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Matt Flynn, QB, Seahawks: In the interest of full disclosure, it's tough to trust anyone in Seattle. But if Matt Flynn drops to the eighth-ninth round - which he should in some leagues - and you feel good about your team, it might be worth it to take a gamble, ESPECIALLY if you have a top frontline starter like Drew Brees. Flynn has two guaranteed starts against the Rams, including one late in the fantasy season. He might be worth two or three spot starts when your Bay City Ballers need a W.
Toby Gerhart, RB, Vikings: Of all the running backs in fantasy, the fantasy pendulum might swing the farthest for Toby Gerhart. Some owners will jump as early as the late fourth in a 12-team league, thinking he'll be the lead back early (with Adrian's Peterson recovering from knee surgery.) Others will just assume Peterson will be okay for the opener, with Gerhart falling to the later rounds. First of all, Peterson's injury came late, so he's far from recovered. Even if he somehow does make it all the way back for Week 1, you think Vikings brass is going to feed him the ball 25-30 times a game early in the year? No way. Keep an eye on Gerhart.
Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers: Teams don't spend the 31st pick in the Draft on somebody who's not going to play. At best, Martin wins the starting job and gets 250 touches this season. If not, he probably still splits time with LeGarrette Blount. Blount is not a great blocker in pass protection, nor is he much of an option in the passing game. That's what you look for as fantasy owner: who plays in front of the guy you think is sleeper, and what does he bring to the table. In this case, Blount lacks two aspects a pro running back needs to stay on the field all the time. Enter Martin.
Isaac Redman, RB, Steelers: Like Peterson, Rashard Mendenhall's season-ending injury came late in the season. That means this is Redman's job for now. Don't jump early, but if he falls because people don't know much about him or think Mendenhall will be right back in the fold, snatch him up. At the very least, Redman is an excellent handcuff for Mendenhall, a guy who dances behind the line too much for coaches and Steelers' fans taste. Even before he got hurt, Redman was getting carries. He's an excellent early season flex that could be had in the late middle rounds.
David Wilson, RB, Giants: Similar to Martin, there is opportunity here. David Wilson went one pick after the Bucs' rookie running back, and has a chance to play right away. Ahmad Bradshaw carries some injury woes, and is probably closer to a timeshare running back than the guy who rushed for over 1,200 yards in 2010. After five years in the league, Bradshaw might have peaked. That's not to say he's done, rather, just that Wilson should be able to get carries and catches in a Giants offense devoid of tight ends Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum, and wideout Mario Manningham. Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride might dial up the ground attack more in 2012, which is good for Wilson's fantasy owners.
Danny Amendola, WR, Rams: How quickly little Danny Amendola has been forgotten. The diminutive slot receiver dislocated his elbow in a gruesome scene versus the Eagles in last year's opener, destroying what should have been a promising season. Amendola caught 85 passes in 2010, and was sorely missed by quarterback Sam Bradford. In PPR leagues this guy could be pure gold. The Rams have nothing but young wide receivers, like Brian Quick and Greg Salas. Amendola should be getting a lot of looks in the passing game.
Eric Decker, WR, Broncos: You think Eric Decker will struggle in the Broncos new offense, one that is obviously Peyton Manning-centric? Well, Manning will surely be changing a lot of plays at the line, asking players to know their assignments so well that they can adjust on the fly. This just in: Decker had the highest Wonderlic score at the 2010 combine. He can play the game cerebrally. And he had a nice 2011 campaign with 44 catches and eight touchdowns, despite playing in a run-oriented Tebow offense, something Decker clearly couldn't control.
Stephen Hill, WR, Jets: Call this fantasy honesty: sometimes you have to take a risk in the middle rounds, like the seventh in a 12-team league. You can't always wait 'til the tenth. This is one of those risks. He's a rookie wideout, which means he could be A.J. Green, or he could be RJ Soward. But if you hit here, your team will be that much stronger. Considering Santonio Holmes has attitude AND production problems, and Chaz Schilens is supposed to compete with Hill, the kid out of Texas A&M is a better bet than others.
Torrey Smith, WR, Ravens:Torrey Smith showed his worth several times last year when he posted monster fantasy performances against the Rams and Bengals at home. Because he was up and down, fantasy owners might have trouble trusting him, causing his draft stock to slip. Remember, he was only rookie, yet he still posted 841 yards and seven touchdowns. Don't sleep on him.
DeMaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos: My colleague Michael Fabiano thinks this is a breakout guy. While I'm not totally sold yet, I do think you might be able to nab Thomas on the cheap in the high middle rounds. Let's face it...551 yards and four TDs last year will be enough to scare people off early. Don't be that dude. Thomas is a young player that played in a Tim Tebow, 1929esque offense. Thomas has the size and explosion to be something special (and Peyton Manning throwing him the football.)