It's July and to many football fans, that means it's time to begin their preparation for their fantasy football drafts. I've personally been playing fantasy football for over half of my life. So I'm in the same boat.
Of course, many die hard football fans have trouble using their head instead of their heart when it comes to how early they draft players from their favorite teams on fantasy draft day. I know I've been a victim in the past of over-drafting a Dolphin because my heart was telling me he was going to break out.
Then there are some who believe that if they are going to lose in their fantasy league, they might as well lose with some of their favorite players on their team. That's fine. But if you enter a money league, you would probably prefer winning with players you don't like.
So how can you avoid over-valuing your favorite Dolphins on draft day? It's not easy. But one thing you can do is see where some of the most well-known websites. And I'm here to help.
Let's start with NFL.com and their top 200 player rankings. The Dolphins had five players ranked in NFL.com's top 200:
#29. Brandon Marshall - This ranking places Marshall in the third round of a 12 team league. I have no problem with this only because I don't value receivers as much as I do with running backs and quarterbacks - because I believe the receiver position is deeper. With that said, I disagree with guys like Miles Austin (25) and Roddy White (27) being rated ahead of him.
#44. Ronnie Brown - If Ronnie wasn't coming off of another season-ending injury, he'd be rated higher. I firmly believe this. As he stands, this ranking places Brown in the middle of round four - a very fair draft grade. If you see who is around him in these rating, you'll notice that it's a group of players who have a lot of upside but come with almost as much risk. Guys like Joseph Addai (41), Pierre Thomas (47), Matt Forte (50), and Felix Jones (51). The one gripe I have is with the decision to rank Lions rookie Jahvid Best all the way up at 36. If I have to choose who I'd rather have on my fantasy team, I'm taking Ronnie without any doubt.
#93. Ricky Williams - Ricky presents an issue for fantasy football owners. He's coming off of a remarkable 1100 yard season that included 13 total touchdowns. But he is now 33 years old and is in a time-share situation with Ronnie Brown. The Dolphins may also begin to slowly open up the offense a bit with their new star receiver on board. Still, Ricky's only rated one spot higher than Laurence Maroney and ranked lower than Darren McFadden - who combined didn't put up the kind of fantasy numbers Ricky did. Ranking 93 makes Ricky an eighth round pick. But I wouldn't blame you at all if you take him a round or two higher.
#128. Chad Henne - Henne is one of a number of young quarterbacks who will make for high-upside backups this year. These particular rankings have Henne behind Lions second-year QB Matthew Stafford (117) but ahead of Jets second-year QB Mark Sanchez (134). I think you could do a lot worse than using a 10th or 11th round pick on Henne. And if you do take Henne as your back-up and it turns out Miami does open up the offense a bit and Henne starts putting up good numbers, you could take the QB you drafted earlier in the draft and trade him to a team who needs him to fill one of your other needs.
#156. Davone Bess - Here's one I'm surprised about. I love D-Bess. And Brandon Marshall did say that he believes Bess will have a Pro Bowl season in 2010. But unless you're in a points-per-reception league, I'm not sure Bess has any real value at this point. I'd take a flier on some of the rookie receivers that NFL.com ranks below Bess (Demaryius Thomas, Arrelious Benn, Golden Tate) before taking Bess. In fact, I'd probably take Brian Hartline over Bess - only because I believe Hartline becomes this team's number two receiver this year.