As players around the country prepare for another season in the National Football League, football fans are preparing also.
Fantasy football, the international phenomena that’s continuously taken football fandom to new heights, is starting to heat up once again as fans prep draft sheets and strategies to see if they have what it takes to piece together the best team in the fantasy universe.
Over at CBSsports.com, Senior Fantasy Writer Jamey Eisenberg is in the midst of helping fantasy owners with his in-depth 32-team breakdown of the NFL’s choice players and the ones that should be avoided on fantasy Draft Day.
In his analysis of the 2011 Seattle Seahawks, Eisenberg tabbed running back Justin Forsett as the team’s fantasy sleeper, wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh as the team’s bounce-back candidate and wideout Golden Tate as the player fantasy team owners should look at in keeper leagues.
On Forsett, Eisenberg said:
The Seahawks will open training camp with Julius Jones as the starting running back, but Forsett will eventually see the majority of carries. He has to if Seattle wants its best players on the field. Last year, Forsett had 114 carries for 619 yards (an impressive 5.4 yards per carry) and four touchdowns. He also added 41 catches for 350 yards and a touchdown, and he’s a candidate for 1,200 total yards and seven touchdowns. We consider Forsett the best offensive player in Seattle, and he should be drafted as a No. 3 Fantasy running back with a mid-round pick. But don’t be surprised if Forsett is starting for you by the end of the season because he has potential to be a star.
Eisenberg writes that Houshmandzadeh’s worth a mid-round pick:
Houshmandzadeh will look to improve in his second year with Seattle this season. Last year, Houshmandzadeh finished with 79 catches for 911 yards and three touchdowns, his lowest stat totals in each category since 2004. He said he played last year with broken ribs and had surgery this offseason to repair a hernia, so hopefully he’s healthy. We expect Houshmandzadeh to play better this year, but he’s no longer an elite Fantasy option. He’ll have big weeks at times — he had three games with double digits in Fantasy points in 2009 — but those won’t be the norm for Houshmandzadeh.
We view Housh as a low-end No. 2/high-end No. 3 Fantasy option. He’s still good enough to start in deeper leagues since he’s the No. 1 target in Seattle, but this passing game has a lot to be desired. Take Houshmandzadeh with a mid-round pick after the top-tier wide receivers are off the board.
Tate could end up being useful in seasonal leagues since the Seahawks need playmakers, and Tate was a star in college at Notre Dame. He’ll likely end up starting this season opposite Houshmandzadeh once he outplays Deion Branch, but the passing game in Seattle has a lot to be desired. You’re probably not going to draft Tate in the majority of formats, but he should be drafted with a mid-round pick in keeper leagues. He could end up being a solid contributor in the near future.
Monday, I’ll put my fantasy hat on and provide my take on who fantasy owners should look at and steer clear of when fantasy Draft Day comes this NFL preseason.