Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 6/10/13
With the NFL season fast approaching, it is time to take a look at some of the fantasy commodities that could be a rags to riches story for the 2013 season.Coming up will be 10 players to keep an eye on for the 2013 season who can give you a foothold on your fantasy leagues.1. Chris Johnson, RB - Tennessee TitansLast season, many considered Johnson to be on a bust of a season and a total of 45 percent of owners dealt Johnson after six weeks.Johnson made 182.9 fantasy points last season and did not score a touchdown until Week 7.Johnson attributed his last season to a poor offensive line that only featured one starter by the end of the season.Johnson's best fantasy performance came in the seventh week against the Buffalo Bills when he scored two touchdowns and ran for 195 yards.Unfortunately this game represented a third of the touchdowns Johnson achieved on the ground, not the type of numbers you want from you first round draft choice.This coming season, Johnson looks to have better form. His offensive line has seen an extensive upgrade, featuring two new interior linemen and potentially a new center in Brian Schwenke (a 4th-round draft pick in 2013) who can all combine to push Johnson's numbers back towards the 1,600 rushing yard mark.Not only will this help but the fact offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains wants to make the quarterback, Jake Locker, more mobile will only help Johnson as there is now more than one threat.Johnson was not a great option for production last fantasy season, but with the Titans' upgrading a lot of facets on offense, CJ1.6k could be a real possibility with at least three more scores.Fantasy nugget rating -2. Christian Ponder, QB - Minnesota VikingsLast season Christian Ponder started the season like a professional, he was a top 5 quarterback through the first four weeks averaging 14.87 points (season total of 212.4).After the fourth week, Ponder's season went south, throwing multiple interceptions four more times throughout the season.Now, this season, Ponder has a true receiving threat on the outside in rookie draftee Cordarrelle Patterson of Tennessee.Ponder had the NFL MVP running from behind him last season and he is there again for the coming season, a good safety blanket.Ponder does not need to throw a lot for Minnesota, but he can make plays, the absence of Percy Harvin who was traded to Seattle is a big loss. Ponder has got the talent around him to succeed and one of the better offensive lines in the league.The main reason Christian Ponder is on the list is the fact that the Vikings will be constantly put into scoring position by Adrian Peterson. Ponder will be presented with bountiful opportunities to show the world the play making ability of Cordarrelle Patterson.Fantasy nugget rating - 3. Brandon LaFell, WR - Carolina PanthersLast year LaFell was able to make a name for himself with some stellar performances, however they were overshadowed by injury and underwhelming output. This season, Cam Newton is looking to have a bounce back season, and what better way than through the hands of Brandon LaFell? Sure Steve Smith (5'9", 185 pounds) is still there but he is not a big-bodied target like LaFell (6'2", 210 pounds).LaFell is able to get over the top of his man to make the play and that is something that Newton will like. He has a reliable set of hands and a player who will go after the ball.LaFell suited up for 13 games last season and scored double digits five times, which was good for an offense that under-performed. LaFell averaged 7.32 points per game, which is solid production for a No. 2 receiver, many owners could name some top receivers who averaged less.Brandon is a good late round pick-up who could reap his owners great rewards as the Panthers look to open the air game to get the most out of Newton's talents, someone who can definitely put the ball in LaFell's hands more than four times a game.Fantasy nugget rating - 4. Brandon Myers, TE - New York GiantsBrandon Myers was a standout performer on a dismall-ypoor Raiders' offensive unit. Scoring a total of 4 touchdowns, he isn't a top 5 selection at tight end, but this season plans to play out a bit differently. Myers is now on the New York Giants and Eli Manning now has a true receiving threat at tight end.Last season Myers was able to reach a total of 104.6 fantasy points through all 16 matches of last season averaging 6.53 fantasy points per game, an admirable total for a tight end with an inconsistent quarterback.Myers now is part of an offensive unit that is not blessed with an abundance of talent, Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks are the only noticeable names, meaning he should see plenty of targets, possibly more than the 105 he saw last season catching 79.With a division that featured some of the poorest secondary play, Brandon Myers has the potential to be a real threat during this coming season and could well take his average of points per game to eight, or more.Fantasy nugget rating - 5. Reggie Bush, RB - Detroit LionsReggie Bush may finally have that year that we have all been waiting for. The former Heisman Trophy winner has the potential to see a boatload of carries as the Lions try to find 'that' running back to finally take some pressure off Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson.Last season, Bush produced a good season from a fantasy point of view, but he also had some stinkers thrown into the mix. Through 16 games, Bush was able to total 175.8 fantasy points, 60.4 of these points came in two games. Bush averaged 10.98 points per game and looks set to get richer as the feature back for the Lions.With most defenses keying in on Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford, Bush can feature as both a passing threat and as a wrecking ball on the ground. If Bush remains healthy he will produce