Since I’m still a relative zygote in the online football community, I’ll keep mentioning as a disclaimer (and, of course, to lay the foundation for future excuse-making) that I don’t claim to be a fantasy expert in the traditional sense. But I’ve played a good bit, and it feeds the Sickness like nothing but the game itself. Over the years, numerous friends have used me as a Friday morning, last-ditch sounding board before setting their rosters. I doubt any of them made decisions based solely on what I said (which, again, would be foolishness), but all seemed to consider my thoughts. I enjoy the back and forth, and any chance to talk football is a chance I’m taking, bottom line. As a result, I’ve very humbly convinced myself that some of you out there would appreciate my occasional fantasy musings. Over time, you’ll see that my philosophy is probably a little simple, but it goes roughly like this: Get as many guys as you can who you can be pretty sure will score the most possible points on a weekly basis, and put those guys in the lineup each week (*key takeaway). Along those lines, a regular fantasy debate is which of a given team’s weapons you would most want on your roster. Obviously, the needs you develop as you draft your team dictate this to some degree, but I want as many of these guys on my roster as possible:
FANTASY SICKNESS: 2010 NFL LEAD DOGS
ARIZONA CARDINALS: Larry Fitzgerald. No brainer.
ATLANTA FALCONS: Roddy White, and it’s not close. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. “If you have the means, I highly recommend it.”
BALTIMORE RAVENS: Ray Rice is in my top 10 overall.
BUFFALO BILLS: Do I have to? Lee Evans edges CJ Spiller for fantasy points if not excitement.
CAROLINA PANTHERS: DeAngelo Williams. Smith is slowing, Stewart is a health question.
CHICAGO BEARS: Jay Cutler is the only one I’m sure of. And just barely. Watch out for Devin Aromashodu, though.
CINCINNATI BENGALS: Toss-up between Ocho and Ced Benson, neither of whom I really want in a top 2 roster spot at their position.
CLEVELAND BROWNS: Your guess is as good as mine. I have no idea what they’re really going to look like once they’re on the field. Deep in the backfield. I think it’s either Jerome Harrison or Montario Hardesty, and both could be useful. Think Thomas Jones/Leon Washington, only if Thomas got fewer carries and Leon were more RB than return man. Then again, they might run so much Wildcat that nobody is worth a damn. The safe play, frankly, is to avoid them all.
DALLAS COWBOYS: Dez Bryant. Gut call in light of the Miles Austin/Kim Kardashian fiasco. In related news, my outlook on Reggie Bush has never been higher.
DENVER BRONCOS: Knowshon Moreno, who I have to think gets increased touches this year. Baller. Eddie Royal returns, though.
DETROIT LIONS: Jahvid Best. I am the conductor of this train, and it’s full speed ahead. This guy is nasty, and I think Megatron suffers numbers-wise as a result of Burleson, Scheffler, Pettigrew and Best as a dump-off/screen option. What, are you going to stop doubling Calvin Johnson? No. You’re going to let the other guys beat you. Moreover, The Schwartz does not strike me as a chuck-it-around coach. PPR leaguers, you want this guy early.
GREEN BAY PACKERS: Aaron Rodgers. I have no problem with him going as early as #3 overall. None. It pains me to have chosen two Cal Bears in a row here, by the way.
HOUSTON TEXANS: Ummm, Andre Johnson?
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: I want #18. But I want most of his receivers, too, if I can get ‘em. Future post on how I think that all shakes out.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: Fellow Bruin MJD, whom we UCLA fans have long believed is a superior back to Reggie Bush, is clearly that and also my #3 ranked player overall. Touchdown machine, and a PPR monster.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: Another team where I trust no one. DeWayne Bowe.
MIAMI DOLPHINS: Brandon Marshall, who is part of my 3-headed MFL monster. 100 rec, 12 TD’s, 1200 yds. Again. Remember it, write it down, take a picture…
MINNESOTA VIKINGS: Adrian Peterson. Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice will be well worth your selection, though.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: Tom Brady/Randy Moss toss-up. Your call. Can’t go wrong. Hey, get ‘em both if you can. I sense a big 2010 for this pair.
NEW YORK GIANTS: Steve Smith. That was not a fluke, and Eli loves him. Hakeem Nicks is right behind him and a better TD threat.
NEW YORK JETS: Brayl…just kidding. Shonn Greene. Top 10 RB, easy. TD’s galore ahead.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: The Conductor of the New Orleans Symphony, Drew Brees.
OAKLAND RAIDERS: Michael Bush. Their receivers (Louis Murphy, Chaz Schillens, and TE Zach Miller) will produce, though. Sidenote: To me, Darren McFadden is officially unreliable and I want no part of him whatsoever.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: DeSean Jackson. An argument about the choice between he and Jeremy Maclin spawned this article, so I’m wearing it. (The Fly took Maclin).
PITTSBURGH STEELERS: Rashard Mendenhall, big time.
ST. LOUIS RAMS: Steven Jackson. And Donnie Avery, it needs to happen this year, buddy.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS: To hear Norv tell it, Ryan Matthews might be the guy. But give me Pip Rivers- he’s still the center of the wheel. Everyone else? Spokes.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: Frank Gore. He’s the RB I think could have a career year in 2010.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: Eeeee. TJ Houshmandzadeh, I guess.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: Sammie Stroughter. “Who,” you may ask? Sammie Stroughter. What, you want me to say Earnest Graham or Cadillac Williams or Derek Ward or Kellen Winslow? You know what, just avoid all Bucs. You’ll be better off.
TENNESSEE TITANS: Chris Johnson. If he sits, I still want their starting RB, who would be Javon Ringer. But he’s got to be my 2 at the absolute most.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS: I’ll take Donovan McNabb. He has some talented young receivers to work with, so keep an eye on those guys. Fred Davis is now the better TE, in my book.