It's already summertime and you know what that means ... fantasy football season is just around the corner! You can even do you very own mock drafts on NFL.com right now to help prepare yourself for the fast-approaching 2013 season. With that in mind, it's also time for me to do a little mock drafting of my own -- and I'm not backing down from my stand on Arian Foster being the top overall pick -- at least not at this point. I'm also steadfast in my strategy of waiting on a quarterback and focusing on running backs and wide receivers in the first several rounds.
That will be obvious as you continue to read below...
This mock draft is based on NFL.com's standard 10-team leagues with a basic (non-PPR) scoring system that rewards four points for touchdown passes and six points for all other touchdowns scored. Each numbered position represents an individual fantasy team, so no more than one quarterback, three running backs, three wide receivers or one tight end will be selected per roster.
1. Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans: Adrian Peterson might have been better in 2012, but Foster was once again a superstar with 262.10 fantasy points. Sure, landing either one of these runners is a great way to start your fantasy draft. But let's talk about realistic statistical expectations: do you really think Peterson will rush for 2,000-plus yards again? That's a tough task. As long as Foster has no setbacks with the calf he injured in OTAs, I'm keeping him atop my draft board.
2. Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings: Peterson, the 2012 NFL.com Fantasy Player of the Year, showed that he is no mere mortal on the gridiron. Despite having major knee surgery, he put up 2,097 rushing yards and led his position in fantasy points. While I have Foster ranked ahead of him, A.D. is going to be the No. 1 overall selection in countless 2013 fantasy drafts. And honestly, he is well deserving of that status. Regardless, Peterson is a top-two pick at worst.
3. Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks: Lynch rocked the fantasy football world in 2011, rushing for over 1,200 yards with an impressive 13 total touchdowns. To prove that was no fluke, he went into "beast mode" again in 2012 with more than 1,500 yards on the ground and 12 total scores. He's still in the prime of his career at the age of 27, and the Seahawks will no doubt continue to ride their workhorse throughout the upcoming season. He's a surefire first-round draft selection.
4. Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore Ravens: Rice finished sixth in fantasy points at the position in 2012 and has a nice track record of success as the main back in Baltimore. At 26, he's also still in his prime between the white lines. Some fantasy owners might be worried about the presence of Bernard Pierce, who showed flashes of real potential during his rookie season. If word comes down that Rice will lose carries, he'll slide a few spots. Right now, though, he's a top-five pick.
5. Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Martin, a rookie standout in the stat sheets, finished second to Peterson based on fantasy points among running backs in 2012. While there is always the threat of a dreaded sophomore slump, Martin is still going to be a very tough runner to pass on in Round 1, especially with LeGarrette Blount now in New England. The "Muscle Hamster" will be off the board with one of the first five overall choices in a good majority of fantasy football drafts.
6. Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs: Charles rushed for over 1,500 yards in his first year back from a major knee reconstruction, recorded 220-plus rushing yards twice and finished eighth at his position based on fantasy points. The addition of coach Andy Reid should mean even more of a featured role for Charles, who figures to also be more prominent in the pass attack. Still in the prime of his career, Charles should be considered one of fantasy's most coveted running backs.
7. LeSean McCoy, RB, Philadelphia Eagles: A top-five overall pick last season, McCoy missed several games with a concussion and didn't finish among the top 20 players at his position. Regardless, I think he'll have a major rebound in the stat sheets in the offense of coach Chip Kelly. Runners thrived in Kelly's system at Oregon, and McCoy is versatile enough to be a serious contributor. At 24, he's still a very young runner who will be a surefire first-rounder across the board in 2013.
8. Trent Richardson, RB, Cleveland Browns: Richardson finished among the 10 best players at his position last season, despite missing some time due to injuries. The bruising back should be at 100 percent in time for the start of training camp, and I think he can improve on the 203.70 fantasy points he scored in 2012. With no threats to his backfield workload, including goal-line chances, Richardson will be a very valuable asset and could break out in the stat sheets under offensive coordinator Norv Turner.
9. C.J. Spiller, RB, Buffalo Bills: One of the most explosive playmakers at his position, Spiller averaged six yards per carry, put up better than 1,700 scrimmage yards and found the end zone eight times last season. While the return of Fred Jackson from an injured knee is cause for at least some concern, I can't see new coach Doug Marrone not utilizing Spiller in a prominent role in the offense. He also averaged more fantasy points per touch than any prominent runner in 2012.
10. Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions: The top fantasy wide receiver in each of the last two seasons, Johnson will be one of the first 12 players selected in 2013 fantasy drafts. Not only did he break Jerry Rice's record for receiving yards in a single season with 1,964 in 2012, but he has now recorded 220-plus fantasy points in each of his last two campaigns. That's huge production. While a drop in yardage should be expected, Johnson's touchdown totals should rise without question.
11. Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins: One of the best draft bargains (or waiver wire pickups) of the 2012 campaign, Morris came out of nowhere to rank second in rushing yards and fifth in fantasy points among backs. The Florida Atlantic product could be hard-pressed to duplicate 1,613 yards and 13 touchdowns in back-to-back seasons. Plus, the spector of Shanahanigans always looms in Washington. Still, Morris has to be seen as a true No. 1 fantasy runner across the board.
12. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals: Once Megatron comes off the board, Green is not going to be far behind. The breakout star put up career bests in the stat sheets in his second pro season, recording 1,350 yards with 11 visits to the end zone. Green was also a consistent and reliable contributor for fantasy leaguers, scoring double-digit points on 10 different occassions. The top option in the offense for coach Marvin Lewis, Green is a clear superstar and worth a second-round pick.
13. Brandon Marshall, WR, Chicago Bears: Reunited with Jay Cutler, Marshall put up career highs in receptions, yards and touchdowns in 2012. In fact, Megatron was the lone wide receiver to score more fantasy points -- by fewer than four. Assuming he has no setbacks in his return from an offseason surgical procedure on his hip, Marshall should continue to produce under new coach Marc Trestman. He won't last until the latter portion of Round 2 in 2013.
14. Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys: Despite a slow start to last season, Bryant finished hot and recorded career bests across the board in Big D. The third-ranked player at his position, he put up 1,382 yards with 12 touchdowns and scored no fewer than 9.90 fantasy points in each of his last seven games during the fantasy season. The top option in the offense for Tony Romo, Bryant is a fantasy star in the making and well worth a second-round selection in all standard and PPR formats.
15. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons: Jones had a bit of an inconsistent start to the 2012 campaign, but he finished strong and helped a lot of owners win a championship. He had 79 catches, 1,198 yards and found the end zone a total of 10 times as he emerged into one of Matt Ryan's most reliable options. At 23, Jones has a huge ceiling and should only get better with age and experience. In fact, I can easily see him improving on the 182.80 fantasy points he recorded this past season.
16. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos: Thomas put up career totals across the board and emerged as one of Peyton Manning's top options in the pass attack last season. A talented and physical specimen, the Georgia Tech product is tough for defenders to cover and should continue to produce impressive totals as long as he has the future Hall of Fame quarterback under center. His opportunities in the pass attack are not likely to decline after the signing of Wes Welker this offseason.
17. Percy Harvin, WR, Seattle Seahawks: Harvin was well on his way to a monster 2012 season, but an injured ankle cost him his final seven games in Minnesota. The Florida product will be fine to start training camp, though, and the sky is once again the limit. A dual threat in the passing and running game, Harvin's skill set makes him a candidate to rank among the top five players at his position in 2013. Whatever you do, don't let Harvin slide past the second or third round in drafts.
18. Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans: Johnson was considered a bust for all intents and purposes during the first half of last season, but he finished with 100-plus yards in five of his last nine starts. In all, Johnson ranked among the top 10 players at his position based on fantasy points -- that's familiar territory for him. Johnson is getting older (age 31) and is no longer a viable top-five wideout from a fantasy football standpoint, but A.J. still remains a low-end No. 1 option.
19. Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans Saints: With the status of Rob Gronkowski (forearm, back surgeries) for the start of the season in doubt, Graham is now the clear-cut No. 1 tight end in fantasy football. He's finished no worse than second in fantasy points at his position in each of the last two seasons, and there's no doubt that he'll continue to be one of the top options in the pass attack for Drew Brees. Graham is like having an extra wide receiver in your starting lineup each week.
20. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals: He's back! At least it looks like Fitzgerald will be back to the form that made him an elite wide receiver for so many years. The Cardinals upgraded the quarterback position with the addition of Carson Palmer, and their offensive line should be at least somewhat improved for the 2013 campaign. Fitzgerald, who is motivated to prove that last season was no more than a fluke, should be considered a low-end No. 1 option with top-five abilities.
21. Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans: Johnson's 2012 statistical season resembled a roller coaster ride in fantasy land, as he put up several huge games to go along with a bunch of stinkers in the stat sheets. The additions of OGs Andy Levitre and Chance Warmack will help his appeal.
22. Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers: Cobb showed flashes of brilliance in his second pro season, and I think he'll break out in 2013. Now that the Packers have severed ties with Greg Jennings, Cobb will see more targets, more playing time and more chances to record fantasy points.
23. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars: Barring any setbacks in his return from a surgical procedure to repair a foot injury, "Pocket Hercules" could end up being a steal in Round 3. He does have some miles at the pro level, but MJD should also be motivated in a contract year.
24. Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears: Forte had his typical season in the stat sheets in 2012, posting better than 40 catches, over 1,400 scrimmage yards and six touchdowns. He's not an elite runner from a fantasy perspective, but Trestman's presence bodes well for his overall appeal.
25. Stevan Ridley, RB, New England Patriots: Ridley is a one-dimensional back, as he caught just six passes in the 2012 season. However, his role as the top runner out of the backfield for coach Bill Belichick turned him into a top-12 player at his position. He's a nice No. 2 runner.
26. Steven Jackson, RB, Atlanta Falcons: Jackson's stock is on the rise as a member of the Falcons, who have one of the league's premier offenses and should allow him to score far more often than he did in St. Louis. In fact, he's now a solid No. 2 runner despite his age (30).
27. Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jackson has had 1,000-plus yards and at least seven scores in each of his last four full seasons, culminating in a monster first campaign with the Buccaneers. He has plenty left in his tank and should remain a low-end No. 1 receiver.
28. Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons: Even with a young superstar in Jones on the other side of the offensive attack, White is still a virtual lock to catch 90-plus passes with 1,000-plus yards in Atlanta's pass attack. Consider him a borderline No. 1 or 2 fantasy wideout this season.
29. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers: I know Rodgers is not going to be available at this stage of most 2013 drafts, but I simply refuse to take a quarterback in the earlier rounds. Waiting on the position, which is ridiculously deep in 2013, is very advisable in standard leagues.
30. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints: The top-scoring fantasy football quarterback last season, Brees is the first player at his position to put up 5,000-plus passing yards and 40-plus passing touchdowns in consecutive seasons. He's consistent, reliable and a truly elite option.
Round 431. Frank Gore, RB, San Francisco 49ers: Gore will be 30 this season, but he just seems to get better with age. He'll go in the top four rounds in most 2013 fantasy drafts.
32. Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland Raiders: A risk-reward selection, McFadden is worth a roll of the dice here -- just make sure to also draft his eventual backup as insurance.
33. Reggie Bush, RB, Detroit Lions: Bush will have a chance to catch 60-70 passes in the Lions' explosive offense, making him even more valuable in all PPR leagues this year.
34. Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos: Manning posted huge fantasy numbers in his first season with the Broncos, and the addition of Welker makes him even more attractive.
35. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots: Brady ... picked in the fourth round? Well, I am concerned about the growing number of question marks in New England's passing game for 2013.
36. Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers: Newton went off in his final eight games of 2013 and finished as a top-five overall fantasy player for the second consecutive campaign.
37. Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants: Cruz saw his yardage totals decline in 2012, but he has a nice nose for the end zone and will be motivated to produce in a contract year.
38. Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints: The veteran out of Hofstra is worth a look at this stage of all fantasy drafts, just as long as Brees is throwing him the football.
39. Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianapolis Colts: The veteran has been statistically resurrected with Andrew Luck under center. Wayne will have more value in PPR leagues this season.
40. Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots: Gronkowski's status for the start of the 2013 season is in question, but he's worth a roll of the dice at this point in the draft.
Round 541. Hakeem Nicks, WR, New York Giants: Nicks is a big risk-reward selection, but he's also in a contract year and could be a draft bargain if he meets his statistical potential.
42. Chris Ivory, RB, New York Jets: A major breakout candidate with the Jets, Ivory will have every opportunity to put up 1,000-plus yards and eight to 10 touchdowns in 2013.
43. DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas Cowboys: Murray has lacked durability, but his upside makes him well worth the risk in Round 5. He has 1,000-yard potential in Dallas' offense.
44. Lamar Miller, RB, Miami Dolphins: Miller is a major sleeper with a tremendously favorable schedule and all the upside in the world. He could be a gigantic draft bargain.
45. Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs: A disappointment last season, Bowe should rebound with a pass-happy coach in Reid and an upgraded quarterback in Alex Smith at the helm.
46. Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers: Nelson fought injuries all of last season and slumbered in the stat sheets, but he's still a solid fifth-rounder with Rodgers under center.
47. David Wilson, RB, New York Giants: Wilson has giant upside on the gridiron, as he'll take over the starting role with Ahmad Bradshaw ( Colts) no longer in the Big Apple mix.
48. Montee Ball, RB, Denver Broncos: The top rookie in fantasy land, Ball could turn into a strong No. 2 fantasy running back if he earns the top spot on the depth chart in 2013.
49. Danny Amendola, WR, New England Patriots: If Amendola can avoid injuries, which is an issue, he could push 100 receptions in his first season with Brady throwing him the ball.
50. Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: With Mike Wallace in Miami and Heath Miller coming off ACL surgery, Brown will see a ton of targets for the Steelers this season.
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!