The start of the 2013 NFL season is less than two months away. Along with that excitement, Fantasy Football chatter amongst the guys and gals only serves to entice the masses all the more.
Last year's statistics are being reviewed closely. What players will you choose in the hopes that your team will shut up that cocky guy in finance or your buddy who wins the big pot every year?
Better make sure it's the right decision or that cash will be out of your hands before the pigskin is officially kicked off in September.
Any pick could be a game-changer.
If you haven't done so already, truly consider making tight end Jimmy Graham of the New Orleans Saints one of your top draft picks.
Graham finished the 2012 season ranked third among tight ends (behind Dallas' Jason Witten and Atlanta's Tony Gonzalez). You may be thinking, why wouldn't I go for Witten or Gonzalez instead? The answer is pretty simple.
The Saints' tight end finished first, if not in the top three of most Fantasy Rankings for ESPN, NFL.com and Yahoo!.
In these rankings Witten and Gonzalez weren't as consistent. In ESPN's Top 300 Rankings the closest tight ends to the top were Gronkowski (16) and Graham (21). It's important to note the above statistics, but also which players have raised questions and which are taking the spotlight this offseason.
Let's look at how the top tight ends finished 2012 in overall points scored. Just face it, overall points is what matters when it comes to finishing top dog in your fantasy league. NFL.com fantasy scoring tight end leaders were ranked as follows: Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski and Tony Gonzalez. ESPN had Graham ranked second, with Antonio Gates succeeding him. Rob Gronkowski took 1st place here. Yahoo! had the top three finishers with Graham at first, followed by Gronkowski and then Gonzalez.
The proof is in the stats. However, changes in the offseason are key too. Gronkowski played well last season, but with a couple of surgeries since then a top performance isn't guaranteed. Gonzalez, at 37 years old is playing well and above some players young enough to be his son. He's calling this year his last, so he could surprise us one last time. However, Graham is showing amazing consistency and all signs point to success.
Graham has been in the NFL since 2010. His rookie season being by far his worst. And 2011 was a drastic improvement. In 2012, his stats did drop a tad, but he still managed to finish the season strong against his competitors.
Now entering his 2013 season, Graham is primed for success. This offseason he's been reported as looking exceptional on the field. With the Saints missing some depth at wide receiver, he's sure to gain more attention from Drew Brees.
Last season, Marques Colston and Lance Moore were the only pass options who proved dependable when it came to getting in the end zone and on average yards per reception. With that being said, Graham was the only Saints' pass option selected to the 2012 Pro Bowl.
Going into your beer and snack loaded draft party you will probably have a good idea of who will make up your dream team. It's better to play it safe than take a gamble on an aging player or one riddled with injuries. In the game of fantasy football you make all the decisions. Make sure you pick Jimmy!