Before the NFL season kicks off, before the NFL draft, us fantasy football players are already thinking about who to draft and where to draft them. This is an early Top 5 ranking of QB, WR, RB, TE, and even those dreaded kickers.
1. Peyton Manning, Broncos. Manning was the top fantasy quarterback last season and I expect the same out of him this coming season. He did lose Eric Decker but gained Emmanuel Sanders in free agency. Manning threw 55 TD's and 5,477 yards. Those crazy numbers may not happen again but if the Broncos get something similar they will be ecstatic.
2. Aaron Rodgers, Packers. A broken collarbone kept Rodgers off of the field for 7 games last season, prior to that he missed only 2 games since becoming the Packers starting quarterback in 2008. He will back to his normal Top-3 self this coming season.
3. Drew Brees, Saints. The loss of RB Darren Sproles will hurt the Saints offense tremendously as will the receiver group Brees is throwing to. With that said, Brees is still a top tier QB. Just don't be shocked if he takes a step back and young guns like Andrew Luck and Cam Newton pass him up.
4. Andrew Luck, Colts. This is the year Luck becomes an elite quarterback. Reggie Wayne will be back fully healthy, TY Hilton is an emerging star and the addition of Hakeem Nicks could possibly put the Colts offense at the top come seasons end.
5. Matthew Stafford, Lions. The addition of Golden Tate is huge for Stafford. Calvin Johnson and Tate will let Stafford use that cannon of an arm to the best of its abilities. Don't forget when drafting, Stafford threw for 4,650 yards last season, second to only Manning and Brees.
1. Calvin Johnson, Lions. With the enormous arm of Stafford throwing him the deep ball and his break away speed, Johnson is the best receiver in fantasy and real life.
2. Demaryius Thomas, Broncos. Thomas is the best receiver in the best fantasy offense with the best quarterback throwing his way. He could be the best WR at the end of the season if he and his QB stay healthy.
3. A.J. Green, Bengals. Even if you don't believe in his quarterback, believe Green will be a top tier WR this season. Green finished 5'th in TD's, 5'th in Yards and 6'th in receptions.
4. Dez Bryant, Cowboys. Everyone knows Bryant has issues, it's well documented. If he matures, and I think he will, Bryant is an absolute beast. Don't be scared of the antics, draft this guy, you won't be sorry. Plus, he has a really good QB passing the ball his way.
5. Julio Jones, Falcons. Matt Ryan will be ecstatic to have a fully healthy Jones back from a foot fracture that kept him out of 11 games and led to a disaster of a season for the Falcons. I see Jones having a big come back year this season.
1. LeSean McCoy, Eagles. The Chip Kelly offense has made McCoy into an even bigger star than what he already was. The departure of DeSean Jackson will surely hurt the Eagles offense but will help McCoy's all around productivity.
2. Adrian Peterson, Vikings. Peterson could have easily been my top RB choice and who knows, maybe when the season starts he could very well be. He has all the talent in the world, he's just on a really bad team.
3. Jamaal Charles, Chiefs. Andy Reid has said he will lighten Charles' work load this coming season, and he better if he wants his main offensive weapon to stay healthy all year. Yes, Charles is a worker but I just don't see him doing as well as last season. He can still be your RB1, just be weary of a slight production hit.
4. Eddie Lacy, Packers. At the start of last season the Packers didn't know who their starting RB was going to be. By the end of the season Lacy went on to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award and carried the Packers to a playoff berth while QB Aaron Rodgers was out. Lacy is the real deal, draft him as your RB1 and you won't be sorry.
5. Matt Forte, Bears. Always a solid contributor in every stat, Forte is a top 5 running back. If you're in a PPP league, even better. As long as he stays healthy, Forte will not let you down.
1. Jimmy Graham, Saints. It isn't close, Graham is the best tight end in football. He finished with 1,215 yards, 298 more than the next guy and 16 touchdowns.
2. Rob Gronkowski, Patriots. The issue with Gronk is his health. If he stays healthy, he's amazing. The question is, do we take the chance with injuries and draft the guy who when is on the field could possibly be the best TE?
3. Vernon Davis, 49ers. Like Graham and Gronkowski, Davis is big and fast. He puts up stellar numbers every season and is a very solid top TE this season. Davis is QB Colin Kaepernick's favorite target and it shows finishing with 13 touchdowns.
4. Julius Thomas, Broncos. Another Peyton Manning TE doing well, surprising right? Not at all. Don't be shocked if Thomas ends up being the best TE in fantasy football.
5. Jason Witten, Cowboys. The one guy who is always there for quarterback Tony Romo when he really needs him to be. Witten has been one of the top TE in fantasy for years, there's no reason he can't be this year either.
1. Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots. He missed 3 field goals all season with 44 made PAT, superb.
2. Nick Novak, Chargers. His 3 misses last season were from 30-39 yards but was 9-9 from 40-49 yards with 42 PAT made.
3. Stephen Hauschka, Seahawks. He missed 2 FG, one was from 20-29 yards while making 33 and 44 PAT.
4. Justin Tucker, Ravens. The only thing that hurts Tucker are the PAT attempts, 26. Other than that he's a really good kicker.
5. Mason Crosby, Packers. The offense struggled last season with Aaron Rodgers out but Crosby was still solid with only 2 misses and 42 PAT made.
1. Seattle Seahawks. The NFL champions were built on defense. The biggest off season move was re-signing DE Michael Bennett who tallied 8.5 sacks.
2. San Francisco 49'ers. Signing SS Antoine Bethea from the Colts will be huge for this defense who needed help after losing Donte Whitner.
3. St. Louis Rams. Robert Quinn had 19 sacks, Chris Long had 8.5 and Michael Brookers had 5.5. The Rams are a sack happy team and sacks make fantasy players happy.
4. Carolina Panthers. Much like the Rams, the Panthers are sack happy but they also have one of the best Linebackers in football, Luke Kuechly.
5. Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals are a very solid defensive team who tends to be over looked come draft day. If you miss out on one of the top 3 defenses don't be afraid to draft the Bengals.