New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

Top Fantasy Players to target

h

We are talking Fantasy football today!

Most people who love the NFL, love to play fantasy football. It is fun and frustrating all at the same time. Here is our list of the top players in their respective positions.

Quarterbacks:

1. Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers has finished as one of the top two fantasy players the last 5 seasons. There is no reason to think he won’t continue that streak again this year. Rodgers finished the 2012 season with 39 passing touchdowns and only 8 interceptions. Rodgers won’t last past the first round.

2. Drew Brees. Brees is right behind Rodgers in the top fantasy QB you should take. If you don’t get Rodgers, don’t worry about it because Brees is a huge pickup. He has finished in the top two in fantasy points among quarterbacks in four of the last five years. Last season, without Coach Payton, he threw for over 5,000 yards again, and 43 touchdowns. Sean Payton is back to call the plays so expect another explosive year for Brees.

3. Tom Brady. Brady was the third highest scoring player based on fantasy points. Brady no matter his age or weapons has produced every year. Last season he tossed 34 touchdowns and added 4 rushing touchdowns to his total. For the third straight year he has had no fewer then 37 combined scores. Brady will have another great year even though he has a new lineup at wide out.

4. Peyton Manning.  Peyton came back last season for a new team, the Denver Broncos, and played like vintage Manning. He posted 37 touchdown passes. He lead the Broncos to a division title and a first round bye in the playoffs. I think the Broncos behind Manning will win their division again, but I don’t expect Manning to throw for 37 touchdowns, if you can believe that. He will still throw 30 something touchdowns however, and be a top fantasy QB. Draft him early and expect great numbers from Peyton.

5. Cam Newton. I typed that name with doubt. But the fact he is a dual threat QB who threw for 19 passing touchdowns with 8 rushing touchdowns is why I put him here. I wanted to put Matt Ryan, but this isn’t about who is the better QB it is who will get you more fantasy points. Newton can with his legs and arm, and that makes him a fantasy powerhouse. He won’t last long so if you are sold on him take him quickly. Personally, given their schedule, I’d take Matt Ryan.

6. Matt Ryan. I started this only wanting to do the top 5 players, but I just had to add Matt Ryan here. I’m big on Matt Ryan especially in the first half of games. He thrived last season throwing 32 touchdown passes and only 14 interceptions. The big difference between him and Newton aside from Newton being a runner is Ryan doesn’t turn the ball over too much and throws a bunch of touchdowns. Ryan has the best receiving core in the NFL, Jones, White, and Gonzalez. I wouldn’t be surprised if by the end of the season his fantasy numbers were better then Newton’s. Ryan threw for 30+ touchdowns last season, expect around the same number.

Runningbacks:

1. Arian Foster. I know people are expecting to see Peterson here especially after the kind of season he had last year, but I agree with Michael Fabiano on this one. Foster every year is a consistent runningback in fantasy football, and on the field. The Texans rely heavily on Foster and unlike Peterson his passing offense is better. Now the Texans passing offense isn’t the best but it is good enough in most games to offer Foster breathing room. Foster will get you a lot of touchdowns too, there is no question he will have around 15-16 rushing touchdowns this year.

2. Adrian Peterson. Peterson carried his team to the playoffs last season, not to mention ran for 2,097 yards rushing and adding 12 rushing touchdowns. Peterson is a great runningback pretty much every year. The only thing is if the passing game doesn’t pick up a little bit and help keep the heat off of  “All Day” then his numbers will take a big drop off. I don’t expect him to rush over 2,000 yards again, but I expect a 1,000 yards rushing season for him and double digit touchdowns again. The only thing keeping him from number one on my list is I don’t think he will have as many opportunities to score as Foster.

3. Ray Rice. Every year Ray Rice post solid numbers in the running game and in the receiving game. He is a great fantasy runningback, and given the Ravens love to dump it off to him a lot gives him more chances to post great fantasy numbers. Rice is a threat in the running and passing game for the Ravens, and given their loss of Boldin, and all their losses on defense he will have to big a huge part of this offense to help them win games this season.

4. Doug Martin. Why not? He had an impressive rookie season last year, and while he is heading into his sophomore season and most worry about a “sophomore slump” I think he will have a great year. The offense is explosive enough to give Martin chances to burst free and pick up big yardages and score some points. Given the division he is in, he will see the Raiders twice a season and those will be big games for him.  I like his chances to go over a 1,000 yards rushing again.

