The 2012-13 boom-or-bust team

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Do you like roller coasters?

Then select this team in your upcoming fantasy draft and prepare for some exhilaration.

On a points per game basis, these players are some of the best at their respective positions, but getting a full season out of them is more difficult than trying to predict Mike Shanahan's running back rotation.

Based on their average draft positions on Yahoo! Sports, drafting this team is not inconceivable.

One thing is certain: there is not much chance for a middling finish with this team. It has potential to be the greatest fantasy team you have ever produced but it also may crash and burn so spectacularly you'd be starting Blaine Gabbert at QB while trying to figure out whether Jacquizz Rodgers, Felix Jones or Kevin Smith has the best matchup in Week 9.

QB: Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles (Y! ADP: 43.7) - Vick was 11th among quarterbacks last season with 222 fantasy points even though he missed three games. In terms of points per game, however, Vick finished tied for sixth with Eli Manning with 17.1 fantasy ppg. The quarterback has played all 16 games just once in his career, and he's a near-lock to miss 2-4 games during the 2012 campaign. However, when he does play he's one of the best QBs in the fantasy game and he also will come with a lower price tag than last season.

RB: Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers (Y! ADP: 6.3) - Goal-line vulture Mike Tolbert split for the East Coast this past offseason, leaving Mathews as the feature back in San Diego and vaulting him up draft boards. The Chargers running back has missed six games in his first two seasons combined, including two last season. In 14 games last season, he averaged 12.4 ppg in standard scoring but was even better in PPR formats due to his 50 catches.

RB: Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders (Y! ADP: 16.8) - If Vick isn't the poster child for this group, McFadden is. The Raiders running back has rushed for 1771 yards and 11 touchdowns in the last two seasons even though he missed 12 games combined. Last season, he averaged 14.3 ppg in seven games before a foot injury ended his season.

WR: Andre Johnson, Houston Texans (Y! ADP: 23.3) - Johnson is widely considered a top-three receiver when he's on the field, but he also has missed 12 games over the last two seasons. In a 2011 season plagued by a hamstring injury, he averaged 8.3 ppg in seven games, but his ceiling is much higher than that. The receiver returned for two playoff games last season and averaged 100.5 yards and 6.5 catches against two solid defenses in Cincinnati and Baltimore. Plus, he'll have starting QB Matt Schaub throwing him the ball again in 2012 (Schaub didn't play after Week 10 last season due to an injury).

WR: Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys (Y! ADP: 38.1) - Austin suffered from multiple hamstring injuries in 2011, which caused him to miss six games after consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. The Cowboys receiver still managed to grab seven scores, which extrapolates to 11 touchdowns in a full season. With Tony Romo handling quarterback duties in Dallas, there will be plenty of balls to go around to satisfy Austin, Jason Witten and Dez Bryant, provided Austin can stay on the field.

TE: Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers (Y! ADP: 45.1) - Gates spent six seasons as the best tight end in fantasy football, but he's missed nine games over the past two seasons due to various ailments, including a foot injury that limited him for much of last season. Gates was able to battle through the injuries and catch 17 touchdowns in 23 games the last two years, but we've seen what he can do when he's fully healthy. The rise of Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham has knocked Gates down a bit, but he's been the third TE off the board on average in Yahoo! leagues.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas J. Harrigan at

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