Are You Ready For Some Football!? Part Deux: Fantasy Style Part II – By Cameron Heffernan

In this edition of “Are You Ready For Some Football,” in preparation for the NFL season Cameron shares his top-5 fantasy picks for defense, kicker and some special sleepers in part two. He’s won a fantasy football championship before. So trust him.

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Hey everyone! It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No. Not Christmas, or whatever specific holiday you may celebrate. I’m talking about fantasy football. Many fools have already drafted their leagues, and with all the injuries that pile up throughout the preseason, and the DUIs, some players just can’t seem to keep away from, you drafted early and that was foolish. So to you I wish nothing but luck. You’re gonna need it. Those who have yet to draft their league. Listen up. I’ve got some good advice for you. Advice you should adhere to and not question at all. I’ve won a fantasy championship before, so I feel I know what I’m talking about here. All I recommend is that you take my word for it.

Defense/Special Teams:

1. San Francisco Forty-Niners – An absolutely dominant defense last year powered by the man-beast that is Patrick Willis. San Fran finished first in rushing defense, only allowing three rushing touchdowns all season, they also finished second overall in total defense. And aside from the debacle in the NFC Championship, San Frans special teams were very solid producing at least one punt/kickoff return for a TD. This defense, coupled with their kicker David Akers is a destructive force of winning. I went 11-1 last year, essentially, on the backs of Aaron Rodgers, Rob Gronkowski, David Akers, and the Niners defense. Nuff Said.

2. Baltimore Ravens – They’ve been a defensive staple for the last 10-years and with veteran leadership like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed no matter the players they bring in they will only be learning from the best.

3. Houston Texans – Even though they lost Mario Williams, and most recently have decided to go to a defensive-end by committee, they still finished as the No. 4 defense overall last year and with that same mentality this year – they played most of last season without Williams anyways – they will be a top-5 defense no matter what.

4. Chicago Bears –An old defense much like the Ravens but with a few more holes. The benefit of having the Bears defense is having the greatest special-team player to ever live in Devin Hester.

5. Buffalo Bills/Pittsburgh Steelers – It’s one half, youthful revolution, the other half is like Clint Eastwood in “The Unforgiven”. The Bills added former No.1 pick and defensive powerhouse Mario Williams through free agency, as well as drafting a solid corner in Stephon Gilmore. I am a total homer with this pick by the way. The Steelers on the other hand have been known to form their whole identity around their defense so you know it’ll be a solid pick. Pittsburgh also figured out a way to be the No.1 defense in the NFL last year which boggles my mind seeing as they lost to the Denver Broncos in the first round of the playoffs.


1. David Akers – He holds records for points in a season with no touchdowns, most games with four or more field goals in a game and most field goals made and attempted in a season. He does everything Gangnam Style.

2. Stephen Gostkowski – The team as a whole just scores points all the time. Really no worry here.

3. Mason Crosby – See above.

4. Sebastian Janikowski – Dude is a beer chuggin, wife beatin, football kicking machine.

5. Matt Prater – He plays in Denver.

Sleepers, Rookies And Kinda-Sleepers:

C.J. Spiller – Homer pick going on here. Again. He’ll be a solid back when Fred Jackson is either injured or just taking a break. He’ll also see a lot of passes out of the backfield or even as a wide-receiver.

Andrew Luck – He is supposedly the most NFL-ready player to come out of college since the man he replaced, Peyton Manning. The Colts will be a bad team but he will be a definite pick up in keeper leagues around the world. And who knows, maybe he’ll have a phenomenal season like Cam Newton did last year.

Robert Griffin III – He is looking like Michael Vick 2.0 more and more, but with better accuracy and a deeper-deep ball. Again, if you’re in a keeper league him and Luck will be must haves.

Brandon Wheeden – Cleveland hasn’t had a good quarterback since Otto Graham. It just feels like this 28-year-old is headed down a road of glory.

Terrell Owens – I’m really just hoping we can see good ol’ Terrell Owens one more time. I don’t think Seattle will be the place, but one can hope.

Kevin Smith (not the fat one) – At some point Detroit is going to have to run the ball. As good as Stafford and ‘Megatron’ are, they won’t be passing on every down of the game. With Jahvid Best out due to a nasty concussion, look for Smith to take most of the carries for the Lions.

Donald Brown – He had flashes of genius last year, and should have those same flashes this year. If Luck, well, doesn’t have much luck this year, then Indy is going to have to rely heavily on it’s running-game.

Pierre Garcon – RG3 has to have someone to throw to deep. Santana Moss will most likely continue his services as a slot receiver, and catch balls over the middle and make plays himself. Garcon is a rocket that can jettison down-field and RG3 loves his deep balls.

Mike TolbertHe gets touchdowns. That is all.

Russell Wilson – He’s looked damn good in preseason. Which doesn’t mean much. But if all hell breaks loose with the QB depth-chart in Seattle then one man may stand atop that heap of broken down talent and over-paid ‘should’ve-beens’.

Ryan Williams – Again. Dude looks good in preseason.

Roy Helu – He has the most talent out of the running-back by committee that exists in Washington.

Vince Young Tarvaris Jackson– This one is based on high hopes that the time when Ryan Fitzpatrick begins to suck, which he probably will, or goes down with an injury YoungJackson will step up with a masterful performance and win the Super Bowl with the Bills.

Matt Flynn – Could we see the production we saw out of him last season in one game? Who knows. All I know is he has weapons in Sidney Rice, Terrell Owens and Braylon Edwards.

Alex Smith – Maybe we’ll finally see the breakout season we’ve been waiting eight years for. Last year Smith did just enough to keep his team in it, and just enough to not knock them out. Smith being a viable starter in fantasy though, rest on the shoulders of the production of this next man….

Randy Moss – If Moss is in any way still able to play like the Randy Moss we saw in New England, San Francisco very may well be an unstoppable train of destiny.

Percy Harvin – He is a solid wide-out who can sub in at runningback at anytime. Last year, when Minnesota’s offense, at times, looked like an impotent old man, Harvin was always able to create plays for himself with his quickness and size. An hey, points are points, right?.

Demaryius Thomas/Darrius Heyward-Bey/Nate Washington – With these three you get very good players who will be able to run a straight line well and very fast. Other then that, they may not see the ball more that two or three times a game. When each one does see the ball though and has an open field in front of them, it’s most definitely touchdown time.

So that pretty much sums it up for everything in terms of starters and possible sleepers that can help you win not only a fantasy championship but bragging rights among the puny mouth-breathers you call your friends. Good luck to you fantasy player, and may you take my advice and enjoy the fruits of victory.

Editors note: With the announcement of Buffalo trading a draft pick for Tarvaris Jackson. The writer of this changed Vince Young to Jackson. Half because Young just sucks, and the other half because Jackson will be forced to step in when Fitzpatrick begins sucking, which much like death and taxes, is an inevitability.
Another change was made due to the misspelling of Tarvaris Jackson’s name. Sorry.

Cameron Heffernan is an editor at hefferbrew. He is more juiced than Melky Cabrerra that football season is upon us. If you’d like to tell him he’s wrong you can reach him at Twitter at @karateparty1.

Click here for part one

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