2009 NFL Fantasy Football: Lucky Lester Shares his Predictions

Last year’s predictions had some big winners, a couple tough luck losers, not to mention a handful of “what the hell was I thinking” fortunes that I told all wrong. I won’t get them all right this year either, but I’d like to think my waterfall of fantasy fodder will get you on the right track for your drafts, seasonal trade value, and possibly even a date with that girl that works at Victoria Secret. The brunette. As goes, I’ll spout off some claim, maybe even a sentence explaining why I think this, and will review the whole thing later in the year to see how it all went. All four of the writers doing work on this site will do an article similar to this, and in the end we’ll see who is the sharpest beach ball of them all. Let the games begin!

1. When Maurice Jones-Drew straps up his helmet this season he’ll get 5-10 more touches per game. According to Josh Arsenault’s “Value of Opportunity” article that means big things for MJD. How big? Try 1800+ total yards and 14+ TDs for one of the game’s most explosive players.

2. Through one game last season, Nate Burleson was on pace to have 900+ yards and 80 catches. He’ll get close to that this season, despite being TJ Housh’s sidekick for the Seattle Seahawks. How close? Lets say 70 grabs and 900 yards, plus at least 6 touchdowns. Not a bad output for a guy rarely getting picked before Round 14, if at all.

3. Last year, Donnie Avery posted 53 receptions, 674 yards, and 3 scores for the Rams. He’ll double that last total, while finishing with at least 70 grabs and 850 yards.

4. Two of the following four quarterbacks will fail to play 12 games this year: Donovan McNabb, Brett Favre, Drew Brees, and Big Ben Roethlisberger. O-line questions, style of play observations, interesting coaching decisions, and some bad freaking luck will likely play a role.

5a. If Daunte Culpepper gets the job out of camp, he’ll throw more than 20 touchdowns in 2009.

5b. If Matthew Stafford gets the gig out of camp, he’ll throw for less than 15.

6. At least two of these guys will be in the top 5 in rushing yards this season: LaDainian Tomlinson, Steven Jackson, Frank Gore, and Ryan Grant.

7. There is a business like show business – it’s called professional sports.

8. The last time Tony Gonzalez had less than 73 catches was 2002 and that was the only time that happened in the last 10 years. He’ll have fewer catches this season.

9. Reggie Bush will end up having more fantasy points than Pierre Thomas, despite getting drafted after him in almost every single draft. Many forget that Reggie played in only 10 games (2 of which he barely played in) and he still finished with over 800 total yards and 6 TDs.

10. Matt Hasselbeck is moving up my rankings based on his strength and accuracy thus far in the pre-season. He’ll finish as a Top 10 fantasy quarterback this year.

11. Trent Edwards also has seen a boost. It’s just the pre-season, I know, but I see him being a Top 20 guy, easily.

12. When are people going to recognize Eddie Royal? This kid is going to be special. In his second season he’ll improve on his 91 catches, 980 yards, and five touchdowns. Yes, that means he’ll be even better without Cutler, folks.

13. Last year was amazing for DeAngelo Williams. First the Panthers draft Jon Stewart in the 1st round, then Williams turns into the best fantasy running back in the league. Not a fluke, the guy is a very smart runner. He won’t match his TDs from last season, but his rushing yardage will shoot over the 1500 yard mark once again.

14. Everybody and their mother thinks Ronnie Brown is overrated going into 2009 because “half his points came in one game, blah, blah, blah”. What a joke. The fat lady hasn’t even written a song for this kid yet, he’s going to tear it up in the AFC East this season. Halfway through his 7th game in 2007, Brown was just 9 yards short of 1000 from scrimmage with 5 touchdowns. He was the only offensive threat on the field and he was still rushing for over 5 yards per carry. He’s a beast. He’s fully healthy and more than a year removed from his knee injury. This will easily be his best season. I predict over 1400 yards from scrimmage and 12 touchdowns from the 27 year old with very few miles on his tires.

