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Fantasy Football 2011 Projections Review

 

The left column is the projections I made on 08/03/11 on Suicidefantasyfootball.com. The right column is the actual rankings at the end of the 2011 NFL regular season.

As you can see my divisional champions went 2 for 8.

As for positional fantasy finishes, I was off…big time. I did semi-decent with QBs and RBs, but when it comes to WRs, TEs, Ks, and DEFs, I was way way off, not getting anyone in the top 5 right.

Since it was so early into the pre-season, injuries were the death of me. We had not learned about Peyton’s 3rd neck surgery yet. Who knew Jamaal Charles would be out for the season so quick. For the WRs, I projected which teams would have stud WRs, however projecting the right WR on the team was my Achille’s heel.

 

 

NFC North Champions: Chicago Bears                       Green Bay Packers

NFC South Champions:  Atlanta Falcons                    Atlanta Falcons         

NFC West Champions:  St. Louis Rams                       San Francisco 49ers

NFC East Champions: Philadelphia Eagles                New York Giants

AFC North Champions: Baltimore Ravens                 Baltimore Ravens

AFC South Champions: Indianapolis Colts                Houston Texans

AFC West Champions: Kansas City Chiefs                  Denver Broncos

AFC East Champions: Miami Dolphins                        New England Patriots

Superbowl: Eagles over Ravens                                           TBD

 

 

Top 5 QBS

1. Michael Vick                                                   Aaron Rodgers

2. Aaron Rodgers                                              Drew Brees

3. Drew Brees                                                     Tom Brady

4. Peyton Manning                                            Cam Newton

5. Philip Rivers                                                   Matthew Stafford

 

Top 5 RBs

1. Adrian Peterson                                           Ray Rice

2. Jamaal Charles                                             LeSean McCoy

3. Arian Foster                                                  Maurice Jones-Drew

4. Maurice Jones-Drew                                  Arian Foster

5. Chris Johnson                                               Michael Turner

 

Top 5 WRS

1. Roddy White                                                  Calvin Johnson

2. Andre Johnson                                             Jordy Nelson

3. Reggie Wayne                                               Wes Welker

4. Hakeem Nicks                                               Victor Cruz

5. Greg Jennings                                               Larry Fitzgerald

 

Top 5 TEs

1. Antonio Gates                                           Rob Gronkowski

2. Jason Witten                                             Jimmy Graham

3. Dallas Clark                                               Aaron Hernandez

4. Vernon Davis                                             Tony Gonzalez

5. Marcedes Lewis                                        Jermichael Finley

 

Top 5 Ks

1. Adam Vinatieri                                        David Akers

2. Mason Crosby                                          John Kasay

3. Stephen Gostowski                                Sebastian Janikowski

4. Josh Brown                                               Stephen Gostkowski

5. Neil Rackers                                             Dan Bailey

 

Top 5 DEFs

1. Jets                                                                49ers

2. Steelers                                                        Bears

3. Eagles                                                           Ravens

4. Ravens                                                         Seahawks

5. Packers                                                        Texans

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From ESPN.com

The important thing to remember is that it gets ugly quick. Well, no. The important thing to remember is that this is crazy-early. This list will be changed, expanded and updated many times between now and opening day 2012. And the next thing to remember is that there’s so much unknown. It seems like Stephania Bell was busier than ever this past season, as each week another big-name player went down with a major injury.

The Talented Mr. Roto

If I was to pick three major storylines from this past season — and apparently, that’s exactly what I am doing — the amount of injuries would certainly be one, as would the quick ascension of rookies into fantasy relevance. Usually it’s rookie running backs who make the biggest impact, but other than a few weeks of DeMarco Murray, Roy Helu and Mark Ingram, that didn’t really happen this past year. Instead, quarterbacks like Cam Newton and Andy Dalton, even Christian Ponder and T.J. Yates for a bit (and Tim Tebow might as well have been a rookie) along with wide receivers like A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Torrey Smith, Denarius Moore, Eric Decker for a while, Titus Young in deeper leagues (and again, Demaryius Thomas might as well have been a rookie) all made their presence felt.

