The 2010 NFL regular season is fast approaching. To regular fans that means more Sundays spent in front of the TV watching their favorite teams battle it out on the gridiron. For die hards like me, it means that the 2010 Fantasy Draft is fast approaching. As an 8 time champion and 9 year fantasy veteran, it means scouting all the players and preparing myself for another draft. Fantasy Football is one of the best ways to enjoy football and the statistical success of the NFL players. Nothing is better then having to choose “All Day” Adrian Peterson over “2k” Chris Johnson. In this article I will be providing tips on who to draft, going down a list of Running backs, Wide receivers and Quarterbacks.
As an eight time champion, I know the keys to being victorious at the end of the season. Fantasy Football is all about whom and how you draft. Let’s begin with running backs, as they are the best producers when it comes to fantasy points.
This year is an anomaly; there is not one clear choice for the number one overall pick. In 2009, that pick was Adrian Peterson; he was supposed to lead the Vikings with 1600+ yards and 20+ touchdowns. He was a concise number one pick, and then along came Brett Farve, stealing Adrian’s fantasy Value. Peterson ended up with 1383 yards, good for 4.4 per carry. An almost 400 yard drop off from his sophomore year in the league. Peterson’s major value came into play with his touchdown potential. He scored 18 touchdowns, good for the league best.
Chris Johnson surprised many, and as I had predicted last year, he led the league in Fantasy points. With 2,006 yards, 14 rushing touchdowns, 503 receiving yards and 2 receiving touchdowns, Chris Johnson was the best back in fantasy football last year.
This year’s best back should once again be Chris Johnson. He is a dynamic back, a receiving threat and a beast in the open field. Not to mention he does not have fumbling issues, unlike Adrian Peterson, who has racked up a league leading 20 fumbles in the last 3 years. If you happen to land the number one pick in your Fantasy Draft, don’t hesitate and chose Chris Johnson.
The strategy I have followed to success in my 8 Championship season is Draft the best Running back in the first round; follow up with either another running back or the best quarter back in the second round. Make sure you have 2 great running backs in the first 3 rounds. Load up on receivers in the 4th and 5th rounds. Tight Ends can be found in the later rounds, draft another Running back or Wide receiver. The only exception is if the best Tight End is still available in the 6th, which is highly unlikely but I have seen it happen before.
Here are the Running backs that you should pick before choosing a QB.
1. Chris Johnson- Obvious pick is obvious.
2. Adrian Peterson – has the second best value, so he should go number 2 overall.
3. Ray Rice – He is in a run first offense, lead his team in receptions last year and was
second in the NFL in total yards from scrimmage.
4. Maurice Jones-Drew – plays in a run first Offense and he is the teams feature back.
5. Frank Gore – was 6th in total Fantasy points last year, with an injured line and he missed games. This year, he has an upgraded line and more weapons around him.
If none of these guys are available, chose from the following QB’s.
1. Aaron Rodgers – With 2 years under his belt, back to back 4,000+ yards and 28+ touchdowns, Aaron is bound to continue his success.
2. Drew Brees – The number one offense in the NFL goes through this man, that is all you need to know, if Brees is available, pick him.
3. Payton Manning – As good as it gets when it comes to statistical success in the regular season, Payton has never missed a game and this is still his team. Expect another huge season from Payton Manning.
4. Tom Brady – Brady had his second best statistical season last year, expect similar numbers this year, Brady has new weapons around him and the TE and WR positions and he should produce like a Top 5 Fantasy QB again this year.
5. Phillip Rivers – Rivers has improved each and every year, expect him to step his game up even more this year. His success depends on Vincent Jackson and if he holds out, but expect Rivers to produce great fantasy numbers either way.
The WR position should not be addressed until the 4th and 5th round. You can find great WR’s later on in the draft, having a star running back is more important then having a star wide receiver. Don’t expect these guys to be available outside the first round, but if you end up having to draft in the bottom of the first, top of the second, one of these guys should be picked up if you can’t find a better runner or QB to replace them
- Andre Johnson – Has lead the league in yards for the last 2 years and looks bound to continue to dominate. He is the number one choice at WR without question.
- Randy Moss – Brady is still throwing him the ball and Moss is still a huge threat to any defense. With Brady under center (2007 and 2009 ), Moss has averaged 18 touchdowns a season. 23 in 2007, 13 in 2009. I fully expect him to at least duplicate last season’s stats, where an injured shoulder hampered him all season. Now that Moss is healthy, he can produce like a Top 3 WR.
- Larry Fitzgerald – He is a beast, but Kurt Warner is no longer under center.
- Reggie Wayne – Payton’s number one guy, expect 1,200+ yards and 10+ Touchdowns yet again.
- Brandon Marshall – The beast is the number one guy on the Fins, expect another great statistical season.
Always keep steals in mind. If you have a choice in the middle of round three between a RB like Mendenhall or a WR like Marshall, chose the elite guy over a need. Guys from previous years that were injured will drop in every draft. Expect Turner to drop into the second round, where you can grab him up at a great value pick. I would suggest keeping an eye out on DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. If either guy is available, grab them up. Both guys put up 1000+ yards last season and the Panthers always run in the end zone. Stewart is the goal line back while DeAngelo is a primary yardage producer. Both guys are worth grabbing in the second and third round. Ryan Grant is predicted to fall, yet he is a concise number one in Green Bay, if he is available in the 3rd or 4th pick him up.