It's the most wonderful time of the year: fantasy football season. Whether you use Yahoo!, SI, or ESPN, there are always dos, don'ts, and clear studs. Aaron Rodgers (above) was one of the smartest picks you could have made last year.
What does it take to win your league? It takes preparation before the draft, reading articles like this, and analyzing some stats yourself. Don't come into your draft only knowing who the top 5 players at each position are. That'll earn you 7th place out of 10 in your league. And worst of all, it'll subtract any bragging rights you were planning on earning.
Last year, Cason Palmer suffered an early season-ending injury. His elbow is expected to be at full strength by week one. Palmer threw over 25 touchdowns and 4,000 yards in each of his last two years before the injury.
Also, keep in mind, Palmer is 29, which is the peaking age for most NFL quarterbacks. Expect him to have a typical Carson Palmer year full of 300-yard games and plenty of touchdown passes, to the now determined Chad Ochocinco.
Overshadowed by sophmore running backs like Matt Forte, Chris Johnson, and Steve Slaton, Kevin Smith rushed for 976 yards playing for the Detroit Lions. As a second-year player you know he has nowhere to go, but up.
Consider Smith a shoe-in 1,000 yard rusher with 10 touchdowns. Draft Smith because guys like Thomas Jones and LaDanian Tomlinson will go ahead of him. When you chose a running back, take youth over experience.
Who the hell is Eddie Royal? Well, he was one of the best rookie wide-receiver in the NFL last year. Royal had 980 yards last year and 5 TDs. Consider him a pro-bowl candidate next year with potential 1,150 yards and 10 TDs.
There is one turn-off and one turn-on in Royal though. Good news first: Brandon Marshall's surgery and off-the-field trouble should open things up for the youngster, but Jay Cutler leaving town and the average Orton coming it could take a little bit away from his numbers compared to if Cutler was still in Denver.
Carlson, coming off a solid rookie year at tight-end is likely for a breakout season. With the return of Matt Hasslebeck, his 627 yards as a first-year player made him the best rookie tight-end in the game.
Just watch out as Houshmandzadeh comes to town, it could take away from his catches, but the fact that he is so young should add a few touchdowns and a couple hundred yards.