2012 NFL Draft: Top 25 Fantasy Football Prospects for Your Team's 'Farm System'

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2012 NFL Draft: Top 25 Fantasy Football Prospects for Your Team's 'Farm System'
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

When ESPN's Bill Simmons writes, podcasts, tweets, or speaks, millions of us listen

He is, plain and simple, "The Sports Guy." He gets front page real estate on one of the most-visited sports news websites on the Internet; he has an opinion on everything in sports from sabermetrics to professional wrestling and he puts it in terms we can have a few beers with.

Fantasy football is no exception, and one of Simmons' columns last summer touched on an idea for improving NFL fans' favorite stats-based pastime that the man himself deemed "too radical" to work:

After every draft or auction, have a two-round "farm system" draft. Do it in snake fashion, with the worst team from last year picking first. Then each team drafts two college players they can "keep" for their first two NFL seasons (and trade as prospects if they want.)

The Sports Guy hasn't followed up on this rule since, so it stands to reason that he didn't use it.

But some of us did, and after one year of owning prospects we're back for more.

College football can be exciting in its own right—the fight songs, the packed stadiums, the bitter rivalries, the bowl games—but having a stake in individual student-athletes adds another dimension to following the amateur game.

Andrew Luck might leave you stuck with just his (useless) rookie year in fantasy if he decides to stay for another year again, and every run up the gut for Alabama puts mileage on Trent Richardson's tires.

After the Super Bowl, you'll be hearing from Mel Kiper, Todd McShay, and Mike Mayock about the state of your farm team. And when it's finally time for the fantasy roulette wheel of the NFL Draft, your B.M.O.C. can just as easily land in a plum starting role or at the bottom of a crowded depth chart.

As the proud owner of Atlanta's Julio Jones and Miami's Daniel Thomas from last year's "farm system" draft, I feel somewhat qualified to give you this cheat sheet of the top prospects available for 2012-13.

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