Extra Value Menu June 14, 2012  |  Jeff

Checking current fantasy football ADP (Average Draft Position) reports is one of my favorite summer pastimes, right next to BBQ-ing big hunks of animal and lighting fireworks. Draft positions fluctuate frequently as training camps progress, so The Fake Football will be keeping tabs on the best value buys all summer long. Value is the name of the game, and whether I’m snagging a double cheeseburger from the Arches, or buying an 18 pack of “whatever-is-$12.99-light,” I’m always on the hunt for value. Here are a few fake football players that are well worth the price (all ADP data courtesy of fantasyfootballcalculator.com):


James Starks (Current ADP: 73rd overall, 29th RB): Starks was a very difficult running back to own in 2011. Prior to his late season injury, he was nearly unplayable due to his time share with Ryan Grant and Green Bay’s preference for passing. This year will be a new story for old Jimbo Starks. The most obvious boost to Starks’ 2012 value is the departure of Ryan Grant and his 134 carries from one season ago. This means an increased work load for Starks right out of the starting blocks in 2012 (young Alex Green and his three career carries/ACL rehab are nothing to be scared of). The aspect of Starks’ 2012 potential I like most (evident in our RB projections) is his touchdown total. Yes, the Packers throw a TON in the red zone, but Starks scored one TD last year. ONE! Rodgers and Kuuuuuhn will get their short yardage plunges, but Starks could easily fall in the zone for five scores to go along with the yardage benefits of finally being a primary back. I’ll take that at the end of the 6th round.

Brent Celek (Current ADP: 159th overall, 16th TE): Brent Celek is going to have a MONSTER 2012 season. How do I know? Well, first of all, I heard he spent his offseason growing a sweet mustache and is now spelling his name Selleck. If that isn’t enough, let’s dig into his 2011 performance. The first five weeks were brutal for the Eagle tight end, as he pulled in only nine catches for 73 yards and failed to reach the end zone. Now, pull out your scissors and snip those first five games from Celek’s season. The rest of 2011 saw Celek grab 53 passes for 738 yards and five touchdowns, which gives us a 16 game pace of 77/1,073/7. That is a big time line available at the end of drafts, so make sure to keep Celek highlighted on your draft sheet.

Beanie Wells (Current ADP: 61st overall, 26th RB): No matter what you think about Beanie Wells, and no matter how much his ‘87 year old WWII veteran knees’ frighten you, the guy did finish 2011 as the 15th highest scoring running back. Despite the impending return of Ryan Williams from injury, Wells will still be the focal point of the Arizona run game and is most definitely worth a shot at 61st overall. Even if Arizona’s workhorse back doesn’t match his 1,047 rushing yards of last season, Wells will still maintain his role as goal line battering ram and rack up a beefy TD total once again. Drafters who pass up on Beanie at the end of the 5th round may be broken down on the side of the road in LeGarrette Blount-ville before they know it. If your first four picks include a QB and two WR, adding Wells as a second RB would look pretty solid.

Antonio Brown (Current ADP: 64th overall, 26th WR): A young wide receiver like Antonio Brown is exactly what I love adding to my fantasy teams. In his first full season, Brown racked up 1,108 receiving yards and showed that he very well could be Large Ben’s favorite target. Do you want some more good news? Brown managed to finish as the 23rd highest scoring wide receiver in 2011, despite scoring only two touchdowns and was the only WR in the top 35 with less than four. You can bet your last ten pesos that 2012 will bring a MUCH more respectable touchdown total for Brown, along with some big time yardage. The sixth round is no place for this value packed player.

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