You want players as reliable as the ice cream truck man. You know when you’re outside on a hot day? You hear that ‘jingling’ sound from a mile away, and you know ice cream is coming. Well, if you can get these guys on your team, consider your opponents served.
10. Reggie Wayne, WR (Indianapolis Colts)
It’s crazy how at 34 years old, Wayne is still stockpiling 1,000 yard seasons like drugs in a Justin Bieber tour bus. He’s one of the most targeted receivers in the league. And with a soon-to-be superstar quarterback in Andrew Luck throwing his way, is a sure fire bet to produce once again this season. Wayne is a PPR (points per reception) dream and scored under 5 points in non-PPR just twice all last season.
9. Roddy White, WR (Atlanta Falcons)
"It's a shame Julio Jones will take White's production." I heard this a lot when the Falcons traded up for Jones in the 2011 NFL Draft. All White has done is put up a string of six-straight seasons of 1100 receiving yards or more. And since Jones has been on the team? White has amassed 192 receptions and 12 scores. Another year of 90-100 receptions should be on the horizon in 2013.
8. Percy Harvin, WR (Minnesota Vikings)
Harvin played in only nine games last season, but there probably isn’t a more versatile and reliable receiver in the league than him right now. He scored at least nine points in eight of his nine starts in standard scoring leagues last season. He’s lethal in the rushing game on end-around plays, a play coach Pete Carroll will likely fully utilize in the Seahawks read option offense. He has extremely reliable hands, catching 62 of his 85 total targets in 2012. He’s also great after the catch and has a nose for the end zone.
7. Cam Newton, QB (Carolina Panthers)
A lot of people felt Newton fell into a sophomore slump last season, but his numbers were still outstanding. Between rushing and passing, Newton racked up more than 4,500 total yards and 27 touchdowns. He was his team’s best red zone option, both rushing and throwing. Give him a few good receivers, and consider Newton among the most potent fantasy quarterbacks in the league. Think Michael Vick without the injury proneness.
6. Calvin Johnson, WR (Detroit Lions)
The only wide receiver I would ever consider taking if I had a top-five pick in a PPR and non-PPR league, Megatron has amassed two double-digit touchdown seasons in two of the last three seasons. All this without a competent/consistent receiver across from him in the offense. With 122 receptions in 2012, I expect another 100+ catches for Johnson again this year.
5. Peyton Manning, QB (Denver Broncos)
Started off a little slow due to rust early in 2012. But after one poor Monday Night game in Atlanta, Manning reestablished himself as the best pure pocket quarterback in the league. He posted five straight games of at least three touchdowns, and his 37 passing TDs were the second highest in his career. He threw a respectable 11 interceptions and came 42 yards short of eclipsing his career high in passing yards. With the added addition of Wes Welker, Manning should throw see his yardage totals creep closer to 300-plus range every week.
4. Tom Brady, QB (New England Patriots)
Most people hate him just because he's THAT good. Give Tom Brady Randy Moss, he'll pass for over 4000 yards and 30 touchdowns. Give Brady Deion Branch?.....And he'll pass for over 4000 yards and 30 touchdowns. Brady is one of those quarterbacks who makes most players around him look better than they would on other teams. Rob Gronkowski has an outside chance at missing Week One, but Brady won't skip a beat in 2013. Danny Amendola will be a stud all because of Brady.
3. Aaron Rodgers, QB (Green Bay Packers)
Other than Drew Brees and Peyton Manning, no teams rely more on their quarterbacks than the Packers do with Rodgers and the Pats do with Brady. In every season since Rodgers started, he’s kept his interception totals in the single digits to low teens. He also gives you an added score boost in rushing yards than guys like Manning, Brady and Brees do.All the while, Rodgers keeps pace with the best passers by throwing for 30-plus touchdowns and 4,000-plus yards.
2. Adrian Peterson RB (Minnesota Vikings)
If you don't count his 2011 injury season, Peterson has averaged 1577 rushing yards a game. While he isn't that much of a factor in the passing game, it's hard to pass on a guy who you know is going to put up 1500-1600 rushing yards a year. Many thought Peterson would finally have a down year last year, but all he did was put up career highs in rushing yards (2097), average rushing yards per game (131.1) and yards per carry (6.0). Peterson wants to hit 2500 yards in 2013, but I doubt he does it. Still, with the passing game on shaky ground with Christian Ponder, expect AD to get fed the ball A LOT this season.
1. Drew Brees, QB (New Orleans Saints)
Most yards. Most touchdowns. Those are what get you the points at the quarterback position. Though he finally broke his touchdown per game streak in 2012, Brees was again the top quarterback in the NFL. He had four games of at least four touchdowns, and was the only quarterback to break the 5,000-yard passing mark. Like Rodgers, Brady, and Manning, the New Orleans offense is completely tailored around its quarterback. Other than Matthew Stafford, no team throws the ball more than New Orleans, but Brees also puts up the best passing numbers in the league, unlike Stafford. Consider him your most reliable.