Quarterback: Donovan McNabb is good as the hype. He was the first QB taken. He has gained experience to take it to the next level. There is no reason he shouldnít come back fully recovered from his broken right ankle. Matt Hasselbeck looks like he finally turned the corner that his coach expected. A lot of people expect the Seahawks to do some crazy things on offense this year. Iím still skeptical. But it wonít matter because McNabb will be the starter barring another injury.
Running Back: Edgerrin James was the #1 pick for the Tacos. They are taking a chance on this guy. Ever since he tore his ACL, he hasnít been the same player. Injury has followed this guy since. He will never put up the same numbers as he did in 2000. The #2 back was suppose to be James Stewart, but heíll be out for sometime. Thatís doesnít bode well for the Tacos. Stewart is a just a marginal fantasy starter. Albuquerque will look to either Moe Williams or Kevin Faulk for replacement duties. Moe is good for TDís and thatís it, and Kevin Faulk will be lucky to see PT. The Tacos have left themselves a hole to dig out of.
Wide Receiver: This position has potential, but for now, itíll be a problem until they prove themselves. Plaxico Burress is a proven talent. He is the best or second best #2 wideout on a team in the league. Chad Johnson is the current #2 WR. The problem with this guy is that he plays for Cincy. It is true that Johnson is Kitnaís go-to receiver, but that doesnít say too much. I was surprised to see however that he had close to 1200 yards receiving last year. Quincy Morgan is a rising star for the Browns. His great thing is that he averaged 17.2 yards/catch. Thatís mind-boggling. D'Wayne Bates is the other premier receiver in the Viking offense. He is no Cris Carter and never will be.
Tight End: Alge Crumpler had a solid season last year. He caught 4 TDís in the final 6 games of the season. When Vick improvises, Crumpler seems to benefit on the receiving end. Jerramy Stevens is the future for Seahawks at tight end. It hurt him last year when he got injured and Mili took his position. Stevens is too iffy for a starting job, so Crumpler is the smart choice as the starting tight end.
Kicker: Sebastian Janikowski is a great kicker. I donít know what heís better at, pounding a football 60 yards with his foot, or pounding down a can of beer. Nonetheless, this guy has talent.
Defense: The Carolina Panthers Defense seems like an odd pick. However, they were one of the top defenses last season. I like them as a top 10 defense for the whole year.
Prediction: (12) Being a rookie sucks in this league, and it doesnít help that everyone in your division is a former champ. Itís going to be a long season for the Tacos, but at least theyíll have a shot at the Toilet Bowl title. Unfortunately, theyíll lose that game too.
Quarterback: Kurt Warner was plagued by injury last year. The Rams lost all 6 games last year when he started. But this is Kurt Warner, the same guy who had one of the great statistical seasons in NFL history on his way to a Super Bowl. Heíll be great again this year. Drew Brees returns for his second year as the starter for San Diego. His numbers last year are nothing to brag about, but his number should improve. If Warner has a repeat of last year, Brees is a nice fill in.
Running Back: Ahman Green is a great fantasy running back. He sees rushing yards and receiving yards. His numbers were down last year, but theyíll be back up to what heís capable of. Stephen Davis is a good back, but is he the right back in Carolina? I canít think of one good Carolina running back ever. That bad luck will curse Davis for the season. Atlanta may find better luck with Kevan Barlow. If he ever emerges as the #1 back for the Niners, he could do damage. But with Hearst in the picture, heíll see half the carries of what Hearst sees. Jamel White is good, but not good enough to be a starter. However, he is good to have on your team.
Wide Receiver: The obvious hole for the Jesters is in this area. Rod Smith is coming off his worst season. However, he still averaged the same amount of yards per reception as the year before. His numbers are sure to be up from last year. Atlanta waited until the 9th round to draft their second receiver. Rod Gardner is good, but with the addition of Coles to the Skins offense, his numbers wonít be as glamorous. Chris Chambers should be the top receiver for the Dolphins. The problem is though, passing wonít be their main goal in Miami. Wayne Chrebet is a favorite of mine. But thatís the only positive thing I have to say about him. Tai Streets is the sleeper on this team. With the loss of Stokes in San Fran, heíll be the solid 2 guy. He will have a good chance to catch 80 balls and make San Fran have a formidable one-two punch in the league.
