As an avid and longtime Fantasy Football players who has been in or running leagues back through 1987 while then using the USA Today, I have seen many changes, some good and many bad in this industry, the good part is the amount of information on the internet, the bad part is the amount of information on the internet.
Here are the top players and top busts.
Top 5 Players
1. Aaron Rodgers-This is about as no brainer as possible, with this throwing prowess, weapons and running ability he is about the safest pick there can be no matter what your scoring format. Also if he is on your team you are allowed to perform his touchdown dance wherever you are after every score.
2. Tom Brady-He is coming off an incredible season, added a top receiver in Lloyd, got his BFF back as well in Josh McDaniels while also having a very shaky running game led by two running backs who could not even be the #1 options in their college offense. There are only 2 times you would want to bench him and that is on a bye as well as any game where he plays the Ravens.
3. Arian Foster-My top rated running back who will outscore everyone in the 13 games that he plays in. Houston is now a run 1st offense with a #1 WR who has never scored double digit touchdowns and has a better chance of playing 8 games than 16. And with Kevin Walter as the #2 WR, Matt Schaub has very limited options other than running the ball down everyone’s throats. When drafting Arian Foster make sure you are covered and get Ben Tate as well.
4. Darren McFadden- What good is making a list without taking a major chance, this is the guy who will win leagues even while missing multiple games. He does not have a real TD vulture in the same uniform anymore, is easily the #1 weapon on the offense, and would you trust Carson Palmer to continue to throw to the other team? Leagues are won in taking a few chances and this is the one to take.
5. Jimmy Graham-Here is my favorite receiver in the draft. He will continue to be on the #1 target in a passing 1st offense and a QB trying to prove the point that he does not need the head coach to excel. He will also benefit that Drew Brees will be the offensive coordinator and also the still living off 1 game defensive coordinator of the Saints is Steve Spagnuolo, so I would expect lots of scoring both ways. Just think why would Drew Brees ever call a run other than needing a breather or 2? Shock your friends with this 1st round pick.
Top 5 Busts
1. Cam Newton-Remember all these questions he brought with him to the NFL, they are still there and will come to the forefront this year. He benefitted from abnormal amount of rushing touchdowns that has never happened from a QB in back to back years. Please take a look at his passing statistics in the 2nd half of last year, less than 200 yards per game average, hell he had worse passing stats than the non training camp, sitting around drinking beers before getting a call from the Raiders Carson Palmer. His #1 target is an aging WR who history says will not come close to last year’s production.
2. Maurice Jones Drew-There are not many running backs who have sat out most if not all of training camp while the team has also implemented a new system and finished in the top 20. Actually it has never happened and will not start with MJD.
3. Trent Richardson-He has now had 2 knee surgeries, not taken a down in a game and will be expected to run against 8-9 man fronts and excel? He may have special talent but there are very few historical running backs that have that kind of talent. Brandon Weeden is in way over his head and will kill his production.
4. Steve Smith-He is coming off a huge comeback year but age is creeping in as well as the limited passing game that the Panthers displayed in the 2nd half of the year. This is also the age where you see injuries start to come more often especially with the luck he had last year avoiding any major issues.
5. Adrian Peterson-He is a machine, maybe in great shape but very rarely does a RB come back to full strength less than one year off a major ACL surgery. His doctors have recommended that he avoid any cuts while running at this stage, while he is ignoring that advice, I will be avoiding him in all of my drafts.
Winning a league is roughly 75% luck, just like the office pick ’em contests where the women who picks by animals she loves usually wins. So good luck and be sure to visit our Fantasy Football forum.