Monday, August 30, 2010

2010 Place Kicker Draft Rankings

A good kicker can mean the difference between a win and a lose. Obviously, you will want to find the kicker that kicks the most field goals. But the difference between a great kicker last year and a average kicker isn't that great.

Last year, Nate Kaeding had the most Fantasy Football points with 146 while the average for a decent kicker was 120 points (this is relative because different league score FGs differently).

Your going to find that you can get a place kicker with a good matchup on most weeks. Good matchups for a kicker are matchups against either very week defenses or against strong team defenses that hold teams from scoring TDs.

In any event, you should never select a kicker before the 15th or 16th round of a typical 18 round fantasy football draft.

Dynamic offenses like NO are likely to move the ball down the field often. Even when they don't score a touchdown, they are often in the position for an easy field goal.

Of course, accuracy counts for a great deal. That's why I have Mason Crosby so far down the list. Great offense, but he missed 9 FGs last year or about a 75% accuracy.

Every year, there is a team that will have the capability of moving the football but also seem to fizzle out near the goal line. I have Robbie Gould ranked that high for this very reason. I think Chicago will be able to move the ball, but Matt Forte and Jay Cutler will struggle to convert the TDs in games this year.

Rank Kicker Team Bye
1 Garrett Hartley NO 10
2 David Akers PHI 8
3 Stephen Gostkowski NE 5
4 Nate Kaeding SD 10
5 Jay Feely ARI 6
6 Robbie Gould CHI 8
7 Mason Crosby GB 10
8 Rob Bironas TEN 9
9 Ryan Longwell MIN 4
10 Dan Carpenter MIA 5
11 Matt Prater DEN 9
12 Lawrence Tynes NYG 8
13 David Buehler DAL 4
14 Jeff Reed PIT 5
15 Matt Bryant ATL 8

2010 Team Defense Draft Rankings

When it comes right down to it, I see many people drafting a Team defense way to early on in a lot of fantasy football drafts. Any time you see the Jets Defense go off the board before the 12th round, what you should be saying is "Yeah, more decent WR and RB picks for me.

The truth of the matter is, I've found that any time that I pick a defense in the middle rounds thinking that I got one of the best, it almost always backfires on me.

You go into the season only thinking about how good the defense is. Unfortunately, the defense can fall apart with injuries or your opponent beats you heads up with a defense he just picked up that has a good matchup.

If you ride one defense for the entire year during your fantasy season, the best that you will do is on average about 2 to 3 points per week better than the 10th - 12th best defense. This means that you are not gaining a lot of advantage, except maybe the one or two games that you can steal against your opponent with a huge game from the defense.

Case in point - in two of my three drafts I picked a defense at the end of the draft. I then found out that Chicago's Defense is playing at home against the Detroit Lions. Chicago has done well at home against the Lions and usually gets up by a couple of TDs early. This leads to more chances at sacks, fumbles and interceptions. Also, Chicago is a threat to score on the special teams as well. I then dropped my drafted defense and picked up the Bears.

Rank Defense Team Bye
New York Jets NYJ 7
2 Philadelphia Eagles PHI 8
3 Green Bay Packers GB 10
4 Minnesota Vikings MIN 4
5 New Orleans Saints NO 10
6 Pittsburgh Steelers PIT 5
7 San Francisco 49ers SF 9
8 New York Giants NYG 8
9 Cincinnati Bengals CIN 6
10 Baltimore Ravens BAL 8
11 Dallas Cowboys DAL 4
12 Oakland Raiders OAK 10
13 Chicago Bears CHI 8
14 Miami Dolphins MIA 5
15 Washington Redskins WAS 9

2010 Tight End Draft Rankings

Tight End is usually the one pick that is easiest to determine when you need to draft. Don't ever waste a pick in the first 4 rounds on one, even Antonio Gates or Dallas Clark.

I would expect that one or both of these Tight ends will be snatched up in the early to mid 5th round. This is the ideal time to get one of the elite Tight ends, if you are inclined to do so.

What you must avoid is missing out on the elite TEs and trying to compensate by drafting the best available TE left. If you are starring down the barrel of having to pick up Chris Cooley or worse, you might as well wait until the 9th or 10th round to get your first tight end.

If you don't get an elite Tight End in your draft, make sure that you have an adequate backup. Kellen Winslow and Tony Gonzalez should still be available later on in case you are in a pinch.

