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Fantasy Football Draft Strategy: 7 Up, 7 Down

Michael Floyd (1istheloneliestnumber.com)

Drafting starts is the easy part; the preseason depth chart picture is clarifying and these are seven players to target and seven to avoid.  Even if you already drafted, some of these players might be on your waiver wire or you can always pull off a nice preseason trade.  Speaking of trades, I am always happy to provide feedback on trades you want to propose, or trades that have been offered to you.  Seek advice @KevinOKeefe14.

7 Payers to Avoid

Mike Wallace (MIA)  Wallace received $60 million from the Miami this offseason, pricing out the wide receiver market en route to Joe Robbie/Dolphin/SunLife Stadium.  Wallace can score at any time, but his highest catch total is 72 in 2011.  I can buy Wallace as a WR3 in non-PPR, but he’s never had more than 72 catches in a season.  I’d prefer to take T.Y. Hilton, DeSean Jackson, and Chris Givens.

Darren McFadden (OAK)  I believe this one speaks for itself.  Do not draft him as your RB2 unless you have Drew Brees, Julio Jones, Dez Bryant, Jimmy Graham and Jamaal Charles.  If that happens, you need to find a new group of friends.

Vernon Davis (SF)  I like Davis, but I’m not taking him in the at top five TE prices like the 5th round.  His yardage totals have decreased each year since 2009, never eclipsing 1,000 yards.  Also, I believe Michael Crabtree will be back for the fantasy playoffs, and we saw how well he clicked with Colin Kaepernick last season.  I would take Gronkowski or Witten ahead of Davis or wait a few rounds for Jared Cook, Jermichael Finley, Greg Olsen, or Jordan Cameron.

Alfred Morris (WAS)  My Alf devaluation is relative to his common projection as a top 10 back.  He is very good, but give me Matt Forte, Chris Johnson, Steven Jackson or Reggie Bush over Morris.  My rationale is that RGIII will be more apt to throw from the pocket this year because Mike Shanahan wants to protect him.  This should lead to more throws, and in a PPR the other guys are no brainers since Morris is rarely used as a pass catcher in the Washington offense.

Greg Jennings (MIN)  Jennings has made scathing comments about Aaron Rodgers in the wake of his departure from Lambeau.  Peterson and Rudolph will dominate the red zone touches in the run-heavy Viking attack.

Vincent Jackson (TB)  Jackson is entering his first season after turning 30 and he’s coming off a career year in receptions and yards.  I can see him reaching 1200 yards, but doubt he will push 1400 again.  Pierre Garcon and Cecil Shorts are two players I like going at least a round later than V-Jax.  Shorts might even be available 3-4 rounds later.

Ahmad Bradshaw (IND)  The Colts are a passing team and Bradshaw has had foot issues every season in recent memory.  Vick Ballard will take some touches and can also work on passing downs.  DeAngelo Williams and Ryan Mathews are two players I like more than Bradshaw.

7 Players to Target

Michael Vick (PHI)  Vick is the only QB going outside the top 10 that has the upside to start over players taken ahead of him in the draft.  Remember when he was going in the discussion for the No. 1 overall pick.

Giovani Bernard (CIN)  Bernard is even more valuable in PPR formats because Green-Ellis will get the majority of the goal line carries.   ‘Gio’ is the most explosive rookie RB of 2013, and he is already a better receiver than the Law Firm.

Le’Veon Bell (PIT)  Bell has obviously dropped about 10 rounds due to his foot injury, but he is already out of his walking boot.  Bell is the most talented first string running back you will be able to get in the in Round 10 or later.  The timetable for his return is still in doubt, but 8 games from a legitimate starter is more valuable than a full season from a late-round lottery ticket.

Pierre Thomas (NO)  Thomas and Bell are likely to go in the same neighborhood in your draft, but I like Thomas for different reasons.  Sean Payton is back at the helm for the Saints.  In Payton’s last season, Thomas fell just short of gaining 1000 yards from scrimmage.  He can run, block, and he can factor in the passing game as he demonstrated taking a 51-yard screen for six last weekend against Miami.

Jermichael Finley (GB)  Finley has a few things going for him in 2013.  You don’t have to spend a high pick to get him.  Jordy Nelson is returning from injury and Greg Jennings has departed for Minnesota, which should lead to more targets for Finley.  Lastly, he is playing for a contract.

Marlon Moore (SF)  Marlon Moore might be the best receiver on a legit Super Bowl contender that is flying well under the radar.  I think Moore is likely to start opposite Anquan Boldin in San Francisco, and he was the most targeted first-team receiver in the 49ers week 3 preseason game.

Michael Floyd (ARI)  The second-year receiver out of Notre Dame is poised for a jump in production under new coach Bruce Arians.  Arians is known for featuring wideouts in the passing game.  Floyd and Alshon Jeffery are similar to me.  Both play opposite superstar wide receivers that draw the focus of the defense away from them, and both are playing in their second season under new, pass-happy coaches.

About Kevin O'Keefe - @KevinOKeefe14

I am an attorney practicing in New Hampshire.  Previously I practiced in Florida, and have a Massachusetts license I have never used.  I am contributing with fantasy football pieces now and hope to expand my contributions in the future.   I attended college at the University of New Hampshire and was captain of the tennis team.  I graduated law school in 2007.    I love to surf, hike, and travel all over especially to Central America. I started playing fantasy sports in 8th grade when my friend and I would mail in our newspaper fantasy baseball salary cap league.  I play fantasy football, hockey, baseball and NASCAR.  I am happy to expand my current audience of fantasy advice recipients beyond my friends and family.  If you have lineup or draft questions, find me on Twitter @KevinOKeefe14.

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