Sleepers, Keepers, or Bust
Here are the top 5 lists by position of who I think will be the top fantasy performers this season. I am sure I will raise a few eyebrows, but we will have to wait till the end of the season to see how it all pans out…
1. Aaron Rodgers – With no running game and a questionable defense, Rodgers will have plenty of chances again this season for fantasy points.
2. Cam Newton – Although I don’t think Cam will match his numbers from last year, I expect him to put together another solid fantasy season.
3. Eli Manning – Almost eclipsing the 5,000 yard marker last season, I expect Eli to be tops in fantasy with a backfield that will help him more this season.
4. Tom Brady – Hard to choose against the “Golden Boy”, I feel I would have rated him better had it not been for questions on the O-Line.
5. Joe Flacco – Maybe a surprise, I feel Flacco will take a big statistical step forward with more trust being given to him in the offense.
1. LeSean McCoy – Picking up from last year, I expect McCoy to have a monster stats year in an offense that will try to protect Vick from injury.
2. Steven Jackson – With Jeff Fisher at head coach, I can see Jackson back on top of the league as the premiere back people may have forgotten him to be.
3. Ray Rice – One of the most lethal offensive weapons in the NFL, I feel his numbers may drop slightly with an emerging Flacco.
4. Darren McFadden – As long as he can stay healthy, I don’t see defenses being able to stop McFadden from putting up huge fantasy points.
5. Chris Johnson – With an inexperienced Jake Locker getting the QB job, I see Johnson getting plenty of carries to help the young QB ease into the offense.
1. A.J. Green – It sounds weird but Dalton to Green has a chance to be one of the most prolific combinations in the NFL… Green will have a huge year!
2. Calvin Johnson – With teams likely having to quadruple team Megatron, I find it hard to see him repeating his production from last season.
3. Victor Cruz – Let the Salsa commence, Cruz’s production is here to stay.
4. Larry Fitzgerald – I would have rated him higher if Arizona actually had a QB on their depth chart…
5. Steve Smith (CAR) – Smith’s career has been resurrected with the arrival of Cam Newton, I see Smith putting together another top 5 fantasy season.
1. Antonio Gates – A healthy Gates is a deadly Gates. I expect him back to his dominant form coming off an injury plagued season a year ago.
2. Jimmy Graham – Now one of Brees’ go to guys, I see him getting a lot of the Saints red zone looks.
3. Aaron Hernandez – The more versatile of Belichick’s tight ends, I see Hernandez having a better fantasy year this season with “Gronk” drawing most of the double teams.
4. Kyle Rudolph – With Peterson coming off a bad injury and Harvin, who has always battled health issues, I see Rudolph getting plenty of targets as the young QB Ponder develops in his second year.
5. Vernon Davis – Davis will continue to show dominance but will always be held back statistically because of the offense he is in.
1. Eagles – With a year to gel and bolster up at linebacker, I see the Eagles as tops in the NFL on all defensive levels.
2. 49ers – With basically all starters returning on defense, I find it hard to think Willis and the gang won’t impress.
3. Giants – Additions at linebacker and in the secondary will give the Giants the push to be an elite fantasy defense.
4. Buccaneers – Maybe a surprise pick, I feel the Bucs will have a youthful hunger on defense behind rookie head coach Greg Schiano.
5. Ravens – What’s a defensive list without the Ravens, however, I feel the loss of Suggs hurts them from a fantasy perspective.
1. Mason Crosby (GB) – One of the most high-powered offenses in the NFL, I at least see him making a lot of extra points.
2. Matt Prater (DEN) – An already solid kicker, Denver’s altitude gives you the chance for longer field goal attempts, as well as Peyton Manning’s ability to get points when in the red zone.
3. Hartley/Kasay (NO) – Who ever is the winner of the Saints kicker duel will have plenty of chances to put of fantasy points in New Orleans’ high-powered offense.
4. Stephen Gostkowski (NE) – Always a safe fantasy pick, you are basically guaranteed points from Gostkowski once New England crosses the 50.
5. Dan Carpenter (MIA) – Maybe a shocker, the lack of offense in Miami gives Carpenter the opportunity for some 5 field goal games. Of course you also run the risk of getting a goose egg…