1. Aaron Rodgers– The top producing fantasy quarterback in the last two years… and he’s only been starting for two years. He’s the NFL’s equivalent of ManBearPig: he eats up all resistance, leaving defensive secondaries in shambles. He’s gotten really good really quickly. Even though defenses will cue on his ability to pass, we have yet to see the best from Rodgers.
2. Peyton Manning– Can’t argue with history, a system that he’s created, a coach that’s coached him to this point, or the fact that he is arguably the greatest on-field general of all-time. He runs his offense like an iron-fisted genius, and his players love him for it. With so many options on offense, he’s always a safe, exciting pick.
3. Drew Brees– Brees is sexy– too sexy for my liking, but sexy nevertheless. His offense puts up numbers in bunches, but I suspect he’ll have something of a post-Super Bowl slump. Still, at the number three spot, I don’t really anticipate him sliding too, too much.
4. Tom Brady– Another year healthier. Another year angrier. Another year spent fucking Gesil Bundchen. He’s the NFL’s Apollo: Belichek might be his poppa, but everyone prays to Brady first.
5. Joe Flacco– This might be a stretch, but not by much. He has always been the more talented, better gifted athlete out of his quarterback draft class. With such incredible talent surrounding him, expect a year like he’s never had.
1. Chris Johnson– CJ is a pint-sized talent, packing more speed and strength into his diminutive body than anyone else in the NFL. Yes, he cannot be expected to produce soo many long TDs this season as last, but still, it’s hard to ignore the best running back in a single back system. With Vince Young captaining the offense and with the departure of What’s His Name, one can be sure that he is going to destroy defenses this season.
2. Adrian Peterson– Fumbling is a weakness. His down-hill, bruising style is a concern, especially considering his tendency to succumb to injuries. That said, he has been the most productive fantasy running back since entering the NFL, a trend that does not seem to show many signs of stopping. If Favre decides to actually retire, expect him to carry more, receive more, and score in bunches.
3. Ray Rice– Young, talented, and dynamic, Rice is an emerging talent on a powerful offense. Though he might be a bit of stretch at the number three spot, if he performs this year as well as last year, and if he experiences the benefits of having less pressure from defenses due to an improved received corp, this is HIS year.
4. Steven Jackson– The best player on a bad team for years, Jackson has put too many miles on his body. He may have one or two great fantasy years left in him, but this is going to be one of them because of the addition of an NFL-ready dynamo, namely, Sam Bradford. A check-down running back is a rookie’s best friend, and if Bradford is as good as I think he’ll be, Jackson will reap the benefits of defenses that actually have to respect St Louis’s passing game.
5. Frank Gore– Speed. Youth. Michael Crabtree. Vernon Davis. A coach that loves smash-mouth football. Gore has all the talent and athleticism to kill the front seven of any defense, provided that he can stay healthy.
1. Andre Johnson– Damn, son. What’s not to like? Receptions: Check. Yards: Check. The only thing that is a little shaky for Johnson is his “lack” of touchdowns, but with a very skilled quarterback and an improving supporting cast, me thinks that he will have a career year, something that will not soon be forgotten.
2. Reggie Wayne- Consistency. Peyton Manning. A ridiculous supporting cast. A good injury history. Turf.
3. Randy Moss– Moss is the receiver of choice. He’s a hard worker (fuck Oakland. if you played for Al fucking Davis, you would quit too. that guy looks like a crustacean that somehow swindled an NFL owner out of one of the most storied franchises in history). He’s got athleticism for days, still burning and out-competing DBs for the ball. His hands are like golden butterfly nets, catching even the most pesky, elusive pigskin. And his afro makes Questlove jealous. I love Moss. Duh.
4. Anquan Boldin– Another golden boy. The feistier of the two Arizona greats, he has been a stat machine every year that he’s been in the league. Now, he gets to enjoy the privilege of being No1, having Todd Heap and Dante Stallworth as second and third options, AND having a legit running game. He’s going to be a beast this year, developing alongside stud young gun Joe goddamn Flaco. Oh, and his defense is the Baltimore Fucking Ravens, the same defense that earned Trent Dilfer a SuperBowl win and a mysteriously ill-gotten ESPN commentator’s job.
5. Greg Jennings– I don’t catch a lot of games north of the Arctic Circle, but all my Inuit friends say that this joker is the real-deal. I’ve never thought too highly of him during the pre-season, but for the last three years, he’s proven me wrong; well, that’s not going to happen this year. With Rogers manning the guns, he’s going to be catching TDs in bunches, racking up yards along the way. As long as he stays healthy, Jennings is a legitimate contender to be the best receiver this year (he’ll actually be the third best, behind Moss and Boldin).
1. Vernon Davis– Young. Fast as balls. Hands like fast molasses. A competitive spirit that’s been reenergized by the legendary Mike Singletary. If Gore produces for the first half of the season (let’s be serious, Gore will be injured for at least two or three games of the second half of the season), and Crabtree continues his genesis as one of the best young talents in the league, I predict Davis will have another ProBowl year.
2. Dallas Clark- Peyton. Duh.
3. Antonio Gates– He’s always injured with some nick-knack, ticky-tacky issue, but always seems to bounce back to be a top 3 TE. With Vincent Jackson being a class-A asshole, he’s going to be even more of a TD threat than he has been in years past. Pick him, and you can’t go wrong.
4. Houston Guy– good but not great
5. Dallas Guy– same
4. Watch the waiver wire.
5. Watch the waiver wire.