Who Should I Pick?
by Hans Steiniger, Posted: June 6,
Now thatís an interesting question. When I look across the draft
board for the 2010 fantasy football season there are all types of
guys I like and dislike this year in fantasy football.
Selecting players in the draft is all a function of position.
Who is there that can help my team? What players are good value at
the spot Iím looking to select them? How can I maximize value
for each pick throughout the draft? On this yearís board,
there are several players that stick out as great fantasy value
picks and some that Iíd just as soon let someone else take the
The top six quarterbacks in this year's
fantasy crop look incredible. With the recent rule changes
instituted by the NFL intended to protect the quarterback position,
along with limiting what a defense can do both at the line of
scrimmage and in coverage, scoring from the quarterback position is
up throughout the league. To be competitive this year, you
must have a solid QB on your roster and there's lots of them
available. Brees, Rodgers, Manning, Brady, Favre, Schaub ...
all of these guys passed for over 4000 yards and close to thirty
touchdowns. These guys will have big
years and could lead you to the fantasy promised land, plus one of
these guys is going to be available late in the draft. If I can grab one of these guys this year to anchor a lineup
a stud running back or two, Iím pulling the trigger immediately.
Especially in leagues that allow quarterbacks to have six points for
touchdowns and no negative points for interceptions, the
top seven guys are
great value picks for their touchdown to interception ratio alone.
The next tier of
quarterbacks, your Rivers, Romo, Eli Manning, Palmer
should also have solid years. Theyíre great value picks after about round four
or five and will score plenty of touchdowns, but they're just a
notch below the premiere guys I mentioned earlier. Your next
tier begins to get kind of questionable; and if I have to depend on Flacco,
Ryan, Orton, or Young to
lead me to a title, I hope I've drafted some studs at the running
back and wide receiver positions to anchor my fantasy team. The talent drop off in the
next tier is even sharper, with lots of question marks heading into 2010.
Can Matt Leinart lead the Arizona Aerial attack? Will Mark
Sanchez be able to step up and join the ranks of the elite at his
position? Will Matt Hasselbeck even rebound from the
injuries that have plagued him the last several seasons?
Is Matthew Stafford ready to lead the Lions back toward
respectability? Can McNabb succeed in Washington with some
seemingly average talent at the wide receiver position? If you
can hit on one of these guys, you might have a fantasy stud at the
If you miss with no
backup plan, you could be looking at a long season.
I like Mark Sanchez and
Matthew Stafford as backups with upside. Iím
not too high on David Garrard (who's on a short leash in
Jacksonville), Alex Smith (who still needs to prove his worth as the
top pick of the 2005 NFL draft) or Jake Delhomme (another retread
Joe Flacco intrigues me Ö .
Sitting alone on top of the draft
running back draft board is Chris Johnson. With over 2000
yards last year and a strangle hold on the top spot on the depth
chart in Tennessee, Johnson is poised for another record-breaking
year. Adrian Peterson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Steven Jackson and
Ray Rice should pick up where they left off. The limited
touchdown production of both Steven Jackson and Ray Rice is a
concern, but in 2010, I expect that number to increase pulling them
closer to AP and MJD. Fantasy owners can expect 20 - 30 point producers
out of this group every week. The next group of guys are solid
performers with a lot of upside sure to make a great addition to any
fantasy squad. DeAngelo Williams, Cedric Benson,
and Michael Turner are each poised for monster fantasy years,
cementing their legacy as fantasy football superstars. Last
year's rookie performers, Shonn Greene and LeSean McCoy, find
themselves in the starter role this season so it should be
interesting to see how they perform getting the loin's share of the
carries for their respective offenses. I would also expect
better production out of Rashard Mendenhall and Knowshon Moreno
having cemented themselves and the clear cut starter at the running
back position for their organization. Marion Barber continues to
disappoint, I expect that he will be supplanted by the quicker and
more elusive Felix Jones and Brandon Jacobs is beginning to show the
signs of wear and tear of a big back approaching 30. I
expect big things out of Chris "Beanie" Wells and Ryan Matthews.
Andre Johnson, Miles Austin, Sidney
Rice and DeSean Jackson, these guys are widely considered the
premiere pass catchers of the 2009 season and should continue their
incredible production as
primary targets in the NFL's most productive offenses. Andre
Johnson should continue to lead the explosive Houston Texans attack, as
Miles Austin looks to point his Cowboys in the direction of
the Super Bowl that Dallas will be hosting in early 2011. I like
Sydney Rice, he's in a great situation in Minnesota on an
offense that's as dangerous on the ground as it is through the
air. DeSean Jackson's blazing speed will continue to exploit
inferior coverages and with the continued development of Jeremy
Maclin, he'll find more room to run in 2010.
Receivers like Randy Moss, Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and
Marques Colston should be solid performers again this year, but
there are question marks that place them in the next tier of
receivers. I really like Reggie Wayne, Brandon Marshall,
Vincent Jackson, and Roddy White. Fantasy owners should expect
consistent production out of each of these guys again this year.
In the later rounds, I really like Mike Sims-Walker, Kenny Britt,
and Eddie Royal as receivers with upside that can grabbed a bit
later in the draft. This year is a banner year for third
year receivers. Wide Receivers entering their third year in
the NFL typically blow up, and this year has more third year
receivers as the #1 or #2 on their team's depth chart than I can
remember. A couple of these guys are sure to break into the
ranks of the elite, so choose wisely. Eddie Royal,
Davone Bess, Pierre Garcon, Early Doucet, Devin Thomas, these guys
among others are all entering their third year at wide receiver.
This is a good year for wideouts and I expect several of them to produce
big numbers this year with lots of value to be had in later rounds.
Do yourself a favor, try to grab two of the top fifteen wideouts
with early picks, concentrate on getting a top notch QB and a stud running back, and then load up
in the later rounds
wide receivers and running backs. You're sure to hit on a few that will
round out a solid fantasy lineup.
Unless youíre grabbing the elite, and I mean
Jason Witten, Dallas Clark, Antonio Gates, you donít need to be
looking at these lists anytime before about the tenth round. TEís, Dís,
and Kís are all available late in the draft that can get you strong
enough production to propel your team into the fantasy football
playoffs and beyond. Donít bypass good value at the top three point-
producing positions to take a flyer on the defense that is just like
all the rest. Wait to address these positions with later round
picks. Every year I find premiere performers on the waiver
wire to address these spots on my fantasy roster.
Follow these keys
throughout your fantasy football draft and I guarantee you will
field a strong fantasy football contender. Stay away from guys with
nagging injuries or guys that are sharing the football in running
back by committee backfields. Remember to focus on grabbing solid
producers at each round. Donít grab guys that are suspended or
injured hoping that they can turn it on later in the season. By the
time they do, youíll already be on the outside of the playoff
picture looking in. Good Luck!
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