Back in the 1980s there was a television campaign in which "Fred the Baker," a Dunkin' Donuts franchise owner, dutifully (and groggily) pulled himself out of bed at 3:30 AM in order to get to his shop
Most fantasy owners consider the draft the hard part, get through that and the season is a breeze. Check in on your team once or twice a week for injuries and check the box score on Mondays to see how many points you or your opponent can get in that night's contest. Check your email on Tuesday and maybe you won. If nobody gets hurt or is on a bye, you move forward and as long as your squad is in contention, you repeat the process. That's what the supermarket donut guy does. But to win regularly, you have to take extra steps instead of leaving things to chance. Here are a few tips on how to successfully manage your team throughout the season.
One such player who could come from nowhere this year is rookie Russell Wilson, the Seahawks new starting quarterback who won the job as a rookie despite the presence of high-priced, and highly sought after free agent Matt Flynn, late of the Packers. Wilson, a third-round pick from Wisconsin, will quickly become the face of the Seattle franchise and Pete Carroll has a long history of mentoring very successful quarterbacks. That means, like Newton, it may not be too long before Wilson will be seen thriving in fantasy lineups.
One player to watch in this category is U.S. Olympic silver medalist Jeff Demps of the Patriots. Undrafted due to his commitment to the London Games, the former Florida Gator is not likely to have much of an impact early in the season as a third-down, change-of-pace running back, but with the ability to use his world-class speed to fly through holes, he'll be someone to have front-and-center on your free agency watch list.
Now, not only has Benson overtaken Starks for the lead back job, but also he's most likely going to be the workhorse for a team that sorely needed some stability at the running back position. At this point and going forward, Benson, whose 3,429 rushing yards over the past three seasons ranks seventh in the NFL, is a clear RB2 and could find himself among the league's touchdown leaders. Those relying on publications and lists made weeks or months ago will completely whiff on him.
And to that point, here are my updated Top 25s for the skill positions.
1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers
1. Ray Rice, Ravens
1. Calvin Johnson, Lions
1. Jimmy Graham, Saints