Before we get into the news about Sidney Rice‘s hip surgery, let’s review one of the most basic of fantasy commandments that I hold dear — do not have your fantasy draft until September. Or at least after the third preseason game.
Now that we cleared that up, Jason La Canfora is reporting that Rice aims to get back by midseason, meaning that Bernard Berrian suddenly became a very compelling player in fantasy circles. In fact, I advised fantasy enthusiasts to pick up Berrian on Saturday. (Publishing dates forced me to participate in a fantasy draft not only well before August, try April.)
So pick him up, if it’s not too late. Draft him if you get a chance but not too early.
Berrian will be the early benefactor of Rice’s absence and his value will continue to grow especially if Percy Harvin continues to battle headaches and is forced to miss time. Some people might see Berrian as only a short-term solution, but with any player coming off surgery, there are no guarantees that Rice will come back, or that he will be effective. I will not drop Rice from my team, but I am not confident he is going to produce anything this year. Berrian has had injury concerns, too. So target him as a No. 4 WR.
TE Visanthe Shiancoe also figures to see a boost in his fantasy totals. But the most intriguing player could be Adrian Peterson.
The Vikings would love to get Peterson more involved in the passing game, taking over the role that Chester Taylor had last year. The knock against Peterson is that he has trouble picking up protections, which is why Taylor played so much on third downs last year. Peterson could see more third-down targets if he could master that skill. Imagine your typical Peterson production with even more receptions. And he doubled his previous career high with 43 receptions last year. So this could be big.
– Adam Rank