Tight End: This guy talks more trash than almost anyone in the league, and thatís why I like Jeremy Shockey. Also, heís coming off a Rookie of the Year season in which he had close to 900 yards receiving. Heíll have the same amount of success this year.
Kicker: John Carney had a strong year for the Saints last year. He finished 3rd among NFL kickers in points. Heís also a very accurate kicker making 88% of his field goals. His numbers will be slightly down this year, but heís still a good kicker in the league.
Defense: The ďSteel CurtainĒ of Pittsburgh did not live up to its nickname last year. They ranked in bottom third in points, yards allowed, and turnovers. But this team has a reputation of shutting down offenses. Look for them to return to some form and better last yearís performance.
Prediction: (5) This team could make a run if its receiving core develops. I think this position will prevent them from going deep into the playoffs. With Mikeís ability in the free agent market, he could grab a hot receiver, but heíll need one more guy before he can do something special.
Quarterback: Jeff Garcia has question marks surrounding the upcoming season. His numbers were down last year by nearly 1000 yards passing and 10 TDís. With the Mooch out, itíll be interesting as to how his season will pan out. However, passing will be emphasized in the Bay Area still. Tim Rattay is Garciaís back-up, thatís all you need to know about him. Joey Harrington is looking to improve in many aspects after his rookie campaign. With the addition of the Mooch, I like his chances. Look for at least 1000 yards more passing and 10+ TDís from last year.
Running Back: Marshall Faulk didnít go #1 pick in the draft. He slid to #3. He is the best fantasy player in the league when healthy. His set back is his health. Give him a healthy season, and Yahtzee. He is capable of monster games that would make you sick. The Trim have opted to go with the Philly combo of Duce Staley and Correll Buckhalter. Both backs are capable of great things, but just one will see the fortunes. Michael Bennett is on the physical unable to play list. The Vikings did lead the league in rushing offense, and he is to credit. But in the meantime, injury will sideline him.
Wide Receiver: Out of nowhere, Hines Ward had an impressive season last year. He had over 1300 yards receiving to go along with 12 TDís. Some people are still skeptical about last yearís performance, but heíll duplicate the numbers of 2002. Filling the #2 spot is Joey Porter. Heís the emerging star in Oakland. With Rice and Brown soon to retire, heíll be the go-to-guy. It may be a year early for his breakthrough season, but he is a talent to have. Charles Rogers was the top rookie taken in the NFL draft. Expect a slow start from him this year, but once him and Harrington find the same page, they will form a great connection. Travis Taylor has failed to live up to expectations. Heís due, even after setting career highs in his second year in the league. Improvement is on this guyís list.
Tight End: Kyle Brady was picked up to replace Eric Johnson. Brady isnít the best in the league, but is good for a free agent pickup. If he gains 500 receiving yards this year, itíll be a good season for him.
Kicker: 7 years and counting for Adam Vinatieri and the Chicago Trim. He is the most reliable kicker in the league. And he doesnít buckle under pressure, whether itís in a blizzard or a Super Bowl. I love this guy and thatís why he will be on the Trim next year.
Defense: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense was hands down the best last year. Their defense won themselves a Super Bowl. The only negative thing that could be said about them is, do they still have the desire they once had? Yes they do. Theyíll be the best defense again this year.
Prediction: (2) It seems like every year I put myself in this slot. The Chicago Trim have been to finals every other year. Since they did not make it last year, it only makes sense they will do the same this year. All in all, a decent team, but work needs to be done at tight end.
