NFL Football Column: Goal Line Stand
Silva's Post-Season Top 150
A wild, unforgettable 2012 fantasy season went in the books one month ago. The annual coaching carousel ensued, and incoming rookie analysis will follow. While we can't yet include rookies in these post-season fantasy rankings, we do know the identities of the NFL's nine new head coaches. Arguably more pertinent for fantasy, a whopping sixteen offensive coordinator jobs have experienced turnover since November. We have preliminary information on the new faces and can begin contemplating their 2013 impacts.
A few points to consider before reading these rankings: Between now and August, many players will move up or down based on unforeseeable factors. Injuries, beat writer reports, arrests, and offseason transactions. I do not believe in drafting quarterbacks within the first two rounds. We'll soon unveil a series of Rotoworld articles on quarterback strategy, but read on here for my take. These rankings are influenced by Value-Based Drafting principles. Quarterbacks are deeper than ever. Running backs have deepened some since last August, but remain the shallowest position. Wide receivers are deep. Tight ends again look very top heavy. It's basic Supply and Demand.
1. Adrian Peterson -- ACL patients are, theoretically, supposed to rediscover peak performance the season after they return from reconstructive surgery. If that holds true with Peterson, Eric Dickerson ought to be shaking in his boots. In his post-season Vikings tape review, beat writer Tom Pelissero estimated that Peterson "didn't seem to be cutting full tilt until around Week 7," and his "straight-line speed appeared better than before the injury." A top-three fantasy back in five of his six NFL seasons, Peterson will be a cinch for drafters with the first overall selection.
2. Arian Foster -- Including the playoffs, Foster carried the football a whopping 405 times this past season. Perhaps the Curse of 370 is a myth, but there are already signs of weardown as Foster topped 4.50 yards per carry in just three of his final ten games. Foster's versatility and a Texans offense that is committed to the running game keep him squarely in the top-five mix, but you can make a compelling case for Marshawn Lynch, Ray Rice, and a few other backs at No. 2 as well.
3. Marshawn Lynch -- Whereas Peterson and Foster have combined to exceed 300 rushing attempts five times between them, Lynch has done it just once himself. 2013 will be Lynch's seventh NFL season, but long stretches of underutilization in Buffalo have kept his legs fresh. The Seattle offense projects to be more dynamic with Russell Wilson's training wheels removed, so expect more end-zone trips for Lynch. He's already a back-to-back top-five fantasy back scorer.
4. C.J. Spiller -- We'll get a better feel for Doug Marrone's backfield plans in camp, but early signs point to Spiller finally getting an opportunity to be the top dog. Fred Jackson turns 32 in February and has openly acknowledged he deserves to take a backseat. Running volume is a lock to soar regardless in Buffalo; Syracuse's offenses racked up more rushing than pass attempts in each of Marrone's four seasons. Despite handling the 22nd most carries in the league in 2012, Spiller finished as the No. 7 fantasy back. His upside would be scary on 250-plus runs and 50 receptions.
5. Ray Rice -- A picture of durability and consistency, Rice hasn't missed a game since his rookie year in 2008, and he's been a top-six fantasy back in three of the past four seasons. He ranked No. 6 overall in 2012. Rising second-year complementary back Bernard Pierce has emerged as a legitimate threat for 8-12 weekly touches, but Rice is entrenched as a "safe" top-five fantasy pick.
6. Jamaal Charles -- Like Peterson, 2013 will be Charles' first season a full year removed from his ACL tear. He's also a virtual lock for a career high in receptions under pass-happy coach Andy Reid. Perhaps it'll come at the cost of a handful of carries, but Reid has long been a proponent of workhorse feature backs, from Duce Staley to Brian Westbrook to LeSean McCoy. And the fact that Kansas City will inevitably be a better team will greatly improve Charles' weekly consistency.
7. Trent Richardson -- Richardson played his entire rookie season at less than 100 percent, undergoing two offseason knee scopes and suffering a painful rib-cartilage injury in Week 6. Although it limited his per-play effectiveness -- he averaged just 3.56 YPC -- Richardson still finished as a top-nine fantasy back. New offensive bosses Rob Chudzinski and Norv Turner are believers in a power run game, playing to Richardson's strengths. He has lots of upside for 2013.
8. LeSean McCoy -- New Eagles coach Chip Kelly is famous for innovation, but the run game was always the foundation of his Oregon offenses. While volume was at times a concern for McCoy under ex-coach Andy Reid, it shouldn't be any longer. Kelly figures to incorporate Bryce Brown more as a change-of-pace back, but look for McCoy to be the centerpiece of Philly's 2013 attack.
9. Doug Martin -- Martin finished 2012 as the No. 2 overall fantasy running back despite losing both of his starting guards over the course of the year. RG Davin Joseph (knee) and LG Carl Nicks (toe) will both be back next season. Although slightly more difficult to trust after NFL defenses figured out Josh Freeman down the season's stretch -- keying up to stop Tampa's running game proved Freeman's kryptonite -- Martin remains a shoo-in top-ten 2013 fantasy pick.
10. Calvin Johnson -- Receiver will remain incredibly deep in 2013, but Megatron is the position's single-biggest difference maker and every bit worth a first-round pick. He's working on back-to-back No. 1 wideout finishes, broke Jerry Rice's single-season receiving yards record, has more talent than any receiver in football, and plays in the NFL's pass-happiest offense. Yes, please.
11. Rob Gronkowski -- The running backs become a bit dicier after the top nine, leaving the Nos. 10 and 11 spots to a wide receiver and tight end. Gronkowski broke fantasy hearts when he fractured his forearm in mid-November, but he'll be fully recovered well before training camp. With double-digit touchdowns in each of his first three seasons, Gronkowski -- still only 23 years old -- is an unstoppable, high-scoring beast. He's a weekly tilter of head-to-head fantasy matchups.
12. Alfred Morris -- Morris finished fifth among fantasy running backs during a historic rookie year, but there are some concerns for 2013. Robert Griffin III's Week 1 status is unclear due to multiple torn knee ligaments, and "ALF" has shown little prowess as a pass receiver. Will the Redskins not be as good and play from behind more? Will RG3's absence -- if he has any -- adversely impact the effectiveness of Washington's run game? Morris would still be a rock-solid pick on the turn.
13. Stevan Ridley -- Coming off a breakout season where he established himself as a centerpiece of New England's new-look balanced offense, Ridley will be as safe a fantasy pick as it gets at the top of the second round. While it'd be nice to see Ridley improve in the passing game, he's a lock to rack up goal-line scores and be leaned on inside the tackles behind one of the NFL's top lines.
14. Matt Forte -- Although he's missed only five games the past two seasons, hard-luck injuries have affected Forte's production, in addition to Michael Bush's goal-line vulturing. Perhaps Bush will continue to handle short-yardage carries in Marc Trestman's offense, but the new coach is a passing-game aficionado and that plays to the strengths of Forte. It wouldn't be a surprise to see Forte set a career high in receptions in 2013. He could offer first-round value in PPR leagues.
15. Jimmy Graham -- There are 8-10 potential fantasy difference makers at quarterback. At running back, around 18. At wideout, more than 20. At tight end, there are only 3-5. Gronk and a healthy Graham tilt head-to-head fantasy matchups in their owner's favor as No. 1 options in highly efficient, highly voluminous passing games. A great bet to bounce back after last year’s wrist and ankle injuries, Graham is well worth a second-round pick.
16. Dez Bryant -- The light flipped on for Dez, and the sky is the limit if he can put together a full season of dominant play. He's still only 24. Finally and permanently pulled off punt returns, Bryant tore the cover off the league down the stretch with 50 catches, 879 yards, and ten touchdowns over Dallas' final eight games. The numbers extrapolate to 100/1,758/20 across a 16-game slate.
