Sixth Round61. Reggie Wayne (ADP: Late 6th round)62. Torrey Smith (ADP: Early 7th round)63. Reggie Bush (ADP: Late 4th round)64. Jonathan Stewart (ADP: Late 7th round)65. Peyton Hillis (ADP: Mid 5th round)66. DeSean Jackson (ADP: Mid 5th round)67. Michael Turner (ADP: Late 3rd round)68. Kenny Britt (ADP: Late 7th round)69. Ryan Williams (ADP: Late 7th round)70. Miles Austin (ADP: Mid 6th round)71. Mark Ingram (ADP: Late 7th round) -- Ingram interests me as a standard-league RB2/flex because he's looked awfully good in preseason action while retaining a stranglehold on red-zone carries in New Orleans' high-scoring offense. Ingram disappointed a ton of owners last season, keeping the Average Draft Position very low on a legitimate threat for 10-12 rushing TDs.72. Pierre Garcon (ADP: Late 6th round)Seventh Round73. Ben Tate (ADP: Early 7th round)74. Rashad Jennings (ADP: Mid 8th round)75. Donald Brown (ADP: Mid 5th round)76. Greg Little (ADP: Late 9th round)77. Tony Romo (ADP: Late 6th round) -- Romo's Average Draft Position was screaming toward the fourth round early in training camp, but it's understandably cooled off with so many injuries around him. Jason Witten (spleen) is likely to miss Week 1 and may not be healthy early in the season. Miles Austin's hamstring problems are recurring. The interior of Dallas' offensive line looks worse than last year's, if that's possible. I wouldn't want Romo as my fantasy starter.78. Eli Manning (ADP: Late 5th round)79. Philip Rivers (ADP: Early 7th round)80. Fred Davis (ADP: Late 8th round)81. Titus Young (ADP: Mid 7th round)82. Toby Gerhart (ADP: Mid 9th round)83. Shonn Greene (ADP: Early 6th round) -- I mentioned the effect of a passing league on fantasy statistics in this column's introduction. It has deepened the wide receiver and quarterback fields. At the same time, the passing league has allowed pass-catching running backs to lap early-down plodders, particularly those who don't play in high-scoring offenses. Shonn Greene is precisely the kind of running back to avoid in 2012 fantasy drafts. He doesn't catch passes, plays in a brutal offense, and lacks big-play ability to compensate. You're in trouble if he's your RB2.84. Peyton Manning (ADP: Mid 6th round)Eighth Round85. Denarius Moore (ADP: Late 8th round)86. C.J. Spiller (ADP: Early 8th round)87. Kyle Rudolph (ADP: Late 13th round) -- Rudolph's ADP is still in the flier-pick range, but he shouldn't be considered a flier anymore. If there is a late-round tight end capable of leaping into the Hernandez/Finley/Davis tier, it's the one in Minnesota. Rudolph should be Ponder's No. 1 red-zone target and No. 2 in the open field, behind Harvin. He's got a leg up on the Jared Cooks of the world as an established, every-down tight end. Rudolph isn't just a passing-down specialist.88. Darrius Heyward-Bey (ADP: Late 8th round)89. DeAngelo Williams (ADP: Mid 8th round)90. Michael Bush (ADP: Mid 8th round)91. BenJarvus Green-Ellis (ADP: Mid 4th round)92. Ben Roethlisberger (ADP: Mid 9th round)93. Evan Royster (ADP: Late 10th round)94. Beanie Wells (ADP: Late 6th round)95. Justin Blackmon (ADP: Early 8th round)96. Andrew Luck (ADP: Early 10th round)Ninth Round97. Roy Helu (ADP: Early 9th round)98. Jacob Tamme (ADP: Late 7th round)99. Jason Witten (ADP: Early 8th round)100. Jay Cutler (ADP: Late 7th round)101. Isaiah Pead (ADP: Mid 13th round)102. Jake Locker (ADP: Late 13th round)103. Robert Meachem (ADP: Early 8th round)104. Michael Crabtree (ADP: Early 11th round)105. Jacquizz Rodgers (ADP: Late 9th round)106. Kendall Wright (ADP: Late 11th round)107. David Wilson (ADP: Early 9th round)108. Robert Griffin III (ADP: Late 8th round)
I have listened intently to the argument for drafting a first-round quarterback. I've pondered it and made every attempt to comprehend it. I still don't understand it.The argument's initial premise states that the NFL is a passing league. Premise two cites last year's stats, which showed five "elite" quarterbacks followed by a drop off a cliff. Both premises are factual. But in the first-round quarterback argument, they could not be more poorly applied.A logically sound rebuttal for premise one is that the passing league deepens the field. Wide receivers and quarterbacks score more points. There are more productive wideouts and passers. Premise two only took place because Peyton Manning got injured, Philip Rivers hit a wall, Matthew Stafford stayed