With the NFL Draft upon us this week, I thought it would be good to take one final pre-draft look at the top 25 players in my Fantasy Football rankings for 2012. Some of this should change a bit after the draft, depending on surprises and trades, but for the most part, this will be close to what the first two rounds of your draft will look like.
1.01 Arian Foster, RB, Houston: Seems to be the consensus No. 1 pick in 2012, but I’m not officially sold. He might be the least convincing No. 1 pick in a few years.
1.02 Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore: Last year’s top scoring RB could climb up into my top spot before the end of summer.
1.03 LeSean McCoy, RB, Philadelphia
1.04 Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville: MJD has averaged over 350 touches for the past three seasons. Would he draft himself in the top three?
1.05 Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit
1.06 Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay
1.07 Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego
1.08 Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee: Probably the best high-risk/high-reward guy in the first round.
1.09 Andre Johnson, WR, Houston: Hard to believe he’ll be 31 this season, although the injuries make him seem like he’s 51.
1.10 Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans: The crazy offseason could push him into the second round at some point.
1.11 Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle
1.12 Matt Forte, RB, Chicago: How long will he hold out?
2.01 Cam Newton, QB, Carolina: As shocking as this ranking is, it’s really tough to make an argument for someone else at the beginning of the second round.
2.02 Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England
2.03 Tom Brady, QB, New England
2.04 Wes Welker, WR, New England
2.05 Roddy White, WR, Atlanta
2.06 Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland: Coming off a foot injury, but he loses Michael Bush to compete for touches.
2.07 Greg Jennings, WR, Green Bay
2.08 Frank Gore, RB, San Francisco
2.09 DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas
2.10 Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans: Two tight ends drafted among the top 25 picks? Can’t remember this ever happening before in Fantasy Football history.
2.11 Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia
2.12 Michael Turner, RB, ATL: Six 100-yard rushing games last year, but only two came after Week 7.
Rising fast – Hakeem Nicks & Victor Cruz, WRs, NYG: Who would you pick first? The top receiver (Nicks) or the one that stays healthy (Cruz)?
Dropping hard – Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI: A QB competition could cost No. 11 timing and continuity, as well as some catches and touchdowns.
Is there anyone you’d move up or down in your Fantasy Football rankings? Am I missing someone?
David Gonos spent 5 years as a CBSSports.com Senior Fantasy Writer and three more years writing with SI.com. Over the past 17 years, his work has been published on NFL.com, MLB.com, FanDuel, FoxSports.com and USA Today. Since 2001, he has been tracking down the Top 50-plus Free Fantasy Football Draft Tools online. You can contact David Gonos here.