We are one day away from the beginning of June and Fantasy Football mock drafts are already in full swing. With that, fantasy owners can get a general idea of what certain player’s ADP (Average Draft Position) looks like. With the help of Fantasy Calculator, let’s take a look at some guys who I personally believe will outperform their ADP and provide solid fantasy value for owners this season.
Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys (8.02): From a fantasy perspective, I absolutely love Romo, so of course he is going to be featured in this column. Romo is currently being drafted as the 12th fantasy signal caller, but there is so much reason to believe he will perform as at least a top-10 guy instead. Why? Gee, let’s see. Maybe because he does it every single year? Over the last four years, Romo has finished as at least a top-eight fantasy quarterback three times. Not only do you like players who are skilled, but you also like guys who do what they do best a lot. Romo falls under that category, having thrown over 520 passes in each of the last two seasons. Outside of Drew Brees and Matthew Stafford, Romo might be the safest bet to lead the league in attempts. With emerging Dez Bryant on the outside and reliable Jason Witten over the middle, Romo has plenty of weapons to succeed. A safe candidate to toss for at least 4,000 yards and 30 scores, I currently have Romo ranked, surprise surprise, eighth. Barring injury, he will finish around that general area, at least.
Stevie Johnson, Buffalo Bills (8.04): Yes, I am a Bills fan, but even if I wasn’t, Johnson would be on this list. In my eyes, he is one of the most underrated wideouts in football, as he quietly continues to get the job done. He has posted at least 1,000 yards and six touchdowns in every season since 2010. Keep in mind, that is with some rather unappealing options at the quarterback position. According to Fantasy Calculator, Johnson is being drafted after guys like Anquan Boldin, T.Y. Hilton and Josh Gordon. Obviously, this upsets me quite a bit. Johnson is a strong talent who will likely be lining up in the slot quite a bit, which could make it even easier for him to get open. Sure, he rarely ever puts up those monster performances, but his week-to-week safety is something to consider. Even if he doesn’t find the end zone, he usually posts a six-catch, 70-yard game each week. Also, if rookie EJ Manuel ends up playing like the guy Buffalo thinks he is, considering they reached on him, Johnson could be a cheap bargain for some serious fantasy production.
Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants (5.04): This is a bit of a gut call here, but I have believed that Nicks, when healthy, has top-10 upside. Of course, that scary word is the key; healthy. In his four seasons as a pro, Nicks has yet to play a full season, which has presented himself as a bit of a risk for fantasy owners. Currently coming in at 5.04, there are certainly some quality guys being drafted ahead of him, but again, if healthy, Nicks can dominate at the wide receiver position. As awesome as Victor Cruz has been, I still firmly believe that Nicks is the all around, more dangerous receiver. And while he may not be a fantasy superstar, I believe last season will not be duplicated for Eli Manning, and he will play much, much better, resulting in better fantasy production from Nicks when on the field. Eli loves to throw the ball deep, and with Nicks’ combination of size and speed, these two could be hooking up quite a bit in 2013.
Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams (9.06): There must be some reason why the Rams traded up for this guy in the fifth round during the 2013 draft, right? With Steven Jackson in Atlanta, a starting gig at running back is up for grabs, and the rookie Stacy could be the guy to own in St. Louis. Yes, both Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson are there, but Pead was disappointing last year, surrendering work to Richardson. Speaking of Richardson, he is more of a third down back who will serve as a pass catcher, not a between the tackles guy. Perhaps the Rams see what they have in their 2013 rookie this season. If he is in fact named the number one rusher, Stacy will have something that fantasy owners crave; opportunity. With a handful of committee approaches in the league, Stacy could hold some solid fantasy value as the starter. Guys being drafted ahead of him like Shane Vereen, Jonathan Stewart and Fred Jackson are all either backups or in committees, so Stacy would immediately hold more value than them. Stacy will be a power back who is strong between the tackles, and could be a sleeper for fantasy owners in 2013.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.