healthy, and Cam Newton dominated as a rookie. A whole lot of unforeseen. To suggest there is truly predictability -- that five quarterbacks are elite and the rest will hurt you -- is awfully ambitious. And there is very little chance it will prove true. None, really.The second premise is really rough. It's based entirely on last year's stats. There is little I can tell you right now with supreme confidence about the 2012 season. This stuff really isn't predictable. One of the few certainties is that last year's stats are not indicative of this year's. Do I think Brady, Rodgers, and Brees will give you elite production? Yes. But fantasy drafts are all about value. And I think Vick and Ryan will score like them at not nearly the draft-day cost. I think Luck, Locker, and Big Ben can be top-ten quarterback scorers. They are mid- to late-round value picks.So read up. Do research. Check every player's Rotoworld news page. Form your own opinion, and apply it on draft day. You know mine.Now to the Top 150.Editor's Note: Full player-by-player descriptions will be updated following the third week of preseason games. And for consensus rankings, projections, tiers, sleepers, busts and much, much more - get Rotoworld's 2012 Draft Guide.First Round1. Arian Foster (ADP: 1st overall) -- Foster brings to the table elite talent and versatility, but workload and scheme separate him from McCoy and Rice. Foster has started 30 games over the past three years, in them averaging 24.9 touches a game. McCoy has a 19.5-touch average across 34 starts. Rice has averaged 22.3 touches per start over those three seasons. The Texans have the run-heaviest offense in football, and their zone-blocking system is a well-oiled machine.2. LeSean McCoy (ADP: 4th overall) -- McCoy doesn't get the rock quite as often as Rice or McFadden, but he's more efficient with his touches and plays in an offense I think will explode in a post-hype year. McCoy's fantasy running back ranking has improved in each of his three NFL seasons, and he's still just 24 years old. He's the only player I'd briefly consider taking over Foster.3. Darren McFadden (ADP: 9th overall) -- Though its annual occurrence gives the mirage of a trend, DMC's injury history is rooted in bad luck. In exchange for a shot at the league-winning reward, I'm willing to take him in the top three as an insanely talented every-down back whose path to goal-line carries has been cleared for the first time in his career. McFadden is so good that he could miss two games and still outscore the running back field. He is an awesome player.4. Ray Rice (ADP: 2nd overall) -- Rice doesn't have quite the juice Foster, McCoy, and McFadden offer as a sheer running talent. But he is a durable workhorse who quietly may be headed for a career-high in snaps considering the failure of a No. 2 back to emerge in Baltimore.5. Chris Johnson (ADP: 7th overall) -- I wrote a late-July column charting Johnson's 2011 snaps and detailing the collection of excuses offered for his career-worst year. I've watched his preseason and feel a bit better about him now. CJ?K still possesses uncommon elusiveness and burst. The fact that Johnson flipped his own off switch last year is the only reason I have him behind DMC and Rice. He's an elite talent slated for an elite workload in an offense on the rise.6. Calvin Johnson (ADP: 6th overall) -- Megatron is the only receiver valuable enough to draft in the first round, and that's because he's head and shoulders above the rest. He's the most physically dominant wideout in the game playing in the league's pass-heaviest offense with the NFL's strongest-armed quarterback. For "last year's stats" guys, he scored over three fantasy points per week more than the No. 2 receiver (Jordy Nelson). Megatron gives you a huge edge.7. DeMarco Murray (ADP: 11th overall) -- Dallas' interior line is a concern, but Murray lacks any hint of competition for carries and can compensate with pure volume. Assuming he gets good luck and stays healthy, Murray is a darkhorse to lead the league in rushing attempts. The Cowboys' passing game will likely start slow with Jason Witten and Miles Austin nursing injuries. Murray can be the early-season offensive centerpiece, and his passing-game role is sure to rise.8. Jamaal Charles (ADP: Mid 2nd round) -- The Texans tied the Broncos for the 2011 league lead in rushing attempts. Denver will be a pass-first offense as Peyton Manning replaces Tim Tebow, and Kansas City now may be Houston's most viable "competitor" for the NFL's run-heaviest team. Workload should not be a major issue for Charles, who has avoided training-camp setbacks following last September's ACL tear while rediscovering pre-injury explosion and moves.9. Steven Jackson (ADP: Late 2nd round) -- I've found Jackson to be among the league's most impressive runners through two weeks of preseason. Having dropped at least ten pounds, S-Jax has displayed improved quickness and speed while shedding the "hop-step" behind the line of scrimmage he bad-habited even in his prime. Jeff Fisher is going to run the ball early and often in St. Louis. I think Jackson may well approach the 379 touches Fisher gave Eddie George in his own age-29 season. I have a first-round grade on S-Jax, and he can be had in the second round.10. Jimmy Graham (ADP: 15th overall) -- The first-round quarterback argument (see intro) applies more smoothly to tight ends. For the last-year's-stats crowd, Gronk scored nearly six more points per week than the No. 3 tight end. Graham, who finished second, scored 2.5 more points per week than No. 3. These tight ends tilt weekly scoring in a particular owner's favor and are unto a tier of their own. I like Graham to outscore Gronkowski ever so slightly because he's the clear-cut No. 1 option in his offense and blocks less. They are both late first-round picks.11. Rob Gronkowski (ADP: Late 2nd round) -- Barring injury, Gronkowski and Graham's 2011 catch and yardage totals are reliable barometers as to their 2012 production. Aside from perhaps Gronk's TDs, I don't think there will be dramatic downturn from either of their final-year stats. I think Antonio Gates has an outside chance to approach Gronk and Graham's catches and yards, and Aaron Hernandez, Jermichael Finley, and perhaps Vernon Davis will at least keep you competitive. But Gronk and Graham are weekly matchup tilters and every bit worth top-12 picks.12. Ryan Mathews (ADP: Late 2nd round) -- Fantasy footballers have every right to be shaken by Mathews' fractured collarbone considering his past durability woes. But the facts of the matter are it was a hard-luck injury, and Mathews is expected to miss no more than two games. Mathews was a top-seven weekly running back scorer with Mike Tolbert in the 2011 picture and won't struggle for top-five per-week statistics with Tolbert gone to Carolina. Commonly available throughout the second round of drafts, Mathews is a value pick anywhere beyond the top 14.Second Round13. Marshawn Lynch (ADP: Mid 2nd round) -- Lynch's position and volume lock him in as a top-15 overall fantasy pick, and he's impressed with quickness and burst in August games after cutting offseason weight. Despite his July DUI, Lynch no longer appears in danger of suspension.14. Matt Forte (ADP: 10th overall) -- The No. 10 fantasy pick seems rich for a back who never got goal-line carries in the first place, and now threatens to lose precious open-field touches to Michael Bush. The Bears may look to "preserve" Forte a bit after committing big money to him.15. Julio Jones (ADP: Mid 2nd round) -- If any receiver can give Calvin Johnson a run for the 2012 fantasy scoring lead, Jones is the NFL's best bet as a freakish talent becoming the featured player in a pass-first, up-tempo offense. Julio is going to shred defenses this season.16. Fred Jackson (ADP: Late 2nd round) -- Jackson isn't a "sexy" pick as a 31-year-old running back who plays in Buffalo. But the preseason has shown he remains locked in as the feature runner ahead of C.J. Spiller. Chan Gailey's Pistol Spread offense floods the field with four and five receivers, creating running lanes. Jackson should be secure as a top-12 fantasy back.17. Doug Martin (ADP: Early 4th round) -- I've viewed each of Martin and LeGarrette Blount's August snaps, and there is no question that the rookie brings more to the table in every facet of the game. At worst, Martin will open the season as a 14-18 touch-per-week RB2 playing in Greg Schiano's run-first, smash-mouth offense behind the NFL's highest-paid offensive line. By October, Martin should be handling the ball 20 times a game. He is way better than Blount.18. Andre Johnson (ADP: Early 3rd round) -- This guy was a first-round fantasy pick last year. Johnson's 12 missed games over the past two seasons combined with an early-camp groin injury appear to have sunk his Average Draft Position, making Johnson a value pick. He's lost nothing off his fastball, evidenced by three 90-plus yard performances among his last four "real" games and last Saturday's 43-yard preseason catch in double coverage against San Francisco.19. Larry Fitzgerald (ADP: Late 2nd round) -- Fitz drafters and keeper-league owners need John Skelton to win Arizona's quarterback job. The Cardinals' signal caller must accomplish two tasks: 1) Stand tall as his pocket inevitably collapses behind a sieve of an offensive line, and 2) Get the ball to Fitzgerald. When Skelton played more extensively in 2011 games, Fitz averaged 94 yards per contest. His per-game average fell to 82 yards with Kevin Kolb under center.20. Dez Bryant (ADP: Mid 4th round) -- I think Julio Jones has the best shot at unseating Calvin Johnson for the receiver fantasy scoring lead. I think Dez is the best bet to challenge for Johnson's receiving touchdown crown. Particularly with Jason Witten (spleen) and Miles Austin (hamstring) nursing worrisome injuries, Bryant is headed for a target-heavy breakout season.21. A.J. Green (ADP: Late 2nd round) -- Andy Dalton's rough preseason is cause for some pause, but Green is dynamic enough to be quarterback-proof. Green can "go get" poorly thrown passes, and Dalton has shown a willingness in August to throw it to him up for grabs. Green is a sneaky candidate to lead the league in targets. The Bengals really have no one else.22. Antonio Gates (ADP: Late 4th round) -- Fantasy owners should wait until the third round to even begin considering Gates in light of his late fourth-round Average Draft Position, but I'm confident he'll meet expectations and then some. Philip Rivers has lost something off his deep ball, and Gates is still capable of dominating underneath. I expect him to lead San Diego in pass targets, receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns, and to rank third among fantasy tight ends.23. Hakeem Nicks (ADP: Early 4th round) -- Even after Victor Cruz's 2011 breakout year, Nicks is the Giants' best receiver. I think he's a value pick at his current ADP. His spring foot injury no longer an issue, Nicks will start Friday's preseason game and be 100 percent for the opener.24. Adrian Peterson (ADP: 13th overall) -- Peterson's recovery has proceeded smoothly by all accounts, but I remain skeptical that he stands any chance of living up to his top-of-round-two Average Draft Position coming off ACL and MCL tears with damage to both meniscuses. He's someone I'd let another owner draft. Peterson isn't going to be a full-time back early in the season even if he's active for games, and the possibility of setbacks remains as he begins to face contact.
Third Round25. Cam Newton (ADP: Mid 2nd round) -- Forget, for a minute, last year's rushing TDs and whether they're "repeatable." Newton is the most physically dominant young player in football, and I think it's only a matter of time (this year or next) before he takes over as the overall fantasy scoring leader and consensus No. 1 pick. Perhaps I'm a year early, but I'll be betting on this player going forward. I like Cam as the No. 1 fantasy quarterback, passing Rodgers, Brady, and Brees.26. Aaron Rodgers (ADP: 3rd overall) -- Rodgers is the best player in the NFL. I have a third-round fantasy grade on him because he plays a deep position in a passing league where each year numerous passers emerge from the middle- and late-round woodwork to score at "elite" rates. I think Newton, Rodgers, Brady, Brees, Vick, Stafford, and Ryan will provide first-tier 2012 production. I'd much rather grab Vick or Ryan while trying for this year's Stafford or Newton later in the draft than blow my early-round wad on a quarterback. It's basic Supply & Demand.27. Tom Brady (ADP: 5th overall) -- I was asked recently which quarterback I think offers the highest upside at quarterback, which the highest "floor," and which the best combination of upside and floor. My answer to the latter two queries was Brady. I answered Newton to the first.28. Drew Brees (ADP: 8th overall) -- Seven straight seasons of top-six quarterback stats lock in Brees as an elite producer even without Robert Meachem and Carl Nicks. The additional loss of Sean Payton is not a concern for Brees' fantasy outlook. OC Pete Carmichael returns, and the 2011 offense averaged 36 more yards and over seven more points per game with