NEW OFFENSIVE SCHEMES (AS IN ST. LOUIS AND DENVER) AND CHANGES IN PERSONNEL (HELLO, HIGHTOWER; SEE YA, SHOCKEY) ARE JUST TWO OF THE REASONS TO EXPECT THESE PLAYERS TO OUTPERFORM THEIR APPARENT FANTASY VALUE.
1 Matthew STAFFORD
THE FORMER No. 1 pick's recovery from shoulder surgery has gone smoothly, and his command of the offense has been praised by coach Jim Schwartz. Plus Stafford has an elite receiver in Calvin Johnson along with an emerging star tight end (Brandon Pettigrew), a pass-catching threat out of the backfield (Jahvid Best) and a rookie deep threat (Titus Young) who should also open up routes underneath. Stafford just needs to do a better job of avoiding hits in and out of the pocket.
2 Jordy NELSON
WITH OPPOSING defenses game-planning to stop Greg Jennings, Nelson will get his share of looks in an Aaron Rodgers--led offense that loves to air it out. Nelson has several factors working in his favor. Donald Driver is 36, and James Jones was considered expendable, making Nelson a good bet to be the Pack's No. 2 receiver. At 26 he hasn't peaked—impressive given his breakout 2011 postseason in which he pulled down 21 catches for 286 yards.
3 Lance MOORE
DREW BREES'S going to bat for Moore during the free-agent period shows the trust the quarterback has in him. In Moore's last two full seasons (he battled injuries in 2009), he averaged 73 catches and nine TDs. Brees will target him even more this season if Marques Colston struggles with his balky knee. As the most complete receiver on a top five passing offense (Devery Henderson and Robert Meachem are more deep threats), Moore is poised for his best season.