Fantasy football draft strategy can keep you up all night. As you start building your team for Wednesday's NFL opener, let's avoid paralysis by analysis and focus on whom to pick if these common quandaries present themselves.
Aaron Rodgers vs. Arian Foster
Rodgers and Foster are without question the two best fantasy players out there. The Packers QB put up monster numbers last year (45 passing touchdowns, 4,600 yards). Foster, the uber-talented running back for Houston, had a very impressive 2011 (12 total scores, over 1,800 total yards) and played only 13 games. Given the opportunity, I would take Foster over Rodgers as there is more depth at quarterback than running back. Cheeseheads, your QB is great, but he just is not the No. 1 pick in fantasy.
Jimmy Graham vs. Rob Gronkowski
These two are the elite of fantasy tight ends. New England's Gronkowski put up video game numbers last season with over 1,300 yards receiving and 17 scores. Graham, Drew Brees' go-to guy in New Orleans, was amazing also, scoring 11 times and playing in all 16 games. On paper the choice looks like it should be Gronkowski, but go with Graham. New England plays a double tight end set and acquired Brandon Lloyd; he and Aaron Hernandez will take catches away from Gronkowski.
Matthew Stafford vs. Cam Newton
These guys are two of the best up-and-coming fantasy QBs. Newton had a spectacular rookie campaign, throwing for more than 4,000 yards to go with 21 scores, and he rushed for 14 more. Stafford, in his first full season without an injury, threw for a whopping 5,000 yards and 41 touchdowns. Both will put up big numbers. The choice is Stafford, however, as he and Calvin Johnson are only getting better.
Julio Jones vs. A.J. Green
Jones and Green were the class of rookie receivers in 2011. Both had very similar stats. Green had over 1,000 yards receiving and seven scores. Jones had over 900 yards and eight TDs. The slight edge goes to Green here; he's a great route runner and is really in synch with quarterback Andy Dalton.
What about the Bears?
If the Bears get the protection for Jay Cutler like he received against Washington, then he and Brandon Marshall will be a dynamic combination. They had success together in Denver, are healthy and could rack up great fantasy seasons. Cutler is a good mid-round selection and Marshall could be huge as a No. 2 receiver.
Dan Richman has been playing fantasy football for over 15 years. Richman also hosted a fantasy football show on 670-AM WSCR for many years under the moniker "Super Fan Dan." Follow him @danrichmanffl.
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