Carmichael calling plays. Carmichael did so from Week 7 on, after Payton blew out his knee on the sideline.29. Michael Vick (ADP: Early 5th round) -- Vick's ADP has been torpedoed by a perfect storm of factors. One legion of owners simply does not believe in Vick. Never did. Another legion bought on Vick last season, and came away disappointed. A third legion has watched this year's preseason games. Vick got nicked up in each of the first two weeks, so he obviously can't stay healthy. Aggressive, forward-looking fantasy owners will pounce on Vick in the third or fourth round. He's a weekly difference maker, and he is the No. 1 value pick quarterback in 2012 drafts.30. Matthew Stafford (ADP: 12th overall) -- I banged the table for Stafford as a value pick in 2011 drafts, and he rewarded "risk" takers with a top-five quarterback season at the cost of a seventh-round pick. Now a full year removed from injury, Stafford's ADP takes him off my radar. Fantasy drafts are a value game, and I'd rather target Vick or Matt Ryan several rounds later.31. Brandon Lloyd (ADP: Late 4th round) -- The Patriots' offense will go deep more as Josh McDaniels replaces Bill O'Brien, and Lloyd will benefit from single coverage while defenses key up to stop Gronk, Hernandez, and Welker. Lloyd's ADP has risen with Rotoworld pumping him up, but he's still worth it in the fourth round. He'll be drafted as a WR2 and score like a WR1.32. Percy Harvin (ADP: Mid 4th round) -- Chris Wesseling recently suggested that the Vikings' 2012 offense could be a sneaky goldmine for fantasy value. My offseason game reviews of Christian Ponder uncovered a better-than-advertised arm, and Harvin was an absolute machine after Ponder took the reins as a rookie, averaging well over 100 yards per game with seven TDs in the final seven weeks. Harvin is being drafted as a WR2, but he's the rare receiver who can score like a WR1 in both PPR and non-PPR formats. Ponder is willing to force feed him the ball.33. Steve Smith (ADP: Mid 4th round) -- Defenses schemed to take away Smith down last season's stretch, but it didn't end well for opponents. Carolina won four of its final six games -- three by blowout -- while playing playoff teams Detroit and Atlanta tough. Teams will have to figure out different ways to defend this offense, which ranked seventh in the NFL in 2011 and looks like a top-five unit for 2012. Smith returns as the featured player in Rob Chudzinski's vertical scheme.34. Brandon Marshall (ADP: Early 3rd round) -- Hype was heavy on Marshall after a pair of long catches in Chicago's second preseason game, but there are a few things to remember. His value has always been superior in PPR compared to standard because he struggles in the red zone and doesn't go deep. I think Marshall is being a bit overrated in TD- and yard-heavy leagues.35. Jordy Nelson (ADP: Late 3rd round) -- As alluded to previously, only Calvin Johnson scored more fantasy points among receivers than Nelson in 2011. While Nelson's efficiency stats were seemingly flukily off the charts, I think he has legitimately developed into a top-ten NFL wide receiver and will continue to outscore teammate Greg Jennings. Rodgers shows impressive trust in Nelson by throwing him the ball in up-for-grabs situations. I think he's every bit worth his ADP.36. Jeremy Maclin (ADP: Late 5th round) -- In another case of fantasy leaguers relying on last year's stats, Maclin is shaping up as one of the premier value picks at receiver. We're quick to forget he had the look of a future All Pro in 2010, before Maclin's 2011 performance was affected by mysterious offseason illness, leading to significant weight loss. Maclin is Vick's best red-zone target, and clearly a more complete wideout than DeSean Jackson. He has a boatload of upside.Fourth Round37. Demaryius Thomas (ADP: Mid 5th round) -- Thomas' ADP has fallen noticeably and steadily since camp opened in late July, largely for reasons unknown. Is he not creating enough "buzz" for you? Thomas had three catches for 28 yards in Denver's second preseason game and a nice first-down grab called back by penalty in the opener. Peyton Manning's less-than-stellar August might explain Thomas' slip. I still expect Thomas to emerge as the NFL's premier run-after-catch receiver this season. It's worth noting that Eric Decker ran more vertical routes than Thomas last year. Thomas was the underneath-to-intermediate guy. He's not