Originally written on The Hazean  |  Last updated 8/1/12
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

Utah beats Michigan 24-17, ruins Jim Harbaugh’s debut

Patriots keep Tom Brady excitement close to vest

Wayne happy about Brady verdict: 'That's my quarterback'

Markieff Morris on Twitter: ‘My future will not be in Phoenix’

Jonathan Kraft on asking for draft picks: 'Never say never'

Redskins charge non-season ticket holders $50 to use will call

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Arthur Blank on Roger Goodell: ‘Change may be appropriate’

Belichick gives typical reply to question about Brady's freedom

Goodell not attending season opener at Gillette Stadium

Jakub Voracek will donate $1,000 for every point he scores

Dwayne Bowe reportedly in danger of being cut by Browns

Slava Voynov taken into custody by U.S Immigration

Michigan lost their opener, but showed signs of improvement

Aaron Rodgers on Brady ruling: ‘It’s a good day for the players’

Jim Harbaugh uses Seahawks play card and Seattle loves it

First drive of Jim Harbaugh Era in Michigan ends in interception

Redskins fan who named son after RG3: ‘I don’t regret it at all’

Freshmen to watch in Week 1 of college football

Early returns on Manny Machado, MLB shortstop

Judge Berman offered free coffee for life

Conor McGregor insults Jose Aldo, plans move to lightweight

Angry Indy columnist: Don't fall for 'Deflategate magic trick'

Staubach calls Romo 'one of the best quarterbacks in the league'

Utah forbade Harbaugh-themed bus from campus

Sarah Thomas working Giants-Patriots is great for NFL’s future

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

The Gospel Of Harbaugh prepares for its ultimate test of faith

Meet the Utah Utes, the pluckiest program in college football

Iman Shumpert will name daughter Iman Shumpert Jr.

Dallas company celebrates Romo with DirecTV 'crownies'

Top 10 storylines for Week 4 of the NFL preseason

Matt Williams is still hopelessly married to the idea of the closer’s role

Five unique CFB games to watch this weekend

Be careful what you wish for, Jay Gruden

Ryan taking leap of faith with Bills

Top 10 storylines for Week 1 of college football season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker