Roto Arcade - Fantasy

Sure, there's still a week remaining in the 2009 regular season, the NFL Draft is months away, and we can't yet say who the free agents will be. But that's not going to stop us from mock-drafting the opening rounds of a 2010 fantasy league.

Below you'll find our top 60 picks, if were we forced to create next year's league today. Funston, Behrens, Romig, Evans, Pianowski and Salfino are your drafters. There's a new name at the top of the draft board and no shortage of '09 breakout stars in the early rounds. Please read on…

ROUND 1

1. Chris Johnson, TEN, RB – Like Forrest Gump, he runs like the wind blows - the perfect blend of age, talent and situation. (Funston)

2. Maurice Jones-Drew(notes), JAC, RB – Nothing's changed from the '09 preseason, I still prefer MoJo to Adrian Peterson. (BFun)

3. Adrian Peterson, MIN, RB – Peterson's blend of age, talent and situation is even, um…perfecter. (Behrens)

4. Ray Rice(notes), BAL, RB – The Burner earned consideration, but a glance at the '09 per-game scoring leaders reassured me. (AB)

5. Michael Turner(notes), ATL, RB – Elevate and ice that ankle, then resume that touchdown-per-game pace you've established in Atlanta. (Romig)

6. Larry Fitzgerald(notes), ARI, WR – 34 TDs in three seasons plays even in non-PPR formats, but I'd reconsider here if Warner retires. (Mig)

7. Steven Jackson, STL, RB – Deserves a Purple Heart for heroic fantasy season – 100-plus total yards in 11 of 14 games. (Noise)

8. Frank Gore(notes), SF, RB – Transition to pass-heavy system unsettling, but his versatility and steady production calms fears. (Noise)

9. Andre Johnson(notes), HOU, WR – A ridiculous 210 catches for 3,079 yards the last two years, and he's too talented not to score double-digits eventually. (Pianowski)

10. DeSean Jackson(notes), PHI, WR – After seeing 11 scores in 14 games and 18.7 yards per reception (a gross number in today's game), I demand in for 2010. (Pianow)

11. Jamaal Charles(notes), KC, RB – 2,000-yard pace the second half and exact same size as Chris Johnson, and almost as fast. (Salfino)

12. Rashard Mendenhall(notes), PIT, RB – Disappointing in December (3.6 per carry), but seems a lock to be a true feature back in a prolific offense. (Salfino)

---

ROUND 2

1. Ryan Grant(notes), GB, RB – Seems to have hit his stride with nice size and showing plus speed in an amped up passing offense that forces defenses to pay scant attention to the run. (Salfino)

2. Brandon Marshall(notes), DEN, WR – Likely won't be as much of a one-man show in 2010, but the tradeoff then is quantity for quality (yards per catch). (Salfino)

3. DeAngelo Williams(notes), CAR, RB – Jonathan Stewart(notes) doesn't worry me too much; Williams will keep doing what he does, averaging 5 yards a pop and scoring a handful of distance touchdowns. (Pianow)

4. Cedric Benson(notes), CIN, RB – He's the foundation of this offense and he just turned 27; the music will play for a while. (Pianow)

5. Aaron Rodgers(notes), GB, QB – A-Rod's dual-threat abilities, youth, weapons, system and incredible consistency simply can't be bypassed - 11 multi-TD games in '09. (Evans)

6. Randy Moss(notes), NE, WR – Occasional sloughing off aside his 13.1 points per game output in standard formats was second only to Andre 3000. (Evans)

7. Beanie Wells(notes), ARI, RB – Sky is the limit if he gets the featured role we can all plainly see he deserves. (Mig)

8. Calvin Johnson(notes), DET, WR – In a worst-case season that saw three quarterbacks start games (one a rookie), he still has a shot at 1,000 yards. (Mig)

9. Reggie Wayne(notes), IND, WR – Wayne is a no-doubt player in a high-yield offense, coming off his sixth straight 1,000-yard season. (AB)

10. Drew Brees(notes), NO, QB – He directs an offense that's finished No. 1 in both total yards and points each of the past two seasons. (AB)

