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Fantasy Intelligence Report Special: Aaron Rodgers over Arian Foster?

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I know it sounds about as insane as the band that came up with the “The Great Milenko,” but 2012 fantasy owners need to consider the thought of possibly selecting Aaron Rodgers. And I’m not only talking in the first round, I’m talking about ahead of consensus first overall pick, Arian Foster.

I mean, I’ve always found it very strange that in the fantasy football world we dismiss a player’s real world value or potential, because of a positional abnormality or absurd conformities.

In the NFL Network’s recent poll, the Green Bay quarterback was voted as the best player in the NFL by his peers, yet his fantasy value certainly doesn’t reflect it. Does that mean that his player peers know nothing about talent? Or does it mean fantasy experts don’t know anything about real world value? I may be inclined to take the latter, with no disrespect to my peers of course.

T.T. - The Truth

Last season using the Hammerhead Shark League scoring format there were four quarterbacks - Aaron Rodgers, Michael Vick, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees - who had an average draft position (ADP) of less than 20 (Top 17) heading in to the season. By the end of 2011, all four finished in the Top 14 in scoring (points per game).

Using that same format and ADP guidelines, nine running backs were selected. However, just five of those nine finished in the Top 25 in scoring (points per game) by seasons end.

H.T.T. - Hushing The Theory

I always find myself in spirited laughter every time I see the same old school theory scribed in the minds of fantasy owners. Yeah, you know what I’m speaking of - the one that is about as old as Gordon Ramsay screaming “piss off.” With a voice like Dan Akroyd in The Great Outdoors, the proclamation is, “You have to take a running back in the first round because there aren’t any good ones after the top eight.” (Something like that.)

Let me keep this simple. In 2003, if the Cleveland Cavaliers had decided to pass on Lebron James for Darko Milicic, because good center prospects are known to be rare in the NBA, Quicken Loans Arena would’ve been one very bad Master Chef raw egg recipe within hours. Furthermore, the Detroit Pistons would’ve probably won several championships.

My point here is that when you place more value on a position, you end up losing out on overall individual talent in the long run, which could allow another team to swoop in and steal a fantasy championship.

Besides, every year there are always a few running backs who will sit far outside of the Top 12 before the regular season, but always end up inside the Top 12 when the final whistle is blown. Fred Jackson, Daren Sproles, and Marshawn Lynch are exhibits A, B, and C from 2011, who you could’ve even found all on the same team, and with a quarterback like Rodgers leading the charge to a fantasy payday no less.

F.C. - Favre’s Confidence

According to the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Aaron Rodgers recently received a vote of confidence from former disgruntled green-and-gold employee Brett Favre, which is somewhat unusual considering his past relationship with the one who overthrew him.

Aaron Rodgers, I knew when I left, this guy has all the tools,” Favre said. “He can beat you with his feet. He’s got a great arm, extremely accurate, handles the cast around him perfect. I think that’s the key sometimes. I think that’s what (Tom) Brady has done. Regardless of who you put out there, he’s good. That to me is the mark of a good quarterback.”

What’s interesting is that Favre is absolutely spot on. Aaron Rodgers isn’t as good as his wide receivers, like so many other quarterbacks in the NFL. The Packers' receivers are as good as Aaron Rodgers, which is exactly what you want to see out of your starting quarterback if you’re a fantasy owner.

What’s even more intriguing is that Rodgers is starting to talk about the up-and-coming players. His recent recipient was wide receiver Diondre Borel, who is looking to make a Lambeau leap from the practice squad.

According to Fox Sports Wisconsin, Rodgers has been impressed with Borel, who was sought after by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers late last season.

“I think Diondre has made as big a jump as anybody from Year 1 to 2,” Rodgers said. “He really made the most of his reps on the scout team last year. He’s a great teammate, a hard worker and he really understands the game. Diondre, I think, has had one of the top springs out of the guys who you were looking for to make a jump.”

This is excellent timing considering wide receiver James Jones isn’t too pleased with his situation and has been rumored the last few weeks to be on his way out the green-and-gold doors. If that happens, you can bet that Borel could see some playing time come 2012 and beyond, for which I’m sure Rodgers wouldn’t object.



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