- Urlacher Calls It A CareerPosted 2 days ago
- Why not Wacha?Posted 2 days ago
- Wiggins Commits to KansasPosted 10 days ago
- Back to BasicsPosted 10 days ago
- Jets Need to Cut SanchezPosted 11 days ago
- Gronkowski To Need Fourth, Possibly Fifth SurgeryPosted 16 days ago
- Thoughts of a Blues FanPosted 17 days ago
- Chris Kluwe Released by Vikings, No One SurprisedPosted 18 days ago
- Lebron vs Carmelo; Who Is Real MVP?Posted 18 days ago
- Jason Collins; Talk Will Do NothingPosted 23 days ago
2012 Fantasy Football Preview
- Updated: August 17, 2012
Football season is just around the corner, which means Fantasy Football season is here! Looking to build your fantasy dream team? Well, look no further than theSPORTSfeast. We’re giving you the top 5 at each position based on standard league settings, plus sleepers at each position.
1. Aaron Rodgers – 2011 numbers speak for themselves. 4,643 yards passing, 45 TDS, ONLY 6 INTs and while we’re at it 3 rushing TDs. He scored 24.83 points a week in standard leagues and shows no signs of slowing down.
2. Drew Brees – 5,476, that’s how many yards Brees threw for last year, nearly 400 yards more than Dan Marino’s previous single season record. He also added 46 TDs, with 1 rushing TD and 14 INTs. If it wasn’t for bounty gate I think he would be number one this list, but it remains to be seen how the team handles not having Sean Payton handling calls. With 23.13 points a week last year he’s still a safe pick as the second quarterback to come off the board.
3. Tom Brady - Because of Drew Brees last year, Tom Brady’s amazing season was a bit overlooked. He had 5,235 passing yards, 39 TDs, and a surprising 3 rushing TDs for a very immobile QB. With the killer TE duo of Gronk and Hernandez look for Brady to build on his 21.59 points per week average from last year.
4. Matthew Stafford – Finally we got to see a full season of the Stafford/Johnson combo and man was it good. If Stafford can stay healthy again this season, look for him to put up another season of staggering number similar to his 5,038 yards, 41 TDs, and 20.42 points per week season from last year.
5. Cam Newton – Cam Newton answered a lot of critics last year in his rookie season. With 4,051 passing yard, 706 rushing yards, 21 passing TDs, and 14 rushing TDs, Newton racked up some huge fantasy points. A whopping 22.58 points per week, good enough for 3rd best last year. Look for him to continue build his fantasy stats this year, but don’t take him too early, there’s always the injury risk with a mobile QB.
Sleeper Pick – Can’t believe I’m saying this is a sleeper but, Peyton Manning should be available in the mid to late rounds this year, just because we don’t know how well his neck has healed. John Elway believes in him, and so do I. I think Manning will pick up right where he left off in 2010, expect 4,000 plus yards, 30 plus TDS, and around 18 points per week from Manning this year. Not bad at all from someone you may be able to get after the 7th round.
1. Ray Rice – In an era where true number one running backs are far and few between, Ray Rice is your best bet to rack up the rushing yards and TDs. It helps that he’s playing on a Ravens team that loves to play smash mouth football. With a little over 2,000 total yards and 15 total touchdowns and averaging 18.68 points per week, Rice is one of the few stud RBs you can count on every week.
2. LeSean McCoy – McCoy is not your typical every down back when you look at him. He’s shifty, kind of small, and looks fragile, but looks can be deceiving. In 2012 he played in 15 games, racked up over 1600 total yards and 20 total TDs, that lead him to 18.76 points per week. Which makes him more of a 1a on this list instead of 2. If Vick can stay healthy all season, and that’s a big if, McCoy could benefit greatly from the attention Vick will get.
3. Arian Foster – After Foster came out of nowhere in 2010 to lead the league in what seemed like every rushing stat, 2011 kind of felt like a dud. But when you look at the numbers he put up in the amount of games he played, it was not bad at all. In just 13 games he had over 1800 total yards, 12 TDs, and an awesome 19.47 points per week average. As long as he can stay healthy he should have another productive season similar to 2010. But as with all running backs, health is always an issue.
