For those hardcore fantasy players out there, it is about that time again. Fantasy sites are open again for league creations, and though the lockout is still on with no solid lead as to when it will end people are still signing up. As we should. All in all it stands to reason that there is too much money across the boards for the to not be a season, players are organizing their own team drills and in correlation fantasy managers are starting to research their picks. After a few seasons of transition where there seemed to be a shortage on sure fire top 5 picks, due mostly to the youth movement across the league, top picks are becoming a little clearer and more dependable. What I mean is your less likely now than you were last year to take a top 5 or even a top 10 pick with more assurances this coming season than there seemed to be last season. That’s of course barring any unforeseen injuries or mishaps.
Which is an interesting point. Most of the top players in fantasy have reportedly show up to these player organized practices. This should be carefully considered when picking a player for this fantasy year, as their willingness to condition before the season could have ramifications on their overall play in the beginning of the season as I will try to get into later on.
For right now I want to talk about the top 5 players across most standard fantasy draft boards. I play in mostly leagues with 10 yards = 1 point rushing receiving, 25 yards = 1 point passing and TDs = 6 points. However, I believe that most picks also translate into standard 20 yards = 1 point, 50 yards passing = 1 point, and TDs = 6 points (4 for passing). Though I understand QBs hold a higher premium in most of my leagues. Again, another thing I’ll delve into in a later post. I’m digressing.
Anyway, the top 5 fantasy picks.
1 – Arian Foster – It has to be. He came along late in preseason to take the starting job after Ben Tate suffered an injury and played like a stud right out of the gates. The simple edge that Foster will have in most drafts over an Adrian Peterson is that Foster has a solid QB under center. Along with the return of Owen Daniels to form late last season, Houston will command the respect of most defenses to be capable of going vertical which will ease some of the obvious game planning that will be done to stop Foster.
2- Adrian Peterson – Being number 2 isn’t so bad. Peterson had a solid year with over 1,600 total yards and 13 total TDs and should keep that steady. Remember Peterson played on a struggling Vikings offense with Brett Farve at the end of his career and with untested Joe Webb at the helm at points. Peterson faced some stacked defenses. With uncertainty in Minnesota at the QB position right now number 2 is saying a lot for Peterson.
3 – Chris Johnson – What can you say about Chris Johnson? Since coming into the league he has been a delight for fantasy owners. A shifty, lightning fast back with great hands. He has shown a willingness to run in between the tackles, though he is clearly better on the outside, and has been in double digits in total TDs every season. However, my red flag is his toughness, and it’s not that he isn’t tough because he clearly is, it’s that he is so tough that is a red flag for me. Like it or not Johnson is 198 lbs and willing to run between the tackles and that could spell trouble for the smaller quicker back. I wouldn’t call it a deal breaker by any means, because if Johnson falls to me I wouldn’t blink to take him, I would simply be wary of the amount of tread he’s put on the tires in just 3 seasons.
4 – Jamaal Charles – Ever the stud in waiting last season. Evil, thy name is Thomas Jones. If you were a owner of Charles last season I’m sure you felt the sting of 1st and goal as Jones stole the TD that your back worked so hard for. Charles is very similar to Johnson in that he is not a solid between the tackles guy, but he can break off huge chunks of yardage and take it the distance. He is also untested carrying the ball not only for the majority of the carries in the game, but also from the start of the game with any real constancy. He’s riding high on the pure potential that got him 1,900 total yards while sharing the ball last season.
5 – Darren McFadden – Ahh my nemesis. I made the mistake of taking Michael Bush last season and not handcuffing Darren McFadden and I was reminded all season long of that mistake on top of the fact that I declared McFadden a backup at best. Now he mocks me in my top 5. Meh. Mistakes were made, I said some things I would take back, you played like you finally received your signing bonus. Water under the bridge. McFadden will benefit from some good draft picks on the O-line for the Raiders and if he can stay healthy has fantasy gold written all over him. He is a great receiver, played well on the road, and the Raiders showed a willingness to use him on the goal line.
The great thing about these players is that is that any one of them has the potential to be the number one back in points at the end of next season, and even better they’re all young backs hitting their stride.
Well, hopefully the strike ends soon and a season will be officially declared a go. Any questions or comments I’d love to hear form ya.
About the Author
Written by David Willow
My name is David Willow. Your NFL and Fantasy Jedi. I have lived in Dallas, TX most of my life. I have been following both football and basketball since I was a child. I love being able to research and analyze different players and teams. I've been a fantasy sports enthusiast for around 8 years with some titles to back that. I have a Bachelors degree in History with a minor in English. Other hobbies include me being part of an acting workshop for five years, playing guitar, and working out. Hit me up with any comments, questions or opinions.