17. Brandon Marshall -- New coach Marc Trestman will emphasize increased diversity in a Bears offense that must establish alternative go-to options, but Marshall won't fade into the background. Marshall has ranked in the top three in the NFL in targets in each of his three full seasons playing with Jay Cutler (2007, '08, '12), and he made major strides this past season as a red-zone weapon after struggling there early in his career. His latest hip surgery is a situation to watch.
18. Julio Jones -- It says something when a 23-year-old receiver finishes top-ten in scoring at his position, and the season is chalked up as a disappointment. Such was the case for Jones, whose 2012 inconsistencies left owners wanting more but whose more frequent blowup games single-handedly decided fantasy weeks. With teammate Roddy White entering his age-32 season, look for Jones to take on more of a featured role in his second year of playcaller Dirk Koetter's offense.
19. Percy Harvin -- Durability and landing spot -- he's been the subject of trade rumors -- are concerns for Harvin's 2013 fantasy outlook, but on-field production isn't. He's a top-five receiver whenever active on game days. Over Harvin's last 16 games, he's popped off 112 receptions, 1,496 yards from scrimmage, and 12 all-purpose touchdowns. In all likelihood, Harvin will be back with the Vikings next season and his ankle-ligament tear will be recovered well before camp.
20. A.J. Green -- After scoring ten touchdowns in Cincinnati's initial ten games, Green's stats suffered as Andy Dalton's play tumbled for a second straight stretch run. Green hit pay dirt just once more over the final seven contests, including the playoffs. Green is a freak physical talent, but quarterback play is a concern. He'll still be a great second-round pick in 2013 fantasy drafts.
21. Demaryius Thomas -- Thomas realized his mammoth potential as a third-year player, ranking eighth in the league in receptions (94), fourth in receiving yards (1,434), and seventh in receiving scores (10). Only Megatron, Marshall, Dez, and Green scored more fantasy points at the position. Thomas is here to stay as an elite fantasy talent, and at age 25 he is only going to get better.
22. Andre Johnson -- A quiet start to 2012 fostered belief that Johnson was washed up at age 31. Not the case. Johnson wound up setting a career high in yards (1,598) and falling four receptions short of another personal best. Simple regression will likely lead to more touchdowns for Johnson than last year's four, but there are very few signs that this six-time Pro Bowler is slowing down.
23. Darren McFadden -- Durability is an ongoing concern for McFadden's annual fantasy outlook. Perhaps he'll get better luck in a contract year. The biggest plus is Oakland's hire of new offensive coordinator Greg Olson, who will do away with Greg Knapp's zone scheme and implement a true power-running offense to suit McFadden's strengths. In past coordinator jobs with St. Louis and Tampa Bay, Olson got career-high rushing seasons out of Steven Jackson and LeGarrette Blount.
24. Frank Gore -- Gore was a popular fantasy-bust pick entering 2012, but went on to finish as a top-12 scorer for the second straight year. He hasn't missed a game since the 2010 season. Gore turns 30 in May, but a more explosive 49ers offense in Colin Kaepernick's first full year as a starter should offset age concerns. And the tape doesn't lie; Gore remains a premier NFL runner.
25. Drew Brees -- We'll delve deeper into the strategy of waiting on quarterbacks in fantasy drafts as the season approaches, but it's a concept in which I firmly believe. Especially with the 2012 emergences of Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick, Andrew Luck, and Robert Griffin III, and Peyton Manning's successful return, signal callers are devalued in standard, start-one-QB leagues. Brees is still the cream of the crop with all of his weapons and Sean Payton back for 2013. He led all signal callers in 2012 fantasy scoring and has finished top two in four of the past five seasons.
26. Aaron Rodgers -- Despite lacking feature back-quality rushers, Packers coach Mike McCarthy made every attempt to commit to the running game in 2012. It likely foreshadows the offseason acquisition of a big-time back. Rodgers is still a strong candidate to lead all quarterbacks in 2013 fantasy points, but his pass attempts figure to drop and Greg Jennings will leave in free agency.
27. Tom Brady -- A top-three fantasy quarterback each of the past three seasons, the lone 2012 nitpick with Brady is that his downfield passing accuracy isn't what it once was. Otherwise, his age (36 in August) has had no noticeable effect on Brady's performance. Brady may lose Wes Welker to free agency, but healthy seasons from Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski would go a long way toward buoying Tom Terrific's scoring potential. He'll just be drafted too early for my tastes.
28. Cam Newton -- Newton shook off a slow first half to finish as the No. 4 fantasy quarterback after ranking fifth as a rookie. He turns 24 in May. Cam improved his TD-to-INT ratio (19:12), yards-per-attempt average (8.0), and yards-per-carry clip (5.8) in 2012, while leading the league in yards per completion (13.8). Although OC Rob Chudzinski's departure for Cleveland stings, the Panthers are smartly keeping the same offensive system, promoting QBs coach Mike Shula to coordinator. Newton is physically capable of becoming the No. 1 overall player in all of fantasy football. It's scary to think he has yet to put together a full season of elite production.
29. Randall Cobb -- An all-purpose playmaker, Cobb flirted with WR1 value from Week 4 on in his first opportunity to play full time on offense. He finished the season 18th among fantasy receivers. Cobb is a cat-quick slot machine also capable of defeating coverage when lined up outside. With Greg Jennings likely to leave in free agency, Cobb projects as Aaron Rodgers' top receiver in '13.
30. Vincent Jackson -- Josh Freeman's late-season collapse is cause for 2013 concern, but Jackson made the Buccaneers' quarterback look better than he really is this past season, often putting Tampa's offense on his back. If V-Jax has lost a step at age 30, it's yet to affect his on-field play. The returning No. 6 overall fantasy receiver, Jackson still gets separation and regularly wins on contested pass targets. You'll be in really good shape if you get Jackson as your WR2.
31. DeMarco Murray -- Murray fell well short of expectations for drafters who selected him in the first or second round, but he posted respectable production when active, finishing 17th in per-game running back scoring. While Murray has been exposed as an injury-prone back lacking elusiveness, he's a versatile bellcow in a high-scoring offense who'll play behind an offensive line that can't possibly be worse than it was last season. There is some bounce-back appeal here.
32. Maurice Jones-Drew -- A training-camp holdout, Jones-Drew fell off a cliff after leading the NFL in rushing attempts in 2011. Although his per-play effectiveness was fine (4.81 YPC), MJD reached 100 total yards in just 1-of-6 appearances before succumbing to a year-ending Lisfranc fracture. Jones-Drew is likely to return as Jacksonville's feature back, but the injury and offense loom as 2013 fantasy concerns. MJD is still only 28 and figures to have at least one big year left.
33. Victor Cruz -- Although Cruz's fantasy receiver ranking dipped from No. 4 overall to No. 13 in 2012, his receptions and touchdowns both improved. He simply didn't break off nearly as many big plays. Bounce-back years from Eli Manning and Hakeem Nicks would go a long way toward reestablishing Cruz as WR1 material. Nicks' multitude of injuries led to increased double coverage for his slot receiver teammate. After what then seemed like a breakthrough 2011 campaign, Manning's old inconsistencies returned in 2012 while allegedly battling a midseason tired arm.
34. Chris Johnson -- The ultimate boom-or-bust runner, Johnson maintains plenty of long speed but is a tackle for loss or "stuff" waiting to happen if the offensive line doesn't clear running room. There is little to no physicality left in his game. Volume and big-play ability still work in Johnson's favor, even if he's likely to continue to be a week-to-week fantasy headache. Johnson's ranking could move up if Tennessee gave reason to believe this offseason that its line play will improve.
35. Eric Decker -- Setting career highs in receptions (85), yards (1,064), and touchdowns (13), Decker ranked eighth among all fantasy receivers in a true breakout season. Regression may affect his 2013 scoring and he isn't quite the talent teammate Demaryius Thomas is, but Decker should settle in as a long-term WR2, assuming Peyton Manning has multiple quality years left.
