by James Darby:
As summer starts to come to an end, America has come upon one of the greatest times in a sports fans life. Time to draft your fantasy football team. Millions will participate in all different types of drafts. Some drafts can be small with only eight people in them, while others can take part in leagues with up to twenty people playing in them. Either way draft day for fantasy football fans has the same feeling that Thanksgiving and Christmas bring us. Fantasy Football allows you to build the ultimate NFL football team and make a lot of us wish our fantasy team was the actual Chicago Bears. So what does the ultimate fantasy football team look like? If the team had to have a standard roster (1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 K, and 1 team defense) this is what the ultimate fantasy football team would be.
Quarterback – Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
Newton is what I like to call the Steph Curry of football. One of the more dominating players in the game Cam can do it all for your fantasy football team with his arm and his legs. Newton will be entering his fifth season and coming off his best season in which he threw a career low 10 interceptions and a career high 35 passing touchdowns which also had him tied for second in the entire league. Now even though Cam was 16th in the league in passing yard, many people forget who some of his targets were. He did not have his number one wide receiver target in kelvin Benjamin as he was out the entire 2015 season, so Cam was forced to throw to wide receivers like Ted Ginn and Jerricho Cotchery. Not the kind of names you would think of for a team that went 15-1. Cam is lucky though in being able to throw to one of the best catching tight ends in the game with Greg Olson, so he does help Cam in a very big way. Newton does help himself though with his leg as he is the best rushing quarterback in the league. He lead all quarterbacks in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns with 10. The next closest was Jameis Winston with 6. The fact that Cam Newton is the best rushing quarterback and one of the great passing quarterbacks, he is the quarterback you want running your fantasy team.
Running Backs- Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams & Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
I really like this combo based on the fact of having a proven veteran and future Hall of Famer in Adrian Peterson, and a young and upcoming stud in the NFL with Todd Gurley. Both men can be considered part of the elite running backs in the game right now, as both rushed for at least 1,100 yards. Doug martin was the only other back to have that many yards. The other thing that makes these backs so great is the fact that they can score. With the NFL turning more into a passing league you always like to see your fantasy running backs get in the end zone and that’s what Gurley and Peterson do. Both were 2 of only 5 running backs who had at least 10 rushing touchdowns last season. What really convinces me that these are the two running backs you would want for your ultimate fantasy football team is how explosive these two are. The two explosive backs were joined only by Doug Martin with at least 10 runs of at least 20 yards or more and Todd Gurley lead the NFL is runs of at least 40 yards while Peterson was tied for second in that stat category. Both Gurley and Peterson play in offensives that like to run the ball more then pass it so there should be plenty of opportunities for them to have big games for their teams and your fantasy football team.
Wide Receivers – Antonio Brown, Pittsburg Steelers & Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
There is no doubt in my mind these two are the most dominating players at their position. Brown and Jones were tied for first in receptions and the only two wide receivers who had at least 1,800 receiving yards. To put that in perspective only DeAndre Hopkins and Brandon Marshall had at least 1,500 receiving yards. Antonio and Julio were also the only wide receivers to average at least 110 receiving yards a game last season with no other wide receiver averaging at least 100 yards a game. What also makes these two the ultimate wide receivers is the fact of how hard it is to bring them down. Both Antonio and Julio were first and second among wide receivers in YAC which is “Yards after Contact” meaning you don’t want to be on defense when these two are in the open field. While both men are part of the conversation for best wide receiver in the league, I would have to give the edge to Antonio brown who can go down the feel and catch the long passes better then Julio and also the fact Antonio Brown plays with a better quarterback and a better overall offense with better offensive weapons.
Tight End – Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
Picking this ultimate Tight End for my ultimate fantasy team looks like a no brainer, but when you looks into the stats I was wrong. It was easier then a no brainer. Gronkowski was first in receiving yards among tight ends and one of only four tight ends last season to have at least 1,000 receiving yards from a tight end. He was first among qualifying tight ends in yards per game while also being first in receptions of at least 40 yards yards with five. To show how explosive that is for Gronkowski , no other tight end had more then two receptions of at least 40 yards. What really makes Rob my ultimate tight end is his ability to score. The Patriots tight end was second in receiving touch downs among tight ends last season and is the only tight end to have at least 20 receiving touch downs over the last two seasons. With Tom Brady having to serve a four game suspension at the beginning of the season, it will be interesting to see how back-up quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and Gronkowski click. When in doubt though just remember the Patriots offensive playbook is built around getting the ball to Gronkowski which in my mind makes him the ultimate tight end.
Kicker – Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots
Lets clear the air, the kicker position in fantasy football is the least important decision and many times kickers do not even get drafted. There are a couple names though you do want to grab in a draft and the ultimate kickers has to be Gostkowski. Gostkowski has been one of the leagues best kickers the past several years and last year was one of only three kickers to make at least 90 percent of their kicks. Being part of an offense that scores a lot like the Patriots do, gives Gostkowski plenty of opportunities to kick extra points as well and he was second among kickers in extra point kicks made with 52.
Defense – Denver Broncos
Most fantasy leagues have you draft an entire teams defense instead of individual players and if I had to pick the Ultimate Fantasy defense, it would be hard to not pick the Broncos defense. This defense allowed the lowest total yards and passing yards per game last season while also being third in rushing yards allowed per game. This defense knows how to get after the quarterback leading the league in sacks last season. Even with the departure of a few key players to the defense like Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan, there still is T.J Ward, Aqib Talib, and Von Miller on the defensive side of the ball for the Broncos and their headed by one of the best defensive coordinators in the game right now in Wade phillips.
Below is what my final Ultimate team looks like, and well there is a better chance of me getting struck by lighting then drafting this team it is always fun to dream of drafting a team like this and even more fun wishing a few of these players were on the Chicago Bears.
QB – Cam Newton
RB – Adrian Peterson
RB – Todd Gurley
WR – Antonio Brown
WR – Julio Jones
TE – Rob Gronkowski
K – Stephen Gostkowski
DEF – Denver Broncos