Top 25 Dynasty Players Heading Into 2013
It’s never too early to start preparing for the 2013 Fantasy Football Season.
Below I have ranked the Top 25 Overall Fantasy Football Players heading into the 2013 fantasy football season. Things will certainly change quickly this coming off-season, but again, if you ask us, draft preparation begins the moment Week 16 ends!
These rankings are based on a standard PPR scoring format.
Top 25 Overall Dynasty Players
1. Adrian Peterson | RB, MIN
What else can you say other than “freak” when describing Adrian Peterson. Running backs just don’t rebound to elite form when they tear their ACLs after the age of 23… they just don’t, unless of course the player’s name is either Adrian Peterson or Jamaal Charles. Ok, ACL injury aside… Even though runners usually fall off the face of the earth at the age of 30-31, Peterson is worth the 1.01 even if he absolutely only had two more elite seasons left. They guys is a freak, though, we’ve already established this, so it wouldn’t shock me if he played elite football past the dreaded age for running backs (30)… again, though, even if we assume that he does not last more than two years, simply two, that is a long time. Too many times fantasy owners get caught up on getting the youngest team known to man, and those teams often fight for second place every single season. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to incorporate youth into your decision-making, but two years of AP is enough to build a fresh dynasty and enough to build a nice little championship trophy collection.
2. Robert Griffin III | QB, WAS
I figure that Robert Griffin III is going to be one of the players you see me calling out all off-season long. Each year I push a few players out in front before anyone is really ready to accept that player as a position leader (like having AJ Green as DraftCalc’s No. 1 fantasy football receiver through all of last off-season); RG3 is one of those players for me entering 2013. If he stays healthy, which is really the only risk I see with the elite passer, I wouldn’t be shocked one single bit if he led all fantasy scorers across all positions in 2013. I also wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t even close.
3. Ray Rice | RB, BAL
Ray Rice is a tough player to rank heading into 2013 and beyond. He has the talent and skill to be the No. 1 overall fantasy scorer year in and year out, however, his offense sometimes holds him back, as Rice can have those 30 and 40-yard rushing performances every once in a while. When it comes to Rice, there is very little risk or downside aside from the occasional inconsistency. He is a safe bet for 1,000-1,100 rushing yards, 500-600 receiving yards and about 10 total scores. That’s top 2-5 overall production right there, and he is only 25 (turning 26)!
4. A.J. Green | WR, CIN
I had A.J. Green ranked as DraftCalc’s No. 1 overall receiver throughout the entire 2012 off-season and preseason, and he was my No. 2 overall upside player in redraft formats and No. 1 overall in dynasty formats. It wasn’t a popular stance to have Green ahead of so many receivers, especially Calvin Johnson, but Green flat-out delivered flashes of being as good as any receiver in the league. He is arguably the league’s most exciting and up-and-coming receiving talent. Only Calvin Johnson and Julio Jones will likely give Green a run for his money at the wide receiver position in 2013.
5. Calvin Johnson | WR, DET
As I said above, it’s very arguable to have Calvin Johnson ranked as the league’s No. 1 fantasy receiver heading into 2013. He is a beast and has a grip of years left. And, despite Matthew Stafford’s somewhat disappointing 2012 season, one of the most attractive aspects of drafting Calvin is that his situation is solid; he has a very good passer under center, he plays in an offense that airs it out, and none of that is likely to change for years. That’s a recipe for consistency right there! You might be asking, what is the difference between Calvin and Green, though? And, why do I have Green below Calvin? I believe the answer to both questions will be touchdowns.
6. Arian Foster | RB, HOU
Arian Foster is absolutely one of my top 3-4 ranked rushers heading into 2013 and beyond. In fact, I could make an argument he is the No. 1 overall rusher in fantasy football, regardless of the format. So why is he ranked as the 3rd rusher off the board, and No. 6 overall player? Of course, it’s the irregular heartbeat that he scared us all with in Week 16 of the 2012 fantasy football season. All indications are that everything is back to normal, and his ability to play Week 17 is proof of that. So what is to fear? Well, the unknown. Nothing like this is ever truly revealed to the media and fantasy worlds the way it should be, so call our small bump-down from the No. 2 overall spot to the No. 6 a knee-jerk reaction, one we admit could rectify itself in the coming weeks and months… then again, the unknown reality of the situation may keep him hovering around that safer range… Stay tuned on that! Foster is capable of scoring 15-20TDs during any given campaign, he will only be 27 years old when the 2013 season begins, and his offense is not only productive, it’s built around him. Foster truly does still make a strong case to go No. 1 overall, and as crazy as it sounds, I’ve seen him go as low as the 8 range in early and fresh 2013 dynasty start-up drafts (and that was before the irregular heartbeat scare).
