There are a few essential things every good fantasy football player has to possess: Lots of free time, little to no social life and an obsessive love for football. On a more serious note however, winning in fantasy football is really about finding value. After all, getting something for less than it’s worth is always a good thing, but it’s especially true in fantasy football.
Think of it like this. Before the draft starts you and your fellow fantasy owners are all bestowed with the same amount of resources; depending on your league it’s generally 16 draft picks plus the ability to make trades, sign free agents, etc.
The key to winning is as simple as getting more out of those resources than your opponents.. Thus, you want to think of each draft choice and roster spot as a precious resource. No draft pick should be discarded because each one is a chance to improve your roster and you never know when that 16th round pick will turn into the steal that ultimately wins you a fantasy championship.
Because at the end of the day, it doesn’t take a fantasy guru to know that Adrian Peterson, Aaron Rodgers or Calvin Johnson are going to be top fantasy performers in 2013. It does however take an expert to know the key role that great value picks play in winning championships, which is why I’m revealing some of the top value picks found in 2013 PPR Fantasy Football drafts.
Today we get things started with New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning: (ADP = Average Draft Positon) (PPR ADP 105, Standard ADP 92, Position Rank by ADP: 13) -
Eli Manning may be off your fantasy radar right now but he shouldn’t be, especially in PPR (point-per-reception) scoring formats. One main difference between Standard (non-PPR) and PPR leagues is that quarterbacks lose a little bit of value because both wide receivers and running backs have increased value due to the added point-per-reception.
Generally, in a PPR league you’re going to want to stock up on pass-catching wide receivers and running backs early on in your draft, which means quarterbacks get pushed down the board a little bit. As you can see with Manning’s ADP above, he gets taken an average of 13 spots lower in standard league drafts.
Yet, as we all know, no matter where you draft your quarterback, you need him to produce in order to be successful. Therefore, you need to be able to find a good quarterback later on in the draft and trust me, there are few if any starting caliber quarterbacks that can be had cheaper than Manning.
Manning, who was a top-six performer in 2011, struggled slightly in 2012 in large part due to injures that hampered his no.1 wide out Hakeem Nicks. But with Nicks supposedly back to 100 percent, Victor Cruz under contract long-term, second-year man Reuben Randle poised to breakout, the addition of free-agent tight end Brandon Myers and first-round draft pick Justin Pugh bolstering the offensive line, the Giants offense should be much better in 2013 which bodes well for Manning’s fantasy potential.
Despite his less than stellar campaign last season, Manning has still posted four straight seasons with at least 221 fantasy points, 3,900 yards passing and 26 touchdowns. In 2011, he finished sixth among quarterbacks in fantasy points, he was tenth in 2010 and 11th in 2009. Last season he was 15th.
So if you draft Manning, whose average draft position is currently early in round 9, you can expect to get a quarterback that will throw for at least 4,000 yards passing and 26 touchdowns. At worst he will be a low-end starter but he could easily be a top-8 quarterback again in 2013, which is why the value he represents in the ninth round of the draft is so profound.
Even if you decide to take Manning in round 9 as your backup, he could turn into valuable trade bait down the road or injury insurance for your own starter, but one thing’s for sure, you won’t find a better draft value in 2013 than you will with Manning.