Quarterback: I havenít bought into the Michael Vick hype yet. When he went down in the pre-season, I was very curious to see how far he would fall in the draft. At the 45th pick, he was finally drafted. I donít question this catís talent, but I do question his decision-making. Heíll be trying too hard to do everything. His passing numbers are not the greatest, but his rushing statistics make him valuable. In the meantime, Doug Johnson will start for the Falcons. Heís one of the better backups to put on your reserve roster. Whenever I hear the name, Trent Green, I think of controversy. He was the reason last year for a protest. So, I do not have a good scouting report for him. However, the Chiefs offense is looking very good again.
Running Back: Fred Taylor is a fantasy stud, but thatís when he is healthy. The Diamonds have been hoping this for quite some time now. Will Fred Taylor have a whole season without injuries? You have a better chance at making sense of my analogies. William Green is the sleeper running back. I think heís flown under the radar in most fantasy projections. Heíll be a breakthrough player this year. Garrison Hearstís value is going downhill. Barlow looks like the future and the ground game is second option for the Niners. Hearst is overrated, but not in the 8th round.
Wide Receiver: Itís hard to contemplate how good of a season Marvin Harrison had last year. 143 Receptions for 1722 yards and 11 TDís. Those numbers seem almost unreal. Although he wonít match those numbers, he will still have another stellar season and be the best wideout in the league. Marty Booker quietly had another good season last year. His big problem is how well will Kordell Stewart adapt to him. Iím confident that heíll be Stewartís favorite target. Tim Brown and Ed McCaffrey make the squad because the Diamonds love these two guys. Theyíve had success in their careers, but thatís in the past. They may be good for a few breakthrough games. Curtis Conway has a new place to shine this year in New York. Itíll take a while for him to get used to the big city and really succeed. By the end of the year, heíll be pulling down consistently good numbers.
Tight End: Bubba Franks continues to be the Packersí main option in the redzone. He caught 7 balls for touchdowns last year. He doesnít possess great speed or quickness to get downfield, but his presence is felt near the goal line.
Kicker: For some reason, I feel I should be talking about Jay Feely right about now. Instead, Martin Gramatica will be analyzed in this section. Heís a terrific kicker, setting a career high in points last year. However, his set back is his accuracy. But I like his chances of having a successful 2003 campaign.
Defense: The Diamonds made the switch from Kansas City to Denver defense. Itís an upgrade, but thatís it. Denver will get smoked this year when it comes to divisional play. The Raiders, Chiefs, and Chargers have offenses that will post some high scores. The Diamonds better find a new defense sometime soon.
Prediction: (6) Too many questions surround the health of this team. Something bad will happen to this team, as it always does. Looks like the Diamonds will have to wait another year if they finally want to take home the trophy.
Quarterback: Peyton Manning is a sellout off the field. Heís in a lot of commercials. When heís on the field, heís as consistent as they come. You can rely on him for every start and a 4000+ yard passing season. He has the greatest target to throw to, #88. Expect another Pro Bowl season from Manning. Kordell Stewart didnít make the cut in Pittsburgh, so heíll try his chances in Chicago. I gotta give Al credit for taking him in the 12th round. He is a former first round draft pick, but that doesnít mean too much. I see failure in this guyís future.
Running Back: Ricky Williams ended last yearís season with a bang. Heíll start off where he left off. He is a legitimate top 5 guy in the league this year. Miami has committed itself to the run, so that means Ricky is the man. The Devils next pick is questionable. Troy Hambrick replaces Emmitt in the big D. Heís overrated, plain and simple. He should not have gone in the 3rd round. Antowain Smith in my eyes will fill the hole as the #2 RB. Not the greatest back, but heíll give you decent number to work with. Larry Johnson can be a hot commodity if Priest Holmes goes down. Time will tell this guyís fate.