7. Jamaal Charles | RB, KC
Lots of upside, but Jamaal Charles comes with a grip of inconsistency, and plays in an offense that can sometimes take him completely out of a game. Despite this, I think Charles is one of the most explosive players in the NFL, probably second only to Adrian Peterson. That won’t likely change for a handful of years. Landing him later will certainly gives him all kinds of room to over-perform, but even if his ADP climbs this high by the July-August range of next year, Charles is worth the investment.
8. Aaron Rodgers | QB, GB
Aaron Rodgers didn’t really have the 2012 fantasy season most were hoping for. If you drafted Rodgers, you likely drafted him as the No. 1 overall passer, and in the 4-6 overall range… depending on your scoring format, he finished the 2012 fantasy season in that 3-5 range. All in all, it will be tough for fantasy owners to draft Rodgers any higher than this entering all 2013 fantasy football drafts. This is good news, because he has a chance to outshine his ADP if he gets taken in the lower-half of the first-round (or top of the second if you get lucky). If you’re already in a dynasty league, attempt to acquire Rodgers now while so many still feel he is no longer a lock to be a top 1-5 overall finisher.
9. Doug Martin | RB, TB
This ranking is probably a little low for most of the users on our fantasy football forums. In fact, I’ve seen Doug Martin go as high as No. 1 overall, like in this user-organized forum mock draft. While I don’t think he is deserving of the 1.01 (over players like Arian Foster and Adrian Peterson), top 5-8RB numbers aren’t out of the question for Martin in 2013 and beyond.
10. C.J. Spiller | RB, BUF
In mid-season mocks, and very early 2013 start-up drafts, I’ve seen C.J. Spiller go as high as the 5-8 range, yeah, I’m talking overall! Well, I think he is capable of being a top 3RB, so clearly I feel he can earn that top 5-6 overall value, but he shouldn’t be going that high until and if his ADP gets that high. Pay as low a price as you can. The value in landing Spiller in 2013 is getting him as at least a late first-round pick, or as your second-drafted player. If you take him as high as 5-6 overall, he HAS TO play elite football for you to earn your value back… He can, but the upside is minimized… I venture to say that his ADP won’t be near 5-6 come August, but time will tell. Again, he could earn top 5-6 fantasy points, or higher, but I don’t think you will have to pay that kind of price tag come actual draft day in August and September 2013.
11. Cam Newton | QB, CAR
While he did start out slow in 2012, and disappeared for a big chunk of the fantasy season, Cam Newton is clearly still the same stud he was during his rookie campaign. Since Week 10 of the 2012 fantasy football season, he dropped some serious fantasy points, with absolute monster games mixed in that timeframe. Newt might end up being one of the bigger steals in all 2013 fantasy football drafts, as many will still be a little cautious when it comes to making him their first-drafted player, and given Newt is capable of being a top 5 overall fantasy scorer, anything from this ranking down screams potential bargain.
12. Trent Richardson | RB, CLE
Like Doug Martin, this ranking might seem a touch too low to many of our forum users. In the same user-organized mock draft that I mentioned above, Trent Richardson went at 1.04. I think 1.04 isn’t crazy thinking, however, I think T-Rich reaches that kind of production once/if that Cleveland passing attack matures a bit more, and while I love Josh Gordon’s future in the NFL, I am not a big believer in Brandon Weeden. Drafting Richardson in the 1.07-1.13 range seems about right to me, because I think he can safely earn that kind of value even in a struggling Cleveland offense, and it allows him room to truly over-perform.
13. Julio Jones | WR, ATL
While most won’t reach too high for him in 2013, as there are just too many big name players to draft ahead of him, Julio Jones is most likely going to command this kind of respect come August 2013. The great news is that he could finish as a top 1-3 fantasy wide receiver, he has that much upside and skill.
14. LeSean McCoy | RB, PHI
Concussion issues, coupled with the emergence of Bryce Brown, will almost certainly turn LeSean McCoy into a nice value grab in most all 2013 fantasy football drafts. Could he bust? Is there risk? Absolutely, but anywhere near 2nd-round value, I say take the chance and hope you still have a top 5 overall player. He still has that upside despite some new-found risk. If you draft McCoy in 2013, though, be certain to snag Brown as well! Be certain to!
