|04-03-2005, 02:03 PM||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2005
Fantasy Football Article
In the Trenches: Palmer a solid sleeper for 2005
March 22, 2005
By Michael Fabiano
Senior Fantasy Writer
The Guru wants to hear from you! Each week, Michael Fabiano will ask a Fantasy Football question to our readers, with the results being posted as a new feature for In the Trenches. Be sure to put Attn: Question of the Week in the subject field.
This week's question: Who would you choose with the No. 1 overall selection next season? Send us your thoughts!
Every new Fantasy Football season has it's share of difficult questions that owners must assess before success in drafts can be acheived. The deftness to settle these inquiries with exact precision alludes even the most experienced prognosticators, but sometimes all it takes is a little knowledge and common sense to predict what the future holds.
Here's our answers to the 10 most important questions owners will face next season:
1. Who will be the most productive sleeper in 2005? Names like Tatum Bell, Keary Colbert and Lee Suggs come to mind, but Carson Palmer is the one to watch. The former Heisman winner finished last season with nine touchdown passes in his final three starts, including an impressive 382-yard, three-touchdowns performance against a formidable Baltimore Ravens defense on Dec. 5.
The Bengals have re-signed Rudi Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who combine with Chad Johnson, Peter Warrick and Kelley Washington to form a lethal set of weapons on offense. With contests against weaker defenses like Chicago, Cleveland (2), Detroit, Green Bay, Houston and Tennessee on the schedule, Palmer has a chance to record 3,500-plus yards and 25 touchdowns.
2. Who will be Fantasy Football's MVP? Whoever set the Colts' schedule for next season must love to watch Peyton Manning throw touchdowns. The two-time NFL MVP faces vulnerable defenses in Arizona, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Houston (2), San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis and Tennessee (2). Only one of these teams (San Diego -- 19.6 PPG) allowed fewer than 20 points per game, so Manning should record another monstrous statistical season.
Andre Johnson recorded six TDs for Houston last season. (Getty Images)
Owners should also expect continued production from Priest Holmes, who was on pace to record 2,158 all-purpose yards and 30 total touchdowns before an injured knee cost him the second half of the season. However, questions about his health (he has missed 10 starts in the past three seasons due to injuries) are cause for concern and make Manning a more attractive MVP candidate.
3. Who will be Fantasy Football's Breakout Player of the Year? LaMont Jordan has a chance to have an enormous season as the featured back in Oakland. Coach Norv Turner has produced some of the league's most productive running backs, a list that includes Emmitt Smith, Stephen Davis, LaDainian Tomlinson and Ricky Williams, and Jordan fits his prototypical power back.
The Raiders' pass attack will be more than formidable with the addition of Randy Moss, who joins Jerry Porter and Ronald Curry in what will be a dominant core. As a result, Jordan won't have to be concerned with stacked front lines and should become a force in the backfield. Barring injuries, the former Maryland Terrapin should rush for better than 1,200 yards with eight to 10 touchdowns.
4. Which third-year wide receiver has the most value? There are a number of solid choices, a list that includes Anquan Boldin, Nate Burleson, Tyrone Calico, Kevin Curtis, Brandon Lloyd and Charles Rogers. But the one who owners should watch is Andre Johnson. A Terrell Owens-type with incredible abilities and athleticism, he should produce better than 1,200 yards with eight to 10 touchdowns in what should be an improved Texans offense.
5. Who will be Fantasy Football's Rookie of the Year? It's difficult to gauge the value of rookies before the draft, but owners should expect one of Ronnie Brown, Carnell "Cadillac" Williams or Cedric Benson to make the greatest impact. Brown appears to be the frontrunner as the most valuable rookie running back and could land a prominent role in either Miami or Arizona. Michigan wide receiver Braylon Edwards, who could be selected with the No. 1 overall selection, also warrants mention on this list.
6. What sort of numbers will Kerry Collins record now that he has Moss? Collins has a chance to be a top-five quarterback this season. Though he throws his share of interceptions and will be inconsistent at times, the veteran field general should still record around 4,200 yards and 30-35 touchdowns in an offense that will be geared towards the vertical pass attack. Collins won't break into the Big Three of Manning, Daunte Culpepper and Donovan McNabb, but he's now on the same level as Brett Favre and Trent Green on rank lists.
7. Who will be the biggest bust of 2005? Muhsin Muhammad has little chance to produce on a consistent basis with the Chicago Bears, so expect him to emerge as the season's biggest bust. The team has questions in its backfield and at the quarterback position, where Rex Grossman must prove that he can succeed where fellow University of Florida quarterbacks like Danny Wuerffel, Shane Matthews, Jesse Palmer and Doug Johnson have failed at the pro level.
It wouldn't be a shock for Muhammad, who averaged 55.6 receptions, 748 yards and two touchdowns from 2001-03, to record fewer than 1,000 yards this season.
8. Which prominent second-year running back will have the most statistical success? Owners will have a difficult task in drafts when it comes to a decision between Bell, Julius Jones, Kevin Jones and Steven Jackson, all of whom are projected as starters for their respective teams. While all four have immense potential and should emerge as valuable options, Julius Jones is the one to select.
Though he was limited to seven starts as a rookie due to a fractured collarbone, Jones still made an enormous impact and was the reason that countless owners reached the Fantasy postseason. He will remain the centerpiece of coach Bill Parcells' offense, so a season with 1,500-plus yards and 10-12 touchdowns is well within reach.
9. Who will be Fantasy Football's Comeback Player of the Year? The Carolina Panthers haven't named a featured running back, but DeShaun Foster has to be considered the favorite as spring nears. Injuries have been a real issue in his first three seasons, but the former UCLA Bruin remains a powerful and elusive back with sleeper potential. Coach John Fox's offense is conducive to productive backs, so a prominent role for Foster will make him an attractive option in drafts.
10. How will the absence of Moss affect Culpepper's value? There's no doubt the loss of Moss will hurt Culpepper's value a bit, but owners shouldn't be so quick to throw him under the bus. He threw for 1,179 yards and nine touchdowns in what amounted to five starts without Moss last season, and the development of Burleson will ease the transition. Culpepper should still throw for better than 4,000 yards with 30-35 total touchdowns and remains a cinch first- or second-round selection.
|04-03-2005, 03:39 PM||#2|
Fan of the home team
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Durango, Colorado
I was champion of two leagues last year. I won't be able to play at all in any leagues coming up.
Thanks for the FF updates. Keep posting them. Someone will take the bait.
|04-03-2005, 03:52 PM||#3|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Oct 2003
|04-03-2005, 04:19 PM||#4|
Join Date: Apr 2005
Who knows... They still have William Green also, but everyone is saying that he'll be cut. Hey, maybe the Broncs will pick up Green and Couch. It's a joke.
I'm not rating either Suggs or Reub very high (fantasy wise), but Suggs might be a sleeper considering he wasn't awful last year. What's Couch up to these days anyway?