OK. Not all of our leagues are quite that dramatic. But winning feels good, even in a "garbage league".
I am here to give my insight on the fantasy season and how it plays out. I might not be considered an expert, per-say. But, I have an extensive knowledge of the sport and players and a passion that can only be matched by those making $100,000+ a year for advise I am going to give you for FREE! Take it or leave it. But, if you take it, please share this blog with your friends and co-players. I will give weekly start/sit advise pending on match-up, and answer any questions you may have via email (twitter @ryanknowledge).
So, You ready? lets get to IT!!!!
I prefer to play in ten team standard leagues, though my top ten would vary very little for deeper or PPR leagues. My philosophy, like many others is, take running-backs first and often due to the shallow depth at the position, and likelihood of injury. Why take handcuffs late when you can have two other backs that are guaranteed starting rolls in their respective offense?
Also, Quarterbacks are plentiful in any standard league. If you are playing a two quarterback system or playing in a league where QB's are rewarded bonus points for yardage or 6 points (as opposed to the standard 4) per TD pass, then by all means, take Peyton Manning first over-all in your draft. But I wont be,
Think about this, there was (roughly) 105.7 point production variance between the top ten QB's of the 2013 season ( besides Manning's incredibly fantastic fantasy year), and 3 of those quarterbacks (Andy Dalton Phillip Rivers and Ben Rothlisberger (based on FFtoday default scoring, ESPN has them slightly shifted, but all within top ten), that aren't even being drafted as starters in ten team leagues this year! That is roughly 7 points per game that you could easily make up for with stud RB's and WR's in the first four rounds, and start aiming for QB's after you have a solid roster started.
Tight-ends are different. But, I am still waiting on them. After Graham, Thomas and (maybe) Gronk, the similarities are so slight that there is no reason to jump for a Vernon Davis or Greg Olsen. Jordan Cameron can definitely give you value, if you can take him outside the first 6 rounds. But, in my draft experience thus far, Cameron is going much sooner than that. There is no reason you should think that you can get less value from a Dennis Pita or Jordan Reed this year and get just as much "bang for your buck".
Ok, almost to the rankings segment, but, there is one more thing I want to say about drafting this year. And that is, go with your gut. If you are drafting late in a 12 team league and it's between Marshawn Lynch or Peyton Manning, I would not fault you for taking the QB in this scenario. You have to go where the value is. And while I, personally, value the running-back more so than any other position, I have seen many-a-leagues won with a first round stud QB selection. And that is what I am trying to convey with my rankings. While I am most certainly aiming for certain players this year, given a draft position can easily change my feelings about not only a player, but a player position.
OK! Here they are...
Jamaal Charles- I don't care if you are in a PPR (points per reception) league or not, Charles is my #1 overall in any draft. 19 total TD's last year. And while the argument against Charles is a scattered and unproven offensive line, Chiefs Running-backs have averaged roughly 4.5 YPC this preseason. So, obviously the situation isn't THAT abysmal.
LeSean McCoy- DeSean is gone, and LeSean should gain. While I don't think QB Nick Foles has another 27 TD-2 INT season (his numbers will level out a bit...I think 30/10 is reasonable), I am sure that the Eagles offense is going to feature McCoy and his Ridiculous skill set. Look for him to put up similar numbers as his 2013 campaign.
Matt Forte- As a Detroit fan, it kills me to say that I, really like the Bears offense this year. Jay Cutler is poised to have a great year with two of the most dangerous vertical weapons in the game. And, Forte looks to benefit from the abundance of options in this explosive offense. He should easily eclipse 1,200 yards and 9 TD's this year. BUT, beware in keeper leagues. I think he has one, maybe two solid years left in him.
Adrian Peterson- Another NFC North running-back that you just have to love as a fantasy player. This man is super-human at times! The only reason I have him at forth instead of first (like the general ADP for the second straight year) is simply because I don't believe in this offense. I know they brought in Norv Turner who is an offensive minded coach that should be able to stretch the field. But his weapons are limited. Matt Cassel as the starting QB actually HURTS ADP's chance of a repeat at the top of the fantasy field. With the nearly ancient Gregg Jennings playing across from the rising star that is Cordarrlle Patterson and Kyle Rudolph (who just got injured while I was typing this sentence) I see no reason why teams can't double cover Patterson, and stack the box against Petterson and Cassel. But...I could be wrong. It would be hard passing him up at the four spot in your draft given his remarkable talent.
Eddy Lacy- Just one look at that mugshot like pose tells you that E-D- LACY AIN'T NOTHIN' TO @#$! WITH. This man won the starting role as a rookie outright, albeit in a pass heavy system. James Jones sought greener pastures in Oakland and I don't see Eddy not bettering his performance from last year because of it. Yes, Rodgers is back and will be a superstar once again. But, He is a nice guy, who has no reason NOT to share his glory with this All-Star in the making.
Calvin Johnson- I said it earlier, I like running-backs FIRST! But after the first five running-backs, I can't see a player on the draft board that will make your team great BESIDES ol' Megatron. Look, You want players in the first rounds that will make a difference. If Calvin is there, I can't find a reason not too take him in the first, and select high upside RB's in the next few rounds. Hey, You wont lose BECAUSE of Megatron!
Demaryius Thomas- There is really no need for an explanation here. Huge guy, sure hands, great speed, Peyton Manning. That is really all you need to know. With Josh Gordon out of the picture, I see no reason why Thomas doesn't finish #1 at his position this year, if not in all of of fantasy. Towards the end of the first round, If I can't take an RB I like, I am taking an elite receiver.
A.J. Green- Really, the first three WR's are interchangeable, really. There just are not that many RB's I like in the first round. Especially with A.J. sitting pretty on the draft board. You should know he has talent. He hasn't NOT made the Pro Bowl yet in his career. He is the man in Cincinnati and will be in the top of his profession for years to come.
Doug Martin- Most people are really down and Martin this year. And with the disappointing 2013 campaign he had, I can see why. But he had a decent start last year hitting double digit fantasy points in his first three games. And Tampa's offense wasn't that good last year. Then, of course, he was injured in week 7 and his season is over. I don't think he will repeat his rookie year, but I think he is worthy of a first round pick.