Guest post by Jason Sarney, Fantasy Phenoms
They say it’s easy to find a WR late in drafts. I would agree with that to an extent, because it is half true. It is easy to find serviceable WRs late in drafts, guys who can be decent spot starts and bye week/injury fillers for your starters. For example, in 2009, players like Austin Collie, Jeremy Maclin, Steve Breaston, Hakeem Nicks and Donnie Avery were all, here it is again, serviceable. They were useful, but not fantasy stars.
On the other hand, hidden gems like Miles Austin and Steve Smith (NYG) are a lot harder to hit on. How many people drafted a guy like this in the late-teen rounds, while expecting them to be your overall No. 1 fantasy producer at the position? Sure a Sidney Rice flier last year had moderate expectations….but, come on? Did anyone really expect that?
With that optimism, let’s have a look at some guys who have a chance to be, “This Year’s (Insert value WR here).
Who is, “This Year’s Miles Austin?”
Ok, this one has a few components. First, let’s review Austin. Entering his 4th season in 2009, Austin barely cracked the depth chart in Dallas. Then all of a sudden a Sunday in Kansas City changed all that. 10 catches, 250 yards, 2 TDs and a W because of it, gave Austin the lead role from that point on.
So the guy finally broke out, and it took him a number of years to even become relevant, and boy is he ever now. The 6’2’’ playmaker is now an elite fantasy option in a excellent offense with a QB who, in many ways thanks so Austin, took a major step towards elite status.
Now let’s look at another 6’2’’ WR who has barely made waves in the NFL entering his 4th year. Chicago’s Devin Aromashodu did have a solid last month of the season last year, so he has a little head start, granted, but the scale of his progression could be Austin-ian. Jay Cutler is in a Romo-like situation from last year: he must take a positive step forward as the QB in Big D did so a year ago.
The offense in Chicago under Mike Martz’s scheme, strategy and tutelage should no doubt help spike the career values and fantasy values of all offensive skill players in the Windy City. With limited, albeit decent, competition at WR Aromashodu has an easier task of claiming more targets than Austin did in ’09, versus guys like Jason Witten and Roy Williams.
Aromashodu has Devin Hester, Earl Bennett, and Johnny Knox as his main competitors for playing time and targets; that to me is very encouraging. Nothing against the Bears crew, but it isn’t the Colts Corp. here.
The last month of 2009 was the teaser for Aromashodu, as he finished his final four contests with 22 receptions, 282 yards and four scores. The best part was, one game saw him grab 8 passes. Another of those games had him go off for 150 receiving yards, and Week 17 was a two-TD performance.
All systems go for 2010. It’s likely we aren’t close to the only ones pimping him, as his Average Draft Position is seeing him go in the range of the 7th-9th rounds currently.
I truly think that this young, and unproven wideout has the tools, the offense, and the quarterback to become, “This Year’s Miles Austin.”
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