Every year, there are players that for some reason or another, I absolutely love and will target in nearly every draft. The hardest part about loving players in fantasy is to not reach on them. And then there's the grey area of picking players from your favorite team that you love. No doubt, it can make your season that much more fun. Unless you're a Cincinnati Bengals fan.
So for every draft, it is a good idea to have a list of players that you absolutely love. These can be picks that you think will be bargains, gut feeling break out players, or players whose point per game difference (at their respective position) is greatest (Michael Vick and Antonio Gates). Whoever your "love" players are, it is best to avoid unnatural love. Like love for players with awesome names. Anyone remember Tim Biakabutuka? Or Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala? Or the current T.J. Houshmandzadeh, now known to many as T.J. Who's Your Mama. Despite awesome names, clearly guys like these shouldn't be among your loved fantasy players. You get the picture.
But there are many things I love in this world. Football, duh. Ultimate Frisbee. Taylor Swift. Chocolate apple juice. Jesus (he's the one I love the most and the reason I live life the way I do). The Packers.
Anyways, here are some players that I love and think you should too.
Shonn Greene (RB, NYJ, ADP 61): Last year, Greene was way overvalued. This year, he is far too undervalued. Experts were calling for his breakout season last year when LaDanian Tomlinson spoiled hopes of that. But now, Shonn Greene should take off and produce like many thought he would last year. LT's role will be much more limited and Greene will be a force. Draft him. For his draft value, you won't regret it.
Ahmad Bradshaw (RB, NYG, ADP 35): For someone who put quietly put up 1,500 total yards and 8 touchdowns, he is a great value being selected as the 16th running back. I expect more of the same from him and think he will outperform the likes of DeAngelo Williams, Darren McFadden, and LeGarrett Blount. And maybe more.
Matthew Stafford (QB, DET, ADP 109): If only Stafford could stay healthy, he may be a top 10 quarterback. Unfortunately, he has only played in 13 of 32 possible games. But Detroit has loads of talent including this guy by the name of Calvin Johnson. Maybe you heard of him. He and Stafford have great chemistry and Megatron will see his value boosted if Stafford stays healthy. Now Stafford is not one that I would neccessarily draft, but he will be a great addition in deeper leagues and for those who miss on one of the elite quarterbacks.
Derek Anderson or Max Hall. Right?
Neil Rackers (K, HOU, ADP 121): Ha, just kidding. You know how I feel about kickers.
Wes Welker (WR, NE, ADP 57): Welker's knee appears to be fine and I think Welker will make a return to triple digit receptions this season. While Chad Ochocinco won't stretch the defense quite like Randy Moss did, I think Welker will be able to benefit nonetheless. He will once again be a monster in PPR leagues and should be in line for a solid season. He is currently being drafted as the 19th receiver, but will perform more in the 10th to 15th range.
Philip Rivers (QB, SD, ADP 24): Why do I mind not getting Aaron Rodgers as my quarterback? It's because of this guy right here. Three consecutive 4,000 yards seasons with 28 plus TD passes and Rivers is not far behind. He is being drafted much later allowing you to get an elite running back or wide receiver. I will take Rivers and Ray Rice any day over Rodgers and Cedric Benson.
Jermichael Finley (TE, GB, ADP 56): Hopefully this isn't a love due to my allegiance to the Super Bowl champs. However, Finley is absolutely loaded with talent and if he can finally stay healthy, who knows what kind of numbers we may see. And if he gets hurt, so what? There are plenty of other tight ends who won't be very different from the 6th to 15th ranked ones. You may miss out on a value pick, but I see Finley putting together a season to remember. If you don't believe me, watch this.
Shawn Johnson: You are my soul mate and will always have a place in my heart. Love, Nate.
Matt Forte (CHI, RB, ADP 29): Another PPR stud, Forte has put up solid numbers his whole career and is still a bit on the undervalued side. He should get you 1,500 total yards and will get his share of touchdowns.
Jahvid Best (DET, RB, ADP 47): Best is another running back that I can see breaking out and he will be a stud in PPR leagues. With Mikel Leshore done for the season, Best and his Charles-like potential will be in for a fun ride.
Austin Collie (IND, WR, ADP 75): Collie was on path to a monstrous season last year when multiple concussions derailed his hopes. For someone being drafted behind Chad Ochocinco, I don't see how you can go wrong. He has evident low end number 1 potential and can be drafted as your third, maybe even fourth receiver. He is definitely worth a chance and can bolster any lineup. Think of his stats like Vick's from last year projected over a full season. Ridiculous. 103 catches, 1153 yards, and 14 touchdowns. And that's including the game where he was re-injured.
Ryan Grant (RB, GB, ADP 55): Another running back makes my love list and in the form of another Super Bowl champ. He missed basically all of last year but appears to be at full strength this year. Despite competition from James Starks, Grant will be the go-to-guy and can pick up where he left off in 2009. He won't be a number 1 back, but can definitely put up 1,200 yards and 8 touchdowns, making him a very solid mid-round pick.
Plaxico Burress (WR, NYJ, ADP 103): Plaxico has slowly moved up the wide receiver ranks and is reaching a point where he may be drafted too high. He is as far away from a surefire pick as you can be and may end up doing absolutely nothing. But, I think he is a worthy pick in the late rounds because he has huge potential. Despite obvious concerns, you will be mad is you didn't use your 15th rounder on him and he goes on to have a productive year. He is replacing Braylon Edwards and has the size to still be effective. Let's just hope he doesn't shoot himself in the foot or anything with the second chance.
Tim Tebow (QB, DEN, undrafted): I just love the man. Clearly, most of his sleeper value is gone. But, that doesn't mean I can't love a man who cares about the game, people, and Jesus. I think any hate directed at him is unwarranted and unnecessary. But yeah, don't draft him (this year).
LeSean McCoy (RB, PHI, ADP 11): While his rushing stats are solid, it is his receiving game that makes me love him so much. Even if Vick goes down, McCoy will get his carries and his catches. I would take him over MJD and Ray Rice, making him my fifth rated running back. In PPR leagues, he can goes as high the number 1 pick, although he will most likely be between the 2nd and 4th.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis (RB, NE, ADP 52): This may be my one of my least popular love picks. Bill Belichick always seems to make life difficult when choosing New England running backs. And with two early draft picks spent on running backs, Green-Ellis may find himself limited. And while he isn't the most talented of running backs, I don't see himself faltering. Maybe this is a gut feeling, but I think BenJarvus puts together another solid season and proves his worth as a number 2 back being drafted as your 3rd or 4th.
Mike Sims-Walker (WR, STL, ADP 132): Sims-Walker was already a low risk late pick, but now that he is almost guaranteed a roster spot, my hopes are even higher. Sam Bradford throwing to him makes him a great comeback candidate in an improving offense.
Brandon Lloyd (WR, DEN, ADP 52): Now I guess he isn't one I love, but someone I really really like. Much like Green-Ellis, not many people are expecting anything close to last season. But with Kyle Orton throwing, Lloyd really blossomed and should put up serviceable numbers this season. If Denver keeps up their losing ways, they will once again be forced to throw a ton, thus enhancing Lloyd's value. If he falls in your draft like he most likely will, keep an eye on him and don't be afraid to snag him.
Jacquizz Rodgers (RB, ATL, undrafted): Now that's a cool name.
Miles Austin (DAL, WR, ADP 33): While Dez Bryant may actually outproduce Austin this year, I think Austin will still be a tremendous pick. With a healthy Tony Romo, both Austin and Bryant may be in for big seasons. I like Austin a bit more than Bryant as he is more of a sure bet than Bryant, but both have huge potential in a potent offense.