Fantasy football is all about value. Last season anyone could have drafted Arian Foster in the first round, but not everyone would have taken Matthew Stafford in the 8th round or Jimmy Graham in the 10th and so on. This year you will have to spend a much pick higher to get any of those guys. The trick is to find these guys before and it’s easier said than done.
With that said, here are five fantasy football players that I think will outperform their ADP for the 2012 fantasy football season.
Note: ADP Data from FantasyPros.com
1. Percy Harvin (ADP: 50.8)
Percy Harvin really started to click with Christian Ponder after the rookie took over in the second-half of last season. In his final seven games, all with Ponder at quarterback, Harvin had 581 yards and six touchdowns. He set career highs all across the board and he did all of that despite only playing in 57.9% of offensive snaps. Harvin has a realistic chance to finish in the Top 10. I like him even more in PPR leagues.
2. Jeremy Maclin (ADP: 57.5)
Maclin has generated a ton of offseason “buzz” from Eagles coaches, players and beat writers yet he’s being drafted outside the Top 20 receivers. He played well last season – 63 catches for 859 yards and 5 TDs – and he missed four games to injury. He also had a cancer scare last offseason which caused him to miss most of training camp and lose 15 pounds. Now fully healthy and back to weight, I expect Maclin to establish himself as the go-to-receiver for Michael Vick and an elite fantasy receiver.
3. Matt Ryan (ADP: 76.6)
I’ve already mentioned how deep quarterback is (link) and my love for Ryan is one of those reasons. He’s currently the 11th quarterback drafted, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he finished around the Top 5. The Falcons have a new offensive coordinator who wants to emphasize the vertical passing game. Couple that with a declining running back and the best receiver duo in the league in Roddy White and Julio Jones and Ryan looks prime for a big season.
4. Jamaal Charles (ADP: 24.6)
Along with Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles is also coming off a torn ACL. The difference though is that Charles suffered his injury in Week 1, opposed to Week 16 for Peterson, giving him four more months to recover and rehab. New Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel wants to run the rock and the Chiefs also added one of the top right tackles in the game in Eric Winston. I’m not too worried about Peyton Hillis. Charles shared the load with Thomas Jones in 2010 and it didn’t stop him from putting up huge numbers. I wouldn’t have a problem drafting Charles at the end of Round 1 or the beginning of Round 2.
5. Stevan Ridley (ADP: 84.3)
The Patriots don’t usually produce great fantasy running backs, but there could be an exception this year. Benjarvus Green-Ellis left for Cincinnati, leaving behind 24 touchdowns and 2,000 total yards the last two seasons for someone to grab. Enter, Stevan Ridley. Ridley is a much better talent than Green-Ellis and his big-play ability adds an element the Patriots were lacking with the Law Firm. I’m not too concerned about Shane Vreen, who is having trouble holding off a UDFA so far at training camp. While Ridley won’t be a star, I think he can be a solid No. 2 RB for your team.
Other Players to Keep an Eye On: Eric Decker, Ben Roethlisberger, Roy Helu, Santana Moss, Greg Olsen
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