I guess the real question is what comes after the top 5, since the top 4 seem more or less unanimous. My team just lost in the championship game this week, which means they automatically get the #11 pick in next year's draft!.. ouch
It might depend on who the out of division opponents are for next year, but I would probably go Alexander, Tomlinson, Johnson w/ no Priest, James, and Barber. All of them should be high in total yardage and decent TD numbers. Without Jacobs in NY, Barber would rival James for 4th.
It will slightly stink to be outside the top 3, but there are very safe picks at 4 and 5 for those who are there if you ask me.
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The talk of anything other than LT being 1st overall is utter lunacy, MAYBE with the exception of SA being #1 (I always have a big strife when I comtemplate #1).
LJ has had one year, not even a full year, and his stellar o-line is getting old (we've already discussed Willie's retirement).
year in, year out, LT is the champ. he consistantly racks up yards both in rushing and receiving, and while his TDs are generally lighter than SA and LJ, he still is consistantly number 1. I'll take him on past dominance, or maybe SA on HIS past dominance (he's proven to be a top fantasy RB now for a few years).
I'm not saying LJ will flop... far, far from it. But what if, in his second full-time year, he flops? You waste a #1 overall pick? No way do I risk that much firs overall. Let us remember the poor souls who drafted Willis McGahee and Julius Jones (though I'm hoping he'll pick back up) high last year, based on half of a season's stats.
1/2 - LT, SA (interchangable)
3 - LJ
4 - Edge
5 - who knows? there were so many injuries and bad situations last year. I might even consider going for the (completely) forgotten Deuce McAllister, though I'd likely nab him later.
All I Know is that I want to be #3 overall next year. I'll leave the tough desision making up to others and take LT/LJ/SA, whoever falls to 3. Then I will get a better pick the next time around in the second round, with a first round player of just about the same caliber as 1.1 and 1.2.
The order of the first three depend on what happens with SA's contract, LT's QB, and LJ's back-up(Priest). Should be the top three in most leagues.
It's funny to look at all that has happened this year and realize how much of a fall off there seems to be after the top 3-5 RBs. A lot of questions out there.
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1. LT -- I still think this guy has the best chance at continuing excellence, as he is younger than the others (save LJ). The problem I noticed, as an LT owner, is that the Chargers do not use him fully anymore -- I wish they threw him the ball more, he can make some amazing plays out of the backfield (see Ty Law).
2. SA -- A lock for No. 2, especially if he stays in Seattle. Alexander, who gets used rarely in the passing game, still leads the league in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns to more than make up for that deficiency.
3. LJ -- A rising star. Became the No. 3 fantasy runningback, despite only playing half the season as a starter. In a keeper league, I think this guy could make a run at No. 1. But I have questions about him and his team: how long will his O-line continue to play this well (they are aging)? how long will Trent Green continue to be a decent quarterback, one to keep defenses at bay? how long will Dick Vermeil be the coach? Anybody else see the scenario of Dick retiring and the Chiefs hiring Mike Martz? That would kill LJ.
4. Edge -- the next best thing at runningback. Edge is a solid performer on a good team. Things should not change too much on this offense next year, save the loss of Reggie Wayne. I think this team is getting better each year, and Edge will have a number of productive years ahead of him.
5. Tiki Barber -- every year, I hear people saying "he won't do that again." but he keeps on amazing me. i know when next year rolls around, I will be saying the same thing. But I think whoever does take him will be taking a solid RB, someone very close in production to Edgerrin James, if not better than Edge this year. He's a good player. However, will Eli's continuing progression be a hindrance to Tiki next year? I don't want to see the Giants turn into a pass-happy offense, otherwise Tiki loses some value.
Others in the top-12: