Fantasy Football MVPs of 2012

(twitter.com)

(twitter.com)

It’s not just the first-round picks that make your fantasy team championship-caliber.  It’s the late-round and even free-agent pickups that can bring your team to the promise land.  With that being said, let’s take a look at this year’s top-5  Most Valuable fantasy Players.

Subsequent to jumping into the list, it is worth noting that the simplistic formula to figure out MVPs is expectation vs. output and what it costs to get the player.

Starting with:

(celebritynetworth.com)

(celebritynetworth.com)

5. Andrew Luck

Luck was drafted ,on average, between the 11th-13th round and had little-to any expectations as far as his fantasy value was concerned.  A team that had been gutted by trades and free-agency, Luck inherited an aging Reggie Wayne and a virtually non-existent run-game.  Yet he did not let that deter him from having a terrific rookie-season that is likely to lead  him to Rookie of the Year, and has led his team to the playoffs.

Through 16 weeks Luck had thrown for over 4,100 yards (7th in NFL) with 21 TDs yet 18 INT, adding another 5 TD on the ground to his stat-line.  Luck is the 9th ranked QB in fantasy and 10th overall (Ahead of Eli, Stafford, Flacco, and Dalton) thanks in part to having  7 games with 18+ points with 4 of those games netting he and his owners over 23 points.

4.  Doug Martin

Martin was taken off of the board as early as the 4th round and as late as the 8th round in most drafts.  Concerns lingering around him were the fear that Blount would steal some carries.  Yet, Martin alleviated those concerns, racking up 44 carries in the first two weeks, on his way to back-to-back double-digit performances.

With 16 weeks now in the books, Martin is the number 3 fantasy running back, and has over 1,700 all-purpose yards (1,312 on the ground  good enough for 6th in the NFL and 454 through the air) and 11 TDs (10 rushing tied for 5th in the NFL 1 receiving).  He has had four 100-yard games, two games with multiple TDs, 15 games with multiple receptions, and only 3 single-digit performances all season.

(thescore.com)

(thescore.com)

3. Robert Griffin III

Known for his immense athletic ability, owners drafted RG III in the 8th-9th round in the majority of drafts.  Owners who took him, hopes that he would somehow resemble Cam Newton and his rookie campaign. Those who took the chance on him had their gutsy choice payoff.

For the majority of the season, RG III was the #1 fantasy scorer.  Yet, having to miss time due to injuries, Griffin is still the 5th QB in fantasy, and 5th scorer overall.  Like Newton, Griffin has had his success through the air ( 3,100 passing yards 20 TD to 5 INT) and on the ground (752 rushing yards and 6 TDs).  Griffin had produced eight 20+ point performances with three of those going for 30+ points.  In fact Griffin’s only single-digit performance came when he was knocked out of the game early vs. the Falcons in week 5.

2. Alfred Morris

Undrafted in most drafts, Morris far exceeded his non-existent expectations.  Morris, currently the #6 running back through 16 weeks, has been a model of consistency for fantasy owners who have him everywhere.

Only two games throughout the season has Morris failed to reach 76 rushing yards, which he has more than offset with his 6 100+ rushing yard-games during his rookie season.  Morris has scored double-digit fantasy points in 12 games this season, with two of those games netting him over 20+ points.

Morris is averaging an impressive 4.7 ypc, on his way to gaining 1,413 rushing yards (4th in NFL) and 10 TDs  (5th in NFL) through 16 weeks.  The unknown player-turned fantasy stud has also carried the ball 20 or more times 9 times this season, becoming a real work-horse.

Peterson has been nothing short of amazing this season.(sportsflex.blogspot.com)

Peterson has been nothing short of amazing this season.
(sportsflex.blogspot.com)

1. Adrian Peterson

Is there even an argument here?  After recovering from major knee-surgery, it was unsure if AP would even be ready to go come week 1.  Yet some owners still took a chance on him, as he was drafted on average as early as the 2nd round and as late as the 4rh on average.  Those owners who took the risk were highly rewarded.

Peterson, who is the #1 running back by 35 points over #2 Foster, is also the only player who is not a QB to be in the top-10 (Peterson is #8).  AP has posted an incredible seven games with 20+ points (including a 31-point performance in week 9 vs. Sea).  In back-to-back-to-back weeks Peterson posted 28,28, and 27 points.  He also has 9 games where he has rushed for over 100 yards, and two games with over 200 yards rushing.

