Fantasy Football 2013 Season Preview

DeAngelo Williams is a local favorite and he may be closer to his 2008-2009 form now he has the Carolina backfield to himself.

DeAngelo Williams is a local favorite and he may be closer to his 2008-2009 form now he has the Carolina backfield to himself.

It’s Labor Day weekend, which means the NFL season is right around the corner.  I know some folks have already done their draft, but many will be doing them over the weekend and the days leading up to Opening Night on Thursday.  Now that all of the preseason games are done and the rosters have been cut down 53 it is easier to project who will be starting and contribute more in each teams’ respective offenses.  There are still a few QB battles that have yet the be determined, so it’s safe to stay away from those guys and really who is going to draft a Raiders or Jets QB this year anyway?

Throughout the season I will be posting articles of Fantasy Football to help you dominate your league.  I have been in Fantasy Football for 14 years, ever since the Rams were the “Greatest Show on Turf.”  No, I don’t win every league that I play in, but I do finish in the top half and make the playoffs.  I have won leagues before as well.  The best way to set yourself up to win a league is having a good draft.  Below are a few ways in which you can have a good draft, and in the end, everybody feels like they had the best draft anyway.

1.  Be Patient – I know you want your favorite player on your team because it’s more fun to cheer for your favorite team w/ your favorite player while he is on your fantasy team, but sometimes it is not the best strategy.  Chances are if everybody else in the draft knows what they are doing, then that guy you want in the first round (your favorite player) might still be available in the 4th

Eli Manning may be your favorite player, but no need to reach for him, he will be available later in the draft

Eli Manning may be your favorite player, but no need to reach for him, he will be available later in the draft

or 5th round and you will have a deeper team.

2.  Be Aware – Make sure you know what guys are the starters for each team as well as which guys might start the year on the injured list.  Also be aware of bye weeks, it’s best to spread them out, but it is possible that during the 5th or 6th round you realize that all your guys have the same bye week, just make sure you have enough guys to field a team during that week(s.)

3.  Be Prepared – When going into a draft it is always important to have a plan of action.  There also will always be things that throw off your plan, but stick to it as best as possible.  My advice for this year would be RB/RB as the first two picks because QB and WR are so deep this year.  Only a few QBs are worthy of being taken in the first 3 rounds, the same with WR and those will be discussed below in my rankings.

4.  Enjoy Yourself  –  While the point of Fantasy Football is to win, don’t get too into it to where you don’t enjoy it.  That makes it worse for yourself as well as others in your league.  If you continue to enjoy it, you will also stay active which gives you a better chance to win anyway.


  1. Drew Brees – NO                            16. Ben Roethlisberger – PIT
  2. Aaron Rodgers – GB                       17.  Jay Cutler – CHI
  3. Peyton Manning – DEN                   18.  Joe Flacco – BAL
  4. Cam Newton – CAR                        19.  Andy Dalton – CIN
  5. Tom Brady – NE                              20.  Matt Schaub – HOU
  6. Colin Kaepernick – SF                     21.  Sam Bradford – STL
  7. Matt Ryan – ATL                             22.  Josh Freeman – TB
  8. Russell Wilson – SEA                      23.  Ryan Tannehill – MIA
  9. Robert Griffin III – WAS                   24.  Phillip Rivers – SD
  10. Matthew Stafford – DET                    25.  Brandon Weeden – CLE
  11. Andrew Luck – IND                          26.  Alex Smith – KC
  12. Tony Romo – DAL                            27.  Terrelle Pryor – OAK
  13. Mike Vick – PHI                             28.  Jake Locker – TEN
  14. Eli Manning – NYG                          29.  EJ Manuel – BUF
  15. Carson Palmer – ARI                        30. Christian Ponder – MIN
Palmer is primed for big year in the desert

Palmer is primed for a big year in the desert

As you can see, the Quarterback position is very deep this year and I feel that only the Top 3 in this category are worth drafting in any of the first three rounds.  I would not draft a QB in the first round unless you were the end of the first round and Aaron Rodgers is the guy I may spend the pick on.  Aaron Rodgers through Eli Manning are legit fantasy starters on this board and pretty much anybody up to Alex Smith has starter potential, even in spot starts.  I’m higher on Carson Palmer than most people, but he threw for over 4,000 yards in Oakland last season, without a legit No. 1 receiver; this year he has Larry Fitzgerald, whom I expect a big year from.  RGIII could be higher, but not knowing if he will be playing in Week 1 and how he might respond to contact keeps him a little lower in my QB rankings.



