Fantasy Football Drafts – Round 1

23 07 2008

With training camps opening this week, it’s about that time to start thinking about your fantasy football drafts.  I’m going to focus on round one in particular and will share with you my thoughts on who I feel should be the top 12 picks. 
 

  1. Ladainian Tomlinson – Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson is the most consistent all around running back in the league.  It was a very difficult choice between him and Adrian Peterson, but Tomlinson and his overall track record won out.  He’s topped 1,500 total yards in each of his seven season in the NFL and has never suffered a serious injury.  Tomlinson has topped 18 touchdowns in each of the last four seasons, occasionally tossing one or two a year!  Peterson may be the sexy pick…but Tomlinson’s the best. 
  2.  

  3. Adrian Peterson – A timeshare with Chester Taylor and injury concerns scared many off from drafting AP in the first several rounds of drafts in 2007.  That won’t happen again in 2008.  Peterson quickly established himself as the premier player in the Vikings backfield and has worked countless hours this off-season to improve his receiving skills.  This means even more touches for Peterson, who has the talent to rush for over 2000 yards.  The Vikings line, in my opinion, is hands down the best in the NFL and if the Vikes can develop any type of passing game to keep opposing teams from playing eight in the box, Peterson could emerge as the league MVP.
  4. Tom Brady – I’m not a big fan of drafting QB’s early in fantasy leagues.  The one time I did, Kurt Warner had his worst season as a professional and I ended up at the bottom of my league.  That being said…you can’t look past a record setting 50 touchdowns for Brady last year.  Originally, I had Brady ranked 5th but due to recent events I’ve decided to move him up to three hole.  Steven Jackson is currently holding out.  Brian Westbrook is unhappy with his contract and his best run blocking offensive lineman, Shawn Andrews, is mysteriously absent from Eagles camp.  If Randy Moss stays healthy, Brady should once again have a very productive season.  Don’t expect another 50 td’s, but 40 wouldn’t be an unreasonable expectation. 
  5.  

  6. Steven Jackson – Currently a holdout, Rams RB Steven Jackson played in only 12 games last season due to a groin injury. He did, however, finish strong with 6 touchdowns over his last 9 games and managed 1002 yards for the season (his third consecutive year over 1000 yards).  The Rams offensive line is in shambles and injury history has to be a concern.  It is a contract year though and with the proper motivation, Jackson could be in for a monster season.
  7.  

  8. Brian Westbrook – Westbrook’s yards per carry have declined over the last three seasons.  That would be a concern if the decline weren’t from 5.1 to 4.8 to 4.7, all ridiculous numbers for a full time back.  Fact of the matter, Westbrook’s a stud and despite his diminutive stature he’s managed to stay relatively healthy in his NFL career.  Westbrook missed only one game in 07′ and had 1,333 yards on 278 carries adding 90 catches for 771 yards.
  9.  

  10. Randy Moss– After looking like his career might be on the downside while in Oakland, Moss went on to set the NFL single-season record for touchdowns with 23 in his first year with the New England Patriots.  He also had 1,493 yards on 98 catches.  Moss turns 31 this year and a subpar postseason is cause for concern, but with most of the other top running backs sharing carries to at least some degree, this is the spot for Moss to go.
  11.  

  12. Frank Gore – A broken hand and an aging offensive line turned Gore into somewhat of a bust in the 2007 season.  With Mike Martz in toe as the 49ers offensive coordinator expect Gore to assume a role similar to Marshall Faulk’s in St. Louis.  Don’t let Martz history with the Lions RB’s scare you off, none of them had Gore’s incredible pass catching abilities.  DeShaun Foster may steal some carries, but Gore is too talented to keep off the field and will receive the lion’s share of the carries. 
  13.  

  14. Marion Barber – There’s no doubting the abilities of Marion Barber, but one still must wonder how the Cowboys plan on using this human battering ram.  After being re-signed to a huge contract, you’d expect Barber to become a featured back, yet I wouldn’t be surprised to see Felix Jones take over a similar role to that of Julius Jones in the past several seasons.  Barber has never topped 1000 yards and if he’s sharing time with Felix, he may fall short once again.  There is, however, no doubting his nose for the end zone and that alone makes him worthy of the eighth overall selection in your draft.
  15.  

  16. Larry Johnson – Last year the Chiefs line sucked.  The addition of rookie Branden Albert should help dramatically and if the Chiefs can find any semblence of a passing game, Johnson should return to elite RB form.
  17.  

  18.  Marshawn Lynch – So long as he doesn’t run anybody else over before the season starts, Lynch should improve on a stellar rookie season.  The Bills have a young and physical offensive line built for the running game and Lynch should benefit from their maturation.
  19.  

  20.  Joseph Addai – Addai probably deserves to be higher, but with questions surrounding Manning’s health and the return of Dominic Rhodes, my top ten just seem a lot safer.
  21.  

  22.  Jamal Lewis – I know this seems a bit early, but Lewis is the only guy left with a surefire full time gig and is coming off a monster 2007 season.  Moreover, he’s racking up stats behind a beast of an offensive line and poaches an awful lot of short TD’s following quick hits from a potent passing attack.
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2 responses

29 07 2008
Andre

You dropped Addai a little too far, but other than that the list is pretty acurate. I agree that the addition of Branden Albert should really help Larry Johnson, but I’m hearing that Kolby Smith might be stealing some carries.

19 08 2008
Michael Gill

If I get Addai with the 11 pick, I am PUMPED…Never happening.

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