When you're trying to put together your cheat sheets for your upcoming fantasy football drafts, the most natural place to start is looking at how many fantasy points players scored last season. The problem with this is that players' roles change as a season goes on. You could end up picking a player who scored a lot of points early on but was benched by the end of the season, or more importantly, you could miss out on someone who finished the season strong.
These rising snap-count stars had very little fantasy value to begin the 2012 season, but as the season went on, their roles with their teams increased. Not only that, but their productivity also increased with the increased opportunity.
For example, if you wanted to predict how well Colin Kaepernick will do in 2013, you wouldn't just take his 2012 totals and assume he would put up similar numbers. He had a very small role for the first half of the season, then played every snap during the second half. While this is an extreme example -- and Kaepernick's potential is already very well known -- the following players fit a similar pattern.
All 10 of these players should see a role similar to what they had late last season or have one that is even larger. In most cases they are younger players whom you would expect to improve because of increased experience, meaning their per-snap production should increase going forward. Although none of them will be among the top few players picked at their position, if you make sure to pick them at the right time, they shouldn't let you down.
Note: The statistics below are averages per game.
1. David Wilson, RB, New York Giants
Week 1-Week 13: 4 snaps, 2.3 rushing attempts, 9 rushing yards, 4.0 yards/carry
Week 14-Week 17: 20 snaps, 10.8 rushing attempts, 62 rushing yards, 5.7 yards/carry
Selected in the first round of the 2012 draft, Wilson entered the season as the Giants' third running back behind Ahmad Bradshaw and Andre Brown. He typically had one or two carries per game, although in a few games the Giants trusted him with more than that. Late in the season New York decided to give Wilson a few more snaps per game, which increased even more after an injury to Brown. This led to a very impressive late-season stretch by Wilson, as he averaged at least 4.6 yards per attempt in each of his last four games. With Bradshaw out of the picture, Wilson will fight Brown for playing time and should gain the starting job. This makes Wilson a low-end RB2 and could make him one of the better value picks if he can win the job outright.
2. Lamar Miller, RB, Miami Dolphins
Week 1-Week 14: 6 snaps, 2.5 rushing attempts, 12 rushing yards, 4.9 yards/carry
Week 15-Week 17: 23 snaps, 7.0 rushing attempts, 35 rushing yards, 5.0 yards/carry