By Sean Pendergast

Conventional wisdom says that when the calendar hits July, we are officially into the dead period of the sports year. Time to take vacation, time for those of us with “content responsibility” to rack our brains finding some sort of sports duct tape to keep our show or blog from unraveling until NFL training camp starts in a few weeks.

But the sports gods always seem to drop something in our laps, and for this we are thankful. Specifically, I would like to thank them for the following:

* LeBron James opting out of his contract. I think I speak for all radio hosts (and certainly for Adam Silver) when i say that he should do this every summer. EVERY. DAMN. SUMMER.

* Aaron Hernandez opting out of his prison. Our resident Massachusetts Murderer (alleged) was feeling threatened in the jail he was in so he’s been angling to get moved. This has meant numerous court dates and segments where we can discuss “Greatest Sports Psychopaths.” Always riveting radio.

* The World Cup. My only complaint is that the time zone for the host country has meant many games in the middle of my show. This should get rectified when the thing moves to Russia in four years (assuming I’m still alive).

* Johnny Manziel. You my friend, are one magnificent bastard, a content geyser who sustains us every Monday. God bless you, Johnny Football.

* Donald Sterling. I know I’m in the minority when I say that I don’t want you to ever go away. You’re a lunatic, a curse spewing lunatic and we need you in court calling your wife a “pig” for a few more Julys.

Soon though, there will be a dead period. It may only be a few days, it may be a couple weeks, but it’ll come. So what better time to begin studying for your fantasy football season? So here are my way-too-early-but-the-season-will-be-here-soon-enough Fantasy Football rankings, to be adjusted accordingly as training camp rolls on (NOTE: I got with a top 12 at QB, TE, K, and Def, and Top 24 at RB and WR, the multiple positions, kind of based on many leagues having 12 owners):

1. Peyton Manning, Denver
2. Drew Brees, New Orleans
3. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay
4. Cam Newton, Carolina
5. Matt Stafford, Detroit
6. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis
7. Tom Brady, New England
8. Nick Foles, Philadelphia
9. Robert Griffin III, Washington
10. Jay Cutler, Chicago
11. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco
12. Tony Romo, Dallas

1. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota
2. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City
3. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia
4. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay
5. Matt Forte, Chicago
6. Arian Foster, Houston
7. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle
8. Montee Ball, Denver
9. Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh
10. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay
11. DeMarco Murray, Dallas
12. Gio Bernard, Cincinnati
13. Zac Stacy, St Louis
14. Alfred Morris, Washington
15. C.J. Spiller, Buffalo
16. Ray Rice, Baltimore
17. Frannk Gore, San Francisco
18. Andre Ellington, Arizona
19. Steven Jackson, Atlanta
20. Ben Tate, Cleveland
21. Ryan Mathews, San Diego
22. Bishop Sankey, Tennessee
23. Rashad Jennings, New York Giants
24. Shane Vereen, New England

1. Calvin Johnson, Detroit
2. Dez Bryant, Dallas
3. Demaryius Thomas, Denver
4. A.J. Green, Cincinnati
5. Brandon Marshall, Chicago
6. Alshon Jeffery, Chicago
7. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh
8. Julio Jones, Atlanta
9. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay
10. Randall Cobb, Green Bay
11. Andre Johnson, Houston
12. Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay
13. Pierre Garcon, Washington
14. Victor Cruz, New York Giants
15. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona
16. Keenan Allen, San Diego
17. Wes Welker, Denver
18. Roddy White, Atlanta
19. Cordarelle Patterson, Minnesota
20. DeSean jackson, Washington
21. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis
22. Percy Harvin, Seattle
23. Torrey Smith, Baltimore
24. Marques Colston, New Orleans

1. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans
2. Julius Thomas, Denver
3. Rob Gronkowski, New England
4. Vernon Davis, San Francisco
5. Greg Olsen, Carolina
6. Jason Witten, Dallas
7. Dennis Pitta, Baltimore
8. Jordan Cameron, Cleveland
9. Jordan Reed, Washington
10. Martellus Bennett, Chicago
11. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota
12. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia

1. Kyle Prater, Denver
2. Steven Gostkowski, New England
3. Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis
4. Steven Hauschka, Seattle
5. Matt Bryant, Atlanta
6. Dan Bailey, Dallas
7. Blair Walsh, Minnesota
8. Justin Tucker, Baltimore
9. Phil Dawson, San Francisco
10. Robbie Gould, Chicago
11. Nick Novak, SD
12. Mason Crosby, GB

1. Seattle
2. San Francisco
3. Cincinnati
4. Carolina
5. Denver
6. New England
7. Kansas City
8. St. Louis
9. Arizona
10. New Orleans
11. Baltimore
12. Houston


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