Last week on Twitter and Facebook, I asked you, the fantasy football enthusiast, to give me a list of the five players you're the most confident in heading into the 2012 NFL season. These are the players you would draft without any hesitation whatsoever. Much like the "Terrifying 10" I posted a few weeks ago, the response was enormous (and I again thank you all for your submissions!). There were several new trends (more people listed Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles than Adrian Peterson), and two of the players that scared you actually made the list of players you have confidence in this season.
So without further ado, here are the 10 players you trust the most in 2012:
10. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals: Not much of a surprise here, as fantasy football enthusiasts have been able to trust Fitzgerald for most of his NFL career. Despite not always having a reliable quarterback, he's recorded 80 or more catches and 1,000-plus yards in each of his last five seasons. That includes a 2011 campaign that saw him finish fifth in fantasy points among wideouts, even with Kevin Kolb and John Skelton at the helm of the offense. Fitzgerald, the second of two receivers on this list, had far more votes than Andre Johnson, Wes Welker and Roddy White. The wideout with the third-most votes was, surprisingly, Julio Jones.
9. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jaguars: It's tough to argue with the addition of Jones-Drew on your list of the fantasy players you trust the most heading into 2012. He finished with a career-best 1,606 rushing yards, scored a combined 11 touchdowns and finished an impressive third in fantasy points among running backs last season. Can he do it again? I have some reservations about him replicating that high yardage total, but Jones-Drew will remain one of the few true featured backs in the league. That alone makes him well worth a first-round fantasy pick. Just be sure to temper your expectations in an offense that added weapons to the pass attack.
8. Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots: Gronkowski is coming off the best fantasy season ever for a tight end, posting 90 receptions for 1,327 yards and an NFL record 17 touchdown catches (18 total). It's those numbers that make him a bit scary (he was ninth on that list) from a fantasy perspective, because duplicating that high level of success in back-to-back seasons is going to be difficult. If you're in a draft with someone who believes in him, however, Gronkowski could still come off the board in the first or second round in fantasy drafts. Personally, I wouldn't be selecting a tight end that high - I'll wait and land someone like Fred Davis.
7. Drew Brees, QB, Saints: There haven't been a lot of players more reliable than Brees, who has thrown for an average of 4,888 yards and 37 touchdown passes over the last four years. Last season, he broke the single-season record for passing yards (5,476) and recorded an impressive 47 total touchdowns. I do wonder if he would have been listed more often in your responses if not for the absence of coach Sean Payton, who has been suspended for the 2012 season because of the bounty scandal. Regardless, Brees is like a coach on the field and shouldn't fall far in most drafts. In fact, I still see him as a first-round selection in most formats.