Fantasy Top 100: The Experts' 100-81
By Jake Ciely
You can find numerous Top 100 rankings across the web every fantasy football season, but how many times can you find a consensus Top 100 from the industry’s best and brightest? Well this expert’s best and brightest mind decided to grab several of the top experts and compile a Top 100 list for the fantasy football 2013 season.
We will be releasing the list in five parts and reverse order. That means we’re covering players in the Top 81 to 100 ranks. What good would the list by itself do though? Okay, sure, it would give you the best Top 100 list ever, but why not get inside the experts’ minds? Each expert had the chance to chime in with a Favorite, Underrated, Overrated and Deserving (outside the Top 100) player.
It’s time for the first list with a post-expert breakdown by yours truly. Don’t skip all the way down to me guys, give these experts their due.
Alessandro Miglio, Pro Football Focus @AlexMiglio
Favorite - Kyle Rudolph: Rudolph is not getting much love this offseason coming off a nine-touchdown campaign. Granted, Christian Ponder isn't exactly Tom Brady, but Rudolph figures to have an even bigger role in the Vikings offense. Opposing defenses have plenty to worry about with Adrian Peterson and Greg Jennings.
Underrated - Jermichael Finley: Sticking with a tight end theme, Finley is a guy who could finally wind up having that elusive big year. His drop issues faded during the second half of the season, and Aaron Rodgers likes throwing him the ball.
Overrated - Daryl Richardson: The St. Louis backfield is a mess when you really think about it. Will Isaiah Pead live up to his draft status? Is Zac Stacy going to challenge for playing time? All this makes Richardson a huge risk in the Top 100.
Deserving - Ben Roethlisberger: Big Ben is a guy nobody is talking about this offseason. He had a bit of a down year, but he can put up good fantasy numbers if the team can keep him upright. I have him ranked at exactly No. 100.
Favorite - Jermichael Finley: Remember when we all thought Finley was about to emerge as an "elite" fantasy tight end? Well he actually started to do just that down the stretch last season. If he can continue to build on that, the Packers' lack of experienced depth beyond the top three wideouts (not to mention the fact Finley's trigger man is Aaron Rodgers) could have us all claiming how smart we were back when we ranked him in the Top Five at his position (without mentioning, of course, we were all two years too early on it).
Underrated - Lance Moore: Moore has emerged as one of the top targets in an offense that has ranked in the Top Five in the league each of the past five years. Only Marques Colston (58) has caught more of Brees' scoring passes than the 36 scores by Moore, who set a career high for receiving yards in 2012. He also finished ranked first on the Saints in yards per catch with a 16.0 average. While there's ample reason to believe Joseph Morgan or another receiver will step up in the No. 2 role, fantasy owners overlooking Moore in favor of a newcomer might be disappointed.
Overrated - Darryl Richardson: It's not so much about ability for me as it is uncertainty of opportunities. The Rams seem to have a thing for Isaiah Pead (despite Richardson's strong rookie showing and Pead's failure to launch last year). The addition of Zac Stacy further muddies the water.
Favorite - Giovani Bernard: Quick, explosive around the edge and sure-handed, Bernard has the skills to pay the fantasy bills. Frankly, he deserves more props. Cincy RBs coach Hue Jackson believes Neo Gio possesses the necessary skills to be a three-down back. BenJarvus Green-Ellis will work as the closer, but don’t be surprised if Bernard surpasses him in per game touches by midseason.
Underrated - Bernard Pierce: The second-year rusher is an absolute bruiser. Last year in a limited role, he gained 70.7-percent of his yards after contact. Because of his strong finish, insiders project he’ll receive roughly 10-14 touches per game playing second fiddle to Ray Rice. However, if the incumbent were bitten by the injury imp, there is no doubt Pierce would vault into the RB Top 10. He’s a monster in the making and terribly undervalued at No. 100.