15. Speaking of the fat lady, these old guys aren’t dead yet: Each player, despite their avg. draft slot, will have solid years. Torry Holt (35th WR), Terrell Owens (12th WR), Clinton Portis (14th RB) (only 28 this season, but an OLD 28), and LT (7th RB) should all be good. At least 3 of the 4 will will finish above their average draft slot ranking.

16. Youth Movement? Not this year, not for rookies anyway. After 4 rookie running backs finished in the top 20 in total rushing yards last season (3 in the Top 10), no more than one rookie will match that mark this season (none in the Top 10).

17. Julius Jones is getting picked late. Probably even later than he was before Edgerrin James got swooped up by the Hawks. But Jones will still be the man in Seattle, and that zone blocking scheme should be a good one for his Irish style. He once had 1084 rushing yards for the Cowboys and 4 touchdowns. I’m saying he finishes with more yards and scores than he did during his best season with Dallas. In fact, I’m willing to suggest he has 8 touchdowns or more in 2009.

18. There are 25 running backs getting picked ahead of Darren McFadden. He out produces at least half of those guys, and makes it into the Top 12 this season. He’s moving up my board!

19. Brandon Jacobs finishes the season with more carries and yards than he ever has in his career. Oh, and he at least matches those 15 scores from a season ago. That offensive line is beastly.

20. What does Dallas do with all those TO targets this season? Roy Williams? Sure, Roy will get more targets, but a lot of those TO touches are going to Felix Jones. That means he’ll be much better than his average draft position. His ADP is 36, he’ll be top 20.

21. People are drafting Vincent Jackson as if he will get the same numbers he got last season. So, a couple picks ahead of that, you should grab him. He will have better totals across the board, catches, yardage, touchdowns.

22. Mark Sanchez (the rookie that was “not ready for the NFL” according to the “brilliant” Coach Carol at USC) will win at least 8 games as the Jets starting signal caller this season.

23. Steve Slaton will outscore every sophomore running back not named Matt Forte. That’s right, those in love with McFadden’s upside, Chris Johnson’s speed, Kevin Smith, and Jon Stewart’s all around tools, Slaton is the guy I see being a stud this season.

24. Tim Hightower will be a better fantasy back than Beanie Wells – especially in PPR leagues. Beanie can’t catch. Beanie gets hurt. Tim isn’t my fave, not at all, but his fantasy stats will be better than the Cardinals’ first round pick’s numbers.

25. The San Diego Chargers’ defense will once again be a Top 5 fantasy unit.

26. Anquan Boldin > Roddy White (fantasy points).

27. Derrick Ward, often drafted as the 37th RB overall. He’ll be at least 10 spots higher than that on the end-of-season running back rankings.

28. Mark Sanchez gets drafted ahead of Matt Hasselbeck in most fantasy leagues. I promise Matt will be better than Mark, in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Matt doubles Mark in touchdowns. Shoot, right it down.

29. Dallas Clark, Antonio Gates, and Jason Witten will all finish ahead of Tony Gonzalez in the TE rankings.

30. Anthony Gonzalez, Eddie Royal, along with Vincent and DeSean Jackson will all have more fantasy points than Braylon Edwards this season.

That’s it, as promised, I’m first: 3 more prediction sessions on the way before the season begins…

The Value of Opportunity

Football, perhaps more than any other sport, is all about opportunity.  At the highest level the separation between stars and scrubs is often not a measure of talent but rather the chance players are given to put that talent on display.  For every Peyton Manning that was drafted into stardom there is a Tom Brady that toiled in obscurity until they got their shot (thank you, Drew Bledsoe).  As an avid fantasy footballer, part of what I try to do in building winning teams is to assess players not only on what they have done (given their opportunity), but what they could do if given the chance.  Historically sleepers are identified from one season to the next by determining which players’ values will take a spike due to either an increased role, a change of scenery, or an improved surrounding cast.  This logic seems sound in a lot of ways but it also leaves a lot to chance.  If I’m taking a shot on a guy in the mid-to-late rounds of my draft, I want to know that given the opportunity he will put points on the board.  Perhaps the best predictor of what a player is capable of with the ball in their hands is FPT or Fantasy Points per Touch.  Depending on the scoring of your league, you should have an idea which guys do the most with what they are given and then look for individuals in that group who may take advantage of an improved situation in the upcoming season.  The following lists of FPT all-stars compared to their top-tier peers are based on a standard PPR league for the 2009 season.  Call them sleepers if you want, but these are the guys you can trust to make the most of their opportunities when given the chance.