Wide Receiver: Torry Holt was taken in the 4th round. Thatís a steal in my eyes. The Rams offense will be potent this week and heíll be on the receiving end of a lot of touchdowns this year. Peerless Price had a breakout season with 94 receptions and 1250 receiving yards. Heíll have to adjust to seeing double teams now being Atlanta. His success will depend on Vickís growth as a passer. Joey Galloway has been waiting to have a great year. Iím not saying this is the year, Iím saying I wonít be shocked that it will happen. His success will rest on the arm of his QB also. Eddie Kennison was the top receiver in yards for the Chiefs last year, but caught fewer balls than fellow teammates Gonzalez and Holmes.
Tight End: Anthony Becht is not a solid tight end. His best season was when he caught 36 passes for 321 yards in 2001. Thatís not impressive by any means. The Devils better find another person if they want success at this position. And then thereís Ted Popson. Yes, we all know that this pick was a joke so take that Franzen.
Kicker: Al looks at Pearcyís scouting report before the draft and finds Jay Feely as their top kicker. The ninth round comes around, and boom, Detroit grabs him. I just hope Jay Feely is jinxed this year.
Defense: The Green Bay Packers defense has always been reliable. They are always better later in the year than in the beginning. There is only one reason for that, the Frozen Tundra. They are oh so tough when it is freezing out at Lambaeu.
Prediction: (3) Al will have another successful season. He enjoyed a good draft while milking the clock. If Troy Hambrick ever turns into Emmitt Smith, then simply watch out, because there would be no stopping this team.
Quarterback: Four words for the Chippers, trade him to Chicago. Rich Gannon had a phenomenal season last year. He challenged some of Dan Marinoís records on his way to MVP honors. I love this guy. Heíll be great again. Tom Brady is a great backup. This could be the best quarterback combo in the league. Brady did lead the league last year in TDís thrown. Heís the guy you want in the red-zone.
Running Back: Charlie Garner is a Chipper again. Everyone overlooks this guy, but he does most of his damage from receiving. His rushing and receiving yards were nearly identical last year. And considering he had 91 receptions, he is a threat on any down. Warrick Dunn and Eddie George should battle for the second spot. George may be on the downside of his career, so heíll have to prove some critics wrong. Dunn is in a duo-system where he is the featured back, so that means his stats will be down. The Chippers will have to rely on Garner again for some crazy games because the #2 back is not gonna cut it.
Wide Receiver: I look at the Chippers receivers and just scream OUCH. Donald Driver, Dennis Northcutt, and James Thrash formed the trio. Driver made the Pro Bowl last year, but his numbers do not reflect his value to the Packers. Heís a marked man this year and will need to step up if he wants a return trip back to Hawaii. Northcutt is one fun guy to watch. He seems to score receiving, rushing, and punt returning touchdowns. But thatís the reason to keep this guy, for TDís. Thrash can be counted on for 60 catches and 850 yards, but thatís not saying much at all. He does, from time to time, have a good game, but those games occur maybe twice a season.
Tight End: Billy Miller never grabbed headlines last year. Itís a shame because heís turning himself into a fine, young tight end. Heís becoming a favorite target for David Carr. Expect an equally successful season from him. Christian Fauria was a valuable asset last year to the Pats. He caught 7 TDís. However, the rest of his stats are modest, so if he doesnít match his touchdown total from last year, heís not a good tight end to have.
Kicker: Face the right direction Paul Edinger. I hate this guyís kicking style and the fact he went to Michigan State, but somehow this guy succeeds. However, he is a Chicago Bear and there isnít too much hope for that team to succeed this year. Olindo Mare would get the nod if I was running this team. I expect improved numbers from last season and heíll find his way back to a top 10-fantasy kicker.
Defense: I advise Fargo to have a coin ready for this season. Both are good defenses, and it may be too close to call whoís gonna start. The problem is solved when you have dead Presidents in coin form. New England and Oakland will enjoy success, but making the call of who starts is the problem.
Prediction: (7) Fargo will ride Gannonís brilliance to victory and squeak into the playoffs. If a change must be made, itís at wideout for this team. But we all remember my prediction from last year for this team. My bold prediction put them last and they ended up second. Iím covering my tail and going with the middle of the road.
