Fantasy Football Preview

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Written on 12:38 AM by DRV

Today was the first Friday in months in which I stayed home and didn't do anything outside of the house. So, in respect, I was so bored that I had my second Fantasy Football draft today. Yeah, it's June, but I still take these things seriously.

I'm one of those people who steadily believes in ALWAYS taking a Running Back first and second. Sadly, that didn't happen tonight. That's honestly the first time it happened. I was in a 12-team draft a while ago, and here's my first 6 picks.

Round 1 -- Shaun Alexander
Round 2 -- Steve Smith
Round 3 -- Torry Holt
Round 4 -- Andre Johnson
Round 5 -- Santana Moss
Round 6 -- Fred Taylor

That'll probably really end up to bite me in the ass. But look at the bright side... I'm set at WR. I pretty much went the approach of taking "The Best Player Available." Maybe a trade will come up where I can land another #1 RB.

Since this blog will be devoted to Fantasy Football, allow me to unveil the best 5 fantasy players at every position. Again, this is simply my opinion, but I'll provide reasons as I go on. I'll also add sleepers to the end of the post.

TOP FIVE FANTASY QUARTERBACKS
1. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
Manning is the best QB in the NFL, and has always been the most productive quarterback for years. His ability is never questioned, as evidenced by his record-shattering 49 TD's a few years ago. He has the services of Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, and newly drafted first round pick--Anthony Gonzalez. He's the only QB to even warrant a first round pick, but if you pick Manning, you risk your shot at the elite RB's.

2. Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals
Palmer has a rocket arm and strong supporting cast with Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, and Chris Henry as his targets along with a strong backfield consisting of Rudi Johnson and Kenny Irons. His numbers should be up this season as he has no injuries to worry about.

3. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Tom Brady went through some pains last season with a depleted WR corps as he lost both Deion Branch, David Givens, and Bethel Johnson last season. However, he proved he was a fine QB by making guys like Reche Caldwell and Jabbar Gaffney produce greatly at the later part of the season. Now, not only does he have those two wideouts back, but they'll have a depleted role as New England has made a splash taking receivers Wes Welker, Donte' Stallworth, and troubled receiver Randy Moss. Not that Brady has top notch weapons, it just might be enough to make another strong push for his 4th ring.

4. Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia Eagles
McNabb actually put up 200 points last season in only 8 weeks before getting hurt. 200 points is actually more than a third of what the other QB's put up last season, so enough said about that. Also, since the Eagles drafted Kevin Kolb with a 2nd round pick this year, it shows that they're tired of McNabb being hurt. Look for McNabb to play hard this season all year, especially with new WR Joe Horn from the Saints.

5. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Brees is a very inspiring success story. He's become one of the most accurate and productive quarterbacks in the league this couple years, and he'll only get better. Marques Colston and Reggie Bush are a year older, and Devery Henderson is starting to come to his own. Add first round WR Robert Meachem providing some help and Brees is gonna continue to look good.

TOP FIVE FANTASY RUNNING BACKS
1. LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego Chargers
This does not even need to be explained. Last year he was rated 2nd, and he proves all the professionals wrong. Never put LT passed #1. Never. He already has Hall of Fame written on him.

2. Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams
Steven Jackson is set to produce more this year as Linehan wants to continue to pound the ball. Jackson has gotten faster and stronger, and he's actually become a receiver in the backfield in recent years. He looks a lot like Edgerrin James in his prime, and it wouldn't surprise me if Jackson ran for 1800 this year. Look out for Jackson.

3. Larry Johnson, Kansas City Chiefs
Larry Johnson is a workhouse RB whose stock falls because his offensive line is slowly being depleted of talent. But that doesn't take any talent away from the hardnosed Larry Johnson. The problem is that he's threatening for a new contract, but don't let that stop you from taking him.

4. Shaun Alexander, Seattle Seahawks
Shaun Alexander fell victim to the Madden curse last season getting injured, but when he came back, he bounced back in a good way. Look for Alexander to put up numbers expected out of Alexander the Great this season, especially with the loss of Darrell Jackson--Holmgren might seemed poised to run the ball a lot more.

5. Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia Eagles
Yes, it is true, I have a mancrush on Brian Westbrook, but the fact remains that he's a very sturdy project. I pick him and he always produces. Why? The man can catch. A catch is a point in most leagues, not only that--but he can return kicks too. Brian Westbrook is the Boobie Miles of Fantasy Football, and he's definitely a top five...especially considering he's the centerpiece of the Eagles' offense.

TOP FIVE FANTASY WIDE RECEIVERS
1. Chad Johnson, Cincinnati Bengals
"Ocho Cinco" he calls himself. I don't know why. Ocho cinco is eight-five, not 85. But whatever. The guy has T.O.'s body type, and he's probably just a bit faster. After all, he raced a horse and won. But this guy is Palmer's main target, and he is a TD MACHINE. This guy has a nose for the endzone, and if there's ever a game where the Bengals make the highlight reel... it's usually preceded by Ocho's crazy out takes.

2. Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers
At 5'9" Steve Smith is actually one of the strongest WR's in the league. Seriously, it's not really his speed that makes him hard to stop, because he really isn't the fast. This guy is just always open and is a fantastic route runner. That's why he's on the highlight reel all the time. He's actually Delhomme's only target.

3. Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis Colts
Route-running is the true key to all-time success, and nobody runs them better than good ol' Marvin. He's Manning's unquestioned favorite receiver, and don't even mention his age. He's an ageless wonder. 10 touchdowns. Guaranteed.

