2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Fast Finishers

2012-05-31 22:23:44
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
RealTime Fantasy Sports

Floyd looking good for 2012

Every year we like to look at some of the guys that finished the season well. These are guys to consider putting on your radar for 2012. We'll take a closer look at these guys and decide if you should buy or sell on them. Sometimes numbers can be deceiving, especially in a small sample size.

Players that made this list last season are Ryan Mathews and Jimmy Graham, so history tells us you need to pay attention to players that make plays at the end of the season. Not all these players will perform to their level shown at the end of 2011, but some of these guys will be big-time stars in 2012. Put an asterisk by some of the following guys in your rankings for the coming season.

Michael Vick, QB, Eagles. Vick certainly didn't have the season fantasy owners expected. He was a bust, considering his high draft position. Although most of the teams that had him were out of the playoffs last year, Vick played well down the stretch after his return from injury. In his last four games, Vick had eight touchdowns to three interceptions and threw for 270-plus yards three of those games. He had the fourth most fantasy points by a quarterback the last three games.

BUY: Vick won't go nearly as high as last season, so he could bring good value to fantasy teams in 2012. Vick should be able to improve on 2011. We think he'll be a good buy-low candidate. You certainly know his fantasy potential when all is going well. His health is always the big issue with the way he plays but Vick seemed to tone it down some late in the year, which is another positive going forward.

John Skelton, QB, Cardinals. Skelton was the Cardinals starter pretty much the entire second half of the season. He played well at times but really flourished down the stretch. Skelton threw for 270-plus yards in each of his last four games and had seven touchdowns. He made some big plays and posted some solid numbers for fantasy teams. Skelton had more fantasy points the last three games than quarterbacks like Eli Manning and Tony Romo.

SELL: Skelton will be given a chance to compete for the starter's job but it just doesn't seem likely he'll win that spot. He turned the ball over too much last season, having 14 interceptions to 11 touchdowns. He has big-game potential and should make strides with another season under his belt but still seems destined for backup duty in 2012. The Cardinals have too much invested in Kevin Kolb to just turn the job over to Skelton.

C.J. Spiller, RB, Bills. It took a little time but Spiller finally showed his huge potential last season. He led all backs in fantasy scoring the last three games. Spiller had touchdowns four of the last five games. He had 405 total yards and four touchdowns the last three games. He was a force in the Bills' offense, showing he could carry the load as the starting back.

BUY: Even though Fred Jackson will be around stealing carries from him, we still expect big things Spiller in 2012. Remember, Jackson is 31 years old and recovering from a broken leg. Jackson will be in the mix but Spiller should get more work from week to week. Spiller is the more talented back with greatly potential for the big game. His numbers would be even better if Jackson weren't around but for now, consider him a low-end No. 2 back capable of the big game any given week.

Evan Royster, RB, Redskins. Royster did next to nothing early in the year but found his way in the starting lineup late in the season and actually ran very well for the Redskins. The undrafted rookie had 100-yard games each of the last two games of the season. He had 312 total yards the last two games. Royster showed he could play in this league.

SELL: You never know with a Mike Shanahan running back but Royster doesn't seem the long-term solution right now. He could be in the mix for carries from day one in 2012 but isn't likely to grab the starter's job. Don't overvalue him based off his hot finish. The Redskins had several backs with some big games last season, which will happen in this offense. Royster remains a bit of an unknown going forward.

Malcom Floyd, WR, Chargers. Floyd battled injury last season but got healthy and finished his season on a high note. He had scores four of the last five games and had 95 or more yards four of those games. He showed off his big-play ability and was the top target for the team down the stretch. He missed four games last year and was about 150 yards shy of the 1,000-yard mark.

BUY: Floyd has a chance to produce similar to last season, especially if you consider he is the top returning wide receiver in the offense. Don't expect a monster season but he can hit the 1,000-yard mark and near double-digit scores in this offense. He is a big-time big-play threat.

Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Raiders. Heyward-Bey was all over the place last season. He had a great stretch early in the year but disappeared for several weeks after that before finishing strong. He had the sixth most fantasy points at receiver the last three games. He had 70-plus yards each of his last four games and topped 125 yards two of those games. He also scored touchdown three of the last five games.

SELL: The Raiders still don't seem sold on Heyward-Bey despite his great play at times last season. He still lacks consistency. He'll be in the mix for plenty of playing time but likely will be erratic similar to last season. We wouldn't count on him to be any more than a reserve receiver for fantasy teams. His consistency makes him a risk.

Titus Young, WR, Lions. Young didn't play a huge role in the Lions' offense but started to get more involved late in the season. He scored touchdowns three of the last four games and had four total touchdowns during that stretch. He started to get more targets in the offense and took advantage. Young had double-digit targets Week 15, which was the only time all season he reached that number.

BUY: Young has a good chance to open the season as starter or at least the No. 3 in 2012. He is a very talented player that was fairly raw coming into the league. He'll only get better and should continue to get plenty of action in the Lions high-flying offense. He has a chance to really explode this coming year.

Jared Cook, TE, Titans. You keep waiting for Cook to have that breakout season but the end of last year might have been his coming out party. Cook had 100-yard games two of his last three and finished second in tight end scoring the last three weeks of the season. Cook finished the season with a career-high 759 yards. Cook plays tight end but runs routes more like a receiver and has very good speed for the position. He can be a matchup nightmare.

BUY: Cook is capable of being an elite fantasy tight end. The Titans should get him more involved in the offense from day one, especially if you consider the team needs playmakers in the passing game. It makes sense to make Cook a big part of the offense from day one. We think he can build on last season.

Brent Celek, TE, Eagles. Celek scored five touchdowns but scored three of those in consecutive games to end the season. He was a big cog of the passing game late in the season, catching 13 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns. He had the third most fantasy points at tight end the last three games.

BUY: Celek isn't an elite option but just outside of that group. He was healthy last year and it showed in his play. We think he'll get more targets early in the season as the Eagles could have a few less options in the passing game for Vick to work with. Celek is a more than capable spot starter at tight end. Past history suggests he can post big numbers when healthy.

If you have any questions or comments, please email Jeff Paur at jeff@rtsports.com

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Patrick PetersonJul 28 04:01p

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Kelvin BenjaminJul 28 03:42p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) has a bone bruise, according to head coach Ron Rivera. There is swelling in the knee but nothing is structurally damaged.

Lamar MillerJul 28 03:37p

Miami Dolphins RB Lamar Miller will be used much like Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy was last season. That means he should see quite a few passes headed his [ More ]

Ndamukong SuhJul 28 03:32p

Detroit Lions DT Ndamukong Suh's contract extension discussion will be put on hold until the end of the season, according to a source.

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 28 03:12p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) missed practice Monday, July 28, to receive treatment for his injured hamstring. Head coach Tom Coughlin said Beckham probably has some tests scheduled for the hamstring.

Ryan WilliamsJul 28 03:02p

Dallas Cowboys RB Ryan Williams looks to be a longshot for the final roster, because he is not a good special teams player and would have to help on [ More ]

M. BernadeauJul 28 02:43p

Dallas Cowboys OG Mackenzy Bernadeau has been working at left guard with the first-team offense, because OG Ronald Leary (hamstring) has been dealing with a hamstring injury. Bernadeau and [ More ]

Dan WilliamsJul 28 02:22p

Arizona Cardinals DT Dan Williams (knee) is not expected to participate in practice Monday, July 28, but the team does not believe his knee injury is serious.

