Fantasy Football Rankings 2013: Projecting Top Player at Every Major Position

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IAugust 5, 2013

NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 11:   Jimmy Graham #80 of the New Orleans Saints yells as he is introduced before playing the Atlanta Falcons at The Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 11, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Football season is almost upon us, and you know what that means.

No, not time to find Bobby, the missing "L" to your body-paint tribute to Roger Goodell. 

It's time to prepare for yet another fantasy football campaign, a scintillating few months full of laughter, sobbing and heartbreak.

Who will be this year's fantasy football heroes? Will Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers miss offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga? Will the New Orleans Saints' Jimmy Graham be the best tight end in football? Will Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson still be awesome?

Here are my top players at each major offensive position for the 2013-14 NFL season.


QB: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

Those who don't have Drew Brees up top point to his interception totals last season, but that's a minor problem when you consider Brees threw for over 5,000 yards and a league-high 43 touchdowns in 2012.

Brees also recorded the second-most passing attempts in the NFL, even with the stable of running backs behind him. He still has two prime checkdown options in tight end Jimmy Graham and running back Darren Sproles, he still has No. 1 receiver Marques Colston and he still has 1,000-yard receiver Lance Moore.

Aaron Rodgers just watched offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga go down with a torn ACL (who was supposed to move to left tackle this season), per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, and Rodgers also picked up some promising young running backs in Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin, who may dig into his pass attempts. Tom Brady lost one of his top tight ends. And Peyton Manning is a risk considering his age and health history.


RB: Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings

You have to go with Adrian Peterson here, considering what he did last season coming off a torn ACL.

Peterson is arguably the top running back in the NFL. He rushed for 2,097 yards last season (second-most in NFL history) while adding 12 touchdowns on the ground. In standard leagues, he racked up 297 fantasy points, which led all running backs by 49 points.

Peterson is not only the top running back headed into the 2013 campaign, he should be the No. 1 overall selection in every fantasy football draft across the country.


WR: Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions

Calvin Johnson racked up a ridiculous 122 catches for 1,964 yards and five touchdowns last season. His touchdown numbers were a bit down, but that tends to be overshadowed when you post the most receiving yards in a single season in NFL history and the second-most receptions.

Given Johnson's career averages, you would expect his touchdown numbers to go up in 2013, which is scary considering the other stats he filled up in 2012.

FYI: Johnson was tackled on the 1-yard line four times in 2012, according to He still managed 214 fantasy points in standard leagues, tops among receivers.


TE: Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints

It shouldn't even be a question which tight end should be drafted first.

That man should be Jimmy Graham, who posted 144 fantasy points in standard leagues last season. Graham notched 85 receptions for 982 yards and nine touchdowns in 2012, edging New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski by five points.

Gronkowski may start the season on the PUP list this season, per Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. Even if he does start in Week 1, he likely won't be at full strength until a few weeks from then.

Atlanta Falcons veteran Tony Gonzalez, third among tight ends in fantasy points last season, is getting older and slowing down.

The Pittsburgh Steelers' Heath Miller, fourth among tight ends in fantasy points in 2012, is likely to miss at least the first six weeks of the season on the PUP list, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Next on the list, the Dallas Cowboys' Jason Witten, was outscored by nearly 30 fantasy points by Graham in 2012.

Stick with the obvious selection. Don't do anything crazy here.


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