Fort Wayne Pistons
Quarterback: Steve McNair is gonna be the starter for this team. I must confess, that is more of a bad thing than a good thing. Heís a good QB, but not the greatest fantasy QB. With the loss of Kevin Dyson, thatís just one less target heíll have to throw to. The Pistons hope that Marc Bulger will start a few games for the Rams. That guy had success last year, and who wouldnít in the Rams offense. Fort Wayne better hope for a Kurt Warner injury if they want success at this position.
Running Back: Clinton Portis is the next of the Denver running backs. Heís good. But how good is he? He rushed for 1500 yards and 15 TDís last season. I say thatís good. His productivity will continue on through this year. Tiki Barber is turning into a decent back. He was 4th in the league in yards from scrimmage, so heís a valuable asset to have. He too may be able to put a 1500 yards season. The Pistonís other guys are iffy. Emmitt Smith was picked with the heart and as for James Mungro, I canít explain it. The talent drops off a lot with the backup RBís.
Wide Receiver: Randy Moss is one of the top three studs when it comes to receivers. There is a thing called the ďRandy RatioĒ which is keeping him involved in the offense, which prevents him from taking plays off. When the offense is geared towards you, you have to put up insane numbers. Koren Robinson looks to duplicate a good season. He came into his own after his teammate went down. Since then, heís been Seattleís top guy. He just lacks consistency, but with stability at QB, his stats will go up. Troy Brown is a great receiver. Heís a good option when it comes to yards receiving. But thatís all heís good for. Bryant Johnson is the sole Cowboy on the squad. Itís his second year and high expectations are on the table. After making last years All Rookie team and having a new coach in town, the future looks bright for this man.
Tight End: Todd Heap has been high on the tight end list of scouting. He quietly led the league in fantasy scoring. And to only think, that was his first year as a starter. Heíll raise some eyebrows this year when he collects over 1000 yards receiving as a tight end.
Kicker: Mike Hollis was the Pistonís last round selection. Obviously, Fort Wayne didnít put this position too high on their importance list. They did land a decent kicker. Be sure to note that Hollis will have a good holder too for this season.
Defense: The Pistons have one good and one bad defense, which is Philadelphia and San Diego respectively. Philadelphia may have lost a few guys due to free agency, but they are still a top 3 defense. San Diego lost their leader on defense, Junior Seau. I donít expect much from the Chargers on defense this season.
Prediction: (1) I have no favorite to win it all, but I had to choose someone with the #1 ranking. The one hole is at QB for this team, but my gut says Bulger will somehow end up dominating the league or McNair was a steal at the draft. Iím using this prediction to jinx Dustin, so Dustin, I just cursed you.
Quarterback: Aaron Brooks was a top tier quarterback for the first 11 and a half games. When heís on top of his game, heís stellar. But the last 4 and half were awful for him. Brooks did have off-season surgery, but if he could return to full strength, there is no limit to what he can do with the talent that surrounds him. Brad Johnson is a Super Bowl champ. But thatís about it when it comes to fantasy football. He does his job, and thatís win football games. Statistics arenít too important to him.
Running Back: Corey Dillon and Travis Henry make a respectable 1-2 punch. Henry is just shy of being the leagueís A-list, but heís good enough. Corey Dillon has been solid for years. You can rely on this guy for at least 1200 yards rushing. But heíll never match his single game performance of 278 rushing yards. Ladell Betts and Olandis Gary serve as the reserves. I laughed at Ladell Betts being drafted, so you obviously know I think heís a joke. Hollywood got lucky already, Olandis Gary will be filling in for Stewart. He was acquired by Detroit on Sunday. Thatís not too shabby considering he wasnít an option for starting at all.
