Top 5 fantasy values going into draft weekend

8/30/13 in NFL   |   droth   |   127 respect

Mob mentality is prevalent in the world of fantasy football. Player rankings vary between sites and, because we're all zombies, the results of any given draft are largely dependent on pre-draft rankings. In other words, most fantasy football managers are capable of individual and original thoughts, but we're all ultimately biased by whatever rankings we see directly in front of us.

So the best advice I can give is to create your own rankings. Don't do it in your head, do it in Excel or on a piece of paper. WRITE IT DOWN. DO IT!!! You'll find that when you do that, a few players will jump off the sheet and scream "draft me! I have nice value this year!" You're never going to completely agree with ESPN's or's rankings, so why use them for anything other than another, equally valid opinion? That's all they are, some other dude's guess of who's going to do better or worse than last year.

Where do I get off, you ask? Well, let me tell you, my Yahoo! fantasy trophy case is looking (Larry David voice) pretty, pretty good. Also, who cares, these are my favorite value picks this year; your list will probably look quite different, as it should. So take this list with that same grain of salt--ok, maybe get some new salt--and use it as just another stranger's opinion. If you're in one of my leagues, however, please stop reading now so I can get these guys.

1. Larry Fitzgerald
Jun. 11, 2013; Glendale, AZ, USA: Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald during mini camp at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Remember when Kurt Warner was throwing to him? In Warner's final three seasons (07, 08, 09) the Fitz averaged 98 catches, 1,300 receiving yards, and 11.6 TDs. Sure, Carson Palmer is not as good as Warner was then, but he's exponentially better than the noodle-armed nobodies that have been throwing to him lately. I've toyed with putting Larry as my #2 WR. He is the second best receiver in the game and it's just a matter of improving the quarterback play and he'll be elite again as a fantasy player. For me, he's clearly a top-5 receiver; his current average draft position (ADP) in ESPN leagues is 33.7 and ESPN has him ranked as the #9 WR. Would anyone be surprised if he ends up as the second best fantasy WR this year?

2. Arian Foster

Value is a relative thing. A few weeks ago I would've happily taken Arian with January 26, 2013; Honolulu, HI, USA; AFC running back Arian Foster of the Houston Texans (23) runs the football during the AFC practice on Ohana Day at the 2013 Pro Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sportsthe second pick and I still would today. The weird thing is that he's slipped; I was able to get him 8th in a mock draft a couple of days ago. Are you kidding me? There is an idea that he's an injury risk and, sure, he's an injury risk, but so is EVERY SINGLE RUNNING BACK EVER.

All things being equal, I'll take the guy who has dominated fantasy football for the last few years and plays for a beast of a team that loves to run the ball. Is Foster really any riskier than Jamaal Charles or CJ Spiller? No. And he's proved that he can very easily be the top player in fantasy. Side note: if he does go down, Ben Tate will be an elite fantasy running back. The Texans can seriously pound the rock.
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