Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

NFL Preview: Fantasy Football!

Warning: Everything contained in this post is pure garbage. Read it at your own risk. Follow our instructions and learn what it is like to join a herd of lemmings jumping off a cliff. However, if you are a regular reader of this site the above already goes without saying.

Colin and I are going to go position by position with our top picks for fantasy football this year.

Quarterback:
Important Stats: TDs, Passing Yds, INTs

Peyton Manning - 2004 stats: 49 TDs, 4557 Yds, 10 INTs
This was the definition of an insane season, and I loved it, since I had him. Peyton plays in an offense geared to his every whim. Biggest question mark he has this year is the loss of favorite target Brandon Stokely. While owners would be foolish to expect similar record breaking numbers, Manning will be near the top of the league in everything that matters.

Daunte Culpepper - 39 TDs, 4717 Yds, 11 INTs
If you didn't have Peyton, you wanted Daunte, who also picks up TDs with his feet. We will see how he does without Randy Moss, but the Vikings are still stacked at every skill position.

Trent Green - 27 TDs, 4591 Yds, 17 INTs
Green is in that insane Kansas City offense, and will continue to put up solid numbers. The interception total is a bit high, but with the type of defenses the Chiefs will see Green is the kind of steady contributor you need.

Kerry Collins - 21 TDs, 3495 Yds, 20 INTs
My biggest reach in my top five, obviously due to the interception total. Collins is definitely prone to mistakes, but with Randy Moss and Joey Porter has no excuse not to shine. He should have 25+ TDs and 4000+ Yds this year.

Matt Hasselbeck - 22 TDs, 3382 Yds, 15 INTs
I know, what a Seattle homer I am, putting Hasselbeck over other quarterbacks. Well, give this guy a year with receivers that catch the ball and every number is going to improve. The addition of Peter Warrick gives him the home-run player he has lacked. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.

Question Marks:
Donovan McNabb - Outside of T.O., who is he throwing the ball to?
Ben Roethlisberger - Sophomore slump?
Mark Bulger - Will be injured this year
Kurt Warner - Will be injured this year
Michael Vick - Not until he learns to stay in the pocket

2nd Stringers You Should Consider:
Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Jake Plummer, David Carr, Jake Delhomme

Colin: Here's my list....
1. Manning
2. Culpepper
3. Delhomme (Trust me, this guy really might shine this year)
4. Green
5. Bulger (I don't believe he will get injured)

Running Back:
Important Stats: TDs, Running Yds, Receiving Yds, Fumbles

LaDainian Tomlinson - 18 TDs, 1335 Yds, 441 Yds, 2 Fumbles
Every fantasy magazine is drooling over this guy and while he might not be my first pick overall, he sure could be. LT has everything one asks for in a fantasy back, and is the centerpiece of San Diego's offense. He will get his touches every week.

Shaun Alexander - 20 TDs, 1696 Yds, 170 Yds, 3 Fumbles
Shaun Alexander is a touchdown machine. Take it to the bank. If he could learn to catch a screen more effectively his receiving total should rise.

Jamal Lewis - 7 TDs, 1006 Yds, 116 Yds, 0 Fumbles
This numbers look worse than they are, as Lewis missed four games due to a suspension. Since Kyle Boller sucks, he will be given every chance to get back to the 2000 yard plateau.

Cedric Benson - Rookie
Yes, this is a reach, but he will be the center of Chicago's offense behind a pretty solid offensive line. Benson is used to having the box stacked against him and still put up huge numbers at Texas. Chicago is going to be awful, but Benson should put up good numbers.

Kevin Jones - 6 TDs, 1133 Yds, 180 Yds, 1 Fumble
If you read my preview of this guy below, I think he's a stud. He proved it last year in his rookie season and should only improve on the above numbers.

Question Marks:
Priest Holmes - Is he healthy enough for 16 games?
Stephen Jackson - Will Mike Martz give him enough carries?
Cadillac Williams/Ronnie Brown - Still in a position battle
Curtis Martin - At some point age will catch up

2nd Stringers You Should Consider:
Tiki Barber, any Broncos back, Jerome Bettis, Rudi Johnson, Corey Dillon, Edgerrin James

Colin: Here's my list
1. Tomlinson
2. Alexander
3. Lewis
4. Dillon
5. Edge

Wide Receiver:
Important Stats: TDs, Receiving Yds
Note: wide receivers aren't as important in the grand scheme of things as QBs and Running Backs. Fewer yards and fewer touchdowns, other than these top five, make sure the above is taken care of before drafting.

