- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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It’s that time of year when everyone is making lists about various topics, so let’s turn to another one.
Matthew Berry ranks the 200 best fantasy football picks for 2013. The best fantasy player in the NFC South?
According to Berry, it’s Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin. Berry ranks Martin as the No. 5 player, behind only Adrian Peterson, Arian Foster, Ray Rice and Marshawn Lynch. They’re all great running backs, but I think Martin has a chance to climb a spot or two on the list once the season gets rolling.
People tend to forget that Martin played his entire rookie season without guard Davin Joseph and about half of it without guard Carl Nicks. Put those two back in the middle of the line and it’s not hard to imagine Martin putting up numbers even better than he did in his first season.
Fantasy football tends to put a lot of value on running backs and Atlanta’s Steven Jackson also comes in with a high ranking. Berry put Jackson at No. 12.
Now, let’s leave it up to Berry to bring back up the spirits of those Saints fans that took a hit earlier when Pro Football Focus ranked Drew Brees No. 79 on its list of the NFL’s top 100 players. Berry has Brees at No. 15 overall and second among quarterbacks (behind only Aaron Rodgers).
Brees is always a good fantasy pick, but I think he could be better than usual this year. Coach Sean Payton had a full season off to come up with new wrinkles for his offense, and that can only help Brees’ numbers.
Berry also scored some points with New Orleans fans by rating Jimmy Graham as the league’s top tight end (No. 20 overall).
Some other NFC South players on Berry’s list:
No. 25 Atlanta receiver Julio Jones
No. 28 Atlanta receiver Roddy White
No. 31 Carolina quarterback Cam Newton
No. 33 Tampa Bay receiver Vincent Jackson
No. 45 New Orleans receiver Marques Colston
No. 56 New Orleans running back Darren Sproles
No. 57 Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez
No. 59 Carolina receiver Steve Smith
No. 64 Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan
No. 76 New Orleans receiver Lance Moore
No. 86 Tampa Bay receiver Mike Williams
No. 103 New Orleans running back Mark Ingram
No. 104 Carolina running back Jonathan Stewart
No. 110 Carolina tight end Greg Olsen
No. 118 Atlanta running back Jacquizz Rodgers
No. 141 Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman
No. 144 New Orleans running back Pierre Thomas
No. 164 Carolina running back DeAngelo Williams
No. 174 Carolina receiver Brandon LaFell
No. 191 Atlanta kicker Matt Bryant