A genius can be described as a person who is intellectually superior when compared to his or her peers. Over the years many great men have claimed the title of genius, and today, I too will claim that title by making some amazing predictions for this upcoming NFL season.
Smart fantasy owners usually draft according to ‘VBD’ or value based drafting, but who determines this value? Most websites use computerized algorithms to statistically rank players without human bias. However any fantasy pro should realize personal bias can potentially be their best friend… especially if they’re a genius.
In 2011 Cam Newton was barley ranked in fantasy circles, he went undrafted in most leagues and had one of the best fantasy Seasons in history
Pre-draft rankings have to be taken with a grain of salt, especially after the 10th and 11th rounds, depending on your NFL knowledge you might want to start reaching for your favorite players at that point in the draft. If you have a strong feeling about player “X” but he is ranked 15 spots lower than player “Y” do not bet against your own intuition. Numerous times I see fantasy owners pass on ‘their’ guy, just to later scream out expletives when someone else in the draft room reaches for that same player.
Always remember that the computer can only predict so much, so never feel compelled to blindly follow the CPU ranking. If you are truly a genius then your own personal bias can lead you to success. So without further delay lets look at my top 3 under valued NFL players who will surprise fantasy fans in 2014.
Fantasy rankers have a very short memory. How quickly they forgot the most impressive rookie running back in 2012. Martin ran for over 1400 yards and had 12 total touchdowns, he also had almost 500 receiving yards on roughly 50 catches. That type of production was simply amazing for a rookie. Then came 2013 when the entire Tampa Bay organization began to implode under Greg Schiano’s alleged douche-bag personality. To add injury to insult the Muscle Hamster hurt his shoulder and only played in 6 out of 16 games last year. Fast forward to this summer under Lovie Smith’s new coaching regime when Doug Martin had to prove himself all over again beating out every single running back Tampa could throw his way. Good athletes usually have huge ego’s and after missing almost an entire year, Martin will be looking to prove to the world just how good he really is. Simply put, very few NFL runners have the talent of Doug Martin and he will look to prove this in 2014
#2. Dwayne Allen will be Andrew Luck’s ‘Gronkowski’ in 2014
Dwayne Allen is one of the best kept secrets in the NFL. He came into the league as a 3rd round blocking tight end and was originally slated to back up Andrew Luck’s long time ‘bestie’, Coby Fleener. However when training camp started in 2012 Allen proved to the coaching staff that he was better than Fleener in every single aspect of football. Now before you call this a biased opinion, lets take a look at their rookie numbers in 2012.
Dwayne Allen: 45 catches 521 yards and 3 touchdowns
Coby Fleener: 26 catches 281 yards and 2 touchdowns
Granted Dwayne Allen didn’t do a whole lot better than Fleener, but when you consider Fleener was drafted a round before Allen it makes you wonder. Fleener was slated to be the pass catcher and previously had chemistry playing with Anderw Luck at Stanford. The fact that Allen almost doubled Fleener’s production as a blocking tight end only proves Allen is the vastly superior talent.
In 2013, Allen’s season was cut short after catching only one pass. However that pass was a 20 yard touchdown, Allen was definitely poised to have a break out season but unfortunately his year was cut shot due to a hip injury. This year will be Dwayne Allen’s surprise comeback season, so make sure you pick him up off waivers or at least brag to your friends about his production so you can look like a genius later this year, when he’s Luck’s #1 redzone target.
#3. Brandin Cooks will be a ppr-machine and grab 75 or more catches in 2014 .
Most rookie receivers take about 3 seasons to become legitimate pass catching threats in the NFL, however Brandin Cooks will be the exception to this rule. All news out of Saints camp this summer has been positive to say the least when concerning Cooks.
(Brandin Cooks) does give us a threat. He’s a guy that can be used in a lot of ways. It’s always challenging when you lose a certain amount of touches. Darren (Sproles) provided X amount of offense for us and I think more than anything else, he (Cooks) was the type of guy that fit our program. -Sean Peyton
Although he played in slightly different role, Reggie Bush came out the gate with 88 total catches in his rookie year. This proves Sean Peyton isn’t afraid to throw a rookie on the field if he feels that rookie is ready to contribute. Both Brees and Peyton have been very bullish when speaking on the 1st round rookie. Now that Darren Sproles and Lance Moore are both no longer in the ‘Black and Gold’, Cooks will have a huge year picking up the lion share of their old targets.
Fantasy fans are too low on CJ Spiller. Last year’s injury plagued season of 947 rushing yards and 4.6 yards a carry was was a failure for CJ Spiller.
I just need to repeat that…. “947 rushing yards and 4.6 yards a carry was a failure for CJ Spiller“
In his first 3 seasons Denarius Moore has quietly scored 18 total touchdowns and with all due respect to the quarterbacks in Raider-Nation that 18 touchdowns is quite the accomplishment. Saying the Oakland Raiders needed a QB is like saying sharks need water to survive. Well guess guess what? The sharks finally found that water, in rookie QB Derek Carr.
The more I think is the more I know and the more I know is the more I think. Everyone has an opinion, but the words of a genius hold more weight than a bodybuilder. I could go on throwing around names like Mike Evans and even Russell Wilson who both seem to be undervalued going in to 2014. However as we inch closer and closer to week 1, now is the time to analyze this data.
Class is session.