4. Maurice Jones Drew – MJD led the league in rushing last year with 1,606 rushing yards, add on another 374 receiving yards, 11 total TDs and 16.44 points per week on a bad team, and he had a great year. So why is he number 4? Well two reasons, he wants to get paid now so he’s holding out. I never like RBs that holdout, they always end up with some random nagging injury, or just can’t get into a rhythm all season long (see Chris Johnson). The other issue is he ran the ball 343 times last year, that’s a lot of mileage even for a guy under 30. I still think he’ll have a decent year this year, just be wary of the holdout and the possibility of him breaking down midway through the season.
5. Steven Jackson – This is probably a shock to some, and maybe this should be my sleeper pick. But I think Jackson is going to have a monster year with new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. Steven Jackson has rushed for over 1000 yards for each of the past six seasons and is only 907 yards away from 10,000 yards for his career. Brian Schottenheimer’s offense was in the top 5 in rushing attempts in three of the six seasons he was with the Jets. With Jackson being one of the few backs in the league that is not in a committee system, this should mean huge numbers for him.
Sleeper Pick – Another one I can’t believe I’m saying… Adrian Peterson. After tearing his ACL and MCL last season, Peterson’s health is a huge question mark. Right now Peterson is planning on starting the regular season opener versus Jacksonville. If Peterson can stay healthy and put up just a portion of the numbers he’s put up in the past, he could be a huge steal later in the first half of the draft.
1. Calvin Johnson – This is a no brainer. Megatron scored more fantasy points the Maurice Jones-Drew did. Yeah more than the league’s leading rusher, crazy right! He had 1,681 receiving yards and 16 TDs. He really clicked with Matthew Stafford healthy for a full season. There’s pretty much no way to defend him, and no reason he shouldn’t be considered the best receiver in the game.
2. Victor Cruz – Last year no one had heard of this guy including defenses. Even after they had film on him they couldn’t stop him. With 1,536 receiving yards, 9 TDs, and 12.93 points per week last year, look for Cruz to build on those numbers this year. He should be more familiar with the offense and with Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning…
3. Larry Fitzgerald – We all know that without Megatron, Larry Fitzgerald would be considered the best in the game. The problem is who’s throwing him the ball. If whoever is named starter can figure that the guy with the dreads can beat pretty much any corner in the league, then maybe he’ll put up numbers similar to C Johnson. Until then he’s number three on our list.
4. Andre Johnson – Johnson has put up 1,000 yards or more in four of the last six seasons. The problem is the two he didn’t were ones that he was injured in. Johnson is often injured with random hamstring pulls or groin strains and never seems to be 100% but when he is, he can put up some huge numbers, and should this year with Schaub back.
5. Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings, Marques Colston – Any of these three guys are in such a high powered offense that they should put up big numbers. Nelson actually had the best numbers of these three, 15 TDs only one less than megatron.
Sleeper Pick – Any Denver Broncos WR…. Think of this as the Peyton Manning factor… Remember how good Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker were last year with Tebow throwing to them? All due respect to Tebow, but now they have one of the best QBs of all time throwing to them. It should mean good things for them in 2012, just remember Peyton spreads the ball around, so there may be a week or two where not every guy has a good week.
1. Rob Gronkowski – The GRONK had the best season as a TE ever last year, and with Tom Brady throwing to him, there’s no reason not to expect the same results this year. Expect numbers close to if not better than his 17 TDs, 1327 Receiving Yds, and 15.06 points per week. Expect Gronk to go in the first 5 rounds of your draft, he’s that good, just remember tight ends get hit hard a lot and injuries can be an issue.
2. Jimmy Graham – While Gronk is in a world of his own, Graham is too, just not Gronk’s yet… Think of Graham as Tony Gonzalez in his prime. He had 11 TDs, 1310 receiving yards, and 12.25 points per week. This will be Graham’s third full season and he should have a full understanding of the offense by now, so expect more big numbers from Graham this season.
