarterback, but he’s definitely worth the risk as a second quarterback, as he has all the tools to succeed.
With Calvin Johnson at his disposal, as well as the reliable Nate Burleson and the emerging Jahvid Best, this will turn out to be Stafford’s best season yet. He looks great thus far in the preseason.
3. DeAngelo Williams, Carolina
If you’ve seen DeAngelo Williams this preseason, what you’ve witnessed is a runner with a fresh set of legs. Williams isn’t that far removed from a very productive 2009 season in which he rushed for 1,117 yards and seven touchdowns.
Sure, he’ll split carries with Jonathan Stewart, but the two work well together and will keep each other fresh.
4. Shonn Greene, NYJ
2010 was supposed to be Shonn Greene’s breakout season, but instead he literally fumbled away his chance and basically gave away his job to LaDainian Tomlinson. Greene is now getting another shot to be the featured back, and he will be determined to not slip up again.
The Jets offense around him is loaded, and Greene should benefit from running behind one the league’s best offensive lines.
5. Austin Collie, Indianapolis
Sure, Austin Collie has battled concussions before and is limping around in preseason, but Collie is Peyton Manning’s (and yes, he’ll be back soon enough) favorite target.
Now, you may say, "What about Reggie Wayne?" Sure, Wayne is the trusted vet, but Collie is often in the right spot at the right time and is seven years younger.
So, when Manning heals up, expect Collie to benefit.
6. Percy Harvin, Minnesota
Harvin is another looked-over sleeper because many fantasy football players concentrate on his migraine/headache issues and simply pass him by. But the migraines come and go and Harvin is usually good for 13 or 14 games anyway.
Harvin is maturing and growing as a receiver, and with Donovan McNabb now in Minnesota, expect Harvin and him to develop a nice rapport.
7. Kenny Britt, Tennessee
While Kenny Britt has a lot of growing up to do off the field, when he’s on it he can be lethal. Think of him as a poor man’s Randy Moss in his prime.
The tools are there, and if you can ignore the off-the-field shenanigans, Britt will provide a nice bang for your buck.
8. Owen Daniels, Houston
I know what you might say. You have been burned before.
However, Owen Daniels looks as refreshed as ever and the Texans have one of the more explosive offenses in the game which will lead to Daniels getting plenty of looks, especially in the red zone.
9. Michael Crabtree, San Francisco
It’s time for Michael Crabtree to step up. This is Crabtree’s third year in the NFL, and he should have a new lease on life with a new coaching staff surrounding him. Crabtree has immense physical talents, and this will be the year the 49ers see his untapped potential blossom.
10. Brandon Marshall, Miami
Sometimes it takes more than a year to adjust to your new surroundings, and while he was the ultimate bust last year, Brandon Marshall should have it all working this year. Marshall has looked fabulous in the preseason thus far (including a two-catch, 90-yard, one-touchdown performance in Saturday’s preseason game versus Tampa Bay) and he'll regain owners’ trust once again as he'll be a No. 1 receiver by the end of the year.