That’s right! It’s officially that time of year again when guys and gals around the world (okay mostly just guys) huddle around computers, televisions, magazines, phones, tablets, and phablets researching vigorously who to draft this year for fantasy football. Remember fantasy football? It’s been so long. That’s that thing every fall that makes life worth living.
To help out all you homer fans out there tingling to draft your favorite Badgers, I’ve decided to help you out. I’m compiled a complete list definitively ranking the fantasy prospects for our former guys in red now playing in the big league.
- Russell Wilson – Quarterback – Seattle Seahawks
He won a Super Bowl. He almost won a second Super Bowl. It is because of that loss that he tops my list for best fantasy Badgers. Russell was hungry for another win. This loss, on his back, has given him the best offseason inspiration he could have hoped for. Already a budding superstar with phenomenal poise and mechanics, his offseason training program will leave him coming back to the NFL jacked up and ready to get to work. Need I say more? Yes. Jimmy Graham. That is all.
- Melvin Gordon – Running Back – San Diego Chargers
Man I love Melvin’s running style. He’s got everything. The speed, the burst, the cutting, the power, the patience, the lateral quickness. This man is about to tear up the NFL in his career and I couldn’t be higher on him. With a crowded backfield in San Diego, he might take some time to establish himself, but watch out when he does. The guy’s your homerun for keeper leagues.
- Montee Ball – Running Back – Denver Broncos
Montee would like to forget last year. Starting off as the top back in Denver soon went sour with injuries and a solid season from C.J. Anderson puts him ahead to start 2015. However, Montee is a worker. He knows the opportunity to capitalize on his snaps this year is crucial to not being that player who peaked during college only to fade away in only a few short seasons in the NFL. Look for Montee to prove his worth for Denver and your fantasy team at the goal line. That was his bread and butter in Madison and will be his way back into the starting line in Denver.
- Houston Texans Defense
J.J. Watt. He’s just the best, isn’t he? This guy has been everywhere this offseason. He’s already proven his worth in the league as the top defensive player. Given that he’s about to hit his peak, he could well be in some MVP discussions this year. The whole Texans Defense rests on his massive shoulders, but they’re well placed.
- Garrett Graham – Tight End – Houston Texans
One of the many Tight Ends produced by the Badgers playing in the league. Look for Graham to have a bigger role on offense as Andre Johnson left town over the offseason. The Texans need a big body to target, and Graham is perfect to suffice.
- Owen Daniels – Tight End – Denver Broncos
Another Badger Tight End. Daniels has had a solid career in the pros playing for Houston and Baltimore. The twilight of his career will be well matched with Peyton Manning throwing to him. He’s this high on list because of the high octane offense he’ll be on, even though he’s number two on the Bronco’s depth chart.
- Atlanta Falcons Defense
The Falcons have everybody! O’Brien Schofield is an Outside Linebacker. Dez Southward is a cornerback on the team. And Warren Herring is a Defensive Tackle. With Dan Quinn taking over the head coaching position over the offseason, look for the Falcon’s D to be revamped as he implements the same things that made the Seahawks Defense so deadly the past few years. A good sleeper pick for the Defenses with a BUNCH of Badgers.
- Nick Toon – Wide Receiver – New Orleans Saints
This year could be it. Drew Brees still has a huge arm and needs someone to catch his balls. The Saints had a lot of turnover on wide receiver/tight end over the offseason, leaving a void that Toon is in prime position to fill. He has had limited offensive exposure over his career, but look for that to change. Badger fan or not, this guy has some serious upside.
- Jared Abbrederis – Wide Receiver – Green Bay Packers
He’ll be good; it’s just a matter of time. A crowded wide receiving core will keep the snap and targets down this year, but be patient on him. His time is coming.
- Detroit Lions Defense
DeAndre Levy has become an elite player in the NFL. The Lions had a lot of turnover on Defense, losing Suh, but a good core remains. They’re better than they look.
- Lance Kendricks – Tight End – St. Louis Rams
ANOTHER Badger Tight End. Kendricks focuses more on blocking, but should get more snaps this year as Jared Cook keeps looking like a fantasy dud.
- James White – Running Back – New England Patriots
I always stay away from the New England backfield. Belichick’s running back usage is about as reliable as a drunken NASCAR fan. Still, White is fast. I hope he gets traded.
- Scott Tolzien – Quarterback – Green Bay Packers
You did it Scotty! You’ve got the cushiest job in sports; a former Badger playing in Wisconsin, backing up the most dependable quarterback in the league. Don’t screw this up for yourself.