By Jake Ciely
Favorite/Best – Larry Fitzgerald: I’m excited to see what Fitzgerald can do with his best quarterback since Kurt Warner. No groundbreaking news there, but Kevin Kolb threw like Curt Warner. Also, Michael Floyd, in his second season, should develop enough to keep some defenses honest.
Underrated – Victor Cruz: I seem to like Cruz a little more than most, and I think his breakout hangover is officially behind him. He had 11 quality games last season, compared to 12 quality games in 2011. Only five other wide receivers in that span have more than his total of 23 QGs. (Data stolen from Bob Lung and FFConsistency.com.)
Overrated – Aaron Rodgers: I’ll let LRQB talk about Rodgers (Editor’s Note: surprisingly, he goes elsewhere, as seen soon.) and the craziness of drafting a QB too high. This position is wicked deep, more so than I’ve seen in maybe 10 years? You look at the Top 12 at the position, and it’s pretty much the Top 12 on every site, by every writer. Spending a fourth-round pick on the fourth- and fifth-best QBs in the game? No thanks. I’d rather go with the 10th-best in Rounds 7 or 8.
Harvin – I’m not drafting Harvin outside of keeper leagues this season. It would have to be a pretty deep league for me to draft him in regular leagues. Even when he gets back, he’s still going to be shaky for the first few weeks.
No. 5 Overall – I think Ray Rice goes fifth overall – even though I think people are worried about him losing touches to Bernard Pierce. It’s definitely going to be an offense that leans on the run, and he can attack in several ways.
Favorite/Best – Aaron Rodgers: I absolutely love the idea of getting my No. 1 quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, late in the second round. That is 4,500 yards and 35 TDs of certainty right there.
Underrated – Stevan Ridley: Even if he blew me off for an interview after the first Patriots practice in full pads this July, Ridley is a Top 15 player and Top 12 running back. Getting him late in Round 2 is great value for his 1,200 yards and 10-plus touchdowns. That Patriots offense is going to be going early and often to the run with so many unproven receivers working with Tom Brady.
Overrated – Darren Sproles: I get the value in PPR leagues, but Sproles has dodged bullets for too long. He is not big enough to be durable, and this will be the year his health escapes him. I wouldn't pick Sproles in most leagues.
Harvin – I have him at No. 81 now. Anyone who ranked Harvin in the top 30 is a damned fool. That guy has never been healthy and the Seahawks have other viable threats in the passing game. Harvin is the most overrated player in football and that was before his hip ailment was discovered. (Editor’s Note: This was pre-surgery news.)
No. 5 Overall – My top five goes: Adrian Peterson, Arian Foster, Doug Martin, Marshawn Lynch and Ray Rice. I would venture a guess I am alone on that Rice one. Everyone loves Sproles for PPR/receptions and they drop Rice out of the top five? Fools.
Favorite/Best – Lamar Miller: It's difficult to not be very intrigued by Miller's breakout potential. I am buying Joe Philbin and Ryan Tannehill's takes on Miller's improved pass protection, and he's hardly got anything in the way of competition en route to a heavy, every-down workload. After re-watching all of Miller's rookie-year touches, I found him to be an explosive, versatile, smart, composed runner with big-play ability. I think he's worth consideration as early as the second round.
Underrated – Stevan Ridley: I suppose Bill Belichick's history of somewhat unpredictable tailback usage is bringing down Ridley's preseason ranking. I have him as a Top 14 overall player, and I think he has a chance to outscore his 2012 final statistical line. With Aaron Hernandez, Brandon Lloyd, Wes Welker, and Danny Woodhead gone, and Rob Gronkowski coming off several surgeries, Ridley is one of New England's few big-time core skill-position players returning. And I think they will lean on him, quite possibly more than they did last year (290 carries).
Overrated – Aaron Rodgers: Rodgers is 22nd overall, which is a bit rich for my taste because the quarterback position has become so deep. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick, Andrew Luck, or Matthew Stafford led all QBs in fantasy scoring, and you can get them several rounds later. Rodgers' ranking assumes he's essentially locked in as one of the top-two fantasy quarterbacks. I don't see it like that. Let someone else draft him that high.
Harvin – I would rank him in the 160s. Not draftable in a standard league.
No. 5 Overall – I would guess it'll be C.J. Spiller.
Favorite/Best – Lamar Miller: Miller won't make it to Round 4 like his ranking suggests here in any draft I'm in. He's No. 27 for me, and I'll gladly gamble on his upside at the beginning of Round 3. I can understand putting a premium on receiver over an unproven running back, but Miller has Top 15 potential. He's someone to target, not wait for, in all formats.
Underrated – Stevan Ridley: I'm not sure the lack of trust in Ridley given his production from a year ago, and the Patriots are going to rely on him even more this season given their receiver woes. He's No. 13 overall for me, and I'll gladly take him with a pick at the beginning of Round 2.
Overrated – Vincent Jackson: I don't think he's overrated as a receiver or even for this list, but I wouldn't draft him ahead of Randall Cobb or Victor Cruz. Clearly it's close, but I would rather take Cobb or Cruz based on upside over Jackson.
Harvin – I won't rank Harvin. He's not worth drafting in a standard league given his timetable.
No. 5 Overall – C.J. Spiller
Favorite/Best – Rob Gronkowski: My favorite of this bunch is easily Gronkowski. Sure, there are injury concerns, but even with only 10 games played in 2012, he was a Top Five TE. He is a monster that no defense has figured out how to stop, and with all the turnover in this offense, whenever he is on the field, he will be the top offensive threat on this team. Right now, he is going in the late-third or early fourth rounds and this is just too much value for a guy who produces at an elite level.
Underrated – Darren Sproles: The most underrated of this bunch has to be Sproles. Sure, he doesn't run as much as people would like, but the fact remains that only 20 players, note I didn't say running backs but players, caught more balls then he did in 2012. He is a PPR dream who always gets under-drafted. With the numbers he has put up the last two years he would be a Top 20 WR.
Overrated – DeMarco Murray: The most overrated here has got to be Murray. Murray has shown he can play in this league when he is on the field, but he is just not enough to count on where he is being drafted. In 2012, if you just look at average points per game Murray would've finished as the 13th best RB in PPR leagues, but when you factor in the missed time, the value is just not there. He has already missed nine games in two years and has dealt with myriad injuries. If he should stay on the field for a full season he might be worth this rating, but until he does, he is overrated to me.
Harvin – At this point, I am done with Harvin for 2013. In Dynasty leagues, I will hold him, but outside of that, I just don't think he gets on the field at any point in 2013 to help fantasy owners. If someone in your league wants to take a shot on him, then feel free to trade him and try to get some value back. I would take anyone from Brandon LaFell on up for him now.
No. 5 Overall – I am going to say that Calvin Johnson will end up being the consensus #5 pick in these rankings. I currently have him at No. 7, but I think most will have him slightly higher.