Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Football! Again!

I’ve done a few different formats for preseason predictions in the past, and this time around, I’m going to kill some amount of birds with some smaller amount of stones and put real football and fantasy football predictions into one place.  I’ll start with fantasy stuff, including how I did with last year’s picks.  This is going to be long-winded, so let’s just get to it. 

Last year I only listed guys that I liked for the season, so let’s see how that went.

Peyton Manning – Well, that turned out awesome.
Matthew Stafford – I feel like I have kind of a “thing” for him, and he did me pretty well until the last few weeks, at which point he tanked my fantasy team in the championship.
Tony Romo – I definitely have a “thing” for Romo.  He just never finishes outside the top 10 if he’s healthy, and he proved that last year.
Eli Manning – Well, that turned out awesome, for my Eagles fandom, at least.  Poetic with Peyton’s season though. 


David Wilson – I wasn’t actually high on him, it was more of a circumstantial thing based on the way my mock drafts were going, and he ended up having a career-ending injury.  I didn’t actually end up owning him so I don’t feel too bad about this one.
Reggie Bush – I didn’t end up owning Bush either, and although Joique Bell took a lot of looks away from him, he had a pretty good per-game output.
Lesean McCoy – I love this man.
Jamaal Charles – I really like this man.
Matt Forte – That whole Bears team had a strong season, with Forte establishing himself as one of the high-floor options at the top of the draft..
Chris Ivory – I noted at the end of my blurb about him that “injury / Jets-ness could ruin it”, and that pretty much sums it up.  Had some moments, but never really got going, and now Chris Johnson is overshadowing him.
Fred Jackson – This was a huge win, with Spiller not being hurt but just not being as explosive as last season, and Jackson continued to defy age.
Lamar Miller – Womp.  That Dolphins offense was brutal for most of the year thanks to an offensive offensive line, and with some added talent there and a new Eagles-South system, I am pretty high on them this year.
Stevan Ridley – He was brutal, no two ways about it.
Maurice Jones-Drew – The offense as a whole was terrible, but I can’t dodge this one.
Ryan Mathews – He was somewhat undervalued last year and delivered a top-15 season.  He might have the same outcome this year.
Daryl Richardson – Now at the back end of the Jets’ roster.  You tell me.


Steve Smith – This was another one of those players where the draft situation dictated my interest, so I don’t feel terribly, but he was pretty useless.  Except in the fatherhood department, apparently.
Miles Austin – Yeah, not so much.  Spoiler alert: I’m falling into the same guy-opposite-Dez trap this season.
Torrey Smith – He barely scored any touchdowns, but had a whole lot of targets and yards in a Ravens offense that massively disappointed.  You’ll hear from him again soon.
TY Hilton – He had a breakout season, although it’s hard to say how that will translate to this coming season because there was so much ineptitude in the running game and so many injuries in the passing game.
Greg Jennings – Last year: “He can’t be THAT useless, right?”  Yep, he sure can.
Mike Wallace – This was another only-if-the-situation-arises guy, and all of those guys bombed.  However, as I said before, I think a bounce-back is coming.
Reggie Wayne – I was on my way to being WAY right about him before he tore his ACL. 
Danny Amendola – I guess I underestimated the value of Brady’s trust, and overestimated the value of a guy who is hurt for half the year.
Antonio Brown – If only I actually ended up drafting him.  Just watch him play and you know he’s a stud.
Larry Fitzgerald – Well, the Cardinals’ offense had a nice rebound, but Fitz ceded a lot of the action to Michael Floyd.
Andre Johnson – Considering how much the team as a whole flamed out, this worked out pretty well.
Jordy Nelson– Liked him last year, love him this year.
Dwayne Bowe – I have a problem.  And I said the same thing last year!  And I’ve already drafted him this year!
Pierre Garcon – Leading the league in receptions?  Sounds solid to me.
Kenny Stills – Didn’t have consistent week-to-week production, but was certainly useful for a guy drafted as late as he was.