All of this amazing success this season has Peterson leading the NFL in rushing yards (1,898 which is 408 yards ahead of Lynch and under 200 yards away from Dickerson’s single-season record) yards/game (126.5) and is second in the NFL with 11 rushing TDs, while he is also averaging an awe-inspiring 6.0 ypc.

RG III vs. Andrew Luck, Whose been the more impressive fantasy stud?

(thefootballjuice.com)

(thefootballjuice.com)

 

The number one and two overall pick from this past year’s draft have far exceeded their high expectations, not only in the NFL but in fantasy as well.

In previous articles I have proclaimed my distrust in rookies as fantasy studs, but I have been wrong before.  Nevertheless, let’s take a look at some stats and figure out who has been the more impressive fantasy player.

First is RG III who:

  • Leads fantasy in scoring (259, standard scoring leagues)
  • Has 8 games with 20+ points, with 3 of them with 30 or more
  • Averages 21.6 points/game
  • 6th in NFL completion % (67.4) (218-325)
  • 3rd in NFL passer rating (104.4)
  • 10th  in NFL in rush TD (6)
  • 19th in passing yards (2,660)
  • 14th in pass TD (17)
  • only 4 INT
  • 2 games with multiple rush TDs
  • 222 pass yards/ games
  • 714 rushing yards (6.8 yards/carry)
  • 8 rushing fumbles (only 2 lost)
  • 4 games with multiple pass TD
  • 3 games with over 300 passing yards
  • 7 games with 215 pass yards or fewer

Andrew Luck

  • 8th leading scorer in fantasy (212 points)
  • Only 2 single-digit scoring games (one against Chicago in his rookie debut)
  • 4 games with 20+ points
  • 6 games with multiple pass TDs
  • 2 games with multiple rush TDs
  • 4th in NFL passing yards (3,596)
  • 14th in pass TD (17)
  • 16 INT
  • Tied for 14th in NFL rush TD (5)
  • 300 passing yards/ game
  • 55.5 competition % (279-503) almost 200 more atp than RG III
  • 76.1 QB rating
  • 6 games with 300+ passing yards, 1 with 400+
  • 2 games with 225 passing yards or less

Now, after looking at the numbers, it’s not even close.  RG III is has been the better fantasy player, no contest.

Even if we were just comparing QB’s in fantasy,  RG III would get the edge because he leads QB’s in scoring, but he doesn’t, RG III leads ALL players in scoring.  How can you argue against a guy who has outscored everyone in a league where scoring is everything?

Yet, it is worth noting that if we were talking NFL here, Luck gets my nod for rookie of the year, because I feel he has meant more to his team, is the better quarterback overall, and has had far less weapons to work with than RG III.

Fantasy Football Week 10 Fill-Ins

With  the Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, Washington Redskins all on byes, and guys like Run DMC, Percy Harvin, and Antonio Brown all banged up, owners everywhere are going to need a quick-fix for week 10.  Well do not fret, because I have a list of players who should help your team towards victory this weekend, and I will break them down by position.

Quarterback: Notable one’s out this week- Aaron Rodgers and RG II

wikipedia.com

Ryan Tanehill (owned in 10% of leagues, started in 3.5%)

  • facing the Titans in week 10, who allows the 30th most points in fantasy to opposing QBs (19.3 ppg)
  • Titans rank 27th, allowing 274 passing yards/game
  • Titans: rank last in NFL allowing opposing QBs an average rating of 108.4
  • also rank 22nd in NFL with only 14 sacks

Running Backs: Notable one’s out this week- Trent Richardson, Darren McFadden (questionable) and Alfred Morris

Marcel Reece and Taiwan Jones (owned in 0.2 and 2.6 percent of leagues)

  • If Run DMC and Goodson are no-gos (which seems likely) the duo will get the start against the Ravens
  • Ravens: give up the 26th most points to opposing fantasy RBs (19.6 ppg)
  • rank 28th in the NFL, allwoing 139.5 rushing yards/game
  • have allowed 9 rushing TDs to opposing RB this season (tied for 24th in NFL)

