Fantasy Football Preview: The Top Five

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With an abundance of different fantasy football scoring formats, a top five overall list can vary from league to league.

Consequently, my selections are five separate #1 picks at each of their respective positions. As in real football, I’m ignoring the kickers.  

Quarterback – Aaron Rodgers

The Green Bay signal caller had a monster season in 2011, amassing over 4600 yards and 48 total touchdowns. The league MVP even sprinkled in 257 yards rushing.

Everything is lined up for another great season. His top five receivers return; the running game is still awful; and the schedule has the Packers playing the AFC South and NFC West, which is stocked with average defenses.

Considering Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints are playing without their head coach, look for Rodgers to finish as the #1 fantasy QB and put up staggering numbers again.

Even if he did steal his discount double-check move from Freddie Mitchell.

Running Back – LeSean McCoy

Fantasy football is all about the TDs, and McCoy has a combined 29 the last two years.

He is durable, missing only one game in his career.

And although Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid has mentioned that he may reduce his workload, Dion Lewis is not a RB that he trusts when push comes to shove.

The other two backs in consideration for top dog status have red flags; Ray Rice runs behind an atrocious line in Baltimore, and Arian Foster can’t be trusted to stay healthy for an entire season in Houston.

Expect McCoy to go for at least 1750 total yards and 15 TDs. And is there is better nickname in football than “Shady”?

 

Wide Receiver – Calvin Johnson

Okay, “Megatron” is a pretty cool moniker too.

Johnson exploded last year, and elevated past Andre Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald as the best wideout in the NFL. No WR in history amassed his numbers across the board (96-1681-16).

I see no reason to expect a considerable drop off this season; Matthew Stafford has proven he can stay healthy, and the Lions running game is once again a big question mark.

Additionally, fantasy owners who nab him will be frothing at the mouth over Detroit’s week 14 & week 16 opponents (traditionally the playoff weeks in head-to-head leagues): Green Bay and Atlanta.

The Packers and Falcons gave up a combined 64 TD passes last season, and both games are under the bright lights of primetime.

2000 yards or 20 TDs are not out of the question.

Tight End – Jimmy Graham

The former collegiate power forward burst onto the scene last year to the tune of 99 catches and 1310 yards.

The scary thing is, Graham is still relatively new to the position; one year in high school, one year in college, and two years in the NFL. He will only get better.

The sexy pick for the first TE drafted is Rob Gronkowski. However, a couple of issues have me weary.

Aaron Hernandez’ continued development figures to eat into his numbers; and while Graham was working on his game this offseason, Gronk was working on his tan, playing drinking games, and chasing skirt.

Draft Graham over Gronkowski with confidence, and you will be rewarded with a stat line in the neighborhood of 100-1500-10.

Defense/Special Teams – Pittsburgh Steelers

All you need to know is this: six of the previous eight seasons, the Steelers defense has been in the top three in fewest points allowed. Four of those years, they led the league.

On a week to week basis, your D/ST isn’t going to single-handedly win you your matchup. But they certainly can lose it for you with a negative number.

Don’t get cute here. Find a way to get Pittsburgh, and sit back and laugh when highly ranked Baltimore or Houston gives up a 40-spot.

Photo courtesy of whatifsports.com

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8 Responses to “Fantasy Football Preview: The Top Five”

  1. Top team defenses for 2012 fantasy football heading into week 2 Says:

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