Sunday - Jan 17, 2021

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Success in your fantasy draft has to come from the Gut!

A lot of factors have to go into who one should draft first: Should I go with the player I think is best? Should position be factor – do I go RB or QB first? Then one has to look at all the peripherals: Is the player on a standout team? Does the team have a tough schedule to maximize points? Is the player injury prone? And then even beyond that, one has to develop a true ‘gut feeling’ or so-to-say ‘look into the crystal ball’ to visualize how you think things will pan out. Obviously the bye weeks have to come into play as well, but let’s not get carried away with ourselves.


I’ve been a general sports fan all my life, following my local teams here and there, and over the years I think I’ve developed a good ‘gut feeling’ as to which team I think will win any given Sunday, as well as what players I think will show up and perform. I guess maybe this ‘gut feeling’ developed from years of instinct that got fine-tuned from observing and reading information on how players performed on game day, how their athleticism shows and how they carry themselves on and off the field, which results in a deep down inside ‘feeling’ of how I envision they will be in the upcoming campaign.


So here it goes: just some gutsy tidbits of comments and notes as I run down the board of some players I think will or won’t have impact to start off the season, and their viability at being plucked in the first couple rounds of fantasy drafts:


  1. Adrian Peterson (my gut tells me No. 1 pick) – Everyone is predicting AP to go first, and I’m pretty much sold on that. Only hesitation for him is what QB he’s going to be getting the ball from. If Brett Favre doesn’t make a run at it again, AP’s production will be around the 1,500-yard marker if Tarvaris Jackson is behind center. I believe with his athleticism and mobility,

    could have a solid year and provide some nice spin on what opposing defenses see and what to expect out of run vs. pass, making AP shine. I think if Sage Rosenfels is behind cue, the Vikings are going to cut loose some of that swagger and be pressured a whole lot more than they want.


  1. Matt Forte (No. 2) – The smash’em and mash’em Forte belongs lined up as the second pick. His production will only be enhanced by the ‘bullet, long-ball tossing’ Cutler. This team is going to be a hell-of-a-lot more exciting to watch this year!


  1. Maurice Jones-Drew (No. 4) – The little man that could scamper should end up as a
    2/3/4 pick; I like him right about here. The nifty MJD is going to put on a show this season, finding running room where larger backs have to fight off tackles, he’s going to slip through and put up some nice yardage each week.


  1. Michael Turner (No. 3) – Another sock’em and rock’em player, he’s going to roll over most soft defenses this year. But the tough walls are going to make him work. Again the QB has effect on my seeing him flourish, but I think Matt Ryan proved to us last year that he can handle most of the pressure – Altanta’s O-line will provide some good holes.


  1. DeAngelo Williams (No. 9) – DeWill is in store for another productive season; however, my gut is telling me that this ‘featured back’ is going to be used a bit less than last year, seizing a few more carries a game to Jonathan Stewart in the Carolina backfield, mostly to keep him fresh. So my impression is that he should more in the line of pick 5-10 versus top five in most drafts.
  2. Chris Johnson (No. 8) – Johnson will have a heck of a season, even though there is an inkling of a chance that he also may loose some carries to LenDale White. These lost carries will mostly be of the very short-down situations. I think he’s got the agility and moves to really pull off some big runs this year.


  1. Steven Jackson (No. 7) –

    will probably drop to around a 10-spot pick area or slightly better, with the hesitation on him mostly revolving around his health. He’ll be ready and rested for a strong showing, but will have to work for his yardage with a tough

    St. Louis
    offensive line to generate holes with.


  1. Larry Fitzgerald (No. 10) – Fitz absolutely is and should be the first WR off the board; I have no doubts about that. This was proven with a fulfilling campaign in 2008 that showed the speedy and elusive ‘spider hands’ top WR will put up huge figures (I hope a full season with Anquan Boldin flanking doesn’t hamper the numbers) It’s just a matter of how many featured RBs he should bypass in the draft. Chris Johnson, DeAngelo Williams, Steven Jackson, Marion Barber and Steve Slaton could very well be leapfrogged by Fitz.


  1. Frank Gore (No. 5) – Gore should be a in the 5 or 6 spot. The 49ers made strides last year, especially in the last quarter of the season, with hard-nosed Mike Singletary heading things – all are accountable. With a mobile Shaun Hill at QB, and a nice set of WRs, Gore is going to get his legs rumbling this year and at least a half dozen 100-yard games to chalk up.