Jaquizz Rodgers(owned in 11.5% of leagues)

bleacherreport.com

  • Although he may not be the starter, Atlanta has made it clear that they want to involve Rodgers in the offense
  • Week 10, facing the Saints who: have conceded 9 rushing TDs (24th in NFL)
  • rank last in NFL, allowing 176.5 yards/game on the ground
  • rank 31st in fantasy, giving up 24 points a game to opposing RBs
  • rank 29th in passs defense (311.4 yards/game) since Rodgers is a dual threat

Wide Receivers: Notable one’s out- Larry Fitzgerald, Jordy Nelson and Percy Harvin (questionable)

Emanuel Sanders (owned in 2% of leagues)

  • if Brown is a no-go, Sanders will see an increase in action
  • Facing KC in week 10 who: ranks 20th against receivers, allowing 21 ppg to WRs
  • ranks 29th in NFL, allowing 17 TDs to WRs

    patriotsdaily.com

Devon Bess (owned in 10% of leagues)

  • for same reasons as Tanehill listed above

Tight Ends notable ones out- Jermichael Finley and Cody Fleener

Brandon Meyers: (owned in 10.4 % of leagues)

  • Meyers currently is the 8th ranked TE in fantasy
  • facing Baltimore in week 10 who: ranks 16th in fantasy against opposing TE
  • has allowed 90+ yards to opposing TE 3 times this season

Kickers: notable ones out- Phil Dawson and Mason Crosby

Justin Tucker

  • facing Oakland in week 10 who ranks 30th in fantasy to opposing kickers allowing 11.4 ppg
  • has allowed double digit points to kickers in 5 out of the 8 weeks

Andre Johnson, RG III and other Top Surprise and Let-downs in Fantasy Football

When calculating top surprises and top let-downs it is important to understand exactly what the formula is. However, unlike all those dreadful math classes you took throughout school, this formula is easy to understand.   In fact, it’s quite simple, the equation is as following: expectation vs. actual output.

To make it even simpler, when determining a surprise or a let-down I look at what was expected from them entering the season, and what have they actually done.  There are some players who have underperformed significantly, however it may have been due to injury (Greg Jennings) so players like that are not on this list.

With that being said, let’s get into it:

boston.cbslocal

Surprises

5. A.J. Green– We all know Green’s expectations, especially after a strong rookie campaign where he caught 65 passes for over 1,000 yards and 7 TDs (with a rookie QB).  However did we know he would be this good, this quickly? He currently:

  • 9th in NFL in receptions (44)
  • 8th in yards (636)
  • 1st in TDs (7)
  • 6th in rec yards/game (90.9)
  • Currently tied for 1st as top WR in fantasy (with Victor Cruz), with the Green coming off of a bye week, and Cruz yet to have his

Tied for 4th:

Alfred Morris- Like I have said before with him, he’s a rookie and a Shanahan RB, two things I rarely ever trust.  Yet he has defied my doubts and made me a believer, he currently:

  • 3rd in NFL in YDS (717)
  •  4th in NFL in RUSH YPG (89.6)
  •  3rd in NFL in TD (5)
  • 5th overall RB in fantasy
  • He’s also coming off back-t0-back 120+ yard rushing games

Adrian Peterson- We all know how good All Day AP is, but are we forgetting the fact that he is only mere months removed from major knee surgery to repair not only his ACL, but also his MCL? Despite all those obstacles, AP has managed, though eight games, to:

  • 1st in NFL in YDS (775) 
  • 1st in NFL in RUSH YPG (96.9) 
  • 9th in NFL in TD (4)
  • 2nd RB in fast, only behind Foster

3. Heath Miller– Like I said before, he’s a good TE there is no denying that, but when is the last time he’s been relevant in fantasy?  Well regardless of his past-seasons offensive slumps, this season, through eight weeks Miller is:

  • 5th in the NFL in TD (6)
  • 9th among TE in receiving (336)
  • 5th among TE in receptions
  • 2nd in TE in fantasy with 69 points, ahead of Gonzales, Graham, Davis and Witten

2. Stevan Ridley- Who has more fantasy points 8 weeks into the season, Ray Rice or Stephen Ridley?  Trick question, through 8 weeks the highly sought after Rice and little-known Ridley have the same amount of fantasy points (100).  Not only is this a huge surprised because it’s Ridley second year, but he’s also a New England RB, and NE isn’t known for their run game, however, thus far Ridley is:

  • 4th in NFL in YDS (716)
  •  5th in NFL in RUSH YPG (89.5)
  • 3rd in NFL in TD (5)
  • 3rd in Fantasy with 100 points for RBs

1.RG III- How can you argue? He still leads all of fantasy in scoring, and has put up pretty phenomenal numbers on his way to doing so, thus far the rookie sensation is:

  • 5th in NFL in CMP% (66.8)  
  • 7th in NFL in RAT (97.3)
  • 2nd in NFL in rush TD (6) also 17th in rushing yards, ahead of Richardson and Forte (476)
  • 1st in all of fantasy, 1 point ahead of Rodgers, despite RG III missing time against the Falcons

Let Downs

Johnson won’t have much to celebrate soon if he doesn’t turn things around (boston.com)

5. BenJarvus Green Ellis– Once the Law-firm was traded to the Bengals; he was expected to be The Man.  However, he hasn’t quite lived up to his expectations,

  • Ranks 21st in NFL rush (436)
  • Tied for 25th in TD (2) which is as many as Tom Brady has
  • Has yet to rush for 100 yards in a game this season
  • Scored double-digit fantasy points twice
  • Currently 24th overall RB in fantasy

4. LeSean McCoy– After scoring 20 total TDs and accumulating over 1,600 total yards a season ago, and being ranked the #3 overall fantasy player heading into this year’s draft, McCoy currently ranks:

  • 15th in NFL rushing (506)
  • Tied for 25th rush TD (2)
  • Ranks 12th in fantasy RB
  • 47th overall fantasy player

3. Phillip Rivers- granted he lost Vincent Jackson, but he still has Gates, Floyd, added Meachem, and has Mathews, yet Rivers has not had a good fantasy or NFL season at all, he currently ranks:

  • 24th in fantasy QBs, behind guys like Kolb, Wilson, Bradford, and Ponder
  • 24th in NFL passing (1,646)
  • Tied for 12th in TD (10)
  • 5th in INT (9)
  • Has 2 games with under double-digit points, and only 1 game with over 20 points

2. Calvin Johnson– Megatron, the #6th overall ranked player heading in the draft, average draft position was 7.5 overall, and coming off of an historic year a season ago, with over 1,600 rec yards and 16 TD, Johnson currently ranks:

  • 12th in NFL rec (41)
  • 7th in rec yards (638)
  • Tied for 82nd in TD (1)
  • Ranks 18th in WR for fantasy
  • 3 double digit games thus far, but has 4 games with 9 points or under

1. Andre Johnson– Regarded as a top-10 player pre-draft, Johnson has not even come close to living up to what is expected from him, Johnson currently ranks:

  • 32 in NFL rec yards (444)
  • Tied for 51st  in rec TD (2)
  • 32nd in rec (34)
  • 37th WR in fantasy, behind guys like Santana Moss, and Josh Gordon
  • 5 games with 8 points or fewer

Top Fantasy Football Surprises and Let-Downs

It may be only 4 weeks into the NFL and fantasy football season, but it’s never too early to discuss surprises and let-downs.  Therefore, I decided to take a look at the top-5 players who have pleasantly surprised owners, and the 5 who have let their owners down the most.

I will do this quarterly, so every 4 weeks (8, 12, and 16) to take a look at what has changed.  In order to determine surprises vs. let-downs, I will look at players, where they were drafted in most leagues, what were their expectations, and compare all that to their actual performances.

***It’s worth noting that before is start this, through 4 weeks, in the top-15 players(standard scoring leagues) , there is only 1 RB (Arian Foster), 0 WR, 13 QBs, and 1 defense( Bears).

Let’s start with the positives and look at surprises (in standard scoring leagues).

