Its almost here, fantasy football season is right around the corner and this article is an early look at who we like as the top ten players in your 2012 fantasy football draft in standard scoring formats. If you have any draft day questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.
1. Arian Foster
Despite missing three games with a hamstring injury, Foster still ended the year with over 1,800 total yards and 12 total touchdowns. He also topped 150 total yards in eight of the 13 games he played – that is just sick and why is again is our number one overall player. Sure you will see haters talking about Ben Tate and how he is too good not to get touches but that does not matter. Foster is the workhorse and will get the vast majority of touches and is well worthy of the number one overall selection.
2. Ray Rice
Ray started a little slow last season and made some owners nervous since he went first overall in some leagues (esp PPR leagues), but came thru by the end of the year. Rice caught 76 balls and found the end zone 14 times which was a career high for the smaller back. Heading into this year we see no reason for Rice to not only to repeat, but possibly surpass those numbers.
3. LeSean McCoy
2 – 0, that’s right McCoy found pay dirt an amazing 20 times a season ago. He does it all for the Eagles and is heavily involved in the passing game. He had 48 catches last season which was down from his 78 in 2010. While we think the touchdowns will go down slightly, there is a very good chance the receptions are going to increase. McCoy is a stud back and a solid selection that should not slip passed the third spot in any standard draft.
4. Aaron Rodgers
There is a lot of uncertainty at the running back position after the top three are off the board, so why not take the clear cut, best, quarterback in fantasy football? Rodgers threw for 45 touchdowns, over 4500 yards, all while only throwing six picks. As an added little bonus he also rushed for over 250 yards and three scores as well. All this adds up to one thing – Rodgers is a safe selection and should be drafted early. In years past we said to wait on a QB since there are so many quality quarterbacks but this season there is a clear top five with Rodgers leading the way.
5. Calvin Johnson
Megatron the world’s best wideout is next sitting at number five. Earlier in his career, health concerns were always a small factor for Johnson owners but he has proved he is durable and with Matt Stafford finally staying healthy as well he lived up to his full potential. Close to 100 catches, 1700 yards and hitting 16 touches Megatron proved to everyone he is the league’s is best wideout and can put up huge numbers even when being doubled teamed. The Lions should have two running backs, back this year in Best and LeShoure which can only open things up for Calvin. He is the clear cut number one wideout and the only wideout we see worthy to take in the first round.
6. Ryan Mathews
I know what you are thinking – how can Mathews be this high? Well the Chargers are still a high powered offense and Mathews’ main vulture Mr. Mike Tolbert is now gone. Norv Turner loves the one back system (remember how good LT was?) and he is going to lean on Mathews. He really is a talented back with a nose for the end zone and great hands. He is a little risky but his upside is thru the roof. We would not be shocked if Mathews ended the year as the best player in fantasy football – yeah that kind of upside.
7. Chris Johnson
Now, if you owned him last year there is a good chance you told yourself you will never draft CJ2K again and I cannot hate on that since he was such a disappointment a season ago. Remember there were a ton of factors that went into that bad season. The O-Line was not great for the Titans – they upgraded that in the offseason, Johnson held out – which is not happening this year, and he was a little smaller last year – so he added 10-15 pounds in the off season. All of this adds up to the chance he bounces back and Johnson has the upside to bounce back in a big way. He is not the safest pick late in the first round but he has a ton of upside.
8. Tom Brady
Has anyone ever drafted Tom Brady and was really disappointed? (other than that year he got hurt early) Brady is simply one of the greatest QBs of all time and with Gronk, Welker (love me some Welker), Hernandez, and now Lloyd his weapons are unlimited heading into this season. He is a lock to put up monster numbers again this year.
9. Maurice Jones-Drew
Mojo led the league in rushing last year and won that rushing title by over 200 yards and that surprised everyone. He was suppose to fall off the face of the earth since his knee had so many issues. Well he put all the haters to shame and we will not doubt him this season (side note we ranked Mojo higher than most last year) putting him in our top ten. We do have a slight bias for Mojo however, he loves fantasy football – only downfall, he always drafts himself first. Come on Mojo you know our boy Arian is the man when it comes to fantasy football.
10. Matt Forte
Why all the hate on Forte? Ok, he has some contract issues and Bush is now there as well but please don’t bring up his injury. He had a sprain a season ago and should be fine for the start of the season but we are still seeing many people rank him so low and note that his injury is a concern. That is crazy – these same people are assuming AP will be ready to go for week one and he torn his ACL. Forte put up huge numbers a season ago all while not finding the endzone too many times so yes, Bush might vulture some TDs but Forte will still be the man in Chi-Town.
If you have any draft day questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.