Rank Tight End Team Bye
1 Antonio Gates SD 10
2 Dallas Clark IND 7
3 Jermichael Findley GB 10
4 Vernon Davis SF 9
5 Jason Witten DAL 4
6 Brent Celek PHI 8
7 Visanthe Shiancoe MIN 4
8 Chris Cooley WAS 9
9 Owen Daniels HOU 7
10 Kellen Winslow TB 4
11 Tony Gonzalez ATL 8
12 Dustin Keller NYJ 7
13 John Carlson SEA 5
14 Heath Miller PIT 5
15 Zach Miller OAK 10

2010 Wide Receiver Draft Rankings

Every year its a crapshoot with the Wide Receivers. Outside of the top 12 Wideouts on this list, I can't guarantee that any one player is going to do well.

Within the first 5 rounds, you really should get at least one of these 12 WRs. After that, I suspect that these 12 players will be gone.

After that, the key is to hedge your bets by getting a lot of wide receivers during the middle of your draft. Players like Hines Ward and Terrell Owens have routinely slipped past the first 8 rounds and become a great bargin.

Basically, if you don't see a Running back that is higher on your board and you don't need or can't get a highly rated QB or TE, you should select the best Wide Receiver you can find. Odds are that a couple of them will pan out for 7+ points a game.

Rank Wide Receiver Team Bye
1 Andre Johnson HOU 7
2 Randy Moss NE 5
3 Reggie Wayne IND 7
4 Miles Austin DAL 4
5 Roddy White ATL 8
6 DeSean Jackson PHI 8
7 Calvin Johnson DET 7
8 Larry Fitzgerald ARI 6
9 Brandon Marshall MIA 5
10 Marques Colston NO 10
11 Greg Jennings GB 10
12 Anquan Boldin BAL 8
13 Wes Welker NE 5
14 Steve Smith NYG 8
15 Chad OchoCinco CIN 6
16 Mike Sims-Walker JAC 9
17 Michael Crabtree SF 9
18 Steve Smith CAR 6
19 Donald Driver GB 10
20 Dwayne Bowe KC 4
21 Robert Meachem NO 10
22 Pierre Garcon IND 7
23 Johnny Knox CHI 8
24 Eddie Royal DEN 9
25 Hines Ward DEN 9
26 Braylon Edwards NYJ 7
27 Santonio Holmes NYJ 7
28 Hakeem Nicks NYG 8
29 Kenny Britt TEN 9
30 Lee Evans BUF 6
31 Percy Harvin MIN 4
32 Mike Williams TB 4
33 Santana Moss WAS 9
34 Mohamed Massaquoi CLE 8
35 Malcolm Floyd SD 10
36 Jeremy Maclin PHI 8
37 Laurent Robinson STL 9
38 Kevin Walter HOU 7
39 Louis Murphy OAK 10
40 Mike Wallace PIT 5
41 Austin Collie IND 7
42 Dez Bryant DAL 4
43 Derrick Mason BAL 8
44 Terrell Owens CIN 6
45 Devery Henderson NO 10
46 Jabar Gaffney DEN 9
47 Bernard Berrian MIN 4
48 Vincent Jackson SD 10
49 Roy Williams DAL 4
50 Early Doucet ARI 6

2010 Quarterback Draft Rankings

Every year there seems to be some debate about the overall importance of the Quarterback. I have said in the past that you should always select a Running Back in the 1st round of your draft. More and more I see this being not always the case when you have a late first round draft pick.

I have Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees both being viable late first round picks. This is especially true if you are able to snag a great RB like either Steven Jackson or DeAngelo Williams in the early 2nd round.

After that, I would shy away from picking another QB in the first 2 rounds. Your best bet is to try to wait for the 4th round and see if one of the following three QBs are still available: Matt Schaub, Tony Romo or Phillip Rivers.

That being said, you are not going to want to left without one of the top 7 QBs in my rankings above unless you can load up with quality RBs or WRs.

If you get stuck without one of these quarterbacks, I would suggest taking Kevin Kolb and either Carson Palmer or Joe Flacco. The odds of one of these three having a great year is pretty high.

For those people who are still on the Brett Favre train, I wouldn't count on it. The first thing I would like to point out is the short term concerns with the Vikings WRs. Sidney Rice is out at least six weeks and Percy Harvin has been back and forth with his migranes. Add this to the fact that Farve has already been having problems with his ankle and I think he will take a major step back this year.

A couple of quality backup QBs that I see for your fantasy team this year are Donovan McNabb in Washington and Matt Stafford in Detroit.

