Most of us love the NFL off-season, and we are following things more closely than ever. But since the league is harder than ever to handicap, it is tougher for me to come up with a lot of insight this early in the year.
I definitely have some interesting thoughts that I’m still forming, but as far as getting a good handle on the 2012 season, we’re still in a bit of a holding pattern, since we’re just under two weeks away from the NFL draft.
I’m certainly not ready to make many profound statements until at least after the draft, but I did have an interesting discussion with the guys in the office yesterday, which I thought I’d share here.
I’ve been saying it for years, and we should all know by now that fantasy football is all about impact players, regardless of position. There used to be a time when a solid (but far from flashy) contributor was still a great asset, but I’m not sure about that anymore. These days, anyone who doesn’t make a legit impact most weeks is probably in a RBBC or on a team with a lot of options at receiver, so you can’t really rely [...]
In case you missed it, we put up our initial projections on Friday. It’s really early in the game and there’s a ton of uncertainty, but I thought it would make for an interesting post to submit some of the rankings that I’m most intrigued by and offer some reasoning behind them.
I’m sure anyone looking at these projections has some questions or comments, and if you do on any of these players listed below feel free to chime in and I’ll do my best to address them.
Aaron Rodgers at #1 – I think it’s the right thing to do because of his running ability. That’s an element for fantasy he really has over the other elite players at the position. 115 rushes and 9 rushing TDs over the last two years is nothing to sneeze at. And I feel a heck of a lot better about the OL, which was the only concern for Rodgers in 2009. He did get in a funk last year, but after seeing him work himself out of it, he’s now officially elite in my eyes.
Kevin Kolb at #10 – It was a very tough call between and Jay Cutler for that 9th spot. [...]
For those in standard keeper leagues, especially ones that keep only 3-4 players, retaining a TE and using a valuable keeper spot on him usually isn’t a great idea unless you have one of the fantasy superstars at the position. However, with the production being spread thinly these days among RBs and WRs, keeping an elite TE you can count on may be more prudent than usual.
Although both are getting a little older these days, you still have to include Dallas Clark (IND, 31) and Antonio Gates (SD, 30) as the top options. Clark’s been in a major zone with his QB for years now, and there’s no end in sight to his production. Although the Colts have riches at the WR position now, Clark’s role is so cemented in the offense now, so he should still be golden at least two more years with Peyton Manning. As for Gates, I think he’s lost a little bit, but he did look good on film last year, and he should have 2-3 peak years left. With the team currently lacking a legit RB (they will certainly draft someone early), it’s looking like their offense will be keyed by Philip Rivers and [...]
It’s time to cover the TEs for those of you in keeper leagues. For many in these leagues, you’re not going to hold on to a TE, unless you have a high-end stud who is young, like Antonio Gates or Jason Witten – or unless you’re able to keep a high number of players.
Let’s assume for now you can keep only a small number of players, like 2-3. If so, keeping Gates or Witten is a tough call. You have to consider your scoring, first of all, for example I’d view Witten as a VERY desirable in a PPR league. He may catch 100 balls this year if healthy with Terrell Owens gone. Gates is still a beast in a great spot, but I’d value a young quality back or a stud wideout over him. He hasn’t exactly been a fantasy savior the last couple of years.
But those two are clearly the top guys for keeper leagues. Tony Gonzalez is still playing at a high level, so he should be considered a top starter at the position for at least 1-2 more years. I have to assume his new coach will utilize him well.
If you're looking for a TE [...]