Chester Taylor has always had some median value in PPR (points per reception) leagues, as a pass-catching option out of the backfield for the Minnesota Vikings. He was targeted by Brett Favre 59 times in 2010, and turned that into 44 receptions. That's a respectable 75% conversion ratio. Alas he had only two touchdowns to show for it. But what can you do when you're stuck behind Adrian Peterson? He did manage over 700 all purpose yards. That was good for 44th best fantasy RB in 2009. In 2008, his numbers were slightly better thanks mostly to 4 more TDs than he had last season, still he averages around 41st in fantasy production.
In fact, Chester has averaged about 50 targets per season over the last six years between the Baltimore Ravens and Minnesota. That includes 2006, when he started 15 games for the Vikes.
So why you might ask would I have such faith in Taylor to do anything more in 2010 than he has in the past?
Well here are a few solid reasons why I think Taylor can surprise and be a nice 2010 fantasy football sleeper candidate.
Chester Taylor, RB – Chicago Bears
ADP: 154th – 47th RB selected
- Unlike Baltimore and Minnesota when Taylor was behind Jamaal Lewis and Adrian Peterson respectively, Taylor finds himself behind Matt Forte in 2010. The same Matt Forte who suffered a brutal sophomore slump. Taylor could find himself in a true RBBC in Chicago, and if that's the case it should spell decent fantasy numbers.
- In 2006 and 2007 when Taylor either started or split carries, he put up solid numbers. Enough to rank him 12th and 21st best in fantasy points those two seasons. If he gets a genuine timeshare with a struggling Forte who is currently going 47th overall to Taylor's 154th, you're talking real value. I have him ranked 44th currently, but he could end the season 20 slots higher.
- This will be Taylor's first season in a new city. A very football savvy town, and this will be his last shot (he's 30) to make his mark. He also has a new offensive coordinator in Mike Martz, who will make good use of Taylor's skill set. Chicago looks to have a much more explosive offense in 2010.
- Then there's Matt Forte. Mike Martz has talked about the magic number being 4.2 yards per carry. If Forte stumbles to produce as he did last season, with a 3.6 average yards per carry we could see more of Taylor and his career 4.2 YPC average.
Summary: I'm not saying Taylor's going to overtake Forte, though he could, but a 60-40 split seems probable. In Mike Martz's offense running game will play second fiddle to the passing game so Taylor's real value may come in PPR leagues where he could get 60+ receptions and 4-6 TDs, plus all-purpose yardage in 900+ range.
ADP taken from our friends at MyFantasyLeague.com