Because you can never get enough of a good thing, I proudly present two posts in as many days for the first time…well, almost EVER. Enjoy; this one is structured a little differently and EVEN INCLUDES A POLL AT THE END, for those of you who like making your voices heard. Let’s kick it off with my next ten fantasy picks; Joe Addai was the last player I ranked at number 40…
41. Thomas Jones: Just named starter for the Chiefs over perceived incumbent Jamaal Charles, Jones is one of those beastly super-athletes who seems like he can defy the “I’m 30 Years Old Curse” of NFL running backs. Popped off for 1400 yards in a Jets uniform last season; only drawback is in PPR leagues as Jones isn’t much of a passing game factor.
42. Philip Rivers: Hate his personality, hate his uniform, hate his face, but only Drew Brees has tossed more touchdowns over the past two seasons. He’s got a rookie RB in Mathews for pass protection and will be without top WR target Vincent Jackson for some of the season, but I’ve already professed my love for Antonio Gates and what I think he’ll bring to the passing game this year. Malcolm Floyd isn’t too shabby, either.
43. Brett Favre: Fucker, fucker, fucker, this son of a bitch just keeps doing the same thing over and over and over again. Okay, enough about what pisses me off; Favre had an amazing run last year, Minnesota is offensively loaded for bear, and that arm of his just doesn’t seem capable of quitting. As long as his ankle is good to go, so too will Favre be.
44. Jonathan Stewart: The second half of Carolina’s two-headed backfield monster, Stewart typically lasts wayyyy too long in drafts given his recent success. The Panthers will run their way through this season, and you can pretty much book Stewie for 1000 yards and 8-10 scores.
45. Anquan Boldin: Joe Flacco has a new toy to play with in Charm City, and I’m betting Anquan couldn’t get out of Matt Leinart’s general vicinity fast enough. This facial surgery expert (hey ‘Quan, why the long face?) is coming into a good situation with the Ravens, as Derrick Mason commands attention from the other side and Ray Rice is, in general, a defensive nightmare. I expect 1200 yards and 8+ scores; don’t be surprised if he mashes those numbers.
46. Vernon Davis: Racked up 13 touchdowns as Alex Smith’s most reliable target last season. The emergence of Crabtree as a number one receiver may cut into his looks a tad, but I like what SF has done to improve their offensive line, giving Smith and Gore more time to extend drives and therefore increase scoring chances.
47. Steve Smith (NYG): Big sigh as I write this because, in my heart, the REAL Steve Smith plays in Carolina. Hard to ignore this Smith’s digits from a season ago, however. He was the fourth-most targeted wideout in the league and Eli seems to have settled down a bit with the head-shaking and shoulder-shrugging. Smith and Mario Manningham form a better-than-average WR duo with complementary abilities.
48. Matt Forte: From “Mr. Universe” to “Ms. Woonsocket”, it seemed like Forte and the Bears couldn’t do a thing right last season. I’m banking on Mike Martz being able to provide Forte with a Marshall Faulk-like role in the offense, but the acquisition of Chester Taylor scares the heck out of me. Still, PPR leagues should draft Forte with a fair amount of confidence.
49. Chad Ochocinco: I don’t see T.O. cutting into Ocho’s production much (in fact, Chad seems to perform better when he has somebody to compete with at WR, like Houshmandzadeh). Carson Palmer’s health and arm strength are of concern here; it seemed at times last year that he couldn’t get the ball downfield with the same zip he used to have. And there’s always the risk of a locker room implosion/dance-provoked suspension out of Ocho.
50. Jason Witten: Closed last season with three 100-yard+ games over his last six, and the Dallas offense should once again be difficult to stop. Only knock on Witten is Romo’s seeming preference to look in other directions at the goal line (two TD catches last year), but his overall reception and yardage numbers are elite. I’d expect a handful of scores out of Witten this season to go along with his other typically stellar numbers.
So endeth my top 50 players for the upcoming season. Don’t worry, I’ll throw my next 50 up here in time for all you last-minute drafters. Now, on to that poll I promised earlier…