Predicting the 5 Biggest Fantasy Football Trends of 2013

Alessandro Miglio@@AlexMiglioFeatured ColumnistJune 16, 2013

Predicting the 5 Biggest Fantasy Football Trends of 2013

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    The NFL offseason is chugging along, with training camp on the horizon and preseason games soon after. Fantasy football is coming out of hibernation as a result, at least among the general population.

    As you begin to unravel the mysteries and statistics to get a leg up on your fellow fantasy owners, consider the following trends. 

    Click through to see five of the biggest fantasy football trends I foresee for the 2013 season.

Sophomores Will Appear to Slump

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    The term "sophomore slump" exists for a reason. It typically happens when a rookie who had a good or great season does not meet the lofty expectations placed on him the following year.

    Last season was unprecedented from a rookie standpoint. No fewer than eight rookie quarterbacks registered a win, and the top-three fantasy scorers were unparalleled in history. 

    Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson blew the doors off the idea that rookie quarterbacks struggle in the fantasy realm. Sure, Cam Newton was lights out the previous year, but that should have been an exception.

    Trent Richardson, Doug Martin and Alfred Morris were nearly as good at the running back position.

    So can these guys live up to expectations in their sophomore seasons? Probably not. But that doesn't mean they will have bad years.

Running Backs Are Back In

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    Years of attrition and the rise of the passing game had killed the collective draft stock of running backs for a while. However, the running back has made a comeback in the fantasy realm.

    Led by the charge of Adrian Peterson, that wunderkind workhorse in Minnesota, running backs have seen a resurgence in the fantasy community. Lead backs are no longer on the endangered species list, although they are still threatened.

    This has been reflected in average draft position—just look at the ADP data on any website, and you will notice running backs dominate the top few rounds. 

    Just because lead backs are making a comeback doesn't mean there are plenty to go around. The relative positional scarcity is a big reason why the ADP data favor backs at the top. Get yours early and often if you want to have a nice stable.

Daily Fantasy Gaming Will Dramatically Increase

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    Have you ever heard of FanDuel or Draft Street? How about Star Street or Draft Day?

    If you haven't, you will sooner or later.

    These websites have been around for some time, but they represent the future of fantasy football and sports in general. Traditional fantasy will never go away as long as the sports are being played, but daily gaming is primed to blow up.

    Venture capitalists are bullish on daily gaming for a reason. Get in now and figure things out before the masses decide to jump in.

Scoring Will Be Down

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    Fantasy football scoring has soared in recent years.

    The lockout season was unkind to defenses to start the season. How else would you explain Chad Henne opening up with a 400-yard jaunt through New England's defense?

    Last year, the pistol and read-option made their way into the NFL. Guys like Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III were able to parlay the offensive strategy into some big fantasy games.

    Then there is the aforementioned running back renaissance, which culminated in Adrian Peterson's incredible fantasy season.

    This is more of a guy feeling than anything, but something has to give soon. Defenses will catch up with the read-option. Even if they aren't able to stop it, containing it somewhat will depress scores.

    Plus, fantasy scoring cannot just keep increasing. Like anything, there is an ebb and flow to fantasy football. It's time for the former.

Quarterbacks Will Be Overvalued

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    Don't get me wrong, the fantasy expert community is not overvaluing quarterbacks. The industry is practically sprinting from the position as if World War Z has begun.

    But that will not be the case as fantasy owners begin to infiltrate the ranks of mock and real fantasy football drafts.

    Inevitably, big names get taken early. The list of big names is growing, with the likes of Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson invading the list of studs. 

    The thing is, with quality quarterbacks in such great supply, there is no reason to take one of these guys in the first several rounds. Use other owners' overvaluation of quarterbacks to your advantage.