5. Marshawn Lynch. He ranked as one of the four best runningbacks in fantasy football last season. He rushed for over a 1,000 yards and had 12 total touchdowns. Beast mode had a great season last year, and ever since he got to Seattle he has flourished. He will be just as good again this year making him a must get in the early rounds of the draft.

6. C.J. Spiller. Had to add him to this list. The Bills will be running a new offense, a new offense I think that will help them to score more points. I think the Bills might be the surprise team instead of the Dolphins this year. They will be bringing a spread offense that will only increase Spiller’s stats. He had 6 rushing touchdowns and 2 receiving touchdowns last season. I expect it to be different this year, with Spiller adding at least 5 receiving touchdowns to go with 9 or 10 rushing touchdowns. I expect a big year for Spiller in this offense. I would have him higher but it is a guessing game that the Bills will be better. They are still the Bills so until I see actual change I will keep Spiller here.

Wide Receivers:

1. Calvin Johnson. The top-scoring fantasy wide receiver for two straight seasons won’t be slowing down anytime soon. He has a capable QB in Matthew Stafford and is Stafford’s most legit weapon on the entire team. Johnson is their deep threat, redzone, and everything threat. Stafford relies heavily on Johnson, and Johnson caught 122 passes last year to prove that. If you want a WR early make sure it is this big guy.

2. Brandon Marshall. He finished second in fantasy points among receivers in both standard and PPR formats last season. He was reunited with his Denver QB Jay Culter in Chicago and the results were huge for the WR. He had over 1,000 yards receiving and caught 11 touchdowns. His new headcoach Marc Trestman will only benefit Marshall even more. Marshall is Cutler’s clear cut, unquestioned and unchallenged number one weapon. Cutler goes to Marshall a ton over the course of a game, so expect as many if not more touchdowns for Marshall.

3. A.J. Green. One of the most consistent wide outs since coming into the league. Green has been spectacular for Andy Dalton and the Bengals, catching 11 touchdowns last season. He ranked in the top 10 in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches among wideouts last season. He will be one of the first wide receivers to come off the board in fantasy draft. His touchdown catches may decrease due to the new tight end but I would doubt it, and don’t let that keep you from getting this gem.

4. Demaryius Thomas. I put him this high on the list because not only did he have a great season with Peyton Manning but I believe he is Denver’s best deep threat. Manning loved to go to Decker last year, but Thomas is a TD machine and Manning knows it. This season you’ll see Manning make Thomas his favorite target down the field and in the redzone. Thomas caught 10 touchdown passes last year, and I think you’ll see that number increase.

5. Dez Bryant. I had trouble with this one, should it be Bryant, Jones, White, or Johnson. I went with Bryant because he is the best weapon on the Cowboys team who will give Bryant plenty of chances to match his numbers from last year. Bryant caught 12 touchdown passes and added 1,000 yards receiving. Julio Jones has to compete with White, and Johnson is on a run first team. Johnson usually posts good fantasy numbers but I would be leery of last year’s numbers and the fact they run more in the redzone than throw. I’d go with Bryant here.

Tight Ends:

1. Rob Gronkowski. I understand there is a chance that he will miss the first 6 games of the season but he will still post double digit touchdowns or be close to it. Gronkowski scored 11 touchdowns last season even though he missed 5 games, think how many more he would have had if he did not get hurt. Gronkowski is Brady’s favorite redzone target, and with Gronk’s size it is easy to see why. Gronk has excellent hands and size that make it almost impossible to stop down the field and in the endzone. Brady targets Gronkowski a lot too, which helps his fantasy value by giving the tight end plenty of catches and scores to boost his fantasy points. I think Gronk will be ready and will play before 6 weeks is up, so I’d take the chance on him but make sure you get a good backup just in case he does miss multiple games.  Just to add an impressive stat, in 43 career games, he has scored 38 touchdowns.

2. Jimmy Graham. The Saints tight end has emerged as one of the best tight ends in the NFL today. Graham plays on a high scoring offensive team with one of the better passing attacks, with one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL. Sean Payton is back which will help in Graham’s production this year. He scored 9 touchdowns last year and should score more than that this season. He gets a lot of targets from Brees as well, so expect good things from Graham.

3. Dennis Pitta. I put Pitta here because the Ravens lost Aquan Boldin this offseason so expect even more catches for Pitta. Smith is the main guy for the Ravens now but Pitta still gets a lot of looks from Flacco, especially in the redzone. Last season Pitta scored 7 touchdowns, and I expect him to grab around the same number this year and get close to 800 or more yards.

