Midseason Fantasy Football All Star Team
We here at Fantasy Wired truly hope you are one of the few that are sitting atop your fantasy football league standings, looking down at all the peasants that drafted a terrible team just a a couple months ago. If you are one of the fantasy royalty, odds are your team is comprised of one, or many, of the absolute studs below that have ripped apart the first half of the season.
We love consistency and feel it is one of the most important traits a player can add to your fantasy team. What good is a guy that goes for 20 one week and 1 the next? Sure, you'll win the ones where he goes off, but drop the ones where he disappears. So keep in mind as you read below, there might be guys with better overall stats out there, but for fantasy purposes, these are the cream of the crop.
All stats are based off of ESPN standard scoring. RB, WR and TE stats all get a bump in PPR leagues.
- Peyton Manning: What a first half. Manning hasn't just been good, he's been amazing. He's averaging just under 27 fantasy points per game and has failed to top 300 yards passing only once...when he threw for 295. His 30 total touchdowns is most in the NFL by a wide margin (Drew Brees has 20) and though he's put it in the air 333 times so far, he's only been intercepted on six occasions while reaching 20 or more fantasy points in all but one game this year.
- Drew Brees: Brees has had a pretty amazing season himself. He's behind only Peyton Manning in scoring despite already sitting one week due to the Saints bye. He's been held under 300 yards only twice, but did throw for multiple scores in each of those games.
- Jamaal Charles: Pretty much everything has gone right for the Chiefs so far this season and that includes the production of Jamaal Charles. Charles leads all running backs in fantasy points scored and has scored 11 or more fantasy points in every single game this year. He's a PPR monster and leads all running backs in receptions with 41, further adding to his value. And like a true fantasy football stud, he scores touchdowns - eight through eight games.
- Matt Forte: Like Charles, Forte has score double digit fantasy points in every game this year and averages over 15 fantasy points per game so far this season. Also like Charles, Forte provides a huge help in the passing game and has caught 35 balls for 262 yards through seven games (Bears on bye last week). It will be something to keep an eye on as to whether Jay Cutler's injury will directly affect Forte's production going forward, but you can't argue his massive first half.
Backup Running Backs
- Frank Gore: Ok, we were wrong. We thought this might be the year that you start to see some real decline in the 30-year-old running back. Not the case. Gore is going strong as ever and if it weren't for a week 2 stinker (2 points) would probably be on our first team. Gore's been in double digits every other game this year and has found the endzone seven times. After a week 9 bye, the road gets a bit tougher with Carolina, New Orleans and Seattle in three of the Niners next five games, but Gore has been steady and we don't anticipate much of a change.
- LeSean McCoy: This spot was reserved for Marshawn Lynch until he went out on Monday Night Football and got stuffed by the Rams to the tune of 23 rushing yards. McCoy has had a couple of down games, but no games where he's been totally nullified. He also is a big weapon out of the backfield (25 catches, 284 yards), so even when he's not running as well, he still gets his points. Even if you only get half a point per reception, Shady's lowest point total for the season is 7 and that ain't too shabby.
- Calvin Johnson: But what about consistency? We know. Megatron has had three bad weeks (was injured and missed one game and came back from injury too soon the week after, but still leads all fantasy WRs in scoring), but look at those other weeks! There are four games so far this season that if you owned Johnson, your team was set up for victory (23, 17, 27 and 36 points scored). And if you play in a PPR league, or one that awards bonuses, those scores were much higher. Matthew Stafford and the Lions have thrown the ball more than any team in the league so far this year and that trend isn't going to stop any time soon, so if you're looking for a second half slump, you're not going to find it here. There's a good chance Johnson ends up as the highest scoring non-quarterback in fantasy this year.
- Wes Welker: Here's your consistency! Welker has been as steady as any fantasy owner could hope for so far in 2013. And as for his "replacement" in New England...Welker scored as many fantasy points in week 1 as Danny Amendola has all year. He leads the league in receiving touchdowns with nine, having scored in all but one game this season. His lowest fantasy point total of the season is nine points, and if you play in a league with even a quarter point per reception, he's been in double digits every game. He doesn't rack up huge yardage, but he's going to get you at least five catches for sixty yards and usually a touchdown. That's every week production that makes a guy like Welker a fantasy all star.