36. Colin Kaepernick -- The 49ers were measured and methodical in their 2012 bringing along of Kaepernick. The passing game didn't open up until Week 15 at New England, and the full read-option package was secret-bottled until the playoffs. The five games leading up to Super Bowl XLVII provide the best -- if still conservative -- snapshot of Kaepernick's fantasy ceiling, which is through the roof. He compiled a 10:3 TD-to-INT ratio with two additional rushing scores, a 7.6 YPC average and at least 220 pass yards in all five games. Extrapolated across 16, they're top-three fantasy quarterback numbers at the exact same per-game scoring clip as Aaron Rodgers.
37. Steven Jackson -- Jeff Fisher didn't utilize Jackson as the workhorse he's long been, spelling him regularly with rookie Daryl Richardson in the season's first half. A below-average offense hurt S-Jax's touchdown potential, and countless offensive line injuries too often rendered the Rams' run blocking ineffective despite powerful, explosive running from their lead back. This ranking assumes Jackson will return to St. Louis, which is no guarantee. He holds a $7 million player option for 2013 and can test free agency by declining it. Jackson has also hinted at retirement.
38. Mikel Leshoure -- Leshoure never cleared 85 rushing yards again after ripping off 100 in his 2012 debut. There were still promising signs. Keep in mind Leshoure was in his first season back from a torn Achilles' tendon, costing him burst. He still scored nine touchdowns and is locked in as Detroit's goal-line pounder. Leshoure also had an active role in the Lions' passing game, catching 34 balls. Still only 23 and further removed from the Achilles' tear, Leshoure will be a breakout candidate in 2013. He'll also have downside, however, if his per-play production doesn't improve.
39. Matt Ryan -- Ryan's upward climb continued in 2012 as he ranked seventh in quarterback scoring and his touchdown total improved for the fifth season in a row. He also led the NFL in completion rate. Although Ryan lacks dominant physical tools, his pass-catching corps is perhaps the finest in football and pass-happy OC Dirk Koetter has aptly identified Ryan's strengths. He's here to stay as an annual top-eight fantasy signal caller worth drafting in the early- to mid-rounds.
40. Matthew Stafford -- Stafford's fantasy position ranking tumbled from No. 4 overall in 2011 to 11th in 2012. Beyond Michael Vick, he was the single biggest quarterback bust. Equipped with the NFL's best receiver in the league's pass-heaviest offense, Stafford is also among the top bounce-back candidates for 2013. One concerning early-offseason development is Stafford and coach Jim Schwartz's agreement that the 24-year-old signal caller's mechanics are a non-issue. They certainly were last season, resulting in mind-numbing accuracy woes and colossal inefficiency. Stafford's completion percentage, yards per attempt, and TD rate all plummeted off his 2011 clips.
41. Aaron Hernandez -- A balky ankle cost Hernandez six weeks and affected him in multiple others, but he still finished as a top-five tight end in fantasy points per game for the second straight year. If Hernandez could ever put together a truly healthy season -- he's yet to through three years -- he'd be capable of challenging for the NFL lead in receptions and yards among tight ends. Hernandez deserves to be pushed up draft boards as one of just 3-5 weekly difference makers at his position.
42. Michael Crabtree -- The 49ers became considerably more explosive when Jim Harbaugh benched Alex Smith for Colin Kaepernick late in the 2012 season. Crabtree was the primary beneficiary. Emerging as one of the NFL's slickest route runners and after-catch tackle breakers, Crabtree ripped off 50 catches, 714 yards, and six touchdowns across the 49ers' seven games leading up to Super Bowl XLVII. Over a 16-game slate, those stats extrapolate to 115/1,632/14.
43. Roddy White -- White will turn 32 during the 2013 season, but five consecutive top-ten fantasy receiver finishes suggest he's at least a year away from late-career breakdown. Although White isn't quite the vertical threat he once was, he's smoothly morphed into one of the league's premier short-to-intermediate playmakers. Atlanta won't stop passing at voluminous clips, and White won't stop getting open opposite Julio Jones. He should be targeted in 2013 drafts as a top-end WR2.
44. Reggie Wayne -- Wayne deserved All-Pro consideration for a fantastic 2012 season. He's a candidate to be slightly overvalued in 2013 drafts, however. Wayne will turn 35 during the season, and Indy's pass attempts are likely to diminish moving from pass-happy playcaller Bruce Arians to new OC Pep Hamilton, who's more of a smashmouth offensive mind. While improvement is likely from T.Y. Hilton, LaVon Brazill, and Coby Fleener, regression should be expected out of Wayne.
45. Jordy Nelson -- After ranking second to only Calvin Johnson in 2011 fantasy receiver scoring, hamstring, ankle, and knee injuries cost Nelson four 2012 games and parts of several others as his position ranking plummeted to No. 29. Is Nelson suddenly "injury prone?" Suppose time will tell. His outlook is on the rise with Greg Jennings likely to depart in free agency, which would leave Nelson, Randall Cobb, and James Jones as Aaron Rodgers' top-three wide receivers for 2013.
46. Marques Colston -- Jimmy Graham is likely to reassert himself as Drew Brees' No. 1 passing option in 2013, but being the No. 1 wide receiver in one of the league's most consistently efficient and voluminous passing games gives Colston an exceptionally high floor. He's finished outside the top-20 fantasy wideouts just once in seven years. Turning 30 in June, Colston ranked No. 11 in 2011 and No. 12 this past season. He's likely got at least two seasons of elite production left.
47. Steve Smith -- Smith turns 34 this May, but he's showing little to no signs of breakdown with back-to-back top-20 fantasy receiver finishes. In 2012, "Bottom Line 89" cleared 80 yards and/or scored a touchdown in 10-of-16 games. The Panthers need to start contemplating a No. 1 receiver of the future, but Smith will comfortably return as Cam Newton's go-to option in 2013.
48. Mike Wallace -- Furthering the narrative that he's a limited, straight-line, and ultimately inconsistent deep threat receiver, Wallace cleared 75 yards in just four 2012 games while finishing 25th in fantasy wideout points after back-to-back top-ten seasons. The Steelers are expected to move on from Wallace in 2013 free agency, and the makeup of his next team will give Wallace's fantasy ranking more clarity. He currently looks like a candidate to be undervalued.
49. Larry Fitzgerald -- This is a glass-half-full ranking based on blind faith that new coach Bruce Arians will acquire a competent quarterback and substantially improve Arizona's offensive line. Fitzgerald, 29, has plenty left in the tank for a big-time rebound year. Despite the worst QB play in football in 2012, Fitz was still good enough to come away with 90-plus yards and/or a touchdown in six games. Arians runs a vertical passing attack, and Fitz is the Cards' best vertical receiver.
50. Peyton Manning -- The 2012 Comeback Player of the Year finished sixth in quarterback points while leading the NFL in completion rate and throwing 37 touchdown passes -- the second most of Manning's career. Game watchers will have noticed severe slippage in Manning's late-season arm strength, however, particularly in Denver's playoff loss to Baltimore. As Manning enters his age-37 season, it's fair to wonder if he'll hold up physically enough to remain a year-long fantasy asset.
51. Russell Wilson -- The Seahawks eased Wilson in as a rookie with an extremely conservative early-season approach. When he earned the coaching staff's trust, Wilson's production took off. His TD-to-INT ratio over Seattle's final 13 games was 23:5, including the playoffs, in addition to all five of Wilson's rushing touchdowns. Over the final five regular season weeks, Wilson led all quarterbacks in fantasy scoring. With offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell returning after post-season head-coaching inquiries, Wilson will be an exciting, high-ceiling fantasy starter in 2013.