Top-Tier Peers:

Philip Rivers – .66 FPT
Drew Brees – .55 FPT
Peyton Manning – .52 FPT
Kurt Warner – .51 FPT
Jay Cutler – .46 FPT

Opportunity Darlings:

Shaun Hill – .50 FPT – I know he’s not sexy, but Shaun Hill wins football games and I have to think that when the chips are down Mike Singletary would rather have him behind center than an aging vet or an unproven rookie if the Niners go that route in April.  Young wideout Josh Morgan keeps getting better and I wouldn’t be surprised to see San Francisco go WR early when the draft rolls around or make a play on Torry Holt or Anquan Boldin if and when they come available.  If he wins the gig (and I think he will) and plays a full season, you’ll look like a genius for nabbing Hill with one of the last picks in the draft while others reached for a big name QB early.

Trent Edwards – .40 FPT – The career path of quarterbacks that have played with TO can’t be ignored.  Yes, he’s a pain in the ass … yes, he does topless crunches in his driveway while fielding questions from reporters … yes, he has the emotional maturity of a jock strap … but … Jeff Garcia went to three Pro Bowls throwing him the rock, Donovan McNabb had the best season of his career when TO was flying like an Eagle, and Tony Romo bacame a household name (and landed some hotties) during Owens’ time in big D.  Edwards is already a very accurate passer and has displayed good intangibles with only a couple seasons under his belt.  I anticipate a BIG step forward for the Stanford alum in the upcoming season.

Tarvaris Jackson – .56 FPT – The only thing standing between T-Jack and fantasy production is one Bradford Childress.  There aren’t many men I detest more than the software engineer currently running the show in Minnesota.  When given the opportunity Jackson has made strides toward becoming a viable NFL starting quarterback (see his 95.4 QB rating and 9-2 TD-INT ratio in limited action last season).  For reasons beyond my comprehension the Viking’s brass wants to hand the reigns to the walking turnover that is Sage Rosenfels.  When that fails miserably and the Vikes stumble out of the gates, make sure Jackson isn’t floating out on your league’s free agent list and he will reward you with above average production.

Running Backs

Top-Tier Peers:

Maurice Jones-Drew – 1.02 FPT
Brian Westbrook – .92 FPT
LaDainian Tomlinson – .77 FPT
Michael Turner – .71 FPT
Adrian Peterson – .66 FPT

Opportunity Darlings:

Pierre Thomas – 1.12 FPT – When Thomas took over the reigns for the injured (again) Reggie Bush and aging Deuce McAllister, the Saints offense didn’t miss a beat.  In fact, the guy that played in front of Rashard Mendenhall at Illinois took full advantage of his opportunity down the stretch last season and carried many fantasy owners to their respective championships.  Thomas proved to be a dynamic all-around threat as he displayed a nose for the goaline as well as above-average receiving skills out of the backfield.  Rumors have been swirling as they always do this time of year, but barring a reunion between Drew Brees and LT in the Big Easy, Thomas looks to be the guy to own in the Saint’s backfield heading forward.

Felix Jones – 1.41 FPT – How did Arkansas not win a national championship with Jones and Darren McFadden in their backfield?  I’m pretty sure I could have coached that team to 11 wins using a Tecmo Bowl playbook.  This silky smooth sophomore was putting up HUGE numbers with his limited chances early in the season before suffering a hamstring injury that translated into what was essentially a lost season.  Never fear, reports out of Dallas are that Jerry Jones wants to hand a bigger portion of the workload to Jones to help keep sledgehammer Marion Barber fresh.  The loss of the Tuman Oeadache also means the Cowboys will rely more on the ground game this season.  Don’t expect Jones to keep averaging nearly a point and a half per touch, but 950 yards and 8 touchdowns with contributions in the passing game and special teams is well within his reach.

