Fantasy football elevates the fan into a new sense of bliss within the football universe, a new level of football consciousness where one is riding as high as Victor Cruz, or cringing and falling to the ground as Fred Jackson breaks his leg. Not only are fans engulfed with match-ups and updates, but it brings a strategic game of knowledge against other fanatics to the fore front. The desire and instinct to dominate and prove one’s worth against other individuals is the only thing you need to succeed. All week you are fueled with anticipation of enjoying the gratification that every play, blown call, turnover and injury all impacts you, the fan. In fantasy football anything can happen. Sundays become your victory; the week, your journey.
The suspense built all summer through the offseason is finally broken for fantasy owners on the day of the draft. My first pick for the 2012 fantasy football season is LeSean McCoy. At 24 years old, he’s an incredibly exciting player to watch in the rushing and passing game. He is being lined up at wide receiver at times so fantasy owners know the Eagles are trying to get him the ball any way possible. Fantasy owners have to love the added motivation of dynasty talks early in the preseason as well.
Ray Rice is a force for the Ravens, and without him the team would have a very difficult time moving the ball. He’s on the upswing of a career with zero injury history and has become one of the safest top picks in drafts. He is the best receiving running back and is a beast for yardage. If Rice is able to break off more plays for touchdowns he could easily improve on some already incredible numbers. Fantasy owners will enjoy consistent production from his yardage totals, and the touchdowns will build into dominating weeks.
The Texans offense is going to try to run teams into the ground. There are a lot of question marks plaguing this team, which is why Arian Foster has fallen to the third choice in fantasy. A gut instinct tells me that Foster will be nurtured and groomed into a premium combination with Ben Tate. If the team believes that Tate can become a star, Foster could get some rest while Tate is running well. There is always hesitation fantasy wise with any type of doubts or questions with backs. Foster falls to three because the top two have zero question marks with little competition for touches.
A healthy Darren McFadden could light up the scoreboard for fantasy owners. He’s averaged over five yards a carry over the past two years. No one else accomplished that on this list last season, and only McCoy did it the season before. McFadden has the potential to outperform anybody with a full season of games. It is tough to look past his injury history, but a wise fantasy owner who handcuffs him with his backup will be smart to take the risk.
Rounding out my top five choices is the man who can single-handedly carry your fantasy team from the wide receiver position. Calvin Johnson outperforms every other player at the position and dominated defenses last year. He makes plays and that’s all fantasy owners want. He has a great quarterback and isn’t showing signs of slowing down. Fantasy shouldn’t underrate the game’s best wide receiver and let him slip past pick five.
In a sleeper this year, I looked for a young running back who could handle a large workload. A great preseason has solidified Stevan Ridley’s role as the Patriots feature back. He showed promise running between the tackles last year until ball security troubles got him benched. If he is able to maintain a grip on the football he provides instant value as a number two running back with a chance to hit double digit scores.
Quarterbacks have been a high commodity this year in drafts, but last year was a down year for various quarterbacks who underachieved while fighting through injuries and mental setbacks. These top-five players are valuable assets to fantasy owners because of their rarity at each of their positions. Fantasy owners dig all season to find treasure off the waiver wire, but these players provide instant satisfaction to owners watching each Sunday. The points McCoy, Rice, Foster, McFadden and Johnson score anchor a fantasy lineup all season and provide the desired bragging rights to fantasy owners.
Follow DaNamelessPimp on Twitter @danamelesspimp A young writer from Southern California who has played fantasy sports for half of my life. Fantasy sports is a new realm for fans and I hope to bring that out in my articles.
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