Whether it's due to team personnel alterations or depth chart movement, there are almost always a significant number of players who experience an increase in value. As we close in on the start of the regular season and fantasy football drafts, let's take a look at the 20 players who have seen the greatest rise in value or are now in a position to break out.
Tom Brady, QB, New England: The entire offseason was terrific for the value of Brady, who now has access to Randy Moss, Donte' Stallworth, Wes Welker and Kelley Washington in what should be a solid pass attack. The schedule won't be in his favor -- the Patriots face the third-most difficult pass slate -- but Brady could still produce some career numbers.
Marc Bulger, QB, St. Louis: The presence of Steven Jackson, Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce and the addition of Drew Bennett and Randy McMichael allows Bulger an immense offensive arsenal. The skilled Bulger also faces the easiest pass slate with contests vs. Cincinnati, Atlanta, San Francisco (2), Dallas and Arizona (2).
Vince Young, QB, Tennessee: While his appearance on the cover of Madden 2008 could be a concern to superstitious owners, Young has still seen a serious increase in value after his impressive rookie season. While he lacks true offensive weapons, the versatile quarterback proved that he can put the team on his shoulders and still produce at a high level.
Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego: Rivers performed well in his first full season as an NFL starter, and the presence of new head coach Norv Turner could push him to the next level of statistical success. An attractive No. 1 fantasy quarterback, Rivers could be a bit underrated in drafts and has a chance to be a tremendous middle-round bargain for all owners.
Tony Romo, QB, Dallas: Romo was one of last season's top sleeper candidates, and now he'll have a chance to be a solid No. 1 fantasy quarterback in what should be a more aggressive offense under new coordinator Jason Garrett. With Terrell Owens back to 100 percent and a possible contract extension at stake, Romo will be motivated to find success.
Matt Leinart, QB, Arizona: One of the most promising young quarterbacks in the NFL, Leinart should record terrific numbers in his first full season as the Cardinals' starter. He has one of the best duos of wide receivers in Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald, and the presence of new head coach Ken Whisenhunt makes Leinart even more valuable.
Joseph Addai, RB, Indianapolis: The departure of Dominic Rhodes (Raiders) will no doubt mean more carries and looks as a receiver for Addai, who should be closer to a featured back in his second pro season. A versatile athlete who will run behind an effective and veteran offensive line, Addai will be well worth a first-round selection in all formats.
Laurence Maroney, RB, New England: When the Patriots decided not to retain Corey Dillon, the value of Maroney saw a serious increase across the board. He will now receive the lion's share of the workload out of the backfield for head coach Bill Belichick and will face the eighth easiest run schedule, so Maroney will be a surefire first or second rounder.
Travis Henry, RB, Denver: Henry is a perfect fit for the Broncos' zone-blocking scheme and should join Terrell Davis, Olandis Gary, Mike Anderson, Clinton Portis and Reuben Droughns on the list of backs to find success under head coach Mike Shanahan. In fact, it wouldn't be a shock if Henry had 1,500-plus all-purpose yards and eight-plus touchdowns.
Willis McGahee, RB, Baltimore: The Ravens have improved their offensive line, and the fact that McGahee will see 300-350 carries should mean an increase in his numbers. Another positive is that McGahee will face the seventh easiest run schedule, which includes games vs. porous run defenses such as Indianapolis, St. Louis, Cleveland and Buffalo.
Ronnie Brown, RB, Miami: Brown has all the tools to find statistical success, and the presence of new head coach Cam Cameron is a real positive for his potential numbers this season. Furthermore, the Dolphins seem to have moved on from the whole Ricky Williams scenario, so Brown will remain a featured offensive component and a nice No. 2 fantasy back.
Cedric Benson, RB, Chicago: There has never been a doubt that Benson is a talented back, and now he'll be allowed a chance to prove it after the trade of Thomas Jones (Jets). While injuries have been an issue -- he has endured knee and shoulder ailments over the past two seasons -- Benson's newfound role will make him a more viable No. 2 fantasy back.
Marshawn Lynch, RB, Buffalo: A versatile athlete who has drawn comparisons to Marshall Faulk, Lynch is an explosive runner with tremendous skills as a receiver out of the backfield. The former California standout is considered the favorite to start for the Bills, so he could be this season's version of Joseph Addai and is worth as much as a third-round selection.
Ahman Green, RB, Houston: Green, 30, still has what it takes to be a low-end No. 2 fantasy runner, and the Texans will no doubt utilize him as their featured back. While the offensive line is mediocre at best as run blockers, Green does have a favorable schedule this season with contests against Indianapolis (2), Tennessee (2), Cleveland and New Orleans.
Brandon Jacobs, RB, N.Y. Giants: When Tiki Barber chose a career in television over another season with the Giants, it caused the value of Jacobs to rise to new heights. Even with Reuben Droughns in the mix, Jacobs remains the favorite to start and will see most of the goal-line work. He'll be worth as much as a third-round choice in almost all drafts.
Reggie Brown, WR, Philadelphia: Brown exhibited some real potential for the Eagles last season, and the departure of Donte' Stallworth makes him the featured wide receiver in an offense that will throw the football often. Brown, who will enter his third NFL season, should record 1,000-plus yards, seven-plus touchdowns and is a nice No. 2 fantasy wideout.
Deion Branch, WR, Seattle: The new surefire No. 1 wide receiver for the Seahawks after the trade of Darrell Jackson (49ers), Branch now has a chance to record the first 1,000-yard season of his NFL career. The former Super Bowl MVP will be worth a middle-round selection and should serve owners well as a No. 2 fantasy wideout across the board.
Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco: The 49ers let Eric Johnson (Saints) and Antonio Bryant (free agent) leave in the offseason, so Davis will now be one of the first options in the pass attack for Alex Smith. Davis, who was involved in all the Niners' offseason workouts, has the overall skills and abilities to become a top-five fantasy tight end this season.
Randy McMichael, TE, St. Louis: McMichael, who has never missed a start and has averaged 65 receptions over the past three seasons, should become a nice option in the intermediate pass attack for Marc Bulger. A viable No. 1 fantasy tight end, McMichael's career best in touchdown catches came in Miami while under his new head coach, Scott Linehan.
Stephen Gostkowski, K, New England: Gostkowski will never be able to replace Adam Vinatieri in the hearts and minds of Patriots fans, but he could record Vinatieri-like numbers this season. With the potential to have a productive offense behind him, Gostkowski should have a plethora of chances to produce and is a definite No. 1 fantasy kicker.