Predicting the Top 50 Players for 2013 Fantasy Football

Alex Dunlap@AlexDunlapNFLContributor IOctober 18, 2012

Predicting the Top 50 Players for 2013 Fantasy Football

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    While you are busy managing your 2012 fantasy team, let me assure you, I am, too. 

    This cannot stop me from looking ahead, however. When fantasy season concludes, it is only one month before the Senior Bowl. Then the Pro Day circuit which I have come to love, but my future wife has come to hate. Then comes the Scouting Combine and NFL draft.

    It's a lot of travel and work preparing for this. The NFL season. 

    Before you know it, we will be back here again. It happens in the blink of an eye.  

    This is your first-ever 2013 Fantasy Big Board. 

1. Arian Foster, RB Houston Texans

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    The best player to own in fantasy football across all formats.

    The fact that Foster gets so many touchdowns does not mean he is dependent on them for his fantasy production, historically. Foster is a stud in yardage and touchdown numbers alike, and is far from a "boom-bust" type of producer.

    He came into 2012 scoring at least 10 points in standard leagues 87 percent of the time over his previous two seasons. 

    Now Foster, through six games in 2012, has not once failed to score fantasy owners at least 15 points in standard leagues.

    Pure fantasy gold. 

2. Adrian Peterson, RB Minnesota Vikings

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    Peterson is back, and he has healed like The Wolverine.

    He even wears shiny, scary-looking shin guards that add to the persona.

    Arian Foster is the league's most pure runner, but Peterson remains the NFL's most physically gifted running back. While Peterson has been a mild disappointment to start the 2012 season, he has faced some tough matchups, and is still only 10 months removed from having his ACL and MCL torn to shreds. He's also been nursing a separate ankle injury. 

    The bad news for Peterson owners is that his schedule really doesn't get that much better moving forward. It's tough throughout; with the NFC West opponents the NFC North has to face this season along with Houston. 

    Peterson has looked better in the games and on film than his very respectable 12.5-point 2012 fantasy average would even indicate.

    The touchdowns will come. In big buckets. The Vikings will be an improving team entering  2013, and Peterson will lead the way. 

3. LeSean McCoy, RB Philadelphia Eagles

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    Shady McCoy will make a 2012 comeback, and make this move necessary in 2013 redraft leagues. McCoy should be the third player off the board.

    We have seen that drafting a quarterback in this spot is no guarantee moving forward. 2011 was an aberration with the shortened offseason. Defenses got the short end of the stick while offenses went bananas.  

    There is positional scarcity at RB like no other position. It is currently the opposite of WR in fantasy, which is a position of great depth through the middle-end. Having a dependable rock as your RB1 throughout the 2013 season will be more important than having a top-tier QB as opposed to a bottom-end elite option that could be had two-to-three rounds later.

    Coming into 2012, McCoy was fantasy's most reliable RB. McCoy will remain a top option in 2013 alongside Nick Foles and the new-look Eagles offense. 

4. Jamaal Charles, RB Kansas City Chiefs

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    Charles is a threat to go the distance on any play.

    We have seen that concerns of Peyton Hillis don't represent any threat to Charles' tremendous upside, and that Shaun Draughn is a terrific complementary back that is capable of spelling him effectively.

    Charles will continue being quickly "eased back" into action in 2012, perpetrating sporadic acts of fantasy terror on the opposition. Charles is not the number four player in fantasy football for 2012, but what he will accomplish in his ACL recovery in 2012 will pave the way for this distinction heading into 2013. 

5. A.J. Green, WR Cincinnati Bengals

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    There is a new top dog at the WR position coming into 2013, and this is no dig on Calvin Johnson.

    This is a dig on AFC North defenses and their secondaries. And not the deep dig "dagger" route they keep getting burned on by these athletic guys.  

    The NFC North is getting tougher in this department while the Browns, Ravens and Steelers are all going downhill from traditional expectations. If the Cleveland Browns are such a good secondary, why are they getting torched coming into Week 7?

    Why? Of course. Because Browns shutdown cornerback Joe Haden has been suspended for taking Adderall to start the season.

    In his first game back from testing positive, Haden's performance was good at times, but had a decidedly negative effect. An A.J Green fantasy monster.  

The Field

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    5. Ray Rice, RB Baltimore Ravens

    6. Calvin Johnson, WR Detroit Lions

    7. Aaron Rodgers, QB Green Bay Packers

    8. Robert Griffin III, QB Washington Redskins

    9. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB Jacksonville Jaguars

    10. Darren McFadden, RB Oakland Raiders 

    11. Marshawn Lynch, RB Seattle Seahawks

    12. Trent Richardson, RB Cleveland Browns


    13. Drew Brees, QB New Orleans Saints

    14. Jimmy Graham, TE New Orleans Saints

    15. Tom Brady, QB New England Patriots 

    16. Julio Jones, WR Atlanta Falcons

    17. Percy Harvin, WR Minnesota Vikings

    18. Aaron Hernandez, TE New England Patriots

    19. Victor Cruz, WR New York Giants

    20. Rob Gronkowski, TE New England Patriots

    22. Alfred Morris, RB Washington Redskins

    23. Matt Forte, RB Chicago Bears

    24. Cam Newton, QB Carolina Panthers


    25. Roddy White, WR Atlanta Falcons

    26. Ryan Mathews, RB San Diego Chargers

    27. Reggie Bush, RB Miami Dolphins

    28. Brandon Marshall, WR Chicago Bears

    29. Frank Gore, RB San Francisco 49ers

    30. DeMarco Murray, RB Dallas Cowboys

    31. Larry Fitzgerald, WR Arizona Cardinals

    32. Marcus Lattimore, RB (Team TBD)

    33. Andre Johnson, WR Houston Texans

    34. Tony Gonzalez, TE Atlanta Falcons (barring retirement)

    35. Eli Manning, QB New York Giants

    36. Reggie Wayne, WR Indianapolis Colts


    37. Demaryius Thomas, WR Denver Broncos

    38. Mike Wallace, WR Pittsburgh Steelers

    39. Stevan Ridley, RB New England Patriots

    40. Jordy Nelson, WR Green Bay Packers

    41. Wes Welker, WR (Team TBD)

    42. Doug Martin, RB Tampa Bay Bucs

    43. C.J. Spiller, RB Buffalo Bills

    44. Ahmad Bradshaw, RB New York Giants

    45. Peyton Manning, QB Denver Broncos

    46. Hakeem Nicks, WR New York Giants

    47. Vernon Davis, TE San Francisco 49ers

    48. Terrance Williams, WR (Team TBD)

    49. Chris Johnson, RB Tennessee Titans 

    50. Michael Turner, RB Atlanta Falcons