Fantasy football is not a hobby for people with short-term memories.
The offseason causes some fantasy football owners to forget about players who were injured, lost their starting jobs or barely saw the field the year before. Then when these owners make out their cheat sheets for their September drafts, they either slot these forgotten players toward the bottom of their draft lists or completely omit them altogether.
Do not make the same mistake as these flighty fantasy owners. There are players you should not forget about, especially when they have good chances of bouncing back like racquetballs in 2013.
Here are three players fantasy football owners should not forget about it
Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins (WR)
Garcon should have been Robert Griffin III’s top target in 2012, but he had more problems with his feet than Dr. Scholl’s could handle.
Garcon was limited to 10 games last season due to foot injuries, but pay close attention to what he did in those 10 games. He had 44 receptions for 633 yards and four touchdowns. If you average that out over a full 16-game season, he would have ended up with 70 catches for 1,000 yards and six touchdowns if he were healthy, which would have been the best year of his career.
Garcon is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and is still not 100 percent certain that his foot drama is over as he mentioned in a recent Washington Post piece. But if both he and RGIII stay injury-free next season, Garcon will have a fantastic fantasy year.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tennessee Titans (QB)
Just because Fitzpatrick went from starting in Buffalo to backing up in Tennessee does not mean his fantasy value has dried up. He is backing up one of the most injury-prone, inconsistent starting quarterbacks in the NFL, so Fitzpatrick could be a starting signal-caller again faster than DeSean Jackson runs a reverse.
Jake Locker has only played in 16 games over his first two seasons, and his numbers should not have fantasy owners thinking that Fitzpatrick has about as much of a chance at starting as Ryan Mallett does in New England.
Locker has thrown for 2,718 yards and 14 touchdowns and completed 55.5 percent of his passes. Fitzpatrick threw for 3,400 yards, 24 touchdowns and connected on 60.6 percent of his pass attempts with Buffalo last year. If you go solely on stats, Fitzpatrick has certainly been more productive.
If Locker falters or injures himself, Fitzpatrick would have some interesting weapons to work with in Tennessee. He would have the injury-riddled troublemaker Kenny Britt as his No. 1 WR, but if Britt stays out of trouble and off the injured list, he could be a top-flight receiver again.
Then Fitzpatrick has 2012 first-round pick Kendall Wright and 2013 second-round selection 1 in his receiving corps as well, so the Titans have speed, skill and up-and-coming talent at wideout.
Fitzpatrick should be one of the first backup quarterbacks taken in fantasy drafts. His chances of starting and succeeding stats-wise are better than most No. 2 QBs. He should definitely be picked up as insurance by anyone who drafts Locker and could be a nice late-round steal for someone thinking he could end up being Tennessee’s starter during the campaign.
Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins (RB)
Miami’s fourth-rounder from the 2012 draft had about as much fantasy value as Tim Tebow did last season, rushing for only 250 yards and one touchdown in very limited playing time. But chances are this speedy Miami Hurricanes product will be on the field and running a lot more in 2013.
Miller was always known as a breakaway threat when he played in college, and his sprinter speed was one of the key attributes that made him attractive in the draft. And now that Reggie Bush has left for the Detroit Lions and Miami’s backfield is barren except for the disappointing Daniel Thomas and late-round rookie Mike Gillislee, Miller is the favorite to be the featured tailback.
Now, you never know when a recently released free-agent running back could be signed at the last minute and muck up the depth chart. Miller might be the main man at the moment, but there are veteran backs like Ahmad Bradshaw, Michael Turner and Beanie Wells still unsigned and looking for work.
If Miami brings in a vet to split carries with Miller, or if Thomas actually pulls his helmet out of the clouds and starts putting his big body to better use, then the kid’s fantasy worth drops like a Bruce Sutter split-fingered fastball.
But the odds are in Miller’s favor at the moment to be the top tailback, and with Miami bolstering its receiving corps by adding Mike Wallace, Dustin Keller and Brandon Gibson in the offseason, Miller should have several scoring opportunities in 2013.
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