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Monday, July 18, 2005

Tops at Their Spots?

Are the players below really tops at their spots? Are they still the kings of their proverbial hills? We will begin exploring the reasons why they are still the ones to beat or if they have seen better days.

Quarterback – The Colts, Peyton Manning.
Peyton had a tremendous year last year breaking the TD record held for so long by Dan Marino. Should he still be the top QB? Absolutely, unless this is a playoff fantasy league, that is. The only one that was in a position to knock him off this perch was Dante Culpepper – he may still have all the tools to do so, but has lost his main man in Randy. The Colts still have the core of the offense from last year. They should be in position once again to score early and often – On the 2 yard line…run or pass? With Peyton and the Colts – I think we found that answer out last year.

Running Back – The Chargers, LaDainian Tomlinson.
LaDainian is the top ranked RB, but this is clearly a battle now, Especially if Shaun Alexander gets a long term deal and if Priest Holmes can stay healthy. Tomlinson, once the entire Charger offense has seen his play count and points erode as the team gets better. The emergence of Antonio Gates has removed some touchdowns from his arsenal, and he did not break as many long runs as he used to last year. If Alexander gets the deal he is looking for he should probably go first – sorry LaDainian, but second or third isn’t so bad – it is that underdog role you love to play so much.

Wide Reciever – The Raiders, Randy Moss.
New Team, New Moss? No way – Moss will want his touches and Al Davis loves the vertical game…that is a marriage made in heaven. Collins can throw the deep ball – not nearly as good as Culpepper, but Randy just needs it in the vicinity. Moss is still the top guy. Terrell Owens will most likely hold out and even if he did play the relationship between him and McNabb may lead to some classic TO stunts detracting from the game, but if he shows up he could challenge Moss for the title. Harrison is a team man and does not get the numbers he used to. I think Chad Johnson could contend – especially if he and Palmer are more comfortable with each other.

Tight End – The Chiefs, Tony Gonzales.
Gonzo has been the top ranked tight end in fantasy for many years – and usually it is justified. He has a tough year last year and some new contenders are in the mix – Antonio Gates and Jason Witten. Gates put up amazing numbers for a rookie and earned the trust of Drew Brees in the process. Jason Witten put up some real good games at the end of the season – this year new QB. If Bledsoe can connect with him the way he used to connect to Ben Coates last time under Parcell…Hmmm. I still think that you have to give the nod to Gonzo – he is the man until proven otherwise, but Gates is hot on his heels now.


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