In this week’s My Thoughts Exactly, Daniel “Pinto” Gunderson will take a look at five players that he thinks will be a big difference when it comes to his fantasy football teams.
I’m just going to get this out in the open right away. I’m horrible at fantasy football and probably always will be. This year, I have joined what is shaping up to be a highly competitive league. I don’t want to embarrass myself, so I’ve done my research.
I’d like to say I came up with five players I believe will give me an edge, but reality is that I’m taking a shot in the dark here. If this works, I’m a genius.
Matt Flynn – Seattle Seahawks
I know that I’m going to be drafting a much better quarterback than Matt Flynn. I’m not entirely sure as to whom yet. I do know, however, who I want backing that guy up and it is Flynn.
After watching Aaron Rodgers have a career year, he stepped in on the last game of the year and promptly threw for 480 yards and six touchdowns. Now, the Seahawks are hoping that Flynn is the next Matt Cassel.
Cassel, who had a 27 touchdown campaign in 2010, backed up Tom Brady for three years until he got his chance in 2008. After starting for a full year, he was offered a contract by the Chiefs to be a full-time starter.
Flynn got all that after one record setting game. That is a lot of faith for a franchise to put in a largely unproven quarterback, but I’m not in charge of the Seahawks and I need a back-up who plays when my main guy doesn’t. Flynn is the best option in that regard.
Bye: Week 11
Benjarvus Green-Ellis – Cincinnati Bengals
He was the feature back for the New England Patriots for the past two years and had a 1,000 yard rushing campaign in 2010. Last year, he only had 667 yards rushing but did have 11 touchdowns.
He did have problems catching the ball, which is key in the New England offense, and this was the reason behind his departure. Now, in Cincy, he’ll get a chance to carry the ball a lot.
Marvin Lewis had Cedric Benson carry the ball an average of 298 times a season over the last three years. Now that “Lawfirm” will have a chance to carry the ball that many times, his production will go up.
Hopefully his body is ready to take that kind of punishment because he is going to be one of my main targets when it comes to fantasy football.
Bye: Week 8
Brandon Marshall – Chicago Bears
This guy is going to be going a hot commodity in a lot of fantasy leagues. When I first heard about the Bears trading for Marshall, I thought it was the biggest and best move by any team in the off-season.
Jay Cutler was the quarterback of the Denver Broncos in 2008 when Marshall caught 104 passes for 1,265 yards. Now, those two are back together in Chicago which could spell BIG things for fantasy owners looking to make a splash.
In a division that is extremely pass happy, expect the Bears to have more of a balance on offense. With Matt Forte in the backfield, the Bears won’t pass 500 times. Cutler, however, will connect with Marshall on close to 100 passes.
He is a receiver that I will probably try and grab between the third and sixth round.
Bye: Week 6
Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings
Kyle Rudolph will be the best value pick you can make this season. He’s an athletic tight end that can block and catch the ball. Although he only had 26 catches last year, he’s prime to bust out in a big way.
Quarterback Christian Ponder and Kyle Rudolph have had an entire offseason to prepare. They seem to have great chemistry on and off the field. With Adrian Peterson most likely to be a shell of what he usually is this season, expect more passing.
Ponder will be a tough matchup with corners because of his size, and his athleticism will be hard to handle for the linebackers. Expect 50 to 60 catches from him this year and maybe double digits in touchdowns if it all works out.
I’m hoping he’s still around in the later rounds because he could be a potential sleeper that will pay off.
Bye: Week 11
Blair Walsh – Minnesota Vikings
I’m not a Viking fan and not sure why I’ve thought two Viking players would be worth a roster spot on my fantasy team.
However, when you are looking for a kicker late in the draft, look at this guy.
The rookie kicker from Georgia will be taking over for a retired Ryan Longwell and this guy has a big leg. He will be great on kickoffs, but if he can refine his accuracy, then I’m going to look like a genius.
I think the offense will sputter as they try to figure out their identity and that is where Walsh will step in. Of course, in fantasy football, just like in life, drafting a kicker early is highly frowned upon.
Walsh might not even get a sniff in most fantasy drafts, but up here, he’ll be a target. I’m hoping near the end of the draft he’ll fall into my lap and I can laugh at everybody who passed on him.
Bye: Week 11
Daniel “Pinto” Gunderson is the producer of the Mike McFeely Show, which is heard every weekday on 790 KFGO from 2-5 p.m. You can follow him on Facebook or on Twitter @pintoKFGO.