just a deep threat.38. Antonio Brown (ADP: Early 5th round) -- The game tape shows Brown to be not quite as dynamic as Mike Wallace, and certainly not of similar ilk in the minds of opposing defensive coordinators. But we are projecting stats here, not debating the on-field impact of double and triple teams. Wallace's return is good news for Brown's fantasy outlook. Wallace will continue to command heavy coverage from opposing secondaries while Brown guts them inside the numbers.39. Roddy White (ADP: Mid 3rd round) -- The fantasy owners still drafting White in the second and third rounds haven't paid enough attention. While White should continue to see a healthy dose of targets in Atlanta's pass-heavy offense, even Roddy himself admits Julio Jones will be the featured player in Dirk Koetter's attack. Jones is a WR1. White is a middling WR2.40. Aaron Hernandez (ADP: Mid 5th round) -- When you get past Graham, Gronkowski, and Gates in your draft, I think you've lost the chance to acquire a difference maker at tight end. But Hernandez can keep you competitive with a high volume of touches and plenty of playmaking ability in a high-scoring offense. Jermichael Finley and Vernon Davis are next up. Finley's on-field play can be maddeningly inconsistent, and San Francisco's run-first philosophy holds Davis back.41. Marques Colston (ADP: Late 4th round) -- Colston missed two games last year and still ranked 11th among fantasy receivers. He was eighth in wideout scoring per game. Those are legitimate WR1 numbers. Though Jimmy Graham has overtaken him as the Saints' top receiver, New Orleans' pass-happy attack allows plenty of volume for two upper-echelon fantasy producers. Be it with PPR or non-PPR settings, I think you're in great shape if you secure Colston as a WR2.42. Victor Cruz (ADP: Late 3rd round) -- If Cruz has any edge on teammate Nicks, it is superior versatility. Cruz can play X, Z, and slot receiver, running a diverse and full route tree in OC Kevin Gilbride's vertical offense. Nicks primarily sticks to the sideline, securing just about everything thrown his way with body control and massive mitts. I think Nicks will score more like the WR1 this year, but Cruz won't be too far off. He's another terrific WR2 regardless of format.43. Greg Jennings (ADP: Mid 3rd round) -- A precision route runner who moves around the formation more than you might think, Jennings was a top-ten receiver before succumbing to regular season-ending knee injury after 13 games in 2011. In these rankings, I gave Jordy Nelson the slight edge on Jennings in 2012 projected scoring. But I really think it could go either way.44. Maurice Jones-Drew (ADP: 14th overall) -- Jones-Drew is still being drafted as if he's going to be just fine. The history of holdout running backs suggests there's little chance of that, and Rashad Jennings' impressive preseason bodes especially poorly for MJD's odds of seeing a workload remotely resembling last year's. There is a ton of risk in drafting Jones-Drew, and I don't think the possible reward is worth it. I wouldn't even consider it before the middle of round four.45. Darren Sproles (ADP: Mid 3rd round) -- It's still difficult to grasp relying on a standard-league back as an every-week starter when he's not even a lock for 100-plus carries. A very new-wave player, Sproles qualifies because he catches so many passes and is second in line for red-zone work in New Orleans' backfield, essentially rotating there with Mark Ingram. Receptions gain more yards than rushing attempts, anyway, and Sproles has a "floor" of around 6-7 touchdowns.46. Eric Decker (ADP: Late 5th round)47. Dwayne Bowe (ADP: Late 5th round)48. Wes Welker (ADP: Mid 3rd round)Fifth Round49. Matt Ryan (ADP: Mid 4th round)50. Trent Richardson (ADP: Early 3rd round)51. Ahmad Bradshaw (ADP: Early 4th round)52. Jermichael Finley (ADP: Early 6th round)53. Mike Wallace (ADP: Late 4th round) -- I love Wallace's game. I think he is better than Antonio Brown. But after missing Todd Haley's offensive install by holding out of OTAs and the first month of camp, Wallace has just two weeks to learn Haley's system on the fly. My concern is Wallace will open the year as a clear-out receiver, running deep patterns to take coverage while Brown racks up stats underneath. I'm worried Wallace will be very inconsistent. I hope I'm wrong.54. Vernon Davis (ADP: Mid 6th round)55. Vincent Jackson (ADP: Mid 6th round)56. Kevin Smith (ADP: Mid 6th round)57. Willis McGahee (ADP: Early 5th round)58. Frank Gore (ADP: Early 4th round) -- I'd rather take Kendall Hunter in the 12th round. Gore's passing-game role has evaporated in Jim Harbaugh's offense (17 catches in '11), and he's slated to lose goal-line work to Brandon Jacobs while Hunter and LaMichael James steal open-field snaps. I think Gore has a shot at RB2 value for the season's first month and a half, but expect his field time to dwindle down the stretch with Hunter eventually taking over as lead back.59. Stevan Ridley (ADP: Mid 7th round)60. Stevie Johnson (ADP: Early 6th round)
