2012's Fantasy Football All-Pro Team
With the 2012 season coming to a close, it’s time to anoint the fantasy football All-Pro team.
Sixteen weeks are now in the books and we have plenty of data to go on to accurately assess this year’s fantasy All-Pro team. When putting together the fantasy All-Pro team, only stats matter. A player’s value to a team has no bearing on inclusion to this team.
As usual, several studs stepped up to the plate, while some under–the-radar players stepped out from under the shadows and made a big impact this year. The team will consist of a standard fantasy lineup; that including one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, one tight end, one flex-spot player (either an extra running back or wide receiver), a kicker and a team defense.
So, here therein, is your 2012 fantasy football All-Pro team.
QB: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Amidst the “bounty gate” scandal, Brees has gone about his business all year and is doing what he does best: putting points on the board.
Brees has thrown for the most passing touchdowns in the league with 39, while also being tops in passing yards with 4,781. Brees is not a dual-threat quarterback like some of his challengers in Robert Griffin III, Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton, but when the Saints come to play, you’ll know Brees will sling it and sling it some more.
RB: Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
Peterson has defied all odds after coming back from a torn ACL and MCL injury last December and has not only come back, but has returned with authority.
In fact, Peterson looks better than ever and has regained his title as the league’s most elite back. Peterson has rushed for a whopping 1,898 yards (which is 408 more than Marshawn Lynch, who is second in the NFL in rushing) and is just 208 yards shy of breaking Eric Dickerson’s all-time rushing record. Peterson has also done well in the scoring department, rushing for 11 touchdowns (tied for the second most in the league).
There should be no reservations selecting Peterson with the No.1 overall pick in next year’s fantasy drafts.
RB: Arian Foster, Houston Texans
Peterson’s remarkable story has somewhat overshadowed yet another amazing season for Foster.
Drafted almost unanimously with the first overall pick, Foster did not disappoint his owners, as he produced at the clip fantasy players are accustomed to.
Foster is tops in the NFL in rushing touchdowns (14) and is fifth in rushing yards (1,328). Foster, who is in the prime of his career, should contend with Peterson for the right to be next year’s No. 1 draft pick
WR: Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions
After a slow start, Johnson has come on like a beast and is racking up out-of-this world receiving numbers.
“Megatron” has an incredulous and league-leading 1,892 receiving yards (which is 426 more than his next closest competitor) to go along with five touchdowns. Johnson has already set the NFL mark for receiving yards in a season when he broke Jerry Rice’s record last Saturday night.
While you’d like the touchdown numbers to be closer to double digits, Johnson receptions (117) and yards are more than enough to make him fantasy’s top point producer at wide receiver.
WR: Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears
All that Marshall needed to get going once again was reuniting with Jay Cutler.
Ever since reconnecting with Cutler in Chicago, Marshall has returned to his elite ways and is arguably having his finest season ever. Marshall is tied for third in receiving touchdowns with 11, while also coming in second to Calvin Johnson in receiving yards with 1,466.
As long as Cutler is his quarterback, Marshall should continue to post monster numbers. As such, Marshall will be a fringe first-round pick in fantasy drafts next year and is bona fide top 20 player.
TE: Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons
If this is Gonzalez’ last season, he is going out with a bang.
Surprised as you might, but in most standard leagues Gonzalez is the top-producing tight end. With injuries curtailing the seasons of Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham, Gonzalez has been a rock for his fantasy owners this season.
Amongst tight ends, Gonzalez is tied for third in touchdowns with eight while coming in second in receiving yards with 889.
Gonzalez’ 2012 season is the perfect capper to such an astonishing career.
Flex: Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Martin has come in and exceeded all expectations in his rookie season.
Compared to Ray Rice coming out of college, Martin has been all that was advertised of him and is one of the NFL’s emerging game-changers. Martin is equally adept at running the ball as he is catching it out of the backfield.
Martin’s 10 rushing touchdowns are tied for fifth in the league, while his 1,312 rushing yards ranks sixth in the league. Martin also has 454 receiving yards, which is fifth among running backs.
With the season he just had, Martin is a no-brainer, first-round selection in fantasy drafts next summer.
K: Stephen Gostkowski- New England Patriots
If you play on a high-powered offense, by default you’ll get a lot of scoring opportunities and Gostkowski has certainly made the most of it.
Gostkowski has made 29 of 35 field goal tries this year and has by far the most extra points with 62.
As long as Gostkowski is a part of the loaded Patriots’ offense, expect him to be at the top of the kicker rankings for years to come.
TD/ST: Chicago Bears
Simply put, the Bears’ defense has been awesome all year and they are head and shoulders above any other unit.
The Bears lead the league in defensive touchdowns (10) and interceptions (23). The Bears also rank seventh in sacks with 40 while coming in second in fewest points allowed with 253.
The Bears defense has carried many owners to championships and they should continue to be a feared unit for years to come.
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