4. Torry Holt, St. Louis Rams
Holt is another great route-runner, and he's deceptively fast which allows him to easily get open. He's Bulger's unquestioned number one, and he probably has the best hands on this list. Harrison might have better hands though. Either way, it's consistency. There's never been a season in which Holt has received for less than 1300 yards.

5. Terrell Owens, Dallas Cowboys
Yes, he's an asshole. Yes, he always wants the ball. Yes, he's stupid. But he's good. He'll drop balls, but there's no penalty in the fantasy world for that. He actually scored the most TD's last year. Enough said.

TOP FIVE FANTASY TIGHT ENDS
1. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers
Other than LT, who are the Super Chargers known for? This guy.

2. Alge Crumpler, Atlanta Falcons
Let's be honest. Michael Vick sucks. He has no receivers, but he has Alge Crumpler. Crumpler makes Vick minorly better, but he's also their main source of points.

3. Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City Chiefs
Gonzalez is someone who many still believe is the best. But he's old now, and the Chiefs wanna get younger. Either way, he and Shannon Sharpe revolutionized the position, and he's a guaranteed 7 TD's.

4. Jeremy Shockey, New York Giants
Jeremy Shockey is extremely tough and he's all about football. Sure, he's become a celebrity, but there's no questioning his talent. The problem is that he's underutilized, but with the absense of Tiki Barber, Shockey should see more balls come his way.

5. Todd Heap, Baltimore Ravens
Heap's been a letdown the passed few seasons but seemed to pick it back up along with Mark Clayton at the near end of the regular season. Expect he and McNair to have a better throw and catch relationship.

TOP FIVE FANTASY KICKERS
1. Adam Vinatieri, New England Patriots
He disappointed last year. But that's not fair--he wasn't on the field. This is still the same guy who kicked 50 yard field goals in blizzards. Where's he playing now? A dome that houses the best offense in the NFL. He'll get you points, easily.

2. Jeff Wilkins, St. Louis Rams
Jeff Wilkins is an accurate kicker who kicks in a dome with one of the best offenses in the NFL. He also was one of the top five productive kickers last season. Good track record.

3. David Akers, Philadelphia Eagles
David Akers was injured too last year, but now that he's not, he's still one of the best in the league. If McNabb gets injured again, their offense should at least be good enough to get within Akers' range.

4. Robbie Gould, Chicago Bears
The Bears showed sparks on offense last season but had trouble in the red zone. That's good for kickers.

5. Shayne Graham, Cincinnati Bengals
Shayne Graham is just as productive as his offense. That's all you need to make the list. You have to kick a lot, and you can't suck.

TOP FIVE FANTASY DEFENSES
1. Baltimore Ravens
Their young talent has just become more experienced. They lost Adalius Thomas, but that gives Bart Scott and Dan Cody bigger roles.

2. Chicago Bears
"Da Bears" are actually the best defense in football, but they're going through a key loss once they get rid of Lance Briggs. They key to this defense being good is keeping Brian Urlacher and Mike Brown healthy. They are the souls of this defense. They also have the best defensive line in the league who always pressure the QB with Adewale Ogunleye, Tommie Harrison, Dusty Dvoracek, and Alex Brown leading that four-man front. The loss of Tank Johnson shouldn't hurt that much.

3. New England Patriots
New England added the best overall free agent with Adalius Thomas. That gives them a lot of depth to a linebacking corp that includes Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel, Rosevelt Colvin, Junior Seau, and Chad Brown. Rodney Harrison and Richard Seymour are healthy, so that should give their defense another push.

4. San Diego Chargers
Nobody knew it, but they had one of the top defenses last season. There's a lot of young talent who are continuing to get experience, including former defensive rookie of the year Shawne Merriman.

5. Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins lose games because their offense can't score. That's their problem. They showed some sparks with Joey Harrington and not Daunte Culpepper, that's somewhat ironic. But this is about defense, and this group continues to grow and play well in a tough division.

THE SLEEPERS
Not too many people pay attention to these guys, but if there's nobody else and the time is right... grab them.

QB - Jon Kitna, Detroit Lions
He's talking smack saying the Lions are gonna win more than ten games this year, and that means he has some confidence in his group. Nobody realizes that he finished in the top 5 in passing yards last year thanks to Martz's system. And now with Georgia Tech WR Calvin Johnson, Kitna might be in some for some HUGE numbers.

RB - Travis Henry, Denver Broncos
He's lost respect because of his feud with Buffalo after Willis McGahee won the starting job. He didn't do all that well in Tennessee, but he definitely picked it up last season. Now he's in Denver. For the first time in years, Denver has a GOOD RB. Denver can make any RB look good, but they just might make Henry look like a hall of famer.

WR - D.J. Hackett, Seattle Seahawks
With the loss of Darrell Jackson, and the older Bobby Engram gets, Hasselbeck is gonna have trouble finding a favorite receiver. Deion Branch is great, but I'm not so sure about Nate Burleson, and he isn't worth his money. However, Hackett has shown some signs of grown last season, and he looks like a true starter. He just might breakout next season.

TE - Eric Johnson, New Orleans Saints
Johnson couldn't have landed in a better place. At once, back when the Niners sucked, Johnson was actually the top receiver in the NFL in terms of yards back when Rattay was still QB. He has some durability issues, but Brees LOVES throwing the ball to the tight end. Keep that in mind.

I'll post another thread with my teams on them, but that's it for now. Mind you, every year I host a Yahoo! Fantasy Football League that consists of 20 teams. If you want in, tell me as soon as possible so I can get you the signup information.

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