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.
Philadelphia Eagles 237 passing ypg 117 rushing ypg (posted August 28, 2013)
Fans in Philly and around the NFL have been used to Andy Reid pacing
the sidelines for the last 14 years methodically calling intricate pass
plays. Reid is no longer in town and his successor has a style that is
the polar opposite. Chip Kelly is implementing a system that advocates
getting plays started without using much of the play clock. What this
means for the quarterback is that he'll have an abundance of
opportunities to score points. It's unknown what the ratio of run to
pass will actually be, what is known is that Michael Vick can run very
well and is encouraged to do so. Vick's value is predicated on his
ability to gain rushing yards in large chunks even though it's common
knowledge that he has one of the strongest arms in the league albeit he
isn't very accurate. Vick is a high end QB2 with top five upside.
LeSean McCoy will finally be the focal point of this Eagle's offense.
His name will be called often to run the ball, catch screens and even
line up in the slot. McCoy is a dangerous runner in space; no need to
worry about him being under utilized. Draft with confidence and expect
big things. No running back can take on a Kelly's workload by himself.
Bryce Brown, due to the fast pace of this offense can be flex worthy in
deep leagues. Chris Polk is more versatile and should be on your watch
WR: DeSean Jackson is explosive, the team will
try to get him the ball deep and on hitch plays to utilize his speed in
open spaces. He is being drafted as a WR3 which could be a bargain;
he's the play maker in this teams passing game. Riley Cooper is a
big-bodied WR who will get looks in the red zone. He has Paper
Pigskin point potential in this uptempo system; use a late round pick and
watch the developments. Jason Avant is an excellent receiver that Vick
trusts in the middle of the field, his only value is in deep PPR
TE: Brent Celek can carve out a good role for himself in this offense that calls for quick-hitting plays. He's a high end TE2
Lost a few key players, and with their offense not utilizing much time
of possession, this unit will be worn down at end of games.
New York Giants 239 passing ypg 116 rushing ypg (updated September 2, 2013)
QB: You can find Eli Manning's picture in the football encyclopedia next to the entry for "inconsistency". Eli had five games of under 200 yards passing, only three in which he threw for over 300 including one that surpassed 500. There were also five games where he had a touchdown bagel, with five game of tossing three or more. It wasn't entirely his fault as his main targets had trouble staying on the field, also factor in his head coach is fully committed to a conservative old school game plan. The younger Manning can very well finish as a top 10 Paper Pigskin passer but it is a risk to draft him as such. He's one of the top three backups to have.
RB: Explosive is the best word to describe David Wilson. He's elusive and tough to bring down which gives him a good chance to take any carry to the house. He didn't get much of an opportunity last season after fumbling his first career carry, with Bradshaw no longer present, he has a shot of blowing up and breaking out. Wilson has the ability to be a solid RB1. with his game breaking ability. Andre Brown converted 8 of 10 carries inside the 3-yard line for a touchdown. If you're in a "TD only" league, Brown should be one of the first picks; those numbers account for only 10 games due to injury. Again, Brown is out with a fractured leg; he will miss the first six weeks of the season.
WR: Victor Cruz is a solid WR2, as he's taken on more of a role for the Giants, he's become more of a possession receiver which lowers his ceiling. However, if Hakeem Nicks can play most of the games, Cruz will be utilized more in the slot where he's lethal down the seams. Nicks played 13 games last season but played through lower extremities for most of them. His current ADP of 18 is much too high, there are other players more worthy of a pick at that spot. You want to make sure Rueben Randle is on your watch list if not drafted (he should be drafted); Randle is third on the depth chart.
TE: Eli Manning makes good use of his tight ends. Last season Brandon Myers had the highest catch percentage of anybody worth mentioning at this position. As long is he's not in the coach's dog house for being a weak blocker, he should finish with top 10 numbers.
