I love me some fantasy football. Although, to be honest, I really don’t participate in any re-draft leagues anymore, other than the Co-Ed league I’m in with my wife and a few of our friends. Oh, in case you aren’t familiar with the term ‘re-draft’, that’s just at league that holds a full draft every year, you don’t keep any players. I really focus on dynasty leagues, where you keep most or all of your team from season to season, and then hold a yearly rookie draft or a draft to re-fill your team. And even so, I used to be in almost 10 leagues, but life has caught up to me and I’m down to 2 or 3 leagues at the most.
However, I still spend most of my Sundays with my eye on the ticker, and ample time researching the players for my league drafts. I’m not going to get particularly in depth with these rankings or picks, but I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you might have, either in the comments (remember, you can get yourself entered into our contest to win an iTunes gift card!) or via twitter. With that in mind, after the jump I’ll present you a quick overview of my position rankings… focusing more on the long term value of players over their immediate production this season.
1. Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers – Going to step into a great position in SD, they run the ball. Even in a down season last year they scored the 11th most TDs on the ground.
2. Jahvid Best, RB, Detroit Lions – If Best stays healthy, Detroit might have one of the best young trios in the league along with Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson. Best is a home run back, all or nothing, but big time health questions surround him.
3. Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys – Easily the best fit of any rookie drafted this year, fantasy football-wise anyway. Bryant was the best WR in college last year, and his ‘off the field issues’ were due mostly to stupid formalities in college rules. He could be a top 10 guy in the next couple seasons.
Top 5 sleepers in no particular order:
1. Devin Aromashodu, WR, Chicago Bears – had 22 receptions for 282 yards and four scores, and tied for 5th for most targets in the NFL with 39 in the final 4 games of 2009. Proof that Jay Cutler looks to him early and often. Reggie Wayne said Aromashodu could be “a starter and a big-time guy in this league.”
2. Kevin Kolb, QB, Philadelphia Eagles – Kolb filled in for the Eagles last season and all he did was throw for 300 yards, every time out. He’s a young kid being handed the reins of one of the most pass happy offenses in the league, and he has a VERY young corps of skill position players to grow old with. He’s going to be a top 10 QB this season.
3. Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo Bills – I know, the Bills took Spiller to split the carries. But, as Matthew Berry points out:
Currently going two rounds later than C.J. Spiller, I said it on our podcast and I will say it here: Fred Jackson will be the best fantasy running back in Buffalo this year. Did you know he was actually the 16th best fantasy running back last year? He’ll get the majority of touches compared to Spiller (who is more of a home run threat)… Gailey’s MO has been that one guy carries the majority of the load. Spiller is not built to be that kind of guy.
Gailey, the new head coach in Buffalo, gives the carries to his #1 back, and throws the ball to his #2 back. Both of these backs could see big seasons, but Jackson is the RB you want to have in Buffalo.
4. Shonn Greene, RB, New York Jets – LaDanian Tomlinson was brought in to be the backup RB in New York, and to lend his experience to the team. Green will be the man, borderline 1st round talent, don’t miss the boat on him.
5. Joe Flacco – QB, Baltimore Ravens – This is a guy who took his team into the playoffs in his rookie season, and then fell back a bit because defenses learned his game. But, this is also a guy who now has Anquan Boldin in his receiving corps. If Flacco gets the ball anywhere close to him, Boldin will go get it. Add in Ray Rice, who might be the best RB in the league this season, and Baltimore looks to have a scary offense for a change.
Honorable Mention: Jermichael Finley, TE, Green Bay Packers – Finley is going to explode this season. The Packers throw the ball all over the field, and Finley is going to be the man in the middle of it all. He came on strong last season, and was the most difficult player to leave off this list. Might be the best TE in the league this season.
That’s all I’ve got for you this week, be sure to come back next week though, I’m going to be making some picks for the upcoming NFL season in the AFC conference. Oh, and here’s a few of my favorite fantasy football sites you can reference:
ESPN – Matthew Berry’s Love/Hate 2010
fantasyfootballxtreme – Dynasty Player Rankings (where a good portion of my rankings came from)
Footballguys.com – Some of the best fantasy football insight, anywhere