52. Dwayne Bowe -- Bowe's fantasy ranking could go up or down a bit depending on landing spot. Along with Mike Wallace and Greg Jennings, Bowe is a premier free agent in the 2013 receiver class. Here is the list of quarterbacks from whom Bowe has caught passes in his career: Damon Huard, Matt Cassel, Tyler Thigpen, Brodie Croyle, Brady Quinn, Tyler Palko. Still a top-25 fantasy receiver in each of his four healthy seasons, Bowe could blow up with a competent signal caller.
53. Pierre Garcon -- Garcon tore the plantar plate in his right toe in Week 1 against New Orleans, costing him six games and limiting his effectiveness in several others. Once Garcon learned to play through the pain, however, he became a stretch-run difference maker with 33 catches for 475 yards and three touchdowns over Washington's final six regular-season games. Those numbers would translate to 88/1,267/8 on a 16-game slate. Garcon's foot will be worth monitoring into 2013 training camp, but there's every reason to believe he has explosive WR2 potential if health allows.
54. Wes Welker -- The biggest question mark surrounding Welker for 2013 is whether he'll be back in New England. An impending free agent, Welker's fantasy worth would be significantly less elsewhere. If the Patriots do re-sign their five-time Pro Bowl receiver, Welker's ranking will move up a round. Despite advancing age -- 32 this May -- Welker remains uncoverable in the slot.
55. Hakeem Nicks -- Right foot and left knee injuries rendered Nicks a fantasy megabust in 2012, as he finished a career-worst 54th in wide receiver scoring and struggled mightily to separate from defensive backs. Although Nicks is a top-ten receiver talent when healthy, lower-leg injuries have dogged him throughout his career. He looks like a boom-or-bust fantasy pick for the 2013 season.
56. Antonio Brown -- A Week 9 high ankle sprain threw a wrench into Brown's 2012 season, before he returned to find pay dirt in each of Pittsburgh's final four games. A prime bounce-back candidate, Brown will become Ben Roethlisberger's No. 1 receiver if free agent Mike Wallace moves on. (He's expected to.) Somewhat quietly, Brown has a lot of breakout potential for 2013.
57. Jonathan Stewart -- Dual ankle injuries cost Stewart seven games and sapped his burst and explosion en route to a career-low 3.61 yards per carry in 2012. His previous career YPC was 4.83. Some potentially promising fallout from offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski's exit may be increased commitment to a traditional NFL run game. A healthy Stewart would be new playcaller Mike Shula's best option to pull that off, and his stock will rise quickly if DeAngelo Williams is cut.
58. David Wilson -- Although he did it mostly on special teams, Wilson showed his game-breaking talent by setting the Giants' rookie record for all-purpose yards (1,925). His 1,533 kickoff-return yards led the NFL by nearly 300. After the season, GM Jerry Reese suggested Wilson could emerge as the "lead dog" in New York's 2013 backfield, assuming he learns to pass protect and improves his ball security. Expect Wilson to be among the hottest fantasy names next summer.
59. Ryan Mathews -- Perhaps the single biggest disappointment of the 2012 season, Mathews dropped from seventh in fantasy running back scoring in 2011 to 30th overall. Is he a post-hype all-star candidate? Time will tell. The talent is still inside Mathews somewhere, and there isn't a threatening running back elsewhere on the Chargers' current roster. If new coach Mike McCoy and OC Ken Whisenhunt acquire a timeshare back, Mathews' ranking will plummet quickly.
60. Darren Sproles -- Utilized slightly differently by 2012 interim bosses Pete Carmichael and Joe Vitt, Sproles should welcome Sean Payton's return from suspension. In 2011 -- Sproles' debut season with the Saints -- he finished as a top-10 standard-league fantasy back on a career-high 11 touches per game. He fell to 9.5 touches in 2012 and 22nd in fantasy running back scoring.
61. Tony Gonzalez -- This ranking assumes Gonzo returns for a 17th season. He's repeatedly stated that he plans to retire. Elusive Super Bowl aspirations can change minds, of course, and Gonzalez can still really play. Morphing from a seam-stretcher to more of a power forward-type receiver late in his career, 37-year-old Gonzalez was the No. 3 overall fantasy tight end in 2012.
62. Torrey Smith -- Ala DeSean Jackson, Smith may continue to be plagued by inconsistency as primarily a streak-route runner whose offense doesn't scheme ways to regularly get him the ball on easy completions. Smith was held under 50 yards in nine games this past season. Still, he will remain an early- to mid-round breakout candidate as a third-year receiver who just turned 24.
63. Cecil Shorts -- A savvy, deceptively explosive route runner coming off a breakout year, Shorts scored a touchdown and/or went for 100-plus yards in seven of his final nine games. Producing despite poor quarterback play is the sign of a big-time receiver. While his two 2012 concussions are somewhat concerning, Shorts should be a popular early- to mid-round fantasy pick in 2013.
64. Vernon Davis -- Davis was a colossal disappointment in 2012 with five-year lows in catches (41), yards (548), and touchdowns (5). He ranked 15th in tight end scoring, but there are still reasons for optimism. Undeserving hot target Delanie Walker will likely depart in free agency, and the 49ers' offense reaches its peak only when Davis is a featured receiver. Coach Jim Harbaugh is smart enough to be counted on to fix that problem. Davis could be a value pick in 2013.
65. Greg Jennings -- Jennings' 2013 landing spot will be determined in March as one of this year's top free-agent receivers. Healthy down the stretch of 2012, Jennings led Green Bay in receptions (25), receiving yards (280), and touchdowns (4) over the final four games. Those numbers extrapolate to 100/1,120/16 over a 16-game season, so Jennings has plenty to offer going on age 30. My tentative expectation is that he'll sign with the Dolphins as Ryan Tannehill's No. 1 receiver.
66. Danny Amendola -- In the eight games Amendola played 45 or more snaps last season, he compiled 59 receptions for 579 yards and three touchdowns, good for a 118/1,158/6 line if spread over 16. The fact that Amendola has missed 20-of-32 games the past two seasons should give fantasy owners pause, but he's a major asset whenever in the lineup. Expect the Rams to re-sign Amendola before free agency begins. He is likely to return as Sam Bradford's go-to receiver.
67. Robert Griffin III -- Savvy fantasy drafters realize quarterback depth already devalues the position, and Griffin's January 9 reconstructive knee surgery makes him a red-light health risk for 2013. The Washington Times has called Griffin a PUP candidate, which would cost him the first six games. While optimists can point to Adrian Peterson, RG3 faces extremely long odds of mirroring that recovery. Griffin could still inch back up fantasy draft boards by avoiding offseason setbacks.
68. Jason Witten -- After a slow start due to a freak preseason laceration of his spleen, Witten caught at least six passes in 11 of Dallas' final 13 games. While Witten's playmaking ability (3 TDs, 9.5 yards per catch) leaves something to be desired, he's a solid mid-range fantasy starter with no signs that will change. Witten has been a top-six tight end in five of the past six seasons.
69. Vick Ballard -- While Ballard possesses mediocre running talent, his reliable downhill style and improving versatility are reasons to like the Colts' feature back as low-end RB2/flex. As is Indy's hire of new offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, whose Stanford track record suggests he will run a more balanced offense than Bruce Arians. Ballard's workload projects as a big plus for 2013.
70. Willis McGahee -- Already fully recovered from his MCL tear, McGahee will be 100 percent for OTAs. Knowshon Moreno did a mostly admirable job filling in for McGahee down the stretch, but Moreno won't be stealing the Broncos' feature back job. And nor will change-of-pace back Ronnie Hillman. While McGahee will be entering his age-32 season, his pre-injury performance indicates there's plenty of juice left in his tank after finishing as a top-14 back in fantasy points per game.
