The Broncos enter as the AFC’s favorite (USAT)
1. New England Patriots eleven-5
2. Miami Dolphins 7-9
three. Buffalo Bills 6-10
four. New York Jets 6-10
Comments/Fantasy predictions: The Patriots were outscored by more factors in last season’s AFC title game (15) than their other four losses mixed (eleven). I’m nonetheless bitter about them ending my Survivor season in Week 2 as 14-point favorites to an Arizona workforce that won its solely highway sport of the season, however looking toward 2013, the loss of Tom Brady’s weapons are overblown, as he finishes as a high-five fantasy QB. Moreover, Danny Amendola leads the league in receptions, whereas Stevan Ridley leads the NFL in speeding touchdowns, though that doesn’t forestall Shane Vereen from ending as a top-25 fantasy back. New England is more more likely to end as the AFC’s No. 1 seed than they’re the No. three…I’ve Miami ending 7-9 again, however they admittedly have the potential to be one of many league’s breakout teams, depending largely upon whether or not or not Ryan Tannehill makes the leap. Mike Wallace goes down as a fantasy bust, while Lamar Miller lives as much as the early hype, as all of the Daniel Thomas noise proves meaningless when the bullets begin flying. Cameron Wake, who not only had 15.zero sacks final 12 months however has drawn a league-excessive 20 holding penalties over the previous two seasons, is an IDP monster.
Here’s the very best TD celebration of all time.
It’s fairly exceptional Buffalo could also be relegated to beginning an undrafted quarterback during his rookie season Week 1, however at the very least E.J. Manuel confirmed promising glimpses before suffering a knee damage. Nonetheless, with the Bills’ QB situation and now in a run-heavy system beneath new coach Doug Marrone, fantasy house owners should avoid Stevie Johnson until his price tag falls dramatically. I suppose it’s attainable Fred Jackson provides fantasy value, but at age 32, it’s a reasonably enormous long shot, even when C.J. Spiller had been to go down. Talking of Spiller, he finishes as a prime-three back, making those who passed on him regret it…The Jets quietly allowed simply 6.four YPA and a 68.3 QB Score to opposing passers last 12 months despite Darrelle Revis lacking practically all the season and added CB Dee Milliner with a high-10 decide in the draft, in order that they shouldn’t be a doormat. Sadly, the quarterback position stays a very powerful in football, and they appear to be a mess there. The crew’s No. 1 purpose must be to see whether or not Geno Smith is a potential long-time period answer (gulp) but Rex Ryan reportedly has the ultimate say on who’s starting, and his priorities are a lot totally different (trying not to change into the uncommon coach who’s fired just a few years after taking his workforce to back-to-back AFC Championship video games), which could result in much more Mark Sanchez than New York fans want. I like the concept of Chris Ivory, who’s averaged a 5.1 YPC mark throughout his profession that will be among the highest in NFL history if he qualified, finally turning into a full-time again for the first time in his profession. However he merely can’t keep wholesome, and he’s additionally fumbled more times (4) than he’s caught the ball (three). Bilal Powell is less talented, however he’ll even be cheaper in fantasy leagues and has about a 50/50 probability of providing as a lot worth. Regardless of the shaky QB situation, Stephen Hill proves to be one of the higher late-round WR fliers.
Here’s an tried theft in Brazil gone horribly wrong.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers eleven-5
2. Baltimore Ravens 10-6 (Wild Card)
three. Cincinnati Bengals eight-8
4. Cleveland Browns 6-10
Comments/Fantasy predictions: The Steelers are coming off a down season during which they finished third within the AFC North, however that came with them permitting the fewest YPA (6.zero) and the third fewest YPC (three.7) within the NFL. Only three teams had fewer than their 10 interceptions, and their defense scored just one landing (to place this in perspective, the Chargers scored seven). In different phrases, they skilled extraordinarily dangerous luck and ought to be due for some regression. Spectacular wanting rookie Jarvis Jones will step into growing old James Harrison’s spot, and imagine what a bonus it’d be if Troy Polamalu ever stayed wholesome. The workforce has continuity with one of many league’s finest teaching staffs and a 2013 schedule that appears extremely favorable, making them my favourite candidate within the convention to take a significant step forward (and by far my favorite fantasy protection that’s usually being ignored). Pittsburgh’s offensive line can solely be more healthy this year, and don’t overlook Markus Wheaton, who very effectively could also be Mike Wallace 2.0. I’d have most popular Le’Veon Bell not getting hurt, but operating back is the most replaceable position on the sphere, and as much as Pitt’s coaches seem to hate its internal choices, Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman ranked tied for third as the most effective RB blockers in the NFL final season and were each also inside the highest-12 in YPC after contact, in keeping with Professional Soccer Focus. Prospective fantasy homeowners’ guess is nearly as good as mine on the subject of this backfield. The largest difficulty is whether Ben Roethlisberger, who’s played in 16 video games just as soon as throughout his 9-yr profession, can keep healthy. But he’s clearly a star when on the sphere (his 7.9 YPA is tied for the sixth-highest all time) who’s now way more snug coming into 12 months two in Todd Haley’s system. Keep in mind, this can be a Steelers team that had a degree-differential that was 52 factors better than the eleven-5 Colts last season regardless of suffering numerous accidents and dealing with a far more troublesome schedule.
