The new NFLUK Fantasy Football season is in session - and in case you missed it, we’re going to be giving you a whole heap more in the way of advice, opinion and chat during the course of 2012.
The rules of the game are simple, and pretty much unique in fantasy football. You get $18 million to spend on a quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, a tight end, kicker and a defense.
The prizes - not least a trip to Super Bowl XLVII and weekly booty including a game ball and New Era cap - are as awesome as ever.
All you have to do to get your hands on them? Build a team that’s better than everybody else’s.
So let’s get to the questions you’ve sent in and figure out how to do just that.
- ‘Do any players stand out as under-priced in this year’s NFLUK player list?’
Marcus, that’s a question lots of NFLUK fantasy players are asking right now. In this league, starting an inexpensive player who regularly produces big points means you can splash out on a fantasy superstar someplace else.
There’s plenty of value at running back with Darren Sproles, New Orleans ($2 million) and Ahmad Bradshaw, NY Giants ($2 million). Sproles is a major weapon in the Saints’ passing game and scored 10 total TDs last year. Bradshaw is a central cog in the Giants’ offense and should see an uptick in scoring chances in 2012. Keep an eye on youngsters Ryan Williams, Arizona ($2 million) and Stevan Ridley, New England ($2 million) too. Two other veterans, Cedric Benson, Green Bay ($1 million) and Kevin Smith, Detroit ($1 million) are bargain basement starters with the chance to do carve out major roles.
It’s the same story at wide receiver. Eric Decker, Denver ($2 million) has established himself as Peyton Manning’s go-to guy in the off season and should be on your team. Torrey Smith, Baltimore ($2 million) has overtaken Anquan Boldin to be the Ravens’ top receiver and could have a big year. Also look for Detroit’s Titus Young ($1 million) and maybe even Darrius Heyward-Bey, Oakland ($1 million) to emerge as the season progresses. For what it’s worth, the Falcons’ Julio Jones ($3 million) and Giants’ Hakeem Nicks ($3 million) are arguably under-priced too.
- ‘What rookies are worth putting in my Week One team?’
Jemma, at a very reasonable $1 million price tag for the most part, getting the right rookies on your team could pay off in a major way. RBs Trent Richardson, Cleveland ($1 million) and Doug Martin, Tampa Bay ($1 million) are two runners who’ll be the focal point of their offenses from the word go (though do check on Richardson’s injury status for Week One). They’ll produce some monster games. Jaguars’ rookie WR Justin Blackmon ($1 million) has looked good, as has fellow first round pick Kendall Wright, Tennessee ($1 million). Both should see plenty of the end zone. Big ticket QBs Andrew Luck, Indianapolis and Robert Griffin III, Washington - both $2 million - have had their moments this summer, but unheralded Russell Wilson, Seattle ($1 million) has looked as good as either. All three will have growing pains, but all three should score you points through the air and on the ground.
- ‘I’m a big Broncos fan, how confident are you about putting Peyton Manning and Demaryius Thomas on the lineup for Week One?’
Manning has had an up and down off-season, but he finished on a (Mile) high in the third week of the pre-season with a near flawless outing versus San Francisco. Do I like him at home to Pittsburgh’s traditionally tough defense? Kind of. I think he’ll throw touchdowns, but I think he’ll throw interceptions too. Luckily, the latter won’t matter in this league (there are no points deducted for picks), so at $3 million he’s OK value. Thomas, at $3 million, makes me a bit uneasy. Peyton has shown better chemistry so far with Decker - and at $2 million, he leaves you with change in your pocket for that star player you’ve just gotta have. Watch for how Manning connects with tight end Jacob Tamme ($2 million) and Joel Dreesen ($2 million) in the early going as well. If one of them gets hot, they’ll be a nice budget option.
Got a fantasy query? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet @MikeELawrence