Monday, August 13, 2007

Football Preview Pt. 1 (Fantasy Edition)

Its that time of year again. I figure since everyone else is doing it, why not? That is making bold and probably stupid predictions. Except, I'm going to try to be smarter than everyone else.

That said, I'm going to start of with a fantasy football preview which is sure to turn some heads. Luckily for me, nobody reads this stuff, including my opponents.

Top 5 QB's
1. Peyton Manning – He’s been the best QB over the past four or five years, statistically at least. In the past 3 years, he’s thrown for 108 TD’s, which is almost 650 points in TD’s alone. He should be everyone’s number one pick each year. This year, his numbers should be better than last year’s with the addition of rookie WR Anthony Gonzalez and a healthy Dallas Clark at TE.
2. Tom Brady – Brady is the most successful QB of this era. Yet, he never really puts up big numbers. Part of this is the Pat’s offense, but most of it is because his receivers suck. This year he has Randy Moss, Dante Stallworth, and Wes Welker to play along side the ex-Florida Gators and 49-year-old Troy Brown. That said, putting perhaps the game’s most accurate passer with a top 3 receiving corp should lead to Brady having a career year.
3. Carson PalmerCP9 bounced back from his playoff knee injury to have a solid year. However, there were times that he didn’t seem comfortable with his knee or with Ocho Cinco y Ochenta y Cuatro (T.J. Houshmandzedah – yes I looked up the spelling of that). This year, he’s knee is fine and reports say Chad and T.J. are looking better than ever.
4. Drew Brees – In my theory of NFL QB’s there were only four dudes that could be successful on any offense with any set of players in any scheme. After leading the freakin’ Saints to the NFC Championship game, Brees made that list grow to five. He should thrive in his second year in the offense, and the addition of Robert Meachem should be a plus.
5. Donovan McNabb – The heat is on Donovan this year. He’s coming off a bad knee injury and the Birds drafted his replacement in the 2nd round this year. The year before last, he also failed to finish the season due to an injury. The year before that, he failed to close the Super Bowl due to _____ (somehow, he and the Eagles got away with not having to address that). And the three year’s before that he failed to lead the Eagles out of the NFC title game. For all those failures, the past three year’s have been the best of his career. While the knee injury should slow him down and could keep him out of the first few games of the season, look for him to continue to play better than he’s ever played, for the most part.

Avoid These Dudes
1. Vince Young – I love Vince Young. He was my favorite player while he was in college and was well on his way to becoming my favorite in the NFL. Yet, he decided it would be a good idea to appear on the cover of Madden, which of course is always a bad idea. Unfortunately, something bad is going to happen to VY this year, injury, legal trouble, struggles, etc. In addition, his receivers suck really bad.
2. Trent Green – Trent Green is washed up, and he will continue to disappoint Dolphin’s fans, as they have yet to replace Dan Marino with somebody decent.
3. Matt Schaub – If he was that good, the Falcons probably would’ve kept him. Although, they could probably use him, he might be a little better than Joey Harrington. Unfortunately for Texans fans, he won’t be that much better.

Top 5 RB's
1. Stephen Jackson – Over the past few years, there has been a different running back to shine brighter than his peers. Last year, it was LDT, year before that LJ, before that it was Shaun Alexander. This year, it will be Stephen Jackson, who could become the second running back to catch 100 passes in a season this year.
2. LaDainian Tomlinson – Either two things are going to happen with this dude’s career. 1 – They will give him the ball less, to keep him healthier longer. 2 – They will continue to give him the ball like crazy, which will unfortunately shorten his career/end his reign as the most dangerous player in the league. Either way, his numbers will go down.
3. Brian Westbrook – The Eagles will need this dude more than ever this year. Andy Reid’s seat is probably getting a little warmer, so he’ll need to ride this dude more often this year while Donovan gets himself back up to speed.
4. Willie Parker – The Steelers will probably throw the ball more. That said, Parker is about to have a true breakout season. Last year, he had a lot of yards without the touchdowns to match. This year, he should see an increase in both receiving yards and overall touchdowns.
5. Travis Henry – He’s the best back Mike Shannahan has had since Clinton Portis. Therefore, he should put up close 1,500 yards this year, if not more.

Avoid These Dudes
1. Larry Johnson
– Potentially ugly holdout + generally poor disposition + too many carries = Not a good luck for your fantasy team.
2. Shaun Alexander – This is my biased pick of the year so far. I just don’t like this dude.
3. Joseph Addai – Joseph Addai is a good back. However, so is Dominic Rhodes. You wouldn’t draft D.Rhodes with an early round pick, so why would you waste one on this dude?