Defense: This unit was horrible in giving up yards but often scored points in fantasy because they forced turnovers. They're in the middle of the pack and can be used for match up purposes.
Washington Redskins 214 passing ypg 169 rushing ypg (updated September 2, 2013)
QB: Robert Griffin III was a pleasant surprise for Paper Pigskin players last season. Most drafted him to be a backup quarterback but he ended up to be fantasy gold until he was merely average/useless in the playoffs. RG3 should have another QB1 type season but don't expect his rushing numbers to remain the same due to organization scaling back on designed run plays to protect him from further damaging his knee. No need to fret because Griffin is one of the most accurate passers the NFL has (only 5 int last season) and also was the leader in yards per attempt. Getting better at reading coverages and understanding defenses in year 2 will make him much more lethal as a passer. With Garcon and Davis healthy along with the younger receivers maturing, Griffin has solid weapons. Draft him as a QB1.
RB: If the Skins quarterback was gold, getting their starting running back was like winning the lottery. Alfred Morris went undrafted in majority of leagues last season and ended up as the NFL's 2nd leading rusher behind AD the God. He might be able to surpass his rookie year's performance as coach Mike Shanahan said Morris has elevated his game as a pass catcher and we'll see more of that element from him. He's first round quality in any format now. Roy Helu will play most 3rd downs, giving him some value in PPR leagues.
WR: Pierre Garcon will be the guy most passing plays are called for, he's dynamic game breaker that runs great deep routes. If the foot problem that hampered him last season subsist, picking Garcon earlier than 60 can be a gamble, however he has potential to be a WR1/high WR2. Santana Moss, the veteran, had 8 TD grabs last season which is unlikely to be repeated; he's not relevant. Josh Morgan and Leonard Hankerson aren't worth a while unless sustained injury to Garcon occurs.
TE: Fred Davis is an underrated tight end whose path to fantasy stardom was halted by a drug suspension preceding an achilles injury. He's the logical #2 option in the passing game that will benefit from defensive spying on his quarterback. This sleeper that can be had before you decide on your kicker presents tremendous value.
Defense: The secondary was soft last season due in part by a weak pass rush. Brian Orakpo's return should aid some but still is a middle of the pack defense that shouldn't be drafted.
Dallas Cowboys 296 passing ypg 79 rushing ypg
QB: Tony Romo has a reputation for choking in big games, therefore he gets overlooked in the rankings of Paper Pigskin quarterbacks. His 2012 category rankings: touchdowns 6th, completion percentage 5th, passing yards 3rd. It doesn't make sense that he's currently the 12th passer being chosen in drafts, this a case of perception taking precedence over production. Don't be "that guy" that says Romo isn't a good player, let everybody else worry about his failures in real football and let him help you in fantasy football.
RB: DeMarco Murray has the potential to be a top 10 running back; he's that talented. There have been two knocks against him though. First, Jason Garrett has tended to disregard the running game in the past, thus decreasing Murray's workload. Second, injuries make up a nice portion of his resume. New offensive coordinator Bill Callahan (known for his love of the ground game) was brought in to bring more balance to this offense which will be good news to those that take a chance on Murray. Guys like Phillip Tanner, Lance Dunbar, and rookie Joseph Randle are ready to step in if he happens to get injured again.
WR: Dez Bryant finally played up to his expectations in the 2nd half last season, he appeared to be more focused than before. There's no doubt that he is now a top five receiver and is capable of being the best. Miles Austin is also a quality receiver, he will benefit from the attention defenses give to Bryant. Austin is being selected in the 8th round of 12 team leagues.
TE: Jason Witten often gets ignored and isn't spoken of enough as an elite Tight End. He lead all TEs last season in receptions and yardage; the only thing keeping his fantasy numbers down are lack of touchdown catches.
Defense: Monte Kiffin is switching them from a 3-4 to a 4-3 based unit. This Cowboy squad isn't one that should be drafted, but watch for their improvement.