This is a series on my 2013 outlook of players you would want to have on your Paper Pigskin team (fantasy football). I'll be organizing them by division. What you'll find here are my views based on years of playing experience and countless hours of geeking out researching stats, trends, and articles. I'll advise where to reach and whose hype not to believe.
New York Jets 181 passing ypg 119 rushing ypg (posted August 31, 2013)
QB: There's no purpose in drafting a Jets quarterback if Mark Sanchez is deemed the starter. The reasons won't be his 4-year career stats of 55% completion or his 68 touchdown to 69 interception ratio or his 3,000 yards per year average. The reason he shouldn't be drafted is because Marty Mornhinweg, his new offensive coordinator, runs a vanilla West Coast offensive scheme. Many teams use WC offense with much success but Marty's version is more evenly balanced between pass and run; this can lead to wins for the real football team but not good for your Paper Pigskin team. In addition the offensive scheme, there's just not enough receiving talent on this team to help Sanchez pad his stats. On the other hand, if Geno Smith gets the nod, there's plenty of potential for him to score points due to his running ability. If he does get the start, just know that rushing yards add addition value for QBs. Use a late round flier on Smith because the game is changing.
RB: Chris Ivory showed that he can be a productive running back when he got touches (5.1 ypc) except he hasn't been able to stay game ready to get those touches because of a myriad of ailments. Rex Ryan & Marty will give their running back(s) plenty of carries. Ivory's ADP of 29 among running backs places him right where he should be, out of the starting lineup. However, if Ivory can squash the durability concerns, he'll produce Ridley type numbers (RB that doesn't catch passes). Bilal Powell is worthy of a late round pick in deeper leagues, this is the next man in line. Mike Goodson will be the third down back when he returns from a 4-game suspension.
WR: The best of the bunch, Santonio Holmes, is out injured with no time table for his return. Jeremy Kerley is the leading receiver from last season whose only worth is as a bye week play in deep leagues. Stephen Hill will also get looks but in this offense it's not enough.
TE: Kellen Winslow is a reliable target as long as he can stay healthy, if healthy might be the best receiving option on his team. No fantasy value unless health is proven. Jeff Cumberland, on top of the depth chart, is not worthy of ownership either.
Defense: The safest pick to come from this team is the defense, which is the strong point of this team; Rex Ryan will be more hands on this season. Ryan's defenses in New York haven't been worse than eighth. Even without Revis, they're still talented. You can wait for the last round to fill a defensive spot and still have one of the best by drafting this unit.
New England Patriots 291 passing ypg 137 rushing ypg updated August 31, 2013)
They run the most plays in the NFL which gives plenty of chances to rack up fantasy points.
QB: The demise of Tom Brady's production has been greatly exaggerated. Yes, he has lost weapons but in years past he's been like Hanzo in "Kill Bill" creating the sharpest weaponry to slice up defenses. Arguably the best the game has seen is still arguably the best... in real life and Paper Pigskin. It's crazy to say that Brady is a sleeper but he's being passed up for the young guns; getting drafted outside of the top five at the position.
RB: Most people think of only the Patriots' aerial attack but they lead the NFL in rushing touchdowns and were 2nd in rushing attempts. Steven Ridley is the main guy here. His ADP represents a high end RB2 selection, even lower in PPR leagues due to only six catches last year, but he definitely puts out RB1 production. Ponder this on draft day: only five guys had more carries and two more TDs than Ridley did last season. When Brady passes to a back, it will be Shane Vereen with high volume. Woodhead's 55 targets need to be replaced, also the coaching staff is using Vereen to replace Hernandez in some sets. He can easily be a RB2 in PPR leagues.
