The 2008 fantasy season in the books and there are plenty of
questions that need to be answered, but nonetheless here's the 1st
edition of the 2009 GSI Fantasy Football Top 50 rankings:
TOP TEN PICKS
1. ADRIAN PETERSON (MIN) - The winner by default. A-Pete won the rushing title and 16 TD's is hard to beat. He may not be the best overall RB in the NFL, but he remains fantasy football's best. The fact he still has room for improvement is scary.
2. STEVEN JACKSON (STL) - When he played, Jackson was one of the best scorers in fantasy football. In fact he finished the year in the top 3 of fantasy points per game. The problem is he only played in 12 games and was less than 100% in half of those. New Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo says his offensive philosophy is to "to be able to run the football and protect the quarterback." That should spell success for the Rams' franchise back.
3. MATT FORTE (CHI) - Having a top five pick is not what it used to be, but you can't go wrong taking the Bears' newest weapon there. He has the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and can break big plays. The Bears' offense will continue to focus on giving him opportunities.
4. MAURICE JONES-DREW (JCK) - Fred Taylor's days in Jacksonville appear to be over, leaving the bulk of the duty to MJD. He shined down the stretch with Taylor sidelined and now could have the chance to do so for the length of a season. He not only is rock solid at the goalline, but Jones-Drew also is one of the best receiving backs in the league.
5. CHRIS JOHNSON (TEN) - The rookie was sensational, picking up right where he left off in college at making explosive plays. If it weren't for the touchdown machine Lendale White stealing his chances at the stripe, Johnson would rival A-Pete for the #1 pick.
6. MICHAEL TURNER (ATL) - The best free-agent pickup during last year's off-season won't make it past Round 1 in 2009. He finished second in the league in rushing and put up four mutliple-TD games. Throw in a score in 7 of his last 8 games in '08 and his value is high. I am a bit worried about his 370 carries this year though as he could wear down.
7. LARRY FITZGERALD (ARZ) - Fitz has moved to the top of my list at receiver with his dominating playoff performance. He is as solid as they come and a safe bet to be near the top of the league again next year. Through three playoff games Fitzgerald is up to 419 receiving yards, 23 catches, and five touchdowns. That's following six scores in his last five regular season games. Pretty impressive. Getting quarterback Kurt Warner back could prove key though to him going this high.
8. FRANK GORE (SF) - I am still holding out for Gore to follow up on the 2006 campaign. To do so he's going to need to avoid all the bumps and bruises though. With Mike Singletary back and Mike Martz gone in San Fran, expect Gore to become the center of attention in the 49ers' attack (even more so than before).
9. DEANGELO WILLIAMS (CAR) - Even with Jonathan Stewart lurking, Williams was able to put up some amazing numbers this season in the high-powered Panthers' running attack. He made 20 trips to the end zone and rushed for 1,518 yards. A repeat performance may be tough, but he's certainly worth top 10 recognition.
10. ANDRE JOHNSON (HOU) - Johnson makes my top 10 and is really 1A on my Cheat Sheet at receiver heading into next season. It's pretty impressive to think about only six running backs had more yards than Johnson did through the air. That's enough for me to take him in late in the first round.