Now ignoring the obvious picks of Aaron Rodgers and co. here are a few players that I think could make the difference this year.
Cam Newton Can he repeat his rookie season? Probably not. That does not mean he can’t have another huge season. I predict that by week 5/6 Newton will be up with Stafford and looking to join those elite 3 or 4 QB’s in the NFL. Lets not forget Smith (Cam’s no.1 target last season) was holding out at the start of 2011 so with a happy and focused Smith for this season who knows what they will produce as a pair. Verdict Don’t pounce on Newton early but if you miss a QB in the first round be happy to take him in the second.
Robert Griffin III/Andrew Luck Now I am not for any second suggesting that you take either of these QB’s as your starter. However as both are guaranteed starting jobs for the season why not take them as your back up? You only have to look at Newton coming into a struggling team to see what a rookie QB can do in this league. Verdict Pick up either RG3 or Luck as your backup leaving you in the safe knowledge that if your No.1 goes down they will be playing week in week out.
With so many good wide receivers out there this year it’s important that you pick up good running backs and early…
Trent Richardson The Browns traded up for him, there is little or no competition at the RB position, there aren’t any receiver options in Cleveland to talk about and oh did I mention they have are likely to have a rookie QB under centre… Verdict: The former Alabama RB will get a lot of the ball however he is likely to become an early target for defences. For me he has too much going for him and I still take him as a solid no.1 running back choice.
Steven Jackson Sure he plays for the Rams but I still like Jackson. He gets a lot of touches and has little competition at the position. One statistic to take note of…Jackson had 32 runs of 10 + yards tied with whom…Arian Foster. Verdict: Something good has to come out of St Louis this year and for me its Jackson…again.
Julio Jones Jones played in 13 games last season and picked up 959 yards with 8 TDs and five of those games Jones went for 100+ receiving. Last year Roddy White was the number one wide out in Atlanta this year I would expect shared targets between Jones and White which can only mean one thing if Jones stays healthy I, you, everyone will want him. Verdict: Jones although ranked 11th amongst all wide out this year I would happily move him up above the likes of A.J Green and Hakeem Nicks.
Percy Harvin I picked up this guy last year mid way through the season and wow am I glad that I did. Obviously his numbers were helped with AP being injured last year but with AP still on the road to recovery I would expect Harvin to play a huge part in the Vikings offence, even when AP is back in contention. Verdict: Harvin only took part in 58% of offensive plays last year and some how he was still ranked 8th out of all wide receivers last year. Convinced?
Justin Blackmon: Take a look at Justin’s numbers at OSU last year 1,522 yards receiving with 18 TDs whereas the Jags leading wide out last year had 415 yards receiving. Verdict: Gabbert will have a lot to prove this year under centre and Blackmon could be his man to help him on his way. Pick up Blackmon in the later rounds as a solid back up and potential break out.
Darius Heyward-Bey DHB had a funny 2011 after dominating for about a month he then went quiet for six games before emerging as a number one target in Oakland. If Palmer keeps throwing the ball his way expect DHB to improve on his six games of 80+ yards and four TDs. Verdict: DHB could be a potential flex option however I take him as a potential sleeper this season.
That’s my small insight into the world of fantasy football for this season, good luck in your drafts this weekend and the frenzy of trading that will go on in the coming days!
image: © xtrah