By Zach Kilpatrick / Special to The Star
The Meridian Star
It is that time of year, the air is getting cooler, the leaves are changing colors, and your fantasy football roster is getting slimmer and slimmer because of injuries and byes. Let me give you some advice: remember, it is just fantasy football. So take a deep breath and push everything else out of the way, because playoffs are won and lost by starting the right people, and there is no such thing as “just fantasy football.”
Here are my top five fantasy players at each position:
No. 1 Peyton Manning (DEN)
No. 2 Drew Brees (NO)
No. 3 Aaron Rodgers (GB)
No. 4 Matthew Stafford (DET)
No. 5 Robert Griffin III (WSH)
No. 1 Jamaal Charles (KC)
No. 2 LeSean McCoy (PHI)
No. 3 Marshawn Lynch (SEA)
No. 4 Adrian Peterson (MIN)
No. 5 Knowshon Moreno (DEN)
No. 1 Calvin Johnson (DET)
No. 2 Dez Bryant (DAL)
No. 3 Jordy Nelson (GB)
No. 4 Wes Welker (DEN)
No. 5 A.J. Green (CIN)
No. 1 Jimmy Graham (NO)
No. 2 Rob Gronkowski (NE)
No. 3 Julius Thomas (DEN)
No. 4 Tony Gonzalez (ATL)
No. 5 Vernon Davis (SF)
No. 1 Matt Prater (DEN)
No. 2 Mason Crosby (GB)
No. 3 Dan Bailey (DAL)
No. 4 Stephen Gostowski (NE)
No. 5 Matt Bryant (ATL)
Defense / Special Teams
No. 1 Kansas City Chiefs
No. 2 San Francisco 49ers
No. 3 Seattle Seahawks
No. 4 Green Bay Packers
No. 5 Carolina Panthers
Here are some players that are not ranked but that I am really high on this week:
Tony Romo (QB/DAL): Detroit has a decent secondary, but both teams will score a lot! And when Dallas scores a lot it’s because they throw a lot. (Reference: Denver game)
Reggie Bush (RB/DET): Especially in PPR leagues. Why? Did you not read about Romo above?
Victor Cruz (WR/NYG): He is the most consistent performer on this offense, and I don’t expect Jacobs or Hillis to have another monster night. They will fall behind and play catchup.
Demaryius Thomas (WR/DEN): I am worried he might be covered by Deangelo Hall, and I think Hall is really good, but Thomas will still do well!
Jordan Reed (TE/WSH): Denver scores lots of points (the most in NFL history), and that means other teams must throw, and Hall will not cover a TE.
Here are some players you might want to start but shouldn’t:
Maurice Jones-Drew (RB/JAC): Again we have a full-time ball carrier, on a really bad team that will have to throw a lot. He may get a goal-line carry as San Fran is not as strong against the run as they were last year, but you are rolling the dice here on a TD, because yards will be scarce.
Any NYJ RB: Ivory is the best bet, but timeshare really means: no good for anyone.
End Note: Good backs are hard to come by, and their names are often hard to spell.
Zach Kilpatrick has played fantasy football since he had to use a pen, paper, and newspaper to play. He has finished first in ESPN standard leagues twice, runner up once, first in a Yahoo league once and has been playing in a 16 team IDP and PPR dynasty league since 2009.
The opinions in this column are just that, his opinions, and are not guaranteed in any way.
Zach’s column will run in The Star’s Wednesday and Saturday paper each week.