  1. Marion Barber (No. 11) – Barber should land in the 10-15 pick range; actually probably closer to 15. I like the Cowboys to bounce back this year, as Tony Romo is more mature, and they have good solid players all around. Yet, the drawback with Barber is his recent history of slight injury setbacks. Young Felix Jones seemed to be a viable backup that might take a few snaps away, especially when the ‘Boys want to show teams different looks.


  1. Steve Slaton (No. 6) – One of my dark horses of the draft, I like Slaton in the 6 or 7 pick area. Young, strong, nice cuts and he showed good durability last year. The Texans are going to show some upside this year, and Slaton will be a key to that.


  1. Andre Johnson (No. 12) – The big-target Johnson is going to prove some things this year. I can see him and Matt Schaub connecting with some great chemistry. Hands down, the second wideout to be selected this year, but it’s just tough to think he should go any earlier than the 15th pick ahead of that many No. 1 RBs.


  1. Clinton

    Portis (No. 17) – I love the effort of this back, but I just don’t see Portis staying in tip top shape for a bulk of the season. In a tough division, the Redskins started off strong, and faded fast last year finishing around par. Portis slips around and gets good yardage, but the goalline pushes will be far and few between. I’m seeing Portis fall in the 15-20 pick range in 2009.



  1. LaDainian Tomlinson (No. 15) – LT is going to show some more power in 2009, and work better in a more established Charger system. He’ll find his place, and pick it up along with a super-charged offense led by Phillip Rivers who will put up huge yards and points. I think LT could go as high as 10 or 12; the strong pass threat the Chargers pose is going to open up some good space for LT to plow through.


  1. Peyton Manning (No. 13) – My gut tells me Peyton is going to be the steadiest QB throughout the season, even though he lost some elements around him. His Hall of Fame maturity, even though he has eclipsed the mid-point of his career, is going to show precise passes and smart decision making. Peyton shouldn’t drop past pick 15 in any draft.


  1. Brian Westbrook (No. 14) – I lump Westbrook in the same vicinity as Portis, but I think Westbrook is going to get some better push from his front line, allowing for bigger games. Also, the addition of LeSean McCoy is going to provide Westbrook with some cushion, where he doesn’t have to be an every-down back, but be careful if

    uses him as one. Could land as high as a 10th pick in the draft.


  1. Brandon Jacobs (No. 18) – This big fellow is going to plow through like a runaway train as the season starts, but be careful as the big legs wear out quickly if he is overused. The Giants are in for a solid run at it this year. I see Jacobs in the area of 15-18 pick spot.


  1. Drew Brees (No. 16) – Many have Brees putting up the most yards of any QB, and he does have some nice receivers and nifty backs, but his production will fall off a bit from last year. Figures will still be high, but defenses are going to after him in many ways. That’s why I got Manning as the first QB to go, and Brees as few picks down the line.


  1. Calvin Johnson (No. 20) – Johnson should have a solid all-around year coming up. Matthew Stafford is going to have to develop his deep and across wideout threat, and Johnson should fit this roll. He’s got the speed and the hands, so get this man the ball. Should be around 18-22 spot, but may be overlooked and go 25-30.


  1. Tom Brady (No. 19) – Here’s a good question: how’s Brady going to get that smooth easy drop and pass flow going this year? Is it just going to happen? I would bet on it happening, but evolving as the season progresses, so I don’t see Brady being picked up before 15th. He should comfortably land around 20 to maybe 25.


  1. Randy Moss (No. 21) – Still an elite receiver and he proved it again last year with a solid
    Matt Cassel tossing him the rock. I think I would go with Moss still over all other WR (maybe even Calvin Johnson), but I’ve got to see how the Patriots are going to come out of the gate with a fresh outlook a year after they played tough after their captain went down.


The rest here I’m going to work on and map it out (but with regards to some upcoming picks after the group above) the next 20 or so to go should be:


QB – Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers, Kurt Warner, Tony Romo, Matt Ryan, Carson Palmer, Jay Cutler


RB – Ronnie Brown, Kevin Smith, Marshawn Lynch, Derrick Ward, Reggie Bush, Willie Parker

WR – Steve Smith, Roddy White, Terrell Owens, Anquan Boldin, Greg Jennings, Dwayne Bowe, Marques Colston.


TE – Jason Witten, Antonio Gates, Tony Gonzalez, Dallas Clark, Greg Olsen, Kellen Winslow … I like the first couple TEs going as high as mid-third round, as I see a couple of the above listed TEs as being solid TD producers this year!

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