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2011 Fantasy Football: Must-Have Players

This is a list of fantasy players I absolutely love this year. I'll be targeting them in all of my leagues in the rounds posted below. Unlike crappy ESPN, projected rounds are based on 12-team formats.

Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

Tom Brady, QB, Patriots. Round: Mid-Late 3, Early 4.
Assuming Tom Brady drops that far. I've seen him fall to the beginning of the fourth round in some fantasy mock drafts I've participated in recently.

Brady is slotted second in my 2011 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings, placed ahead of Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, and even the overrated QB Dog Killer (had to bring that nickname back upon request).

I've never seen Brady more focused or determined. He's on a mission. What he did at the end of last season was just a sign of things to come.

I'm not a fan of taking a quarterback early this year, but if Brady falls to the middle or late third round, or early fourth round, I won't hesitate to pick him.

Felix Jones, RB, Cowboys. Round: Late 2, Early 3 (PPR), Mid-Late 3 (Reg).
I almost feel as strongly about Felix Jones as I did regarding Arian Foster at this time last year. Jones has bulked up to 220 pounds, but still has his trademark quickness and speed. He's good in pass protection and big enough for goal-line carries, so he'll be on the field at all times. He's going to have a BIG year. Make sure you get Jones on your roster.

Chris Wells, RB, Cardinals. Round: Late 5, Early 6.
I hate the Ryan Williams injury because it raised Chris Wells' ADP (average draft position) in fantasy drafts. Williams was never a threat to take Wells' job, but I'm still a fan of the Arizona running back because unlike last year, he's healthy and has a competent quarterback whom defenses will have to respect.

Tim Hightower, RB, Redskins. Round: Late 6, Early 7.
Tim Hightower is a perfect fit for Mike Shanahan's zone-blocking scheme. There's a very good chance he'll rush for 1,000 yards, catch 40-plus passes and score eight touchdowns. He's currently going in the late sixth, early seventh round of fantasy drafts, which I think is absurd. I'd feel comfortable with Hightower as an RB2 - there's no competition for him at the running back position because Roy Helu struggles in pass protection and Ryan Torain is made out of glass.

Reggie Bush, RB, Dolphins. Round: 6-7 (PPR).
Those who think Daniel Thomas is the starting running back for the Dolphins will be in for a rude awakening. Though he won't get goal-line carries, Reggie Bush will be the every-down runner in Miami. In an effort to cut down on turnovers, Chad Henne has morphed into Trent Edwards, so Bush will be the recipient of many checkdowns this season.

Vincent Jackson, WR, Chargers. Round: Mid-Late 2, Early 3.
Vincent Jackson is going to have a career year if he can stay healthy. Jackson is entering his first full season without LaDainian Tomlinson, so he'll be in position to score more touchdowns. He and Philip Rivers have had a strong connection in the preseason, which is why I've bumped him up in my 2011 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings.

Lance Moore, WR, Saints. Round: Early 9 (PPR), Early 10 (Reg).
Marques Colston isn't anywhere close to being 100 percent coming off microfracture knee surgery. Someone else will step up in the Saints receiving corps, and based on what has transpired in two weeks of preseason, it's looking like Lance Moore will be the guy. He easily could match the eight touchdowns he scored in 2010.

Nate Burleson, WR, Lions. Round: 10-11.
Matthew Stafford has thrown to Nate Burleson more than anyone else in two preseason games. OK, Calvin Johnson was out for one contest, but Burleson is still going to be a big part of Detroit's offense. If Stafford can stay healthy - definitely a big if - Burleson should be able to put up some pretty solid numbers.

Jimmy Graham, TE, Saints. Round: 7.
As I wrote under the Lance Moore entry, Marques Colston's problematic knee means that someone else will step up in New Orleans' receiving corps. Jimmy Graham will benefit as well; he'll be Drew Brees' primary end-zone target. He scored four touchdowns in the final three games last year - a definite sign of things to come in 2011.

Leave a comment

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cb 09-02-2011 07:49 pm (total posts: 1)
46     155

Appearently we think alike. I have 5 of the 9 players mentioned on my squad...


I hope we are both right.
Marcus Vick 09-01-2011 02:04 pm (total posts: 1)
152     151

Vick isn't just a bad person because of the dog fighting. He's also a terrible human being because of:

- financing an illegal interstate gambling ring
- running an illegal interstate gambling ring for six years
- fighting dogs
- killing dogs
- killing dogs in especially fun ways, like electricution and drowning
- knowingly giving a woman herpes
- sneaking marijuana on a plane
- owning a waterbottle that has a marijuana smuggling compartment
- providing a vehicle for drug dealing
- giving the double bird to kids after a Falcons game
- blew off Eagles off-season workouts
- stealing money from a pension fund
- having someone shot at his birthday party
- lied about leaving "hours" before someone was shot at his party
- being a coach killer
- being a big jerk
- hiring an agent while still in college
- Marcus Vick
- not paying back his creditors because he needs two houses (one of which was built while he was in prison)
- lying about dog fighting
- screwing over that sweet old man Arthur Blank
- missing 14 games with a 4-6 week injury - the same injury that forced him to miss only one game at Virginia Tech
- Ron Mexico
- providing a house for drug dealing (the original reason Bad Newz Kennels was raided)
- failing a drug test
- being accused of using steroids
- can't read the blitz
- can't hold onto the ball
- can't throw accuratly
- can't put touch on the ball
- can't complete the short pass
- can't audible
- children out of wedlock
- last one in the building for practice
- first one to leave the building after practice
- cheated on his girlfriend (re: Ron Mexico incident)
justin 08-31-2011 01:34 am (total posts: 1)
29     32

I think the brady at mid 3 or early 4 is ridiculous to put on this list. Walter must not participate in mocks (or real drafts) to make this statement. I've been in 3 real drafts and probably 100 mocks and not once did brady fall past the 2nd round.