71. Ryan Williams -- Line play, durability, and workload will be concerns for Williams in 2013, but the addition of Bruce Arians points his arrow up. Arians is a power-running proponent who's never run an offense with a running back as physically gifted as Williams. As both are Virginia Tech alums, Arians also expressed "love" for Williams at his introductory press conference and "lit up" when discussing him. Still only 22, Williams will be among Rotoworld's favorite 2013 sleepers.
72. James Jones -- A fantasy tease his first five seasons in the league, Jones' career appeared to turn a corner in 2012. In addition to leading the NFL in receiving touchdowns, Jones set career highs in catches (64) and yards (784) while dropping just three passes among 98 targets (3.1 percent). By comparison, Jones dropped six balls on 55 targets in 2011 (10.9 percent). With Greg Jennings headed for free agency, Jones is locked into a more consistent role in 2013 as Green Bay's starting outside receiver across from Jordy Nelson, with Randall Cobb stationed in the slot.
73. Danario Alexander -- Signed off the street in mid-October, Alexander was a godsend for San Diego's inept 2012 offense. Alexander quickly bypassed Malcom Floyd as Philip Rivers' go-to receiver en route to 34 receptions, 597 yards, and seven touchdowns across eight starts, staying healthy for the first time in his career. If Alexander proves truly over the hump with his early-career knee woes, he'll be capable of flirting with top-15 fantasy receiver numbers in 2013.
74. Tony Romo -- Romo has ranked eighth or better in quarterback points in each of his last four full seasons. While he's an annual lock for a four-pick clunker game or two, Romo is consistently a competitive fantasy starter who probably won't put owners over the top but can get them as far as the rest of their weekly lineups take them. The fact that the light has finally flipped on for 24-year-old Dez Bryant is another major plus. Romo will return as a respectable mid-round QB1 pick.
75. Kenny Britt -- Britt didn't put much in the box score or on tape in 2012 that suggests he'll be a surefire 2013 fantasy asset. Three knee surgeries and in-season quarterback change played a role, but Britt simply wasn't the same explosive route runner he flashed in his first three NFL seasons. His upside will still be worth a seventh-round stab in 2013 drafts. If Britt regains form a year removed from the knee woes, he'll offer a top 10-15 receiver ceiling regardless of QB play.
76. T.Y. Hilton -- If you can acquire Hilton at a reasonable cost in your keeper league, now's the time to be aggressive. His price tag will only rise. Displaying dynamic route-running chops and versatility as a rookie, Hilton finished 24th among fantasy wideouts while leading Indianapolis in touchdowns (7) and yards-per-catch average (17.2) -- despite playing only 58 percent of the offensive snaps as a No. 3 receiver. Incumbent starter Donnie Avery is a free agent, and Reggie Wayne is going on 35. Entering the starting lineup, Hilton is an obvious 2013 breakout candidate.
77. Brandon Lloyd -- Although Lloyd fell short of lofty preseason expectations, he still racked up 74 receptions, 911 yards, and four touchdowns while ranking second to only Wes Welker on the Patriots in targets. Lloyd was, in fact, 19th in the NFL in targets, so the "too many mouths to feed" concern doesn't explain his underwhelming production. Chemistry with Tom Brady was more of an issue until Lloyd racked up at least 70 yards and/or a touchdown in four of New England's final six games. If Welker doesn't return, Lloyd will be one of fantasy's top post-hype targets in 2013.
78. Josh Gordon -- Gordon will be a popular breakout pick after showing big-play ability en route to 50 catches, 805 yards, and five touchdowns in a 13-start rookie season. Gordon is a vertical receiver, and new coach Rob Chudzinski is a vertical-passing mind. I wonder how high the hype might inflate Gordon's preseason ADP. I suspect it could extend into the fourth or fifth round.
79. Andrew Luck -- Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians' departure is slightly worrisome for Luck's fantasy prospects. While the Colts smartly kept Luck comfortable by luring Pep Hamilton away from Stanford to replace him, Arians' willingness to let his rookie quarterback attempt the NFL's fifth most passes will be missed in the box score. Hamilton and David Shaw ran a balanced, ball-control offense. Luck should be a better quarterback in 2013, but not necessarily better in fantasy.
80. Ahmad Bradshaw -- The Giants are currently in the process of determining whether Bradshaw is worth retaining at his $3.75 million salary. While still effective on the field -- 4.59 YPC in 2012 -- Bradshaw's chronic feet and ankle injuries make him a weekly question mark for game day, and coaches get fed up with players who don't practice. Bradshaw will likely return for one more year with the G-Men, but 2012 first-rounder David Wilson will get every opportunity to snatch his job.
81. Denarius Moore -- Moore registered at least 66 yards and/or a touchdown in each of his first eight games of 2012, before a mysterious late-season cliff drop. He was benched at one point for dropping passes and didn't reach 50 yards again after Week 10. Moore will be a third-year receiver in 2013, and new OC Greg Olson's offense leans on the intermediate to deep passing games, which is where Moore thrives. Still only 24, we haven't seen the best of Moore yet.
82. Miles Austin -- Still a reliable possession wideout, lower-leg injuries have cost Austin burst and big-play ability, and he no longer offers much fantasy upside. He's now the third option in Dallas' passing offense, behind Dez Bryant and Jason Witten. While there's a good chance Austin can again hover in the 25th to 30th fantasy receiver range, he no longer gives his owners an edge.
83. Mark Ingram -- Understandably written off by fantasy leaguers after a disappointing rookie year and thoroughly putrid first half of 2012, Ingram found a rhythm on an expanded role down the stretch. Over the final nine games, the 2011 first-rounder racked up 468 yards and four TDs on 109 carries (4.29 YPC), averaging nearly 13 touches per week. If restricted free agent Chris Ivory or release candidate Pierre Thomas leaves New Orleans, Ingram's workload could expand in Sean Payton's return year. Payton played a leading role in trading up to draft Ingram two Aprils ago.
84. Sidney Rice -- The major concern for Rice entering 2012 was health. He went on to play 18-of-18 games, including the playoffs, but still ranked a middling 30th in receiver scoring. Rice's stats didn't improve much even when Seattle opened up its offense late in the year, as Russell Wilson spread the ball around. Rice is still intriguing because he's the Seahawks' best receiver, Wilson will only get better, and the passing game will continue to get more aggressive. While it seems like Rice has been around forever, he'll have just turned 27 when the 2013 season starts.
85. Ben Tate -- Although Tate did literally nothing in 2012 to increase his own fantasy stock, his value has always been dependent on Arian Foster. And Foster is returning from a massive workload, leading the NFL with 351 carries plus 54 more in the playoffs. Foster touched the ball an unruly 460 times during the 2012-13 season. His per-play production dipped significantly down the stretch. Although Tate has been injury prone, he'd be a top-ten running back option if Foster broke down. When healthy, Tate is a physical tackle breaker with impressive speed and burst.
86. Jeremy Maclin -- I'd feel more confident ranking Maclin if I knew who his quarterback will be. We also have very little idea of the type of offense Chip Kelly will run in Philadelphia. Expect it to be fast paced and run based, but details won't emerge before OTAs. What we do know about Maclin is that he's entering a contract year and does not play with enough physicality or aggressiveness to be considered a No. 1-caliber receiver. He's a middle-round fantasy player.
87. DeSean Jackson -- See Maclin. We don't know anything substantive about new coach Chip Kelly's offense, nor do we know the quarterback. What we do know: Jackson was quietly on pace for one of the most consistent seasons of his career in 2012, before fracturing two ribs in late November. He is a home-run hitter with the ball in his hands, and Kelly's forte is getting his best players into space. Jackson is a mid-round fantasy pick and candidate to rise in the preseason.
88. Stevie Johnson -- Doug Marrone and Nathaniel Hackett's Syracuse offenses upped the tempo with a fast-paced no-huddle offense, but they were always decidedly run based. Over Marrone's four seasons, the Orange averaged just 401.5 pass attempts compared to 465 runs. The Bills will implement a run-first offense, and GM Buddy Nix has spoken openly of acquiring a "big-time outside receiver," with Johnson moving into the slot. He projects as a low-upside WR3 in 2013.
