Ladies and gentlemen, my favorite month of the year is August. My birthday is in August (8/16), my mom’s birthday is in August (8/15), and NFL preseason begins when?....in August. With training camps being active, preseason games each week, and constant roster changes for teams, this means fantasy football season is upon us. For diehard fans such as myself, this means mock drafting, trading sleepers with other mock drafters (although everyone knows about everyone now), and discussing roster constructions. With ESPN and Yahoo's new fantasy apps, you are able to now mock and live draft through your phone. Thank you Lord.
When it comes to my roster, I am generally a believer in waiting on QB, and loading up on roster depth. I'm old school. However, there is something to be said for getting a guy in the right round...also known as VBD (Value Based Drafting). For example, if I’m in a 12 team league and I’m able to draft Tom Brady in the 5th round, which is where he’s going in most mock drafts, I’m taking him.
In a new series, I will break down my top 10 players at the core positions (QB, RB, WR, TE) based on standard scoring, 12 team formats. In the first of four installments this month, we will start with Quarterbacks.
- Drew Brees (Saints): Sean Payton’s back. Jimmy Graham’s 100%. And in the last two years, Brees has thrown for 10,653 yards. Granted, he’s also thrown 33 INT’s, but when he is also giving you 89 TD’s, some things you just have to let slide.
- Aaron Rodgers (Packers): Would have been the #1 QB, but with a banged up Jordy Nelson and subpar offensive line, I had to be super nitpicky. Rodgers is still a stud.
- Peyton Manning (Broncos): I’m torn on Peyton. One on hand, this Broncos team (Thomas, Decker, Ball, and Welker) represents the most offensive weapons Peyton’s had since the 2004 Colts. On the other hand, his offensive line is in shambles. All-Pro LT Ryan Clady has a shoulder injury, starting C Dan Koppen has an ACL tear, and Peyton is coming off multiple neck surgeries. In the end, you have to trust Peyton to be Peyton. If last season taught us anything regarding Peyton, it’s that you never bet against his talent. Third best QB, easily.
- Tom Brady (Patriots): For all of the talk about the Patriots not having weapons (Hernandez, Lloyd, and possibly Gronk), people forget that Tom Brady is still motherfreaking Tom Brady. You, Me, and three drunks in a bar could spend a month with Brady, be up to speed on the offense, and he’d still have 4,800 yards and 35 TD’s. Don’t believe the hype.
- Cam Newton (Panthers): I live in Charlotte. I know, once again, he’s going to go a few rounds too early, just based on hometown hype. While he does have infinite upset, he’s just not consistent on a weekly basis to be in the upper tier, which once again is nitpicky. He’s not an accurate passer, and has a propensity to through the ball away in the red zone, which is a big no-no. Having said that, if you’re able to get Cam Newton in the 5th round of your league, you’re probably going to win your league.
- Matt Ryan (Falcons): It was really close between Kaepernick and Ryan, and the tie breaker was simply this: Matt Ryan has Roddy White, Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez and Steven Jackson to throw the ball to…while playing eight games a year in a dome...and facing the horrific Saints and Panthers secondary’s twice a year. Case Closed.
- Colin Kaepernick (49ers): a smaller version of Cam Newton in terms of skill set, but much more accurate a passer. Is ranked this low because Crabtree is out. I like the potential of Vernon Davis but real fantasy owners know that he hasn’t performed up to his playoff status the last two years. I am on the Davis bandwagon this year as Kaep’s #1 threat, and I also think SF has the best offensive line in football. Having said that, someone will reach for him a few rounds too early based on the ESPN Body Issue or him being in the Super Bowl…and this is when you are able to draft this next guy.....
- Russell Wilson (Seahawks): Russell Wilson’s rookie year is a tale of two halves. The first half consists of him having training wheels on while learning the offense on a run heavy team. The 2nd half consists of him having full offensive control, and destroying defensive schemes down the stretch. Which half do you believe? I believe the 2nd half. The half that showed him destroy Chicago, Buffalo, SF, and carry it into the playoffs against Atlanta, on the road.
- Matthew Stafford (Lions): They throw a million times a game and he has Megatron. And Reggie Bush. 8 games a year in a dome. Look for the TD’s to increase to at least 30, minimum, while the 5,000 yards are intact. It’s fluky for him to only have 20 TD’s while putting up close to 5,000 yards. Megatron is not getting stopped at the one yard line, 4 times, like last year. Trust.
- Tony Romo: If Romo could just stop doing Romo shit, he’d be up there with Matt Ryan. Instead he’s a guy who has a great stat line come December, but on a week to week basis, he’s never winning you a week….. and will single handedly kill you two weeks out of the year from him doing Romo shit. But I do think the hate has gone too far on Romo. For where he is being drafted in mock drafts (late 7th, early 8th round), he is a great value. With the right roster depth, you could easily win your league with Tony Romo has your QB. However, if we find out between now and the start of the season that RG3 is playing week 1 and is fully healthy, Romo is being bumped from this list.On Friday: Running Back Rankings.