Here’s yet one more reason to love Russia when it comes to dash cams.
Joe Flacco has a 7.1 YPA mark with a 1.eighty two TD:INT ratio over 2,489 career passing attempts. Throughout last 12 months’s postseason, he received 9.zero YPA with an 11:zero TD:INT ratio and an unimaginable 117.2 QB Ranking. This wonderful stretch against the most effective competitors in soccer came especially as a shock following a daily season (7.2 YPA, 22:10 TD:INT ratio) that by no means advised a breakout was in retailer. Part of final year’s playoff enchancment had to do with changes on the offensive line and coordinator (which both should carry over to this season), but it surely’s still powerful to get overly excited about his fantasy prospects, especially after losing Anquan Boldin and Dennis Pitta. Nonetheless, with a giant enhance in targets and an improvement in his capability to run the total route tree, Torrey Smith goes off, ending as a prime-15 fantasy broad receiver. If Ray Rice were to go down, Bernard Pierce would simply grow to be an RB1.
Here’s harrowing footage of lightning placing a moving prepare in Japan.
The Bengals have a really stable foundation, but it’s robust to compete yearly without an elite quarterback. Whereas Andy Dalton’s surname is really elite, his potential to play the quarterback position stays one thing far closer to common. Last yr’s 27 TD passes look awfully lucky when in comparison with his 6.9 YPA mark (that dropped to 6.1 over the ultimate nine video games, including the playoffs). It’s doable he improves during year three, and it certain helps having A.J. Green on his aspect, however I predict the QB will in the end maintain the group’s 2013 postseason hopes just out of attain. Geno Atkins is among the greatest defensive players in all of football, nevertheless it’s not mirrored in most IDP formats because of the position he performs. Giovani Bernard emerges as the far more beneficial fantasy again than BenJarvus Green-Ellis, and it’s not significantly shut…Cleveland is a popular buzz staff, and it is sensible considering their full overhaul with the teaching employees and an underrated protection. But it’s so robust having to play in the AFC North, which sure seems to be like the convention’s hardest division by a large margin. Once more, it comes all the way down to the quarterback position. Brandon Weeden has actually regarded good at occasions this preseason, and his ability set appears to fit Norv Turner’s system, but the quickly-to-be 30-year-outdated remains a reasonably large wild card. Trent Richardson lives as much as the hype, while those who drafted Josh Gordon can be comfortable they remained patient, as he becomes a helpful WR3 at worst after getting back from his suspension. Members of the Jordan Cameron sleeper club are also not dissatisfied.
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1. Houston Texans 10-6
2. Indianapolis Colts 9-7 (Wild Card)
3. Tennessee Titans 6-10
4. Jacksonville Jaguars 4-12
Comments/Fantasy predictions: Houston is a perennial contender that benefits from its division but will in the end go only as far as Matt Schaub takes them. Schaub has one way or the other thrown for just a hundred and twenty touchdowns over 118 career video games despite getting an elite 7.8 YPA (higher than Peyton Manning and Tom Brady). The Texans’ run-heavy ways actually limits his fantasy potential and in addition hurts Andre Johnson, whose seven pink-zone targets final season had been tied for 60th in the NFL. Here are Houston’s run blocking grades, in response to Professional Soccer Focus, from 2010-2012: third, seventh and thirteenth. That’s going within the incorrect route. However another simple schedule and having the perfect defensive player on earth sure helps (fast side note: I used to be listening to a well-liked gambling podcast lately, and there was a dialogue about which defensive participant in the NFL would transfer the point unfold essentially the most if he were to overlook a recreation. J.J. Watt’s name was by no means talked about. Huh?). This is my bold prediction: Ben Tate finishes with extra fantasy points than Arian Foster.
This tennis meltdown is pretty epic.
