Fantasy Football Picks 2012: 10 Easy Picks to Dominate Your League
It's better than Christmas, better than every Friday at 5 PM, and better than a double bacon cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato: it's fantasy football season!
With training camps wrapping up and preseason games in full swing, many of us will be reading fantasy football draft tips articles and tuning in to Matthew Berry podcasts to get the latest information on the upcoming season.
Every draft is different. Each year there are sleepers taken in the late rounds that can provide huge fantasy points and help win some matchups. There are consistent fantasy players and injury-prone snubs.
Here are 10 picks that are sure to rack up points and lead your team to victory.
He had his best season to date last year, registering a ridiculous 45:6 touchdown-to-interception ratio and throwing for over 4,600 yards in leading the Pack to a 15-1 record.
It will be difficult to put up those kind of numbers again, but expect Rodgers to go early in the first round of most leagues, especially those that cater to quarterbacks.
A staple among the top fantasy quarterbacks for the past decade, Tom Brady will remain there again this year.
Brady is poised for another year of extreme numbers in 2012 with a plethora of receiving options. He'll have his standard targets in Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski, the new addition in Brandon Lloyd, and specialized receivers in Deion Branch and Julian Edelman.
The Patriots defense will be looking to improve this season, but Brady and his stacked offense will seek out another attainable 16-0 season.
Any quarterback that can get your team points through the air and on the ground should be considered as a first-round pick. Cam Newton is that type of player.
Amassing a total of 35 touchdowns last season (21 passing, 14 rushing), Newton is a dual threat who should be taken seriously despite only entering his sophomore season. With premier wide receiver Steve Smith to throw to, expect Newton's numbers to remain consistent with a year of experience under his belt.
He will be determined to improve upon the Carolina Panthers' 6-10 record last season and fantasy owners should light up if he's still on the board when their pick arrives.
Despite missing three games last season, Arian Foster still proved why he has become one of the top running backs in the NFL.
Rushing for 1,224 yards and 10 touchdowns, Foster will exceed those numbers this season, especially if the tandem of Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson continues to destroy defensive secondaries.
If Foster plays in all 16 games this season, he has a legitimate chance at winning the rushing title.
He is a definite first-rounder.
Ray Rice is coming off his best season as the Baltimore Ravens' running back and should continue to put up similar numbers this season.
He hit a double-digit touchdown total last season (12) and rushed for 1,364 yards on his way to being the most dangerous threat in the Ravens offense, not to mention his 76 receptions, tops among running backs.
Quarterback Joe Flacco will be determined to prove critics wrong who say he can't win a championship for the Ravens, which should open up the ground game for Rice. His quick feet and ability to slip through holes will gain him extra yards and a few more touchdowns than other running backs.
LeSean McCoy had a breakout season for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011, leading all rushers in touchdowns with 17 after only scoring seven in 2010 and four in 2009.
McCoy is a tough runner, bouncing off tackles on his way to over 1,300 yards last season. Expect that number to go up in 2012.
He is regarded by some to be the top back going into the 2012 season, so he should be gone early in most league drafts.
After the season Calvin Johnson had in 2011, there isn't much doubt that he is one the most talented receivers in the game.
With 96 receptions amounting to 1,681 yards and 16 touchdowns, Johnson became an elite wide receiver in the NFL. Only his 96 receptions did not lead the league among receivers, falling four receptions short of Roddy White's 100 and 26 receptions behind the New England Patriots' Wes Welker.
Johnson will put up big numbers again this season, but according to Peter Newmann in an article by Matthew Berry of ESPN.com, of the four other wideouts with 16 touchdown receptions in a year, none of them scored more than 13 the following season.
Megatron is still human. He is also a potential first-round pick.
It doesn't matter who is throwing the ball to Larry Fitzgerald; if it comes his way, he's going to snag it.
Despite gaining 1,411 reception yards in 2011, Fitzgerald put up mediocre numbers, for his standards, with "only" 80 receptions and eight touchdowns.
This numbers should rise in 2012, especially if Kevin Kolb can stay healthy and the two can form some serious chemistry.
We all know what Fitzgerald is capable of, eclipsing double-digit touchdown totals in 2009-11, and we should expect those sort of numbers this season.
He put up big numbers in his first full season, with 82 receptions for 1,536 yards and nine touchdowns.
Fantasy owners should buy into Cruz as he gears up for another big season.
Last, but certainly not least, is Rob Gronkowski.
How could he not make this list? The entire NFL got Gronk'd last season, as he emerged as the top tight end in the league, redefining the position itself.
Gronkowski hauled in 90 receptions for 1,327 yards and a league-leading 17 touchdowns.
It will be near impossible to repeat this numbers, but if any duo can do it, it's Brady and Gronkowski.
He will disappear in most drafts by the end of the second round.