Fantasy Mailbag  


Look for Dez Bryant to make the leap in 2013

  • By Marcas Grant
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With Michael Fabiano off this week, Marcas Grant comes off the bench to answer your questions in this week's Fantasy Mailbag.

Will Dez Bryant produce the same numbers he did last year? - @mojoJoeJoe805 (via Twitter)

Marcas Grant: 2012 was the best season of Bryant's young career -- he posted 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns. If you ask him, he was just scratching the surface. If you ask me (which you did), I'd say he can definitely surpass last season's totals. Bryant is poised to join the category of elite NFL receivers, especially if he picks up where he left off last season. The dynamic wideout averaged nearly 110 recieving yards over his final eight games with 10 touchdowns during that stretch. If he's not a top five receiver at the end of the season, something went wrong.

Is Chris Johnson a first-round snag this year? - @Speederpan (via Twitter)

M.G.: Not hardly. It's encouraging that the Titans added Chance Warmack to help open some holes, but it's distressing that the team added Shonn Greene to help with running through those holes. Let's be honest -- CJ's 2K season is officially the outlier in his career. You can expect him to break the 1,000-yard barrier with five or six rushing touchdowns but to think he's worthy of a first-round pick in most leagues is a stretch.

Am I the only one still worried by the home and away game played by Julio Jones and Roddy White last year? - @TJFutureCPA (via Twitter)

M.G.: You're probably not the only one, but it shouldn't be enough to scare you away from two guys who should finish the year among the top ten fantasy players at their position. And -- at least in White's case -- the disparity wasn't as bad as you'd imagine. White's numbers on the road (689 rec yards, 3 TDs) were nearly identical to his numbers at home (662 yards, 4 TDs). Jones was notably better away from the Georgia Dome last season, but his overall performance still makes him a No. 1 fantasy WR option.

With all the offensive guns Denver has, do you think Peyton Manning is first QB pick up material? - @jaymapps (via Twitter)

M.G.: Manning won't be the first quarterback off the board in most leagues -- that honor should belong to Aaron Rodgers. But once again, Manning should land in the top five. The Broncos have done everything they can to build the offense to his specifications and adding Wes Welker certainly won't hurt Manning's production. It's the reason I was thrilled to land The Sheriff in the fifth round of our fantasy mock draft.

In a keeper league -- keep Peyton Manning for a seventh-round pick or Alfred Morris with 17th round pick? - @Therealmd33 (via Twitter)

M.G.: This is a no-brainer; it's Morris by a long shot. If there's one true constant among most of us on the fantasy circuit, it's that a quality running back is much more valuable than a quarterback -- even a QB as good as Manning. Morris might not finish 2013 as a top five fantasy back this season, but it would be a surprise to see him slip out of the top ten. If you told me I could have that and only give up a 17th-round pick, I'll take that every day of the week. Meanwhile, you can get a quality fantasy signal-caller (possibly even Manning) in your league's redraft.

Guys at my job are already askign when I should host my league's draft. What do you think? Does September 8th sound good? - @Shane___Falco (via Twitter)

M.G.: First off, it's a shame the way your college career ended. Anyway, I'm all for waiting as long as possible before holding your fantasy draft. But that might be a little too late unless you plan on waking up ultra-early in the morning to get it done. Even then, you'll have missed the season opener between the Ravens and the Broncos. My rule of thumb is that anytime after the third week of the preseason is fine. By then, we'll have a good idea of depth charts and since stars won't play much (if at all) in the preseason finale, there's little chance of any catastrophic injuries.

What can I expect to get out of Reggie Bush this year? Can I be comfortable with him being my RB2? - @LonnieTimms19 (via Twitter)

M.G.: Absolutely. Bush has huge potential this season -- especially in PPR leagues. In Detroit's offense, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the running back catch close to 90 passes. His rushing totals won't wow anyone but with the total number of touches and scrimmage yards he's liable to post in 2013, he'll be a quality No. 2 fantasy back.

I can only keep one -- Aaron Rodgers, A.J. Green, Marshawn Lynch. Eight-man league - @Unum206 (via Twitter)

M.G.: As I mentioned above, landing a quality rusher is far more important than snagging an elite quarterback. With the depth at quarterback, there should be plenty of option available for you -- especially in a smaller league. While you likely won't end up with Rodgers, you'll get a good one ... and you'll have arguably the third-best running back on the board as well. It's a win-win.

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How much of an impact are Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell going to have in the Steelers offense? - @Andrewgallo5 (via Twitter)

M.G.: Both guys should make major impacts this season. With Mike Wallce taking his talents to South Beach, the door is open for Brown to be the number one option in Pittsburgh's passing game. He's a big play threat and that threat increases if he has more opportunities. As for Bell, I've said all along that his running style is perfect for the Steelers offense and all signs point to him being the workhorse in the backfield. It wouldn't be a surprise if he's the top fantasy rookie running back when the dust settles.

Who will be RB No. 2 behind Darren McFadden? Will it be Marcel Reece or Latavius Murray? - @FantasyMonkee (via Twitter)

M.G.: There is a lot of intrigue surrounding Murray, the Raiders sixth-round draft pick, although he was forced to miss time at minicamp with a foot injury. But the early leader to be Run DMC's all-important handcuff appears to be Reece, who acquitted himself quite well in McFadden's absence last season. You also can't completely forget about Rashad Jennings, though he seems to be less of a factor at the moment. With McFadden's history, one of these guys is likely to see significant carries this year.

Marcas Grant is's fantasy editor. Follow him on Twitter @MarcasG.

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