2015 Fantasy football favorites!
Well it seems that Fantasy Football is just around the corner! I’ve decided to announce my “Perfect fantasy team” for the upcoming season. Obviously no one will be able to get all these players but these are my picks for best at the each position on a standard FF team:
QB- Andrew Luck: This pick was an easy one unless you include a man by the name of Aaron Rodgers in the conversation. I’ll be the first to admit that Rodgers has a terrific chance at proving me wrong but Luck is my pick this year. With the obvious skill of T.Y. Hilton and his 1,400 yards last season this target speaks for himself. However, my pick for Andrew Luck comes also because of the addition of Andre Johnson. I don’t buy into the talk of Johnson’s demise just quite yet. Johnson now has a real quarterback to play for and Luck has another great target to work with. When you mix Luck’s raw quarterback ability with his running capabilities and his receivers it’s a no brainer to take him as your quarterback in my opinion.
RB- Marshawn Lynch: Just an FYI: I seem to be disagreeing pretty heavily with most experts on my RB choices. I won’t comment much on Bell except that being two games short with an RB of that caliber is a huge hit to a FF owners team. Maybe as a second RB if you want, but I couldn’t see grabbing him that early either if you want my honest opinion. Plenty of great backs in the league right now. Beast Mode has proven over and over that he can compete for that No. 1 RB in the league category with ease. The NFC West division title seem almost guaranteed to the Seahawks in 2015 and most would assume based on the recent history that Lynch will be a big reason why. With the success the Seahawks have seen over the few years I highly doubt they change-up the way they use Lynch. Expect him to be his normal 12 TD with 1,300 yards self in the 2015 season. To those of you asking yourself “Why is AP not his first?”, well, I don’t buy it. Simple as that. If you aren’t happy that he isn’t my first you certainly won’t be happy that he isn’t my second choice either. After what he has been through I sincerely doubt his mental game will be what it was. I expect to see a very different Peterson this year than what we are used to.
RB- Jamaal Charles: To be completely honest, if circumstances were different with Demarco Murray, I’d have him in this spot. Since he (Murray) is on a brand new team with a brand new system I just can’t see him beating out Charles who’s in a fairly weak looking AFC West. Bell is not here either because his season is now shortened by two games and that is worth a lot in fantasy football. As history shows, the Raiders are actually the team that gives Charles the most trouble. Although, he still averages four yards per carry against them which isn’t exactly “chump change” yards. The Broncos and Chargers have both taken significant blows to their TE situations over the offseason. I typically wouldn’t say that it would impact how many minutes the offense can stay on the field but both players (Gates and Thomas) happen to be TE superstars. I think that Jamaal sees the field more than ever against both of those teams this year and considering he averages almost six yards per carry against them I think his numbers will be pretty darn good.
WR- Antonio Brown: It’ll be really hard to repeat the same success Antonio Brown had last year but I believe he will. This one of those picks that simply doesn’t take much explaining because it’s not a certain feeling or bias opinion. It is a pick based on numbers and numbers don’t lie, especially in fantasy football. Brown had more TD’s, first downs, targets, receptions, and yards last year than any of his previous years. With Big Ben still in the mix it would be a shocker to see that sort of success come to a stop any time soon. I think we will see a very similar outcome to the AFC North next year and if we do you can bet Antonio Brown will be returning the same numbers to the field that he did last season. 1,700 yards speaks for itself.
WR- Odell Beckham Jr.: I am typically VERY reluctant to give too much praise to a brand new rookie. However, anyone who watched him last year would have a hard time not agreeing that he was great. A terrific college career, followed by a dominating first season in the pros, leaves me believing that we are witnessing the making of the next great WR in the league. If the O-line can keep pressure off Eli then I expect him to use Beckham quite often this season. He is expected, by most experts, to be around the 5-7 rank range among WRs and I think that is selling him short. Since Victor Cruz is coming off a fairly serious injury the WR will be thrown to in limited amounts leaving Beckham open to a throw happy Eli Manning. I believe Beckham will again have a great season and he will fight all year to stay between the 1-3 rank overall in the NFL.
TE- Jimmy Graham: 1- It’s Jimmy Graham. 2- It’s the Seattle Seahawks/Russell Wilson. To be quite honest I’m not sure that this should need anymore explanation than that. I suppose you can go with Gronk but without Brady in the mix for the first four games I don’t see him getting his traditional points. Either one is safe but when/if I get my pick of the two I am certainly going with Graham. With all that said, if somehow Brady’s four game suspension gets lifted then I too would be going with Gronk as my TE. Four games without the QB you built your empire with is just too many in my opinion. Watch for Graham to get 140-150 points this year while Gronk picks up second place with around 130 or under.
Flex- Matt Forte: OK… Before anyone eats me alive for not picking AP, Anderson, Bell or Lacy here please let me explain. I have already said that I am not buying into the same AP that used to be on the field. I don’t think he and the team will ever have the same relationship again and that will certainly affect their chemistry. Anderson is running with a great group of backs and a brand new coach which will take some adjustment. I’m not saying his season won’t go well, but why take the gamble when there are still a bunch of great consistent players to choose from for flex? Bell is simple… two game suspension doesn’t get him on my perfect team because he doesn’t have a full season. Period. I have absolutely no reason to not have Lacy in this spot to be completely honest. However, I will go on the record saying that Lacy’s worst games are much worse than Forte’s. Both are tremendous backs but Forte doesn’t have 1 point games, especially when he gets the ball 11 times that game. Lacy had 4 games at 5 points or less while Forte only had two. He also had more 20+ point games than Lacy did last year. Lacy had more TD’s but I’m a huge fan of consistency and in that category Forte has him beat by quite a bit.
K- Justin Tucker: Can’t spend much time here because realistically you could pick probably 10 different kickers who could be the perfect fantasy kicker. I was lucky enough to have Justin Tucker last year and he did great. He gets this spot for two reasons and two reasons only: 1- Ravens are a good team and they WILL get down the field leaving him plenty of kicking opportunities. 2- Tucker has the highest accuracy (whole career) of any kicker in NFL history. Granted, it has only been three seasons but a kicker like him doesn’t just suddenly slow down.
D/ST- Seahawks: I really wanted to pick the Bills here because I was a big fan of what they accomplished last year. Couldn’t do it though. Losing a player like Alonso and then adding, in my opinion, one of the worst coaches available (Rex Ryan) just won’t warrant a realistic possible repeat of last season. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect them to have a bad season on the defensive side but I don’t expect to see 19 interceptions again either. The Seahawks are simply a force that no one has really been able to over come on a consistent basis and they averaged almost 1 interception per game last year which is really good. They aren’t perfect, but neither is any other team’s D/ST. As talented as they are on the offensive side you’d have to be a fool to not recognize the role that the defensive played and I have no problem saying that they (defense) are exactly half the reason the Seahawks have seen two Superbowl’s in a row. I’d be happy with the Texans or Rams as my defensive position for sure but if I get first pick it’s got to be the Seahawks.
Paul Hickman covers Fantasy Football for MyFantasySportsTalk, you can follow the site on Twitter @MyFntsySprtsTlk