89. Ben Roethlisberger -- It's easy to forget Roethlisberger was on pace for statistical career highs across the board before his debilitating Week 10 rib and shoulder injuries. He proved a great fit in his first season of Todd Haley's quick-hitting, completion-friendly offense, and theoretically should be even better in year two. The greatest 2013 concerns for Roethlisberger are the likely departure of free agent deep threat Mike Wallace and featured tight end Heath Miller's blown-out knee.
90. Michael Turner -- First-year OC Dirk Koetter significantly scaled back Turner's role in his 2012 offense, and probably would've phased out the fading back altogether had Atlanta possessed a viable alternative. Instead, a 50:50 committee with Jacquizz Rodgers ensued, and neither finished in the top-15 fantasy backs despite the Falcons' top-eight offensive ranking. An almost certain cap casualty, Turner will have a slow free agent market at age 31 with zero passing-game chops.
91. Rashard Mendenhall -- The Steelers don't want Mendenhall back, but he's talented and young enough (26 in June) to land on his feet as the lead back in a committee. BenJarvus Green-Ellis found a feature back job on half the running ability of Mendenhall. Arizona could be a possibility with former Pittsburgh OC Bruce Arians. Of course, that would bode poorly for Ryan Williams.
92. Reggie Bush -- Another free agent back, Bush predictably faded in his first real opportunity to be a full-time feature runner. He battled injuries and fell into a midseason committee with Daniel Thomas, before closing strong. Bush's best landing spot for playing time would be back in Miami, but the Dolphins don't seem inclined to meet his asking price. We'll know more about Bush's fantasy prospects when he finds a new home. He's at his best on around 15-19 touches a game.
93. Eli Manning -- Eli's fantasy quarterback ranking (15th) was his worst since his rookie year and a huge disappointment after three straight top-ten finishes. Multiple injuries to Hakeem Nicks and Martellus Bennett rendered the Giants' offense easier to defend, and Manning's old accuracy woes became an issue again. He's still more likely to rebound as a low-end fantasy starter than continue down a slippery slope. Manning should be able to keep owners competitive in 2013.
94. Jacquizz Rodgers -- Hype will be hot and heavy when Michael Turner is released, but I'd bet against "Quizz" ever getting the opportunity to be Atlanta's feature back. If the Falcons believed Rodgers had workhorse capability, he would've replaced Turner in 2012. OC Dirk Koetter was practically begging Rodgers to do it. He couldn't, failing to hit 4.0 yards per carry for the second straight year. Rodgers is a strong change-of-pace and passing-down back. He'll move down this list when the Falcons acquire a runner with more juice and pile-pushing power to replace Turner.
95. Joe Flacco -- It was Cam Cameron alright. Leading up to Super Bowl XLVII, Flacco compiled a 15:3 TD-to-INT ratio across his previous seven games while operating coolly in the pocket and throwing the football with confidence. Jim Caldwell coordinated Baltimore's offense for six of those seven. Flacco could benefit from another weapon outside the numbers to book end Torrey Smith, but it might matter less with Caldwell calling plays. Flacco's best fantasy years are ahead of him.
96. DeAngelo Williams -- Williams lost over a yard off his 2011 yards-per-carry average while failing to capitalize on Jonathan Stewart's injuries to become a solid fantasy starter. Williams' short-area explosion has evaporated going on age 30, and he's no lock to return to the Panthers. Perhaps Carolina will decide to simply sever ties with a declining back owed $4.75 million.
97. BenJarvus Green-Ellis -- Although Green-Ellis came on a bit down the stretch as the Bengals' run blocking found a late-season groove, all in all he was one of the primary downfalls of the 2012 Cincinnati offense. Andy Dalton needs an effective run game to succeed, and Green-Ellis isn't talented enough to provide it. OC Jay Gruden was well aware, at different points looking for ways to lessen Law Firm's role in favor of Bernard Scott, and later Cedric Peerman. The Bengals will add backfield talent this spring. Green-Ellis, ideally, would return as a short-yardage pounder only.
98. Bilal Powell -- Powell wore No. 29 and Shonn Greene donned 23, and on tape they were often difficult to tell apart. Powell is slightly slimmer, can at least function in the pass game, and every once in a while recognizes a cutback lane. He's better than Greene, but not by much. Greene is expected to walk in free agency, leaving Powell as the current favorite to start at running back for the Jets in 2013. Powell will fall down this list if they add a better back in free agency or the draft.
99. Justin Blackmon -- Blackmon's college game tape didn't lie. He is a somewhat stiff receiver who lacks vertical tools, but is a bull to tackle after the catch and got better as his rookie year moved along. Blackmon will likely be a popular WR3 pick in 2013 fantasy drafts. New Jaguars offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch's West Coast system suits Blackmon's skill set, and he could prove a mid- to late-round fantasy steal if Fisch scrounges up some competent quarterback play.
100. Mike Williams -- While it was nice to see Williams take a career step forward after 2011's big step back, it's difficult to rely on his lofty touchdown rate as we look ahead. He scored nine TDs on just 63 receptions in a year where quarterback Josh Freeman didn't play remotely as well as his box-score stats indicated, before a late-season collapse. The last time drafters gambled on Williams to repeat a huge scoring rate, he was bust the following season. In 2012, Williams topped 65 yards just once in games he didn't find pay dirt. He could be overvalued in 2013 drafts.
101. Anquan Boldin -- Boldin's separation skills faded years ago, but he still regularly wins 50:50 balls and is virtually impossible for one defensive back to bring down after the catch. A highlight reel-filled playoff run confirms Boldin can still play, but 2013 will be his age-33 season and the Ravens need to start seriously considering drafting his replacement. He'll be a WR4 in 2013.
102. Golden Tate -- Tate isn't going to overtake Sidney Rice as Seattle's No. 1 receiver, but he's in a similar boat as a pedestrian 2012 fantasy player who could experience a 2013 leap. The Seahawks will play more aggressively on offense, and Tate is an ascending, 24-year-old receiver with sneaky playmaking ability. He's still unlikely to be consistently start-able in 2013 lineups.
103. Jermichael Finley -- After a miserable first half of the season, Finley came on a bit by topping 60 yards in five of the final seven games. In January, he disappeared again with five catches for 45 yards combined in Green Bay's two playoff games. He's rarely targeted near the end zone and has lost Aaron Rodgers' trust due to dropped passes. Finley maintains all the ability in the world, but he's still being drafted in fantasy leagues on potential. It's a gamble to let someone else take.
104. Lance Moore -- A savvy route runner who consistently and accurately identifies soft spots in zone coverage, Moore zoomed to a career-high 1,041 yards in 2012 as Jimmy Graham battled a drop-causing wrist injury and Devery Henderson was phased out of the offense. Moore lacks better than WR3 upside, but he's never a poor fantasy start. He'll be a borderline starter in 2013.
105. Kendall Wright -- Wright was a downfield playmaker with Robert Griffin III at Baylor, but the Titans oddly insisted on using him as an underneath possession receiver, catching screens and swings. He led Tennessee in receptions (64), but averaged under ten yards a catch and only reached pay dirt four times. Receivers often play faster in their second seasons, and Wright is still long on talent and big-play ability. The 2012 first-round pick has some breakout potential for 2013.
106. Dennis Pitta -- Pitta broke out in 2012 to finish as the No. 7 fantasy tight end, showing outstanding hands and route-running chops despite lacking vertical speed. He only cleared 75 yards once all season. Pitta's bigger games tended to coincide with quiet ones from slot receiver Anquan Boldin, as both players work the middle of the field. Pitta will return as a mid-range to back-end fantasy starter, but offers some upside should Boldin fall off in his age-33 season.