Jermichael Finley – Man, two guys with what currently looks like career-ending injuries?  Bummer.
Kyle Rudolph – The passing game for the Vikings wasn’t great in general, but Rudolph didn’t have the TD production he had the year before.
Jordan Cameron – He faded a bit down the stretch, but this was obviously a win.
Brandon Pettigrew – Don’t even.
Ed Dickson – Tried to sneak this one by with Dennis Pitta’s injury, but he ended up ceding looks to an over-the-hill Dallas Clark.


OK, now we’ve taken a look back.  I feel like I did pretty well for the most part, with some of those guys that failed suffering brutal injuries that we weren’t in a position to anticipate.  Now let’s look to the future.  I’ll give my predictions for each team’s record, and one positive or negative fantasy player opinion for each team.  Let’s see how that goes.

NFC East
(10-6) Eagles (Low on Zach Ertz – too many mouths to feed, Celek’s not dead yet)
(8-8) Cowboys (High on Terrance Williams – see Austin, Miles)
(7-9) Giants (High on Rashad Jennings – had a nice late ’13 and Giants run a lot)
(7-9) Redskins (Low on Desean Jackson – not “the guy”, goes back to boom / bust)

NFC South
(11-5) Saints (High on Drew Brees – I know, but he’s a guaranteed 5000/40, take him 1st)
(8-8) Buccaneers (High on Doug Martin in the late 2nd; new coach, more receiving threats)
(8-8) Falcons (High on Roddy White – came on strong late last year, now has fresh start)
(6-10) Panthers (High on Cam Newton – terrible offseason, but he’s going way late)

NFC North
(11-5) Packers (High on Randall Cobb – pace for 100 catches last year, now healthy)
(9-7) Bears (High on Jay Cutler – Trestman clearly “gets” him, another year of comfort)
(7-9) Lions (Low on Matthew Stafford – just not sure he’s that good, Megatron-dependent)
(7-9) Vikings (High on Adrian Peterson – would take him 1st; offense around him improved)

NFC West
(13-3) Seahawks (High on Russell Wilson – Harvin expands offense, rushing raises floor)
(10-6) 49ers (High on Colin Kaepernick – Crabtree healthy, more weapons, worse defense)
(8-8) Cardinals (Low on Larry Fitzgerald – getting up there, Floyd emerging)
(5-11) Rams (Low on Zac Stacy – no passing threats, Benny Cunningham getting looks)

AFC East
(12-4) Patriots (Low on Julian Edelman – other weapons healthy / more experienced)
(8-8) Dolphins (High on Mike Wallace – more creative offensive scheme, bounce-back year)
(6-10) Jets (High on Eric Decker – Geno’s not awful, and Decker was useful with Tebow)
(4-12) Bills (Low on Sammy Watkins – Rookie receiver, questionable QB, bad team)

AFC South
(10-6) Colts (High on Reggie Wayne – looks good after surgery, Luck trusts him)
(7-9) Titans (High on Jake Locker – was solid when healthy last year, underrated receivers)
(7-9) Texans (High on Texans D – won’t be as much of a pick-6 frenzy, plus Clowney/Cushing)
(5-11) Jaguars (High on Marquise Lee – really late option, but talented with little competition)

AFC North
(10-6) Bengals (High on Andy Dalton – 5th in ‘13, drafted 15th in ‘14; too many weapons to fail)
(9-7) Ravens (High on Torrey Smith – see above; too much involvement for low TD total)
(6-10) Steelers (Low on Le’Veon Bell – Blount involved, not explosive enough if job is split)
(4-12) Browns (High on Miles Austin – so sue me)

AFC West
(11-5) Broncos (Low on Peyton Manning – Welker out, Ball unproven; not ‘till late 2nd)
(10-6) Chargers (Low on Keenan Allen – had a lot of lucky TD games, lots of WR injuries in ’13)
(8-8) Chiefs (High on Travis Kelce – Smith likes short passing, has to throw to someone)
(4-12) Raiders (Low on Maurice Jones-Drew – this team’s just awful)

NFC Playoffs
Eagles def. 49ers
Packers def. Bears

Saints def. Packers
Seahawks def. Eagles

Seahawks def. Saints

AFC Playoffs
Chargers def. Bengals
Colts def. Ravens

Patriots def. Colts
Chargers def. Broncos

Patriots def. Chargers

Super Bowl
Patriots def. Seahawks

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