Fantasy Football Rankings 2013: Players Who Will Surpass Questionably Low Rank

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistAugust 20, 2013

Aug 9, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline (82) looks to the sidelines during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Everbank Field. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Much of the attention in the fantasy world is focused on finding sleeper picks and avoiding busts, which is generally a good strategy to follow. The problem is, too much attention has been given to these areas at the sacrifice of general logic. 

Rankings by average draft position have spawned as a result. Ranking boards are skewed as players jump on and off sleeper and bust bandwagons. 

ADP, or average draft position, is the technical term for these rankings, which are usually a composite average of where a player is being taken over the course of thousands of drafts. 

The good news is you can use these rankings to your advantage. While the rest of the league is obsessed with sticking to a particular set of rankings, you can use the board to predict trends and craft a better team than the competition. 

Here are three players ranked unjustifiably low to pounce on earlier than anyone will expect. 


Note: All ADP info courtesy of


Ryan Broyles, WR, Detroit Lions 

ADP: 11.07 (No. 51 WR)

Age: 25

Experience: 1 Season

2012-13 Season Statistics

10 GP, 22 REC, 310 YDS, 2 TD

Second-year receiver Ryan Broyles is being ignored by most in fantasy drafts because he has torn his ACL twice in his career. In a day and age where knee injuries are not as critical as they once were, this is a bad reason to ignore the youngster. 

Broyles did not put up ridiculous numbers last year in limited duty, but he did display an uncanny knack for getting open. Playing across Calvin Johnson in a pass-happy offense can take you a long way. 

Despite tearing an ACL in December, Broyles is back on the practice field for the Lions and looks good by all accounts. Here is what receivers coach Tim Lappano had to say, courtesy of The Detroit News' Chris McCosky:

I think, No. 1, he really understands the game...Ryan’s a smart football player. He understands the concept of running routes, how to set the defenders and how to use his technique. I would call him a savvy route runner with good speed, not great speed — he’s a savvy, crafty route runner that has a nice niche inside and a good feel for that inside area to slip in and out of zones and defeat man coverage, as well.

Here's visual proof of Broyles looking sharp in practice from Paula Pasche of The Oakland Press:

Broyles has a bright future in front of him. The fact he is not in the top 50 is a joke considering he is the No. 2 option on the offense. 


Jared Cook, TE, St. Louis Rams 

ADP: 9.08 (No. TE)

Age: 26

Experience: 4 Seasons

2012-13 Season Statistics

13 GP, 44 REC, 523 YDS, 4 TD

By all accounts, Jared Cook is a tight end that should be one of the first off the board at his position. He has a solid quarterback in Sam Bradford and a host of weapons around him to draw attention. 

Cook spent his first four years with coaching staffs in Tennessee that have zero idea how to use tight ends effectively to create mismatches. 

But that's exactly what Cook does at 6'5" and 248 pounds.

Dave Richard of CBS was witness to this fact when Cook took his only target of the night against Green Bay in Week 2 of the preseason and rumbled for huge yardage:

Richard is not the only one hyping up Cook as of late. 

Peter King of said Cook is the "single-best player" he managed to see during his training camp tour. 

The doubt in everyone's mind is of course whether or not Cook can stop shining in practice and make it translate to on-field production when it matters. Now in a much better situation, this would be the time to bank on that and grab Cook early. 


Brian Hartline, WR, Miami Dolphins 

ADP: 12.07 (No. 55 WR)

Age: 26

Experience: 4 Seasons

2012-13 Season Statistics

16 GP, 74 REC, 1,083 YDS, 1 TD

How a wide receiver that posted a career high in receptions and receiving yards a year ago is on the outside of the top 50 and looking in is hard to figure out. 

Perhaps part of the issue fantasy owners apparently have with Hartline is the fact the Miami Dolphins brought in former Pittsburgh receiver Mike Wallace this offseason to act as the No. 1 option. 

The funny thing is that the addition of Wallace will help Hartline more than anything. 

Hartline already has a nice connection with quarterback Ryan Tannehill. That will only improve now that defenses will have to focus on Wallace streaking down the field as a deep threat. 

No, Wallace will not steal production from Hartline. Last year Wallace was solid in Pittsburgh, but the receivers behind him in Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders still combined for 110 catches and 1,413 receiving yards.

In Miami, there is not a clear-cut option behind Wallace and Hartline, so Hartline is going to see the majority of the attention from Tannehill. That will translate to a similar, if not better stat line than the numbers he posted in 2012.

Let others worry about the big names. There is plenty of value such as Hartline outside of the top 50.


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