Preseason fantasy rankings are an extremely imperfect art and this is the perfect example. Blount was a top-three or top-four round running back last season, but after injuries took hold of him last year, he’s suddenly dropped to a late round guy. Blount’s got minimal wear and tear on him and he showed what he can do when healthy his rookie season. Doug Martin may have the starting spot for now, but he’s a completely different mold from Blount and if both rushers are healthy, I’m guessing the bigger guy’s getting the bulk of the short-yardage and goal-line carries.
MIKE WILLIAMS, WR, TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
This is a ranking I just can’t understand. Yeah, Williams was disappointing last year, but most of that disappointment falls on the lackluster performance of Josh Freeman. Williams was far too good his rookie season – just two years ago when he compiled 964 yards and 11 touchdowns – to be as low as he is in the ESPN rankings right now (128th, five spots ahead of Randy Moss). He’s a crazy-good athlete that will only benefit from the addition of Vincent Jackson. Expect far better numbers than the 771 yards, 3 touchdowns he put up last year.
ANDREW LUCK, QB, INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
This one is especially for deep leagues, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s a guy that’s added to every league after week one or two. Remember how quickly Cam Newton exceeded our expectations last season? Well Luck is in a similar situation on a team that no one expects to do well and even if though they probably won’t, there’s still room for some fantasy points to go around. I’m thinking something like 3,500 yards, 20 TDs, 16 INTs as his possible line at the end of the year.
RYAN WILLIAMS, RB, ARIZONA CARDINALS
We all know the concerns about Beanie Wells playing another full season with his injury history. But then there’s the question of who we should be looking at in case these speculations come true. We’ve seen very little from Ryan Williams, Arizona’s 2nd round pick in 2011, but there’s a good chance that he’ll start the season as Beanie’s number two. Williams has rushed for 40 yards on 8 carries in his two preseason games this year and he’ll remain mostly a mystery until we start to see what kind of Cardinals team shows up this year. Stay tuned.
MIKEL LESHOURE, RB, DETROIT LIONS
By not adding either Cedric Benson or Ryan Grant this offseason, the Lions were either stupid, or they knew something that the rest of the league doesn’t yet about Leshoure. Neither Kevin Smith nor Jahvid Best can consistently stay on the field, and even when they can, neither are great up-the-gut runners, both being better off screens or pitch-plays. Leshoure is a boulder of a running back that’s perfect for short yardage situations. The Lions have one of the leagues most dominant passing attacks, which leads to a hefty amount of redzone opportunities for running backs. Translation: keep your eye on the running back situation here. (And as a side note, Leshoure is suspended for the first two games of the season, so be on the watch for week 3)