Cian Fahey

Fantasy Football 2012: Deep Sleepers

Author: Cian Fahey

darrensproles

Heading into the 2011 NFL regular season, very few fantasy fans would have had high hopes for Laurent Robinson, Willis McGahee and Darren Sproles.

Well, Sproles was at least a relevant option once he landed in New Orleans, but nobody expected him to be the quality starter he became.

Sproles, along with Robinson and McGahee all have something else in common also.

Each of the trio were free agents ahead of last season. Robinson eventually landed in Dallas after leaving St.Louis with a brief stop in San Diego. McGahee found a new home as essentially a fullback in Denver, after being a touchdown vulture in Baltimore, while Sproles left San Diego to join the Saints in Louisiana.

Where a free agent lands is pivotal to their chances of success, and subsequently their fantasy value, but even before finding a new home, you can still earmark some free agents to track through free agency ahead of your fantasy drafts next season.

 

Here are five players to keep track of at the start of the fantasy off-season.

 

Kyle Orton:

2011 NFC South Prediction: One Man's Opinion

Author: Cian Fahey

fea-honorable-like-father_like-sonhrThe NFC South is primed to be one of the best divisions in football next season with the emergence of Josh Freeman in Tampa Bay and the continued development of Matt Ryan in Atlanta.

However, one team remains the clear favorite for that division, and potentially the conference, in my mind at least.

The New Orleans Saints may have suffered from the Super Bowl hangover that almost all teams seem to these days during last season, but a bounce back to the big game looks to be in the cards this year.

By my very nature I am a cynic, a pessimist, I look for things that don't work rather than those that do. That is the approach I take to the NFL, because each year I find myself noticing that it is the team with the fewest holes that goes home with the Super Bowl ring.

Now that free agency has essentially culminated, the New Orleans Saints have established themselves as that team.

The Saints haven't added any marquee players, but they have brought in some to fix their soft spots. Considering this is a team only a matter of 16 months or so away from a Super Bowl and seven from a playoff appearance, there weren't many to fix.

The winner of free agency isn't the team that signs the best players. The winner of free agency is the team that does the most to set themselves up to win a Super Bowl. Right now, that is the New Orleans Saints.

First, the obvious problems.

Everyone remembers Marshawn Lynch gutting the interior of the Saints' defense last year in the playoffs. Sean Payton and Greg Williams remembered too.

Not only did they add Shaun Rodgers before the Lockout even begun, they also brought in Aubrayo Franklin who specialized in stuffing the run as a 3-4 defensive tackle last year in San Francisco once free agency begun, post lockout.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Is David Garrard Being Harshly Treated?

Author: Cian Fahey

david-garrardWhen Roger Goodell stood at the main podium at Radio City Music hall to announce that the Washington Redskins had traded the 10th overall selection, the Jacksonville Jaguars were not the first team to spring to my mind.

It made sense for either the Minnesota Vikings—12th overall—or the Miami Dolphins—15th overall—to jump into the spot to claim the dropping Blaine Gabbert. The Vikings were in desperate need for a successor to Brett Favre at quarterback but decided to stay where they were and add Christian Ponder while the Dolphins instead reaffirmed their believe in Chad Henne by taking the top rated guard Mike Pouncey in the first round.

Surprisingly, the Jacksonville Jaguars gave up their first and second round selections to move up six places to 10th overall. They in turn took Blaine Gabbert as their quarterback of the future.

Most Jaguars fans will tell you that they do indeed need a quarterback. To an extent that is true as David Garrard is not an elite quarterback.

Garrard however is a good serviceable quarterback who, with the right pieces around him, could take his team to the Super Bowl. Garrard is 33 years of age but hasn't lost much of his athleticism as he still rushed for 279 yards last season. On a run first team, which is what the Jaguars will be so long as Maurice Jones-Drew is running behind their physical offensive line, David Garrard could still give the team three more quality seasons.