Draft kit | Deep sleepers | Busts | Breakouts | Bargains | Strategies
Josh Freeman, QB, Buccaneers: An enormous disappointment last season, Freeman had more turnovers than touchdowns and finished 16th in fantasy points among quarterbacks. With the addition of Vincent Jackson in the pass attack and Doug Martin in the backfield, though, a slimer Freeman (he lost 20 pounds this offseason) will be in a position to rebound in 2012.
Toby Gerhart, RB, Vikings: Adrian Peterson (knee) expects to be back on the field in time for Week 1, but that doesn't mean he will be back that soon coming off an ACL operation. Regardless, Gerhart could wind up seeing a bigger role in the offense at the start of the season. Considering how well he played in A.D.'s absence last year, Gerhart has some value.
Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers: A first-round pick out of Boise State, Martin has the tools to be a three-down back at the NFL level. In fact, he should start and see more backfield oppotunities than veteran LeGarrette Blount. Coach Greg Schiano likes to run the football, so Martin is in a great position for success. He could become a solid No. 2 fantasy runner.
Isaac Redman, RB, Steelers: The status of Rashard Mendenhall (knee) is in serious question, so Redman could find himself in a starting role to open the 2011 campaign. The Bowie State product has a mere 162 carries at the NFL level, so he'll be a potential workhorse until Mendenhall is able to get back on the field. Clearly, Redman is a player to watch in camp.
Stevan Ridley, RB, Patriots: I'm going to preface this by saying the Patriots aren't going to have a true featured back this season, as Ridley, Shane Vereen and Danny Woodhead will all have a role. But I think the L.S.U. product has the most upside and in turn, is the runner from this backfield to target. Consider Ridley in the middle rounds of most fantasy drafts.
Eric Decker, WR, Broncos: Peyton Manning's presence under center will make just about every member of the team's pass attack more valuable in fantasy land. That includes Decker, who has 1,000-yard potential in what will be his third NFL season. He'll be drafted as a No. 3 fantasy wide receiver, but could produce far better than his expected middle-round ADP.
Robert Meachem, WR, Chargers: I'm slightly skeptical about Meachem, because he played in a dynamic pass attack in New Orleans with an elite quarterback in Drew Brees and couldn't make a consistent fantasy impact. Still, he's in a great place to succeed as the No. 1 wideout for the Chargers and quarterback Philip Rivers. Consider him a No. 3 option with upside.
Denarius Moore, WR, Raiders: An explosive playmaker, Moore averaged close to 19 yards per catch in 13 games as a rookie. I'm expecting him to play a bigger role this season, so don't be surprised if he turns into the top option in the pass attack for Carson Palmer. If he can avoid injuries, Moore could far exceed his ADP. He'll have late-round fantasy appeal.
Torrey Smith, WR, Ravens: Smith had a nice rookie campaign, but he was horribly inconsistent in the stat sheets. In fact, 54 percent of his fantasy points came in just three games. With that said, he's a much better option than Anquan Boldin and should improve after a full season of NFL experience. Smith could develop into a more reliable option this season.
Coby Fleener, TE, Colts: A rookie out of Stanford, Fleener couldn't have landed in a better situation. Not only will he be catching passes from his collegiate quarterback, Andrew Luck, but Fleener instantly becomes one of the best options in the Colts' new-look pass attack. He could turn into a steal in the late rounds because of his statistical potential.