If you're still looking for a last minute fantasy draft strategy, then look no further! I've got the formula for success right here. If this isn't your first draft, the you know that nothing is a lock, but the transition into a new era of football has left some prime players ripe for the picking late.
Almost every expert out there has Chris Johnson on top of their fantasy draft boards. After last season's 2,000 yard performance, I don't blame them, but Adrian Peterson is still the total package. He breaks tackles with deer-like speed, and is a touchdown scoring machine. QB Brett Favre isn't getting any younger, and he won't be able to take as many hits this season. Also, both primary weapons in the passing game are either banged up or out for the year (Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice). All of this adds up to more carries and production for Peterson. I look for him to have numbers like he did in 2008.
After waiting out the next 18 picks, Tom Brady should still be available at 20. Jump all over him! Reports are that Randy Moss is as fast off the block as ever, and Wes Welker is healthy again. I look for Brady to put up 4,300 yards and at least 33 touchdowns. Brady is back.
Cavin Johnson is a physical freak. After all, you don't get a name like Megatron by being a mere mortal. This guy is a steal in the third round. He's fast, strong, and can leap through the clouds. He works hard and has sure hands, and Lions QB Matthew Staford has a whole season in this offense under his belt. Look for Johnson to break out in 2010 as a top five receiver with double digit touchdowns and around 1,200 yards.
After the Colts finished their 2009 campaign 31st in the league in rushing attempts and dead last in rushing yards, many people wrote off Joseph Addai as a fantasy flop, but look for their run game to rebound in 2010. The Colts have put heavy emphasis in camp this year on having a legitimate ground attack again to balance the offense out. Addai will have over 1,200 yards and 10 or more scores this season. He'll be there at pick 40.
Next. you'll need another wide receiver to put up some numbers for you if you want to succeed. Chad Ochocico (or Johnson) hasn't been as good ever since he lost his number two guy, T.J. Houshmandzadeh. He's finally getting help out there with the addition of Terrell Owens. This makes it impossible for opposing defenses to key in on Chad 100 percent of the time, as they have been doing recently. He'll be back to superstar form. don't be watching from afar. Get this guy while you can.
Assuming you're in a standard three receiver league, you're still missing a starter there. If Dwayne Bowe is still on the board at pick 60, take him. He worked out with Larry Fitzgerald's receiver camp in the off-season and appears to be dedicated to showing all of his critics that he is an elite wide out. He's slimmed down, and he is a speedy big body who can catch jump balls as well as anyone in the league. He can be another double digit touchdown guy with 70 plus catches.
Almost done with the starters. Only two more to go (kickers don't count). You'll need a tight end, for my money this is the best one. Jason Witten is as consistent as they come. He's his QB's favorite target, and that's saying a lot for any tight end. There will be others on the board here, so you'll probably have your pick of the lot, with a few exceptions. Witten is a solid choice and will get some touchdowns, but Vernon Davis or Brent Celek would also be great choices here.
All you need now is a defense/special teams and you're ready to talk trash! You may have already missed out on the fantasy-favorite incumbents, but not to worry. Holding teams to few points is only half the battle here. It's very important for your team to create turnovers and score in the return game. If the Jets and the Ravens are still on the board here, then by all means take one of them. However, If not, then the New England Patriots may be worth looking at. You can even wait a few rounds to pick them and fill you bench up with some talent before making this pick. Coach Bill Belichick is a coaching genius and won't tolerate another performance like this unit had last year. Plus, the addition of some speed in the return game leaves them one broken tackle away from scoring on every kick.
As far as the bench and kicker go, make sure your bench players' bye weeks don't coincide with those of your starters. Look for breakout guys like young guys on the verge and veterans that people are skeptical of. RB Ladanian Tomlinson (Jets), RB Thomas Jones (Chiefs), and WR Terrell Owens (Bengals) are a few veterans to look at. Rookie WR Jordan Shipley (Bengals) looked very good in the preseason this year, and the team cut veteran WR Antonio Bryant just to make room for him in the slot position. A few more young stars-to-be to look at are WR Dez Bryant (Cowboys), QB Matthew Stafford (Lions), and WR Dexter McCluster (Chiefs). In a league that counts points for return touchdowns by individual players, McCluster would be a great pick in the last two or three rounds. Rob Bironas (Titans) is always a good kicker to have.
Well, that's it. You're on your way to a fantasy championship. Whether you go this way or not, good luck out there. Have a great season.
Let me know how it all goes down with your comments and feedback!