SB Nation's Fantasy Football site, Fake Teams, took an early look at the upcoming 2012 season, specifically at the running backs and wide receivers. They ranked the players in order under the standard scoring system.
Looking first at the running backs, most leagues draft these guys in the first round more than any other player. Remember the days when the annual top pick usually netted you the one and only LaDanian Tomlinson year after year? Now the running back is not the slam-dunk first round pick that it once was.
According to Fake Teams, Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice is the third best choice, not only for his running ability but for his pass catching skills that will net you additional points as the best all-purpose back in the league. Rice trails only Houston Texans RB Arian Foster and Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy.
Oh how the mighty have fallen, as evidenced by Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson (#10) and St. Louis Rams RB Steven Jackson (#19), both who were usually selected in the top five earlier in their careers.
(Read more on Fake Teams' ranking of the wide receivers after the 'Jump')
Wide receivers never were taken in the first round in years past, but now there are guys at the wideout position who are putting up as many if not more points than running backs and are being taken much earlier. Guys like the top rated Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson and Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson will most likely be first round selections.
Fake Teams ranks the wide receivers and after Johnson & Johnson, the pickings do not get much slimmer, with New York Giants WR Hakeem Nicks and Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald, among others. These guys will add big points to your fantasy team, as they are catching so many more balls nowadays due to the increased focus on the passing game.
If you want a Baltimore Ravens wide receiver on your team, you'll have to look beyond their list of the top 25 receivers, as no Ravens make the list in this Part 1 rankings. Don't feel bad, Ravens fans, about not seeing Anquan Boldin or Torrey Smith in the top 25, as neither are guys like Dwayne Bowe, nor Brandon Lloyd.