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Frank Gore among 2017 veteran fantasy bargains

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"Out with the old, in with the new."

We've heard that phrase over and over again, and it can pertain to all walks of life. We're going to see a similar sort of mindset in the world of fantasy football next season as a number of young players seem poised to take over prominent offensive roles around the league. However, there are certain scenarios where fantasy owners need to respect their elders ... and where the old can still be "in."

Here's my list of 20 veterans to target in your fantasy drafts, ranked based on my latest Top 200 list.

1. Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks: Baldwin has finished seventh (2015) and 10th (2016) in fantasy points among wide receivers over the last two seasons, averaging 86 catches, 1,098 yards and scored a combined 21 touchdowns. He has also had more games with three touchdowns (three) than any other wideout in the league since 2015. He's well worth a top-30 selection.

2. C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos: Anderson was on pace to score almost 200 fantasy points last season before an injured knee cost him the final nine games. Now his value is in doubt because of newcomer Jamaal Charles, but I still expect C.J. to lead the Broncos in backfield touches. His fourth- or fifth-round price tag could make him a real bargain.

3. Michael Crabtree, WR, Oakland Raiders: Amari Cooper is the Raiders wideout who receives most of the attention in fantasy land, but Crabtree has been the better option over the last two seasons. The Texas Tech product has scored a combined 17 touchdowns in that time, which is more than all but four receivers (Odell Beckham Jr., Antonio Brown, Baldwin, Allen Robinson).

4. Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos: Sanders finished 21st in fantasy points among wide receivers last season, so it's no surprise to see his ADP (average draft position) fall into the eighth round (10-teams) on Fantasy Football Calculator. But with the return of offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, who runs a pass-laden system, I'm expecting Sanders to rebound this season.

5. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Fitzgerald, who will be 34 when next season starts, has produced two straight seasons with 140-plus targets, 100-plus catches and 1,000-plus yards. He should continue to see more than his share of opportunities in the Cardinals pass attack, as the team released Michael Floyd last season and didn't make a major offseason move to fill the void.

6. Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts: Much like the great Rodney Dangerfield, Gore gets no respect. Despite his extended age, he still ranked 12th in fantasy points at the position last season and has now rushed for 1,000-plus yards five times since 2011. While the Colts did add Marlon Mack in the NFL draft, I still expect Gore to be the bell cow for coach Chuck Pagano.

7. Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans: When fantasy owners think about the top tight ends, names like Rob Gronkowski, Greg Olsen, Jordan Reed and Travis Kelce come to mind. However, Walker has averaged 114 targets, 74 catches, 926 yards and six touchdowns in the last three seasons. He also leads all tight ends with a combined 22 games with double-digit fantasy points over the last two campaigns.

8. Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Martin must serve a three-game suspension to open the season, so his ADP will drop somewhat based on the lost time on the gridiron. The Buccaneers didn't draft or sign an impact runner this offseason, however, so the veteran should return to his role as the starter. I'd look to target him at some point in the middle to late rounds.

9. LeGarrette Blount, RB, Philadelphia Eagles: Blount isn't very likely to duplicate his awesome touchdown totals from a season ago, but he will be the most valuable running back in Philadelphia. An early-down back and goal-line hammer, Blount could turn into a solid flex starter with eight-plus touchdown potential in his offense. He could emerge into quite a nice draft bargain for owners.

10. Adrian Peterson, RB, New Orleans Saints: Peterson won't return to elite status as a member of the Saints, but can he etch out enough of a role in the offense to be a viable flex starter? I believe so. Just think about what Tim Hightower was able to do in the second half of last season, and he's never been close to being in Peterson's league in fantasy land. Take him in the middle to late rounds.

11. Pierre Garcon, WR, San Francisco 49ers: Now with the Niners, Garcon should be a targets monster. Even if he equals his catch and yardage totals from last season and doubles his touchdowns to six, Garcon would be an absolute steal based on his 10th- or 11th-round ADP.

12. Eric Decker, WR, Tennessee Titans: Decker is coming off shoulder and hip surgeries, so there's risk. However, he's well worth it based on a ninth or 10th round ADP on Fantasy Football Calculator. I'd draft him as a No. 4 or 5 fantasy wide receiver with the Titans.

13. Jeremy Maclin, WR, Baltimore Ravens: Maclin missed part of last season due to injuries, but he's just 29 years old and is now the potential top option in the pass attack for Joe Flacco. I'd draft him as a No. 4 wideout who has the skills to become a No. 3 or flex choice for owners.

14. Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers: Christian McCaffrey is the Carolina running back to target in fantasy drafts, but Stewart isn't going to disappear altogether. In fact, he's done quite well in committees in the past and should remain the goal-line option.

15. Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions: Stafford has finished in the top 10 in fantasy points among quarterbacks in each of the last two seasons, but he's still not coming off the board until the late rounds in fantasy mock drafts ... if he's even drafted at all. Don't let him pass this season.

16. Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills: Much like Stafford, Taylor has also been a top-10 fantasy quarterback in each of the last two seasons. If you like to wait on the position, T-Mobile is one of the signal-callers you should target at some point in the late rounds.

17. Philip Rivers, QB, Los Angeles Chargers: Rivers has averaged 603 pass attempts over the last three seasons, and now he has the best cast of receivers maybe ever with the return of Keenan Allen and the addition of Mike Williams. The veteran's arrow is certainly pointing upward.

18. Coby Fleener, TE, New Orleans Saints: Fleener failed to meet expectations a season ago, but he still finished 12th in fantasy points among tight ends. With one full season in the Saints offense under his belt, the veteran should improve and is well worth a late-round flier in drafts.

19. Antonio Gates, TE, Los Angeles Chargers: Gates will be 37 this summer, and the emergence of Hunter Henry has hurt his draft value across the board. Still, the veteran has scored a combined 24 touchdowns over the last three seasons and is well worth a late-round roll of the dice.

20. Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals: Dalton finished 12th in fantasy points among quarterbacks last season, and that was with A.J. Green injured for a good portion of the campaign. With Green back and John Ross and Joe Mixon now onboard, Dalton should be a bargain.


Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!

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