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Fantasy Fix: Are You Ready For Some Football?

Me neither.

I still have a few weeks until my fantasy football drafts and, frankly, I will need every minute to decide who I like as my top 10 picks for the coming season.

To be honest, I am having a hard time deciding on my No. 1 player ranking, let alone the other nine.

For the first time in years, the top pick isn't a clear-cut choice.

Some people like Chris Johnson, coming off huge year, while others still like perennial favorite Adrian Peterson, despite his fumble troubles and lingering questions about how often his team will pass. And, we can't forget about Maurice Jones-Drew. Every league has a fantasy team owner that believes MJD should go No. 1 every year.

That said, here's how I would draft the top 10 if I had every pick:

1. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville

You won't see him No. 1 in a lot of other places, but I think this is finally his year to lead them all, with an improved offensive line ahead of him and no one else carrying the ball for the Jags.

2. Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee

Hard to believe many doubted his ability to be a top 10 player last year. Top pass yardage gainer at RB, but I do worry a bit about some deflation after his amazing 2009 season.

3. Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore

Another risky, unlikely choice, but what can I say? He is probably the best pass-catching RB after Johnson, and is closest to MJD as a punishing runner. You could even make an argument for him as a forward-thinking No. 1 pick.

4. Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota

Yes, way down here at No. 4, but as of today, Brett Favre's status isn't clear, and that will affect his touches. He also went from bad to worse as a prolific fumbler.

5. Frank Gore, RB, San Francisco

A dramatic drop-off was expected last year after a so-so 2008 season; instead he gained more yards and scored more touchdowns, and like MJD, is expected to have a better O-line in front of him.

6. Michael Turner, RB, Atlanta

He did drop off after a stellar 2008. He is still formidable, but with Jerious Norwood on the roster, he won't see the pass traffic that the first five picks will see.

7. Steven Jackson, RB, St. Louis

Rather shockingly ran for more than 1,400 yards last year, and with a rookie QB, he will continue to get a ton of work, but the Rams don't get close to the goal line very often.

8. Andre Johnson, WR, Houston

The busiest WR around, with more than 100 catches and more than 1,500 yards each of the last two seasons. This year, I see him finally getting double-digit TDs after nine and eight the previous two years.

9. Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Pittsburgh

With major questions at QB and an impressive 2009 on his record, he is a good candidate for at least 1,300 rushing yards and 10 TDs.

10. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay

A lot of people don't advocate picking a QB in the first round, but if you are picking at No. 10, you need to get creative rather than simply taking ninth-ranked guy at RB (Shonn Greene, if you really want to know). Rodgers should throw a ton of TDs and runs more than any other high-quality QB.

Expert Wire
Here' are some other links to help you get an early start on fantasy football season:

* Scott Pianowski at Yahoo! Sports has one of my favorite features: Ten Players I Love More Than You. Jay Cutler tops the list, but a few of my other favorites are there, too - Johnny Knox, Ahmad Bradshaw and the soon-to-be stellar Jermichael Finley.

* The Wall Street Journal asks if Jamaal Charles is the next Chris Johnson. I am going to say not quite, but he'll definitely be a No. 2 RB in most leagues.

* Bleacher Report sizes up the most over-valued and under-valued wide receivers. If you weren't going to stay away from Vince Jackson already, make sure you read this one.

* FanHouse reports on the most active discussion around concerning a player nobody seems to want.

We'll get back to fantasy baseball next week to review trade deadline activity - if any actually happens.


Dan O'Shea's Fantasy Fix appears in this space (nearly) every Wednesday. He welcomes your comments. You can also read his about his split sports fan personality at SwingsBothWays, which isn't about what it sounds like it's about.

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