Fantasy Football 2013: Avoid the Hype, Use Caution with News out of NFL Training Camps

By Jim Heath
Golden Tate Seattle Seahwaks
Daniel Shirey – USA TODAY Sports

This is a dangerous time of the year in Fantasy Football. Training camps are in full swing, preseason games are just around the corner, and player news, notes and tidbits run out of camps like water to the welcoming eyes and ears of the feeding frenzy that are Fantasy GMs preparing for their annual drafts.

It is a volatile time as player’s ADP rises and falls with each new positional battle update, injury news, and prognosticator’s assumptions of new systems and coaching regimes. And the news and endless information is easy to find in today’s social media world and each story has a multitude of angles based on each writer’s opinions and biases. It’s easy to get lost in.

It’s also easy to find yourself caught up in. As you prepare for your draft, any news that validates your ideas of sleepers or tips you towards a player who could be a value pick is news that you want to buy into.

Here’s the problem: not all news, and not every trend, is something you should buy into. Additionally, as trends grow wings and take of, you find mediocre players – at best – being drafted as though they are top-tier commodities.

For instance, with the news of Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin’s injury, Golden Tate finds himself the proverbial “Golden Boy” in may drafts, as his ADP has shot through the roof. Before the Harvin news, Tate was basically an afterthought who most could add from waivers. Now, I see Tate going in rounds 11 to 13 in many mock drafts.

Tate will certainly see increased action post-Harvin surgery, however, there is nothing to say he will be much better than last season. In 2012, Tate played on a Seahawks team without Harvin, and although he did show some flashes, he also showed his ability to disappear in big games.

There are a number of positional battles at running back in training camps across the NFL. In fact, teams like the Denver Broncos, St. Louis Rams and Green Bay Packers (for example) have yet to name their season starter. Yet running backs like Montee Ball and Eddie Lacey are being drafted high despite the fact they may not even start when the season begins.

And there is news out of camps causing a player’s ADP to plummet. In most cases, the drop is valid and you should shy from the situation, however, there are exceptions to this rule. Josh Gordon is by far the most talented wide receiver in the Cleveland Brown’s camp and will undoubtedly build on his numbers from 2012 this season. However, his two-game suspension has his ADP far below his talent level.

The bottom line of the frenzy of the final month before the season kicks off is use common sense. I’m from old school logic that says, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.”  Don’t buy into the hype and remember mid to later rounds in Fantasy Football drafts are about value, so don’t reach.

The waters are tricky this time of year, my friends – travel wisely.

Jim Heath is a writer for Follow him on Twitter @jim_heath, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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