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Fantasy Football: Analyzing The Studs

by: JamieD On  Wednesday, August 19, 2009

MINNESOTA VIKINGS V SAN FRANCISCO 49ERSTotal Pro Sports – Although a big part of fantasy football is getting the right guys in the later rounds, you still want to make sure that your top picks are producing.  A couple of bad moves in round one and two can mean the end of your fantasy football season before it even starts.

That is why we at TPS are here to give you some insight into what we (and many others) consider to be the studs of Fantasy Football.  While we don’t give recomendations on whether you should be taking or leaving such players and where in the draft they should go (we will be providing our rankings within the upcoming days and weeks), we do provide some information that may affect your perceptions going into the draft.  Just a little something to think about.

Here are eight guys that may end up leading your team to a fantasy football championship (5 RBs, 2 QBs, 1 WR).  We know that there are some notables missing from this list, but we can’t please everyone.

Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN : He was good without a threat at quarterback last season (1885 total yards, 2 TDs), and now with Brett Favre behind center, he should be even better.  Favre may not be the same guy we remember, but he can open the field and take advantage of teams who attempt to stack eight in the box.  Peterson should benefit from this and behind a solid offensive line will deliver the goods for fantasy owners once again.

Matt Forte, RB, CHI : Last year he put up incredible numbers for a rookie running back (1715 total yards, 12 TDs), and that was with Kyle Orton under center.  This year the Bears have Jay Cutler running the offense, but it will be Forte who leads the way.  Some expect the increased passing with Cutler and the addition of Kevin Jones as backup RB to affect Forte’s statline for the worse.  I will argue for the opposite and say it will help him greatly.  The extra bit of rest and threat of a passing game should open things up for this sophomore stud, not to mention he also plays behind one of the leagues strongest offensive lines (especially after the addition of former Ram, Orlando Pace).

Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAC : In just three seasons Jones-Drew has averaged over 1300 total yards and over 12 TDs per season.  When you consider the fact that he did that playing backup to Fred Taylor, it becomes even that much more impressive.  Now Taylor has moved on and the Jaguars backfield belongs to MJD.  The Jags have also added offensive linemen with this year’s first two draft picks, looking to improve what was a weak spot for the team last year.  That is great news for Jones-Drew, and with his ability to break the big run as well as factor in the passing game, you can expect him to go off the board in the top four picks of every fantasy football draft.

Michael Turner, RB, ATL : Last season he was an absolute horse for the Falcons, running the ball an incredible 376 times for 1699 yards and 17 TDs.  Although coach Mike Smith has said he would like to lighten his workload, don’t expect that to hurt the value of the man they call “The Burner”.  He is a key component to the Atlanta offense and with Matt Ryan entering only his second year at quarterback, you can bet Smith will continue to rely heavily on Turner.

DeAngelo Williams, RB, CAR : He may play in what many will refer to as a committee backfield, but that should not scare you away from using a high pick on Williams.  Finally given the chance to start last season, Williams was fantasy’s best running back, carrying the ball 273 times for 1515 yards and 18 TDs (he also added 2 receiving TDs).  While backup RB Johnathan Stewart is expected to see an increased role, Williams will still be the go-to guy.  The Panthers will run the ball enough times behind their outstanding offensive line that both backs will see plenty of work, and with 5.1 yards per attempt average over his career, you can consider Williams to be a solid stud rather than a risky pick.

Drew Brees, QB, NO : Last year’s top fantasy producer, Brees should be at his best again this year with the return of RB Reggie Bush and WR Marques Colston.  His 5069 yards and 34 TDs are enough to put him on top of most quarterback rankings, and if there is any QB worth making a play on in the first or early second round, it is him.  The Saints have a last place schedule this year so Brees should have some favorable competition.  Expect the air show to continue in New Orleans.

Tom Brady, QB, NE : He’s Back!  After dominating the 2007 fantasy season, Brady was a number one overall pick on many draft boards but disappointed owners after going down with a season ending injury during the opening game.  Now he is back and looks to be rounding into form just in time for the regular season.  Should he have another record-breaking year, he will definitely prove his worth as a first or early second round pick.  Whether you take that chance on him really only depends on how whether you are willing to take the risk.  I have a feeling their will be a nice reward for those who do.

Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI : Last year’s top wide receiver seemed to only get better as the regular season and playoffs progressed.  Now he is back at it and with Boldin still a Cardinal, opposing defensive backfields will once again be having nightmares of the Arizona passing game.  Fitzgerald is a dominating force on the field, whether he has single coverage or is being double teamed.  Playing with a group of talented receivers, he will get plenty of opportunities to repeat last year’s performance, which saw him record 1431 yards and 12 TDs.  After all, it isn’t everyday a wide receiver is slated to be a first round fantasy draft pick.  Larry is the exception.





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