107. Owen Daniels -- Daniels finished as a top-eight fantasy tight end, even as multiple nagging injuries sapped his production down the stretch. He didn't clear 45 yards in any of the Texans' final six games. Daniels did return for a highly productive postseason, but Houston is likely to prioritize finding a more explosive complementary pass catcher for Andre Johnson this offseason. Daniels figures to return as a low-end TE1 not worth targeting until the middle to late rounds.
108. Shane Vereen -- With Danny Woodhead scheduled for free agency, Vereen has a chance to take over as New England's primary passing-down back. That position can translate to better fantasy numbers than you might think. Woodhead quietly finished 25th in 2012 running back scoring, and Vereen has more playmaking ability. This ranking will drop if Woodhead re-signs.
109. Joique Bell -- The Lions view Bell as a change-of-pace back only, but he could make the coaching staff think twice if Mikel Leshoure continues to plod along as Bell rips off impressive gains between the tackles. Already a major asset in the passing game, Bell also averaged 5.0 yards per carry in 2012 and can make defenders miss. He'll be a sneaky RB3/flex fantasy pick.
110. Martellus Bennett -- Bennett got off to a blazing start in his first year with the G-Men before a knee injury and Eli Manning's "tired arm" took their toll on the tight end's numbers. If Eli gets it together and the Giants re-sign Bennett, Black Unicorn could be a high-scoring value pick in 2013.
111. Fred Jackson -- F-Jax is coming off a sluggish, injury-riddled year in which he was severely outplayed by C.J. Spiller. Now entering his age-32 season, Jackson figures to take a backseat in Doug Marrone and Nathaniel Hackett's Bills offense. He'll be a relatively low-upside RB3/4 pick.
112. Greg Olsen -- Olsen was Carolina's No. 2 receiver in 2012, as Brandon LaFell battled injuries and ineffectiveness and Louis Murphy and David Gettis made next to no impact. Tight end-friendly OC Rob Chudzinski has departed, and the Panthers will likely upgrade opposite Steve Smith. Olsen can be a competitive low-end fantasy starter, but he's not likely to be a difference maker.
113. Kyle Rudolph -- Rudolph was a big-time red-zone presence in his first season as a full-time starter, but his production was heavily touchdown dependent as he racked up mediocre catches and yards. While Rudolph will return as a candidate for 8-10 touchdowns, he doesn't separate consistently enough from pass defenders to be anything more than a mid-range to low-end TE1.
114. Bernard Pierce -- Pierce runs with power and deceiving speed, and really came on down the stretch of his rookie year. Ray Rice is Baltimore's bellcow back, but Pierce has earned a 6-10 touch-per-game role as a sophomore. He should have some standalone flex value when bye weeks hit, and could approach RB1 production if Rice got hurt. Pierce is a starting-caliber talent.
115. Antonio Gates -- Atrocious offensive line play and a second performance dip in as many years by Philip Rivers combined to torpedo Gates' 2012 fantasy season despite consistent health. Although Gates still runs well and can wall off defenders in power-forward fashion, he would need a major turnaround from San Diego's overall pass game to rediscover start-worthy fantasy stats.
116. Bryce Brown -- New Eagles coach Chip Kelly is a running-game innovator and consistently used two-back rotations at the University of Oregon. Although Brown remains a raw project after his first NFL season, he's talented enough to become the 1B to LeSean McCoy's 1A. Sheer run-game volume will rise in Philadelphia, giving Brown a shot to be an oft-used change-of-pace back.
117. Beanie Wells -- Returning from persistent knee woes late in 2012, Wells looked like a shell of his old self and probably should've been benched for performance down the stretch if it weren't for his attitude. Wells has a clean slate under Arizona's new staff, but Bruce Arians favors Ryan Williams. Wells' utter lack of passing-game value also makes him a misfit for Arians' pass-first scheme. Perhaps Arizona will trade Beanie before camp to a location better suited to use him.
118. Alshon Jeffery -- Although hand and knee injuries curtailed Jeffery's 2012 playing time, he displayed an ability to make big catches in traffic and gave Chicago's offense a shot in the arm when healthy. There is some Vincent Jackson to his game. Brandon Marshall was a ball hog this past season, but new coach Marc Trestman will likely prioritize more diversity in the pass game.
119. Andre Roberts -- Amid league-worst quarterback play, Roberts emerged as a quality NFL starter in 2012. A poor man's Antonio Brown, Roberts is a movable wideout who can defeat coverage at both Z and slot receiver. New coach Bruce Arians tutored Brown with the Steelers and used T.Y. Hilton similarly with the Colts. The facts that he still must "compete" with Michael Floyd for targets behind Larry Fitzgerald and Arizona has yet to unearth a viable signal caller keep Roberts in the WR4 range. There is still some sneaky upside here because Arians leans so heavily in the pass.
120. Jay Cutler -- Underwhelming statistically since his early-career Broncos stint with Mike Shanahan, Cutler needs a legit No. 2 receiver to emerge and the Bears to make a commitment to the passing game in order to realize his fantasy potential. There is some reason to believe Alshon Jeffery and Marc Trestman can make it happen, but for now Cutler is just an interesting QB2.
121. Josh Freeman -- Although Freeman's final stat line looks strong on paper, the tape tells a different tale. He's skittish with bodies around him, throws inaccurately in short to intermediate areas, and is frighteningly reliant on players around him to succeed. The Bucs are expected to sign competition for Freeman before camp. He's an obvious overvalued candidate for 2013 drafts.
122. Michael Vick -- The Eagles owe Vick $15.5 million next season, $3 million of which becomes guaranteed if he's on the roster beyond early February. Vick could quickly move up this list if new coach Chip Kelly commits to him as Philadelphia's 2013 starter. If he's released -- a more likely outcome -- landing somewhere like Buffalo, Arizona, or the Jets would make him a dicey QB2.
123. Daryl Richardson -- A seventh-round rookie out of Abilene Christian, Richardson flashed big-play ability by averaging 4.8 yards per carry in his first season. His role was minimal down the stretch, however, and the Rams' 2013 backfield has yet to be established. If Steven Jackson departs and Isaiah Pead continues to scuffle, Richardson's fantasy forecast could rise rapidly.
124. Knowshon Moreno -- Moreno was a late-season fantasy star following Willis McGahee's MCL tear, but there's little doubt about which Broncos back is a superior runner. Assuming McGahee doesn't suddenly fall off the cliff in his age-32 season, Moreno will enter 2013 as a handcuff only. The Broncos will also expect more from rising second-year man Ronnie Hillman.
125. Philip Rivers -- The Chargers have put together an impressive offensive staff under Mike McCoy and Ken Whisenhunt, but there's only so much coaching can do. Rivers' passing skills are eroding, and he's become increasingly turnover prone. He no longer possesses explosive arm strength. Perhaps offensive line improvements and scheme tweaks could get Rivers back into the reliable QB2 mix, but you definitely won't want to consider him a likely fantasy starter.
126. Lamar Miller -- Miller struggled for playing time as a rookie while attempting to learn Joe Philbin's offense and how to pick up the blitz. But he passed Daniel Thomas on the depth chart down the stretch and Reggie Bush is a free agent. Miller could conceivably enter 2013 as the lead back in a committee. More likely, he'll emerge as a spot starter this season and RB2 in 2014.
127. Robert Turbin -- This is what late-round fliers and fantasy bench spots are for. Turbin was a lightly used change-of-pace back as a rookie, but made remarkable strides in the passing game and added a speed element behind Marshawn Lynch off the bench. While he'd need a Lynch injury to be usable, fantasy stashers of Turbin could strike borderline RB1 gold if that happened.