Top 5 WR's
1. Chad Johnson
– He’s led the AFC in receiving yards for the last four years. Carson Palmer is 100% healthy again. This dude is back to being flamboyant and fun loving, and he even beat a horse in a race. Be prepared for anything, especially production.
2. Torry Holt – He is like the forgotten man of receivers. But he’s also usually one of the most productive, and his hands are amazing. I expect the Rams offense to resemble the 99-01 Rams this year, and this dude will help put them back in the playoffs.
3. Steve Smith – He’s a bad man. Dwyane Jarrett will help, but he’s still pretty much all they have at WR in Carolina.
4. Terrell Owens – Terry Glenn was Drew Bledsoe’s dude. T.O. is Tony Romo’s boy. Romo is trying to get paid after this year, and T.O. is all about numbers – money and stats.
5. Roy Williams – I saw highlights of a Lions preseason game where the defense was already shifting over to Calvin Johnson’s side. In the words of another Roy, “Y’all must’ve forgot” that Roy Williams is nasty. Career year for this dude.

Avoid These Dudes
1. Wes Welker – For some reason, people seem to like him as a fantasy sleeper. He can catch, but he’s not really as fast as people think. While Moss and Stallworth (when healthy) will thrive, I think Welker will be caught in the shuffle.
2. Terry Glenn - Terry Glenn was Drew Bledsoe’s dude. T.O. is Tony Romo’s boy. Glenn’s numbers will probably decrease, while T.O.’s and Jason Whitten’s will increase.
3. Donald Driver – His success is tied to the success of Brett Favre. Ouch.

Top Five TE's
1. Antonio Gates – Tight Ends have been down recently, but this should be an up year for Gates, since him and Phillip Rivers have had time to gel.
2. Kellen Winslow – Often the butt of many jokes, including mine, is Kellen. Yet, this dude can ball, and he’ll finally get to show what he can do. Maybe.
3. Vernon Davis – He was hurt last year, but this dude is a freak. As Alex Smith continues to improve as a QB, he’ll look to Davis.
4. Randy McMichael – Randy McMichael is the best TE that Marc Bulger has ever had, and the Dolphins will regret cutting him. Additionally, Isaac Bruce is slowing down, so Randy should pick up his slack.
5. Tony Gonzalez – He’s also slowing down. Additionally, he might be playing with essentially a rookie at QB. His numbers should be down, but still better than most.

Avoid These Dudes
1. Alge Crumpler – He was Vick’s go to guy. Now we get to see how good he really is. He’s also very slow. I don’t know what that has to do with anything, just wanted to put that out there.
2. Jeremy Shockey – Overrated, usually a disappointment, has Eli Manning at QB.
3. Greg Olsen – There is a lot of talk of him being a freak of nature. That’s cool, but he probably won’t even start for half of the season.

Top Five K's
1. Adam Vinatieri – Best kicker in the game.
2. Jeff Wilkins – One of the game’s best, plays a lot of games indoors, and will be kicking for a potent offense.
3. Olindo Mare – Moves indoors after playing in Miami. Accuracy and distance should improve, plus his offense will put him in position to score lots of points.
4. Jason Elam – Always consistent.
5. David Akers – Always consistent.

Avoid These Dudes
1. Nate Kaeding – Don’t like him in the clutch.
2. Mike Nugent – He’s beginning to look like a bust.
3. Lawrence TynesDidn’t like him in KC, definitely don’t like him with the NY Giants.

Top Five Defenses
1. Baltimore – One of the two defenses you could pick early and not feel bad about it.
2. Chicago – The second of the two defenses you could pick early and not feel bad about it.
3. San Diego – A young defense gets a little older, which means they’ll be smarter and better, though the loss of Donnie Edwards should hurt.
4. New England – Added Adalius Thomas to an already dangerous defense. If they can get Asante Samuel back on the field look out. Either way, the quest to go 16-0 should be in full effect.
5. Oakland – If they were good under Art Shell, they should be good under anybody. Stranger things have happened.

Avoid These Groups of Dudes
1. Pittsburgh
– I’m not really feeling that Mike Tomlin dude. This will likely be a down year for the ‘Burgh.
2. Dallas – I have a bad feeling about Dallas this year, for some reason.
3. NY Giants – I really expect these guys to self destruct this season. They’re also suspect at linebacker and corner.

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