  1. Adrian Peterson – MIN                       26.  Monte Ball – DEN
  2. Jamaal Charles – KC                            27.  Ahmad Bradshaw – IND
  3. Ray Rice – BAL                                      28.  Chris Ivory – NYJ
  4. Marshawn Lynch – SEA                      29.  Giovani Bernard – CIN
  5. Arian Foster – HOU                             30.  Rashard Mendenhall – ARI
  6. CJ Spiller – BUF                                    31.  Ronnie Hillman – DEN
  7. Doug Martin – TB                                 32.  Daryl Richardson – STL
  8. Trent Richardson – CLE                      33.  BenJarvus Green-Ellis – CIN
  9. LeSean McCoy – PHI                            34.  Mark Ingram – NO
  10. Matt Forte – CHI                                   35.  Ben Tate – HOU
  11. Steven Jackson – ATL                          36.  Vick Ballard – IND
  12. Alfred Morris – WAS                            37.  Shane Vereen – NE
  13. Chris Johnson – TEN                           38.  Bernard Pierce – BAL
  14. Stevan Ridley – NE                               39.  Le’Veon Bell – PIT
  15. Maurice Jones-Drew – JAX                40.  Isaac Redman – PIT
  16. Frank Gore – SF                                     41.  Isaiah Pead – STL
  17. David Wilson – NYG                              42.  Knowshown Moreno – DEN
  18. Eddie Lacy – GB                                     43.  Bryce Brown – PHI
  19. Darren McFadden – OAK                     44.  Fred Jackson – BUF
  20. Reggie Bush – DET                                 45.  Bilal Powell – NYJ
  21. Darren Sproles – NO                              46.  Jacquizz Rogers – ATL
  22. DeMarco Murray – DAL                        47.  Joique Bell – DET
  23. DeAngelo Williams – CAR                    48.  Danny Woodhead – SD
  24. Lamar Miller – MIA                               49.  Shonn Greene – TEN
  25. Ryan Mathews – SD                               50.  Michael Bush – CHI

    Jamaal Charles is my #2 ranked RB w/ Andy Reid on the sidelines

    Jamaal Charles is my #2 ranked RB w/ Andy Reid on the sidelines

Adrian Peterson is the clear cut number 1 pick in Fantasy Football, but what a lot of people differ on is who is number 2.  I have Jamaal Charles because I love his game and I love the fact that Andy Reid is his Head Coach.  Charles is looking to follow in the line of Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy, RBs who have thrived in Reid’s offense.

This is the position where your whole season could be ruined if you either wait to draft or your guys get injured and you don’t have the handcuff to the starter.  The reason that I suggest that you go RB-RB in your first two rounds is because there are very few sure things in the RB slot.  You may say that RB is pretty deep, but wouldn’t you rather have a backfield with Trent Richardson and Maurice Jones-Drew than say Darren McFadden and Chris Ivory?  I would say yes, even if my team had Aaron Rodgers and AJ Green as my QB/WR1 because the team w/ Richardson and MJD could still have Tom Brady and Larry Fitzgerald as its’ QB/WR1 combo.