Everette BrownJul 28 02:22p

The Washington Redskins have signed free-agent LB Everette Brown (Cowboys). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

B. RoethlisbergerJul 28 02:02p

The Pittsburgh Steelers are confident that they will be able sign QB Ben Roethlisberger before his current contract expires, according to general manager Kevin Colbert. Colbert said he expects [ More ]

Anthony GaitorJul 28 01:42p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed free-agent CB Anthony Gaitor (Dolphins) and undrafted free-agent DT Jibreel Black (Michigan). Terms of the contracts were not disclosed, but all contracts signed [ More ]

Alshon JefferyJul 28 01:32p

Updating a previous report, Chicago Bears WR Alshon Jeffery (foot) left practice early Monday, July 28, because of a sore foot.

Matt CasselJul 28 01:23p

Minnesota Vikings QBs Matt Cassel, Teddy Bridgewater and Christian Ponder have been evenly splitting reps during the early part of training camp, according to offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Turner [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJul 28 01:23p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin's (knee) left knee injury isn't expected to be serious, and head coach Ron Rivera is optimistic that Benjamin won't miss much time. Benjamin is [ More ]

Adrian PetersonJul 28 01:12p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson does not need to play in the preseason to show something to the coaching staff, according to head coach Mike Zimmer. Zimmer said Peterson [ More ]

Golden TateJul 28 01:12p

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate (shoulder) was removed from the Physically Unable to Perform list Monday, July 28, and he is expected to take part in the team's first [ More ]

Frank GoreJul 28 12:53p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore is unlikely to play in the preseason this year. RBs Carlos Hyde and Jewel Hampton have both looked good so far during training [ More ]

Trent ColeJul 28 12:42p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy and LB Trent Cole squared off in a fight during training camp Sunday, July 27. 'Next thing you know, they're on the ground scuffling,' [ More ]

Charles JohnsonJul 28 10:13a

Cleveland Browns WRs Charles X. Johnson (knee) and Travis Benjamin (knee) are riding the stationary bike and working on the side Monday, July 28.

Micah HydeJul 28 10:03a

Green Bay Packers FS Micah Hyde has the edge over S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix for the starting free safety spot.

Ray RiceJul 28 09:52a

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice did not appeal his two-game suspension.

Kenny StillsJul 28 09:32a

New Orleans Saints WR Robert Meachem (back) and WR Kenny Stills (quadriceps) are out of practice Monday, July 28.

Chris RaineyJul 28 08:52a

The Indianapolis Colts released RB Chris Rainey.

Mike IupatiJul 28 04:02a

The San Francisco 49ers plan to re-sign RG Mike Iupati at some point. Originally the team thought it would not be able to keep him due to a higher [ More ]

Tim HightowerJul 28 03:22a

Former Washington Redskins RB Tim Hightower, who suffered a torn ACL in 2011 and a subsequent infection, was spotted at Washington Redskins camp in the past few days. Hightower [ More ]

Alan BonnerJul 28 12:52a

The Houston Texans have waived injured WR Alan Bonner (foot). Bonner suffered a broken foot during practice Saturday, July 26.

Russell OkungJul 28 12:22a

Seattle Seahawks OT Russell Okung (foot) is about two weeks away from returning to practice, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Terrell McClainJul 28 12:02a

Dallas Cowboys DT Terrell McClain (ankle), LB DeVonte Holloman (dehydration) and FS Matt Johnson (hamstring) left practice early Sunday, July 27, because of injuries.

Koa MisiJul 27 11:52p

Miami Dolphins LB Koa Misi (foot) left practice early Sunday, July 27, because of a foot injury. He has told people that someone stepped on his foot and that he will be fine.

Dre KirkpatrickJul 27 11:02p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Dre Kirkpatrick (hamstring) did not participate in practice Sunday, July 27, because of an apparent hamstring injury. The injury is not expected to keep him out for long.

D.J. HaydenJul 27 10:32p

Oakland Raiders CB D.J. Hayden (foot) still has no definite timetable for his return, but the team is optimistic that he will be ready for the start of the [ More ]

Kyle RudolphJul 27 10:32p

The Minnesota Vikings have signed TE Kyle Rudolph to a five-year extension worth $36.5 million.

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