11. Roddy White(notes), ATL, WR – Proved that he could co-exist with Tony Gonzalez(notes) just fine – career-high 10 TD catches. (BFun)

12. Vincent Jackson(notes), SD, WR – A prime-aged (27 in January) go-to guy for the NFL's No. 2 offense. (BFun)

---

ROUND 3

1. Miles Austin(notes), DAL, WR – No 3 among WRs in fantasy PPG despite starting just over half the games in '09. (BFun)

2. Peyton Manning(notes), IND, QB – Taking him as the No. 3 QB here because he's the QB with the best top-6 guarantee. (BFun)

3. Wes Welker(notes), NE, WR – There's no reason not to expect another triple-digit reception campaign after Welker's historic '09. (AB)

Update, Jan. 4: As if you needed a reason not to hold your 2010 fantasy draft before Week 17 of the '09 season. Welker suffered a serious injury in the Pats final game, likely tearing both the ACL and MCL in his left knee. He's no guarantee to play in 2010, so he's clearly not a third rounder. Brutal news. 

4. Ronnie Brown(notes), MIA, RB – Brown is expected to be at full strength by the preseason; he was a better per-game scorer than several backs already off the board. (AB)

5. Jonathan Stewart, CAR, RB – A good time to look past the role and focus on the numbers – he'll likely finish season with 2,000 total yards and 20 TDs over last two seasons. (Mig)

6. Steve Slaton(notes), HOU, RB – Between the weight gain and the fumbling (not a big issue as a rookie, I'll give him a mulligan on 2009; it's not like anyone stepped up in his absence. (Mig)

7. Thomas Jones(notes), NYJ, RB – Constantly circumvented because of age concerns but final year of contract should motivate graybeard to produce another strong RB2 effort, especially behind the Jets' stout offensive line. (Noise)

8. Matt Forte(notes), CHI, RB – Forgettable season provided few highlights, but if Bears retool offensive line and add firepower at receiver '09's biggest bust will easily exceed presumed low expectations. (Noise)

9. Pierre Thomas(notes), NO, RB – Here's hoping the Saints accept the reality of Reggie Bush(notes) and Mike Bell(notes) and start featuring their best runner. Yeah, it's the holidays, and this is good eggnog. (Pianow)

10. Philip Rivers(notes), SD, QB – The Chargers finally gave Rivers the keys to the offense and he's got the most dangerous receiving collection in the AFC (Gates, Jackson, Sproles out of the backfield, Floyd). (Pianow)

11. Steve Smith, CAR, WR – Matt Moore(notes) looks good enough even if he's not the revelation he proved to be in December, so Smith should get back to being a PPR monster with game-breaking skills. (Salfino)

12. Greg Jennings(notes), GB, WR – Expect a bounce-back year with the Packers pass protection likely to improve, just creating more scoring opportunities for this world-class home run threat with the game's best long-ball QB. (Salfino)

---

ROUND 4

1. Knowshon Moreno(notes), DEN, RB – He was a great disappointment but should get 65 percent of touches next year, enough to make up for his lack of game-breaking skills. (Salfino)

2. Hakeem Nicks(notes), NYG, WR – Has the world-class QB and all the skills to break out in his second year, and it's not like he was a slouch as a rookie – 75-1,200-10 is the forecast. (Salfino)

3. Santonio Holmes(notes), PIT, WR – Touchdown/catch ratio is a little misunderstood; when you see a yardage monster off a low number of spikes, go get him the next year. Jennings is a better fit for this principle but he's off the board. (Pianow)

4. Marques Colston(notes), NO, WR – He's never been one of my favorites but there's a safe floor when you're the favorite target of Drew Brees and Sean Payton. (Pianow)

5. Matt Schaub(notes), HOU, QB – Arguably the most underappreciated signal caller in the virtual game, he tossed eight 300-yard and nine multi-TD games – V-A-L-U-E. (Noise)