Ahmad Bradshaw – .67 FPT – This one may be a stretch for some of you, but when I look around the league at muddy backfield situations in Denver, New England and Baltimore, you could do a lot worse than nabbing this diminutive fireball in the mid-to-late rounds of your league’s draft.  Bradshaw will be 23 at the start of the season, and he has averaged 6.1 YPC for his career in a limited role with the G-Men.  Derrick Ward’s breakout season stunted his growth last year, but word out of Giants camp is that the coaching staff is excited to see what Bradshaw can do with an increased role this year.  Translation: this guy could reward savvy owners with 800-900 yards and handful of touchdowns.  Brandon Jacobs is a bruiser but he doesn’t catch passes and he doesn’t stay healthy for full seasons … look for Bradshaw to open some eyes this year.

Wide Receivers

Top-Tier Peers:

Calvin Johnson – 3.38 FPT
Greg Jennings – 3.23 FPT
Larry Fitzgerald – 3.19 FPT
Roddy White – 2.89 FPT
Andre Johnson – 2.71 FPT

Opportunity Darlings:

Vincent Jackson – 3.30 FPT – Jackson’s size and speed combo served as a frustration to his owners in his first three seasons in the NFL.  Surely a guy with his physical gifts would dominate the league … it was just a matter of time.  Well, fantasy owners are not known for their patience but dynasty leaguers that held on to Jackson during his steady upward trends early in his career reaped the rewards of a very quietly productive season in 2008.  A physical freak at 6’5″ 230 lbs with a lightning quick explosion off the line and tremendous leaping ability, Jackson is a nightmare matchup for opposing defenses.  Another year in the saddle for Philip Rivers and the emergence of Jackson as a legitimate red zone threat could result in a top-5 WR next season for those that call his number on draft day.

Steve Breaston – 2.40 FPT – This is me saying I don’t think Boldin is coming back to the Cards.  Nobody (including the Cardinal’s front office as evidenced by the selection of Early Doucet last April) saw this second year man from Michigan ascending to the ranks of fantasy relevance before last season.  When Boldin exits stage east (hello Philly?), Breaston will step into his vacated spot opposite Larry Fitzgerald.  With the attention the braided one will command on the other side, Kurt Warner and Breaston will be free to carve up opposing defenses between the 20s.  Double-digit touchdowns may be a bit optimistic with the variety of weapons at Warner’s disposal, but 90 catches and 1,200 yards is well within reach for this dynamic speedster.  Invest.

Lee Evans – 2.80 FPT – Uncertainty at the quarterback position and a lack of talent around him have hurt Evans’ production throughout his NFL career.  Despite these limiting factors, the supremely talented former Badger has never missed a game and has never averaged less than 15 yards per catch in any of his five seasons.  Enter TO … with the flamboyant prima donna drawing the attention of defenses and media outlets alike, Evans will be freed up to work over the top without facing the double and triple teams that have held his stats in check thus far.  Another point to consider … Lee’s numbers have never been about quantity but QUALITY of his catches (averaging less than 60 catches per season) … TO commanding 80-90 balls will not cut into his value as some have speculated.  I anticipate a HUGE season for Evans in the 75-80 catch neighborhood with 1,400 yards and double digit touchdowns for the first time in his career.

first published on March 10, 2009

theRUNDOWN: Week 8

For those of you new to theRUNDOWN this is what I do. I pick my best team of the week, some nice plays with a few reasons to back up my picks. After that I list a couple sleepers, either decent guys that I expect to have good weeks, or relatively unused guys I like to do well. Then, at the end I list a few usually solid guys that I would leave on the bench. Just in case you didn’t catch it, this is my RUNDOWN for Week 8…

QB: Donovan McNabb vs. Atlanta: I think the Eagles will have some trouble with the Falcons, but I like McNabb to throw for many yards and a couple scores.

RB: Clinton Portis vs. Detroit: Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke. Clinton’s dominating the league and he gets to pick on the Lions this weekend. I don’t think he’ll get quite as many looks, but two touchdowns in this one is what I’m looking for.