4. Tony Gonzalez. I put him behind Pitta for one reason and one reason only: the wide receivers. He has fantasy monsters Rodney White and Julio Jones on his team, and they catch their fair share of touchdowns. The good thing is, when Ryan passes a touchdown it is going to one of these three guys. Gonzalez caught an impressive 8 touchdowns last season, and when Ryan is in a jam he goes to his trusted tight end. Gonzalez will have another solid year, and be a solid fantasy option.

5. Jason Witten. He is dependable, consistent, and a great player. He has Romo’s trust, and is Romo’s safety net in that offense. The only real problem with Witten is the fact he doesn’t score as many touchdowns as a fantasy owner would like. He has only scored  five or more times just once in the last five years. Still he has posted good numbers like finishing with at least 94 receptions and 1,000 yards in three of the last four seasons. Last season he caught 110 passes, a good sign. Plus I couldn’t think of anyone else to put here.

Kickers:

1. Blair Walsh.  One simple reason: He made 10 field goals from 50+ yards. WOW. I don’t know if he will kick that many times from 50 + yards again this season but giving the fact his offense is a shaky one, I would bet he will have a good number of chances too. The good thing is, we all know he can make them. Walsh was one heck of a rookie kicker, and I expect good numbers from him again.

2. Stephen Gostkowski. If anything, Gostkowski will be making a lot of PATs this season. Gostkowski had another solid year for New England, ending the year as fantasy’s second-highest scorer at the position — marking the third time in the past four seasons that he has finished in the top five.

3. Matt Bryant. Bryant had one heck of a season for the Falcons and like Gostkowski he will be making a lot of  PATs this season. He was the third highest scorer last season at his position.

4. Ryan Succop. I love Ryan Succop, he was my fantasy kicker last year and did well for me. He made 15 kicks from the 30-39 yards range and 12 from the 40-49 range. He scored 101 points last year for the Chiefs. Alex Smith is now the QB for the Chiefs with new headcoach Andy Reid, so expect Succop to be on a more stable offense that will offer him plenty of field goal tries.

5. Justin Tucker. Tucker was the Ravens kicker last year and he made quiet the impression on the team and their fan base. He was among the league’s most accurate kickers and made a 56 yard field goal. He scored 140 fantasy points last season, expect him to do close to same this year, if not more.

Defenses:

1. 49ners. The 49ners have had one of the best defenses in the league the past few years. They are a reliable bunch with one of the best front seven in the NFL.  Expect the 9ners defense to continue to impress and do big things fantasy wise on defense this season.

2. Seahawks. They were dominating last season, and their secondary is one of the league’s best. The most impressive games were what they did to Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, holding these guys to few points. The Seahawks defense will be good again and expect monster like numbers from this group.

3. Chicago Bears. The Bears were the best fantasy defense last season and it wasn’t even close. That was because of their league high forced turnovers (44) and turned 10 of their turnovers into touchdowns. The monsters of the mid-way will be a solid bunch again but to expect them to cause that many turnovers once again is a little much, but you can expect a great season from them.

4. Houston Texans. Start this defensive bunch with confidence against teams with an unproven QB, but don’t start them when they play the likes of Tom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers. The great passers last season had much success against this defense while the average and below passers struggled mightily against them. So in most cases, they are a must start defense lead by defensive player of the year, J.J. Watt. Watt had a monster year causing most of their sacks and turnovers. Brian Cushing will be back and healthy and this team is better with him than without him.

5. New England Patriots. Wait What? Yes, I said it, the Patriots should be a top 5 fantasy defensive team. They had the second most turnovers last season, only team better was the Bears. They forced 41 turnovers last year. They have a favorable schedule this season as well, facing some of the more turnover prone QBs this year. They also have gotten better on the defensive side, especially in the secondary. Talib returns, McCourty will be at safety, Dennard is back, and Adrian Wilson was just added as their SS, so their secondary will be a good one. Count on New England posting some good numbers on defense, fantasy wise. The real question is will they have a legit pass rush?

 

 

 

 

 


Enjoyed this post?
Subscribe to Patriots Gab via RSS Feed or E-mail and receive daily news updates from us!

Submit to Digg  Stumble This Story  Share on Twitter  Post on Facebook  Post on MySpace  Add to del.icio.us  Bark It Up  Submit to Reddit  Fave on Technorati

Leave a Reply