As we look back on my projections for the top 20 running backs for 2012 fantasy football, I would like to say I feel I nailed it. Unfortch, unlike that one famous carpenter that was around prior to AD, I’m not good with a hammer and injuries always seem to rattle this position to it’s core when you go to review. There were plenty of surprises, some pleasant and some not so, but the people who drafted players like Maurice Jones-Drew or Ryan Mathews may never play this wonderful and wacky game again. In the end, the top 20 at this position were most likely the least injured players more so than they were the best players at times during the year which is to say, it wasn’t always sexy to own some of these backs. For the meat and potatoes of this conversation, since we don’t have a player rater yet, we’re going to rely on yahoo PPR rankings for our review. So with the groundwork set, let’s take a look back at the top 20 running backs for 2012 fantasy football…Please, blog, may I have some more?
It seems to happen every year. Ok, it’s now happened for two straight years at least but that’s NFL years. In human years, that’s more akin to 13. But back to the scoop, DeAngelo Williams has gone from fantasy flatliner to fantasy freak all over again when the last 4 weeks arrive. After finishing the 2011 season with a week 14-17 output of 309 total yards and 4 touchdowns, DeAngelo has followed it up with a 517 total yard, 4 TD performance during the same span for the 2012 season, capping it off with a 210 yard, 2 TD crescendo to end the year. If it hadn’t been for ‘Hey, Hey, Hey’ it’s Mike Tolbert and his 3 TD runs, we’d be talking about an even more amazing day. However, ask anyone who drafted DeAngelo if they got to enjoy this explosion and I have a funny feeling you’ll start a fight. The sad truth is, DeAngelo actually scored more touchdowns and gained more yardage in the final 4 games of the year than he did in the first 12. It’s truly a case of bad team management with the Running Back attack of the Panthers and has little to nothing to do with the talent involved. It’s like they finally figure out how to utilize their players in the final month only to forget it all the next year and start from scratch. In either case, it was a week 17 to both remember and for the Panthers to forget when the 2013 season rolls around. See you next year, DeAngelo…I’m pretty sure you’re gone till December for 2013 as well if you stay in Carolina. Yes, I know that’s Wyclef Jean and not Will.i.am…but the reference was too good to not go out on it! In other fantasy football news to wrap up the 2012 season…
Drew Brees – Completed another solid fantasy season by almost getting a 400 yard game – finished with 396 – to go with 4 touchdowns. It was a season with a few hiccups for Brees but he’ll most likely end the year the leader at the QB position in touchdowns (43) and yards (5177), barring late game antics from Romo and Rodgers. If you drafted this QB in the first round, ya done good son and I mean that ‘son’ in the figurative sense. Stop asking me for lunch money.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Let me be the first one to tell you that as much as I try and keep up, I’m not usually a trendy person. If you took a look at my CD collection, you wouldn’t notice many new artists. In fact, me saying I have a CD collection already proves just how untrendy I am. Get with the digital world, Sky! Well, there are certain trends I do pay attention to and it’s how players are doing in the fantasy world and an alarming one has happened over the last 4 weeks for Peyton Manning owners. Sure, on the season he’s still the 7th best QB to own according to yahoo and he no doubt is a huge reason you’re still reading about fantasy football because his numbers have been so great for such a cheap draft price. But over the last few weeks, Peyton is getting outpaced by Sam Bradford and I had to rethink how we should view him in a week that could have Denver up big early. With Trent Richardson trending downward as the season wears on – only 28 yards last week – and Brandon Weeden throwing into a tough Bronco secondary, real football might trump your fantasy football world and turn Manning into what he has been the last two weeks: a hand the ball off quarterback. Am I saying you should sit him? Nah, he’s still my 12th best guy on the board. I’m simply saying I’m not expecting the world outta him and I don’t know if you should either. In other ideas that are against the grain, Steve Smith has been on a roll with Cam Newton and I like that trend to continue to the tune of WR1 status for the week while I think Dez Bryant and his finger don’t warrant WR1 status despite the sweet Saints matchup. Oh and fumbles make Belichick mad so I couldn’t put Stevan Ridley anywhere near RB1/RB2 circle of trust this week. If you wanna be mad at me for it go ahead, but I suggest you do something more constructive like send Stevan some Elmer’s for his hands. And with that, let’s get to the rankings for what is – for many – championship week…psyche! I wanted to let you know since there’s no Thursday Night Football tonight, I won’t be the first post you see Friday morning. Instead it will be our on-staff doctor as Andrew Nordmeier provides some insight to the bumps and bruises heading into the weekend. If ya need me, I’ll still field questions on this post so fear not! Just come on by and I’ll be here to answer. And with that let’s really get on with this weekly rankings for 2012 fantasy football…
The top rush defenses this year have been The Texans, Broncos, 49ers, Buccaneers, Chargers, and Steelers. However, DeMarco Murray, Mark Ingram, Mike Tolbert, and Danny Woodhead each scored at least one TD against one of those teams this past weekend. Vick Ballard didn’t score, but he did manage 100+ yards against Houston as well. In short, a great run defense can still be beaten from time to time. So what does this mean for your fantasy team?Please, blog, may I have some more?
