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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

All the best

What if you could have the best players in fantasy football for your team in 2005? What would that team look like?

Probably a little something like this:

QB: Peyton Manning just keeps on getting better. In fact, he was so good in 2004 that it actually hurt his yardage numbers as Tony Dungy called off the dogs a few times against teams that couldn't keep up. Manning won't throw 49 TD passes again this season, but should approach 40 again.

RB: LaDanian Tomlinson has clearly established himself as a fantasy monster. Had a league-best 17 rushing TDs last season - though Priest Holmes would have had more had he stayed healthy. Tomlinson's reception numbers fell to 53 last season, a dropoff of more than 40. But much of that was because of the emergence of Antonio Gates, who helps Tomlinson as a rusher by keeping the safeties back.

RB: Willis McGahee should emerge as the No. 2 fantasy back in football this season. A lot depends on the progress of young QB J.P. Losman. This is a bit of a projection.

WR: Randy Moss won't have Daunte Culpepper tossing him the ball this season, but Kerry Collins isn't bad. Just go deep, Baby.

WR: Terrell Owens is an idiot who can't keep his mouth shut. But he can play. Chad Johnson could push Owens aside this season if Carson Palmer progresses as expected.

TE: With apologies to Gates, Tony Gonzalez is still the man here. He's just done it longer and his quarterback position is a little more settled. Gonzalez is 1A and Gates 1B.

Kicker: You just can't go wrong with Adam Vinatieri. Sure he kicks in the northeast in the winter, but that offense always finds ways to get him into field goal range two or three times per game.

Defense: Baltimore allowed just under 17 points and had 34 takeaways last season. Plus, the Ravens scored eight touchdowns on special teams and defense, an average of one every other game. That's the kind of thing that wins you games.

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