Players aided by scheme changes

Mike Wallace among 10 players whose fantasy production should increase

Originally Published: May 29, 2013
By Field Yates | ESPN Insider

Mike WallaceJoel Auerbach/Getty ImagesMike Wallace should benefit from Miami's up-tempo offense and propensity to throw deep.

Few pegged Alfred Morris (or anyone not named Trent Richardson) to emerge as the leading rusher among rookies in the 2012 NFL season.

Despite the fact that Morris was an unheralded and largely unknown sixth-round prospect out of Florida Atlantic University, we perhaps should have at least considered the notion that he could become a 1,000-yard back as a rookie.

After all, his head coach, Mike Shanahan, has a history of unearthing surprise standouts in the backfield that includes previous 1,000-yard rushers such as Olandis Gary and Mike Anderson (Anderson, like Morris, was a sixth-rounder who rushed for more than 1,000 yards as a rookie).

The secret behind the success of Shanahan running backs is rooted in players with some level of talent, of course, but the system Shanahan has used as a foundation of his offenses lends itself to successful running backs, as well. His zone-blocking scheme up front puts a premium on athletic linemen with decisive backs rushing behind them (the same system Gary Kubiak, a Shanahan disciple, has used to help catapult Arian Foster to fantasy stardom in Houston).

Point is, production is the byproduct of system and talent, and a player miscast within a system can be hindered. This can make or break fantasy seasons.

Let's examine 10 players who will benefit from playing in a new system in 2013, boosting their fantasy value.

Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.