Draft kit | Sleepers | Deep sleepers | Busts | Breakouts | Strategies
Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons: As good of a year as he had last season, he's still in the lower end of No. 1 fantasy QBs, so he'll be a later round draft pick. But he'll have an elite season, and is my candidate to be this year's Matthew Stafford -- 40 TDs could be on the horizon for Ryan as Atlanta throws the ball even more as Michael Turner's value declines.
Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers: Rivers struggled in the early part of last season before coming on strong at the end, oddly enough when Vincent Jackson was out of the lineup. Rivers will be back this season. You can wait until the third or fourth round and get him -- maybe even later -- and get a 4,000 yard/30 TD season.
Carson Palmer, QB, Raiders: He really started coming on at the end of the season, and now that he has a whole offseason to get comfortable instead of being thrown into the fire, he'll also be near 4,000 yards and 30 TDs. He's someone who will come off the board very late -- eighth round or later -- but he'll perform like a top 10 fantasy QB.
DeMarco Murray, RB, Cowboys: He showed enough last year to warrant a high pick, even though he got hurt and missed most of the regular season. But this year? Look out. He can have an Arian Foster-type year if he stays healthy. Project last season's stats over a full campaign, and you could see someone who's going to be a fourth-rounder play like a first-rounder.
C.J. Spiller, RB, Bills: Both he and Fred Jackson will go later on because of the division of labor. But make no mistake, this is eventually going to be Spiller's job. He's young and Jackson isn't. It might not be until the second half of the season, but Spiller -- who will be a middle-round pick -- will be your No. 2 RB easily by Week 8.
Chris Johnson, RB, Titans: Due to his career production up until last year, he'll still come off the board in the third round of your fantasy draft. I think he's back to leading the league in rushing this year, and will again be someone we're talking about taking in the top three overall a year from now.
Reggie Wayne, WR, Colts: Hey, Andrew Luck has to throw to someone, and Wayne is ready to be Steve Smith to Luck's Cam Newton. Wayne still had a ton of targets last year despite catching passes from Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky. He's going to be a seventh- or eighth-round steal.
Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Raiders: I was ready to write him off until the final three games of 2011 during which he was just a beast. Finally, he became Carson Palmer's favorite target. The Raiders kept their WR corps the same in the offseason, so that production is going to continue. A sixth-rounder or later in your fantasy draft, he has potential to be a top 10 or 15 WR in fantasy points.
DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles: He was so horrendous last season that I don't know if he gets drafted until the 10th round or later. But that's tremendous value for someone who I think is going to come back with a pretty good season. He makes the offense go, make no mistake about it -- that's why Philadelphia kept him. I think he can once again be a high-end No. 2 this year, with double digits in touchdowns and more than 1,000 yards receiving.
Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers: Sure, there's younger tight ends out there, and ones who excite you more than Gates. Remember he was hurt last year, too. As a result, he'll probably be the seventh or eighth tight end off your draft board. Gates should once again be Philip Rivers' No. 1 target, so he'll produce like a top three tight end in 2012. And he'll be even better in the red zone with Mike Tolbert now in Carolina.