5 fantasy football alternatives to conventional draft plans

by Cory J. Bonini on August 29, 2013 @ 14:10:50 PDT


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Fantasy footballers are confused with a few situations that could make or break their upcoming seasons. Draft with your head, not your heart. Don't feel loyal to players, and, conversely, do not hold a poor showing over the head of a fantasy commodity on draft day.

Cast aside personal biases against players from your favorite team's rival, and recognize every season is a new year offering a fresh start to get on track.

With all things being equal, in a standard Yahoo! Sports fantasy league scoring system, follow this advice and you won't be sorry.

Pick Drew Brees, not Aaron Rodgers: Rodgers may be the better real NFL quarterback, but fake football leagues favor Brees' ridiculous statistical output. Don't believe me? The numbers do the talking. Brees has averaged more attempts, yards, and offensive touchdowns per year than Rodgers has since the start of the 2008 season, but a closer look over the last three years further illustrates how Brees is the better option.

2010-12 average statistics

Brees: 5,091 passing yards, 42 TDs, 18 INTs, 442.5 fantasy points
Rodgers: 4,287 passing yards, 40 TDs, 8 INTs, 419.1 fantasy points

The Saints' offense is better built for huge fantasy numbers, and the return of head coach Sean Payton will make Brees more efficient. Turnovers are part of Brees' game. Rodgers goes in the first round, too, while Brees has a second-round average draft placement. While this may sound like splitting hairs, because you cannot go wrong either way, there is more value found in Brees, and he is more likely to be the top fantasy passer than Rodgers.

Pick Andre Brown, not David Wilson: The New York Giants duo is likely to cannibalize each other in a time share that could be split down the middle. The coaching staff could ride the hot hand any given week, but Brown's red zone prowess makes him the safer choice for more consistent production. Consistency wins head-to-head leagues. The more explosive Wilson could finish with a lot of yardage and a healthy average, but finding the end zone more than a couple of times should prove difficult. Wilson has the slight advantage in PPR Yahoo! leagues.

Pick Giovani Bernard, not BenJarvus Green-Ellis: Bernard is explosive and far more dynamic than The Law Firm. He can take the ball to the house on any given play and is a third-down weapon for Andy Dalton in the passing game. Bernard should split carries with BJGE early on. Look for this to shift into his favor once he outplays the veteran for a few weeks. This offense has craved a big-play threat; offensive coordinator Jay Gruden will utilize Bernard in creative ways that will generate mismatches.

Pick T.Y. Hilton, not Reggie Wayne: There simply isn't value in picking Wayne over Hilton. The youger pass catcher will not start in name but is still the primary target for owners in standard scoring formats. The veteran is the favorite of Andrew Luck, for sure, and Wayne opens up the field for Hilton. However, the more athletic second-year man is a better big-play threat and realistically could outscore Wayne in standard formats. You can spend a sixth-round average pick on Wayne or an eighth on his explosive sidekick. That should be a no-brainer for those in non-PPR leagues.

Pick Brandon Pettigrew, not Jermaine Gresham: The Cincinnati Bengals tight end is going, on average, in Round 8, which is obscenely too early for him. Gresham is likely to stay in as a blocker most of the year; rookie first-rounder Tyler Eifert will be their go-to tight end target, especially in the red zone. Pettigrew, on the other hand, is healthy and should remain a favorite of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. The fifth-year veteran snagged 59 receptions in a 14-game down year. He averaged 77 balls the prior two seasons. Look for the addition of running back Reggie Bush to open up the middle of the field for Pettigrew, making him a sneaky low-end No. 1 fantasy tight end.

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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