Overrated - Mikel Leshoure: Considering my man-cave is decorated in University of Illinois memorabilia (yes, even Jeff George mullet clippings), it pains me greatly to discuss Leshoure in this context, but he deserves to be on the outside looking in. Joique Bell has earned the admiration of the staff and with a strong camp could supplant the ex-Illini as the power complement to Reggie Bush. Leshoure isn’t dead yet, but he needs to impress this summer to save his diminishing value.
Deserving - Zac Stacy: Stacy is a Sherman Tank between the tackles who will soon assert himself as the early-down workhorse for the Rams. Other pundits will waive the flag for Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead, but the fifth-round pick should emerge from the fray as the clubhouse leader in carries/fantasy points. Don’t underestimate him. He could be this year’s Alfred Morris.
Favorite - Giovani Bernard: His excellent pass blocking and receiving skills will get him onto the field much quicker than most rookie running backs and his ability will eventually trump BenJarvus Green-Ellis. In PPR leagues, I am drafting him more often than not and in standard leagues, I think his upside is worth reaching further down than this ranking.
Underrated - T.Y. Hilton: Bernard deserves mention too, but Hilton is underrated here. I believe he will surpass Reggie Wayne this season much like he did toward the end of last season. On a fantasy points per target basis, for wide receivers with 50-plus targets, Wayne ranked 66th while Hilton ranked 11th. Wayne's numbers last season were puffed up by the tremendous amount of targets he had, while Hilton was much more efficient. With Pep Hamilton on board as OC, efficiency will be the name of the game.
Overrated - Vick Ballard: I know Ahmad Bradshaw is always hurt, but he plays through his injuries and is much more talented than Ballard. Ballard is very average and the Colts will do whatever they can to not have to play him as an every down back.
Deserving - Tavon Austin: There are actually a few worth mentioning. I like Martellus Bennett, Bryce Brown, Kenny Britt and Tavon Austin quite a bit. If I had to choose one, I'd lean Austin because there really is no competition for him in St. Louis that will severely limit his targets. With a more spread out offense, I think Bradford will target him to death like he did Danny Amendola.
Favorite and Underrated - Giovani Bernard: BenJarvus Green-Ellis has hands of stone, which makes a player like Bernard a little more valuable in this offense. The Bengals are loaded offensively with dynamic players, including A.J. Green, Mohamed Sanu, Jermaine Gresham, Tyler Eifert, and now the kid out of UNC.
Overrated - DeSean Jackson: Chip Kelly’s offense is going to need some time to gel in the NFL, and it’s tough to know how everyone will fit in. While Jackson is absolutely one of the fastest players in the NFL, Jeremy Maclin is still more like a prototypical wide receiver. We’ll see which type ends up being more valuable for Michael Vick in this offense.
Deserving - Kenny Britt: While he’s usually either injured or in trouble, Britt is one of those guys that will explode for a Top 15 Fantasy season among WRs at some point, but most have soured on waiting for him. My take is – grab him as your WR3 and you can end up with one of the best Fantasy points-per-game WRs around. While he’s hurt, you still have a waiver replacement for his spot.
Underrated - Jeremy Maclin: I have Maclin at No. 71, but he checked in at just 90th in the composite rankings. No, he hasn't been healthy or truly starter-quality for fantasy owners, but that offense figures to be up-tempo and the quarterback play -- whether Michael Vick starts or not -- should prove more efficient. Maclin is healthier and capable of a breakthrough year. He would be a steal if he slips out of the Top 80 in drafts.
Overrated - Jermichael Finley: Finley shouldn't be here. Sure, he has a great quarterback getting him the ball, but he had that last year and he didn't perform like a fantasy starter. Had there been more available to the Packers at the position, he might not even have a spot on the roster. Finley is not a fantasy starter in my preseason rankings at SI.com. He shouldn't be in the Top 100.
Deserving - Sidney Rice. I have Rice at No. 89 in my rankings. He didn't appear here. I would think he should be better than he was a year ago with Russell Wilson having a year under his belt. Percy Harvin is will running underneath routes and Rice is going to be in single coverage more down the field. A season of 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns won't be complete out of reach. He's a great pick if he slips out of the Top 100 in drafts.
