We should anticipate Maurice Jones-Drew falling out of the second round in upcoming drafts. In reality, he probably should have been going lower than the second round before he told the Jaguars he was open to a trade.
11. Julio Jones (ADP 2.06) -
It’s hard to argue against Jones being the second receiver off the board, but should he go this high? Perhaps, as his skill set and physical presence set him up to be one of the dominant fantasy receivers of the next decade.
With Roddy White on the other side and Tony Gonzalez at tight end, Jones won’t have to worry as much about double coverage like A.J. Green in Cincinnati.
In standard leagues I’m on board with taking Jones over Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski but take the tight end if you’re in a PPR league. Jones isn’t likely to lead his own team in catches, let alone be one of the league leaders.
12. Matt Forte (ADP 2.01) -
You would think more weapons in the offense would be a good thing for Forte, but I believe it will set him up to be a bust. Michael Bush clearly has a strong hold on the goal-line work.
This could be a very frustrating player to own as I can envision times where the Bears throw 35-plus times and Forte comes way with marginal fantasy production.
13. Adrian Peterson (ADP 2.04) -
I’m not a believer in Adrian Peterson at his current ADP. Yes, Peterson was activated off the PUP, but I think that will entice less experienced fantasy owners to jump on him, thinking it means he will be just fine for the season.
Peterson won’t play in the Vikings final preseason games, and has yet to take contact in practice. It’s encouraging that he’s even on the field at this point at all, but let’s not get this twisted—he’s not going to be the player we remember from the past in 2012. Stay away from Peterson before the fifth round in 10-team leagues.
14. Maurice Jones-Drew (ADP 2.04) -
Rashad Jennings can be a starter in this league for multiple teams. Just watch his film from 2010, and what he’s doing in the preseason if you don’t want to take my word for it.
Jones-Drew was likely to give some of his workload up to Jennings even if he didn’t hold out, just to keep the veteran fresh.
Perhaps Jones-Drew and the Jaguars management will bond again, but I will believe it when I see it. Consider it a matter of pride and while I think Jones-Drew is going about this the wrong way, I can understand where he’s coming from.
At this point, I’m dropping Jones-Drew outside the top 20 tailbacks and moving Jennings up as a late RB3 option. Risk vs. reward will be the decision fantasy owners will have to decide on when targeting Jones-Drew or Jennings.
15. Matthew Stafford (ADP 2.04) -
Stafford proved to be durable last season and a healthy preseason (knock on wood) has only confirmed he’s a top-20 overall selection in all leagues.
The Lions will be a pass-heavy offense and if anyone is set to possibly go for 6,000 yards, it’s the Lions starting quarterback.
16. Marshawn Lynch (ADP 2.08) -
Like Cedric Benson a while back, we could see Lynch’s pending suspension held up because of legal problems. At this time, it appears he is set to play in Week 1 so fantasy owners should get production out of him early on.
Just make sure you keep an eye on Robert Turbin and Leon Washington to see which runner takes hold of the backup role, if and when Lynch is suspended.
17. Jimmy Graham (ADP 2.05) -
More valuable in PPR leagues, Graham is still one of the elite talents at his position and I would take him over Gronkowski. It’s a minor point, but I give the nod to Graham because he’s going to line up away from the line of scrimmage more often than Gronkowski, who is excellent in the running game.
18. A.J. Green (ADP 3.03) -
Julio Jones should go over Green but I believe the Bengals' talented receiver is worthy of a late second-round pick and should be the third receiver off the board. Green is not only highly skilled but he’s already one of the more technically sound receivers in the game.
Double coverage, who cares? This guy is good enough to beat triple coverage and Andy Dalton knows he can win on 50-50 balls.
19. Wes Welker (ADP 3.08) -
A solid fantasy receiver but this is a stretch in standard scoring leagues to take him in the second round. I wouldn’t even take him in the third round unless you’re in a PPR league because he’s not likely to break 10 touchdowns.
I could be wrong, but it appeared to me that Welker was slowing down in the second half of last season. Maybe the Patriots reluctance to give him a new contract was more than just being cheap.
20. Rob Gronkowski (ADP 2.10) -
Gronkowski had a monster season and landed a big contract because of his efforts. The top touchdown option in the red zone, we should expect another solid year from the Patriots stud.