This week’s blog takes a look at a few players, some likely and others less so, who could break out as the top performer in their respective position this upcoming fantasy season:
QB: Tom Brady – Many experts are pegging Aaron Rodgers ahead of Brady as the #1 in the game’s most prolific position. Some may even select Drew Brees and Cam Newton higher than the two-time super bowl MVP. The Patriots look to be a powerhouse on the offensive side of the ball again in 2012, adding a deep threat in Brandon Lloyd and bringing Josh McDaniels back as the Offensive Coordinator. Couple that with the resigning of ultra-reliable Wes Welker and the emergence of Rob Gronkowski as one of the game’s premier TEs, and Brady could end up running away from the competition as the #1 QB this year.
RB: Ryan Mathews – He has only been in the league for two years, but despite not playing a full 16 games in either season, it feels like Mathews has gained the experience necessary to become an elite RB in any fantasy league. In the past, he was somewhat limited on carries, making his first 1,000 yard season very impressive. This year, Mike Tolbert has been shipped out, putting the spotlight directly on Mathews. Pair his natural talent with Robert Meachem, arguably the best run-blocking WR and the newly signed FB Le’Ron McClain, and the Chargers fans may be reminded of the kind of running game they enjoyed in the days of Ladanian Tomlinson’s tenure in southern California.
WR: Dez Bryant – While it is hard to imagine anyone leapfrogging Megatron as the #1 WR this year, Bryant, entering his third season, is primed to explode. While opponents facing Calvin Johnson now have adjusted and will be highly focused on containing him, Bryant, following his first full healthy offseason working closely with Tony Romo, enjoys the company of Miles Austin to distract defenses. He definitely has the complete skill set; if he puts it all together he could be the best WR contributor this year.
TE: Vernon Davis – The aforementioned Gronk and Jimmy Graham are the likely #1 and 2 in either order on paper, but VD is just as much a physical freak and will have a chance to really thrive this year. Adapting well to Jim Harbaugh’s blue collar offense that elevates the role of the TE, Davis came on strong late in the year last season. Now, having future Hall of Famer Randy Moss and the dynamic Mario Manningham outside will allow plenty of room for Davis to work the middle, opening up the 49ers offense for big plays through the highly athletic TE.