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Late July is when the portion of the brain that has been entirely devoted to fantasy baseball since April starts to yield some space to a few inklings, thoughts and prognostications regarding fantasy football. I'm not ready to unveil my top pre-draft position rankings just yet, but here are a few points I'm mulling over as I prepare my list:
Does Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN, deserve to be the No. 1 fantasy draft pick this year, with his contract issues settled? I've read some observations that a restructured contract was the only thing standing between A.P. and a massive season to come. I don't know about that. He's 30 years old and has to shake off some rust, though he's also in "ridiculously good shape." He also returns to an offense, headed by second-year QB Teddy Bridgewater, that is likely to lean more than ever on him as a rusher and give him more work as a receiver. I'll tell you right now he's one of my top two fantasy players overall.
Is Calvin Johnson, WR, DET, still an elite fantasy WR? With his 2014 season coming in well below expectations and the surge of new talent into the tops ranks of this position - Odell Beckham, Jr., anyone? - Megatron has lost his luster. The former overall first-rounder probably will not even land in my top five for the WR position.
Will Russell Wilson, QB, SEA, finally throw for 4,000 yards this year? The short answer is "maybe." The longer answer is "Who cares, especially if he runs for another 849 yards and six TDs to go along with 20 passing TDs?" Wilson passed for 3,475 yards last year, and has yet to reach 3,500 yards passing in any of his three seasons, though he has slightly increased his passing yardage each season. With Jimmy Graham, TE, now in Seattle, a lot of people are thinking Wilson is going to throw a lot more. That could be true, though I'd count him as one of my top three fantasy QBs even without that possibility.
Is Martellus Bennett, TE, Bears, really a top-five fantasy TE? You better believe it. The perception the Bears want to get rid of him is at odds with the reality of his value last season - 916 yards receiving and six TDs (though four of them came in the first three games). This season, with Brandon Marshall gone, the highly regarded Kevin White still in training and the streaky Eddie Royal as the other likely WR starter, it certainly seems like Bennett should be in line for another solid season - maybe even something more.
Dan O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.