Sixth Round61. Reggie Wayne (ADP: Late 6th round)62. Torrey Smith (ADP: Early 7th round)63. Reggie Bush (ADP: Late 4th round)64. Jonathan Stewart (ADP: Late 7th round)65. Peyton Hillis (ADP: Mid 5th round)66. DeSean Jackson (ADP: Mid 5th round)67. Michael Turner (ADP: Late 3rd round)68. Kenny Britt (ADP: Late 7th round)69. Ryan Williams (ADP: Late 7th round)70. Miles Austin (ADP: Mid 6th round)71. Mark Ingram (ADP: Late 7th round) -- Ingram interests me as a standard-league RB2/flex because he's looked awfully good in preseason action while retaining a stranglehold on red-zone carries in New Orleans' high-scoring offense. Ingram disappointed a ton of owners last season, keeping the Average Draft Position very low on a legitimate threat for 10-12 rushing TDs.72. Pierre Garcon (ADP: Late 6th round)Seventh Round73. Ben Tate (ADP: Early 7th round)74. Rashad Jennings (ADP: Mid 8th round)75. Donald Brown (ADP: Mid 5th round)76. Greg Little (ADP: Late 9th round)77. Tony Romo (ADP: Late 6th round) -- Romo's Average Draft Position was screaming toward the fourth round early in training camp, but it's understandably cooled off with so many injuries around him. Jason Witten (spleen) is likely to miss Week 1 and may not be healthy early in the season. Miles Austin's hamstring problems are recurring. The interior of Dallas' offensive line looks worse than last year's, if that's possible. I wouldn't want Romo as my fantasy starter.78. Eli Manning (ADP: Late 5th round)79. Philip Rivers (ADP: Early 7th round)80. Fred Davis (ADP: Late 8th round)81. Titus Young (ADP: Mid 7th round)82. Toby Gerhart (ADP: Mid 9th round)83. Shonn Greene (ADP: Early 6th round) -- I mentioned the effect of a passing league on fantasy statistics in this column's introduction. It has deepened the wide receiver and quarterback fields. At the same time, the passing league has allowed pass-catching running backs to lap early-down plodders, particularly those who don't play in high-scoring offenses. Shonn Greene is precisely the kind of running back to avoid in 2012 fantasy drafts. He doesn't catch passes, plays in a brutal offense, and lacks big-play ability to compensate. You're in trouble if he's your RB2.84. Peyton Manning (ADP: Mid 6th round)Eighth Round85. Denarius Moore (ADP: Late 8th round)86. C.J. Spiller (ADP: Early 8th round)87. Kyle Rudolph (ADP: Late 13th round) -- Rudolph's ADP is still in the flier-pick range, but he shouldn't be considered a flier anymore. If there is a late-round tight end capable of leaping into the Hernandez/Finley/Davis tier, it's the one in Minnesota. Rudolph should be Ponder's No. 1 red-zone target and No. 2 in the open field, behind Harvin. He's got a leg up on the Jared Cooks of the world as an established, every-down tight end. Rudolph isn't just a passing-down specialist.88. Darrius Heyward-Bey (ADP: Late 8th round)89. DeAngelo Williams (ADP: Mid 8th round)90. Michael Bush (ADP: Mid 8th round)91. BenJarvus Green-Ellis (ADP: Mid 4th round)92. Ben Roethlisberger (ADP: Mid 9th round)93. Evan Royster (ADP: Late 10th round)94. Beanie Wells (ADP: Late 6th round)95. Justin Blackmon (ADP: Early 8th round)96. Andrew Luck (ADP: Early 10th round)Ninth Round97. Roy Helu (ADP: Early 9th round)98. Jacob Tamme (ADP: Late 7th round)99. Jason Witten (ADP: Early 8th round)100. Jay Cutler (ADP: Late 7th round)101. Isaiah Pead (ADP: Mid 13th round)102. Jake Locker (ADP: Late 13th round)103. Robert Meachem (ADP: Early 8th round)104. Michael Crabtree (ADP: Early 11th round)105. Jacquizz Rodgers (ADP: Late 9th round)106. Kendall Wright (ADP: Late 11th round)107. David Wilson (ADP: Early 9th round)108. Robert Griffin III (ADP: Late 8th round)Tenth Round109. Brandon LaFell (ADP: Early 11th round) -- LaFell and Legedu Naanee rotated as Carolina's No. 2 receiver in 