2015 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

Connor BarthAug 26 08:53p

Free-agent PK Connor Barth (Broncos) agreed to terms with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Aug. 26, on a two-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Brandon McManusAug 26 10:33a

Denver Broncos PK Brandon McManus won the kicking job as PK Connor Barth was released Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Connor BarthAug 26 10:33a

Denver Broncos PK Brandon McManus won the kicking job as PK Connor Barth was released Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Evan RoysterAug 26 10:13a

Atlanta Falcons RB Evan Royster (undisclosed) was waived/injured Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Rex GrossmanAug 26 09:23a

Free-agent QB Rex Grossman (Redskins) was signed by the Atlanta Falcons to a one-year, $1 million deal Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Taylor MaysAug 26 12:43a

The Oakland Raiders signed free-agent SS Taylor Mays (Bengals) Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Orlando ScandrickAug 26 12:43a

Updating a previous report, Dallas Cowboys CB Orlando Scandrick (knee) suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee Tuesday, Aug. 25. An MRI confirmed the injury.

Michael VickAug 25 07:42p

Updating a previous report, free-agent QB Michael Vick (Jets) signed a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers Tuesday, Aug. 25. Financial terms were not disclosed. QB Bruce Gradkowski (finger) [ More ]

Evan MathisAug 25 06:13p

Free-agent OG Evan Mathis (Eagles) agreed to a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Jameis WinstonAug 25 04:33p

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie QB Jameis Winston (ankle) suffered a sprained ankle Monday, Aug. 24, against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Lovie Smith still expects [ More ]

Josh JohnsonAug 25 02:53p

Cincinnati Bengals QB Josh Johnson was released Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Victor CruzAug 25 02:42p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (calf) doesn't know when he'll be able to return to practice as he continues to deal with inflammation in [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerAug 25 01:23p

Tennessee Titans backup QB Zach Mettenberger has performed at a high level in training camp and the preseason, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt laughed off a suggestion that the [ More ]

Bruce GradkowskiAug 25 12:53p

Pittsburgh Steelers backup QB Bruce Gradkowski (finger) suffered a dislocated finger on his left hand during the team's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers last weekend, according to [ More ]

Andre WilliamsAug 25 12:22p

New York Giants RB Andre Williams could overtake RB Rashad Jennings as the lead back sometime this season, maybe even to open the season. Williams has worked on his [ More ]

Mike EvansAug 25 09:13a

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) isn't believed to have a serious hamstring injury. 'I talked to him and he didn't feel like it [ More ]

Jameis WinstonAug 24 11:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston completed eight of his 13 pass attempts for 90 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions in the preseason game Monday, Aug. 24, against [ More ]

Doug MartinAug 24 11:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin rushed six times for 59 yards in the preseason game Monday, Aug. 24, against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Mike EvansAug 24 09:12p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) left the preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals Monday, Aug. 24, due to a strained hamstring.

Todd GurleyAug 24 06:52p

St. Louis Rams RB Todd Gurley (knee) will still sit out the entire preseason even though he has been cleared to practice, according to head coach Jeff Fisher.

Jordy NelsonAug 24 06:32p

Updating a previous report, Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (knee) has a torn anterior cruciate ligament, but the MRI revealed all of his other knee ligaments are fine.

Montee BallAug 24 05:22p

Denver Broncos RB Montee Ball has already lost the backup running back role to RB Ronnie Hillman. RB Juwan Thompson may also surpass Ball in the near future, according to Mike Klis of 9news.com.

Jordy NelsonAug 24 05:22p

Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (knee) is officially out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Jason McCourtyAug 24 04:42p

Updating a previous report, Tennessee Titans CB Jason McCourty (groin) is expected to miss a few games after undergoing groin surgery Monday, Aug. 24, according to sources.

Ronnie HillmanAug 24 04:32p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman has worked his way the second running back position behind RB C.J. Anderson. Hillman said head coach Gary Kubiak's zone-blocking scheme has helped his [ More ]

Joique BellAug 24 04:02p

Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford said the Lions will still take a committee approach at running back even when Joique Bell (knee, Achilles') returns.

Joique BellAug 24 03:02p

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell (knee, Achilles') is expected to return this season as a bellcow running back, according to head coach Jim Caldwell. Bell has been nursing injuries [ More ]

Maurkice PounceyAug 24 01:52p

Pittsburgh Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey (ankle) will undergo surgery on his fractured ankle Monday, Aug. 24, or Tuesday, Aug. 25. There is no timetable for his return, but it [ More ]

Jeremiah RatliffAug 24 01:42p

Chicago Bears DT Jeremiah Ratliff has been suspended three games by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

Jason Pierre-PaulAug 24 01:42p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (hand) plans to report to the team before the start of the regular season but his status for Week 1 is uncertain, according [ More ]

Reggie WayneAug 24 01:22p

Free-agent WR Reggie Wayne (Colts) agreed to a one-year deal with the New England Patriots Monday, Aug. 24, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Michael PrestonAug 24 10:22a

Miami Dolphins WR Michael Preston posted on Twitter that he was released Sunday, Aug. 23.

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