Finally, the emergence of the quarterback would have to be the third storyline. For all the grief I got about the whole “Michael Vick as No. 1,” the theory behind it was dead on. Wrong player, sure, but no matter where you ranked Vick this year, chances are he disappointed. (Vick’s average draft position in ESPN leagues was as a first-rounder).

[+] EnlargeMichael Vick

Howard Smith/US PresswireMichael Vick finished 11th among quarterbacks in fantasy points, despite missing three games.

The theory behind Vick was that quarterbacks and tight ends are more consistent, and that getting an elite producer at those positions was much more likely to get you wins on a week-to-week basis. In the Manifesto, I went back and looked at the top-10 finishers in fantasy points over each of the past three years for all the positions, and I won’t bore you with all the math right now (Why? I’m saving it for next year’s Manifesto!), but the end result was that elite quarterbacks and tight ends put you in a much better position to win. They are the most consistent, they have a much better chance of returning your investment and it is much easier to find elite production at running back and wide receiver in the middle and late rounds.

While Vick failed, the overall theory held up perfectly. Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Tom Brady, along with newcomers Matthew Stafford and Cam Newton, helped their owners to multiple titles, as did midround finds like Marshawn Lynch, Fred Jackson, Darren Sproles, Michael Bush, Willis McGahee and more.

That’s all reflected in this first stab at a top 100. It’s based on a 10-team league with standard ESPN scoring. You’ll notice elite quarterbacks are ranked high, as are elite tight ends. You’ll notice low rankings on some big-name running backs and wide receivers, though for different reasons.

That brings us to the thing you were supposed to remember but have probably already forgotten. It gets ugly quick. There are many questions at running back. What will be the opening day health status of guys like Jamaal Charles, Adrian Peterson, Matt Forte, Darren McFadden, Fred Jackson, Rashard Mendenhall, DeMarco Murray and others? Were the unexpected seasons of Marshawn Lynch, Reggie Bush and Chris Johnson a fluke or legit? Where do many of the potential free agents and salary-cap casualties land?

As for wide receivers, there is unbelievable depth next season. The expected studs and/or fantasy starters like Calvin Johnson, Greg Jennings, Hakeem Nicks, Larry Fitzgerald, Roddy White , Marques Colston, Vincent Jackson, Brandon Marshall, Jeremy Maclin, Brandon Lloyd, Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Dwayne Bowe, Mike Wallace and Steve Johnson all showed up in some form or fashion. You add in guys like Victor Cruz, Jordy Nelson, Percy Harvin, Julio Jones, A.J. Green, Laurent Robinson, Antonio Brown, Demaryius Thomas, Kenny Britt (if he’s healthy), plus the re-emergence of Steve Smith and, potentially, Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon if Peyton Manning is healthy and all of them are back with the Colts. And you can easily see Justin Blackmon having an A.J. Green rookie year if he lands in the right spot, plus potential bounce-back years for DeSean Jackson and Mike Williams. And none of this mentions Andre Johnson, who just needs to stay on the field … Dude. Wide receiver is crazy deep.

After Calvin Johnson, you can make an argument for any number of wideouts in any sort of order. It’s really personal preference. But I tended to go with longer track records and players I thought were safer rather than upside. Fitzgerald may not end up next season as the No. 2 wideout, but I have him there because I think he’s a rock-solid bet to be top five no matter who his QB is. I’d rather have that safety than be on the roller coaster that is Andre Johnson’s hamstrings.

So I tended to go lower overall on wideouts because of the depth there. And with that … here we go:

[+] EnlargeAaron Rodgers

Jamie Squire/Getty ImagesYou can lock in Aaron Rodgers for at least 40 of these celebrations next season.

1. Aaron Rodgers, QB — Money in the bank.

2. Drew Brees , QB — The other branch of said bank.

3. Ray Rice, RB — You could make an argument for any of the next four RBs. I went Rice because there are no health issues, his value isn’t touchdown dependent and this year, he added the touchdowns.

4. Arian Foster, RB
5. LeSean McCoy, RB
6. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB
7. Calvin Johnson, WR

8. Tom Brady, QB — Remember when Tom threw 50 touchdown passes? His offensive coordinator that year was … Josh McDaniels.

