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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Week One, Son.

It feels like Christmas Eve.  Football is one day away, and I can't wait to unwrap my fantasy puppy:
  Sorry.  Bad metaphor.

Most Vick owners are equal parts worried and excited.  Count me as one of them.  Not only does Mike have the Highest Expectations of any other fantasy player, but he's also top of the list for Expected Injuries (right behind Frank Gore, Peyton Manning, Arian Foster, and Andre Johnson).
^ Talk about an elite group...

Plenty of owners have little to fear with their top picks.  Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, Jamaal Charles, Roddy White, Aaron Rodgers, and Newly Signed Chris Johnson are all healthy and ready to put up their typical gaudy numbers.

And some owners will endure a stressful, unpredictable season due to their excellent-but-inconsistent stars.  These players include Peyton Hillis, Rashard Mendenhall, Michael Turner, Maurice Jones-Drew, Greg Jennings, and Larry Fitzgerald.  These second-round picks will make or break most fantasy seasons.
Sure, there's a lot of talk about Montario Hardesty, but you can never count out this kind of beast:
Looks like Bo Jackson's been sampling Sammy Sosa's tanning techniques.

We love the preseason because of all the uncertainty.  It's easy to predict now, but after Week One it's a whole new ball game.  Everything changes once the Brandon Lloyds, Steve Johnsons, and Peyton Hilliseses of the new season rear their freakish heads.
But like I said, it's easy to predict now.  And so predict I shall.

Your Top 10 Positional Scoring Leaders Through Week 16 of 2011 
(Week 17 is for losers)

Quarterback

1.  Phillip Rivers
2.  Tom Brady
3.  Aaron Rodgers
4.  Tony Romo
5.  Michael Vick
6.  Ben Roethlisberger
7.  Peyton Manning
8.  Matthew Stafford
9.  Matt Ryan
10. Joe Flacco

Rivers with a full, healthy squad will put up huge numbers.  I predict 2 or more 40 point games.
Romo will be the comeback player of the year, and Miles Austin and Dez Bryant will be the league's best receiver duo.
Go ahead and count out Peyton Manning.  And be prepared for 280 points in 15 games.
Notably Absent: Josh Freeman.  Get ready for a lesson in regression, ala David Garrard

Running Back

1.  Chris Johnson                              
2.  Adrian Peterson
3.  Jamaal Charles
4.  Ray Rice
5.  Arian Foster
6.  LeSean McCoy
7.  Frank Gore
8.  Rashard Mendenhall
9.  Steven Jackson
10.  Peyton Hillis

The only obstacle for a huge year from CJ was the holdout.  No matter the league format, he's a #1 currently being drafted out of the Top 5.
Foster won't have last year's numbers, but he'll be close.
Frank Gore will play 15 games and come up just short of the Top 5.
Steven Jackson will play 16 games and rush for 10 touchdowns.
Peyton Hillis will lose some carries to his backup, but start every game of the season.
Notably Absent: Michael Turner.  No, Jacquizz won't have a big year.  But Turner won't have more than 2 multi-touchdown games.

Wide Receiver

1.  Roddy White
2.  Greg Jennings
3.  Calvin Johnson
4.  Hakeem Nicks
5.  Reggie Wayne
6.  Andre Johnson
7.  Vincent Jackson
8.  Mike Wallace
9.  Miles Austin
10.  Larry Fitzgerald

Roddy White will lead all receivers in yardage and receptions, but not touchdowns.
Greg Jennings will lead all receivers in touchdowns.
Except Calvin Johnson.  They will be tied.
Reggie Wayne will have 100 receptions.
Vincent Jackson and Mike Wallace will be tied for 30+ yard receptions.
Miles Austin will lead receivers in yards after catch.
Larry Fitzgerald will score the majority of his points in the second half of the season.
Notably Absent:  DeSean Jackson.  Maclin will have 10 more receptions and 2 more touchdowns.

Tight End

1.  Dallas Clark
2.  Jermichael Finley
3.  Jason Witten
4.  Antonio Gates
5.  Owen Daniels
6.  Zach Miller
7.  Aaron Hernandez
8.  Vernon Davis
9.  Kellen Winslow
10. Brandon Pettigrew

Dallas Clark will be the second Colt with 100 receptions.
Jermichael Finley will lead all tight ends in touchdowns.
Antonio Gates will miss more than one game and still finish Top 5...again.
Aaron Hernandez will have the most receptions by a tight end in the first half of the season.
Vernon Davis will get into 3 sideline fights.
Notably Absent:  Kellen Winslow.  He'll fall out of the Top 15.
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Good luck.  We'll reconvene after Monday Night Football.  Be sure to answer the new poll.