Favorite - T.Y. Hilton: I have Hilton at No. 80 on my Top 100, so I think this ranking is a little low. He has the chance for a big sophomore campaign with an increase in playing time and targets, and he should thrive in a full-time starting role.
Underrated - Giovani Bernard: I have Bernard at No. 70 on my Top 100, and I would draft him ahead of BenJarvus Green-Ellis. I have no faith in Green-Ellis to keep Bernard off the field, and I think the Bengals are ready to give Bernard a ton of work in his rookie campaign.
Overrated - Greg Jennings/Miles Austin: Both of these receivers are overrated in my opinion. I have Jennings at No. 94 and Austin at No. 109. They aren't the same players they once were two or three years ago, and injuries have taken their toll to lower their value.
Deserving - Ben Tate: Arian Foster (hopefully) won't have any issues this year based on his workload from 2012, but you never know coming off a season with 400-plus touches. If he misses any time then Tate would be a must-start running back. He's No. 99 for me.
Jim Day Pro Football Focus @Fantasytaz
Favorite - Mike Williams of Tampa Bay: There were 19 receivers with 1,000 yards in 2012, Williams was four yards from making that an even 20. Outside of an abysmal 2011 season, Williams has averaged 980 yards and 10 touchdowns in his other two seasons. He is coming off the board at about the 40th WR taken and that is just too much value to pass on.
Underrated - Bernard Pierce: He had modest numbers as a rookie in most categories, but according to Football Outsiders, he was fifth in the league for breaking tackles among running backs. Most expect him to double his touches in 2013 as the team tries to keep Ray Rice healthy for the long run.
Overrated - Mikel Leshoure: Not only did he lose his starting job to Reggie Bush, but there is also a good chance that he loses the secondary role to Joique Bell. Leshoure could end up being the touchdown vulture of this backfield, but ultimately those players are not a good week-to-week starting option.
Deserving - Sidney Rice: Rice finally stayed healthy for all 16 games in 2012 and had a decent season, but with the team bringing in Percy Harvin, Rice will not be facing the top CBs every game and should see increased chances as Russell Wilson continues to improve.
Favorite - T.Y. Hilton: Bruce Arians may be out of town, but new offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton has already talked about using some of 2012's game plan in the Colts 2013 offense. While we should see more of a west coast style, second-year wideout T.Y. Hilton has opportunity to continue his second half rookie season pace alongside veteran receiver Reggie Wayne. I like Hilton as a low-end WR2/high-end flex play entering the season, and he certainly has a lot of big playmaking upside.
Underrated - Josh Gordon: I understand his suspension dropped him on the list, but we have to remember that the first two weeks of your fantasy season won't make or break your potential championship run. Gordon is set to have a fantastic season under the direction of Rob Chudzinski and Norv Turner, and even though his quarterback play is shaky, he should get plenty of opportunity.
Overrated - Mikel Leshoure: The signing of Reggie Bush will hurt Leshoure's 2013 value, even if he doesn't handle the entire load in Detroit. Leshoure's 3.7 yards per carry average last season was nothing to smile about in a pass-happy offense, and his plodding play will be used more on the goal line than between the twenties. Though that could be favorable for any fantasy owner, do we really want to bank on touchdown production out of one of our running backs? Also, don't count out Joique Bell to at least be in the mix at times throughout the season.
Favorite - Steve Johnson: Quietly has three straight 1,000-yard seasons and is averaging just under 80 receptions and eight touchdowns per year. I'll take that consistency as a WR3 and would certainly prefer Stevie over Greg Jennings, who is one spot higher on this list.
Underrated - Anquan Boldin: He is one of the last team WR1’s to go off the board, and I think he represents a nice value here. Boldin has lost a step, but he's still big and strong enough to make a nice red zone target and should be the top wide receiver for a team many are predicting to return to the Super Bowl
Overrated - Greg Jennings: Jennings won't enjoy the elite supporting cast that's he's been surrounded by for the last several seasons in Green Bay. He's also taking about as dramatic a shift in quarterbacks as you can imagine, going from Aaron Rodgers to Christian Ponder. I wouldn't want him as a weekly starter.