9. Rob Gronkowski, TE — And this is where it got ugly for me. You can poke a hole in any player ranked from this point on. Here’s why I went Gronk: Take away every single touchdown he scored this year — all 17 of them — and he still finishes with 132 fantasy points, making him the second-highest-scoring tight end this year. He had 124 targets and is a matchup nightmare for any defense; this all goes back to my elite QBs and TEs theory.

10. Matthew Stafford, QB

11. Marshawn Lynch, RB — He’s just 25. This ranking will change if he leaves Seattle, but he’s a young player with an improving offensive line that will be a lot healthier next year and a coach that likes to run. Also, no committee. But again, so many question marks with the health of other guys here.

12. Larry Fitzgerald, WR

13. Cam Newton, QB — I expect the rushing touchdowns to come down, but still. Imagine when he has a full training camp.

14. Chris Johnson, RB — I think he returns to stud but not “Oh, damn, watch out” levels.

15. Matt Forte, RB — Seemed like his injury was the least worrisome of the all the big-name guys.

16. Jimmy Graham, TE — Had 149 targets; another matchup nightmare who, like Gronk, is young and — scary thought — still learning.

17. Roddy White, WR — For all the Julio talk (and yes, Jones did miss games), White had 181 targets.

18. Wes Welker, WR

19. Andre Johnson, WR — Depth of position and health concerns keep him this low.

20. Greg Jennings, WR

21. Jamaal Charles, RB — At least he was injured early on.

22. Hakeem Nicks, WR
23. A.J. Green, WR
24. Ryan Mathews, RB

25. Victor Cruz, WR — I went Nicks over Cruz and Jennings over Jordy based on track record, but they’re all studs.

26. Steven Jackson, RB
27. Jordy Nelson, WR

28. Michael Vick, QB — A year after I’m all in on him, you know he’s gonna go off. I’m already banging my head.

29. Percy Harvin, WR — Injury to AP helps boost his value. I don’t expect AP to be the same guy next season, meaning they will lean on Harvin a bit more.

30. Frank Gore, RB
31. Marques Colston, WR
32. Brandon Marshall, WR
33. DeMarco Murray, RB
34. Antonio Gates, TE
35. Tony Romo, QB
36. Steve Smith, WR, Panthers
37. Vincent Jackson, WR

38. Michael Turner, RB — Forget the Week 17 game against a horrific Tampa Bay team that had already checked out. In Turner’s final five “real” games (Weeks 12-16), he averaged just 3.3 yards per carry and just 56 rushing yards a game; he had fewer than 80 yards in all five and scored only once. In their playoff game, on a crucial fourth-and-1, the Falcons decided to have Matt Ryan run it instead of Turner. I’d rather jump off the bandwagon a year too early than a year too late, and there’s so many guys with more upside than Turner that I’d rather have.

39. Adrian Peterson, RB — This rank will change quite a bit once we see where he is healthwise. But if I had to draft today, this is where I’m comfortable taking him. And not before. It looked bad, kids. Bad.

[+] EnlargeFred Jackson

Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty ImagesFred Jackson racked up 1,376 total yards and six scores before injury ended his season in Week 10.

40. Fred Jackson, RB
41. Darren McFadden, RB
42. Ahmad Bradshaw, RB
43. Reggie Bush, RB

44. Mike Wallace, WR — Antonio Brown is no joke.

45. Miles Austin, WR

46. Dez Bryant, WR — I’m assuming Laurent Robinson is with another team.

47. Julio Jones, WR
48. Roy Helu, RB

49. Brandon Lloyd, WR — This will go up if Lloyd winds up in New England, but right now, I have to rank him as if he’s on the Rams.

