Five things to be on the lookout for in fantasy football drafts

Thanks to procedural crime dramas like Law & Order, Criminal Minds, etc., we’re all pretty familiar with the term “BOLO”.

It’s a way for law enforcement agencies to let officers known when they should “be on the lookout” for suspects or persons of interest.

This upcoming weekend marks the beginning of the hardcore draft season for fantasy football players worldwide and I’m here to put out a “BOLO” on the types of players you need to target and some players to avoid in your drafts.

I’ll exclude most of the certifiable stud players, because we all expect to be drafting nothing but superstars at the top of our draft. In the later rounds, however, we all have to be prepared to sift through a pool of players who fall into the following categories:

* Breakout Players: Simply put, breakout players are the guys who have the talent and opportunity to be superstars but have yet to step their games up to that level. This season, I’m expecting to see big improvements from Colin Kaepernick, Andrew Luck, C.J. Spiller, Lamar Miller, Giovani Bernard, T.Y. Hilton, DeSean Jackson and Jared Cook. All of these players have the ability to elevate themselves into the upper echelon of fantasy football stars and be difference-makers for your team.

* Late-Round Values: Late-round values are similar to breakout players, but they have slightly lower performance ceilings and much lower floors. These are generally unsexy players currently being drafted in the eighth round or later that I feel could produce starter level value in 2013. My favorite values are Eli Manning, Andy Dalton, Daryl Richardson, Danny Woodhead, Bilal Powell, Chris Givens, Emmanuel Sanders, Josh Gordon, Ryan Broyles and Jordan Cameron.

* Post-Hype Sleepers: The post-hype sleeper is a player who has probably burned you on at least one occasion in the past because they were hyped up in a previous season and failed to deliver. You’ll likely be eternally leery of these players, but sometimes you have to go back to the well more than once to finally quench your thirst. My post-hype favorites this season are Matthew Stafford, Mark Ingram, Knowshon Moreno, Kenny Britt, Golden Tate and Jermichael Finley.

* Injury Risks: This one is pretty obvious. These are players worth considering for their talent, but also worth passing on for their consistently disappointing injury histories. Sometimes you have to pull the trigger on these guys, but you always have to be prepared to cover yourself if – more likely when – they succumb to the wear and tear of the NFL grind. Be wary of this star-studded list: Robert Griffin III, Michael Vick, Darren McFadden, DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews, Hakeem Nicks, Pierre Garçon, Jordy Nelson, Miles Austin, Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Gates.

* Busts: These are my biggest candidates to go up in flames in 2013. I recommend steering clear of this entire lot or risk hearing “I told you so” from yours truly down the road. These guys won’t all be completely unsuccessful, but when you take into account their average draft positions they won’t live up to expectation, either. This season’s projected bust list is Russell Wilson, David Wilson, Montee Ball, Chris Ivory, Torrey Smith, Cecil Shorts and Tyler Eifert.

Feel free to submit any questions to me via Twitter (@FantasyBuddha) and check out my positional rankings and overall Top 150 at fantasybuddha.tumblr.com.

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