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Fantasy Football 2013: 10 Players Who Will Be Drafted Way Too Low

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Fantasy Football 2013: 10 Players Who Will Be Drafted Way Too Low

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

It’s that time again. It’s the time of year when fantasy-football nerds get as close to feeling like a kid on Christmas as they ever will again — draft day. As a grown man, I don't like to describe myself as giddy, but it's exactly what I am while I'm drafting.

A while back, my 4-year-old nephew was in a grocery store and lost his mind when he walked by a cake with a toy car on top of it. He had never seen anything like it and it rocked his world. “Did you see that?! There was a car on that cake!” He was honestly in shock. His dad didn’t even buy it for him, and it still changed him as a person.

I thought to myself ‘A toy car on a cake just turned this kid’s world upside down. I wish anything in life could excite me like that’. But now I realize, as a fantasy football nerd, something actually could blow my mind like that. I have the tenth pick in my draft, and if a top-five running back falls to me, I would react pretty similar to the way my nephew did.

A lot of great options are dropping pretty low this year. Factors such as old age and overreactions to injury scares are making players slide more than they should. Some commonly-used draft strategies are also resulting in some nice steals for people. For example, the “running-backs-first policy” is helping a number of GMs land studs from other positions at a value.

However they fall to you, get excited when they do. Have fun, and don’t be ashamed if draft day makes you act like a dog that was just told it’s going for a walk. Here are ten players who are a steal even if you draft them right where they’re projected.

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10. Lamar Miller

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Yes the Miami Dolphins offensive line is nothing to write home about, but Miller’s upside is still very high. He is a home run hitter with blazing speed and is being drafted as late as the 6th round. Snatching a starting running back with his skills that late is a great value.

If you’re worried about Daniel Thomas competing for the starting job, don’t be. He has been a major disappointment since being drafted by Miami in 2011 and also seems to be injury-prone. Thomas may get on the field once in a while as a superior pass-blocker, but the much more explosive Miller will still get plenty of touches.

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9. Kansas City Chiefs D/ST

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If you’re one of those GMs who waits until the second-to-the-last round to grab a D/ST, the Kansas City Chiefs will be perfect for you. They are almost always available at the end of the draft and should actually put up some nice fantasy numbers this season.

The defense is talented, but it underachieved last year due to poor coaching and the offense leading the league in turnovers. Fantasy owners should benefit from new defensive coordinator Bob Sutton's extremely aggressive style. On top of that, new special teams coordinator Dave Toub has his crew looking great with five returns of over 50 yards and two touchdowns thus far in the preseason.

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8. Antonio Brown

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With the departure of Mike Wallace, Brown is now the best weapon the Pittsburgh Steelers have by far. With an ADP of around 61st overall, he is projected as one of the lowest No. 1 receivers in the draft. He is much too talented and has way too good of quarterback for that position.

Ben Roethlisberger will find ways to get his best guy the ball. The two really started to gel towards the end of last season connecting for scores in each of the last four games.

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7. Tony Romo

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GMs are drafting Romo as if coming through in the clutch counts in fantasy football. He may have laid an egg when the Dallas Cowboys needed him in week 17 last season, but he came up huge in week 16 when fantasy owners needed him. He is being drafted as late as the eighth round which is strange when you look at his numbers.

In his last four full seasons, Romo has averaged 4,445 passing yards, 31 total TD with 14 INT. He is a respectable starter and a great insurance policy for those who draft an injury risk as their first string.

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6. DeMarco Murray

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Murray is a bit of an injury risk, but if he stays healthy, those who took a chance on him will be very happy. He is quick, strong, and a great pass-catcher on an offense that will have plenty of scoring opportunities. What’s more, his handcuff, whether it's Joseph Randle or Lance Dunbar, shouldn’t cost you anything but a pick at the end of the draft.

Last season, there was another running back people were afraid to pick who was at around the same ADP as Murray is this year. He is the same man who will be taken first this year in every draft without a fool picking first. You don’t want to take too many gambles in your draft, but Murray’s stud potential makes him a gamble worth taking.

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5. Dwayne Bowe

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Bowe was the second-highest-scoring wide receiver in 2010 and should be back to form in 2013. Andy Reid is in town now, and the offensive-minded, pass-happy coach always gets the best out of his weapons. Furthermore, Alex Smith will be under center in reparation of the Matt Cassel-Brady Quinn combo that guided the league’s worst passing offense.

Bowe is being drafted as a low-level WR2 or high WR3 when he is easily a top-tier WR2 if not better. He is worth a reach and certainly worth grabbing where he is projected.

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4. Andrew Luck

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Luck had a tremendous rookie season as he brought one of the NFL’s worst offenses into the top-ten. With T. Y. Hilton making leaps forward and the additions of Darrius Heyward-Bey and Ahmad Bradshaw, Luck will be even more equipped to move the ball this season.

I expect his impressive 4,629 total yards and 28 total TD from his rookie season to increase significantly in his sophomore campaign. He has as much upside as any QB out there, and he is often still available in the 7th round.

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3. Chris Johnson

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Yes, CJ2K has broken some fantasy hearts in recent years with high expectations followed by mediocre play, but I’m not giving up on him. The Tennessee Titans have revamped their offensive line with the additions of Andy Levitre in free agency and Chance Warmack with the 10th overall pick in the draft. The result has looked pretty good in the preseason thus far.

Johnson was overvalued in past drafts due to his monster 2009 season, but now that GMs have lost patience with him, he is being undervalued. Even in his disappointing seasons since 2009, Johnson still averaged 1,516 yards from scrimmage. He’s a great pass-catcher, has no injury issues, and is running behind a stronger line. Don’t be afraid to reach a few spots for him.

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2. Maurice Jones-Drew

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If Jones-Drew isn’t drafted in the top 15, then he is being drafted too low. He is a stud, workhorse running back, and people are overreacting to his injury from last season. Even if MJD gets hurt, Justin Forsett is a very capable handcuff with experience running in a zone-blocking scheme which the Jacksonville Jaguars will be running this year.

In addition, you should be able to pick up Forsett right before your kicker. MJD is often picked earlier than projected but is well worth it. Don’t let someone else outreach you to get him and grab Forsett for insurance.

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1. T.Y. Hilton

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Hilton may be unproven, but he is getting rave reviews from everyone around him. “He’s going to become an elite guy.” said Coach Chuck Pagano about Hilton via That’s a pretty definite statement coming from a head coach.

Hilton himself claims the game is slowing down for him and it’s been showing in the preseason so far. His upside is through the roof, and if he is available in the seventh or eighth round where he is projected, you’d be a fool not to grab him.