Deserving - Kenny Britt: Nobody doubts Britt's potential; he just can't stay healthy. All indications are that he should be fully healed this season and, knowing Britt, will be on his best behavior and playing all out in this contract year. The Titans also have improved their offensive line, so maybe we see some improvement from Jake Locker and Britt's first 1,000-yard campaign.
Favorite - Danario Alexander: In his final nine games, Danario Alexander averaged 4.1-73-.78 (No. 6 fantasy WR numbers), so if his left knee holds up, he'll represent significant value in the middle rounds. He says he has no pain in his troublesome knee, which is encouraging to say the least.
Underrated - Anquan Boldin, Lance Moore, Pierre Thomas: I’m giving you three. Boldin (4.8-74-.44 in final 16 games, including postseason), Moore (No. 20 WR in 2012) and Thomas (No. 32 RB in 2012). Boldin should see a ton of targets with Michael Crabtree out. Moore is perennially underrated, but once Robert Meachem left, he became a bona fide WR2/WR3 in the Saints' high-octane offense. Thomas has been far better than Mark Ingram over the last two seasons and may see a larger role, as he was reportedly running ahead of Ingram in OTAs.
Overrated - Mikel Leshoure: Leshoure will take a backseat to Reggie Bush in 2013 and may fall even further down the depth chart as the team has been very impressed with Joique Bell. HC Jim Schwartz was complimentary of Bell, saying the team "will have plenty of touches for a lot of different running backs."
Deserving - Michael Floyd: He has a good chance to break out as he came on strong down the stretch -- averaging 54 yards in his last eight games including 8-166-1 against the 49ers -- and is getting a major upgrade at QB in Carson Palmer.
Favorite - Danario Alexander: Alexander came on in Week 9 last season and was the No. 6 WR from that point forward. He's an injury risk, but the knees held up just fine in 2012. Alexander's WR1 upside is more than worth the risk in the seventh round.
Underrated - Pierre Thomas: Thomas falls off the fantasy radar because of his role in a three-back rotation with Darren Sproles and Mark Ingram. Thomas has been running ahead of Ingram so far in camp, and actually outscored Ingram in 2012, making for a sneaky flex play with considerable upside if Sproles or Ingram goes down to injury.
Overrated - Vick Ballard: Ballard only held value last season due to his situation -- he was the best of an extremely uninspiring bunch. As long as the newly signed Ahmad Bradshaw remains healthy, Vick Ballard is unstartable as even a flex.
Deserving - Denarius Moore: He's still a skilled WR and by far the best receiving option on his team, even if the Raiders don't have a starting caliber QB on the roster. Moore shouldn't have much trouble finishing as a WR3 if he stays healthy and could turn into a WR2 if Matt Flynn or Tyler Wilson steps up. (Terrelle Pryor should be a non-factor here)
Underrated - Greg Jennings: From 2008 through 2011, Jennings finished as a Top 20 or Top 10 WR every year. Yes, 2012 was a bad year for him as his he was unable to remain healthy and stay on the field. Yes, he no longer has the best QB in the NFL throwing the ball his way. But he does take over the No. 1WR spot in Minnesota, a position where Percy Harvin previously was frequently targeted. In a PPR league, assuming the 29-year-old WR stays healthy, Jennings should be a solid WR2 this season and a terrific value given his current ADP.
Overrated - Vick Ballard: The Indianapolis organization has made it very clear how they feel about Ballard. By signing an older but still capable Ahmad Bradshaw, they have clearly improved a position of weakness. Ballard is at best an average back whose greatest value laid in the fact that he was the de-facto starter in Indy. Now he doesn't even have that going for him, and is only modestly valuable as a handcuff to Bradshaw.
Deserving - Kenny Britt: Britt has elite WR talent. But his last two seasons were marred by injuries and surgeries. Britt has looked strong in OTA's and appears to be practicing at full speed. While Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter are talented WR's who will both Britt for receptions, both are young and are still learning the NFL game, and neither has the fantasy ceiling of Britt. For a later-round flier Britt has tremendous upside and definitely deserves to be near the bottom of any Top 100 list.
