This is part three of a three-part series looking at the 2012 fantasy football season. The first two parts looked at the biggest surprises and then the biggest disappointments of the season and those can be found on the fantasy page here at The Farm Club.
The last part of the wrap up series will give a preview of the 2013 fantasy season by looking at a potential first round draft order as well as some positional recommendations based upon what happened in 2012.
2013 Mock First Round
1. Adrian Peterson- He put together one of the most impressive seasons for a running back ever and that’s coming off major knee surgery. Peterson is the safest and likely the most productive pick once again for 2013.
2. Arian Foster- Foster ended 2012 as the 3rd best scoring fantasy back and scored a league high 15 rushing touchdowns. He health this year was great and showed that he can be trusted to make it through a full season without missing significant time.
He’s still one of the safest bets for 2013 because he’s the feature back on a run first team.
Even if Ben Tate (who ran for over 900 yards as the primary backup in 2011 and missed most of 2012 with injury) comes back to full health for 2013, Foster should still be fine and that could actually help him stay more effective over the course of the season and prevent injury.
3. Ray Rice- Though he ended 2012 6th in scoring at RB he has the longevity that most of the guys ahead of him don’t have and odds are that Rice moves back up again with the hope that the Ravens new offensive coordinator will use Rice as a bigger threat in the offense like the way he should be.
4. Marshawn Lynch- Lynch ended 2012 as the 4th highest scoring running back and with the right quarterback in place now, Lynch should be a safe bet for over 1400 yards and 10 touchdowns again.
5. Aaron Rodgers- Rodgers was 2nd in scoring overall this year, just behind Drew Brees and that’s with his receivers in an injury carousel where his two best receivers missed almost 16 games combined. The hope is that the Packers will add a running game and with all (or most) of those receivers back and healthy, Rodgers should be a safe bet to be the surest bet at QB once again.
6. Tom Brady- He was the most consistent QB this year, having the best “worst” game of the year with his low game being 12 points. Brady shows no signs of slowing down, and with the hope that both his excellent TEs miss less time in 2013 than in 2012 he should be towards the top at QB again.
7. Drew Brees- Brees needs to be here once again after he led all players in scoring again and that’s with him having what many considered an off-year. The Saints organization was a mess this year with all the “Bountygate” distractions and all the coaching scene made things difficult for the offense. With Sean Payton back, look for Brees and the Saints offense to be better than it was in 2012 which is a great thing for Drew Brees.
8. Doug Martin- He ended the year as the second best running back in fantasy, just ahead of Arian Foster which is quite a feat for a rookie. He’s behind the 3 quarterbacks solely for the fact that they are safer bets than Martin who looked great at times but also looked like a rookie at times.
Martin is certainly a RB1 for 2013 but he’s not as safe as the RBs taken before (but his upside is tremendous).
9. Calvin Johnson- Johnson was the one thing working for the Lions this year (despite the fact that there were worries about him early in the season) and he ended up setting a yardage record for receivers as he ended up with almost 2,000 yards receiving.
Even if Matthew Stafford going forward looks more like the 2012 version than the 2011 version, Johnson is still going to be the most valuable WR in fantasy and if his touchdowns go up even a bit he’ll be the top guy by a lot.
10. Jamaal Charles- Charles had a great bounce back year in 2012 as he finished 8th in RB scoring and had over 1700 total yards.
The hope is that Andy Reid will find new ways (and better ways) for Charles to get the ball so that even if his touches get limited they will be high efficiency touches.
The thought is to look at how great LeSean McCoy was in 2011 and that’s what Charles could do.
Guys Who Just Missed:
Rob Gronkowski-He is by far the most damaging fantasy TE considering that he lead the position in scoring for a few weeks AFTER he had been injured. Gronk is a TD machine for Tom Brady and even if he does get hurt again his production is better than the rest when he is healthy.
Cam Newton-Newton looked to be in the sophomore slump in 2012 before things turned around and he ended the season as the 4th best fantasy QB. He has a chance to be really good once again in 2013, but probably not worthy of going in the first round.
LeSean McCoy-McCoy was a first round pick the last two seasons and was great in 2011 and disappointed last year due to injury and because of the mess known as the Eagles coaching staff. McCoy finished out the year looking pretty good and shouldn’t be forgot in 2013, especially if the team brings in a better QB and gets the coaching hire right.
Maurice Jones-Drew-MJD missed most of 2012 due to injury and hopes are that he will be back in 2013 as an elite RB once again. The team has a lot of things to fix (such as getting a QB and finding a new coach whom they just fired) and MJD will likely be one of the few things the team can rely upon. If he’s 100% and ready to go in 2013 he should be a top 10 RB and possibly a steal.
Alfred Morris-Morris looked great as a rookie, running for 0ver 1,600 yards and helping lead the Redskins into the playoffs. Morris finished 5th in scoring and should be a safe bet to be the workhorse once again for Washington; the worry is how much RG3′s injury effects his ability to be dynamic and that will effect Morris. Right now Morris is still a sure bet to be a top 10 RB but his value is related to the healthy of his QB.
Things Learned From 2012 To Remember For 2013
- There are plenty of good, healthy, young running backs which means the 1st round (and the top picks) should revert back to running back after being QB heavy in 2012.
- The difference between the best and very good QBs isn’t as big as it used to be; that means that outside of the elite guys (Brady, Rodgers, Brees) the next five or six QBs are all very good which means there will be a run on those 2nd tier QBs in the 2nd or 3rd round.
- As predicted, WR was very deep and going into 2013 there are even more quality WRs (like Cecil Shorts, T.Y. Hilton, Michael Crabtree) who emerged as WR2s which makes the position very deep, though the top of the position is elite and better than the rest (Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall, and A.J. Green).
- Tight end was a mess in 2012 and the guys who ended up in the top 10 would have surprised most. Outside of Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham, most owners should look at one or two guys later on and hope that one emerges like Kyle Rudolph or Greg Olsen.
- Kickers and defenses are still open to surprises and the Bears defense (which was REALLY good) are more the exception than the rule. Don’t take them any earlier than needed because guys taken later in drafts have a better chance of being fantasy relevant. It’s all about finding value in context of the rest at the position.
The goal is to provide additional fantasy content and coverage during the offseason with columns looking at the fantasy impact from the draft in April and the effects of free agency on fantasy later this winter.