Friday, August 24, 2012
I recently entered Grantland's Fantasy Football Contest, and I decided to post my submission. These are my top five picks and one sleeper pick. Hope you enjoy and wish me luck!
1. Arian Foster
Arian Foster is perhaps the undisputed best running back in the league. He rushed for 1,224 yards and 10 TDs and caught 53 passes for 617 yards last year. His value is only going to skyrocket on a Texans team whose only viable wide receiver is Andre Johnson, who has trouble staying healthy. Without a passing game, Schaub will be relying more heavily on Foster. Not to mention, Foster is motivated and determined. Rising from the practice squad to the NFL, he is not about to slack off to be back at the bottom of the barrel. Besides, he has to find a way to pay for those dapper bow ties.
2. Calvin Johnson
If you believe in curses, you will want to stay away from Johnson, since he graces the Madden 13 cover. If you don’t, Megatron is a lock. He set himself among the all-time NFL elite with his 96 catches, 1,681 yards, and 16 touchdowns last year. His production in his five years in the league have already set franchise records and ranked him in league records. Megatron is a hall-of-famer in the making, and a genuine “sure thing!”
3. Ray Rice
Although Ray Rice does not look like the typical running back, he has learned to use his size to his advantage. Last season, he rushed for 704 yards, made 76 catches, and made 16 touchdowns. Over his four years in the league, he has scored 24 touchdowns and rushed for 4,377 yards. Rice is the real star of this offense, no matter what salary demands Joe Flacco makes. With a team that does not have much of a passing game, Rice is the one doing most of the scoring.
4. Drew Brees
Despite the suspensions handed out to the coaching staff and players from the Bounty Gate scandal, there is little that will affect the offense. Drew Brees will be the star quarterback that he has always been, and he had one amazing record setting year in 2011-12. One of the great strengths of Brees and the Saints is their passing game, which is how Brees was able to pass for 5,476 yards and make 468 completions. Looking at the schedule, the Saints face relatively weak defenses and play the majority of the stronger defenses in the Superdome, which is a huge advantage. This will allow the Saints offense to shine, and Brees may throw for another 5,000 yards.
5. Rob Gronkowski
Normally, a tight end wouldn’t crack the top five, but Rob Gronkowski is not a typical tight end. What makes him so special is that at 6’6” and a well-muscled 264 pounds, Gronk is a beast. He is fast and able to shrug off coverage, or just drag them along with him. Last season, he lead all tights ends in receiving yards with 1,327 and set an NFL record at his position with his 18 touchdowns, almost twice as many as the tight end with the second most touchdowns. He has become a dependable target for Brady, especially in the red zone. Although the Patriots have asked him to tone down his off-field antics, he’ll be amping it up on the field.
Sleeper Pick: Terrell Owens
Chances are that Owens isn’t on anybody’s radar, but there is value to adding him to your roster. Yes, TO may love him some him, but over the last few years, he has learned that not too many people feel that way about him anymore. Will Owens stop being the locker room distraction that he has been in the past? Probably not, but he has never been laughed out of the league and have to pull himself out of disgrace. His pride took a huge hit when no teams showed up to see his work out despite the media he had invited, and even the IFL Allen Wranglers seemed to have been happy to be rid of him. Owens has something to prove this coming season. Lest we forget, he did not exactly bomb out in Cincinnati on a team with Andy Dalton at the helm. He had 9 TDs and caught 72 passes for 983 yards. It is not unreasonable to think his numbers might improve with Matt Flynn on the Seahawks. Even at thirty-eight, TO still has the athleticism and skills to contribute, and what better motivator for a narcissist than a bruised ego?