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

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The New Orleans Saints are expected to sign free-agent PK Connor Barth (Buccaneers), according to a source.

Jalen RamseyMay 19 07:33p

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Jalen RamseyMay 19 03:13p

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Patrick MurrayMay 19 02:43p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers PK Patrick Murray was released Thursday, May 19.

Jamaal CharlesMay 19 01:33p

Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (knee) will be limited in organized team activities, according to head coach Andy Reid.

Dominique EasleyMay 17 07:43p

Free-agent DT Dominique Easley (Patriots) agreed to a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Rams Tuesday, May 17, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Josh ScobeeMay 17 06:13p

New Orleans Saints PK Josh Scobee was released Tuesday, May 17.

David JohnsonMay 17 06:03p

Pittsburgh Steelers TE David Reeves was waived Tuesday, May 17. Free-agent TE David B. Johnson (Chargers) was subsequently signed.

Bryn RennerMay 17 05:13p

San Diego Chargers QB Bryn Renner was released Tuesday, May 17, in light of the Chargers claiming QB Zach Mettenberger.

Zach MettenbergerMay 17 04:33p

Free-agent QB Zach Mettenberger (Titans) was claimed by the San Diego Chargers Tuesday, May 17.

Colin KaepernickMay 17 01:03p

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Andre RobertsMay 17 08:53a

Washington Redskins WR Andre Roberts was released Tuesday, May 17. The move will save the team nearly $4 million on the salary cap.

Nathan PalmerMay 16 06:03p

Chicago Bears C Dan Buchholz, DT Bruce Gaston and WRs Marcus Lucas and Nathan Palmer were waived Monday, May 16.

Khairi ForttMay 16 05:53p

Seattle Seahawks LB Christian French (undisclosed) was waived/injured Monday, May 16. Free-agent LB Khairi Fortt (Jaguars) was subsequently signed.

Sammy WatkinsMay 16 05:23p

Updating a previous report, Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (foot) is not expected to play in the preseason after undergoing foot surgery three weeks ago.

Danny AmendolaMay 16 05:03p

New England Patriots WR Danny Amendola (knee, ankle) is recovering from a pair of offseason surgeries that could prevent him being ready for the start of the 2016 season. [ More ]

Sammy WatkinsMay 16 04:43p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (foot) suffered a broken small bone in his foot and had a screw inserted, according to a source. He should still be ready for training camp, however.

Mark SanchezMay 16 03:23p

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Vlad DucasseMay 16 01:03p

Free-agent OG Vladimir Ducasse (Bears) signed an undisclosed deal with the Baltimore Ravens Monday, May 16. He's expected to compete with OGs John Urschel, Ryan Jensen and Ronnie Stanley [ More ]

Tom CoughlinMay 16 12:53p

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Dekoda WatsonMay 16 11:53a

Free-agent LB Dekoda Watson (Patriots) signed an undisclosed deal with the Denver Broncos Monday, May 16.

Josh JohnsonMay 16 11:23a

Free-agent QB Josh Johnson (Bills) signed with the Baltimore Ravens Monday, May 16, on an undisclosed deal.

Ras-I DowlingMay 16 10:33a

Undrafted free-agent WR Miles Shuler, RB Jalen Simmons and TE Braxton Deaver (Duke) were signed by the Carolina Panthers Monday, May 16, on three-year deals. CB Ras-I Dowling and WR Jenson Stoshak were released.

Brandon BoykinMay 16 10:13a

Carolina Panthers CB Brandon Boykin was cut Monday, May 16.

Zach MettenbergerMay 16 09:53a

Tennessee Titans QB Zach Mettenberger was waived Monday, May 16.

Jason JonesMay 13 07:33p

Free-agent DE Jason Jones (Lions) will sign with the Miami Dolphins, according to a source.

Keenan AllenMay 13 04:03p

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Jerraud PowersMay 13 03:03p

Free-agent CB Jerraud Powers (Cardinals) will sign with the Baltimore Ravens on a one-year deal Friday, May 13, according to a source.

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