I will be running a team by team fantasy analysis, talking about 3 players (for the most part) for each team. I’ll start with the AFC.
Fantasy MVP: Willis McGahee – Just barely over Mark Clayton. I’m not so sure about Willis, but he’ll have all the reps to rack up the fantasy points.
Fantasy Bust: Steve McNair – Steve isn’t a Top 24 quarterback anymore. He might be good for some bye week action, but I have a feeling McNair will be on the waiver wire at seasons’ end.
Fantasy Sleeper: Demetrius Williams – williams could become the #2 wideout if Derrick Mason falters. He’s faster than Mason, and has more upside – he could impress as a #3.
Fantasy MVP: Lee Evans – One of the best receivers in the game, and challenging Steve Smith for most explosive. With the defense losing a couple of their top guys, the Bills could be passing a lot. That’s good for Evans’ owners.
Fantasy Bust: Buffalo’s defense, and anyone not named Lynch, Losman, or Evans.
Fantasy Sleeper: Dwayne Wright – This rookie from Fresno State has an NFL running style with enough skills to get it done. Lynch and Thomas rest in front of him, but Wright’s impressive, and should get touches.
Fantasy MVP: Carson Palmer – I’m willing to bet Carson Palmer has more fantasy points than any other quarterback, this season. He’s going to toss 30+ touchdowns.
Fantasy Bust: I have No Bust for the Bengals – even their defense should be improved this season. Sorry.
Fantasy Sleeper: Chris Henry – This idiot has put himself in an 8 game suspension, but maybe, just maybe, he pulls his head out sometime during those 8 games, because God knows he has the talent to be a major part of this offense.
Fantasy MVP: Jamal Lewis – Call me crazy, but I like Lewis to have a big year in Baltimore. He has a filthy offensive line that attacks on the run – big numbers on a bad team for a running back? I know, that’s rare, but I think it happens.
Fantasy Bust: Brady Quinn – Brady won’t start this year, unless injuries kill the Browns. If he does start, he’ll have Alex Smith rookie season type numbers.
Fantasy Sleeper: Charlie Frye – If Frye gets the starting gig, I have a feeling he’ll impress a lot of people in Cleveland – if he doesn’t, that opportunity goes to Derek Anderson.
Fantasy MVP: Travis Henry – Those who draft Henry in the 2nd round will reap the benefits of the perfect back in the perfect system. I think Henry will have Clinton Portis numbers of a couple seasons ago.
Fantasy Bust: Mike Bell – The people who draft Bell hoping to get a possible bye week runner are going to be bummed out when Mike only gets 5 carries a week. Somehow, Mike went from Shanny’s favorite to his whipping boy… Who knows with Splinter?
Fantasy Sleeper: Daniel Graham – I think Graham is going to have a huge season. And I hope so, because I have him in more than a couple fantasy leagues.
Fantasy MVP: Andre Johnson – With Ahman Green drawing attention on the ground, and an over the top passer throwing him balls, AJ looks to have his most productive fantasy season in his career.
Fantasy Bust: Ron Dayne – He may have looked good at times last season, but he’ll get close to no carries with Green in the fold. What may don’t know about Ahman is that he is a very successful short yardage runner.
Fantasy Sleeper: Owen Daniels – With Schaub coming over, Daniels looks to get more looks in his second season. Kubiak throws to the TE, and Matt has been practicing with Crumpler all these years, so a TE/QB comfort zone is already there.
Fantasy MVP: Peyton Manning – He won’t have his best season as a pro, but how can you put anyone else in this slot? The list is huge in Indy, though. Reggie Wayne, Marvin Harrison, and Joseph Addai could all go here.
Fantasy Bust: Indianapolis Colts Defense – If you are looking for the defense that tore up the playoffs, you are in for something else. These Colts lost both starting corners, and have a lot of building to do if they hope to repeat.
Fantasy Sleeper: Anthony Gonzalez & Dallas Clark – I couldn’t choose, and since its my article, I just picked two. Gonzo is one of the most polished receivers from the draft, and he will be counted on early. Clark was the leading receiver for the Colts in the playoffs, and he has the ability to be a Top 5 TE in this league.
Fantasy MVP: Maurice Jones Drew – Drew is a Fred Taylor injury away from being a lock for the Top 5 running backs in the league. Taylor has been healthy lately, so there’s a chance. Drew is explosive, tough, and good at everything.
Fantasy Bust: Fred Taylor – Injuries are a huge concern for Fred, he has been relatively injury free for two seasons, and while normally that is a good thing, with Fred it just means he’s due. He’s cheap right now, but I wouldn’t rely on him for much more than a 4th running back option.
Fantasy Sleeper: Byron Leftwich – Before Lefty went down with injury in 2006, he was on pace for his best season as a pro. With a new offense that seemingly follows his strengths, I expect a very nice season from Byron.
Kansas City Chiefs
Fantasy MVP: Larry Johnson – Larry Johnson is a filthy running back known for producing loads of touchdowns and yards both rushing and receiving. His line is falling apart, but if he plays, he’ll still boast hug numbers.
Fantasy Bust: Larry Johnson – The whole “If he plays” adage makes him a possible bust. The Chiefs don’t want to pay him what he’s worth, and they don’t want to trade him. LJ won’t play for the low wage he’s earning. Put 2 and 2 together and you have a possible holdout on your hands.
Fantasy Sleeper: Dwayne Bowe – Bowe could come out of camp the #1 receiver. Even if Johnson does play, I’m not so sure the Chiefs will be a legit contender this season anyway. That means their will be plenty balls for Bowe to rack up numbers. Both Croyle and Huard throw harder and deeper than Trent Green, which should mean better numbers for Bowe and Tony Gonzalez.