  1. Calvin Johnson – DET                               26.  Pierre Garcon – WAS
  2. AJ Green – CIN                                           27.  Greg Jennings – MIN
  3. Dez Bryant – DAL                                       28.  Cecil Shorts – JAX
  4. Brandon Marshall – CHI                           29.  DeSean Jackson – PHI
  5. Demaryius Thomas – DEN                       30.  Lance Moore – NO
  6. Julio Jones – ATL                                       31.  Tavon Austin – STL
  7. Roddy White – ATL                                    32.  Steve Johnson – BUF
  8. Larry Fitzgerald – ARI                               33.  T.Y. Hilton – IND
  9. Andre Johnson – HOU                              34.  Miles Austin – DAL
  10. Vincent Jackson – TB                                 35.  Anquan Boldin – ARI
  11. Randall Cobb – GB                                      36.  Sidney Rice – SEA
  12. Wes Welker – DEN                                      37.  Kenny Britt – TEN
  13. Victor Cruz – NYG                                       38.  Emmanuel Sanders – PIT
  14. Dwayne Bowe – KC                                     39.  Chris Given – STL
  15. Reggie Wayne – IND                                  40.  Denarius Moore – OAK
  16. Marques Colston – NO                               41.  Vincent Brown – SD
  17. Danny Amendola – NE                               42.  Mike Williams – TB
  18. Mike Wallace – MIA                                    43.  Josh Gordon – CLE
  19. Steve Smith – CAR                                       44.  Alshon Jeffery – CHI
  20. Hakeem Nicks – NYG                                  45.  Golden Tate – SEA
  21. Antonio Brown – PIT                                   46.  Ryan Broyles – DET
  22. James Jones – GB                                         47.  Michael Floyd – ARI
  23. Eric Decker – DEN                                        48.  DeAndre Hopkins – HOU
  24. Jordy Nelson – GB                                        49.  Kenbrell Thompkins – NE
  25. Torrey Smith – BAL                                      50.  Justin Blackmon – JAX

Now comes the deepest position this year, as all the way to 50 you can find quality Wide Receivers.  The only reason Josh Gordon and Justin Blackmon are ranked so low is because both will miss games at the beginning of the season due to suspension.   Now saying that it’s a deep position, I would also prefer to get at least one of the guys in the Top 10 of the rankings.  Of course, in a PPR league, a few of these guys would be further up in the rankings such as Wes Welker, Danny Amendola, and Eric Decker.  Below is the rest of the rankings, only position below that you might even think about grabbing two is Tight End.


  1. Jimmy Graham – NO                                 11.  Jermichael Finley – GB
  2. Jason Witten – DAL                                   12.  Martellus Bennett – CHI
  3. Rob Gronkowski – NE                               13.  Jared Cook – STL
  4. Vernon Davis – SF                                      14.  Fred Davis – WAS
  5. Tony Gonzalez – ATL                                 15.  Brandon Pettigrew – DET
  6. Greg Olsen – CAR                                       16.  Dwayne Allen – IND
  7. Owen Daniels – HOU                                 17.  Zach Sudfeld – NE
  8. Kyle Rudolph – MIN                                  18.  Jordan Cameron – CLE
  9. Antonio Gates – SD                                    19.  Coby Fleener – IND
  10. Brandon Myers – NYG                              20.  Jermaine Gresham – CIN


D/STs                                                           Ks

  1. Seattle                                               1.  Stephen Gostkowski – NE
  2. San Francisco                                  2.  Blair Walsh – MIN
  3. Houston                                            3.  Matt Prater – DEN
  4. Cincinnati                                         4.  Matt Bryant – ATL
  5. Chicago                                              5.  Justin Tucker – BAL
  6. Denver                                               6.  Sebastian Janikowski – OAK
  7. New England                                    7.  Randy Bullock – HOU
  8. Green Bay                                         8.  Phil Dawson – SF
  9. Pittsburgh                                         9.  Greg Zuerlein – STL
  10. St. Louis                                            10.  Josh Brown – NYG
  11. Baltimore                                          11.  Dan Bailey – DAL
  12. Arizona                                              12.  David Akers – DET
  13. Dallas                                                 13.  Garrett Hartley – NO
  14. Atlanta                                               14.  Steven Hauschka – SEA
  15. Miami                                                 15.  Robbie Gould – CHI

Ben Hogan is a long-time fantasy sports guru. Follow him @NotTheGolfer for any fantasy or lineup questions throughout the week.


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