15. Drew Brees | QB, NO
Again, I say this a lot, 2-3 years is a long time, even in dynasty. Drew Brees still has at least 2 years left as a stud and potential top 1-3 fantasy QB. Don’t overlook Brees because another quarterback is in his early 20s. Some dynasty leagues crumble before 2-3 years is up, and some young QBs could still decline at the same time Brees ends up declining, even with the age difference. Don’t plan too far in advance or you will always be playing for second place.
16. Dez Bryant | WR, DAL
Dez Bryant, who I might add was on my Top 10 Upside Board for 2012, could be drafted higher than this come August 2013. I’m one of his biggest supporters, but you always want to target players that can extremely outperform their draft values, and Dez had that upside in a major way last year. This is a good spot for him here, in the 15-18 overall range… if his ADP climbs any higher than this, you may want to take a safer option instead of Dez in 2013, as the top 15 is loaded this upcoming season… then you can just look for the next Dez in the 4th- and 5th-rounds, and believe me, we called Dez last year, we have this year’s version of Dez emerging – wait for this year’s Top 10 Upside Board updates.
17. Matt Forte | RB, CHI
Tons of upside as a 18-24 overall pick, and that’s likely where Matt Forte will fall in 2013 fantasy football drafts. There is a ton of risk here, as he just can’t seem to stay healthy, but as a second-drafted player, and almost a third-round pick, the risk is minimized quite a bit.
18. Brandon Marshall | WR, CHI
You always worry about his off-the-field behavior, but we warned fantasy worlds about Brandon Marshall’s 2012 explosion. All he needed was a productive passing offense. He has one, along with a good supporting defense. Marshall should continue his stellar play in 2013 and beyond.
19. DeMarco Murray | RB, DAL
There is a lot of risk in drafting DeMarco Murray entering 2013, but if you can get him in that 18-24 range, you are minimizing the risk significantly. If relatively healthy, Murray could really crank out top 5-8RB numbers. If completely healthy, it’s scary to think where this kid could finish. Why are we slotting him near the end of the second-round then? Well, because it’s also somewhat scary imagining him finishing as a top 5RB. Confusing? You bet, that’s why he is slotted right here!
20. Darren McFadden | RB, OAK
Same thing that was just said about DeMarco Murray applies here; McFadden has all kinds of risks, but at this value, he is worth a grab, no question. Are there safer options at this point? Yes, but no other player around this range has the upside McFadden has. If you can land McFadden later, absolutely try, though!
21. Andrew Luck | QB, IND
It’s very arguable to slot Andrew Luck higher than this, but it just boils down to strategy and how one likes to build their dynasty rosters. Luck will likely get to that Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers level, but it may take another year of playing to get there. This is a good spot if you ask me.
22. Marshawn Lynch | RB, SEA
I admit, my initial thinking was to keep Marshawn Lynch outside of the top 25, but Lynch will only be 27 entering next season – He still has 2-3 elite years left in an exciting and improving offense. Lynch had a phenomenal 2012 campaign, rushing for 1490 yards and scoring 12 total TDs. Expect more of the same in 2013 as Russell Wilson, our No. 1 Bold Prediction of all 2012, leads this team in the right direction.
23. Alfred Morris | RB, WAS
This was a tough spot to slot Alfred Morris, as one has to worry about any running back lasting long in a Mike Shanahan system. That said, Shanny hasn’t had a player like Morris for quite some time. Morris looks like the real deal, and we could be looking at a top 8-12 fantasy rusher for years and years to come — That makes this ranking a relatively-safe one.
24. Jimmy Graham | TE, NO
Jimmy Graham has had big droughts throughout the entire 2012 fantasy football season, but he played through a wrist injury. After a successful off-season surgery, I imagine Graham will be back to form in 2013. He could fall a lot further than this, but we shall see how the ADP data looks come August 2013. If Graham somehow starts falling into the 3rd-round in 2013 fantasy football drafts, he could turn out to be one of the bigger steals this next upcoming fantasy football season.
25. Rob Gronkowski | TE, NE
Everything I just said about Jimmy Graham applies here as well, as Rob Gronkowski, like Graham, has battled injuries in a major way this season. Before getting hurt in Week 11, Gronko averaged a TD per game on his 10 played games. Amazing.
Just Missed The Cut
It was tough not including players like Russell Wilson (who we called our No. 1 Bold Prediction for 2012), Marshawn Lynch, Chris Johnson, Stevan Ridley, Hakeem Nicks, Larry Fitzgerald, Demaryius Thomas, David Wilson, Matt Ryan,, Victor Cruz. I think Larry Fitzgerald jumps right into the top 12-15 overall if the Cardinals properly address their quarterback situation this off-season.