August 15, 2012
With NFL Fantasy Football drafts right around the corner, we will take a look at the top 5 players at each position. Depending on what type of league you are in, theses evaluations will vary, but the general ranking will be similar. Our last rankings focused on quarterbacks. This week, we will look at the running backs and which players are worthy of a high pick.
1. Ray Rice
You won’t see this ranking many other places. To me, consistency is important, and Ray Rice has been nothing but solid that past three seasons. Add the fact he averages over 70 catches over the last three years, and you can count on lots of points from Rice. The Ravens are a team that runs the ball well and will feature Rice often. There is a little worry with the trend of players under-performing after signing a new contract, but I have faith that you won’t regret picking Rice early.
2. LeSean McCoy
Another shocker. However, if you compare his stats with Arian Foster’s the last 3 years, McCoy is right with Foster in many categories. Last season, McCoy had more yards on less carries, as well as 7 more rushing touchdown’s than Foster. That is a lot of points. The Texans can run the ball, but I think the Eagles have a better passing game, allowing them to be more balanced and not let defenses stack the box. I think McCoy is a solid pick up on your fantasy roster.
3. Arian Foster
We finally arrive at the consensus #1 running back in fantasy. I don’t have anything against Foster, and if you can get him on your team when the other 2 running backs listed are gone, I don’t think you will be too disappointed. Foster will get you points, but with Andre Johnson being the only other offensive weapon for the Texans, defenses know who they need to key in on. Add Ben Tate to the equation, and I feel the two other running backs are better options for this season.
4. Matt Forte
While the off-season was a little shaky with his contract dispute/holdout, Forte is in camp and should be his reliable self. As you can tell by my rankings, I like my fantasy running backs to be receiving threats and Forte holds his own, averaging over 50 catches over the last 3 years. However, he only has one 1,000 yard season over that time, which is hard to accept. That being said, with the additions the Bears have made in the passing game, I think Chicago could have a solid offense this season, leading to more red-zone opportunities for Forte.
5. Darren McFadden
This is a tough one. Darren McFadden is a solid bet, when healthy. That, unfortunately, is a big disclaimer. McFadden has had durability issues in the NFL so this could be a risky pick. However, most of the running backs left have concerns. Maurice Jones-Drew is currently holding out. The Falcons have said they may limit Michael Turner in the beginning of the year to keep his legs fresh. Steven Jackson is getting up there in age. The list goes on and on. So I will take a flyer on McFadden and hope for the best.
July 16, 2010
Fantasy Football season is here. Being a part the most bizarre and greatest fantasy football league in the world can be crazy. I need to be ready to draft in less than 24 hours from now. This is not a phony mock draft, this is the real deal, the draft to start the season. Yes, we draft before NFL training camps open. What makes our league so great? Well, for starters just about every aspect of the league has been customized. Each franchise protects 4 players. Well not always, as roster spots are available to be traded for picks. Current year picks or for future picks (2 years out is the max that can be traded). If you end the year with only 3 viable keepers and can’t acquire a decent 4th, you can sell your spot for picks. This is common for teams in a rebuilding mode. The team trading for the spot ends up with 5 players kept (which can be a big advantage heading into the season). I’ll run through my team as an example. I ended last season with the following: Tony Romo, Ben Roethlisberger, Chris Johnson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Reggie Bush, Marques Colston, Hines Ward, Percy Harvin and M Wallace as my main cast. I cut-down to my 4 keepers of Romo, Johnson, Jones-Drew and Colston. I was unable to trade any of my other guys for extra picks so they will be put into this year’s draft bucket. The draft is made of all unprotected players (cut players) and all entering rookies. We have one draft for all the available players.
The draft order for the first four rounds is based on the previous season’s rankings. The Fathead Dry-Erase Fantasy Football Draft board is going to be a major help this year. The worse team picks first in all 4 rounds. This gives the worst team the best opportunity to improve for the long haul. They have first shot at the best incoming rookie. The champ picks last in all 4 rounds. Rounds 5, 7 and 9 are drawn randomly from cards. Rounds 6, 8 and 10 are the reverse order of 5, 7 and 9. What else makes us unique, we do not play for money, but instead opted for a 5’ tall trophy and bragging rights. Our scoring system is insanely rare as well – customized to our liking. We also have 20 years of history maintained: Franchise records, owner’s records, fantasy player records annually, playoff records by owner, by franchise, etc. About 50% of ownership is founding members. We’ve had a team of the decade for the 90s and 2000s. We also have a Winter’s meeting annually to discuss all things fantasy (rules changes, revise the scoring system, schedule, realignment, etc). The beauty of the keeper league is that fantasy players can get associated with your franchise for their career. The keeper league aspect lets you keep momentum, good players you were able to acquire, build history and adds a sense of pride around your franchise. Looking forward to another draft, any advice on sleepers for this year?