We have already had 6 weeks in the NFL! Time really does fly but after 6 weeks the stats are starting to really pile up and we can take a deeper look into which players have lived up to their potential this far and which ones have disappointed their owners.
This week I want to take a look at the best value picks from the beginning of the season. This is not going to look at first round picks that have played well, that is what they are expected to do. I want to look at guys who were drafted in the mid and later rounds that have produced way beyond their draft spot. These are the guys that lead to championship teams.
Robert Griffin III – RG3 was typically taken in the mid to later rounds as a backup quarterback that could be the Cam Newton of 2012. Well he is the highest scoring QB so far this year despite a week where he basically didn’t score any points because of an injury.
Matt Ryan – Before the season everyone was talking about all the weapons the Falcons had. Matt Ryan was seemingly left out of the fantasy football conversation. Ryan was drafted between round 5 and 8 but has played better than most of the 1st round quarterbacks.
Peyton Manning – Manning started the season against great defense after great defense. There were concerns and rightfully so about what he would be able to do following his injury. He has answered those questions and is the 4th ranked QB at this point. Now the schedule gets easier and he could jump even more.
Alfred Morris – Morris was projected to be the 240th ranked player by Yahoo to start the year. Currently he is the 10th ranked player. Whether Morris can keep it up is yet to be seen but for a guy that likely wasn’t drafted by fantasy owners, Morris is a big time performer this season.
CJ Spiller – Spiller isn’t quite the value that Morris is, but he was likely drafted in the middle rounds and has performed like a 1st or 2nd round pick.
Stevan Ridley – Ridley was likely drafted around the same time as Spiller and has put up almost identical numbers. Usually you can’t expect a Patriots running back to score any fantasy points but Ridley has exceeded all expectations.
Reggie Wayne – Wayne was not projected to do big things this year. Yahoo projected him has the 83rd ranked player overall. Right now he is the ranked at 33 overall. Wayne has provided his rookie quarterback Andrew Luck with a great target and Luck is throwing to Wayne often.
Torrey Smith – Smith proved to be a good deep threat last year but his inconsistencies made him a middle round pick. As of now, Smith is a top 15 receiver and could move up from there.
James Jones – Jones might be the player who has outplayed his expectations by the biggest margin. Ranked as the 183rd player overall in the preseason by Yahoo, Jones has played incredibly well and is now ranked 34th overall.
Tony Gonzalez – Gonzalez was way down on the list of tight ends in the preseason. Currently he is at the top and by a pretty big margin. Amazingly, Gonzalez might put together one of his best seasons ever and he has had a Hall of Fame career. Congrats if you drafted Gonzalez.
Kyle Rudolph – Rudolph has emerged as the 3rd highest scoring tight end in the league. Rudolph likely went undrafted so anyone who picked him up is reaping the benefits and likely piling up the wins.
Heath Miller – Miller was ranked as the 193rd overall player going into the draft. He has far exceeded this ranking and is putting up about the same numbers as Rob Gronkowski. That is a value pick if I have ever seen one.
If you have any of these guys on your team congrats. Finding the gems is what leads to winning your league. There are sure to be more hidden gems that emerge as the season unfolds so keep alert. Next week we will look at the busts so far this season.