I was thrilled to be included in the 2012 Rant Sports writers Fantasy Football draft. I had the #5 overall pick in this snake-style draft. I wanted a team that had sure-fire NFL studs, and a few guys who I think could take big strides forward in 2012. Guys that would start on the bench for me, but if I am right about them taking off in 2012 they will become very valuable. Let’s take a look…
Here is a blurb on each pick (in order I selected them) then an overall view at the bottom:
Round 1 – Tom Brady – Really easy to take Tom Terrific #5 overall. Aaron Rodgers went #1, then a string of RB’s. If Rodgers and Brady were both gone I was set to take Ryan Mathews. But Tom was available and he leads a Brady Bunch that piles up offense week in, week out. Elite player for the New England Patriots
2 – Adrian Peterson – Nervous pick here. Classic Risk (AP returns from injury, plus recent run-in with the law) vs Reward (both of those issues look like they can be taken care of. If so, All Day is a big-time performer for the Minnesota Vikings)
3 – Fred Jackson – Only a season ending injury could slow Jackson’s 2011. Weeks 1 through 11 he was an absolute beast. Tons of big plays on the ground, and through the air. I certainly anticipate that Jackson’s return will be big, and he will get a ton or work for the Buffalo Bills
4 – Reggie Bush – I had him targeted as the guy I wanted for the Flex position (extra WR or RB). The Miami Dolphins are set to run a new west-coast offense in 2012. Reggie will be getting a lot of carries, and a lot of passes to him too. In his initial season with the Dolphins things started slow, but blew up in the middle and finished extremely strong.
5 – Marques Colston – I was in need of a guy I could consider a reliable WR. Colston is good for 1,110 yards, and 8 TD’s annually. With Drew Bress those #’s could be even better in 2012. No team has had as much off-season drama as the New Orleans Saints and I feel that Brees will rely on a guy he can trust like Colston.
6 – DeSean Jackson – If the Philadelphia Eagles are going to bounce back from a poor 2011 (especially Jackson) then he is a guy that will get a ton of balls thrown his way. I feel Jackson will get back to being an elite deep threat, and be a guy with 1,000+ yards and double-digit touchdowns. Bounce-back season is coming for this young man.
7 – Denarius Moore – One of my favorite picks. If this was a Keeper league I would have drafted Moore earlier. This guy has tools. This guy has skills. This guy is going to explode in 2012 for the Oakland Raiders. His QB (Carson Palmer) has been a interception machine lately, but he is loving working with Moore. Palmer could use Denarius as a new BFF to turn around his recent woes.
8 – Tony Gonzalez – 36 years old, yes, but TG is dictionary definition of dependable. Plays every game, and is legit red-zone target/option. TE’s were getting snatched up so I took this round to be sure to snag a consistent one. The Atlanta Falcons passing game in 2012 is going to be wow, and I can see TG getting a lot of looks in the red-zone
9 – Chicago Bears Defense – To be honest the defenses I wanted were gone. I took a chance on a Bears defense that has honestly not been great for a while now. I will need this veteran group to rally and have a dominating season. Of the D’s that were left this one is full of veterans so I went with them. Non-division portion of their schedule includes terrible offenses like Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, and St Louis Rams. Nice!
10 – Stephen Gostkowski – Super tempted to take Sebastian Janikowski as my K, but went with Gostkowski as he is along for the ride with high-scoring Patriots. The Brady Bunch do not often “settle” for FG’s, but they give a ton of extra-point opportunities.
11 – Robert Griffin III – Same as with Denarius Moore pick in that if this was Keeper league RGIII is way higher on my list than 11th Round. High-upside insurance for Tom Brady. I believe Cam Newton is the future of the NFL, but RGIII may work his way into that elite category one day soon.
12 – Justin Blackmon – I did not necessarily agree with the Jags working hard to draft Blackmon #5 overall, but for me to land him in the 12th Round reeks of “value”. JB will start on my bench, but he has potential. He is going to produce in the NFL at some point, if that starts as soon as 2012 then I will benefit greatly.
13 – Seattle Seahawks Defense – This was an attempt at a depth pick with what defenses were left. This defense could get starts for me (over Chicago’s D) in their division games vs the Rams, and perhaps also the Arizona Cardinals.
14 – Davone Bess – To get a starting WR this late could be the sort of thing that adds depth to my team. In the west-coast offense Bess should get his share of catches. 2 of the last 3 seasons Bess has been targeted well over 100 times. New regime. New offense. I would still say it is likely that Bess will get a lot of plays called for him (especially with the departure of Brandon Marshall)
15 – Joseph Addai – Could end up starting for the Pats. He will get a lot of snaps playing in that high powered offense. Depth pick. The Pats have done a lot with RB’s in the past, and arguably none of them have the talent that Addai has. Could be interesting. In the 15th round, why not?
16 – Marcedes Lewis – Last pick, but landed a player that could well see a lot of action for my fantasy team. This TE had issues in 2011, but I believe he will get back to his 2010 self. Gonzalez is steady, but if Lewis gets back to his potential he is one of my favorite TE’s the the NFL.
QB – Tom Brady, Robert Griffin III
RB – Adrian Peterson, Fred Jackson, Reggie Bush, Joseph Addai
WR – Marques Colston, DeSean Jackson, Denarius Moore, Justin Blackmon, Davone Bess
TE – Tony Gonzalez, Marcedes Lewis
K – Stephen Gostkowski
Defense – Chicago Bears, Seattle Seahawks
This is surely the time of the year where all of us fantasy owners feel good about their rosters. I am no exception. I see potential throughout my team, and I am very excited to get the 2012 NFL season rolling.
Follow me on twitter @craigballard77