WR: Danny Amendola will see as many targets as Welker did, the only problem is Amendola's durability issues. If not for that, he'd easily be a top 10 drafted WR; consider him high risk, high reward. Rookie wide receivers are not to be trusted but New England have two potential gems on their hand, Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins. Dobson is tall with the ability to make acrobatic catches. Thompkins has speed to burn, is tough, and has sticky hands. Both should get opportunities on the outside in 3 or more WR sets because Amendola is an ace in the slot. Thompkins gets the starting nod for now and will have low WR2 upside. Julian Edelman is also in the mix but will be used more so as a blocker in the running game or a possession receiver.
TE: Gronkowski is inactive, it is unknown when he'll be able to play. If you feel confident in your ability to make the playoffs, drafting him will put you over the top late in the season. Whether you draft Gronk or not, Zach Sudfield should get a look; at 6'7" he's an easy target to find, especially in the red zone. You can't go wrong taking a chance on him late in the draft. It is actually encouraged.
Defense: Bend but don't break. Gives up passing yards because most teams have to air it out to try to catch up. Their 41 take aways were 2nd in the NFL, and they've added Adrian Wilson to the secondary.
Miami Dolphins 199 passing ypg 113 rushing ypg (updated August 31, 2013)
Ryan Tannehill is a strong armed quarterback, who like most rookies,
had a rough going in his first season. In his defense, he didn't have a
top tier receiver to throw it to. He can be used as a bye week fill-in
against teams with poor passing defenses like Buffalo, San Diego and Carolina on Miami's schedule.
With Reggie Bush gone, Daniel Thomas is the Dolphins leading rusher returning from last season. However, it appears the team is handing the keys to a 2nd year
running back, Lamar Miller. Miller is a speedy back that has all the
tools to be successful in the league. Many people have been singing his
praises, including Frank Gore who says Miller can be one of the best to
come out of the U, comparing him to Clinton Portis. There are over 20
running backs being drafted ahead of him currently, if healthy, his
ceiling can be a low-end RB1 because of the lack of trust in his
backups. Bell Cows have a lot of potential in Paper Pigskin. Milk 'em.
Mike Wallace has always been known as a big play guy that can
frustrate fans with his propensity to drop passes. He was targeted a
career high 119 times last season yet only had 2 games that went over
100 yards. He has upside is top ten wide receiver, but more likely he'll finish
around 16-20. There is actually better value on this team. Brian Hartline is being drafted in late rounds; he had more receptions and yards than Wallace last season. Brandon Gibson had some good games last season in St.Louis,
put him on your watch list.
TE: Dustin Keller was brought on to be a secure target for Tannehill to check down to. He was coming off an injury marred year. Keller was injured in a preseason game and will miss the entire 2013 season. Charles Clay is now the TE1 in Miami but isn't worth a roster spot as of yet.
The D-line is the strong point on this side of the ball but not strong
enough to consider drafting them in normal sized leagues.
Buffalo Bills 204 passing ypg 139 rushing ypg (updated August 31, 2013)
QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick is one of the smartest players the league has seen but apparently couldn't outsmart defensive coordinators. He was released and replaced by Kevin Kolb and EJ Manuel. EJ should get the job, he's one of the most gifted throwers in the league but neither of these guys should be on your paper pigskin roster. However, in this fast-paced offense Manuel is worth a late round selection.
RB: Barring injury, CJ Spiller will explode this year as the featured back. He averaged over 6 yards per carry and finished 2nd in yards after contact behind Adrian Peterson. Reach for the stars and grab this guy if you have a top 5 pick, you won't be disappointed. Fred Jackson has proven to be a productive player, he should be owned in all leagues because he's too good to not get any game action, might even be RB3/flex in some deeper leagues.
WR: Stevie Johnson will be getting increased time in the slot under new coach Doug Marrone, which means more open looks. He should have his best season with Buffalo throwing a lot playing from behind, He can be a steal if he drops to the 8th round. If the offense plays as fast as advertised, you might want to take a late flyer on either of the rookies Woods or Rodgers
TE: Scott Chandler is a red zone monster. The only problem is you'll have to depend on his TDs for production. Do you want to take that chance?
Defense: Play all of your running backs when going up against them. They ranked 31st in allowing yards on the ground.