50. Beanie Wells, RB
51. Dwayne Bowe, WR
52. Jason Witten, TE

53. Eli Manning, QB — Possibly the quietest 4,900 yards in history.

54. Shonn Greene, RB
55. Jeremy Maclin, WR

56. Kenny Britt, WR — If healthy, and can stay healthy, will be a steal here.

57. Antonio Brown, WR
58. Willis McGahee, RB
59. Philip Rivers, QB

 

60. Peyton Manning, QB — So much unknown right now. The ranking reflects that.

61. Steve Johnson, WR
62. Darren Sproles, RB

63. LeGarrette Blount, RB — Depending on who the new coach is, this could also go up. I still believe in the player. No coach earned more Shanahan-esque fantasy venom than Raheem Morris this past season.

64. Isaac Redman, RB — I don’t think we see Rashard Mendenhall until midseason or so.

65. Peyton Hillis, RB — All depends on where he winds up.

66. Demaryius Thomas, WR — I’m a believer.

67. Pierre Garcon, WR– See Manning, Peyton.

68. Ben Roethlisberger, QB

69. Tim Tebow, QB — Do you believe?

70. Laurent Robinson, WR — I’m assuming he’s with another team.

71. Michael Bush, RB

72. C.J. Spiller, RB — If Fred Jackson is healthy, think it’s still his gig, but you see Spiller more involved in a high-end, Ben Tate, 10-to-12-touches-a-game sort of way.

73. Aaron Hernandez, TE
74. Tony Gonzalez, TE

75. Reggie Wayne, WR — See Garcon, Pierre.

76. DeSean Jackson, WR
77. Michael Crabtree, WR
78. Denarius Moore, WR
79. Kevin Smith, RB
80. Cedric Benson, RB

81. Justin Blackmon, WR — Stud in the making.

82. DeAngelo Williams, RB
83. Ben Tate, RB
84. Mark Ingram, RB
85. Matt Schaub, QB
86. Jermichael Finley, TE

87. Brent Celek, TE — Fourth among tight ends in receiving yards over the second half.

88. Mario Manningham, WR — Assuming he is not with the Giants next year.

89. Santonio Holmes, WR
90. Mike Williams (Bucs), WR

91. Trent Richardson, RB — Could easily go up, depending on where he gets drafted.

92. Jonathan Stewart, RB
93. Donald Brown, RB
94. Santana Moss, WR
95. Anquan Boldin, WR
96. Brandon Jacobs, RB
97. Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB

98. Jay Cutler, QB — Believe it or not, Mike Martz being gone will help Cutler. Cutler’s best statistical season with the Bears was his first one, without Martz.

99. Sidney Rice, WR
100. Torrey Smith, WR

Matthew Berry — The Talented Mr. Roto — is ready for training camp to open already. He is the creator of RotoPass.com, a website that combines a bunch of well-known fantasy sites, including ESPN Insider, for one low price. Use promo code ESPN for 10 percent off. He is a charter member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame. Cyberstalk the TMR | Be his cyberfriend

Follow Matthew Berry on Twitter: @MatthewBerryTMR

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Whats your Favorite team? I believe this has to be the most common question asked during any sports related event.  Everyone wants to know where your allegiances lie not just for small talk, but to get a quick glimpse into your soul. Behind every persons affection for a sporting team is a story that binds the two together. Heres Mine.

         I was a semi jock in high school. In my earlier years I was arrogant enough to believe I had the skills to go pro, but unfortunately for me I was more proficient at causing myself drama. Drama or not my love for sports, and in particular the ones I played never passed. The desire to be on the football field or running the basketball court made me latch on to my teams like a tissue on the bottom of a high heel. Unsuspecting of their meaning to me I trudge forward with my team until life forces me away, but I aways find a way back.

        I have only sworn undying loyalty to two teams. One being my high school alma mater, and the other being the Indianapolis Colts. I realize that high school sports mean nothing to most on a national scale so ill spare you the details on the Maynard Evans High School Trojans who went 10-2 this football season. (Lol) No this is not about them. This about My dear colts. Yes the ones that got their first victory of the season yesterday with their third string quarterback starting and a patchwork offensive line. Yep those are my boys.

