2013-08-29 11:00:00 EDT
Now that those pesky fourth-week preseason games are out of the way, we can officially start the countdown to the NFL regular season. You’ve got six days to get your fantasy lineup in order, but, as always, there will be some additional considerations right up until the deadline next week. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the noteworthy players out there right now.
Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers need a lot from Brown this year. He’s got the unenviable task of filling in as the new No. 1 receiver now that Mike Wallace is residing in South Beach. No one really knows what Pittsburgh will look like in their passing game this season, so relying on Brown in fantasy doesn’t come without risk. Still, you should be able to get him for a relatively bargain price for a No. 1 wide-out.
Draft-wise, you can probably find Brown somewhere in the late-teens to the mid-twenties. We feel like he belongs right in the middle of that estimation, around the 21 or 22 spot among wide receivers. We like him better than, say, a James Jones but not as much as a Torrey Smith–and you should be able to find all three of those players at that level.
Brandon Marshall, WR, Chicago Bears: The ongoing saga of Marshall and his hip has earned him some extra headlines recently, but in the big picture the injury concerns will likely evaporate. Chicago’s No. 1 WR has taken some time away from the team this week to get his surgically-repaired hip checked out–an appointment that was planned and scheduled all the way back when he got his off-season procedure in January (which was his third surgery on his hip).
That said, Marshall says he’ll definitely be playing in the Bears’ Week 1 opener, even though there have been some reports recently that he’s dealing with discomfort and physically isn’t 100 percent in his conditioning. At this point, we’re not really worried, but Marshall owners should probably monitor the situation anyway.
Current Rankings Trends: Fantasy rankings are never a set-in-stone situation; we’ll see fluidity and fluctuation within the numbers all year long. On that note, let’s take a quick look at a few names that are both rising and falling in the rankings.
Reggie Bush, RB, Detroit Lions: You can’t really overvalue Bush. He’ll be a monster in the passing game if he can stay healthy all year.
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts: Here’s a sleeper pickup that most people are getting wise to. Hilton is listed at No. 3, but will get big yardage on passing downs.
Jordan Cameron, TE, Cleveland Browns: He’s got an injury history, but Cameron is pushing his way into the top 10 among fantasy tight ends. He’ll exploit mismatches well.
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Chris Ivory, RB, New York Jets: We were believers during training camp, but Ivory hasn’t shown that he’s fully healthy yet. He went from reliable sleeper to risky backup pick pretty quickly.
Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers: His 2012 numbers were marred by injuries, and this season’s not starting out too hot, either. Nelson should be fine for the opener, but we’re not expecting to be wowed.
Rob Housler, TE, Arizona Cardinals: Here’s another sleeper we’re not so excited about anymore. On top of being a ghost in the preseason passing game, he’s also fighting a high-ankle sprain.
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