Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Who is your 1st pick in '09?
Over the past few years the top pick in your Fantasy Football draft was pretty easy. Most leagues fought over the top pick so they could pick LaDanian Tomlinson who has been regarded as the top running back in the league. Since the scoring in most standard fantasy football leagues (I play on ESPN and you should too) allow the running backs the greatest opportunity to score the most points, LT was an easy number 1 pick. Having LT meant that if the rest of your draft wasn't too bad you were almost guaranteed a spot in your playoff bracket.
Things have changed since then.
LT is coming off a year where he was injured for most of the year and will be 30 when the season starts, which has typically been the age when production begins to decline for running backs. I'm not saying LT is washed up, just that he might not be the clear cut #1 he has been in the past. This year the Chargers also gave a huge contract to Darren Sproles to keep him in San Diego so this could translate into fewer carries for LT. (Which is ridiculous given that LT is more than capable of being the featured back.) If the trend continues then this opens the door for the new class of running backs in this year's draft. So who is the clear cut number one pick this year?
"All Day" has been regarded as the heir to LT's Automatic 1st pick Throne since he exploded during his rookie season a few years ago. He is fast, powerful, and agile - the running back trifecta. Peterson can run around defenders or run through them. He will find the end zone one way or another. The down side to AP is that he has been prone to injuries through out his career and has ol' Chester Taylor waiting behind him on the depth chart to steal those goal line carries every now and then. Touchdown vultures like Taylor don't help the value of backs like Peterson. A 16 point day (100 yards, 1 TD) is pretty good but 22 (100 yards, 2TDs) is better. Peterson didnt do his fantasy owners many favors in the playoff weeks last year by putting up a couple of single digit performances during the most important part of the fantasy season.
The "Burner" had a break out year last year in Atlanta after spending the past few seasons in San Diego as LT's back up. Apparently he was paying attention while he was on the sidelines. I didnt think much of him as a fantasy threat last year and ended up paying for it (Im taking you down this year Foster!). I guess you could say I got Burned? Ok, bad pun and you can hate it if you want. Turner proved his worth in a Falcons offense that was headed into the season with a rookie QB Matt Ryan and a wide out who most thought had breakout potential in Roddy White. This year with a more mature and comfortable Ryan under center and the addition of Tony Gonzalez at tight end the passing game should be opened up a little more for Turner to run wild again this year.
Coming off a huge senior season at Tulane (2,000 + yards and 20+ TDs) this rookie wanted to show everyone he was bringing his A game to the NFL. Forte did not disappoint Bears fans (That was Rex Grossman's job and he was not going to let some rookie take it away from him) or fantasy football owners who took a chance and drafted him. The Bears weren't exactly loaded on offense but Forte broke out anyway. Forte rushed for 1200 yards and had 8 rushing TDs and added 400 yards receving along with 4 more receiving TDs. With the Bears offense gaining Jay Cutler in the offseason and Devin Hester being more comfortable at wide out could provide Forte to pick up where he left on last year.
Who said you HAD to pick a running back? Over the past few years Drew Brees has led a Saints passing attack that has become feared by secondaries all over the league. You know he is going to throw the ball, but no one can seem to stop it. And if you want a guy that gets a lot of reps and touches why not the only guy on the field that is gauranteed to touch the ball every offensive play? Brees has a beast in Marques Colston (who was hurt for a lot of last season) out at wide out and Reggie Bush catching passes out of the backfield. Lance Moore really came on toward the end of the season and proved he can be another reliable target for Brees. Ok, sure, Drew will throw a interception from time to time (Farve did it, why can't he?) but he will throw for over 300, sometimes even over, 400 yards a game and a couple of TDs. Most standard fantasy leagues award 1 point per every 25 yards and 4 points per passing TD. I'll leave the math up to you. The Saints passing attack has never been the weak point in their passing attack (unless you remember Aaron Brooks - that guy was terrible) and Brees looks poised to have another great season.
So, who is going to be your first pick? Take a second to vote on this week's poll. May you choose wisely if you are lucky enough to grab that piece of paper from that hat with the #1 pick on it. The first pick is easy, it's the rest of your picks that you have to worry about.