         I get the question all the time “How does a guy that never once set foot in Indiana love their football team so”?  To be honest its simply complex. I was a fan of Marshall Faulk. I played running back during my football career, so I always identified with them the most. Watching him felt like magic! Every time this man carried the rock I expected great things. When he Left the colts they got this quarterback by the name of Peyton Manning. He was the first quarterback I could say I grew up watching. I mean I didn’t just click on the tv to see his name flash across sports center. No, I  actually followed him from college sports into the pros. It was my admiration for these two players that attracted me to the colts organization.

        Everyone Loves to win but these guys have been doing it for years. Thier style of play, the way they run their front office, to the way they drafted players it all just agreed with me. It helped that Peyton and Company were winning. I guess you can say that was the cherry on top, considering this year Our unit has hit rock bottom. The lock out hurt us more than any other team I believe, but I wont justify our 1-13 record.  After all It is a professional team and under no circumstances do I find this acceptable. Especially since we had most of our pieces. Again that is neither here nor there, so despite the horrid record I believe we will turn this seasons losses into victories for many years to come.

        I love my team, but I am not blinded by them. Whether it be football or water polo I like to call things like I see them. I hope that if your reading this you’ll once again join me as I share my opinions, concerns, and highlights. Feel free to comment and send feed back on anything I might post. All I ask is that if you feel like your comment might be motivated by ignorance Stop and re-evaluate what you want to say. I will not have profane rants on my blog. Thank you for your time and I look forward to your responses.

                                                                           Jamel Clark

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The Good News: I’m now writing for a new site as an Expert Fantasy Football Analyst. The site is SuicideFantasyFootball.com .

The Bad News: Being as how I’m writing for this site, my insanely humorous and intellectual blogging will be few and far between on this blog.

The Great News: You can still read from your favorite Fantasy Blogger at SuicideFantasyFootball.com! On top of reading, you can also play the all new style of Fantasy Football on the site as well! How is it different you may ask? Well, there is no draft whatsoever. You simply pick any NFL player to fill your generic fantasy roster each week. However, the trick is that you can only use a player ONCE the ENTIRE season. Whomever has the most overall points for the season in their respective league wins. There are Free Leagues, $10 Leagues, $50 Leagues, and $100 Leagues. Whomever wins the $50 and $100 leagues wins…wait for it…an all expense paid trip for two to this season’s Superbowl!!! That’s right, for as little as $50, you and a friend can go to the Superbowl for FREE!!!

Here is a video showing how to play and set your lineup.

On top of this new inventive Fantasy League, I am still playing the generic style on CBSSports.com in which I am still looking for a few more fans to fill it before I open it up to the public. $39 Buy in, $200 for 1st place.

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Even though this week is officially Shark Week, I believe last week had more sharks. GM Sharks hunting for the best acquisitions for their team both in the MLB and NFL alike. What else did you think was going to happen when the entire NFL offseason was crammed into just one month? Well, luckily for my readers, you have me. Below is a list of all of the “relevant signings and trades in both the NFL and MLB in case you haven’t been keeping up to par. For all of my fellow Dolphins fans, sadly we still have Chad Henne.

I still have just a few more spots left in my CBS Sports Fantasy Football league. $99 entry. First place receives $600. Open to any friends and/or fans who would like to challenge me. Post comment with interest.

The MLB had a handful of big named trades prior to the recently passed trade deadline. Of the trades that did happen, here are the notable ones:

  • SP Ubaldo Jimenez from the Rockies to the Indians
  • OF Michael Bourn from the Astros to the Braves
  • OF Hunter Pence from the Astros to the Phillies
  • SP Erik Bedard from the Mariners to the Redsox
  • SS Rafael Furcal from the Dodgers to the Cardinals
  • OF Ryan Ludwick from the Padres to the Pirates
  • SP Jason Marquis from the Nationals to the Diamondbacks
  • OF Jonny Gomes from the Reds to the Nationals
  • SP Edwin Jackson from the Whitesox to the Cardinals
  • OF Colby Rasmus from the Cardinals to the Bluejays
  • OF Carlos Beltran from the Mets to the Giants
  • OF Kosuke Fukudome from the Cubs to the Indians
  • 1B Derek Lee from the Orioles to the Pirates

