Heirs Apparent (Page 2)

 
 
 
 
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Heirs Apparent

Which young players are in line to take over for aging stars Profiled players include Shonn Greene, Daniel Thomas, Jon Baldwin, A.J. Green, and Jordy Nelson.

Sanders showed plenty of promise in his rookie season to emerge as the WR opposite Mike Wallace once Hines Ward permanently hangs up his cleats for dancing shoes. The rookie from SMU hauled in 28 passes for 376 yards and 2 TDs before suffering a broken foot in a Super Bowl loss. He showed reliable hands (only dropped 3 of 60 targets) and impressive downfield speed, making Sanders well worth a late round flier (especially in dynasty leagues). If Big Ben gets his wish and the Steelers increase their pass attempts, it is very possible that Sanders could emerge as a legit WR3. Hines Ward finished with only 755 yards (47 yards/game) last season after topping 1,000 yards the past two seasons. He remains one of the tougher possession receivers in the league, but that doesn't result in fantasy success. Sanders is primed to speed passed Ward on the fantasy relevance scale in 2011.

Pete Carroll thought he got a steal when the Seattle Seahawks selected WR Golden Tate at #60 in the 2010 draft. Many experts labeled Tate as the most pro-ready WR coming in, but his rookie season stat line begged to differ. In only three seasons at ND, Tate set a school record with 15 100-yard games. He also entered the Irish record books for most receiving yards in a career (2,707) and season (1,496 in 2009). His first season in Seattle was less than impressive as the Golden Domer failed to claim a starting spot, finishing with only 21 catches for 227 yards and zero TDs (11 games). On the plus side for Tate is the fact that the slot position job remains wide open as Seattle boasts one of the weaker WR corps in the league led by Mike Williams and Ben Obamanu. Big Mike Williams (not to be confused much more talented Mike Williams from TB) has the possession thing locked up in Seattle, but as the starting slot receiver Tate could be a pleasant surprise. He has some skill and with a year under his belt and playing in a system he is now familiar with could be worth a flier in deeper PPR leagues. One caveat to his value is the uncertainty at the QB position. I'm not sure any Seattle WRs will be relevant if Charlie Whitehurst is under center in week 1.

The emergence of rookie Jimmy Graham led the Saints to part ways with veteran Jeremy Shockey (now in Carolina). Graham hauled in 31 catches for 356 yards and 5 TDs last season and developed solid chemistry with Drew Brees in the 2nd half of the season. The Saints are known for spreading the ball around to a bevy of receivers, but Graham might be their 2nd best option behind Colston. The 6'6, 260 pound TE from the U remains a monster in the red zone in an elite passing game and will be the starter from week 1. With #1 WR Marques Colston's balky knees continuing to be a concern, Graham is positioned to finish as a surefire top 10 TE with the potential to crack the top 5 depending on his workload. It is worth noting that Reggie Bush is likely to be on a different roster once free agency begins, so his receptions will also be available.

 
Rob Warner
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Conshohocken, PA
FFToolbox Fantasy Football Writer since 2008
Education: graduate from LaSalle University (Accounting major)
Occupation: been working in Commercial Real Estate Analytics since 2000 (Morningstar Credit Ratings)

Fantasy Football Experience:
Been playing fantasy football since 1990 and fantasy baseball since 1995.
Have been writing fantasy football and baseball articles for FFToolbox since 2008.
Content manager for Spinball Inc. - responsible for planning all fantasy football related articles and coordinating/editing submissions from guest writers. Also take the lead on radio appearances (Sirius radio, blogtalk etc.)
Spinball's Mock Draft top 100 for the 2013 draft finished well ahead of ESPN self procalimed draft guru Mel Kiper: http://www.thehuddlereport.com/scoring/top100.shtml

Favorite Teams: all things Minnesota - Vikings, Twins, Twolves, Gophers, Wild. Also support home town Phillies (was in attendance for World Series clinching game 5 in 2008). Favorite athlete of all time was Kirby Puckett.

Interests: running (completed Philly marathon 3 times), playing all sports (specifically baseball, football, tennis), concerts/music (drumming) - attended SXSW three times, cooking, travel (attended Wimbledon and hoping to make it to Aussie and French Opens in near future).