NFL fantasy football: 10 potential draft bargains

Hakeem Nicks, WR, New York Giants: It's no secret to anyone -- including all the other owners in your league -- that Nicks is injury-prone. Very, very injury-prone. It's also no secret how productive he can be when he's on the field, and in 2013, he'll be particularly motivated with a contract on the line. In other words, swallow hard and grab one of the most talented WRs in the league.

Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans: He asked, begged and bellyached for the offensive line to be upgraded ... and Titans management granted his wish. Suddenly a weakness is a strength, and CJ2K suddenly has a shot at rejoining the league's top statistical rushers (but don't be stunned if Shonn Greene steals some of those precious goal line touches).

Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Whatever you think of Carson Palmer, he's a massive upgrade from the grotesque gaggle of QBs Fitzgerald has tried in vain to make look good over the last couple seasons.

Mark Sanchez, QB, New York Jets: I'm just kidding. Wanted to make sure you're paying attention. Moving on ...

Stephen Hill, WR, New York Jets: Staying with the Jets (and this one's not a joke) ... we've heard lots of talk about who'll be throwing the ball for the team in 2013. But who's on the receiving end of those passes is also a problem. Maybe. Santonio Holmes is terrific if he can come back in good health, and then there's Hill, who's big, fast and presumably a little more refined as he enters his second season.

Steven Jackson, RB, Atlanta Falcons: The one and only worthwhile fantasy player on the Rams roster for the better part of a decade finally finds himself on a team that provides him a chance to make an impact in meaningful games. I do not expect him to waste the opportunity. I do expect him to get in the endzone more than he typically did in St Louis.

Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers: The sullen post-game press conferences got more attention last season, but take a look at his numbers: after a slow start, he got it rolling. And he led the team in rushing. Let everyone else be distracted by the overblown stuff about his demeanor and get yourself a guy who's likely to finish among the top five QBs in fantasy.

Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions: Twenty touchdown passes is merely adequate by today's standards, and 17 picks is downright lousy. That said, Calvin Johnson is still in the Motor City, and he'll be joined in 2013 by some actual pass-catching talent in the person of Reggie Bush (not to mention the sometimes-productive Brandon Pettigrew). That oughta be enough to get the big-armed Stafford back where he belongs statistically.

DeSean Jackson, WR, Philadelphia Eagles: Jackson and Jeremy Maclin didn't catch nearly enough heat (or passes) for the disappointing end to the Andy Reid Era. But with Chip Kelly, the Cal speedster will get the ball in space with a chance to inflict maximum damage. If he's available when you're looking for a third WR, grab him.

Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers:Fantasy wonks will tell you he sometimes "disappeared" during the last couple of regular seasons. In fact, he's been a huge asset in Harbaugh's physical running game. With Crabtree on the shelf, expect Davis to be Kaepernick's favorite target.

Josh Freeman, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: From "project" to "breakout star" to "bust", Freeman's had a lot of monikers during his up-and-down (and still relatively brief) pro career. Believe it or not, Freeman's going into just his fifth NFL season, during which his new title may well be "draft bargain". The presence of NC State rookie Mike Glennon will scare away some, but the K-State QB is gonna start 2013 with a chance to put up big numbers throwing to Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams.

Follow Dave on Twitter @Dameshek.

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