Well here was the Monday Night Football game everyone no doubt had circled on their calendars this season. Truly one of the few games where Gruden’s ‘this guy/that guy’ analysis fits perfectly since we don’t really know who this or that guy is any better than he does. I had a better joke to lead this paragraph off with but felt starting and ending a paragraph with ‘The Jets’ would leave many wanting. But outside my sarcastic comments, there was still fantasy relevance to be had…well, there was very little to be had but we write about fantasy football so we feel obliged to dig and find some and what we came up with was Jake Locker. As I was doing rankings for QBs, I left him out of my top 20 QBs for 2012 but did decide to blurb on him as he was on everyone’s radar in 2011 and was being tabbed as a sleeper in 2012, especially for 2 QB leagues. Jake was the big armed, big bodied QB of the future for Tennessee and 2012 was going to be his year to showcase his skills. Well, a shoulder issue derailed him week 4 and he didn’t return until week 10 and then it took a couple of weeks to shake the rust off. Peering under the hood that is the Monday night spotlight game, what I saw was a very raw athlete and someone who doesn’t deserve a grade for his 2012 season, whether in his favor or punitive. Against a tough Jets secondary, Locker finished the night with a respectable line, completing 13/22 pass attempts for 149 yards without any touchdowns but, more importantly, no interceptions. Of course, this is not what made people interested in Jake coming into the year. Jake also finished the night with 43 rushing yards on 7 attempts with the game winning touchdown. As we all know, quarterbacks with great legs get fantasy owners hot and bothered. If you don’t believe me, just ask yourself how many times we’ve talked about Tim Tebow this year…you know, the guy with only 126 total yards on the season coming into the game. Legs change leagues like Tebow and Cam Newton did last year and Robert Griffin, III is doing this year. So the fever about Locker for that reason is understandable but some reality needs to get tossed into your fantasy, folks. Unless Locker can figure out how to cure inaccuracy issues and how to – good GAWD man – slide rather than hurdle himself into a defensive player head first, Locker’s chance at success ROS and beyond is going to be extremely hampered by inconsistency and leaving himself open to pointless injury and incessant ‘Hurt Locker’ puns. In other Monday Night Football news for 2012 fantasy football…Please, blog, may I have some more?
NBC asked Obama to speak last night just so sports fans would switch to the NBC Sports Network for the first time ever. Also, judging from the timeslot, I’m guessing the President didn’t have any of the Patriots or Niners on his fantasy team. I think we’ve had a rough couple of days, as a nation, so I will only bring up two points– First, watching all the news, hearing all their names, listening to the speeches… it’s been the opposite of fun. And secondly, I think my ceiling fan was making my eyes water. Maybe kicking up some dust-mites? Now, let’s get back to talking about football!
I previously called this game Waterworld, due to all the rain. I am now referring to this game as ‘New Year’s Eve’, because everyone dropped the ball. What was the rain made out of? KY Jelly? Wait, wait, is it too late to call it the Boston Turnover Party?
Here was my drinking game of choice last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Although Stevan Ridley did score a TD against one of the best rush defenses in the league on Monday, he did so in the 4th quarter after The Patriots had already solidified a victory. He also had 39 of his 72 yards on one drive in the 4th quarter. Now he plays against The San Francisco 49ers who are also one of the best at guarding against the run. The Patriots are still battling for the top spot in the AFC as well as a first round bye so they won’t be sitting Ridley just yet, but they might lessen his load a bit so if you’re looking for Ridley to extend his streak of 6 straight games with a TD, I wouldn’t bet on it.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Hey everyone, I’ve got a 2012 sleeper for ya. He’s now on the Patriots where one of his former offensive coordinators in Josh McDaniels resides. The last time this sleeper was matched up with McDaniels for a full season for the Broncos, he had a career year: 77 receptions, 1,448 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. Now keep in mind that back in 2010 when he put those numbers up, it was a guy by the name of Kyle Orton throwing to him. Now that he’s a Pat and has Brady, there’s no telling what damage this guy is gonna do in 2012!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Thursday Night Football this week has quite the interesting RB matchup. On one side we have Knowshon Moreno who hasn’t exactly been elite, but he has received 20 carries in each of the last two weeks and more importantly has not lost the football. On the other side we have Darren McFadden likely to return from injury this week and Marcel Reece, who likely ruined a few fantasy seasons this past Sunday. While it’s hard to recommend any of them this week, with Denver’s solid run defense and Oakland’s terrible one, I would give the green light to Moreno and bench the men in black. If you’re in a PPR league, both McFadden and Reece become more intriguing options, but don’t rely on them for anything above a flex in that situation.Please, blog, may I have some more?