Terrell Owens - 14 TDs, 1200 Yds
Love him or hate him, the man just produces. McNabb will have no choice but to throw to him this year.

Randy Moss - 13 TDs, 767 Yds
Love him or hate him, the man just produces. 13 TDs in an injury shortened season. Wow.

Steve Smith - missed all of 2004
My sleeper pick. Don't forget about him and Carolina. He was a top five receiver in 2003.

Marvin Harrison - 15 TDs, 1113 Yds
Can't have a top five receiver list without Peyton Manning's best target. As long as Manning is around, Marvin will have no problem being a consistent fantasy producer. He also is the nicest guy on this list.

Torry Holt - 10 TDs, 1372 Yds
Tough call between Holt and Joe Horn, but I'm going to go with Holt because of the offenses they have to work with. If Bulger stays healthy Holt will have a solid year, and as long as Mike Martz forgets about the run Holt will have a solid year.

Question Marks:
Plaxico Burress - NY offense is awful
Muhsin Muhammed - Catching a ball from a rookie?
Rod Smith - Age will be a factor eventually
Drew Bennett - Can he be a #1 receiver?
Derrick Mason - Catching the ball from Kyle Boller?

2nd Stringers You Should Consider:
Chad Johnson, Deion Branch, David Givens, Darrell Jackson, Larry Fitzgerald, Joe Horn, Nate Burleson, Joey Porter, Roy Williams

Colin: I have no differences with this list, but the dropoff is not that large to the 2nd stringers.

Tight End:
Important Stats: TDs, Receiving Yds

Jason Witten - 6 TDs, 980 Yds
Should probably be the center of the Dallas passing attack. Is athletic and mobile. Beats linebackers easily.

Antonio Gates - 13 TDs, 964 Yds
Biggest surprise of last year is back to hang with Drew Brees and San Diego's passing attack. The guy was nuts. What more can you say?

Tony Gonzalez - 7 TDs, 1258 Yds
Trent Green's favorite target. The TD numbers are lower than they should be for a tight end of his caliber and should rise.

Todd Heap - 3 TDs, 303 Yds
Missed most of last year with injury, but is the only target I've ever seen Kyle Boller look comfortable throwing to. The man just gets open.

Heath Miller - Rookie
Yes, this is a reach, but I think Miller is going to fit in pretty darn well with what Bill Cowher and Pittsburgh like to do. He gives Roethlisberger a great big target to hit in the middle of the field.

Question Marks:
Alge Crumpler - Can Vick get him the ball consistently?
Jeremy Shockey - Big mouth, little production
Randy McMichael - Beware the Dolphins, they will destroy you
LJ Smith - Overhyped TE for the Eagles

2nd Stringers You Should Consider:
Teyo Johnson, Itula Mili, Jermaine Wiggins, Bubba Franks

Colin: I would switch Gates and Witten, but TE's usually suck anyways, so don't be counting on them for much in the way of points.

Defenses:
Important Stats: Yds against, Pts allowed, Turnovers forced, TDs, Sacks

Baltimore - 268 PA
We've gone into most of these teams below, but the Ravens have a secondary that will force plenty of turnovers and are just overall darn good.

Philadelphia - 260 PA
Jim Johnson's swarming defense causes plenty of confusion, and the stats should be padded by the terrible offenses they play within their own division.

Carolina - 339 PA
Carolina's healthy and ready to reclaim their rightful place as a top five defense. Julius Peppers should challenge for Defensive Player of the Year rights.

Pittsburgh - 251 PA
Pittsburgh is deep everywhere, although question marks abound in the secondary. Still, when you return as many players as they do, you have to tout the number one defense in the league.

NY Jets - 261 PA
My homage to Colin, who loves this defense, and for good reason. Plenty of sacks, plenty of turnovers.

Question Marks:
Kansas City - Can additions pay dividends?
Tampa Bay - Will age finally catch up?
Denver - That Cleveland defensive line may disappoint
Miami - Prior stud defense is much weaker
New England - Loses Crennel and Bruschi

2nd Stringers You Should Consider:
Jacksonville, Buffalo, San Diego

Colin: I would move Buffalo into the top-5 and remove the Jets, even though I love them. Buffalo's defense can seriously put points up on the board for you.

Those are my thoughts! Who knows if they're right!

posted by Gavin @ 9:04 AM  0 comments

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