Welcome to the first edition of fantasy football coverage!! In this inaugural edition we are going to cover the top 15 at each position in most standard format leagues (with pros and cons on each) as well as players to avoid and sleepers. As we go through the gauntlet we know as fantasy season (weeks 1-13 in standard leagues) we will provide you with in-depth coverage and analysis of player performance, predictions and injuries that will hopefully get you to week 14(PLAYOFFS) and further! But please remember to play responsibly and if you feel like you have an addiction to fantasy football we urge you please seek professional help!
Now that we have all the disclaimer bullshit out of the way…WELCOME TO FANTASY FOOTBALL SEASON! The great time each year we get to cheer for players that that we would normally care less about but once you draft him, that’s your dude. Who cares if he had a DUI, assaulted a bouncer, went to Biogenesis with A-Rod, or is indicted on 1 to 3 possible murders that IS your guy…it’s like a Bengals draft!!! The best part is that you get to make a team out of these misfits (a team no real NFL franchise would dare put together) and try to win personal glory and a championship. Playing other teams your reject friends have put together for weekly battles of glory and bragging rights!!! It’s gladiator battles every week with the select few making it to the playoffs.
My job is to be a guide or advice giver and help you navigate this season. I won’t hold back and pretend to be a “GURU” but more of a veteran who has done this a long time and has picked up some things along the way. My fantasy football resume reads as follows…I play about 15-20 teams a year through 4 websites and I usually do as many mock drafts per week. I can and have done so for over 10 years. I usually win about 6-8 leagues a year and some teams I draft are project teams or teams with players I wouldn’t normally draft. Most of my advice will be for a standard 10/12 team league snake draft with the standard QB/2RB/2WR/flex/TE/DEF/K and 6 or 7 bench players. If you are in a league that’s different or unique feel free to hit me up for advice because I usually do all sorts of leagues each year just to get a feel.
And now let’s unveil my rankings. To start off I’m going to give my overall rankings at each position and breakdown every position except kicker and defense because I feel these are personal preference positions. Then every week throughout the season I’ll update my rankings as needed. And here we go:
- Aaron Rodgers– Green Bay- Need I say anything. His numbers might dip a little with the addition of Lacy at RB but only if he can get the running game going.
- Drew Brees-New Orleans- Should be a rebound year with Sean Payton back at the helm!!!
- Peyton Manning– Denver- If you want a solid QB with steady numbers every year this is your man. His numbers dipped late in the season bringing up a few questions about age but that’s all they are…questions…for now!
- Tom Brady-New England- Biggest possibility of failure in the top 5 with almost an entirely new receiving/tight end group and no idea of when Gronk will return. But if anyone can carry a team it is Brady. Big risk could equal big reward!
- Matthew Stafford-Detroit- Huge numbers last year led to a big contract but remember he had 727 pass attempts last season (most in the NFL). He might not throw that many times and Megatron may not top last season’s stats but the Lions signed Bush this offseason and he should be a weapon catching the ball. He could top last year’s numbers.
- Cam Newton-Carolina- The first of the duel threat QB’s. Cam will get you points running and is pretty solid as a passer the big question will be the receivers.
- Colin Kaepernick-San Francisco- This man has a chance to be a beast this season! My major worry with Colin is that he only played 10 games last year. Teams might figure him out this year and the Niners lost Crabtree (his go to guy). If they don’t figure his game out and someone steps up as the new go to guy he could be a top 5 QB by the end of the year.
- Matt Ryan-Atlanta- Great QB who has 3 awesome weapons in Jones, White, and Gonzalez. The only catch here is the Falcons love to run in the red zone and that shouldn’t change with Steven Jackson in the backfield. Solid fantasy QB but limited red zone TD’s.
- RG3-Washington- I honestly have no idea what to expect from this guy. He could have a top year or his leg could fall off at the knee. Potential – he’s a top talent. Injury concerns and his rift with coach Shanahan could really distract/limit him this year.
- Tony Romo-Dallas- Is this the year he steps up? Sound familiar? That is always the question with this guy. Romo has decent yardage and TD’s each season but he is a turnover machine. If he can lower the turnovers he could be great. He also has Dez and Witten as targets. Time to earn the big contract he just signed.
- Russell Wilson-Seattle- Another sophomore to watch. He is solid but you always have to worry about a second year slump.
- Andrew Luck-Indianapolis- See Russell Wilson.
- Eli Manning-New York Giants- Solid QB with great targets but seems like NYG wants to get the running game going with the RBs they have so that could take away from his numbers.
