Depending on who you are, and what kind of "fan" you are, Fantasy Football is either the greatest or the worst thing that has ever happened to watching the NFL. It either gives you a legit reason to care about almost every game on Sunday, or it makes you a head hunter, caring only about player that you have on your team, and not the real NFL team your watching.
Brown is one of the later guys who thinks fantasy sports is below him, and I'm one of the smucks who play in about 10 fantasy leagues every year. Its what you love about us, the hatered that boils right below the surface, after all, Indians are the new Jews.
Anyway, I consider myself a strong to quite strong fantasy footballer. I'm not going to say I'm the best, but last year I did win enough money to buy a new big screen TV from fantasy. I've already had one of my drafts this year (the one I care most about), and I have another tonight, and another sometime early next week, so i don't think I will be giving away to much of my strategy with this Fantasy Football Preview.
I will give you three categories, and a couple of tips at the end. The first categories is guys you want on your team, and I'll give you three types, A sure thing first rounder, a slight sleeper, and a super sleeper, for each position that matters.
Guys You Want.
QB - Aaron Rodgers Green Bay. - Outside of Brady, Rodgers is my number 2 QB tied with Brees. He was the 3rd best scorer in all of fantasy last year, and he lost nothing around him. His 2nd year as the starter will give him more confidence, and the defense is getting there to help Green Bay win some games this year.
Matt Hasselbeck - He is healthy for the first time in a couple of years, and more importantly, so is his receivers. The addition of T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who had over 90 catches last year (with no Carson Palmer btw), will give Seattle one hell of wr corp.
Marc Bulger STL - This guy was in the top 4 or QB just a few short years ago. His O line has to be better this year than last, and he has some speedy WR's to throw the ball to. I wouldn't suggest you drafting Bulger as your number 1, but he is worth a look in the late late rounds to take a flyer on.
Stud - Matt Forte Chi - If your in a PPR league, Forte might be worth taking over AD, all other leagues he needs to be at worst the 4th player taken. He has a good offense that is conducive to running the ball, and with defenses having to respect Cutler as a QB way more than they did the Neck Beard, his running lanes will be even more open.
Sleeper - Ray Rice Bal - I don't really like to look to hard at pre season numbers, but Rice played in half a game last week and had over 100 combined rushing and receiving yards. Salty is an understatement. Rice is falling because a big name, Willis McGahee, is still on this team, but the number of carries that Rice gets will far overshadow Mr. Monkey Knee. IF you can get Rice as a 2 or a even a three, you will be happy at the end of year.
Super Sleeper - LeSean McCoy Phi - Here is a rookie, who has alot of talent, yet not alot of reps at the moment. The reason is he is behind Brian Westbrook, one of the best backs in all of football. Good news, Westbrook will get hurt at some point, and McCoy will play well when he does. So, if you draft Westbrook, you have his handcuff, if you don't, when westbrook goes down, you now have something that can help your team in a number of ways, with either playing time, or trade bait.
Andre Johnson Randy Moss Calvin Johnson Larry Fitzgerald - Any 4 of those guys are worth a late first round early 2nd. Crap shoot.
Sleeper - Chad Ochocinco Cin - He is healthy, he is focused, he is the clear number one at the Bengels, and most important, Carson Palmer is healthy too.
Super Sleeper - Nate Washington Ten - Here is a guy you can grab at the end of most drafts that I beleive will be a solid performer this season. He comes over from Pit last season, where he was the number three WR behind Santonio Holms and Hines Ward, but he is now the best WR that Tenn has. Tenn has to play a division winning schedule this year, and if you think teams wont be keying on Chris Johnson and LenDale White, your wrong. With that said, Kerry Collins will have to pass more, leaving his best WR Washington, with the potential to have a great year. The reason this guy is falling in drafts is because he is hurt right now, and might miss a few regular season games due to his hamstring injury. While that is bad news, if you draft him late and stick on the end of your bench, you might just find a quality guy that can help you in the playoffs.
Stud Jason Witten Dal - No more TO, Roy Williams hasn't proved he's can handle the #1 WR spot, Pat Crayton has a tendency to drop balls, Miles Austin, Sam Hurd, Kevin Ogletree are all unproven, but you know who is proven? Hard Hittin' Jason Witten. 100+ catches and 10 TD isn't out of the question.
Sleeper - Dustin Keller Jets - What is the greatest security blanket for a QB? TE. Whats a rookie QB really need to start a season? A security blanket. 1 + 1 = 2. See where I'm going.
Super Sleeper - Anthony Fasano Mia - He finds the endzone. Simple and plane.
A couple of draft notes.
Wait till the last 2 rounds to take a K and a Def. In my 12 team league, I did this and ended up with Nate Keading, the K from San Deigo, and the Green Bay Packers. The best kicker last year, Gostkowski, had 9.2 pts a game, Keading 7.9. Is 1.3 pts per game worth a pick a full 6 rounds higher? Same thing with the D. Green Bay isn't the top pick, but a middle pick, and i didn't have to use an 11th round pick on them.
Limit yourself to 2 handcuff players per team. Even better if you can just use one. It may seam like a good idea to take Sprolls, McCoy, Taylor, and Norwood, due to the fact that when one of those guys goes down, you have the back up, but all of those guys are backups for a reason. Most of them arn't even really sharing duites with the incumbent. Guys like Kevin Smith, Thomas Jones, Cedric Benson, Julius Jones, and Joseph Addai may not be "sexy" picks, but they are their teams number one backs. When your starter goes down, and all you have on your bench are handcuffs, you will be in a world of hurt, so keep your handcuffs to just 1 or 2.
IF you don't get an elite WR, scatter shoot and play the match ups. After the first 5 or 6 WR's there is a significant drop off. then after the next 5, there is even a bigger one. This means taking more WR's than you normally do, and playing the match ups and "who's hot" game. A corp of WR that you can get in round 5-12 could be a group like this: T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Braylon Edwards, Anthony Gonzalez, Ted Ginn Jr., Domenik Hixon, and Michael Jenkins. Now this group is a mix of week number one's (Housh, Edwards) strong number 2's (Gonzalez, Jenkins), and a guys with potential to either suck, or be very solid (Ginn, Hixon). Now you have some room to play around.
I hope this helps, and if ya got any questions, hit us up vie email.