Running backs are the foundation of every team. From personal experiences, making the wrong decisions early in a draft has haunted me throughout the season. The focus of a persons draft should be to take two starting running backs early in a draft. The top ten running backs are as follows:
- LaDainian Tomlinson (San Diego Chargers).Tomlinson has been the most productive and consistent fantasy player in the past three seasons. He is a sure bet to throw and run for touchdowns. What sets him ahead of Adrian Peterson is his durability.
- Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings): Peterson was a fantasy sleeper last year. He put up big numbers for fantasy owners. The lack of a consistent quarterback may hurt his production this year, but still expect big numbers from Peterson in his second season.
- Brian Westbrook (Philadelphia Eagles): When healthy, Westbrook has proven he can be mentioned with LaDainian Tomlinson as one of the best running backs in the league. What makes Westbrook so valuable is his ability to run and catch the ball. In leagues where receivers are awarded a point a reception, Westbrook should be considered ahead of Peterson.
- Steven Jackson (St. Louis Rams)
- Joseph Addai (Indianapolis Colts)
- Marion Barber (Dallas Cowboys)
- Maurice Jones-Drew (Jacksonville Jaguars)
- Marshawn Lynch (Buffalo Bills)
- Ryan Grant ( Green Bay Packers)
- Clinton Portis (Washington Redskins)
In some leagues, wide receivers are as important as running backs. For example, with leagues that have scoring systems that favor wide receivers, one may consider taking wide receivers early in a draft. Regardless, in one's first four selections, taking two wide receivers and two running backs make the most sense. And the top ten wide receivers are…
- Randy Moss (New England Patriots): Moss was a late round selection in most drafts last year, but after last year's record setting season, expect him to be drafted within the top five players selected in most leagues. Moss may not put up the record statistics he did last year but should easily be the best receiver in the league this season.
- Reggie Wayne (Indianapolis Colts): With the absence of Marvin Harrison, last season Wayne proved to be Peyton Manning's new favorite target. Without Harrison, Wayne put up some gaudy statistics, but now with Harrison on the field to complement Wayne, expect Wayne to have a better season.
- Terrell Owens (Dallas Cowboys): Terrell Owens has been the most consistent receiver in the past three seasons. He is a lock for more than twelve touchdowns and eleven hundred yards receiving.
- Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals)
- Braylon Edwards (Cleveland Bengals)
- Chad Johnson (Cincinnati Bengals)
- Andre Johnson (Houston Texans)
- T.J. Houshmandzadeh (Cincinnati Bengals)
- Torry Holt (St. Louis Rams)
- Steve Smith (Carolina Panthers)
There are two schools of thought in regards to selecting a quarterback in a draft. One belief is to take a quarterback early in the draft, such as Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. Others believe that it is better to take a running back early in the draft and then take a quarterback later in the draft. Taking a quarterback later in a draft makes more sense, since quarterbacks for the most part average the same amount of points per week. The top ten quarterbacks are as follows:
- Tom Brady (New England Patriots): Brady put up record statistics last season, so expect the same this year. The Patriots have not committed to running the ball the last two seasons. With the weapons Brady has at receiver, expect the Patriots to continue to commit to passing.
- Peyton Manning (Indianapolis Colts): With Manning leading the Colts' offense, they may have the best offense in the league. With the supporting cast around Manning, expect him to throw 35+ touchdowns this season.
- Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints): With the addition of Jeremy Shockey at tight end and Deuce McAllister returning from knee injury, Brees will put up big numbers. Like Manning, Brees should throw 35+ touchdowns.
- Tony Romo (Dallas Cowboys)
- Derek Anderson (Cleveland Browns)
- Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh Steelers)
- Carson Palmer (Cincinnati Bengals)
- Donovan McNabb (Philadelphia Eagles)
- Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers)
- Jon Kitna (Detroit Lions)
Selecting a good tight end is critical. After the top six tight ends, there is usually a noticeable drop in point production amongst tight ends.
- Antonio Gates (San Diego Chargers)
- Tony Gonzalez (Kansas City Chiefs)
- Jason Witten (Dallas Cowboys)
- Kellen Winslow (Cleveland Browns)
- Jeremy Shockey (New Orleans Saints)
- Dallas Clark (Indianapolis Colts)
- Chris Cooley (Washington Redskins)
- Todd Heap (Baltimore Ravens)
- Heath Miller (Pittsburgh Steelers)
- Vernon Davis (San Francisco 49ers)
Defenses/Special Teams units are usually a wild card on one's team. In drafts, there is usually a domino effect once one Defense/Special Teams unit is taken. When drafting, once the first Defense/Special Team unit is taken, make sure to take one immediately.
- Chicago Bears
- San Diego Chargers
- Dallas Cowboys
- Baltimore Ravens
- Minnesota Vikings
- Indianapolis Colts
- New England Patriots
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Green Bay Packers
When taking a kicker, look to taking a kicker who is on a team that has a strong offense, which should be an indication of a kicker that scores a lot of points per week.
- Adam Vinatieri (Indianapolis Colts)
- Stephen Gostkowski (New England Patriots)
- Rob Bironas (Tennessee Titans)
- Nick Folk (Dallas Cowboys)
- Mason Crosby (Green Bay Packers)
- Robbie Gould (Chicago Bears)
- Shayne Grahams (Cincinnati Bengals)
- Neil Rackers (Arizona Cardinals)
- Jason Hanson (Detroit Lions)
- Jeff Reed (Pittsburgh Steelers)
It is important going into a draft to do your research and have an idea of what players to select. Have fun, and good luck this season!