- Big Ben-Pittsburgh-The loss of Wallace and an unproven O-line could force more running with their new toy, Bell, and Heath Miller is injured with no real timetable for a return.
- Joe Flacco-Baltimore-Pitta going down was huge and losing Bolden doesn’t help. He still has big threat Torrey Smith but I see more of a running team this year.
- Adrian Peterson-Minnesota- The beast! A 2,000 yard season is almost a given now that he is a year removed from his injury and he is the main focus of this team.
- Arian Foster-Houston- He will get his numbers on this run first team!
- Marshawn Lynch-Seattle- A hard runner who is as consistent as they come. Lynch will give you 100% every play.
- Ray Rice-Baltimore- Could have a top season if the Ravens passing game doesn’t click. He will be the rock for this team.
- Doug Martin-Tampa Bay- Breakout season last year and should keep it up in 2013. Only concern is which Freeman shows up this year. If it’s the inconsistent QB, he will prosper.
- Jamaal Charles-Kansas City- Barring an injury Charles should run all over this season. I see him doing very well in Reid’s offense.
- C.J Spiller-Buffalo- Going to get the ball as much as he can handle…..and that’s the worry….how much can he handle. If it’s a lot then enjoy a top RB this season…if not then he’ll be injured.
- Trent Richardson-Cleveland- Should have a better season but the Browns O-line is underwhelming and they have lots of Guard injuries. If Weeden steps up this year it will only benefit him.
- Alford Morris-Washington- Should be a little higher but the uncertainty with RG3 makes it hard to figure out his ceiling. He will get his carries and should be solid.
- Matt Forte-Chicago- I see Forte having a great season and surprising a lot of people. I’m just worried about any offense run by Cutler.
- LeSean McCoy-Philadelphia- This is a hard read. No real idea what Chip Kelly wants from him. If it resembles the Oregon offense then he will get yardage but limited TD’s and there might be a lot of spreading the ball around. We are in wait to see mode. I, personally, think he will be a great #2 back or flex with upside if they use him right.
- Steven Jackson-Atlanta- Going to be a red zone TD vulture! The downfall is this team passes a lot and Jacquizz is looking over his shoulder for carries.
- Stevan Ridley-New England- Blame his coach for being this low. But he could do very well this season if the Pats passing game struggles. Woodhead is gone but Vereen will steal some carries.
- Chris Johnson-Tennessee- You never know what you will get with Johnson. This year should be middle of the road with a chance for better….maybe.
- Frank Gore-San Francisco- This offense doesn’t make him a priority but he gets decent numbers. I think he could dip a little this year as everyone will get touches.
- Calvin Johnson-Detroit- Best in the biz!! If you throw it we will be there. Could very well be close to last year’s stats with hopefully more TD’s
- A.J Green-Cincinnati- Catching machine who should have his top season as a pro. The Bengals have lots of offensive weapons so he should be able to get the ball a lot.
- Dez Bryant-Dallas- He emerged late in the season last year and showed the skill everyone expected. Dez should continue that roll this season. The only issue with him is how accurate Romo can be and if another receiver will step up so he won’t face double coverage most of the time.
- Brandon Marshall-Chicago- PPR monster! If your league doesn’t do PPR he will still be a top receiver with yardage and a healthy amount of TD’s…..even with Cutler as his QB.
- Julio Jones-Atlanta- Great skill player on solid team. The only real issue…..can the Falcons get the ball to him enough to be a top fantasy WR with White, Gonzalez and Steven Jackson all fighting for touches.
- Demaryius Thomas-Denver- Solid receiver who can be even better in year 2 with Manning. Could be big play guy with Welker getting the short yards.
- Roddy White-Atlanta- Same as Julio Jones. I could see similar numbers between the 2 receivers with one being the touchdown guy.
- Larry Fitzgerald-Arizona- I think he will excel with Palmer at the helm. Palmer is an upgrade from last year’s QBs and his experience will make him realize how good Fitz really is.
- Andre Johnson-Houston- Put this man on a pass first team and he could challenge Megatron for the best WR. But being on a running team limits his chances but he will still be a solid WR2.
- Randall Cobb-Green Bay- May have a dip in numbers this year if the Packers discover the running game but overall a strong WR2 with low WR1 upside possible.
- Vincent Jackson-Tampa Bay- Had a solid season last year but disappeared at times. I haven’t really seen anything to change my mind about him. Expect close to last season’s numbers with disappearing acts at times but if Freeman regains his old form Jackson will be the one to benefit the most.