Favorite - Lance Moore: He probably stands among the best annual draft values and yet never climbs the ADP list. He should start in any format with three WR slots or more.
Underrated – Lance Moore: I can already see at least six receivers ahead of him on this list that I don't like.
Overrated – Daryl Richardson: If Richardson leads the Rams in carries this season, it'll be a really bad sign for that team. He's a change-of-pace type who stunk near the end of last year, failing to impress when St. Louis scaled back Steven Jackson's workload.
Mike Clay Pro Football Focus @MikeClayNFL
Favorite and Underrated - Mike Williams: Considering that he’s coming off the board in the ninth round of drafts, I’m not shocked to see that Williams failed to crack the Top 80. That being said, I don’t understand the lack of respect. As Tampa Bay’s highly-utilized No. 2 target in 2012, Williams scored nine times and fell just four yards short of 1,000. He was fantasy’s No. 18 wideout only one year ago and is locked into the same role in 2013. He’s an ideal WR3 target.
Overrated - T.Y. Hilton: Hilton made for a strong WR3 during his rookie campaign, but I have concerns about his sophomore-season workload. The Colts’ offense is in for a change now that Bruce Arians is out of the picture. Tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen are certain to see plenty of targets. Additionally, the acquisition of Darrius Heyward-Bey provides Hilton with competition for snaps on early downs. Hilton is only a borderline Top 100 player.
Deserving - Michael Floyd: Floyd is my favorite breakout candidate for 2013. Strong as the No. 3 wideout in Arizona last season, Floyd was quietly dead even with Larry Fitzgerald in targets over the team’s final five games. Promoted into the starting lineup, and with the team making a massive quarterback upgrade to Carson Palmer, Floyd is primed for a huge sophomore season. I expect him to flirt with WR2 production.
Favorite - T.Y. Hilton: A second year receiver growing up with his second year quarterback could blossom into a beautiful thing. Increased playing time for Hilton and a strong connection with one of the best young QBs in the game looks promising; plus, the Colts D is still going to force them into plenty of passing situations. Hilton could blossom into a value this year as a low-end WR2; definitely love his upside as a WR3.
Underrated - Danario Alexander: While he only caught 37 passes a year ago, Alexander showed an immediate rapport with Philip Rivers and averaged a hefty 17.8 yards per catch. With a full training camp, more time working with Rivers and hopefully a season-long clean bill of health, Alexander could become a huge option within a San Diego offense desperately seeking a receiver to stand out consistently.
Overrated - Jermichael Finley: He posts decent season-long numbers each year, but with so many mouths to feed in Green Bay, it's tough to have a steady flow of fantasy production. He's only scored more than two touchdowns in a season twice in the last five seasons. With so many upside tight ends available, I'd rather let someone else deal with this headache on their roster.
Deserving - Alshon Jeffrey: Entering his second year and playing opposite Brandon Marshall, Jeffrey seems poised for a more consistent role and has the talent to consistently beat single coverage in an offense ramping up their passing game.
Scott Spratt Pro Football Focus @PFF_ScottSpratt
Underrated - Greg Jennings: Yes, Jennings is getting a major downgrade at quarterback from Aaron Rodgers to Christian Ponder, but Rodgers has proven to be a good and a bad thing for receivers. Over the last four seasons, no Packers receiver has had more than the 80 catches Randall Cobb had in 2012. The 12-touchdown upside that Rodgers brings is gone, but Jennings should see a major increase in targets on the Vikings. After all, Percy Harvin and Michael Jenkins are both gone, and they combined to see 147 targets last year. None of their returning wide receivers saw even 50 targets last year. Finally, Jennings was quite successful when running routes in the slot in Green Bay -- per Pro Football Focus, he was one of only six receivers with 40 targets in the slot to catch 70 percent or more of them in 2011, his last healthy season. Christian Ponder's lack of arm strength should not be a hindrance for the routes Jennings will typically run.