6. Dallas Clark(notes), IND, TE – In a year several tight ends were godlike, Clark was Zeus – 11.0 ppg standard league average was better than aforementioned Colston (10.7) and Holmes (9.9). (Noise)

7. Tom Brady(notes), NE, QB – I spent the end of this season spinning the Matt Hasselbeck(notes)-Alex Smith wheel on a weekly basis; I don't plan on spending Week 16 of 2010 playing Vince Young(notes)-Jay Cutler roulette. (Mig)

8. Anquan Boldin(notes), ARI, WR – On a 105-reception pace in Weeks 10-16; the TDs will return. (Mig)

9. Sidney Rice(notes), MIN, WR – With one week remaining in his '09 season, Rice has already reached the reception and yardage totals that were forecast above for Nicks (who would not have made it back to Salfino, just for the record). Thought about taking Jumbotronicus here, too. (AB)

10. C.J. Spiller, Clemson, RB – No, he doesn't have a team yet, but Spiller will be a first-rounder in the NFL Draft; he's a multi-purpose threat with elite speed – just check the tape. (AB)

11. Joseph Addai(notes), IND, RB – We’re always so quick to point out the negatives that come with Addai, but 43 TDs in 58 career games can’t be disparaged. (BFun)

12. Antonio Gates(notes), SD, TE – Yes, Vernon Davis(notes) has more TDs, but end zone tallies can be a bit random from year to year – I’ll opt for the TE with more catches, considerably more yardage and a vastly longer track record of success. (BFun)

---

ROUND 5

1. Percy Harvin(notes), MIN, WR – Hopefully the migraine issue won’t dog his 2010 season like it has his rookie campaign, because he’s a special talent who has already proven he can hurt NFL defenses in a myriad of ways. (BFun)

2. Chad Ochocinco(notes), CIN, WR – His drive to be the center of attention should land his fantasy owners yet another 1,100-1,200-yard, 8-9 TD season in 2010. (BFun)

3. Marion Barber(notes), DAL, RB – In a year that disappointed everyone, MBIII has still crossed the goal line seven times and he'll finish in the neighborhood of 1,200 total yards. (AB)

4. Tony Romo(notes), DAL, QB – Over his last five games, Romo has averaged 309.6 yards per game while throwing nine TD passes and just one INT; he's a top-tier QB in 2010, assuming Miles Austin remains in Dallas. (AB)

5. Ben Roethlisberger(notes), PIT, QB – Again, this owner is a bit gun shy about third and fourth tier QBs, and Big Ben is just a step behind the Rivers-Schaub-Romo set in fantasy points per game. (Mig)

6. Mike Sims-Walker(notes), JAC, WR – Was way too hit-or-miss down the stretch for my taste, but the expected third-year leap should smooth the edges. (Mig)

7. Steve Smith, NYG, WR – The previously selected Nicks may possess more explosive abilities, but the greaseman is Eli’s trusty rock; another 95 receptions, 1,100 yards and 6-8 TDs are a certainty. (Noise)

8. Jahvid Best, Cal, RB – Behrens' stealing of Spiller leaves a bitter taste, but the Cal standout isn't far behind in terms of immediate impact potential (visual propaganda here); Seattle is sure to blow up his cell in the late first. (Noise)

9. Michael Crabtree(notes), SF, WR – He hit the ground running without much prep time; imagine what a training camp will do for him. (Pianow)

10. Jerome Harrison(notes), CLE, RB – He's a little undersized but it's not like 205-pound backs have never starred before in the NFL. Roll the tape, Bill Raftery. (Pianow)

11. Vernon Davis, SF, TE – This manchild finally translated his scouting bona fides into fantasy production and in 2010 will remain one of the game's great redzone weapons as a true WR/TE hybrid. (Salfino)

12. Jermichael Finley(notes), GB, TE – Expect 80 catches and 10 TDs from this tight end in name only as he continues the December trend of being Aaron Rodgers' favorite target everywhere, but especially in the red zone. (Salfino)

---

---

Photos via US Presswire

Related Articles

Roto Arcade

Add to My Yahoo RSS

Y! Sports Blog