If he's a *must* have then he's got to be picked up in the 1st or 2nd. No way do you get him in the 3rd or later. Not going to happen.
Dean 08-29-2011 12:56 pm (total posts: 1)
25     26

People need to learn to move Vick's past and seperate his on field talents from off field issues- he is still one of the best players on the field at any given time.

If anyone would like to have the chance to play fantasy football against legends of the game like Carl Banks, Roger Craig, Ben Coates, and many more, come visit
Brian 08-28-2011 03:51 pm (total posts: 1)
26     32

Who would you rather have in a PPR league?

P Manning and Fjones
Eli Manning and RRice
Kyle 08-28-2011 03:51 pm (total posts: 2)
26     25

I think Matthew Stafford should be on this list
Robert 08-27-2011 10:13 pm (total posts: 1)
27     27

people need to get over vick. he made a mistake, but that what he was raised with. he grew up thinking that it was fine because people he respected did it. ultimately, vick is actually going to improve animal cruelty because he now speaks year round to kids about his mistakes. So, for all the dogs that were killed by viick, thousands more will be saved.
iggles 08-25-2011 10:40 pm (total posts: 1)
28     27

Vick, Brees, Brady and Rogers are gone by the end of the 2nd in every 12-14 team draft ive done!
STFU 08-25-2011 11:19 am (total posts: 1)
22     26

to all you idiot Vick Lovin douche bags. he's called "QB Dog Killer" for good reason. he was convicted of torturing and brutally killing dogs. the guy is a piece of #hit and always will be. now please, STFU about it. if you don't like it, don't read the site.
Dangle 08-25-2011 01:10 am (total posts: 1)
32     25

So if Amendola is ranked higher, should I not pick up Nate Burleson? or do I pick up Burleson since he's a must have
Zack 08-24-2011 11:18 pm (total posts: 1)
28     24

I've drafted 3 Leagues and not once has Rodgers, Vick, Brees or Brady fallen to RD 3
Kyle 08-24-2011 08:41 pm (total posts: 2)
28     23

I wish Brady would fall to me in the third round. In every mock draft I've done so far he has been off the board mid to late 2nd
Trader response 08-24-2011 07:42 pm (total posts: 1)
28     27

Trader take the first trade right now!
Second one sucks for you
Alex 08-24-2011 03:11 pm (total posts: 2)
22     25

Just a quick question for all:

What do you guys think of DeAngelo Williams this year? Should I keep him or try to trade him away?
Aramis 08-24-2011 03:04 pm (total posts: 1)
23     21

I have 4 of your must have guys: Felix Jones, Lance Moore, Nate Burleson and Jimmy Graham. Felix is my flex starter and Graham is my Starting TE. Lance is my 4th WR behind Calvin Johnson, B Lloyd and Stevie Johnson...Burleson is my 5th WR. do you think I should bench any of my WR for Lance Moore?

thx 4 the article

More 2011 Fantasy Football Articles:
2011 Fantasy Football: Home

2011 Fantasy Football Rankings:
2011 Fantasy Football Rankings: Quarterbacks - 9/8 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running Backs - 9/8 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide Receivers - 9/8 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football Rankings: Tight Ends - 9/8 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football Rankings: Defenses - 9/1 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football Rankings: Kickers - 6/26 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football Downloadable Spreadsheets - 9/8 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football Dynasty Rookie Rankings - 8/27 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football Auction Values - 8/27 (Walt)

2011 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets:
2011 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top 150 Traditional - 9/8 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top 150 PPR - 9/8 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top 150 Touchdown - 9/8 (Walt)

2011 Fantasy Football Mock Drafts:
2011 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Real League Draft - 8/31 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Fake Mock - 8/25 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football Experts Draft - 8/25 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Forum 2-QB Mock - 7/21 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football: Mock Draft Scenarios - 7/17 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football Auction: Mock PPR Auction - 7/14 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Forum PPR Mock - 7/7 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Forum Mock - 7/3 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Four-Man PPR Draft - 6/19 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football Draft: Fox Sports - 5/5 (Walt)

2011 Fantasy Football Articles:
2011 Fantasy Football Injury Reports: Week 2 - 9/18 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football Weekly Rankings: Week 2 - 9/18 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football: Week 2 Add/Drop - 9/13 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football: Training Camp Stock - 9/8 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football: Start Em, Sit Em - 9/6 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football: Preseason Stock - 9/3 (Walt)
2011 Preseason Recap and Fantasy Football Notes - 9/3 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football: Preseason Targets - 9/3 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football: Late-Round Sleepers - 9/1 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football: Round-by-Round Strategy - 9/1 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football: Value Comparison - 9/1
2011 Fantasy Football: Must-Have Players - 8/24 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football: Busts, Players to Avoid - 7/25 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football Mailbag - 7/24 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football Sleepers - 7/23 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football: Various League Strategy - 7/18 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football: Three-Dimensional Running Backs - 7/16 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football: ADP Analysis - 7/15 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football: First-Round Bust History - 7/10 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football Mailbag - 7/9 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football Mailbag - 7/4 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Analysis - 7/1 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football Mailbag - 6/18 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football Mailbag - 6/12 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football Mailbag - 6/5 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football: Stock Up (Draft) - 5/6 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football: Stock Down (Draft) - 5/6 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football: Buy Low - 4/8 (Walt)
2011 Fantasy Football: Defense Strategy - 4/8 (Walt)
Running Backs with Most Carries - 4/8 (Walt)

Fantasy Football Rankings - Aug. 1

2016 NFL Mock Draft - July 24

2015 NFL Mock Draft - July 23

2015 NBA Mock Draft - July 1

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NFL Picks - Feb. 2

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