Overrated - Vick Ballard: Ballard has a surprisingly successful rookie season for the Colts. He fell just short of 1,000 total yards on 211 carries and 17 receptions. The temptation is to look at his three total touchdowns compared to the five Andrew Luck ran in himself and assume that number will rise, which coupled with another 1,000-yard season would make him a viable RB2. However, I don't see that happening. An afterthought of the Giants, who have invested heavily in David Wilson and may have stumbled into an inexpensive gem in Andre Brown, Ahmad Bradshaw is the perfect running back for this Colts team. Bradshaw has averaged more than 30 catches per season over the last four seasons and will be a better option as a receiver than Ballard. More importantly, Bradshaw may be the best pass-blocking back in the game. The last two seasons, Bradshaw has allowed only 11 quarterback pressures on 256 pass-blocking snaps according to Pro Football Focus. Vick Ballard allowed 13 quarterback pressures -- tied for most in the NFL among running backs -- in only 135 pass-blocking snaps last season. The Colts cannot afford for Andrew Luck to take 41 sacks again, and Bradshaw is a better bet to help reduce that number.
Deserving - Emmanuel Sanders: Ben Roethlisberger is a star-maker. He has made Hines Ward, Plaxico Burress, Santonio Holmes, Mike Wallace, and Antonio Brown into quality fantasy receivers. Next in that line will be Emmanuel Sanders. Sanders had an unheralded productive season in 2012 with 44-624-1, and now Mike Wallace's 116 targets are up for grabs. Markus Wheaton may be the eventual star in this group of receivers, but he is a speed-based player that will need to add size and refine his route running to become a complete receiver. Mike Wallace provides the template, but even Wallace was limited to 39 catches as a rookie. In the meantime, there is more than enough room for Sanders to become a Top 30 receiver in fantasy.
Underrated - Kyle Rudolph: Rudolph is player on the first part of this list that I had much higher than the consensus ranking. I think Rudolph and his touchdown opportunities (really being the only red zone receiving threat on the Vikings,) are significantly underrated. He can put up TE1 numbers for you as a red zone bailout for Ponder/Cassel.
Overrated - Miles Austin: Sorry, Miles Austin is getting by off of one fantastic year and a few great games. He is injury prone, the Cowboys drafted two pass catchers in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft, and Dez Bryant/Jason Witten will get the majority of the targets, not to mention DeMarco Murray's pass catching skills. I'll pass on Austin this year.
Deserving - Dwayne Allen: Allen is a solid blocker and good pass catcher. I LOVE having him as my TE2. Though he isn't being drafted in the Top 100, I think he could be one of the best values in redraft this year. Andrew Luck will throw and Allen showed he can outduel Coby Fleener for fantasy points last year.
Favorite - Miles Austin: Austin's demise has been greatly exaggerated. He's still a very good player with a very good quarterback. Austin was producing at a low WR1 pace for the first half of the year. Sure, he might not be reliable in the fantasy playoffs, but 2/3 of a WR1/WR2 is more than worth a seventh/eighth round pick.
Underrated - Giovani Bernard: Bernard is more attractive in PPR leagues, but he could still usurp enough of the work in the Bengals backfield to be a strong RB3/Flex with RB2 upside in non-PPR. He shouldn't be lasting until the seventh/eighth round in non-PPR drafts, where RB is king.
Overrated - Vick Ballard: Ahmad Bradshaw is going to be the lead back in Indianapolis, relegating to Ballard to backup/lesser RBBC back heap. He wasn't THAT productive even as the uncontested starter, and only an injury to Bradshaw (he's brittle, but he tends to play through maladies) will get Ballard into your lineup.
Deserving - Danny Woodhead: Ryan Mathews wasn't arrested, but that didn't stop the most prominent sportswriter covering the Chargers from calling his off the field behavior into question. The new regime has no attachment to Mathews, but they did bring in Woodhead, who they are very excited about. Woodhead is more attractive in PPR, but he could still end up being the best San Diego back to own in non-PPR.
