"Value" is a hard word to define.
Everyone understands the meaning, but when you try to actually think up a definition, your brain turns into a sack of noodles.
I know this because I just tried to define it and here I find myself cleaning up a room full of macaroni.
In fantasy football, value essentially wins you championships. You draft a guy in the ninth round who performs like he should have been drafted in the first round (2015 Devonta Freeman), and you're golden. That's a drastic example, but value everywhere is what gives you a good, deep team.
There was value in the Devonta Freeman situation because no one was really sure who the Falcons starting RB would be, but it looked like Freeman had the outside track to the job. You take a chance, it pays off, you ride into the sunset. Cool.
Another way to create value is by targeting players that had bad seasons last year - in relative terms, at least. It's just human nature. Obviously there are exceptions, but if a player burned you personally last year, there's a good chance you avoid him this year - or at least have a somewhat-more-negative perception of that player.
I'd be willing to bet that many of the owners who owned the guys below last year will be avoiding them this year. I call it the "dead to me" syndrome.
My advice? Target these guys. They'll fall in drafts because they weren't their true selves last year. We don't live in the past on fantasyfusionsports.com, and neither should you.
My most recent rankings can always be found here.
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Recent word out of Green Bay is that Eddie Lacy looks a lot better and is no longer obviously a fat person.
He was drafted as a top five pick last year, and it's not crazy to think that he'll return to that kind of form this season. He also happens to be the starting RB on arguably the best offense in the league. I'm on board.
My ranking: 20th overall, RB9
It seemed like the fantasy community was pretty split on Anderson last season. There was a group that thought he would be amazing after a stellar second half of 2014, then there was another group that thought the sample size was too small and he would be a dud. I was in the group that thought he would be great. I was wrong.
I'll probably end up with CJA on several teams this year. He burned a lot of people last year, and he will be falling in drafts as a result.
The Broncos dished out a good chunk of change in the offseason to prevent CJA from joining the Dolphins, so one would think that he's going to be the feature back. Anderson still averaged 4.7 yards per carry last year; he just didn't have the volume with only 152 carries.
Running back gets very ugly very quickly this year. C.J. Anderson is at the front of a run of likely starting running backs with question marks all over the place.
Also, what else are they going to do? Let Mark Sanchez throw it?
My ranking: 28th overall, RB12
Mathews didn't have a bad season last year by any means, considering he was the number two running back on the Eagles behind DeMarco Murray. If you drafted him as a borderline RB2, though, you weren't happy. I wrote a piece on FantasyPros that explains why I like Mathews so much this season. Fingers crossed that he stays healthy.
My ranking: 41st overall, RB16
Dez was my number one receiver last year, and I really felt the pain of him being so unproductive. Dez played in nine games after missing most of the first half of the season due to injury.
Tony Romo played only four games in 2015, and Dez played in three of those. Other than that, Matt Cassel was throwing the ball (very poorly). Cassel averaged 132.3 yards per game and had a 58.3% completion percentage. In rigorous algorithmic reference terms, both of those are no bueno. For comparison, Romo averaged 212.3 yards per game (admittedly still not great, but definitely better), and had a 68.6% completion percentage.
In short, things will be better for Dez. Don't forget that he had 1,320 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2014. With a healthy Romo and a healthy Dez, don't be surprised if they approach those numbers again.
My ranking: 10th overall, WR5
Okay let's be clear. I don't like Matthews. I don't like or want any receivers on the Eagles. However, there is something to be said for a number one receiver that you can get in the seventh round (FantasyPros ADP: 67th). Keep him in mind if you're nervous about your receivers at that point.
My ranking: 61st overall, WR28
See an early season piece on Graham here.
I have no clue what to expect from Graham. I hope the Seahawks throw like they did in the second half of last season, and Graham reaps the rewards. Tight end is an awful position in fantasy, and you could definitely do much much much worse. You can get Graham very late, and I think it's worth a shot at that point.
My ranking: 108th overall, TE12
Andrew Luck: Apparently he's healthy. He has weapons. He good.
DeMarco Murray/Carlos Hyde: Still a starting running back, albeit for a not exciting offense
Arian Foster: Imagine if you drafted him (again), and he didn't get hurt...
Alshon Jeffery: Easily the best target on that offense
Come back this week and throughout the offseason for fantasy draft materials. Don't hesitate to tweet at me @DonaldGibsonFF.