Originally written on The Hazean  |  Last updated 11/17/14
Raiders_vs_eagles_715a

No matter what I say or do, I won’t be able to convince owners who drafted Michael Vick last year that they should take him again this year.

The damage has been done. It’s irreparable. Fantasy owners don’t forget, and they hold grudges. It’s part of our game.

But for the other 11 owners in any given league, Vick and other post-hype players are ripe for the picking. The five post-hype players worth drafting this year, starting with the heartbreak hero himself:

1. Michael Vick, QB, Eagles

I doubt fantasy owners who drafted him last year want anything to do with Vick this season. But that’s their own damn fault.

Vick, touted notably by ESPN’s Matthew Berry as the No. 1 fantasy football prospect among all positions last year, burned fantasy owners badly in 2011. If you wanted him, you had to draft him in the first round. With an injury and inconsistency history like his, it was a recipe for disaster.

From the wreckage comes rebirth, and like a phoenix Vick is due for a comeback campaign in 2012. He’s healthy and the offense is stocked full of weapons. His average draft position is on par, while his fantasy ceiling remains the same. Much better value this year.

2. James Starks, RB, Packers

After a nice 2010 playoff campaign as a rookie, fantasy owners were ready for James Starks to blossom as a week-in-week-out fantasy football starting running back.

Didn’t happen.

The bandwagon is much lighter these days, but Starks has less competition in the backfield with veteran Ryan Grant out of the way. This could be the season he takes three steps forward — one to make up for last year, one to catch up to his rookie year and one to surpass even that.

3. Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers

Oh sorry, must have just copied and pasted an old story and forgot to delete this one … Wait, what’s that? … He’s still good, but stuck in the mud in Carolina … OK, it still applies.

Look, for the price you are going to pay to get Stewart (current ADP 8th round) you may as well add him to your fantasy bench. Despite his shortcomings, which are mostly the Panthers’ shortcomings, Stewart is a fantasy championship waiting to happen.

4. Miles Austin, WR, Cowboys

All the talk this offseason — good and bad — has been about the Cowboys’ other top receiver, Dez Bryant. Most of it lately has been bad. It’s not good when the boss won’t even speak to you.

Meanwhile, Austin apparently is in great shape as the Cowboys open camp. If that remains so, he’ll likely rekindle that special fantasy football rapport he had early in his career with Tony Romo.

5. Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers

When you talk fantasy football tight ends, two names gravitate to the top of the list: Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski.

How things have changed.

For years, Gates was the Graham/Gronkowski of fantasy tight ends. Head and shoulders above the rest of the field, Gates was a significant advantage on fantasy rosters.

He’s older now and has battled injuries the last two seasons. But Gates is healthy entering training camp and is the undisputed No. 1 target in the Chargers’ passing offense with Vincent Jackson gone. He might not challenge for the top fantasy tight end title, but Gates could keep it close with Graham and Gronkowski to make a difference for his fantasy owners.

Just missed: Shonn Greene, Tony Romo, Reggie Wayne, Philip Rivers, Santonio Holmes

Here are today’s great reads:

  • Chargers’ running back and fantasy first-rounder Ryan Mathews was injured in a car accident yesterday. I can hear fantasy owners gasping now. [ProFootballTalk]
  • More on the budding Peyton Manning-to-Eric Decker connection that is likely to flourish this season, especially for owners of Decker in PPR leagues. I like this guy, and you can get him at a much cheaper price than you can for Demaryius Thomas, the No. 1 wide receiver in Denver. [Roto Arcade]
  • More on Michael Vick and his shot at fantasy football redemption this season. [CBSSports]

If you are a Tweeter, follow The Hazean on Twitter. If it is a good chuckle you desire, check out The Hazean’s Facebook page. Remember to follow (Twitter) and become a fan (Facebook) of The Hazean on both popular social networking sites.

If it is just more solid reading material that you crave, check out The Hazean’s Google Reader Shared Items page.


GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Demaryius Thomas planning to skip Broncos' workouts

Rockets GM: We think we can win NBA title despite injuries

Browns GM Ray Farmer suspended over text messages

Aaron Hernandez's fiancee disposed of box after murder

Byron Scott: Opposing players say they want to play for Lakers

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Falcons reportedly will lose pick over pumping in crowd noise

Report: Sam Bradford wouldn't sign extension with Browns

Jimbo Fisher: Winston is victim of ‘character assassination’

Russell Wilson on contract: 'It's going to work out'

Kentucky seeks one kind of history, Coach K makes another

Matt Stafford's fiancee rips newspaper over article

Report: NFL could push extra point back to 15-yard line

Urban Meyer: 'No issue' with Braxton Miller's Instagram post

Tiger Woods drops out of top 100 for first time in 19 years

Top 10 stories from NCAA Tourney's second weekend

The MLBPA has a problem

Final Four preview: How can every team win?

WrestleMania 31 results: Rollins cashes in, Rousey appears

Five soon-to-be NBA free agents with a lot on the line

WATCH: Russell Wilson hits home run during Rangers BP

Hooked 'em: Why Texas had to fire Rick Barnes

Adam Morrison trolled fan who made JJ Redick comment

Jim Harbaugh finished fourth in student government election

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Browns GM suspended for texts

Hernandez's fiancee disposed of box

Mayweather-Pacquiao: It's sparring tall-tale season

The MLBPA has a problem

Final Four preview: Can every team win?

Full WrestleMania 31 recap and results

Why Texas had to fire Rick Barnes

Craig Sager's leukemia has returned

Report: Chris Mullin to take St. John's job

Report: NFL looking into more cameras

CC Sabathia goes off about spring stats

John Fox: Cutler will have to earn job

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.