3. Jermichael Finley – Finley is built from the same mold as Gronkowski and Graham, he’s just had a few disappointing seasons. Part of the problem is he has Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson on his team, so even though Rodgers can spread the ball around well, it just doesn’t happen every week.
4. Aaron Hernandez – Hernandez’s biggest knock is that he’s on the same team as Gronkowski and Wes Welker. Just remember he’s also on the same team as Tom Brady. He had 7 TDs and 910 yards in just 14 games last year. If he stays healthy I could see him easily getting 10-12 TDs and 1100 yards receiving. Which would be a GREAT season as a TE.
5. Antonio Gates – Gates’ health is always the biggest question mark. Last year he only played in 13 games but still scored 7 TDs and had 778 receiving yards, for a whopping 9.22 points per game. With Vincent Jackson now gone to Tampa look for Gates to get more targets his way especially in the red zone. I could see him getting 10 TDs and 1000 receiving yards easily, IF he stays healthy…
Sleeper Pick – Brandon Pettigrew DET – Guess who was the second most targeted TE last year behind Jimmy Graham, yep it was Pettigrew. Being in such a high powered offense he can sometimes be overlooked, but when Megatron is on your team, you’re going to get single covered a lot and that’s a good thing for a guy this talented. Another option here is Jacob Tamme being paired with Manning again will help him greatly and he will help Manning as well. Just think Dallas Clark from a few years ago…
1. David Akers – With 11.9 points per week Akers had a great year last year. With an offense that stalls a lot, he gets a lot of chances at long field goals and he’s very accurate even from long distance.
2. Stephen Gostkowski – When you’re in one of the best offenses in the league you get a ton of points just as extra points and chip shot field goals. Gostkowski isn’t the best from far away, but inside 50 yards he’s pretty accurate, and in that offense, he won’t have to try very many that are longer than that.
3. Garrett Hartley/John Kasay – Whoever wins this job will benefit greatly from the high powered offense in the dome. Kasay had a ridiculous 63 extra points made last year. I think Hartley will probably win the job as he has a stronger leg, by the time you draft you should know who has the job.
4. Sebastian Janikowski – This veteran kicker show no signs of slowing down. He’s always had a huge leg and unfortunately for him, has usually been on teams with bad offenses. Which gives him more chances for long field goals.
5. Mason Crosby – Crosby is another guy that benefits from a great offense. He scored 69 extra points last season, that’s just CRAZY!
Sleeper Pick – Jason Hanson, he plays on a great offense in Detroit, plays indoors and has a big leg. All those factors should add up to big numbers. Just remember kickers are like defenses take them as late as possible and you can easily play matchups every week.
1. San Fransisco 49ers – The niners are in the weakest division in football which means they get to play against three of the worst offenses in the league twice. That’s nice for anyone, but this defense can play with anyone, so expect huge numbers again this year.
2. Chicago Bears – Chicago’s biggest rival is their biggest problem on the schedule. Playing against the Packers twice a year hurts their numbers a bit, but they are a ball hawking defense that has a great pass rush and some guy name Urlacher playing middle linebacker.
3. Detroit Lions – Last season Detroit showed us their ability to get turnovers and take it to the house with 7 TDs off 34 turnovers. Which was most in the NFL.
4. Seattle Seahawks – Another good defense that benefits from the division it plays in. They get a lot of sacks and enough turnovers to score well every week. Just be careful against high powered offenses.
5. Baltimore Ravens – If Terrell Suggs wasn’t injured I would probably have them higher, but still they’re a great defense, and still have Ray Lewis and Ed Reed on their team.
Sleeper – I don’t have a sleeper pick for D/ST, I typically play this position by matchup every week unless I have one of these top 5 teams. You can usually get a good matchup off the waiver wire every week, so no need to draft high for this position.
Thanks for reading!
Written by Jeronomous
Photo courtesy of Keith Allison