the numbers of a top 3 back in the NFL.Fantasy nugget rating - 6. Anquan Boldin, WR - San Francisco 49ersLast season Anquan Boldin became a Super Bowl Champion with the Baltimore Ravens, this season he will feature on the other Harbuagh's side.Boldin is part of an offensive unit that relies heavily on the ground game, Frank Gore is an aspect that will help Boldin emerge as a true receiving threat.With the injury of No. 1 receiver Michael Crabtree, Boldin figures to be the new No. 1 receiving threat for the 49ers' offense.Not only is that a good thing for the fantasy owners of Boldin, but for the 49ers as a whole. Boldin is a tall receiving threat at 6'1", 220 pounds, last season with the Ravens he accumulated 116.4 fantasy points for his owners with four double digit games. Boldin averaged 7.76 points per game throughout the season.Boldin will add a refreshing dynamic to the 49ers' offense and can fill the shoes of Crabtree, who could potentially be out for the season after injuring his Achilles tendon. Fantasy owners need to keep an eye on Boldin, he could be a late round steal or a good value trade.Fantasy nugget rating - 7. Alex Smith, QB - Kansas City ChiefsThis season figures to be one of the better fantasy showings for former 49ers quarterback Alex Smith. The new Chiefs' number one signal caller has the same surroundings he had in the bay area when he had a feature back and a solid offensive line. The Chiefs feature Brandon Albert and top of the class lineman Eric Fisher holding the line and that offers Smith some superior protection.Now, with the offensive line sorted, Smith can pass to one of the most dangerous receivers in the league - Dwayne Bowe. Jamaal Charles will help Smith blossom at the Arrowhead, but tight end Anthony Fasano will need to be more productive for Smith to have a receiving group that can win games.Last season in limited games, Smith totaled 129.6 points through the ten games he participated in. Smith average 12.96 points per game last season and looks to be in a better position this year in Kansas.The revitalization of Dwayne Bowe and the activity of Anthony Fasano will be the two main impacts that help Alex Smith become one of the dominant quarterback options, after one season removed.Fantasy nugget rating - 8. Larry Fitzgerald, WR - Arizona CardinalsLast season was definitely one to forget for this first round lock. Fitzgerald only managed 798 receiving yards and four touchdowns after a season fraught with quarterback inconsistencies. This year looks to fair better for Fitzgerald with a new gunslinger under center who could produce a winning connection like Kurt Warner did.The Cardinals' new head coach, Bruce Arians, loves a good deep ball, Carson Palmer can throw one of the longest, receiver Fitzgerald can take the top off the defense, this sum looks like it equals win.Fitzgerald certainly won't get less than 1,000 receiving yards this season and will surpass eight or more touchdowns, Palmer is better than Kolb, Skelton and whoever the Cardinals felt like playing last season.With only 103.8 fantasy points on the season, Fitzgerald is going to do far better this season, his 6.48 point per game average is certainly not a true reflection of his skill level as a player. A strong defense will always put you in a good position offensively and that will work in Fitzgerald's favor as well as fantasy owners as he could slip to you in the second or early third round.Fantasy nugget rating - 9. DeMarco Murray, RB - Dallas CowboysDeMarco Murray is a fragile nest to put your eggs in to say the least, the oft injured Dallas tailback could put your fantasy side into another stratosphere -- if he can stay on the field for a full season. The Cowboys are a far better offensive unit when their star runner is on the field and Murray can be a shifty ball carrier who can put points up.With the Cowboys' offensive unit struggling at times last season, Tony Romo may be able to have some pressure relieved when Murray comes back into the fold. Murray amassed 115.4 fantasy points in 10 matches with an average of 11.5 points per game, that can be a number one tailback average when playing in standard leagues.The renewed hunger of head coach Jason Garrett, coupled with a strong desire to win will ultimately see Murray play a lot better this coming season, whilst he is a very fragile option, he can provide you points in bunches with 50 percent of the matches he suited up in being double digit performances.Fantasy nugget rating - 10. Sebastian Janikowski, K - Oakland RaidersWith almost everything being new on the Raiders' offense, Janikoswki is going to see much use this coming season. With one of the strongest legs in the league, Janikowski will be able to put up fantasy points in bunches. Last season, as a kicker he produced four double digit performances.It is rare to see a kick mentioned in a top 10 fantasy option list, but Janikowski can be that type of reliable player when you need five or six points to pull you over the hump every week. Last season Janikowski scored 118.0 fantasy points, averaging 7.37 points per game, which is a great number for a kicker in standard leagues.Running back Darren McFadden can push the Raiders forward and we could see some good quarterback play from Matt Flynn, which will all go together well to put Janikowski in good field goal position. As a fantasy owner, you should be looking to take Janikowski as early as possible this coming fantasy season.Fantasy nugget rating - There we have it people, these are your top 10 players who will give you a foothold in your fantasy leagues. After their performances last season, you may be able to pick them up in later rounds if other players in your standard leagues do not pull the trigger too early. For more articles like this, follow me on twitter at @fatbeardg or check this website - fatbeardsports.com 
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