RGIII sure has a lot to smile about (lugaluda.com)

Top surprises:

1. Robert Griffin III– Any real surprise here?  He is an obvious choice, and here is why:

  • He leads fantasy in scoring with 100 points
  • Thrown for 1,070 yards and ran for 252
  • 4 TD passes, 1 int, 4 rushing TDs
  • “Worst” performance was last week vs. Tampa Bay where he scored  22 points
  • Currently tied for 1st in the NFL with 4 rushing TDs
  •  3rd in competition percentage , 69.4%,
  • 4th in QB rating with 103.4

2. Alfred Morris– He has made me go against one of my few rules in fantasy, and that is to never trust a Shanahan running back, however he’s:

  • 5th RB overall
  •  Averaging just under 15 ppg.
  •  5th in the NFL with 376 rushing yards.
  • Tied for 1st with rg3 and Arian Foster with 4 rushing TDs.
  • Average draft selection= 101.3 overall (11th -12th round).
  •  Referred to as “that other Redskin rookie.”

3. CJ Spiller- Despite his injury, he’s:

  • Led all RB in scoring through three weeks even with coming out of week 3 early
  • Currently in a 3-way tie for 2nd for fantasy RBs with Rice and Charles (62 points)
  • 1st in NFL in yards per carry with 8.3 (2.1 ypc more than rg3 who is second)
  • 8th in overall rushing with 341 yards
  • 2nd in NFL with 3 rushing TDs
  • Also has 9 receptions for 119 yards and a TD.
  • That’s with really only playing 2 real game since he took over in week one after Jackson went down
  • 4. It’s a tie- Matt Ryan–  We all knew he was good, but this good?
  • 2nd in fantasy with 92 points
  • Lowest scoring game was 17
  • 2nd in NFL with 11 TD passes,
  • 1st  in NFL passer rating (112.1)
  • Tied for 6th in passing yards with Peyton Manning (1,1,62)

Heath Miller– People forget how much of an offensive weapon he used to be, but this season:

  • Before his week 4 bye, Miller was tied for 3rd in fantasy for TE, ahead of Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski.
  • Tied for 1st in NFL with 4 receiving TDs
  • In 3 games, 15 receptions and 129 yards.
  • Currently 6th over for TEs even with Bye week (8 points behind leader Tony Gonzales)
  • His last two seasons combined, 93 receptions- 1,143 yards and 4 TDs.
  • Most TDs in single-season is 7 in 2007.

5. Ben Roethlisberger- never thought of as an elite fantasy scorer, but this season:

  • Before his week 4 bye, he was third in all of fantasy with 65 points, 4 behind Matt Ryan.
  • Despite bye, 4th in NFL with 8 TD passes.
  • Only 21 TDs all last year,
  • 5th in yards per game with 301 (ahead of Stafford, Ryan, Peyton and Rodgers)
  • Still 14th overall in fantasy with bye.

Let Downs:

Rodgers may not be smiling for long (packermedia.com)

1. Aaron Rodgers-I never thought I would say this and I will likely catch a lot of flak for this, but based on stats thus far, Rodgers has been a let-down.  He was selected  1st overall in many leagues, average drat was 3rd overall, and has led fantasy in scoring last 2 seasons and now, 4 weeks in his numbers are terrifying pedestrian:

  • Before his 27-points vs. Saints, Rodgers was tied for 19th in QBs (Now he is the 1th ranked QB)
  • He is 1st in league in completion percentage (69.9) and 7th in TDs, but he’s 13th in passing yards.
  • He is 24th in the NFL in yards per attempt
  • 1st in the NFL with 16 sacks.
  •  I don’t think he is a bust, or will become seasons end, but when you are talking about Aaron Rodgers, you think greatness, so far he hasn’t been.
  •  I expect 20+ point performances week In and week out,
  • Yet weeks 2 and 3 combined he got 19 against Seattle and Chicago, showing he can be stopped and he can be sacked.
  • I’m being a stickler but he has 3 INTs this season, and only 6 last year.
  • 2. CJK– O-line or not, I’ve lost faith in him as a must-start each week.
  • I previously defended him and after his performance last week vs.  Houston where he rushed for 141 yards, that was just short of 3 times what he rushed for in first 3 games combined.
  •  He was drafted 9th overall on average, and if he wants to be taken seriously again as a legit fantasy player he needs to duplicate this performance often, almost every week.
  • He currently is the 32nd ranked fantasy RB, tied with Donald Brown who had a bye last week and one point ahead of Leshoure who missed the first 2 games.
  • 25th in rushing overall with 186 yards
  • Tied for 39th in yards per carry with 3.2
  • 20th with 58 attempts.

