A quick look into a few players that may be teetering on the fence in your mind come fantasy draft day.
Peyton Manning- With a 4 time league MVP, Superbowl Champion, first ballot Hall of Famer, it is hard to even think of putting his name here, but the truth is that Manning is a huge unknown as a fantasy quarterback at this point. Sure almost everyone around the league believes he is ready to go and even Manning himself has no hesitation in saying the same, nevertheless Manning has yet to take snap with 300 pound lineman looking to hit him in the numbers.
Personally I think Manning comes out of the gate firing on all cylinders. He has the weapons on offense such as Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas to gain yards and stretch the field. Add that to an already established run game and a Superbowl caliber defense I expect Manning to put up close to his career numbers his first year in Denver. Based on where you will be able to pick up Manning in your draft this season a BOOM year should be in order.
(Sliding scale 8 out of 10)
Legarrette Blount- Fumble problems and an anemic offense limited Blount last season after a stellar rookie campaign. With the Buc’s being down early and often last season, Blount’s running style and lack of skills in the passing game rendered him useless a majority of the time. That coupled with the shortened off-season, took away any momentum that the Buc’s had hoped to carry over from the successful 2010 season that saw the rise of rookie QB Josh Freeman and young Coach Raheem Morris. In 2012 the Buc’s have overhauled their coaching staff and brought in big Wide Receiver Vincent Jackson in hopes of stretching the field and opening the running lanes again.
With the possibility of the Buc’s drafting stud in waiting Trent Richardson, there will not be much room for error with Blount. As long as he fixes that fumble issues that plagued him last season he should be a huge benefactor of an improved offense. If the Buc’s can keep their offense on the field and feed the rock to Blount 18-20 times a game we should see a resurgence in 2012 for the bruising runner. Pay close attention to the competition if Tampa does acquire Richardson, but even so if Blount can get off to a roll 1,000 yards and 10 to 12 Td’s is not out of the question. Blount is a borderline BOOM candidate and should be a steal in this year’s draft.
(Sliding scale 6 out of 10)
Desean Jackson- Heading into the 2011 season the Eagle’s future looked bright. A strong 2010 season and the addition of many big name free agents seemed to be tipping the scale in their favor. However they fell victim to the shortened off season and could not get everyone to gel in within that window and the season started off in a miserable fashion. Jackson was a huge distraction to his team and himself during this time while dragging out a contract battle with the Eagle’s front office. His numbers dipped significantly lower then his previous two seasons and even earned a benching against the Arizona Cardinals mid season. In 2012 the pouting has paid off and Jackson received the big time pay raise that he was pursuing and the mess seems to finally be behind both parties.
While it hurts me to write this, I believe that Jackson is in line for a big year with Philly. When a player does not play to the best of his abilities because he is not being paid millions of dollars, yet is still making 10 times as much as the average American it bothers me. That aside, Jackson seems primed for a big bounce back year in 2012. He ended last season showing more flashes of the undeniable speed and receiving talent that made him a star in the first place. With a full off season and pockets full of his biggest supporters look for Jackson to establish himself as a premier deep threat once again in the NFL. My only concern is that he moves in the wrong direction because he has gotten that big guaranteed contract, but he is an athlete that craves the spotlight and adoration so I don’t expect him to fall flat. As long as the millions hold up his alligator arms he should be in line to at least double his TD total from last season and add two to three hundred more yards to his season total. Jackson is another BOOM candidate that should provide great value for his draft position.
(Sliding scale 7 out of 10)
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