There will be many more 2011 Fantasy Football Rankings and features in the late spring and summer, including tons of 2011 Fantasy Football Mock Drafts, Player Rankings, Sleepers and Busts. I'll also have an extensive 2011 NFL Fantasy Football Preseason Stock Report.
2011 Fantasy Football - Buy Low (April 8):
This is a list of players to buy low in your 2011 Fantasy Football Drafts. These players will be undervalued for one reason or another.
Sam Bradford, QB, Rams
The 2010 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year threw 18 touchdowns last season, but only one in his final five games. This may scare some fantasy owners. Don't make the same mistake.
Three reasons to like Bradford as a sleeper next year: He'll have more experience. He'll also have a healthier receiving corps to work with. And Josh McDaniels is now his offensive coordinator. McDaniels turned Matt Cassel and Kyle Orton into fantasy stars. Imagine what he can do with a talent like Bradford.
Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions
I really liked Matthew Stafford last year and drafted him as a backup in nearly all of my fantasy leagues. Of course, Stafford suffered an injury in the first week of the season, which knocked him out until November.
Everyone is down on Stafford now, so buy low. Once upon a time, Matt Schaub and Phil Simms were considered extremely brittle due to a plethora of injuries early in their careers. They proved their critics wrong, and so will Stafford, provided the Lions improve their offensive line this offseason. If Stafford can stay healthy, he'll have a huge fantasy season.
Jahvid Best, RB, Lions
Jahvid Best generated 232 total yards and three touchdowns in Week 2 against Philadelphia last year. Unfortunately, he barely did anything after that, as he showed no explosion because of a pair of turf toe injuries. Best is finally healthy now and will be a huge part of the offense in 2011.
Shonn Greene, RB, Jets
Anyone who drafted Shonn Greene early last year watched in agony as LaDainian Tomlinson stole carries and somehow looked 25 again. However, Tomlinson wore down, and Greene consequently was awarded more work; Greene averaged 10.9 carries per game in Weeks 1-9 compared to 14.0 in Weeks 10-16. Rex Ryan told the media this offseason that Greene will shoulder a larger workload going forward.
Ryan Mathews, RB, Chargers
Ryan Mathews was selected in the second or third rounds of most fantasy drafts last summer. Thanks to injuries, Mathews didn't do much early on. However, in his final four games, Mathews totaled 296 rushing yards, seven receptions (53 rec. yards) and a whopping five touchdowns.
General manager A.J. Smith didn't spent the No. 12 overall selection on Mathews to keep him on the bench. The Fresno State product will be a big part of San Diego's potent offense in 2011.
Ray Rice, RB, Ravens
Two reasons why Ray Rice will improve in 2011: First, his offensive line will presumably improve next season. And second, Willis McGahee won't be back to vulture carries. I really like Rice to bounce back to his 2009 level.
Chris Wells, RB, Cardinals
Anyone who has owned Chris Wells probably won't even think about drafting him this summer. Wells really sucked last year, but here are two things to consider: First, Wells had a knee injury at the beginning of the season that never really healed. And second, Arizona's presumed improvement at the quarterback position will force defenses to be more honest. A healthier Wells will have more running room in 2011.
Miles Austin-Jones, WR, Cowboys
Dez Bryant is drawing all of the attention, but Miles Austin-Jones remains Tony Romo's favorite receiver. In five full games with Romo, Austin-Jones caught 33 passes for 486 yards and two touchdowns. Austin-Jones struggled down the stretch with Jon Kitna and Stephen McGee as his quarterbacks, so he could be a forgotten man when your fantasy draft rolls around this summer.
Michael Crabtree, WR, 49ers
Michael Crabtree, a popular sleeper pick in 2010, struggled and disappointed his fantasy owners. Crabtree caught 55 balls for 741 yards and six touchdowns. Those numbers have to improve with Jim Harbaugh calling the shots. Everyone is down on Crabtree, so you can probably get him pretty late in your fantasy draft.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals
I hated Larry Fitzgerald last year. He was on my Avoid list because the drop from Kurt Warner to either Matt Leinart or Derek Anderson was too significant. Fitzgerald scored a career-low six touchdowns in 2010, marking his worst fantasy campaign since his rookie year. Arizona is expected to either trade for Kevin Kolb or sign a veteran like Marc Bulger, so the team's quarterbacking situation will automatically be remarkably better than it was last season.