12 July 2007

Rookie Predictions

The All-Star break is over. The second half of the MLB season is abooout to start.
You know what that means - it's time to start preparing for fantasy football.

I've played fantasy football for two seasons now, in leagues on CBS Sportsline, Yahoo, and ESPN. Out of 9 leagues, I've won 3 and come in 2nd in 2 others... not terrific, but certainly reasonable. My most intense league is a 20-team dynasty monstrosity. I won it last year behind a core group of Donovan McNabb (with a Jeff Garcia handcuff), Steven Jackson, and Jamal Lewis.

In a dynasty league, of course, you can keep as many of your players as you wish. This means that rookies, especially at QB/RB/WR, are the subject of much interest, since they're guaranteed to be available in the draft.

After that long lead-in and beautiful segue, here are a few NFL rookies to keep an eye on for fantasy football this year.

1. Marshawn Lynch, RB, Buffalo Bills.
Lynch should be the unquestioned starter in Buffalo, replacing the departed Willis McGahee. As such, he has probably the most fantasy value of any rookie. Oh, and he's pretty good. Should be a solid RB2.
Prediction: 270 carries, 1050 yd, 7 TD; 25 rec, 200 yd, 3 TD.

2. Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions.
We all know that CJ is big, fast, and talented. But Johnson will still have to battle for the #2 WR spot with Mike Furrey, who last year had 98 rec for 1086 yards and 6 TD. The uncertainty keeps him from being #1 on this list. If he wins the spot, he could be a WR2; if he doesn't, he's a WR3 at best.
If Johnson is #2 WR: 75 rec, 1000 yd, 8 TD
If Johnson is #3 WR: 45 rec, 700 yd, 5 TD

3. Brandon Jackson, RB, Green Bay Packers.
Somewhat of an unknown quantity to most fantasy owners, the reviews so far on Jackson, a 2nd round pick out of Nebraska, have been good. Jackson will have to battle Vernand Morency for the #1 RB spot, but should win pretty easily. A RB3/flex type.
Prediction: 220 carries, 900 yd, 6 TD; 35 rec, 300 yd, 4 TD.

4. Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings.
First, the good: Peterson is a very talented running back.
Then, the bad: Peterson is injury prone, stuck in a time share with Chester Taylor, and has to deal with second-year developmental prospect Tarvaris Jackson at quarterback. Not a reliable fantasy option, Peterson should be no better than a flex/bench player for your fantasy team.
Prediction: 175 carries, 6oo yd, 4 TD; 15 rec, 200 yd, 2 TD.

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