Team-by-team draft targets (cont.)
No thanks: He came into the league with a ton of potential, but save for a fluky 10 TDs in 2010, Marcedes Lewis has been virtually useless in his five other seasons.
Kansas City Chiefs
Yes, please: Get this straight: They're going to run and they're going to be successful doing it. That's why it's a great idea to have faith in 2011's biggest running back busts, Jamaal Charles (torn ACL but now recovered) and Peyton Hillis (myriad problems, now in the past) on your radar. Also, look for big things from Jonathan Baldwin, who wasn't ready as a rookie last year but has made major strides.
No thanks: This is a running team with a much improved defense; Matt Cassel will be lucky to average much more than 200 passing yards per game.
Yes, please: Hard Knocks has given an inside look at Miami's camp, and for those who have watched you can't tell me that your ears didn't perk up when they were talking about Chris Hogan, the receiver from Monmouth who also played lacrosse at Penn State. Called 7/11 by his teammates because he's always open, Hogan isn't draftable but is certainly someone to keep your waivers sights on.
No thanks: Daniel Thomas is the primary backup to Reggie Bush but he's a vestige of the last coaching staff and has to contend with Lamar Miller behind Reggie Bush. It's not a promising outlook.
Yes, please: You may remember him from that ridiculous highlight last year when he leapt over a defender and into the end zone, landing on his feet no less, but Jerome Simpson figures to be a big part of the Vikings passing game this season.
No thanks: Even if he plays from the start of the season, Adrian Peterson likely won't be at full speed at the start of the year, which makes it even harder to believe that he'll be able to recapture the form that made him a top fantasy back the past few years. You can still pencil him onto your 2013 first round.
New England Patriots
Yes, please: There's a lot to like here below the Brady/Gronkowski level, whether it's Brandon Lloyd, Stevan Ridley, Aaron Hernandez, or even a much improved, ball-hawking defense.
No thanks: Another case of having to use too high a pick to secure someone's talents, Wes Welker is a second/third round pick who'll give you fifth/sixth round numbers with Brady having so many mouths to feed.
New Orleans Saints
Yes, please: Robert Meachem is gone, so Lance Moore becomes an even more important part of Drew Brees' receiving corps than before. He's a solid mid-round pick who should be at worst a WR3.
No thanks: The Saints backfield is among the most talented in the league, and that was before Travaris Cadet became the preseason's most pleasant surprise. They all serve to cancel one another out, although Darren Sproles will be a PPR machine again.
New York Jets
Yes, please (kind of): Rex Ryan knows defense and has perhaps the league's best defender on his team in Darrelle Revis. They're a lock to be a top-10 fantasy defense again in 2012. And you know you want to do it, so if you must, go ahead: take Tim Tebow in Round 12 or 13.
No thanks: New York's offense is lacking so much right now that with the exception of Tebow and Dustin Keller, I might stand clear of Santonio Holmes, Mark Sanchez, Shonn Greene, Joe McKnight, and the rest of Gang Green entirely.
New York Giants
Yes, please: As good as the offense is, the defense, featuring Jason Pierre-Paul, Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck is one of the league's fantasy elite.
No thanks: Domenik Hixon is replacing Mario Manningham as the Giants slot receiver but with the talented rookie Rueben Randle around along with starters Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz to compete for Eli Manning's attention, there isn't enough action to make the veteran too attractive, even in a prolific unit.
Yes, please: Denarius Moore is one of the league's most entertaining and acrobatic receivers. Playing a full season with Carson Palmer, who helped make Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh fantasy mainstays, is enough to make him one of the league's best WR2s.
No thanks: Cross your fingers and hope for the best when you take Darren McFadden because the former Razorback backfield mate of Felix Jones and Peyton Hillis could be the league's top back if he can manage to stay healthy, which is possibly the biggest clause in fantasy football this season. I'm rooting for him, but picking against him.
Yes, please: Receiver Jeremy Maclin will be a member of the starting lineup for every roster he's on.
No thanks: Once a devoted DeSean Jackson owner, I can't see myself putting up with another season of poor attitude, poor decisions, and worst of all, poor results.
Yes, please: The longer Mike Wallace holds out the more valuable Antonio Brown becomes. With the backfield in flux due to Rashard Mendenhall's injury, Brown is the top Steeler to own right now.
No thanks: There's no way that I take Mendenhall this season. Not only is he in jeopardy of missing a significant number of games early in the season, there's no guarantee that he'll be anywhere near full strength when he finally does strap it on. But if he is, he takes out any value Isaac Redman has, rendering the whole backfield iffy at best.
St. Louis Rams
Yes, please: The Rams are amassing a large stable of targets for Sam Bradford to throw to and while the only one with any past fantasy relevance is Danny Amendola, Brian Quick, the rookie form Appalachian State should prove to be the best of the bunch before long.
No thanks: Steven Jackson is the bell cow but he's also 29 with a history of under performing on the stats sheet. I'd rather take a chance on a younger back later in the draft, possibly even Isaiah Pead who stands to gain the most if and when Jackson steps aside.
San Diego Chargers
Yes, please: Curtis Brinkley isn't a household name yet but as the backup to often injured Ryan Mathews and the rapidly aging Ronnie Brown, he could end up playing a major role this season. He's worth a 15th round pick.
No thanks: Ryan Mathews. (see past columns)
San Francisco 49ers
Yes, please: Vernon Davis is the league's third-best fantasy tight end, but it's conceivable he would approach Gronk/Graham numbers should defenses pay too much attention to an improved receiving corps.
No thanks: The 49ers added two big names in Brandon Jacobs and Randy Moss, but the chances that either has much of a fantasy impact on this team are slim and none, respectively.
Yes, please: Even with his legal problems I believe that Marshwan Lynch is the best of the second tier backs this season. But to be safe, it you draft him, be sure to pick up Robert Turbin as well.
No thanks: Everyone involved in Seattle's passing game is tough to like right now although in dynasty leagues, you have to be intrigued by rookie quarterback Russell Wilson.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Yes, please: Vincent Jackson is one of the league's elite receivers and playing on Florida's West Coast won't change that fact.
No thanks: He's one of his generation's best but memories of Dallas Clark will surely outweigh his contributions as a fantasy player this season, especially while he plays second fiddle to Luke Stocker. Still, many will draft him on name recognition alone.
Yes, please: The more you look at the running back landscape, the better you feel about taking a chance on Chris Johnson. If he falls to the middle of the second round, he has the potential to be the steal of the draft.
No thanks: I really hope that in a few years we don't look back on Kenny Britt's career, shake our heads and wonder "what might have been?" But with injuries and off-field incidents, it's unfortunately headed that way. Hopefully I'm wrong.
Yes, please: Robert Griffin III is a stud and will be owned in 100 percent of leagues this season; however his biggest fantasy impact may not come as a fantasy starter but as a supply line to make Pierre Garçon, Fred Davis and Leonard Hankerson all playable.
No thanks: On the heels of his rookie year and even early in this offseason it looked like the starting running back job was Roy Helu's to lose. Well, now Tim Hightower is re-signed, Evan Royster is getting first-team carries and Alfred Morris is making more headway in the running back race.