We all know that any goober can get online and take Drew Brees in the first round of a fantasy draft. The key to winning your draft and getting your team off on the right foot is grabbing all the players that are flying under the radar. The guys that are sure to rebound off bad years, injuries or may simply come out of nowhere.
Rob Gronkowskie helped carry my team last year after I took him in the middle rounds (about 12th round most likely) — now he is worth a 2nd round pick. For those of you that took Matthew Stafford late last season — boy did that pay off! Stafford finished with over 400 fantasy points in my league.
Without even breaking down my predictions for every single athlete, below is a player — one for each position — that I am definitely going to target and buy-low on heading into my draft this year.
Quarterback – Tom Brady, Patriots
I know. I know. You're already saying to yourself, "Dude, it's Tom Brady. You're not buying low." But hey, it's the quarterback position and I'm not taking any chances. It is vital to have a premiere QB in order to win your fantasy league. Sure Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers are going to go first, but Brady is being ranked around pick No. 12 through the mid-teens — which means you could get the best quarterback in football with your 2nd round pick. If he falls to the second round you HAVE to grab him. If you don't, you deserve to lose your fantasy league. I'm not risking it with Peyton Manning around the 4th or 5th round – and he could go even earlier considering the Bronco faithful that swarm the country.
Wide Receiver – Brandon Lloyd, Patriots
Already another Patriot. You must be sick of me already. Lloyd was the highest scoring receiver two years ago when he was in Denver and now he's catching passes from Brady? The Patriots have one of the most pass-happy offenses year-in and year-out. Lloyd will probably go 5th round. Yes, please.
Running Back – Shonn Greene, Jets
He'll probably go 7th or 8th round because of his lack of touchdowns last year, but with no L.T. in town, there's no way he only scores 6 TD's this season. He rushed for over 1,000 yards and caught for more than 200 last year. Whether it's Mark Sanchez or Tim Tebow throwing the ball, we all know how that circus ends. The Jets will have to rely on a solid running game.
Tight End – Antonio Gates, Chargers
He was one of the top scorers at the position last year even after missing some of the season with his Plantar fasciitis and continuing to play through the pain the rest of the year. That's right, he had seven TD's and over 700 yards receiving playing hurt the entire 2011 season. If he's healthy this year, he will undoubtedly be worth a 4th round pick.
Flex – Darrius Heyward-Bey, Raiders
It's been years since I've even considered drafting a Raider — however after Week 13 last year, around the same time Carson Palmer settled into the QB role for the Raiders — Heyward-Bey was an absolute stud, scoring three TD's and hauling in over 400 yards.
Kicking and Defense — Wait until the final two rounds to choose whichever is available. If you don't, then again, you deserve to lose your league.
Josh Helmuth is the editor for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JHelmuth or subscribe at Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.