Most often in fantasy, as in the real nfl draft, it's always about value. Taking guys after they slip a few spots based on projections and suddenly they become a value pick. Then there are the exceptions to the rule. Some guys are worth reaching for. Your fantasy colleagues will mumble, "That was a stretch" but pay no attention to what Thayse and I call, The Ranking Slaves. Sure, we always have our FFToolBox top 200 handy on draft day to guide us, but today we're going to showcase you a few names that might just be worth reaching for and also let you know when. So if your turn is up, the guy you were targeting just got snagged, and there's no position specifics you need...take a chance and stretch it out on these guys:
1. Ryan Matthews
Zeus- LOVE LOVE LOVE Ryan Matthews this year. Dude is going to be a beast. Norv has stated that his workload will be nuts, and I think that he can handle it. Matthews catches the ball out of the backfield, and with Tolbert gone his touches will be very high. I say you reach for Matthews EARLY in the first round to secure his services. In my opinion, his 1100 yards and 50 catches will seem like Childs play to what he will do this year. Say hello to a top 3 fantasy running back.
Thayse- Let's see, Ray Rice holding out in contract negotiations. McCoy lost his star left tackle and they don't want to overwork him. Foster has battled injuries every year and coach stated they are going to share his load. Although nobody will pick Mathews ahead of these guys, the possibility of being the #1 RB at season's end is out there. Lucky you to be in the middle/end of the first round when he's still on the board.
Zeus- As many of you know, I am not a big fan of drafting rookies high in fantasy. But TRich could be the best RB prospect since Adrian Peterson. If you are sitting there on draft day, and you watch a lot of the top backs go and you are a little bit of a gambling man, feel free to reach out and touch some TRich. Cleveland will no doubt feed him the ball like it is going out of style. When you look back at the 2012 season, this could be a major steal and a keeper for guys in those leagues.
Thayse- I can't get that replay out of my head. The one they keep showing of him two stepping that defender and waltzing into the end zone carrying the jock strap. Best part is this: reaching for Trent might be second or third round. I'd say once you hit the committee level backs, take Trent first.
3. Victor Cruz
Zeus-A year ago at this time if you were not a Giants fan you would not have known who Cruz was. He caught his first ball as an NFL player in 2011. Then he went on to catch 81 more for 1,536 yards and 9 TDs. He just busted out of the gates as teams were doubling up on Nicks and with Nicks' injury, he could start out the season slow. In an offense that passes the ball a lot, Cruz will be a stud in 2012. Reach for the stars.
Thayse- Top 5 Wr. Overshadowed by Nicks. Big play threat every time he touches the ball. Route running skills are intense and improving daily. Gronk and Jimmy might even go before him in most leagues. Don't let him get out of the second round. He will reward you handsomely.
4. Jordy Nelson -
Zeus- As a Packer fan, when Jordy Nelson was drafted in 2008 out of K-State we knew very little about him. That has changed. Aaron is the MVP of the league, and Jordy is one of his favorite targets. Catching 68 balls for 1265 yards and 15 (yes FIFTEEN) touchdowns, Jordy is worth the reach. The vast majority of fantasy owners will draft Jennings way ahead of Jordy here, but I think that a fantasy owner should reach for Jordy. He may explode this year and is a major threat. Again, your buddies may make fun of you for having Jordy Nelson as your WR1 or WR2, but you will have the last laugh.
Thayse- Packer fan or not, this kid is the real deal. He is tall, fast, has incredible hands and knows how to get open. Oh and having the NFL MVP throwing him the ball can't hurt. His TDs will be tough to reproduce, but catches and yards could both go up. Reaching for Jordy is still third round (possibly fourth) pending your league. You could reach and obtain value.
5. Eli Manning-
Zeus- When discussing this article, Thayse said we should talk Eli Manning because he thinks he should be drafted ahead of Cam Newton. I quickly said, REALLY??? Eli has been consistently knocked and he has done nothing but produce over and over again. I was the bigger Cam Nay-Sayer, but I will admit he proved me wrong again and again. To tell you the truth, both of these guys will be white hot in 2012, so reach for both. Eli has been a stud averaging about 30 TDs and 4,300 yards the past few years. He just missed 5,000 passing yards last year and will be a top 5 fantasy QB. Cam will produce again. Sophomore slump? I think not for this Cat. Reach for both to secure your stud fantasy QB.
Thayse- Nice Spin there doctor. My only issue with the Cam reach is everyone is taking him in the first round. I just don't see it. He's a fantasy stud, for sure, but I trust Manning more. His confidence has to be at an all time high. He is an unsung hero and a great QB and possible future hall of famer. Without the battering ram Jacobs around, I expect him to throw more in the redzone and have more dump offs to the backs and overall more passing attack. He is the best play action QB in the NFL in my opinion and has been for a few years now. I like his consistency. Take a chance in the third round. He will be there waiting.