|Rusney Castillo signs with Red Sox for 7 years, $72.5 million||Connelly’s Top Ten: All-Star Starting Pitchers, Medal for Frates, Weekend||Video: Angels’ Garret Richards Blows Out Knee vs. Red Sox||The Mishandled Career of Jackie Bradley Jr.|
This is the second half of the same piece on the AFC. I am predicting one player per team who will outperform our expectations based on where they will likely be selected in drafts.
Dallas Cowboys: Tony Romo is going to be the 10-12th QB off the board unless you are the true riverboat gambler willing to roll with Michael Vick as your starter. Last year, Romo cracked 4,900 yards and tossed 29 TDs.
New York Giants: Reuben Randle is going to start the year as the third WR for the Giants, and he has the chance to be a top 25 option when Nicks or Cruz go down.
Philadelphia Eagles: DeSean Jackson is going lower than he has in years, but Maclin’s season-ending injury props up his value nicely. Jackson ran right by Talib when the two faced off in preseason week 1 and he won’t be the only guy DeSean leaves in the dust this year.
Washington Redskins: Fred Davis is largely a forgotten man at tight end, but he has a higher ceiling than other guys in his neighborhood such as Marcedes Lewis and the Indy duo of Fleener and Allen.
Chicago Bears: Alshon Jeffery is the second year man from South Carolina the Bears are banking on to draw a few double teams off Brandon Marshall. He is a classic high-ceiling player who won’t hurt you if you need to sacrifice him for the waiver wire.
Detroit Lions: Ryan Broyles is the obvious selection here. Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush won’t catch all of Stafford’s passes. There will be many Matt Stafford throws from all angles with varying degrees of ugliness, but volume is one of the most important things in fantasy.
Green Bay Packers: Eddie Lacy is the only Packer that you’re likely to draft for value other than Jermichael Finley. Lacy has all but locked up the lion’s share of the carries in Green Bay and could be a steal, especially in standard scoring leagues.
Minnesota Vikings: Kyle Rudolph is a late round tight end who was a touchdown machine or bust depending on the week in 2012. Rudolph, like Lacy, is a much better play in standard formats.
Atlanta Falcons: Steven Jackson should be able to do it all out of the backfield at least for one more season in Atlanta. Atlanta’s offense is well regarded and that is reflected in the average draft position of their starting skill players. If you’re looking for a handcuff to Jackson/deep sleeper, Jacquizz Rodgers is your man.
Carolina Panthers: Brandon LaFell is an excellent reserve receiver to target, especially in standard leagues due to his size and red zone chances.
New Orleans Saints: Pierre Thomas is Mr. Consistency for the Saints and a great guy to have around, especially if you make a riskier play early like selecting Darren McFadden or playing the Broncos Backfield Lottery.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Williams burst onto the scene out of Syracuse and slowed a bit recently, but he will get a chance to thrive in the 2nd year of the Doug Martin/Vincent Jackson offense.
Arizona Cardinals: Arizona D/ST is the first defense noted because they will go when the last few teams are forced to pick a D/ST. Arizona’s defense should be saved at least a series per game with Carson Palmer in Glendale. Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu can both make big plays on defense and special teams.
St. Louis Rams: Daryl Richardson is a guy who I would probably bump up in my top 30 RB rankings a few spots at this point. No one appears to be challenging him in the St. Louis backfield. Richardson can play every down and catch the football.
San Francisco 49ers: Austin Collie is a good a bet as any with your final receiver reserve due to Crabtree’s absence and the possession game Harbaugh likes to employ.
Seattle Seahawks: Golden Tate is the Seattle wideout you want, not Sidney Rice and his injury problems.