Fantasy MVP: Ronnie Brown – A poor man’s LT, Ronnie will flourish in Cam Cameron’s offense. You know the Dolphins will rely on Ronnie heavily, he has the body, speed, and all around talent to do everything for the Dolphins.
Fantasy Bust: Trent Green – I don’t believe for a minute that Trent Green is going to be worth owning on fantasy rosters. Green doesn’t throw as well as he used to, and can’t make deep passes at all. I honestly think I can throw farther than Green. (I have 55 yards easy, with a good ball 60) The Dolphins will regret trading for Trent.
Fantasy Sleeper: Derek Hagan – Although Cam went with Ted Ginn Jr. with his first every 1st round pick, he has to love what he sees in Hagan. The kid is a highlight catch waiting to happen, he’s big, and he gets good position on defenders. He could start as early as Game 1.
New England Patriots
Fantasy MVP: Tom Brady – With all those weapons, how can he not tear up the league? Brady is accurate, throws very hard, and manages a game well. He’s never had weapons like he has now. I can’t wait to see his end-season numbers.
Fantasy Bust: Ben Watson – There are too many options in New England for Watson to have a huge year. He’s got all the talent in the world, but I have a feeling his numbers will take a turn for the worse in 2007.
Fantasy Sleeper: Wes Welker – Its hard to draft 3rd receivers, but in this offense, and with how much the Pats invested in Welker, I think he could conjure up 1,000 yards and 6-8 scores. Those aren’t bad numbers, and you can take a chance on this guy late.
New York Jets
Fantasy MVP: Thomas Jones – Top 10 back in 2007 – that’s my bet. Thomas Jones has just flat got it done the last 3 years. He remained the starter even when the Bears drafted Cedric Benson in the Top 5. Jones will take advantage of an offensive line that will soon be seen as the best in the league.
Fantasy Bust: Chad Pennington – Chad had decent numbers in 2006, but now he has a true #1 back. He won’t be passing as much, and thus his overall fantasy numbers will be down. He might end with a better QB rating, though. Like his years with Martin at RB.
Fantasy Sleeper: Brad Smith – Smith has loads of athletic ability, and the coaches in New York love him. He’s never drafted, but an injury, or a few good games will have him getting his number called in Jet-land.
Fantasy MVP: Ronald Curry – I think Ronald is set to become the fantasy stud for the Raiders. Honestly, besides a defense that will spend too much time on the field, there really isn’t another option. Curry could be a stud or a sleeper, showing how crazy the Oakland fantasy picture really is.
Fantasy Bust: LaMont Jordan – He got a blessing when Dominic Rhodes went down with the Stupidity-Virus, but I wonder how long that will last. Even Justin Fargas looked better than Jordan last season. If Mike Bush can get healthy, I think he steals a lot of Jordan’s touches.
Fantasy Sleeper: Michael Bush – For the same reason LaMont is set to be a bust, this young rusher is ready to be a sleeper. He may be only a rookie, and he is coming off of a major injury that had him out for most of his JR season at Louisville, but he’s got the skills to start in the NFL. For a bad team, this rookie might end up getting the reps to become fantasy worthy.
Fantasy MVP: Willie Parker – Even in a new offense with more passing, Parker will still get his numbers. In fact, I just think Willie will catch more balls this season, he’ll get his numbers that way. With his speed and explosive cuts, he’ll be more of a long touchdown threat this year in a more wide open offense.
Fantasy Bust: I’ve got nothing… Once again, no one here is rated high enough or will play poor enough to be called a bust.
Fantasy Sleeper: Nate Washington – If Hines Ward or Santonio Holmes get hurt, surely Nate will step up and do big things. But even with those two guys starting most games this season, I think Big Nate can catch a handful of touchdowns from the
San Diego Chargers
Fantasy MVP: LaDainian Tomlinson – Best player available. ‘Nough said.
Fantasy Bust: San Diego Defense – Wade Phillips said it himself, he’s a great defensive coordinator. I don’t know if the next guy in line can do things as good as Wade, and the Chargers are getting drafted in the Top 3 defenses – I think they’ll struggle a little more in 2007.
Fantasy Sleeper: Vincent Jackson – The first thing I did in my dynasty league at season’s end in 2006 – go drop an old guy and pick up VJ. Jackson has the size and speed to be an elite player in this league. He showed he can put up numbers the last few weeks of the season, and comes in as Phillip’s #1 guy. Norv Turner promises to pass more, Vincent gets that love.
Fantasy MVP: LenDale White – Everyone on this team could be a bust, and LenDale probably leads that list, but I also think he could be a beast. If he plays with starter carries, he’ll score double digit touchdowns this year. Now if he could just diet.
Fantasy Bust: Vince Young – I’m not as high on Vince as a fantasy force as the rest of drafters seem to be. He’ll be starter worthy, but he’s not a Top 6 guy, so I think he’s going to be a bust. Without Travis Henry, defenses will load up even more on Vince. This could be a sophomore slump for VY.
Fantasy Sleeper: Chris Brown – If Chris can stay healthy… Yeah, yeah, I know, he’s always hurt. He really has lots of talent and has shown that over the years when he gets the carries. If LenDale goes Pillsbury dough boy, and Chris Henry continues to have poor instincts, Brown will get the bulk of Titan carries. If he does, he’s a steal in the last 2 or 3 rounds of drafts everywhere.