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There are very few absolutes in fantasy football. Usually, the first three picks are unanimous. But is that always the case. What about the top 10? How about the top fifteen? Is there a consensus? Of course not. At Football Times, we have our own top 15 list. Take a look at our list and let us know if you agree.
1. Ladanian Tomlinson. No magazine or website has LT ranked lower than this. There should be no doubts. He scored 416 points, almost 100 more than the next back. That can't be beat. Yes, they lost their entire coaching staff, bu Turner's role is "don't screw it up." Not much will change, except with some minor play-calling changes. Remember how Turner ran the early 90 Cowboys? Emmitt Smith? LT will be fine.
2. Steven Jackson. He scored 325 points and was a powerhouse. He racked up 1500 yards rushing and 800 receiving. Also found the end zone 16 times. Linehan loves this monstrosity of a back and will continue to use him.
Here is where it gets tricky. Not everyone agrees as to who should go third. Some have Shaun Alexander, others Frank Gore, and many still have Larry Johnson. Who do we like here?
3. Shaun Alexander. He has the most stable situation of the three and an easy rushing schedule. He is a proven commodity, they have a potent pass offense and he should get back to his 2005 form. We see no reason to place any of the others here. Gore has not proven anything, and has durability issues. LJ has not signed and is really questionable. Another option here is Brian Westbrook. You can't arge with success and Westbrook has been very productive. Shaun should be the pick here. We aren't buying into the hype for Gore and LJ.
4. Brian Westbrook. When Donovan is playing, Westbrook is a beast. With Morningway calling the plays, Westbrook will have more pure run opportunities to augment his receiving game. Westbrook finished 6th among RBs and Donovan didn't even play the entire season. McNabb only started 9 games. Westbrook belongs here with the upper echelon of RBs.
5. Frank Gore. Weak division. Easy rushing schedule. Should do well, even without Turner at the helm. Fourth best RB last year with almost 1700 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns. You can take him 4th or 5th just as well. Between him and Westbrook, I could go either way. The only concern is the durability issue, but he stayed healthy last year.
6. Joseph Addai. For a guy that didn't start a single game, he sure did play well. Rushed for over 1000 yards and 8 total touchdowns. Not huge, but Rhodes is gone. He will be the guy in Indy. Now that Addai understands the protections, Manning will probably pass more often than last year. Last year, he audibled to the run many times. You could also argue for LJ here. Depends on which offense you trust. I trust Indy.
7. Rudi Johnson. How can you argue with 1300 yards and 12 touchdowns? Same great offense, same great offensive line. There isn't much else to say.
8. Willie Parker. Why? New coaching staff, Big Ben is better, will be hard to repeat last year's performance. He did have almost 1500 yards and 16 touchdowns. Too many questions for me to move him higher. But I won't blame you if you take him ahead of Rudi. Either one is a fine selection. I hope he proves me wrong and outperforms.
9. Larry Johnson. He is worth a gamble here at this point. His contract situation is just out of control. Who knows if he will even play. The return of Priest Holmes doesn't help his situation. I may not even draft him till 12th or 14th. This is a huge gamble, but is worth it.
Now it gets very tricky. Here some people have Manning, Bush, Henry, Maroney, Steve Smith, Portis, Owens, as well as an assortment of other options.
10. Travis Henry. We really like Travis Henry a lot. He is a smaller back, but he runs hard. What we have seen and read from training camp looks very promising. He still could be a huge bust, so it's still a gamble. But looking at other options, we would take him here instead. At this point you could also easily go for Peyton Manning, taking the top QB, is better than a gamble at RB. The question is, how much lower do you have Brees, Brady, McNabb and Palmer. Is Peyton really that much better than those guys?
11. Terrell Owens. Definitely the top WR this year. He had the most WR touchdowns last year with 13 and was second in points behind Harrison. He and Romo seem to have a really good thing going. I am not buying the Steve Smith hype. I just don't see Carolina putting up significant WR numbers, like they did in 2004 and 2005. Steve Smith should not even be in the top 3 of WRs.
12. Willis McGahee. You can't really argue with success. McGahee has played well in suboptimal situations. Now in Baltimore, with their offensive line, watch him thrive. You could easily argue for Maroney to be at this spot as well. Either one is fine, or another top notch WR like Harrison or Johnson. Or you could draft Willis here, and with the 13th overall (your next pick) take a top flight WR. The WR seem to be going earlier and earlier every year. The problem is that after the first 10, they are all pretty streaky.
13. Laurence Maroney. Finished 28th overall while sharing time with Dillon. Now that he is alone, he should do well. But with all the WRs New England has added, he may be hit or miss. With the double threat they can decide to either pass or run. But playing with a lead, he can close out games, like Dillon did. He should do really well this year by himself. I would take the backup RB for insurance, he hasn't proven durability yet.
14. Marvin Harrison. The number one WR last year. Definitely worth snagging at this point. Almost 1400 yards and 12 touchdowns is hard to beat, and he does it year after year. Take him, and thank the Lord you didn't follow the Steve Smith hype machine.
15. Chad Johnson. He is still clearly a notch above the rest of the WR. Although, Houshyourmomma was targeted more often and had more receptions, Chad still brought home more points. Here you may want to go Maurice Jones Drew, or Reggie Bush, or any other direction. Chad and Housh both averaged over 11 points per game, but Housh missed 2 games. It's really up to you at this point.
After this it all starts falling apart. People draft anything and anyone. You will always have that manager that starts drafting sleepers, Michael Vick, and who knows what else. The top fifteen are usually fairly easy to figure out and your logic and reasoning may be different than mine, but you can't go wrong with these guys.
See our always live, always up to date cheatsheet for up to the minute changes.