Wide Receiver: The Stars will have problems at this position all year long. Their starters appear to be Dontť Stallworth and Derrick Mason. I was surprised as to how high Stallworth went in the draft. Unless the Stars know something I donít know, taking Stallworth in the 4th round was foolish. Heíll play along side of Horn, so his numbers shall go up from last year. But Horn runs the show, not Stallworth. Mason is one of the reliable receivers in the league. The past two seasons statistics were very similar. Expect the same again this year, 80 catches for 1000 yards receiving with about 5 TDís. Todd Pinkston led the Eagles in receptions and receiving yards last year in Philly. But without catching 100 yards in a game, heís not much of a threat. Santana Moss is an interesting selection. With Coles gone and Conway in, Moss will still remain as the third receiver for the Jets. Heís a speedster with flashes of electricity and elusiveness.
Tight End: Itís odd not to find Frank Wycheck or Ted Popson at the tight end position for the Stars. Marcus Pollard is a great tight end. However, he was more valuable in 2001 in the two tight end system. Freddie Jones may emerge as a super star in Arizona. He returns as the team leader in receptions and yards.
Kicker: The Stars heart made room for Jason Hanson again. Good kicker with a good pre-kick ritual. The Lions will experience more offense this year, so Hanson will benefit from that.
Defense: Hollywood has a top 3 defense with Miami. Okay, they are exceptional and loaded with talent. They will be scary this year to contend with.
Prediction: (10) The Stars will just miss the playoffs this year. I donít care for their receivers and thatís about it. I guess Iím trying to get back at the Stars from last year. So, I gave you a bad prediction.
Montana Grizzly Bears
Quarterback: Daunte Culpepper was picked as the #1 QB in my fantasy football magazine. Does he deserve it? I say no. But he does deserve top 5, thatís for sure. Heís a passer and rusher, which help pads the stats. Since the Minnesota defense is terrible, he normally has to put some points on the board. Kerry Collins did throw for over 4000 yards last season. The G-men offense is really coming around. Collins is the one to credit. I like his chances for improving upon last year, but Culpepper is definite starter for the G-Bears.
Running Back: Once again, Montana selected Shaun Alexander as their #1 draft choice. Alexander is a streaky player. Heíll either bust for 40 fantasy points or grab only a handful. Heís a risk to have, but when he does break through, watch out. Stacey Mack is an interesting choice. I donít have much confidence in the Texans, so I donít have too much confidence in him. A 1000-yard season would be a success for him. Onterio Smith is a rookie just looking for playing time, he might see some with Bennett sideline for half the year. Montana already made good transaction to get Shawn Bryson. His stock rose with Stewartís injury. He may be a game time decision for that #2 spot now for the first 6 weeks or so.
Wide Receiver: There is a good combo going in Montana this year. Joe Horn and Amani Toomer. Both receivers had over 80 receptions, 1300 yards receiving, and 7 TDís last year. At least one of these two guys will have better season than the previous season. If I had a guess, I would say Horn. Keyshawn Johnson is fresh off his Super Bowl victory. Now that he doesnít have to worry about a ring anymore, heíll focus on his stats. And the Bucs will throw him the damn ball. Darrell Jackson is a speedy touchdown threat, but donít look for too much playing time from this guy on the Grizzly Bears squad. Marc Boerigter is a star in the shadows. Heís in the shadows of his fellow teammates like Gonzalez, Kennison, Hall, and Morton.
Tight End: Montana will be finding a new tight end by seasonís end. Doug Jolley is playing behind Roland Williams. Jolleyís numbers will only be good if he sees playing time. But for now, heíll see limited action.
Kicker: This guy has one fun name to pronounce, Mike Vanderjagt. Not only that, heís the most accurate kicker in NFL history. If you look at last yearís statistics, it shows he missed 8 FGís. It was a down year for him, but heíll rebound to old form.
Defense: I still have confidence in Baltimoreís ability on defense. After all, they did win a Super Bowl because of it. It helps that they have an easy schedule this year. Theyíll be a top 10 defense this year.
