Familiarity breeds comfort. Comfort leads to emotional decisions. Emotional decisions often lead to failure. Failure tends to stick in one's mind.
In other words, do not marry yourself to a player because of past rewards, nor should you avoid someone after having been burned by them. Savvy owners do not allow emotions to creep into their decision-making process and cloud their judgment.
It is a new year
QB Tom Brady, New England Patriots
We told you last year that Brady was in for a down year. Again, that was last year. The veteran passer enters his age-37 season and has been quite vocal about getting all of his targets on the same page this offseason. Tight end Rob Gronkowski (knee) is the wildcard here, but I love the addition of Brandon LaFell, whose role is likely to be that of the joker/hybrid position. Wide receivers Kenbrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson (foot) and Danny Amendola all enter their second season in Josh McDaniels' system, which only helps in the chemistry department. Tom Terrific will be a midrange QB1, with final stats in the neighborhoods of 4,400 passing yards and 33 total touchdowns.
Studly potential in PPR
RB Arian Foster, Houston Texans
Durability is the biggest concern here, but some owners may argue it is quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm or the potential loss of wideout Andre Johnson. This offense will run through Foster, and his PPR worth will be through the roof. Foster's back is 100 percent healthy, and there is little reason to believe the soon-to-be 28-year-old doesn't have one more dynamite year left in the tank. I do not view Andre Brown as a threat to steal extensive work, and the rest of the backfield is teeming with mediocrity. Draft him as a low-end No. 1 running back in the early second round with slightly lower placement in standard formats.
RB Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders
Yes, I know, he hasn't played in more than 13 games in any of his pro seasons. I realize Maurice Jones-Drew is in town. McFadden, in his prime (age-27 season), is fresh after having played only 22 games in the last two seasons. The odds of probability suggest he will play at least one full season in his NFL career. Having MJD to keep him from being run into the ground is a plus, and despite what his 3.3 yards-per-carry average of the last two years alludes to, McFadden is still explosive. Finally, the Raiders are determined to pound the rock behind their improved offensive line and upgraded quarterback play. DMC should approach his 2010 season of 1,564 offensive yards and 10 total touchdowns, which he produced in only 13 games. RB2 potential at the cost of a third back makes him a nice chance to take.
WR Hakeem Nicks, Indianapolis Colts
I will go on record saying there is absolutely no way Nicks fails to score more touchdowns than last year! Bold, huh? Following a goose egg in the TD column, the former New York Giant is only 26 years old entering his first season with the Colts. Indy wanted to commit more to the ground game last year, but it was apparent their best way to win games is by letting Andrew Luck take over through the air. Nicks' biggest enemy has been himself. Durability is a huge concern, sure, since he hasn't played a full slate in his career. Indy has a lot of weapons, which will keep Nicks' receptions volume on the lower side but also affords him more big-play opportunities against single coverage. Surviving his inconsistency could be daunting in head-to-head formats, but Nicks is a pure upside play each week as a No. 3.
WR Mike Wallace, Miami Dolphins
The most intriguing aspect of Wallace's bid for a bounce-back season is how he will be used. The Dolphins brought in Bill Lazor to run the offense, which is what he did in Philly last year. The young coordinator has been tinkering with having Wallace come out of the backfield as a receiver. While that is kind of cool, I am more interested in seeing Wallace become this offense's version of DeSean Jackson -- a downfield, home run threat on any given play ... like Wallace was most of his career before Miami acquired him. He turns 28 Aug. 1 and still can run like a gazelle. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is improving and in prime position for a breakout season. Wallace offers potential to be a second receiver and often can be had as a third. His value is optimized in non-PPR setups.
WR Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs
For once -- maybe the first time in his career -- Bowe is saying and doing all of the right things to instill confidence in a rebound campaign. He has changed his diet and hired a personal trainer. Bowe shed 11 pounds and is down to 210. He has praised head coach Andy Reid for trusting Bowe's on-field assessments and allowing him to influence play calls. Bowe's marijuana possession charge was tossed, too. He has a full year of working with Alex Smith, and KC did relatively nothing to address their pass-catching stable. While big plays are not part of the package if you draft Bowe, more receptions should be in store, particularly if Smith doesn't have a lot of time to throw downfield. Perhaps an uninspiring selection, wise PPR owners will enjoy every bit of his WR3 draft value.
TE Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers
More than a full year removed from ACL reconstruction, Miller should have a little more spring in his step. The veteran turns 32 years old in October, so be mindful that he won't suddenly explode after posting a career-low 10.2 yards per catch in 2013. However, a return to his career average of 11.3 would amplify his value a good deal. He showed burst early in the season but appeared to tire down the stretch. An offseason spent on conditioning rather than rehab should improve his late-season stamina. Miller has the unwavering trust of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger like only one other pass catcher on the team can claim, and new weapons could result in Big Ben relying on familiar faces more often. Miller should be good for nearly 65 balls, 700-plus yards and more than his career-worst one touchdown of a year ago, now that wideout Jerricho Cotchery is out of the mix. Miller is a strong TE2 and a weekly flex consideration.
PK Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland Raiders
Seabass hit a paltry 70.0 percent of his field goals last season, making 21-for-30. He missed four of his seven attempts from 50 and out, which isn't uncommon, because his extra powerful leg taunts coaches to trot him out there at distances most kicker wouldn't attempt. More alarming, Janikowski missed two kicks from 30-39 yards (85-for-86 in five years before 2013) and three of his 11 attempts from 40-49 (one miss in his prior 16 FGAs from that range). A better offense in general, along with a stouter defense, should mean more three-point attempts for the vet. Select Janikowski after the more consistent names comes off the board.
DT/ST Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New head coach Lovie Smith automatically boosts this group's fantasy prospects, but the additions of defensive end Michael Johnson and cornerback Alterraun Verner puts the unit into top-10 territory. A sustained pass rush, coupled with a formidable second level, makes this athletic secondary as dangerous as any in the league. Tampa Bay's defense doesn't have far to go after a midrange fantasy effort last year. Their schedule offers ample room for improvement, with tantalizing matchups against the Carolina Panthers (twice), Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, among others. There could be several high-scoring affairs, so be cautious if your league penalizes for points against.