Draft kit | Sleepers | Deep sleepers | Busts | Bargains | Strategies
Robert Griffin III, QB, Redskins: If you expect Griffin to duplicate Cam Newton and score close to 370 fantasy points as a rookie, well, you're going to be disappointed. With that said, I can see RG3 as a top 10 fantasy quarterback because of his combination of arm strength and skills as a runner. Draft him as a No. 2 fantasy quarterback with huge upside.
Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons: Quietly, Ryan was one of the top quarterbacks in fantasy football in the second half of last season. With a core of weapons in the pass attack that includes Roddy White, Julio Jones, Harry Douglas and Tony Gonzalez, he could improve on the career totals he recorded in 2011. So if you wait on a signal-caller until the middle to late rounds, I'd target Ryan.
Ryan Mathews, RB, Chargers: The Chargers appear content with using Mathews in a featured role, so he'll be in a position to post the best fantasy totals of his career. He showed flashes of major potential in his second season, posting 50 catches and more than 1,500 scrimmage yards. He could miss a few games with a broken clavicle, though, so monitor his status.
Trent Richardson, RB, Browns: A prominent member of my fantasy man-crush list, Richardson is in a terrific situation to produce at a high level in his rookie season. Browns coach Pat Shurmur will utilize the former Alabama star as his featured back, so he won't be coming off the field very often. Keep in mind, though, that he is coming off a recent knee scope.
DeMarco Murray, RB, Cowboys: Murray was an absolute fantasy machine in the absence of Felix Jones last season, and there's no reason to believe he won't be prominent for coach Jason Garrett in his sophomore NFL season. Assuming he can avoid the trainer's room, Murray should emerge into a top-10 fantasy option at the running back position this season.
Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys: Bryant finished 20th in fantasy points among wide receivers last season, and that was despite missing some time due to injuries -- not to mention a crowded pass attack that included Miles Austin, Laurent Robinson and Jason Witten. Now in his third year at the pro level, Bryant should be ready to make his mark in fantasy land.
A.J. Green, WR, Bengals: A top 15 fantasy receiver during his rookie campaign, Green is an athletic playmaker with the skills to develop into one of the league's truly elite wideouts. The top option in the Bengals' pass attack, he'll be in a position to surpass his first-year totals and emerge into a surefire No. 1 fantasy option at his position this year.
Julio Jones, WR, Falcons: An exciting wideout with home run capabilities in the vertical passing game, Jones would have posted better than 1,000 yards as a rookie had he not missed three games. His teammate, Roddy White, and I both expect him to hit that mark in 2012. You can draft Jones as a No. 2 option, but he should record top 10 fantasy totals.
Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos: Thomas, now in his third NFL season, will be one of the top breakout candidates in 2012. He was a stat-sheet stuffer down the stretch in 2011, and that was with the inaccurate Tim Tebow under center. With a star like Peyton Manning now at the helm, he should emerge into a top 10 wideout for fantasy owners.
Jacob Tamme, TE, Broncos: Manning's presence under center also helps the value of Tamme, who signed with the Broncos during the offseason. In his last season with Manning in Indianapolis, he averaged an amazing 6.7 receptions in his final 10 games. While he could lose some targets to Joel Dreessen, Tamme is in a very good situation to post attractive totals.