128. Brian Hartline -- After opening his career with three seasons of relative obscurity, we learned a lot more about Brian Hartline the player in 2012. He's a savvy route runner with No. 2 receiver-caliber skills, but clearly isn't a No. 1. If Ryan Tannehill experiences a leap forward and Miami increases its aggressiveness in the passing game, Hartline could again flirt with WR3 production. Of course, he’s a free agent who may or may not be re-signed.
129. Jared Cook -- Word out of Nashville is the Titans will consider franchise tagging Cook if they can't sign him before the start of free agency. It's a worrisome prospect for his 2013 fantasy value. Tennessee's offense has never been creative enough to turn Cook into a full-time tight end, and Jake Locker is coming off a hugely disappointing season. Cook should want to test the market.
130. Cedric Benson -- Benson should cross his fingers that the Packers re-sign him. Otherwise, he'll likely sign somewhere around the start of 2013 training camp to compete for a timeshare job. Coming off a Lisfranc fracture, Benson can't be viewed as more than an RB4/5 at this stage.
131. Malcom Floyd -- Floyd will turn 32 years old before the start of next season, and we know what he is at this stage of his career. He's merely capable of flirting with WR3 value and was bypassed quickly by in-season street-free agent pickup Danario Alexander for No. 1 receiver duties in 2012. In 2013, Floyd will be a ho-hum WR4/5 fantasy pick with an unattractive ceiling. The healthy return of Vincent Brown could also threaten Floyd's starting job.
132. Chris Givens -- 2012 Rams first-team wideouts Brandon Gibson and Danny Amendola are impending free agents, seemingly clearing a path for Givens to take over as a starter. Just don't be surprised if Brian Quick passes Givens in 2013. Givens' route running remains a major work in progress, and Quick possesses a more diverse all-around skill set with true No. 1 receiver tools.
133. Michael Bush -- Strictly a handcuff for Matt Forte, Bush's value is wholly dependent on the Bears' feature back getting injured. Forte has done that often the past two seasons, of course, so Bush will be draft-able in 2013 fantasy leagues. He just carries little to no independent appeal.
134. Dustin Keller -- Keller isn't expected back with the Jets, which should be a plus for his 2013 fantasy outlook. An impending free agent, Keller could take off in an efficient, voluminous passing attack. He offers speed to stretch the deep middle and create mismatches in the right offense. Keller would be a savvy target for dynasty leaguers looking to buy low on a breakout candidate.
135. Jermaine Gresham -- Gresham took steps forward in 2012 before his playoff implosion, but he's not the athletic pass-game weapon draftniks billed him to be coming out of Oklahoma. He's a plodding possession threat who may lose targets if Mohamed Sanu or Marvin Jones can emerge.
136. Brandon Pettigrew -- The Lions' extreme passing volume keeps Pettigrew in the mix as a low-end TE1, but a lack of playmaking ability limits his ceiling. Pettigrew is a post-up receiver who catches check downs and does not stretch the seam. He's better in PPR than standard.
137. Carson Palmer -- Palmer has lost little off his fastball at age 33, but his mobility is gone and the Raiders' offensive line cannot pass protect. It's a recipe for fantasy disaster. While garbage-time production carried Palmer's 2012 value at times, there is no reason to believe he'll become a reliable fantasy starter in 2013. He will remain on the radar as a mid-range to high-end QB2.
138. Dwayne Allen -- Allen flirted with top-ten production when Coby Fleener missed time around midseason, but was a fantasy non-factor when both Colts rookie tight ends were healthy. While new coordinator Pep Hamilton may increase Indianapolis' usage of two-tight end sets in 2013, scaling back pass volume and attempts would hurt the box score stats of Colts pass catchers.
139. Andy Dalton -- Dalton's final 2012 statistics (27:16 TD-to-INT ratio, 62.3-percent completions) look solid on paper, but his on-field performance collapsed down the stretch for a second straight year. It's fair to wonder if Cincinnati will bring in offseason competition. Dalton isn't getting better.
140. Matt Schaub -- Schaub stayed healthy in 2012, but he was the Texans' weakest link in the second half of the season, playing like a shell-shocked game manager. Houston's decidedly run-heavy offense puts an immovable lid on Schaub's fantasy upside, and he's now taking steps back.
141. Jake Locker -- Locker was always a boom-or-bust prospect, and in 2012 he looked far more bust than boom with an 11:15 touchdown-to-turnover ratio across 11 starts. Locker still has playmaking ability as both a runner and passer, so he offers potential as a high-ceiling if potentially worthless QB2.
142. Brian Quick -- The 33rd pick in last April's draft, Quick struggled for consistent playing time as a rookie after playing his college ball at small-school Appalachian State. Quick did flash in his limited opportunities, however, and is a good bet for an expanded role in St. Louis' 2013 offense.
143. Pierre Thomas -- A low-scoring utility back, Thomas is good for 9-10 touches a game and is a suitable bye-week flex option, but nothing more. He'd be less attractive in any offense outside of the Saints', and there is speculation they will cut Thomas because it'd cause no cap hit while freeing up $2.5 million in salary and bonuses. He's due a $300,000 roster bonus in early March.
144. LaMichael James -- Kendall Hunter's November Achilles' tear likely locks in James as Frank Gore's primary backup for 2013. Although Gore is showing no signs of slippage, he turns 30 in May and has nearly 2,000 carries worth of wear on his tires. James will be his explosive handcuff.
145. Shonn Greene -- After averaging a career-worst 3.85 yards per carry in 2012, Greene will hit free agency viewed by well-run NFL teams as no better than a No. 2 back. Not expected to return to the Jets, Greene will likely be a low-upside handcuff behind a more talented starter in 2013.
146. Jon Baldwin -- Built like Tarzan, Baldwin played the 2012 season like Jane. And with a new coaching staff in Kansas City, Baldwin is an underachieving holdover without an assured role. He has caught just 41 passes for 579 yards and two touchdowns through 26 career NFL games.
147. Fred Davis -- Underutilized in Washington's 2012 passing game before tearing his Achilles' tendon in Week 7, Davis is not under contract for 2013. The Redskins will probably try to re-sign him on the cheap, but role and health are major concerns for Davis' fantasy football outlook.
148. Jordan Cameron -- 24-year-old Cameron is a former college basketball player ready for an increased role in his third NFL season. Rob Chudzinski, a former tight ends coach, has overseen career-best years from Greg Olsen, Antonio Gates, and Kellen Winslow in each of his last three coaching stops. With Ben Watson headed to free agency, Cameron is Chud's next talented pupil.
149. Heath Miller -- Miller quietly finished as the No. 4 fantasy tight end, a career best with career highs in yards (816) and touchdowns (8). His season could have been even bigger had Ben Roethlisberger stayed healthy. Unfortunately, Miller shredded his right knee in Week 16 against the Bengals, tearing his ACL, PCL, and MCL. He seems unlikely to be ready for the start of 2013.
150. Santonio Holmes -- Holmes hasn't finished inside the top-30 fantasy wide receivers since 2009, and he will undergo a second surgery to repair his Lisfranc foot fracture in February. The Jets' $45 million receiver will be no better than a late-round flier in 2013 fantasy football drafts.
Just Missed: Vincent Brown, Brandon Myers, Emmanuel Sanders, Jeremy Kerley, Sam Bradford, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Ryan Tannehill, Jonathan Dwyer, Chris Ivory, Isaiah Pead, Peyton Hillis, Felix Jones, Ronnie Hillman, Danny Woodhead, Daniel Thomas, Donald Brown, Roy Helu, Andre Brown, DuJuan Harris, Alex Green, Greg Little, Mohamed Sanu, Nate Washington, Michael Floyd, Brandon LaFell, Davone Bess, Stephen Hill, Rod Streater, Ryan Broyles, Marvin Jones, Dwayne Harris, Zach Miller, Rob Housler, Marcel Reece, Kendall Hunter, Donnie Avery.
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