Backup Wide Receivers
- Dez Bryant: We're really splitting hairs with our two backup wideouts as both could easily be the starters. Bryant is second to Welker with eight receiving touchdowns on the year (scoring multiple touchdowns in three games) and second to Johnson in total fantasy points scored. His yardage total puts him in eighth place despite his reception total being only 14th best, showing you what he can do once he gets the ball in his hands. The only real knock on Bryant's season is that he's had two total stinkers, tallying two points in week 1 and three points in week 6. The odds of Wes Welker scoring a touchdown every game for the rest of the season seem slim, so expect Bryant to slide into the starter position for our year-end rankings.
- Jordy Nelson: Another model of consistency, Nelson has been in double digit fantasy points in five of his seven games so far this season (again, in any sort of PPR league, he's been double digits every game). He's just behind our other guys on the team with seven touchdowns and slots in 7th in yardage - impressive considering his team has already been on bye. With Randall Cobb and Jermichael Finley out, Nelson is the obvious number one target in Green Bay and his numbers could skyrocket in the second half with eight of his final nine games against pass defenses that rank in the bottom half of the league.
- Jimmy Graham: Guess who is tied with Dez Bryant for second in overall fantasy points for a pass catcher? Yes, it's Graham. Ready to have your mind blown? That's having already endured a bye week and a week where he was playing through injury and was shut out by the Patriots. Graham is averaging over 15 fantasy points per game (double digit output in all but the one game), broken the 100-yard mark four times in seven games, and has hauled in eight touchdowns. He has more receiving yards (630) than legitimate number one guys like Andre Johnson, Torrey Smith, Vincent Jackson, Pierre Garcon, and Brandon Marshall. Graham is every bit a WR1 at the TE position when it comes to fantasy purposes and should be treated as such.
Backup Tight End
- Vernon Davis: It was a tough decision between Davis, Jordan Cameron, and Julius Thomas for the backup spot, but in the end, we chose Davis and his "awesome when healthy" statistics. When not hampered by some sort of ailment this season, Davis has gone for double digit fantasy points in four of five games. And though he sat out a game and played hurt for two more, he's still reached the end zone seven times on the year. At the end of the day, all three guys are more than deserving of the bench spot behind Jimmy Graham.
- Matt Prater: We're not big on kickers here at Fantasy Wired, but we'll go ahead and highlight Matt Prater solely because he's leading all kickers in fantasy points through the first half of the season. A kicker is really only as good as his opportunities and Denver's high powered offense will continue to offer Prater plenty of chances to kick for the remainder of the season.
- Chiefs: There's good, and then there's Chief's good. The Chiefs defense has been rock solid all year long and has rewarded those lucky enough to pluck them off the waiver wire by scoring 10 or more fantasy points in six of their eight games. Two meetings each with Denver and San Diego makes for a tough back half, but if any D/ST is up to it, it's this group.
- Seahawks: A true model of consistency near and dear to our Fantasy Wired hearts, the Seahawks defense has forced at least two turnovers in every game this season. Their 13 interceptions is tied for the league lead and their 10 fumble recoveries is second to the Bears. Unlike the Chiefs, their second half looks great with matchups against the winless Bucs, Vikings, Giants, Cardinals and Rams on tap.
- Knowshon Moreno: Make no mistake, Moreno is a RB1 and has proven it so far this season. We've slotted him in the flex based on his average draft position (ADP) this year. Nobody drafted him to be their workhorse. Heck, Montee Ball went 60 picks ahead of him on average. So, if you were one of the lucky ones that scored Moreno in the 12th round (ADP of 124.4), congrats, you're probably doing pretty darn well in your league. Just to give you an idea of how big of a steal Moreno was, he's outscored Doug Martin, CJ Spiller, Trent Richardson, Maurice Jones Drew and Ray Rice...as well as Ray Rice and CJ Spiller combined! Or Doug Martin and Trent Richardson combined! Actually, combine any two of those guys named and he's performed better from a fantasy perspective. Congrats Moreno owner, you hit the jackpot.
- Fred Jackson: Before the season started, we talked ad nauseam about the importance of handcuffs. One guy that was mentioned about a hundred times was Fred Jackson. CJ Spiller has all the potential in the world, but unfortunately, potential cannot keep you healthy. Jackson has filled in splendidly, ranking in the top ten of all running backs and scoring 10 or more points in every game but one so far this season.
MVP: Peyton Manning
Runner Up: Jimmy Graham
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