Although I recently came out with my first of many mock drafts, I realize that not every position was included (mainly because it was only the top-10, then some just misses). However, despite the fact that it is still early, and training camp hasn’t even started, I would like to give you all my likely leaders at each position. Yet, before I get started I would like to add I will be doing this according to standard scoring leagues, and traditional leagues (i.e defenses as a whole and no individuals defensive players, sorry if that’s what you were looking for). Regardless, let’s get started.
Likely Leader: Aaron Rodgers.
Can many people disagree with me on this one? In your standard scoring leagues over the past two seasons not only has he lead all quarterbacks, but he has lead ALL scorers in fantasy. He has arguably one of the best WR cores in the NFL (Nelson, Driver, Jennings, and Finley) and let’s not overlook the fact that he can run also. Not to say he is anything like Vick or Newton, but Rodgers can scramble. Last year alone, on the ground, Rodgers managed 18 first downs, 257 yards, 3 touchdowns and no fumbles on 60 carries; that’s pretty impressive. Oh, and not to mention his 4,643 passing yards, 46 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions.
Likely Leader: Arian Foster
This one was a little bit closer, due to the fact the Rice and even McCoy are capable of putting up incredible fantasy points. However, I cannot overlook Foster, and also cannot go back on my word of him being the first overall pick. What speaks out to me the most with Foster is, even including his first season where he only played in 6 games, ran for 257 yards with 3 TDs, and had 8 receptions for 93 yards and no TDs, his career averages in his three years are; 1,032 yards rushing, 10 TDs and 4.7 YPC on the ground, while through the air he averages 438 yards, 2 TDs with an average of 10.8 YPC.
Likely Leader: Calvin Johnson
No surprise here. Megatron was 3rd last season in receptions, 1st in yards and 2nd in TDs, and I expect similar, if not better numbers this year. The one things Johnson was lacking in his first seasons was a consistent QB under center. With Stafford plagued with injuries, Johnson was being thrown to by subpar QBs at best, not to mention the fact that there was never consistently the same QB under center for long. Now that Stafford is healthy, Johnson stands to gain the most. Aside from his football skills, Johnson’s intangibles speak for themselves. He is a 6-foot-5 inch tall beast, weighing in at 235, and when he worked out with speed and conditioning coach Mark Pearsall, Johnson clocked a remarkable 4.33 second 40-yard dash, a supposed 10.23second 100-meter sprint, recorded an 11-foot standing broad jump, and had a vertical leap of 43 inches.
Likely Leader: Rob Gronkowski
No dispute, period. Rob Gronkowski will lead all TE, with the possibility of the being the highest scoring receiver in fantasy. Don’t laugh, because he almost did it last season. Since joining the league, Gronk averages 936.5 yards/ season and an astonishing 13.5 TDs, in addition to his 66 receptions. His size, speed and agility make him almost impossible to cover, Tom Brady is still his QB, and I expect another huge season.
Likely Leader: Sebastian Janikowski
It’s tricky when picking a leader for kickers. When picking a kicker you always want one that is on an average-above average offense. You do this because a high-powered offense that always scores TDs will still give you kicker points, but only extra points. Therefore you want that great kicker on that average team that will get plenty of FG attempts, as well as extra points. Last year that kicker was clearly David Akers, as the 49ers offense was good, but not great, and he is a great kicker. However, this year they added Manningham, Moss, and Jacobs; therefore I foresee them scoring more often. That is why I am going with Janikowski. He has the strongest leg by far of any kicker in the NFL, and his consistency over the past (career 80%) makes him a viable option for best kicker, despite his teams erratic offense.
Defense/ Special Teams
Likely Leader: San Francisco 49ers
Each and every year teams like the Ravens or Bears are likely talks, but last year the 49ers came in and stole the show.
Their ferocious defense didn’t allow a 100-yard rusher at all last season on their way to averaging 10.6 ppg for their fantasy owners. Not only did they score so many points for the lack of points and yards they gave up, it also was largely due to their ability to take the ball away from their opponents. That is why they lead the league last year with 38 takeaways. Their young defense is only getting older, more experienced and better.