EDITOR NOTE: This Guest Spot contribution comes from Greg Brosh. Brosh is the vice president and running backs analyst at fantasyknuckleheads.com. Fantasy Knuckleheads Customizable Fantasy Football Draft Guide for 2013 is now live. Also follow them on Google +.
Coming off a highly-disappointing 2012 season in which he threw more interceptions (11) than touchdowns (10), Jake Locker is heading for a make-or-break year in 2013. As far as fantasy football relevance, Locker is currently in the dog house. As of this writing, his ranking is as the 27th quarterback taken off the board. In standard 12-team leagues, he’s off the draft radar completely. While I could say that’s a bit harsh since he’s being drafted behind players who have yet to take an NFL snap (Geno Smith/E.J. Manuel), Locker is just too hard to trust as a fantasy asset until we see whether or not he can get it together on the field.
Chris Johnson’s 2012 season had gotten off to such a rocky start that many owners had asked us whether or not it was worth keeping him on their rosters. He finally broke out in Week 4 against the Houston Texans with 141 rushing yards, however, his year was filled with inconsistencies after that. If you look at his rushing yards on the surface, 1,243 isn’t bad. But if you dig deeper, you will see he had five huge games that skewed the overall number. Will 2013 be the same? The offensive line sees upgrades at guard with Andy Levitre and rookie Chance Warmack, but they also signed former New York Jets bust Shonn Greene. Greene isn’t going to turn his career around at this point but the Titans do want him more involved in short-yardage/goal-line situations. That doesn’t help Johnson in regards to his rushing stats or scoring opportunities in most fantasy football leagues.
The good news, however, is the team wants Johnson more involved in the passing game. While this keeps his PPR value afloat, his current ranking as the 12th running back taken off the board in points-per-reception leagues is too high. Especially considering guys like Steven Jackson and Maurice Jones-Drew are still on the board. It’s easy to see Johnson is being overvalued heading into the middle of August. I can’t see Greene being worth anything with such a small role in the rushing game. Leave him be.
Lastly, the fantasy value of this receiving corps is also dicey. No. 1 receiver Kenny Britt has the ability to be a stud, but off-field problems and injuries have hampered him for most of his career. Now completely healthy after missing 13 games in 2011 with an MCL/ACL tear and dealing with the aftereffects in 2012, Britt could be in line for a quiet bounce-back year. He’s currently being drafted as the 35th wide receiver off the board with his ADP (Average Draft Pick) coming in at around the beginning of the eighth round. A WR3 tag is what people should expect. There is a chance he could outperform where he’s being taken but that chance isn’t as high as some think.
Kendall Wright had a strong rookie season after he racked up 64 receptions, 626 receiving yards and four touchdowns. However, in terms of fantasy value, he’s really nothing more than depth for your fantasy squad. His upside is higher than Britt’s, especially if Locker improves, but he’s too risky as anything more than a WR4. Rookie Justin Hunter is better off being taken in dynasty leagues where owners can sit on him for a couple years until he starts showing he can handle the rigors of the NFL. If Britt isn’t re-signed, Hunter should have more value in 2014.