Tony Holm Fantasy Sharks
Underrated - Daryl Richardson: While it seems like there is a lot of competition in camp, Richardson is the battering ram and ran well last year for the Rams. Everyone else on the roster has much to prove and the job will be Daryl Richardson's to lose. A solid value late for a starting running back.
Overrated - Bernard Pierce: I get the handcuff concept, but when you are passing up perfectly good starters for an early handcuff, I just don't see it as solid strategy and view it as a wasted pick.
Deserving - Michael Vick: Although Vick's stock is low right now, the players never had an issue with Vick leading them and in fact, consider him an A-1 option when it comes to being an elite player at his position. He has the support of his teammates and always has the potential to 'bust out' over a season. If Vick can stay healthy and not take the hard hits, there is a lot of upside to selecting Michael Vick in 2013.
With this many experts, we’re bound to see repeats. Seeing a few in agreement should set off those fantasy alarms in your head. To save you the trouble of scrolling and counting (two things at once is tough) I am providing a breakdown of the most common mentions for each section.
Favorite - Giovani Bernard (3), T.Y. Hilton (3), Mike Williams (2), Danario Alexander (2).
I would be more confident in Bernard if this were a PPR format. Since the majority still plays standard/non-PPR (get with the times people! oh, and make it 0.5 PPR) we went that route. Bernard needs to work on breaking tackles at the NFL level, but he still has the explosive ability to overtake Green-Ellis… I’m just not sure it’s this year outside of an injury. Hilton tied Bernard for the most popular pick, and I could see him pushing Wayne for the team’s No. 1 honor. However, I don’t see the Colts passing attack being as aggressive or WR focused with Arians gone. Williams is a favorite of mine this low as well. After all, what more can I say that wasn’t said above? Alexander is another receiver I’m targeting around this spot, as health is the only issue standing in his way from a WR2, possibly even WR1, season.
Underrated - Giovani Bernard (3), Lance Moore (3), Pierre Thomas (3), Anquan Boldin (2), Greg Jennings (2).
After seeing Bernard check in three times here as well, I’m surprised his average ranking wasn’t higher. Moore has been one of my more targeted receivers the past few seasons, especially given how often Drew Brees looks his way in the red zone. I’m in agreement with Thomas, but not confident that the numbers continue. The Saints may do their best to see what – if anything – they have in Ingram. Someone has to catch passes in San Fran with Michael Crabtree shelved. Boldin proved last year that he is far from washed up. Jennings is a polarizing player, as you will see next. Truthfully, Jennings could finish anywhere from a WR4/5 to a WR2; it all rests on Ponder… ugh.
Overrated - Vick Ballard (5), Mikel Leshoure (4), Daryl Richardson (3), Greg Jennings (2), Jermichael Finley (2), T.Y. Hilton (2).
Like Bernard, I have no idea how Ballard or Leshoure ranked where they did if so many disliked them. I couldn’t agree more with all the reasons why these two backs shouldn’t be this high. Richardson can find a seat alongside Ballard and Leshoure. As I mentioned, Jennings has experts voicing opinions in both directions – underrated and overrated. If only Ponder could throw better than my paperboy, we might have a better consensus. How much longer can we wait on Finley’s breakthrough? I’ve actually drafted him in a few leagues as he fell to the 12th-13th rounds at times. At that point, I’ll bite and pray, “this is the year.” Hilton is one other player that sees his name called both favorably and unfavorably.
Deserving - Kenny Britt (3), Michael Floyd (2), Sidney Rice (2).
Britt is my fantasy crack. I know he’s bad for me, but I still keep coming back. Britt has already ended up on a few of my teams, and I suspect there will be a few more. I already hate myself. I do love seeing Floyd here, as I was a big fan of his coming out of Notre Dame. It’s too bad that the Bad News Bears of QBs ran the offense in Arizona last year. Palmer to Floyd, here we come. I’m a bit indifferent on Rice. I can see him improving with Harvin added to the fold, but I also don’t see Wilson as a 4,000-yard passer.