RB: Thomas Jones vs. Kansas City: Jones isn’t the best back in the league, but I have to like him against the Chieftons. The Jets always try to establish the run and it won’t take much trying against KC.

FLEX: Steve Slaton vs. Cincinnati: I love Slaton’s game, but he needs to continue to be involved in the passing game, the kid is filthy in space.

WR: Larry Fitzgerald vs. Carolina: People say the Panthers are a tough match-up, well I like the Cardinals to be throwing a lot on Sunday. I like Fitz to catch a few of those and put up some points in Carolina.

WR: Andre Johnson vs. Cincinnati: Johnson is a beast. One of the dirtiest most sure thing receivers in the game. Plus, despite the rankings, I like this match-up.

TE: Antonio Gates vs. New Orleans: Bad defense, great player, good quarterback – touchdowns. We’ll see, but the odds look to be in my favor.

K: Stephen Gostkowski vs. St. Louis: I think the Rams have gotten a little better defensively, and I think that’s good for Gostkowski. A couple more 3rd down stops means a couple more field goals.

D: Baltimore Ravens vs. Oakland: All the Raiders can do consistently is run. The Ravens dominate opposing rushing attacks. Duh on this one.


David Garrad: DG plays at home against Cleveland. The numbers don’t look great, Cleveland is solid against the pass and Garrard has been less than mediocre so far this season – still, I like his chances this week. Call it a hunch. Ha.

Jason Campbell: Great match-up this week for Campbell. If handing it to Clinton wasn’t so easy, he’d get even more fantasy points. Still, he’s been good enough for a start here.

LenDale White: I don’t think Bob Sanders is playing in which case the Titans will be getting plenty of rushing opportunities. Chris Johnson is the better back, no doubt in my mind, but LenDale is still a nice start this week against the Colts.

Jamal Lewis: Yep, I like this horse. Jamal runs hard, and his numbers don’t show how well he’s been carrying the rock this year. I like him against the Jags.

Vincent Jackson: “Play him while he’s hot.” I had him here last week, and even though the game is in England, which means lots of traveling and probably less scoring, I don’t think Chambers is playing which makes Jackson the #1. That’s a good thing against the Aint’s secondary.

Josh Morgan: I’m not sure who’s playing QB for San Francisco, I’m not sure who’s the #1 receiver for the 49ers, but I do know that Mike Martz loves Morgan, and that should be enough for a bye week sleeper fill in this week.

Billy Miller: If you need a TE then you can take a shot with Billy. He gets looks. Drew seems to like him, and there’s a chance Shockey either doesn’t play or is limited. Sounds like a play to me, and to throw a nice hanging slider in there – the Chargers secondary leaves something to be desired.

New York Jets: You bet, Chiefs are on the road, defense is in my sleeper slot – it’s that easy.

Papa’S Week 6 Splinter-Butts (bench him, son)

Matt Cassel: I know he had a nice game last week, but the Rams are bringing many pressures since Little came back – I think Matt gets sacked a lot and becomes turnover prone.

Mewelde Moore: I know Moore was the hot pick up this week, and last, but I don’t see why. He won’t do much this week, I’m almost sure of that, and Parker will be back soon.

Dominic Rhodes: He did well last week, looking good filling in for Joseph Addai. This week he gets to play the Titans… Haha, “gets”, lucky guy. Don’t start him this week unless you are really desperate.

Roddy White: I think Atlanta does some good things through the air, but not via Roddy. He’ll have trouble matching up with some tough corners in Philly.

Fantasy Analysis – MVP's, Busts, and Sleepers

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.


Baltimore Ravens

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.

Buffalo Bills

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.

Cincinnati Bengals

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.

Cleveland Browns

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.

Denver Broncos

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.

Houston Texans

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.

Indianapolis Colts

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.

Jacksonville Jaguars

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.

Miami Dolphins

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.

Oakland Raiders

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.

Pittsburgh Steelers

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.

Tennessee Titans

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.