Fantasy Football 2013: Five questions with Fantasy Knuckleheads

USA TODAY Sports

BTSC managing editor Neal Coolong sat down with Greg Brosh, vice president of Fantasy Knuckleheads, to go over a few Fantasy Football concerns for the upcoming season.

BTSC: There aren't many prize running backs in Fantasy Football, so obviously the Adrian Petersons and the Jamal Charles's are going to go early. Where do you see Steelers rookie Le'Veon Bell going, considering the Steelers are implementing an outside zone scheme - similar to what Arian Foster has run in with huge success and Charles did when Todd Haley coached there?

FK: Bell’s ADP (Average Draft Position) ranks him as the 25th overall running back in standard 12 team PPR leagues, which is the exact same spot I have him in my rankings. This puts him as a high-end RB3/Flex option, which I think is tremendous value considering there is literally no one on the roster who will give Bell much competition for snaps in 2013. Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer both had a shot last year and both flopped, royally.

The Steelers drafted Bell because of his ability to pass protect and his receiving skills at Michigan State. If he can take those skills and translate them to the NFL level early on in training camp, there is no reason why Bell can’t surpass his current ADP ranking. The biggest reason he isn’t going any higher is simply because he’s an unknown commodity.

This is why Bell, Montee Ball (24th), Eddie Lacy (26th) and Giovani Bernard are all clumped together. All four stand the chance of putting up big fantasy stats in their first season, but there is also that small chance all or a couple could be busts.

BTSC:Teams like the Steelers must drive Fantasy players crazy. You really don't know what they're going to do from a passing perspective. Ben Roethlisberger was on fire in the first half of last year (huge games against Oakland in Week 3 and against Washington in Week 8. But you get lower production games from him as well. Where do you see him as far as that second tier of Fantasy QBs goes?

FK: Big Ben falls under the category of a player who is a good pro, but not all that good as a fantasy football prospect. That’s not to say he doesn’t have any value. He’s currently a top-tier QB2 and someone you can use to exploit matchups against bad defenses.

However, there are a fair share of question marks surrounding Roethlisberger as we head into the regular season. A new offense and a new life without Mike Wallace don’t help. Roethlisberger’s past stats might make him look tempting to some owners who look at those stats at face value, but his week-to-week value will hold him down from being a proven QB1. He’s just too inconsistent.

If people check out our Fantasy Football Draft Guide, Roethlisberger should pop up as a QB2 in every ranking outside of 14-16 team leagues.

BTSC: Is Emmanuel Sanders a rich man's Mario Manningham, a poor man's Mario Manningham, or is he Mario Manningham?

FK: If the cards fall the right way, Sanders could exceed anything Manningham has done in the past. And let’s face it, it’s now or never for Sanders to succeed. Antonio Brown will be getting a majority of the attention from defenses as the new No. 1 receiver. Heath Miller’s status for Week One looks murky coming off an ACL tear.

This gives Sanders, a restricted free agent, a big opportunity to put up career highs across the board while also looking for a new contract.

Sanders is currently ranked as the 51st receiver off the board. If he stays there throughout August, the owner who takes him could have a steal on their hands. A 1,000-yard season isn’t out of the question. Sanders’ ceiling is getting higher by the week.

BTSC: Who is the first rookie who will be drafted in your Fantasy Football draft? Is that rookie a Steeler? Why not?

FK: I am in several fantasy drafts on a yearly basis, but I will look to my local league to answer this question. Since we get six points per rushing touchdown compared to four for quarterbacks and three for receivers/tight ends, there will be a rookie running back drafted high. Which one is the bigger question.

I currently have Montee Ball and Le'Veon Bell ranked neck-and-neck as borderline RB2s/RB3s. If I had to guess which one would go first in my league, I say Ball only because Peyton Manning and the Broncos’ passing game could open up more running lanes than the passing game of the Steelers. That will look more intriguing to my league’s owners.

However, owners fail to see Ball has more competition from Knowshon Moreno and Ronnie Hillman. This makes Bell a better prospect, if only by a little bit. If I hear Bell is looking better-than-expected in pass protection during training camp, you will see him on my roster. I might be going out on a limb on this one, but I see no reason why he can’t rack up between 1200-1300 rushing yards and double-digit scores in his first year. We also get .5 points for catches, so that gives Bell even more value if he can land the third-down role.

(Check out Fantasy Knuckleheads in preparation for your upcoming draft. You can follow them on Twitter @_Knuckleheads or here on their Facebook page.

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