I realize the season just ended, but I had fun tweeting with a bunch of you last night about what our 2013 fantasy football draft boards might look like and wanted to put some of those thoughts into writing before I moved on to fantasy basketball and fantasy baseball. There’s a LOT that can happen before next September (and coaches are literally getting fired as I type this), but it’s never too early for all of us addicts to start thinking about next year, right!
I’ll preface this by saying I haven’t given more than a few hours thought to any of these rankings, but here are some quick lists (overall top 10 and then position-by-position) of where I’d rank guys for next year as of December 31, 2012. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.
Overall Top 10 for 2013
I could probably interchange anyone from 2-10 and feel fine about it (A lot of this has to do with your QB strategy, but I personally like to wait for better value lower in the draft so I didn’t include Brees/Rodgers/Brady in here)
- Adrian Peterson – is there any argument?
- Doug Martin – tied Arian as the 2nd highest-scoring RB in his rookie season
- Arian Foster – I’m a little worried about wear and tear, but he’s safe at 3
- C.J. Spiller – Gailey is gone, Fred Jackson might be too…is he top 3 if so?
- Calvin Johnson – I hate taking WRs early, but he’s as safe as they come
- Alfred Morris - finished 5th among RBs this year. Shanahanigans are the only downside to Alf
- Marshawn Lynch - he worries me a bit, but I can’t argue with what he’s done
- Ray Rice - still finished 6th amongh RBs. An absolute steal if he drops this far (I’ll probably end up taking him earlier than 8th)
- Trent Richardson – might be too high, but he’ll only get better and is Swiss watch consistent
- LeSean McCoy – huge unknown with the new coaching staff, but I’ll gladly take him at 10
Close, but no cigar: Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Stevan Ridley, Jamaal Charles, A.J. Green, Dez Bryant, Brandon Marshall
Top 10 Quarterbacks for 2013
If you like playing it safe with your first or second round pick…this list is for you.
- Aaron Rodgers – actually finished tied for 2nd with Brady in 2012, but I’ll take youth at 1 here
- Drew Brees – finished as the top fantasy QB in a “down” year. I’ll take him over Brady (and I’m a Pats fan)
- Tom Brady – I could argue him at 1-3, but 3 sounds about right for now
- Cam Newton – as “bad” as he was this year…he was pretty damn good
- Robert Griffin III – if he can stay healthy (big IF), he’s probably top 3
- Peyton Manning – have to worry about regression a tad, but he’s easily top 8
- Matt Ryan – faded a bit in the middle of season, but still a solid plug-and-play each week
- Matthew Stafford – still finished 10th in a down year (so I guess we know his floor)
- Andrew Luck – some will say this is too low, but I just can’t justify him any higher than 8th at the most
- Eli Manning – he went too high in 2012 drafts, but 10th will be a steal if (when) he bounces back in 2013
Close, but no cigar: Tony Romo, Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson, Andy Dalton, Josh Freeman
Top 10 Running Backs for 2013
This is basically a re-hash of my top 10 list so scroll up if you want explanations on any of these guys.
- Adrian Peterson
- Doug Martin
- Arian Foster
- C.J. Spiller
- Alfred Morris
- Marshawn Lynch
- Ray Rice
- Trent Richardson
- LeSean McCoy
- Jamaal Charles
Close, but no cigar: Stevan Ridley, Frank Gore, Chris Johnson, Matt Forte, DeMarco Murray
Top 10 Wide Receivers for 2013
This list is probably going to the most fluid over the offseason, but there are plenty of great options at fantasy football’s deepest position for next year.
- Calvin Johnson – no explanation needed
- A.J. Green – I’ll take the youth/stability over the next two guys
- Dez Bryant – this is probably too high, but the sky is the limit
- Brandon Marshall – neither he nor Dez have “stability”, but I guess I took youth with Dez at three
- Demaryius Thomas – Eric Decker is the only reason I don’t have him above Marshall
- Andre Johnson – bounced back in a big way in 2012 and he’ll definitely improve on only four TDs
- Julio Jones – he’s about as frustrating as they come, but just too good to pass up
- Vincent Jackson – one of this year’s biggest steals should continue to produce as Freeman matures
- Roddy White – another pain in the ass (see Julio Jones), but still very productive
- Michael Crabtree – I could’ve put about 15 guys here, but I’ll take a leap with the Crabman
Close, but no cigar: Eric Decker, Victor Cruz, Marques Colston, Wes Welker, Reggie Wayne, Randall Cobb
Top 10 Tight Ends for 2013
So much for the “year of the tight end”. This position is the biggest cluster F of them all…and please stop drafting anyone who doesn’t use the phrase “Yo Soy Fiesta” in the first two rounds!
- Rob Gronkowski – like with RB and WR…number one isn’t even an argument in TE
- Jimmy Graham – disappointing year (partly due to injuries), but he still finished 1st among TEs due to Gronk’s injury
- Aaron Hernandez – if he stays healthy (a big IF), he could challenge Gronk for number one
- Jason Witten – this spot probably belongs to the next guy, but I think Witten will usurp him next year
- Tony Gonzalez – assuming he doesn’t retire, he’s easily a top five TE next year
- Owen Daniels – relatively unheralded, but the guy just keeps producing
- Greg Olsen – unless something changes, he’s basically Cam’s 2nd-best target
- Kyle Rudolph – he went missing for a few weeks here and there, but he’s only getting better
- Antonio Gates - yup…that’s the sound of me banging my head against the wall
- Vernon Davis – that other sound is me banging my head against the wall again
Close, but no cigar: Brandon Myers, Dennis Pitta, Heath Miller (top 10 if healthy), Jermaine Gresham, Brent Celek
So what do you think? Anyone I missed? Anyone you think I have rated too high? Too low? Let me know what you think in the comments section below…I’m looking forward to debating this for the next 9 months!
And if you want even more 2013 analysis, go check out the first round of a mock draft that my buddy David Gonos put together on his website. As has come to be expected from Gonos…it’s great stuff.