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Fantasy Factor: Season preview


We all love drafting our teams. Sometimes it's the best day of the year, and sometimes it's the worst — especially if you get bad injury luck.

I feel like a lot of my friends have been disappointed with their early drafts this year. I don't think there is a clear-cut top 12 like in years past, and many people have reached out to me asking what to do with their top pick, many more than in years past.

I think your commissioner failed you if you drafted prior to the third preseason game. It was reported on Monday that Julius Thomas is going to be out 6-10 weeks after hand surgery. That's information that would've been helpful before you hit "draft" with his name highlighted on the screen. I know many who made Jordy Nelson their top pick, and are now yelling at walls.

It can be frustrating when a player goes down, and you knew drafting before the second preseason game was a bad idea. But hey, that's when you turn to our sponsor Draft Kings, and draft weekly. Just make sure you write "donation" on the memo line of the check (yes, use a check out of bitterness) when you pay your league dues.

As for my top guys, I know it's a risk, but if I had the No. 1 overall pick, I'd roll the dice on Adrian Peterson. I think he has the best set of skill guys around him that he's ever had, and I think Teddy Bridgewater makes stacking the box a bad idea for Viking opponents. Unfortunately this will include Denver in early October.

I don't think Kansas City is going to be as good as everyone says they are, and I think Peterson has a better history of performing. Plus, I don't believe yet that Andy Reid wants to run near the end zone, not with Jeremy Maclin. That makes Jamaal Charles a risk for me. I like Eddie Lacy ahead of Charles too, although Mike McCarthy shares a lot of Reid's tendencies.

I think you have to go Rodgers or Luck ahead of Lacy and Charles. I know — nobody takes a quarterback first, but the league is a passing league, and running backs don't always last a season like quarterbacks do. Even without Nelson, I think the Packers will fill the air with footballs. Luck is Luck, the best young quarterback in the game.

I also like Marshawn Lynch and Frank Gore more than most of the draft services do. I keep seeing the value of Frank Gore rising, and I think he's worth a top pick.

As for Broncos' players, the usual cast in the passing game are all worthy picks. Manning, Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and Owen Daniels should all be point-getters. They may have some early slow games as the chemistry comes together, but keep the faith. This offense may not crank out the same fantasy numbers as the last 2 years, but pass on Broncos players and get beat by someone who did take them. C.J. Anderson will be a good pick, but this is an offense that may shuffle through guys. I would take Ronnie Hillman too. They should be a fun duo to watch, but could be a nightmare for fantasy owners when it comes to finding a go-to red zone guy, just like the Mike Shanahan days.

Don't sleep on the Denver defense, either. They may be the best of the bunch, if turnovers come with the sacks the preseason produced. They can rush and cover, and I've been told by two friends they got them with a late pick. One guy grabbed them in the second-to-last round. Crazy.

As for the one-day leagues, look at Cody Latimer, Virgil Green, and Brandon McManus as great value guys if you're up against the cap. All should be affordable playmakers to start the year.

Now let's get back to football!

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