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2010 NFL Draft Class, Best Fantasy Football Group – Ever

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Top 10 Fantasy Football Players of the 2010 NFL Draft

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Longtime Fantasy Football gurus, managers, and participants lend me your ears - I’m going on record. Give me my selection of any and all draftees of the 2010 NFL draft class, and I will beat your team. I don’t care what scoring format we have, what kind of draft you participate in or what playoff system is used. And try throwing all the fantasy football acronyms you want at me like PPR, IDP, ADP, IR, Flex, RBBC, OCD or even ADD – I will still win.

Now, let me explain. This is not arrogance, but instead a testament to the fantasy football power that came from that draft. Generally when debating the greatest NFL drafts of all time, the two quickest classes thrown on the table are 1983 and 2012. Rightfully so, they introduced us to John Elway, Jim Kelly, Dan Marino, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson.

And you will not get an argument from me about the storied and historical significance of these two great classes based on their impact for generations (and potential impacts) on the NFL. What I will argue is, there has never been a draft that welcomed more fantasy football talent in a single year than that of the 2010 draft.

Let me throw out some names – Jermaine Gresham, Danario Alexander, Jahvid Best, Golden Tate, Emmanuel Sanders, Brandon LaFell, of course, Tim Tebow and first overall pick Sam Bradford. Gresham is a Pro Bowl TE, Tebow when starting for the Denver Broncos was starting for most fantasy football teams and Bradford is primed for a breakout year with the St. Louis Rams in 2013.

Tate has shown flashes since the Seattle Seahawks fixed their QB situation, Sanders became a viable WR2 in most fantasy leagues after the departure of Mike Wallace from the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Alexander was a huge impact player for the San Diego Chargers a year ago.

The fantasy football relevance of these individuals cannot be disputed. Each player has produced at his respective position at some point since introduction in to the league, yet that production was not at a level that earned them a spot on the Top 10 of 2010 list.

These are the names that make up the ten best players of the NFL’s greatest fantasy football draft class of all time. Note this list has no QBs, three TEs and two sets of teammates.

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Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers

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Steelers WR Antonio Brown was limited due to the injury bug in 2012, however he was an impact player when in the Pittsburgh lineup. When completing an entire season Brown netted just under 1100 yards, that while sharing grabs with then Steeler primary WR Mike Wallace. Brown should pad his legacy in “Steel Curtain Country” with the exit of Wallace in 2013.

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Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers

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Chargers RB Ryan Matthews was considered by most a bust last season due to a significant drop in statistics. He found himself battling injuries during the season plus a residency in the San Diego doghouse led to the drop in production. Enter run oriented new head coach Mike McCoy and load balancing Danny Woodhead and Mathews should return to form as a quality fantasy RB.

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Aaron Hernandez, New England Patriots

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New England Patriots' Aaron Hernandez has yet to participate in a full season in the NFL due to injury, however when he is in the Pats passing game he is a fantasy football superstar. With the loss of Wes Welker and Woodhead in New England compounded by the “Gronk” injury saga Hernandez could be a huge fantasy TE if he can stay healthy in 2013.

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C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills

Timothy J. Ludwig

Buffalo Bills RB C.J. Spiller really had his coming out party in 2012. Splitting time equally most of the season with Fred Jackson, Spiller exploded for 1700 combined yards, 43 receptions and eight scores. His score total could have been higher had Buffalo used him more inside the five yard line. If Spiller continues to build on his annual progress, he could be a top five fantasy back in 2013.

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Eric Decker, Denver Broncos

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If you have Broncos WR Eric Decker on your fantasy football teams, you have a touchdown magnet. Last year Decker finished just shy of the 1100 mark in receiving yards and caught 85 balls from QB Peyton Manning making him a solid fantasy starter. Throw in Decker’s 13 touchdowns and you have a fantasy football machine.

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Victor Cruz, New York Giants

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz actually went undrafted and was signed by the Giants post draft in 2010. Most of us fantasy football geeks that watch every game thinking we will gain some advantage had that persistence pay off when we watched “Cruuuuuz” in his preseason effort versus the New York Jets in 2010. He would grab three TDs in that game, and as they say the rest was history.

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Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos

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Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas paid his dues a season ago to the elite WR club. Plagued by injury in his first two seasons, Thomas exploded in 2012 with 94 grabs just under 1500 receiving yards and double digit TDs with 10. There are plenty of weapons in the Mile High Country for Manning to choose from, but don’t kid yourself – DT is the man.

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Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys

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Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant also had his coming out party in 2012. The stat line, 92 receptions-1382 receiving yards-12 TD doesn’t completely tell the Bryant story. He did most his damage in 2012 as the Cowboys made their unfulfilled playoff run including half of his TD grabs in the month of December alone. If that is a glimpse of things to come for the former Oklahoma State WR, you could make a case to put Dez in the top three of all NFL WRs in 2013.

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Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints

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New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham was listed as a “deep sleeper” in pre-2011 fantasy football analysis. What happened in 2011 for Graham rocketed past even the most optimistic of projections. Graham had an NFL record setting season – even if only for a few hours. In the last two seasons, Graham has caught 184 balls including 2282 receiving yards and 20 TDs. Those my friends, are WR1 type statistics.

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Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots

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The stats Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski has collected make him a more realistic Madden 25 player than an NFL TE. Gronk broke Graham’s record for TE receiving yards (1,327) and established his own for TDs (17). Let me say that one more time for impact, he caught 17 TDs in a single season.

Gronk missed five games last season, yet still caught 11 TDs for New England. Injury has recently become an issue for the Patriot TE, however if he is able to return to form in the NFL, this guy will rewrite the books on Fantasy Football Beast Mode.

Jim Heath is a Fantasy Football writer for Follow him on Twitter @jim_heath, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google