Now the NFL isn’t even close to being wrapped up with trades and free agent signings. However, of what has been done in the week since the NFL has been reinstated from the lockout, below are the notable NFL transactions…so far:

  • Tue: Panthers agree to terms with DE Charles Johnson on 6-year deal.
  • Tue: Seahawks agree to terms with QB Tarvaris Jackson on 2-year deal.
  • Wed: Panthers agree to terms with RB DeAngelo Williams on 5-year deal.
  • Wed.: Redskins send QB Donovan McNabb to Minnesota for draft picks.
  • Wed: Colts agree to terms with S Melvin Bullitt on 3-year deal.
  • Wed.: Jets agree to terms with WR Santonio Holmes on 5-year deal.
  • Wed.: Titans agree to terms with QB Matt Hasselbeck on multiyear deal.
  • Wed.: Seattle agrees to terms with WR Sidney Rice on 5-year deal.
  • Wed.: Chiefs agree to terms with WR Steve Breaston on 5-year deal.
  • Thu: Saints agree to deal RB Reggie Bush to Miami. 
  • Thu: Redskins deal DL Albert Haynesworth to Patriots.
  • Thu: Arizona gets QB Kevin Kolb from Eagles for CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, second-round pick.
  • Thu: Patriots acquire Chad Ochocinco from the Bengals for draft picks.
  • Thu: Saints agree to 4-year deal with RB Darren Sproles. 
  • Fri: Falcons agree to 5-year deal with DE Ray Edwards. 
  • Fri: Eagles agree to 5-year deal with CB Nnamdi Asomugha.
  • Fri: Eagles agree to 1-year deal with QB Vince Young.
  • Sat: Eagles sign defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins to a 5-year deal.
  • Sun: Jets agree to 1-year deal with wide receiver Plaxico Burress.

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The longest lockout in NFL history is halted at 136 days after the NFLPA and it’s representatives voted 32-0 on the new CBA that was proposed by owners just a few days ago. Football is back! I’m even more excited than this kitten! Sure they still have to tweak it a bit, but transactions are now underway! Free agency. Trades. Rookie signings. The whole nine yards. Most importantly, for us fans, fantasy football is good to go. There are a multitude of top tier free agents available and we can only hope that our favorite teams sign them. We were all discussing with our friends how the transition to Fantasy Hockey when the NFL season was cancelled would frustrate us all (no hate for the hockey fans). Now, we don’t have to worry about it. It’s time to start prepping those cheat sheets and tracking those offseason injuries/surgeries.

For those who haven’t had a chance to check out my latest eBook, be sure you do for it is filled with information on not only how to play fantasy football, but how to win at it. Click here to purchase.

In the near future I will be posting links to mock drafts and rankings from both the top sports sites and myself. I’m also looking to fill a CBS Sports fantasy football league with my friends and fans. $99 to play. Simply comment to this post if interested.

Look at the bright side, we have 10 years before we have to go through this same shindig all over again 🙂

The network underlines a prejudice.

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News came in today that the (greedy) owners have proposed and approved a new 200 paged CBA. Now we just need the players association to agree to it. However, if it is not fair to the players, I’m fine with missing out on the entirety of the preseason. So far we have already lost the entire first week of preseason games including the Hall of Fame game. I’m personally saddened about the HoF game because I had recently visited (and kicked a field goal on) the field. What I am hearing from ESPN and reading from NFL player tweets is that it doesn’t look like it was everything the players association needed to see. Thus, don’t get excited just yet.

Good News: Players can start coming to camp and Free Agency is now open immediately following the NFLPA acceptance of the new CBA (July 27th at 2pm to be exact). Time for my phins to sign one of the many intriguing QBs on the market. Carson Palmer and Kevin Kolb to name a few.

Bad News: The players association have until Tuesday to vote. Players are commenting that such an early end cap makes them feel rushed to a very serious situation.

Good News: The new proposed CBA is a 10 year contract. So if it DOES get accepted, we have 10 years before another annoying lockout offseason happens.

Bad News: Everyone seems way too excited about the news of today EXCEPT for the NFL players themselves. I just want 16 games (plus playoffs…hopefully) of Dolphins football.

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