2013 NFL Fantasy Impact: Faces in New Places
10. RB Rashard Mendenhall to Arizona
Ex-Steeler Rashard Mendenhall is the down-hill runner Bruce Arians likes to highlight in his single-back system. Vic Ballard had a good year last year as a featured back for the Colts and Mendenhall possesses better skill than Ballard.
2013 Projection: 200-250 Rush Attempts, 900 Rushing Yards, 9 TDs
9. WR Mike Wallace to Miami
In 2010, Wallace led all receivers, with more than 50 catches, averaging 21 yds/catch and in 2009 led all receivers averaging 19yds/catch. Wallace had a career high of 72 receptions in 2011. The word out of Dolphins camp is the six-year vet will work more out of the slot this year than he had in Pittsburgh. This would make sense by the letting go of slot receiver Davon Bess.
2013 Projection: 65 Rec, 1,000 Receiving Yards, 7 TDs
8. RB Ahmad Bradshaw to Indianapolis
Bradshaw has never started more than a dozen games in his six seasons and is currently on the PUP List. 2010 was his best overall year catching 47 balls while grinding out 1,549 yards from scrimmage (1,235 rush, 314 rec). In his last year with the Giants, Bradshaw had over 1,200 yards from scrimmage (1,105 rush, 245 rec). Bradshaw was brought in as the lead back and will continue to be pending injury.
2013 Projection: 1,200 Yards from Scrimmage, 8 TDs
7. QB Alex Smith to Kansas City
Alex Smith saw his best season last year, completing 70 percent of his passes, come to an end due to being outperformed by two-year QB Colin Kaepernick. He is now behind center for a coach who loves throwing the rock and has two previous first-round picks, Jonathan Baldwin (2011) and Dwayne Bowe (2006), to throw to. RB Jamaal Charles should take some of the pressure off of Smith and open up the screen game, which is Andy Reid’s extension of the run.
2013 Projection: 3,600 Passing Yards, 24 TDs, 12 Int, 65% Comp. Rate
6. WR Greg Jennings to Minnesota
Greg Jennings was always surrounded by talent in Green Bay. That will not be the case in Minnesota as Jennings will be the passing attack for the Vikings. Percy Harvin in four years with the Vikings never eclipsed the 1,000 yard receiving mark. Christian Ponder was the only qualified quarterback in the NFL without a touchdown throw at least 20 yards downfield last season. Over the past five seasons, Greg Jennings ranked seventh in the NFL with 228 fantasy points accumulated on throws of at least 20 yards downfield.
2013 Projection: 70 Rec, 900 Receiving Yards, 7 TDs
5. RB Reggie Bush to Detroit
Reggie Bush is back playing on Astroturf where he is fastest but more injured prone. Bush will be the lead back for an offense that has a QB with a cannon arm and receiver who stretches the field and gets more attention near the goal-line than a Victoria’s Secret Model poolside. Mikel Leshoure had nine touchdowns last season on 215 carries and 34 receptions. Bush in 2006, rookie season, caught a career high 88 receptions for 742 yards, then 73 receptions the following year with the Saints (passing team). Last season, Bush had 35 receptions for 292 yards with the Dolphins (not a passing team). Bush now plays on a team where QB Matthew Stafford had the most passing attempts in 2012. Last season Stafford targeted his top three backs (J.Bell, M.Leshoure, K.Smith) a total of 132 times completing on 96 of the passes.
2013 Projection: 200-225 Rush Attempts for 1,000 yards, 55 Rec for 500 yards, 10 TDs
4. Steven Jackson to Atlanta
Steven Jackson was the go-to-guy for the Rams for nine seasons. Over the past three seasons, only two teams in the NFL had more rushing attempts inside an opponent’s 10-yard line than the Atlanta Falcons. They had 136 such attempts. Jackson was seventh in the NFL in yards after contact in goal-to-go situations. Now in a role-playing duty, Jackson gets to feed off the success of Matt Ryan, histories best TE Tony Gonzalez, and top-tier receivers Rhoddy White and Julio Jones. In his last eight years, the Oregon State alum cracked the 1,000 yard rushing mark and has pulled together more than 1,200 yards from scrimmage in that time frame. Jackson will keep the chains moving and finish off drives for the seventh highest scoring offense last season.
2013 Projection: 250-300 Rush Attempts for 1,200 yards, 50 Rec for 400 yards, 12 TDs
3. WR Wes Welker to Denver
The Broncos will use a three-receiver set predominantly in 2013. Welker caught 100 plus receptions in five out of his last six seasons. This year, he will battling with Eric Decker and Demariyus Thomas for receptions. Welker, last season, led the NFL in receptions and receiving yards when lined up in the slot. Last season, no quarterback completed a higher percentage (72%) of his passes to slot receivers than Payton Manning. Welker will still put up great numbers as a slot receiver with Manning at the helm.
2013 Projection: 95 Rec, 1,100 Receiving Yards, 6 TDs
2. WR Danny Amendola to New England
Amendola has been nowhere near the type of player Welker had been in his first four years. With never more than 700 receiving yards and only a career high 85 receptions, Amendola has never seen 170 plus targets in a season like Welker did during the last two either. Having Tom Brady as your quarterback gives you instant street cred especially with Brady’s top five targets from last year off the team (with the exception of R. Gronkowski who is on the PUP List). Last years No.1 offense, currently has six of their eight roster receivers who haven’t played a full season of games. Why did they let Brandon Lloyd go, I’ll never quite understand, but maybe, just maybe, it’s for the sake of Danny Amendola.
2013 Projection: 100 Rec, 1,200 Receiving Yards, 7 TDs
1. WR Percy Harvin to Seattle
Harvin had 52 rush attempts in 2011 averaging 6.6 yds/carry. Last yr on only 15 attempts averaged 9 yds/carry. Harvin had over 1,500 all-purpose yards in his first three years with Minnesota and had a career high 2,081 all-purpose yards in his rookie season. In 2011, Harvin had a best 1,312 yards from scrimmage with the Vikings. There is question on how Harvin will be utilized in the Seahawks system, but Seattle went after Harvin during the off-season with conviction for a reason.
2013 Projection: 2,000 All-Purpose Yards, 9 TDs