3. Tony Romo– the numbers speak for themselves:

  • He was drafted on average in the 4th-5thround
  • Currently ranks 23rd overall QB, 1 point ahead of Blaine Gabbert
  • 5 TDs and 8 INTs
  • Even without his 5 INT performance against the Bears, he had 4 TDs to 3 INTs with 2 fumbles lost.
  • He’s got the weapons and they’re healthy, he just needs to throw better.
  • He is 10th in comp % and 8th in yards in the NFL
  • But he has 10 turnovers already

4. LeSean McCoy– 3rd ranked player in preseason rankings, however:

  • Currently ranked 15th among RBs and not even top-50 overall.
  • Highest scoring game was 13 points.
  • Although he ranks 3rd in rushing, he has only scored 1 TD.
  • His reception numbers are hurting, averaging 4.2 yards per catch, but he averages 4.7 yards per rush
  • The TDs just aren’t there after he scored 20 a season ago.

5. Larry Fitz– It’s not fair to him since he is a great receiver with no consistency at QB, but this is fantasy.  After being ranked #2 WR in preseason, through four weeks:

  • 22nd ranked WR.  He’s behind guys like James Jones, Brandon Hartline and even his own teammate Andre Roberts.
  • His average draft was 14th overall, which means 1st -2nd round.
  • NFL rankings:  35th in yards (225)
  • Not even top-50 in yards per catch (11.5)
  • Tied for 18th in reception with 22
  • Tied for 25th with catches over 20 yards with (4).

Fantasy Football Week 1 Top-10 Performers

Fantasy football’s week 1 Top-10 Performers

Ryan has a lot to be happy about as he leads fantasy through week 1 (zimbio.com)

Here is a list of top-10 performers (in standard scoring leagues) after week 1:

1. Matt Ryan (31 points)

2. RGIII (24 points)

3. Tony Romo (23 points)

4. Kevin Ogletree (23 points)

5. Aaron Rodgers (22 points)

6. C.J. Spiller (22 points)

7. Julio Jones (22 points)

8. Drew Bress (21 points)

9. Alfred Morris (21 points)

10. 6 players tied with 20 points; Peyton Manning, Steven Ridley, Adrian Peterson, Stephen Hill, Mark Sanchez, and Kevin Smith

This list doesn’t exactly compile on your typical top-10 fantasy performers, and that isn’t always a bad thing.  Sometimes a nice shake-up is necessary, yet is this for real?  Are any of these surprise performers likely to stay in such an elite ranking, or will they fizzle out?  Also, I know it is very early, yet I will predict where these players will likely be ranked come the end of the season.

Matt Ryan- definitely for real, and do not be surprised to see him crack the top four or five for quarterbacks by the end of the season.  I have been very high on him all off-season, yet was shocked to see him go so late in most drafts (anywhere between 11th– 14th round).  He has arguably one of the best wide receiving threats in Jones, White, and Gonzales.  He also still has Turner back there and also showed us that he too can run (scoring on a 5-yard run and totaling 25 rushing yards on 3 carries).

End of season prediction- top-5 QB

RGIII- Before I make my prediction on him, I will admit he does remind of somewhat of Cam Newton.  I only say this because last season after Newton’s stellar week 1 performance, I proclaimed it was not for real and he was likely to fizzle out (man was I wrong).  Yet, once more I will proclaim as such, stating I do not believe RG III will still be in the top-10 come season’s end.  I just do not trust rookie quarterbacks enough to believe they will put up such consistently high numbers.  RG III is a good quarterback who had a great game, and maybe soon should be a starter in most leagues, maybe.

End of season prediction- top-12-14 QB

(nflrush.com)

Tony Romo- I believe in Romo, as far as fantasy goes.  Last year he was the 8th quarterback overall, only 5 points behind Eli.  This year all of his weapons seem to be healthy and clicking, which all point to Romo having another great fantasy season.  It’s also worth noting that Romo put up his week 1 numbers without his security blanket, Witten, playing any sort of role in the offense.

End of season prediction- Top-6 QB

Kevin Ogletree- Could he be the reincarnation of Laurent Robinson 2011?  Cowboy fans hope so, but I don’t see it.  For more, check out my previous article on Ogletree, Who Is Kevin Ogletree, and Should He Be On Your Team?