Prediction: (4) Craig will be a contender for the title this year. All the premier positions look to be solid. The second running back for the Grizzly Bears is the only position to be concerned with. Other than that, this team is playoff bound.
Quarterback: Tommy Maddox was last yearís Comeback Player of the Year. His future is bright when you have weapons like Ward and Burress. His only problem is the number of INTís he threw. I think heís a sleeper in this yearís draft. Kelly Holcomb earned the starting spot in Cleveland. I donít know too much about this guy, but if the Dog Pound approves of him, I guess I will to.
Running Back: Deuce McAllister has done well replacing Ricky in New Orleans. He too is one of those guys where heís about to make the jump to the A-list of running backs. This season will see similar results as last year. About 1400 yards rushing and 15 TDís. The Cobras have gone with the Steeler tandem of Jerome Bettis and Amos Zereoue. Good call. For now, Zereoue is the starter, but by end, Iím sure Bettis will get his job back. Trung Canidate is a guy to keep an eye on. Heís the featured back with Washington. He excelled as Faulkís backup, but that was in St. Louis, where anyone could have done well. Heíll do well but not with flying colors.
Wide Receiver: Terrell Owens will have his best season of his career. There are two reasons for this statement. With the arrival of Dennis Erickson and his emphasis on attacking and spreading the field, his numbers should go up. Secondly, with the firing of Mariucci, they sided with T.O. making him the center of attention. Isaac Bruce was a great receiver to have on your team a few years ago. Heís clearly lost a couple steps at age 30. He will never be a dominant receiver again. However, he is worthy of a top 20 receiving spot. Last year, the Cobras were fortunate enough to ride Peerless Priceís dominant play. With him out of Buffalo, in steps Josh Reed. It wonít be the same effect. But he is capable of 800 yards receiving. Jerry Rice surprisingly is still good as an old man. I just wonder how long can this continue. This is the year where he finally will be fazed out of the mighty Oakland offense. Fatigue will hold him back. Reggie Wayne still has yet to step up and become a strong #2 receiver in Indy. Heís given me no reasons to expect nothing less than another bad season.
Tight End: Tony Gonzalez still remains as the top tight end in the league. However, he is not the clear favorite as he once was. Gonzalezís numbers have declined over the past two seasons, thanks to the emergence of Priest Holmes.
Kicker: Jason Elam struggled a bit last year by making 72% of his kicks. I still believe he is a keeper, especially from 50+ yards out. Heís still worthy of a top 5 kicker because of the thin air at Invesco Field.
Defense: The Dallas Cowboys defense was not impressive last year. True they are young and they have a new coach, but things wonít change much from last year. Americaís team is just a mediocre defense. Donít listen to the hype about them.
Prediction: (8) The defending champs will run into problems this year. Making the playoffs will be a tough task for them, but they will accomplish it. Tommy Maddox is a sleeper, but when it matters most, heíll drop the ball. There was just too much luck last year, theyíll be snake bitten this year.
San Francisco Rattlesnakes
Quarterback: Brett Favre is a QB you can count on. He is normally good for close to 30 TDís per season. Retirement has circulated around his name, but thatís just talk. Heíll do fine for SF. Jake Plummer is in a new environment. He did have some success in the Desert, where he had few weapons. I donít think heíll fit the Broncos bill this year. They were better off with Griese.
Running Back: Priest Holmes was simply amazing to watch last year, until he was injured. Lets hope he doesnít pull a Bo Jackson, and this hip injury cause his retirement. But anyways, he was clearly the best back in the league last year. Jamal Lewis is a good back to have. Baltimore doesnít have a potent offense, but they have patience. Patience will pay off by rushing. Anthony Thomas was good, but last year was not the case. Heíll return to some form, but donít expect anything great from him. Michael Pittman is just like Brad Johnson, he just knows how to win. However, he has legal troubles, so thatíll keep him preoccupied. I know the Michigan State connection with the owner and this guy, T.J. Duckett. Heís a great talent, but playing behind Dunn doesnít help his situation. If he can find a team where heís the featured back, he could go on to a good career, but in the meantime, heís playing second fiddle.
