The start of the NFL season is right around the corner and it’s time to take an early look at who we like as the top 10 overall picks in your 2013 fantasy football draft. If you have any draft day questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.
1. Adrian Peterson
AD or All Day (yes that is his nickname not AP) had an incredible season last year coming off his ACL injury. Peterson rushed for almost 2100 yards, averaging an amazing 6.0 yards a carry, and finding the end zone 12 times. This off-season Peterson was talking about how he wanted to be more involved in the passing game as well. He had 40 catches on 51 targets last year and we would not be too surprised if that number moves up to 50-60 catches this year. Regardless, we always think of Arian Foster as a great pass catching back, well he had the exact same amount of receptions as Peterson. That is just one more reason to draft Peterson first overall in pretty much any scoring format.
2. Arian Foster
Our boy Foster has been sitting at number one in our projected rankings for the last few years but got bumped by Peterson this season. Foster however, did not fall too far and comes in as our second player off the board. Sure, he has a knee scare as of now and of course Ben Tate is always looming but these were the same circumstances last season and Foster did what he always does which is produce. Over 1600 total yards and falling into the end zone an incredible 17 times had to make all of his owners pleased with his season last year and we bet he will make them pleased again this year.
3. Doug Martin
Doug Martin started the year a little slow but soon enough was the featured back in Tampa Bay and never looked back. The “muscle hamster” (a nickname he hates) can do it all. He averaged 4.6 yards a clip, caught 49 of his 70 targets, and scored 12 times. This season there is no doubt that Doug Martin will be the focal point of the offense and due to that we should expect similar if not improved numbers in 2013. In a point per reception league we think Martins’ value will climb even higher. Over the last two games of the season Martin caught 11 balls, we believe this trend continues and we see closer to 70 than 50 receptions this year out of him.
4. Marshawn Lynch
Once you get down to the fourth pick it is tough to determine whom is the clear cut number four overall player. In fact, there is no clear cut player. We decided to go with Lynch here simply because we love the offense that surrounds him. Russell Wilson really came into his own the second half of the season and the addition of Percy Harvin only helps to open things up for Lynch. We see a very similar year to last season, over 1700 total yards and double digit touchdowns.
5. Jamaal Charles
Similar to Peterson, Charles was coming off an ACL injury and had a great return in 2012. He had over 1700 total yards and one must imagine him getting even more work with Andy Reid at the helm for Kansas City. Reid loves backs that can catch the football and Charles certainly has good hands. Due to the coaching change Charles has one of the highest ceiling of all the backs heading into this 2013 season.
6. LeSean McCoy
Chip Kelly’s offense has always featured a running back and that running back has always put up huge numbers in college. Kelly has never had a back as talented as McCoy and his number of touches should go through the roof this year. We expect a huge bounce back year out of McCoy and he figures to be another great late first round pick.
7. Ray Rice
Rice keeps slipping in mock drafts that we are doing and we think there is way too much love for Bernard Pierce at this point. Sure, Pierce is a fine player and a nice compliment to Rice, since he is a much bigger back but, just like Ben Tate to Foster he is a compliment player. Rice has been atop the running back rankings at years end for the last three seasons in most format (especially a ppr leagues) and this year will be no different. One should expect solid numbers and find Rice at a bargain discount at the end of the first round.
8. C.J. Spiller
When Spiller got the majority of touches last year he was a top fantasy back. His yards per carry was 6.0 and his yards per reception were 10.7. This year the Bills have to give him more touches and have him become the feature back. Even if he splits carries 60-40 those averages should provide solid fantasy numbers. On the flip side if he is the feature back with a 75-25 split he has top three upside.
9. Calvin Johnson
No other positional player is more dominate at this position than Lord Megatron. Not only did Calvin Johnson fall just 36 yards shy of 2000 receiving yards but he also had 122 catches. The one downside to his historically season was the number of his touchdowns. He only had 5 last year and countless times he was tackled on the one yard line. Considering the prior two years Johnson had 12 and 16 touchdowns respectively we think the 5 was the anomaly. Johnson should finish as the top wideout again in 2013.
10. Alfred Morris
With all the hype in Washington going to another rookie Alfred Morris’ amazing season somewhat went under the radar. This rookie running back racked up over 1600 yards rushing and found pay dirt 13 times. We believe RGIII will be ready to start the season and therefore Morris will have the benefit of defenses having to worry about the legs of the quarterback in Washington, which will again open up holes for Morris.