Fantasy Football 2012
In each week of the NFL Season we are going to look at the Studs, and Duds of Fantasy Football. In this First preason installment, I will go over how to better your draft.
In the majority of preseason fantasy football rankings you see the same 10 guys in alternating rankings. In this blog we will be looking at the ten most valuable picks.
1. RB-Ray Rice – Rice is coming off of 2011 ranked second in rushing yards (1,364) receiving yards (704), receptions (76), and total touchdowns (15) at the running back position. Those are very consistent and strong numbers in everything you want in a RB. Not to leave out, being second in both yardage stats means he was number one in total yardage from a back with 2,068, Rice was the only back to break the 2,000 total yard marker last year. In my opinion Rice has got to be the top pick in your draft.[Photo By: Keith Allison Via Flickr]
2. RB – LeSean McCoy – McCoy finished 2011 with 1,309 yards rushing last year but only 315 yards receiving. McCoy was a top 10 contributor in receptions last season, but the yardage doesn’t show it. However, McCoy did make the best of his opportunities leading all RB’s in TDs last year with 20. McCoy really was a player last year, who was a missed tackle or two from putting up even more staggering numbers, he always has that take it to the house capability.
3. QB – Aaron Rodgers- Rodgers was second in passing TD’s last year behind only Drew Brees with 45, however eclipsing Brees in total touchdowns with his rushing TDs. With the same super deep receiving corps and tight end coming back, Rodgers maybe the safest pick in FF to produce each week this year.
4. RB – Maurice Jones-Drew – Pending his holdout ends relatively soon the “Bowling Ball” should keep rolling this season. Jones led the NFL in carries last year with 343. In the majority of NFL seasons the leagues leader in rushing attempts usually has a down year following, yet Jones-Drew is the only offensive weapon in Jacksonville.
5. WR – Calvin Johnson – The two biggest changes in the NFL over the past decade or two, has been offenses are become more centered around the passing game, and you hardly see RB’s that aren’t part of a committee attack. This makes WRs more valuable than ever in FF. Last season “Megatron” led the NFL in both receiving yards (1,681) and TD’s (16). Better offensive production will be hard to find outside of the top tier RBs.
6. TE- Jimmy Graham – Not to imply that Graham is the 6th best player in FF 2012, he may be the sixth safest pick. While Graham finished second in all three major statistical receiving categories last year to New England TE Rob Gronkowski, Graham is establishing himself as one of Brees’ favorite targets, especially in the red zone.
7. QB Drew Brees – Brees should have a monster year this year. Last season Brees bested every QB to ever play in the NFL with 5,476 yards passing, and he may eclipse that this year. With the absence of Head Coach Sean Peyton for the 2012 season, and a defense that has taken several hits with suspended players, Brees’ opportunities for racking up passing stats should increase. [Photo By: Defense Media Via Flickr]
8. TE- Rob Gronkowski – While it’s hard to down play “The Gronk’s” potential in 2012, there is a little concern that he may be passed up for the league lead at the end of the season in a couple of stats. Last year, Gronkowski led all TEs in receptions (99), yards (1,327) and TDs (17). The major concern for those drafting “The Gronk” is the production from other players around him. We all Know Wes Welker is going to “get his,” newly acquired WR Brandon Lloyd could be very dangerous in the Pats offense, not to forget, the other New England TE Aaron Hernandez is a little quicker and more athletic. One area I think Gronkowski’s numbers could improve is touchdowns. While he had 17 TDs last year, his big frame, Brady’s lethal accuracy and New England’s lack of a proven RB means his red zone attempts will be that much more frequent.
9. RB – Micheal Turner – While Turner tends to disappear in the Atlanta Falcons’ passing game; he is a solid runner who last season was third in rushing with 1,340 yards. In Turner’s first year in Atlanta he carried the rock 376 times, the following season he was injured only playing in 11 games. In the past two seasons Turner’s carries have decreased, but his production is still been strong having over 1,300 yards rushing in both seasons, and better than double digit TDs both years. This year, the non-pass catching RB will probably see less time on third down, just keeping a strong horse fresher.
10. RB – Arian Foster – Foster’s upside is that last year he averaged more FF points per game than any other player in the league. A hamstring injury got Foster out of the gates slow in 2011, but once he got healthy he was an absolute beast. The only downside to Foster is in Foster’s absence last year the Texans found out what they had in Ben Tate, a RB who could’ve been a feature back for a lot of other teams in the NFL. [Photo By: AJ Guel via Flickr]