Wide Receiver: There are some big names in the Rattle Snake receiving core. David Boston, Jimmy Smith, and Muhsin Muhammad. Boston never did follow up his great season in 2001 last year, but a new home in San Diego, things are likely to change. Heís poised for a great season. Jimmy ďChickenshackĒ Smith will be suspended for his first four games this year. Heís a dominant receiver, but his numbers have decreased from season to season. Also, without a solid complement on the other side, he drops out of fantasyís elite receivers. Muhammad has been close to his numbers in 2000. His production has dropped off dramatically the past two seasons. That is due to the poor passing of his quarterbacks and his inability to get open. Corey Bradfordís fantasy production will increase because Carr has matured and because of it will be throwing the ball more often.
Tight End: Shannon Sharpe was once the best tight end in the league. His production level is still high, but the numbers have been declining for a few years now. His age is becoming a factor.
Kicker: Joe Nedney will be as good as his Titan offense. Last year they had an impressive run at the end of the season. As a result, Nedney benefited. But that story goes for basically every kicker in the league. His production will be down this year according to me.
Defense: The Buffalo Bills defense was near the bottom in almost every statistical category last year. Thatís not pretty. Things will get better with all the new talent. Things will really turn around for the Bills this season in that department.
Prediction: (9) The problem with this team is age. Too many old guys. Sure theyíll be good in the beginning of the season, but come to crunch time when it matters most, this team will fade into the wind. Itís a tough break for these Snakes too.
Tampa Bay Blizzard
Quarterback: Tampa Bay has question marks surrounding this position. Drew Bledsoe is their #1 guy. He experienced success last year, but without Price as his second passing option, he will definitely see his numbers fall. Jay Fiedler will be fighting for his life to keep the starters job in Miami. By seasonsí end, Griese will be taking all the snaps. Iím calling it now, Tampa will be looking for a reliable QB all year long.
Running Back: LaDainian Tomlinson took home the top honor of being the #1 pick in the draft. He will have a phenomenal season. 2000 yards is possible for him. Heíll see a lot of carries this year, I mean a lot of carries this year. Curtis Martin is getting older but heís still good. Heís a threat whether itís running the ball or receiving a pass in the backfield. This year may prove to be his last decent season. So, we may see some bad performances towards the end of the year with him. Mike Alstott and Kristy is a winning combination. But we all know this pick was made due to heart.
Wide Receiver: Eric Moulds enjoyed much success last year playing along side of Peerless Price. But will he have the same amount of success? No. His numbers will go slightly down, but heís a good choice for being the #4 best wideout in the league. The Bledsoe-Moulds connection will not be as feared as it once was. Laveranues Coles had a breakout season last year. With a new environment in the nationís capital, the bar has been set high for this individual. There will be a lot of disappointed Hog fans when he fails to match last yearís marks. Ike Hilliard was the latest transaction for the Blizzard. It was a good move considering there were only two receivers on the squad at the point.
Tight End: The Blizzard have two average tight ends with Randy McMichael and Chad Lewis. McMichael made great strides last year and expect the same. Lewis had an off year last year in the TD department. Is it a sign of things to come? Not really.
Kicker: Once again, Tampa Bay is going with their two-kicker system. David Akers and Ryan Longwell are great kickers. Itíll be hard to decide which one gets the start. I suggest the coin method again. Although, I would lean towards Akers as the better kicker.
Defense: Two different defenses, Atlanta and Tennessee. Atlanta will be playing in a high power, offensive division whereas Tennesseeís division is more ball control and the scoring is not as high. Tennessee would be my choice as the starter for nearly every week.
Prediction: (11) Even with the #1 pick in the draft, this team wonít experience much success. The problem will start and end with the quarterback. And because of it, the Bledsoe-Moulds connection will be insignificant.