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Kurt Schroeder's fantasy draft risks and rewards
Published 8/29/2013 6:00:00 AM
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Reward – RB Lamar Miller, Dolphins

Miller is entering his first season with the Dolphins as the primary ball carrier. After watching Miller this preseason, it is apparent he can be a legitimate number two back in fantasy leagues. He has tremendous speed, but he is also physical enough to finish his runs strongly. Look for Miller in the middle rounds. If he slips, draft him in a heartbeat.

Reward – WR Torrey Smith, Ravens

Smith has tremendous upside this season based on what happened with Baltimore in the off-season. The Ravens lost their top receiver Anquan Boldin to San Francisco and their starting tight end Dennis Pitta to injury, and Pitta’s backup, Ed Dickson, is dealing with constant knee issues. This makes Smith Joe Flacco’s new favorite target. With eight touchdowns last season, that number will only improve with limited options elsewhere on the field. Watch for Smith to get more targets, which will lead to his best season yet.

Reward – WR Golden Tate, Seahawks

Tate has substantially improved every season. Over the first three seasons of Tate’s career, his receiving yards total 227, 382, 688, while grabbing 0, 3, 7 touchdowns (respectively) over the same span. With Percy Harvin’s injury, Tate’s production will only increase. He also returns punts for Seattle, which means he will have more fantasy value because of his role on special teams.

Risk – RB Frank Gore, 49ers

Although Gore is a quality running back, his third round draft projection is a reach. Gore will receive the majority of the carries, but San Francisco’s “sharing is caring” mentality, which features LaMichael James, Anthony Dixon, Kendall Hunter, and Colin Kaepernick all getting touches, leaves less to go around for Gore. If Gore slips, he is always a safe choice. However, do not be surprised when his carries start to dwindle along with his production.

Risk – TE Vernon Davis, 49ers

Since Kaepernick took over at starting quarterback for the 49ers, Davis’ production dropped dramatically. The seven regular season games Kaepernick started, Davis averaged less than two catches each game. Along with his lack of catches, he only recorded one touchdown over that same span. Davis has all the physical tools needed to succeed, but that level of production is not going to get the job done as an every week starting tight end. Draft with caution.

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