End of season prediction- top-20 WR

Aaron Rodgers- Of course he is for real, leading fantasy football in scoring in back-to-back seasons.  I won’t even waste my time writing, or yours to read as to why he will be a top-10 player.

End of season prediction- top-2 QB

(washingtonpost.com)

C.J. Spiller- I like him, a lot.  Especially with Jackson out for at least 3 weeks, that leaves the door wide open for Spiller to go off, which we all saw he is capable of doing (last season in the Bills final 6 games, when Spiller took over

for Jackson, he rushed for 446 yards with 3 TDs and caught for 187 yards and 2 TDs). My only concern for him is that when/if Jackson comes back he will obviously lose some carries.  Yet, if he does well enough over the next few weeks, he could cement himself, possibly, ahead of Jackson.  Only time will tell, yet for now I believe this season he is for real, especially with the lack of depth of good fantasy running backs this year.

End of season prediction- top-8 RB

Julio Jones- Absolute stud.  He will be towards the top of the list of wide receivers by the end of the season.   And those of you who were lucky enough to select him in any round past the 3rd got an absolute steal.  His combination of size, speed, strength, and athleticism make him a complete wide receiver.  Like I stated with Ryan, it doesn’t hurt that he has Roddy White and Tony Gonzales lining up with him to take some of the heat off of him.

End of season prediction- top-3 WR

Drew Brees- Yes, no brainer that he is for real, he’s flipping’ Drew Brees.  As long as he is playing, no matter who his coach is, who is suspended, or who isn’t suspended he will continue to put up huge numbers.

End of season prediction- top-4 QB (at worst)

(bleacherreport.com)

Alfred Morris- There are few rules I stick to in fantasy football regardless of anything, and one of those is to never trust a Mike Shanahan running back.  I don’t like them, I can’t trust them, and I definitely cannot rely on them.  They are huge none week, then not even in the line-up next week.  They’ll get 20 carries in one week, 5 the following.  No thank you and no offense to Morris, I just do not trust him.

End of season prediction- He’ll be lucky to be a top-20 RB

Peyton Manning- Peyton looked like Peyton in week one and he did it against a great defense in the Pittsburgh Steelers.  His neck seems to be just fine, his weapons are above average, and he gives me no reason to worry about him.

End of season prediction- top-7 QB

 

Adrian Peterson, Stephen Hill, Mark Sanchez, Kevin Smith, and Steven Ridley- I am putting them all together because I do not trust any of them.  Although Peterson is a freak of nature, I just have problems trusting that knee all season long.  Especially because he is a running back who loves contact, and with that the case can he knee hold up?  Mark Sanchez doesn’t have the weapons or the skill set to remain a top-tier fantasy quarterback, which is also why Hill won’t remain atop the wide receiver list.  Although I do like Smith a lot and he is capable of big fantasy points, he is injury prone and will likely lose touches once Leshoure comes back in week 3.  Finally, there is Ridley, who falls under my second rule of fantasy football and that is to never trust a Patriots running back.  Regardless of how good Ridley seemed in week 1, and there is no doubt that he is a good running back, there just is no consistency in the Patriots running game.  As long as Brady is under center, the Patriots will always be a pass-first team.

End of season prediction-

Peterson- if healthy, top-12 RB

Sanchez- top-15 QB

Hill- top-30 WR

Smith- top-17 RB

Ridley- top-15 RB

NFL 1st Round Draft Picks; Offensive Players, Who’s Worth Drafting?

RG III blazing the 40-yard dash. Photo courtesy of verbumsapsat.com

This year’s NFL was a wild one.  Though some of the shock and awe value was taken out when everyone knew who the first two picks would be there was no certainty after that.  With all of the trade up and trade downs, many teams put themselves in amazing situations, picking up some great players.  Although I am aware that there were 11 offensive players drafted in the first round,  I will only take a look at the ones worth picking up for your 2012-2013 fantasy football teams.

Although I don’t recommend him, I cannot write about first round picks without mentioning:

Andrew Luck I absolutely love his NFL future, however I cannot recommend picking him up in any fantasy league.  Luck himself is a physical specimen, standing 6’4” 235lbs with the capability to run a 4.63 40-yard dash, to coincide with a high football IQ, but that’s not enough.  While Luck is one of the highest regarded players in the last 20 years, his fantasy value this year looks bleak.  Looking at the stats, the Colts ranked 27th in passing yards in the NFL last year with 187.2 YPG.  Granted, that may have been with a bunch of make-shift QB’s, yet they still had Dallas Clark, Garcon, and Addai, all players they are without this year.  In addition, although he was out all last year, Anthony Gonzales is also gone.  That leaves Reggie Wayne, who turns 34 in November and is entering his 12th year in the league.  Also, Luck better not rely on his run game for any help, as they ranked 26th in the NFL last year, averaging a mere 99.6 YPG.  Bright NFL future, dim fantasy (as of this year).

Verdict: Stay Away

Robert Griffin IIIYou can’t help but love this guy.  While Luck is a physical specimen, RG 3 is an athletic freak.  Also, like Luck, I project a bright future for him in the NFL.  However, unlike Luck I also project a high fantasy value for him as well.  While RG 3 may not be inheriting a hall-of-fame wide receiving core, he is coming into a good one.  Ranking 14th in passing yards/game last season the Redskins have all of their big receivers returning, with some additions like Josh Morgan and Pierre Garcon.  Besides RG 3’s receiving core, let’s also not overlook his ability to run.  A former Gatorade High School Track Athlete of the Year, RG3 he has shown he sure can run, running a 4.43 40-yard dash at the combine, and collecting over 2,200

Richardson showing off his strength, photo courtesy of muscleprodigy.com

yards rushing and 33 rushing TDs at Baylor.  Although I do not believe he duplicate, there have been talks of him putting up Cam Newton-like numbers.  Not likely, however he will get it done through the air and on the ground.

Verdict- Late-round selection, great back-up QB

Trent RichardsonQuite possibly the player with the highest fantasy value from this year’s draft.  Trent Richardson is an absolute beast, and has the clearest path to dominate his new team’s backfield touches, and scads of all-around ability.  In addition to his presence in the backfield, there is also a new QB to be under center for the Browns this year in Brandon Weeden.  Therefore, in order to relieve some pressure off of Weeden, Richardson will bear the brunt.  Yet, do not let Richardson’s hype fool you into drafting him in the first round, as that would be far too high of a spot to select him.  While he will be great, do he may serve best as your 2nd RB or flex WR/RB option.

Verdict-if you need a second RB in middle rounds, get him, fantastic back-up or flex option

Justin Blackmon– He isn’t the fastest or the biggest, and his QB, Blaine Gabbert, was flat out awful last year, yet I remain optimistic.  With the addition of the speedy Laurent Robinson, Mercedes Lewis back to 100% and MJD still in the backfield, Blackmon will manage to make an impact.  Blackmon will play the flanker role while Laurent Robinson will play the split end, allowing many targets to fall Blackmon’s way.  Though he may be great, I still have my doubts about Gabbert, still I would take him.

Verdict- late-round WR, good back-up for your bye weeks

Michael Floyd– At 6’3” 224lbs, Floyd possesses the size and speed (ran a 4.42 40-yard dash) to be a serious #1 receiver in the future.  Some think that having Fitzgerald line up alongside him will hurt his stock, however I disagree.  Having Fitz will take some pressure off of the rookie, since most defensives will be keying in on him,

Martin showing off his skills, photo courtesy of idahostatesman.com

it may leave room for Floyd to slip through the cracks on his way to a solid rookie year, with decent fantasy numbers.

Verdict– Depending on how hot/cold Kolb is Floyd could be a great bye-week filler or even a great flex option.

Doug MartinAt 5’”9 223, Martin has earned his nickname “The muscle hamster”, and there is a reason the Bucs got him in the first round even though they already have Blount.  Due to the fact that Martin is already a better blocker and pass-catcher than Blount; he could see some extra time and added carries.  I like his chances to make somewhat of a fantasy impact.

Verdict- Good fill-in for your bye-weeks, if Blount has fumble issue again he could see his carries increase

 David Wilson-Plain and simple, Jacobs is gone, Manningham is gone, and Nicks is out for up to 12 weeks leaving Cruz and Bradshaw as the only real threats.  That is unfortunate for the Giants, but great for Wilson as his productivity could be higher than expected due to all of these absences.  Though he likely will not make a huge impact, his name will be known.

Verdict- Bye-week filler, draft late in draft, worth taking a shot on