Rank Quarterback Team Bye
1 Aaron Rodgers GB 10
2 Drew Brees NO 10
3 Peyton Manning IND 7
4 Tom Brady NE 5
5 Matt Schaub HOU 7
6 Tony Romo DAL 4
7 Phillip Rivers SD 10
8 Eli Manning NYG 8
9 Kevin Kolb PHI 8
10 Carson Palmer CIN 5
11 Joe Flacco BAL 8
12 Matt Ryan ATL 8
13 Jay Cutler CHI 8
14 Brett Favre MIN 4
15 Mark Sanchez NYJ 7
16 Donovan McNabb WAS 9
17 Kyle Orton DEN 9
18 Chad Henne MIA 5
19 Vince Young TEN 9
20 Matthew Stafford DET 7

2010 Running Back Draft Rankings

Running back is almost always going to be your most important positions to fill in the draft. My quick rule of thumb for any year is that you should always draft 2 running backs in the first 3 rounds of your fantasy football draft.

The lone exception to this rule is when you get stuck with one of the last first round picks. If you do not have the chance to get one of the top 7 runningbacks on this list, you should really think about drafting one (or possibly two) of these four players: Drew Brees, Andre Johnson, Aaron Rodgers or Randy Moss.

If these players are all gone in the second round, look at getting one of the next five RBs on the draft board.

When it comes to drafting your 3rd running back, don't wait too long. You are always going to need a solid 3rd RB in case one of your top 2 go down. Joseph Addai is a solid RB that has fallen into the 5th or 6th round in a couple of drafts that I have been in. Also, it wouldn't be a bad idea to test the waters with one of the rookie RBs like Jahvid Best or CJ Spiller.

Arian Foster is one of the Fantasy running backs that has been on the rise in most leagues I've seen. I have to say that I am not convinced from what little I have seen of him. He clearly has the number 1 spot because Steve Slaton is both hurt and can't hold onto the ball. Pass on him unless you can get him in the 6th round or later (doubtful).

The sleeper that I like for this year is Thomas Jones, who moved offseason to the Kansas City Chiefs. Hard to say that he's a sleeper though, because he rushed for 1400 yards last year. I think that Jamaal Charles was a flash in the pan last year. A lot of his scoring plays were screen passes that went the distance and he didn't fare much better than Larry Johnson last year when rushing.

A good rule of thumb is to always have four starting runningbacks. Its usually easy to snipe a RB lilke Jerome Harrison from Cleveland in the late rounds.

Also, you can hedge your bets by selecting one of the quality backups like Jonathan Stewart or Ricky Williams.

Rank Running Back Team Bye
1 Chris Johnson TEN 9
2 Adrian Peterson MIN 4
3 M. Jones-Drew JAC 9
4 Ray Rice BAL 8
5 Steven Jackson STL 9
6 Frank Gore SF 9
7 Michael Turner ATL 8
8 DeAngelo Williams CAR 6
9 Cedric Benson CIN 6
10 Rashard Mendenhall PIT 5
11 Ryan Grant GB 10
12 Ryan Matthews SD 10
13 Shonn Greene NYJ 7
14 LeSean McCoy PHI 8
15 Felix Jones DAL 4
16 Beanie Wells ARI 6
17 Ronnie Brown MIA 5
18 Thomas Jones KC 4
19 Joseph Addai IND 7
20 Jonathan Stewart CAR 6
21 Matt Forte CHI 8
22 Ahmad Bradshaw NYG 8
23 Jahvid Best DET 7
24 Arian Foster HOU 7
25 CJ Spiller BUF 6
26 Knowshon Moreno DEN 9
27 Justin Forsett SEA 5
28 Michael Bush OAK 10
29 Fred Jackson BUF 6
30 Pierre Thomas NO 10
31 Cadillac Williams TB 4
32 Clinton Portis WAS 9
33 Brandon Jacobs NYG 8
34 Marion Barber DAL 4
35 Reggie Bush NO 10
36 LaDanian Tomlinson NYJ 7
37 Jamaal Charles KC 4
38 Willis McGahee BAL 8
39 Donald Brown IND 7
40 Correll Buckhalter DEN 9
41 Chester Taylor CHI 8
42 Ricky Williams MIA 5
43 Laurence Maroney NE 5
44 Jerome Harrison CLE 8
45 Steve Slaton HOU 7
46 Albert Young MIN 4
47 Leon Washington SEA 5
48 Darren Sproles SD 10
49 Tim Hightower ARI 8
50 Kevin Smith DET 7