2011, combining for a final stat line of 80/1,080/4. LaFell now has the job all to himself. While LaFell is unlikely to repeat those statistics on his own, he does offer intriguing breakout appeal in the Panthers' aggressive, vertical offense. He's an ideal WR4 pick.110. Austin Collie (ADP: Early 11th round) -- Collie's latest concussion understandably sent his ADP back down the drain just as he was beginning to look like the best receiver value going in drafts. There are no guarantees for a player concussed four times in a 21-month span, but I still like Collie's upside at the price of a WR4/5. I think he can lead Indy in catches and yards if he gains medical clearance. To date, there are no indications that Collie will be shut down.111. Kendall Hunter (ADP: Mid 12th round)112. Cedric Benson (ADP: Mid-7th round) -- Benson will open the season as the favorite for carries in Green Bay's backfield, but pedestrian talent and questionable scheme fit are working against him. Benson can't pass block or catch to save his life, and Packers backs must be able to play in the passing game in order to earn regular playing time. Benson may offer early-season RB3/flex value, but he'll be a liability in PPR leagues while gradually ceding snaps to Alex Green.113. Malcom Floyd (ADP: Early 8th round)114. Carson Palmer (ADP: Early 11th round)115. Isaac Redman (ADP: Early 7th round)116. Nate Washington (ADP: Mid 9th round)117. Greg Olsen (ADP: Mid 12th round)118. Randall Cobb (ADP: Mid 10th round)119. Tony Gonzalez (ADP: Mid 9th round)120. Anquan Boldin (ADP: Early 9th round)Eleventh Round121. Joe Flacco (ADP: Mid 12th round)122. Sidney Rice (ADP: Late 11th round)123. Jared Cook (ADP: Early 12th round)124. Lance Moore (ADP: Early 10th round)125. LeGarrette Blount (ADP: Early 10th round)126. Pierre Thomas (ADP: Late 11th round)127. Randy Moss (ADP: Mid 9th round)128. Santonio Holmes (ADP: Mid 10th round)129. Brandon Pettigrew (ADP: Late 8th round)130. Alex Green (ADP: Undrafted) -- An October ACL tear should make most leery of Green's chances at significant 2012 fantasy impact, but he's clearly bypassed James Starks and has a leg up on Cedric Benson from the standpoint that Green excels in the passing game. The Packers are a passing team. It's not crazy to think the lead back job can be Green's by midyear.131. Mike Williams (ADP: Late 10th round)132. Bernard Scott (ADP: Undrafted)Twelfth Round133. Shane Vereen (ADP: Late 12th round)134. Davone Bess (ADP: Undrafted)135. Christian Ponder (ADP: Undrafted)136. Ryan Fitzpatrick (ADP: Late 12th round)137. Bernard Pierce (ADP: Undrafted)138. Jermaine Gresham (ADP: Late 10th round)139. Matt Schaub (ADP: Late 9th round)140. Alshon Jeffery (ADP: Late 11th round)141. Braylon Edwards (ADP: Undrafted)142. Brian Quick (ADP: Early 14th round)143. Josh Freeman (ADP: Early 12th round)144. Lamar Miller (ADP: Undrafted)Thirteenth Round133. Felix Jones (ADP: Late 13th round) -- Out of shape and looking two steps slower in practice and preseason games, Jones has been outplayed by Phillip Tanner and UDFA Jamize Olawale to the point that there's been speculation Felix might lose his roster spot in Dallas. Jones should make the Cowboys' final 53, but he's no longer a desirable handcuff for DeMarco Murray.145. Vick Ballard (ADP: Undrafted)147. Ronnie Hillman (ADP: Mid 13th round)148. Owen Daniels (ADP: Mid 13th round)149. Emmanuel Sanders (ADP: Early 14th round) -- Sanders would have been a lot more intriguing had Mike Wallace held out into the regular season. With Wallace caving, Sanders will return to the slot in Todd Haley's offense, operating as a part-time player. He's still a worthy WR5 who could ascend to every-week WR3 production if Wallace or Antonio Brown were to get injured.150. Mikel Leshoure (ADP: Late 10th round)Left out of Top 150: Colts TE Coby Fleener, Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall, Bengals QB Andy Dalton, Jaguars WR Laurent Robinson, Packers RB James Starks, Redskins WRs Leonard Hankerson and Santana Moss, Jets TE Dustin Keller, Raiders RB Mike Goodson, Vikings WR Jerome Simpson, Redskins RBs Tim Hightower and Alfred Morris, Seahawks WRs Terrell Owens and Doug Baldwin, 49ers WR Mario Manningham, Dolphins RB Daniel Thomas, Chiefs WR Jon Baldwin, Browns TE Jordan Cameron, Colts WR LaVon Brazill, Dolphins WR Brian Hartline, Cardinals WR Michael Floyd, Rams WR Steve Smith, Eagles TE Brent Celek, Seahawks QB Russell Wilson.