If you’re able to watch the playoffs without thinking about 2012 fantasy drafts, you’re healthy. You’re also behind.

As we continue to digest the 2011 season, we turn our attention to the top. It’s the place that will be least affected by the draft and free agency. It’s also the place that generates the most controversy.

The projected 2012 first round:

Dual threat backs

All of our running back targets should be assets in the passing game as well as the ground game. Ray Rice comes off the board first as an elite goal-line back and receiver. LeSean McCoy and Arian Foster are right there as the next two picks with similar skill sets.



Taking it to the air

Taking a quarterback in the first round is usually not optimal. But Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Cam Newton are so consistently dominant that they are impossible to ignore. They are the fourth, sixth and seventh picks. Sandwiched at the No. 5 spot is the best raw talent in the NFL at any position, Calvin?Johnson.



Wrapping with runners

Without the likes of Adrian Peterson (knee), Jamaal Charles (knee), Rashard Mendenhall (knee) and Darren?McFadden (foot) to choose from, the last three picks are runners with question marks. Maurice Jones-Drew continues to thrive despite massive workloads and comes in at No. 8. Ryan Mathews has exciting upside at No. 9 and Matt Forte wraps our top 10.

 

Top NBA pickups

Chandler Parsons

SF, Rockets

Parsons is a versatile rookie that was the SEC?Player of the Year last season. He has won the starting small forward gig, sending Chase Budinger to the bench.

MarShon?Brooks

SG, Nets

The Nets are desperate for anyone that can put the ball in the hoop, and Brooks can certainly do that. He averaged 14.4 ppg through his first nine NBA?games.

Iman Shumpert

PG,?Knicks

Shumpert was the best pure athlete in the draft and is now the clear starter ahead of Toney Douglas. His energy leads to steals, blocks and three-pointers.

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