- Victor Cruz– New York Giants- Another great receiver who will be on a run first team unless they are playing from behind. Most think if Nicks is healthy he will chew into Cruz’s touches but I think it will help him.
- Reggie Wayne-Indianapolis- Solid WR2 but limited upside. I think he will have over 1000 yds but TD’s could dip with Hilton and Bradshaw emerging. Not to mention that Luck will have to at least match his performance from last season and that could be tough.
- Wes Welker-Denver- Another PPR guy who shouldn’t have the same numbers he did with the Pats. He will still get good numbers but I don’t see Manning using him as much.
- Marques Colston-New Orleans- Someone has to lead the Saints passing attack and he has been the most consistent of them all. With Sean Payton’s return he should do a lot better this season. The only downfall is the Saints and Brees like to spread the ball around so his upside is somewhat limited.
- Jimmy Graham-New Orleans- Hands down the best available. Always consistent and is a red zone weapon for a strong passing team. Solid as usual.
- Rob Gronkowski-New England- I have him as TE2 but could drop if the rumors are true about starting the season on the PUP list. Even if he does play from the start of the season he won’t be 100 percent and is one play away from injury. But if he heals up and gets to 100 percent he could explode as the main pass catching weapon on a Pats team with questions at WR. Risky pick but could payoff huge.
- Tony Gonzalez-Atlanta- Decided to come back for one more season and a run at a Championship. I think his role will be diminished a little bit and a dip in numbers should be expected. But if this is indeed his final season he may leave it all on the field. Probably should be ranked down a few spots but until he does something to backup that theory I’ve got him here.
- Jason Witten-Dallas- Witten was a reception beast last season and probably won’t get as many passes this season with Dez emerging and Murray back. He should still be towards the top of TEs.
- Vernon Davis-San Francisco- Solid TE who can take over a game. Only issue with Davis is that Kaepernick didn’t use him as much after starting his run last season and I don’t see that changing until defenses figure out his QB.
- Kyle Rudolph-Minnesota- Could have a breakout season with Harvin gone. Rudolph could be the top passing weapon to compliment Peterson’s running attack.
- Owen Daniels-Houston- Always the guy that everyone has high hopes for but never matches those expectations. And once again I don’t see him having a breakout year but I do see improvement coming. Definitely a couple big games but also a few head-scratchers.
- Antonio Gates-San Diego- Always has injury concerns mixed with aging and inconsistent QB, but when he’s on he is a monster. I think he will have a TE2 year but could fall if asked to be more of a blocker for the Chargers’ not so good o-line.
- Jared Cook Jr-St. Louis- Could be a top 5 TE and I wouldn’t doubt it but that’s what they thought last season. I expect him to only move up the rankings but he has injury concerns even if they are minor.
- Brandon Myers– New York Giants- Myers had a great season last year even with being on a bad Raiders team. Now that he’s with the Giants I can see a good amount of targets coming his way but can he repeat his success he had last year?
- Greg Olson-Carolina- Should be a middle of the road TE2 who can surprise a little. Not enough touches to be great but uses the limited touches to be good.
- Jermichael Finley-Green Bay- Finley has had injuries that have limited his ability but when healthy can be solid. Always a plus when Rodgers is your QB. Still a TE2 but needs to make some noise this year to stay on the radar.
- Brandon Pettigrew-Detroit- Should have great numbers every year but seems to disappear at times. If he can keep his head in the game he could be solid in this heavy pass offense. Another TE2 who needs a good year to stay relevant.
- Rob Housler-Arizona- One of my sleepers picks at TE this season. Great hands and his size is close to Gronk and Graham making him a tough matchup. If last season proved anything it’s that Palmer looks to his TE’S. If he can stay healthy expect solid numbers.
- Cameron Jordan– Cleveland- This is my breakout star of the list. Great hands and speedy. It also doesn’t hurt to have Norv Turner running the offense. Everyone remembers how good Gates was under Turner. The only real question is how well can his QB perform. If decent, then the numbers could be great. Definitely TE2 to target.
- Stephen Gostkowski-New England
- Blair Walsh-Minnesota
- Matt Bryant-Atlanta
- Justin Tucker-Baltimore
- Matt Prater-Denver
- David Akers-Detroit
- Josh Brown– New York Giants
- Phil Dawson-San Francisco
- Randy Bullock-Houston
- Sebastian Janikowski-Oakland
Stay tuned to changes each week and keep an eye out for my sleeper/busts list coming later in the week.