Last year the Colts had been the only 11-win staff to ever have a adverse scoring differential (and it was minus-30). Additionally they allowed the most factors (387) of any crew to win so many occasions. Indy was 9-1 in video games decided by a landing or much less, a situation by which the vast majority of groups win about 50 p.c of their contests. They did all this while facing BY FAR the league’s easiest schedule, so in different phrases, there isn’t a staff likelier to regress in 2013. Andrew Luck was knocked down 122 instances, in response to Football Outsiders, which have been almost 30 more than the subsequent QB (Aaron Rodgers). Luck had a poor fifty four.1 completion proportion and obtained 7.0 YPA while throwing for the third most interceptions (18) in all of football, whereas also having by far essentially the most dropped INTs in the league as well. The Colts modified offensive coordinators and made some head-scratching signings during the offseason, including giving Erik Walden a $sixteen million deal. Having said all that, Indy’s schedule as soon as again appears to be like favorable, and the group possesses a younger offensive corps poised to take a significant step forward, so after a lot again-and-forth, I gave them the final playoff spot within the AFC. As for some fantasy predictions: Coby Fleener finishes outdoors the highest-15 tight ends, whereas Ahmad Bradshaw is a high-25 RB (and a huge help in pass safety). Reggie Wayne is a big disappointment relative to his ADP, while both T.Y. Hilton and Darrius Heyward-Bey are earnings. Hilton is (understandably) getting all of the fantasy hype, however Heyward-Bey actually does look locked into a starting function in an offense that should characteristic quite a lot of two tight end sets alongside an ageing Wayne who totaled just 520 yards and two touchdowns on 94(!) targets over the ultimate eight video games last 12 months. Don’t sleep on DHB.
This person is fairly decent at Tetris.
Chris Johnson, who ran for 1,033 yards and received 5.09 YPC over his ultimate 11 video games final season, bounces back in 2013. Tennessee added RG Chance Warmack with the tenth total choose within the draft and LG Andy Levitre via free company, so the offensive line looks a lot improved (incumbent Michael Roos was graded as the third best LT in the NFL final season by Pro Football Focus). Johnson could lose goal-line carries to Shonn Greene, nevertheless it positive helps going through the Jaguars and Colts (each ranked within the backside five in run protection final year) in 25% of his games, as CJ returns to being a prime-12 fantasy RB. It’s too dangerous Kenny Britt’s knee troubles look more likely to by no means permit him to reach his once elite fantasy potential. Jake Locker proves for good he’s not the staff’s long-time period reply at quarterback…The Jaguars have one of many three worst quarterback conditions and recorded an NFL-low 20(!) sacks last season. Over his ultimate 9 video games final year, Cecil Shorts had 774 yards and 5 touchdowns, averaging 9.6 targets per sport, which would’ve easily ranked high-10 over the season. It’s at the very least price noting, however, that the vast majority of this came with Chad Henne, and never projected starter Blaine Gabbert, at the helm. Conversely, for Shorts homeowners apprehensive about when Justin Blackmon returns, understand Shorts did his injury final yr whereas Blackmon averaged a whopping 12.zero targets over the final 4 video games, so it seems both can produce while co-present, even in a far from ideally suited setup.
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1. Denver Broncos 12-4
2. Kansas City Chiefs 8-8
three. San Diego Chargers 6-10
4. Oakland Raiders 3-13
Comments/Fantasy predictions: Peyton Manning just threw for four,659 yards and 37 touchdowns while getting eight.0 YPA after becoming a member of a new franchise (on a non-dome team for the primary time in his career while coming off multiple surgeries). Manning’s arm strength has only strengthened since then, and the crew’s losses on protection, including Von Miller, who’s arguably the second-best defensive participant in soccer, for the primary six weeks, combined with an unsettled RB corps, ought to lead to plenty of passes. Moreover, Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker comprise simply the best WR crew Manning has ever had. There’s by no means been a 37-yr-outdated with the next fantasy outlook than Manning in 2013. Montee Ball finishes with probably the most factors amongst all of the Broncos’ backs, nevertheless it’s a committee scenario (and his needing to enhance in pass safety) that in the end limits his huge upside. This must be one of the worst articles written in current reminiscence.
Here’s an fascinating GIF displaying how keys work.
I needed to make the Chiefs my crazy sleeper playoff group to emerge in the AFC this year (and apparently I’m not the one one who believes they’re in store for an enormous enchancment, as their juice on their “Over” win complete shot up in a short time, so a lot of motion felt the same means). First, the positives: upgrading to a league average quarterback and coach over their predecessors is an enormous deal, and KC has a pleasant schedule coming off a 2-14 season. The Chiefs also drafted a left sort out with their first pick who should make an instantaneous impression. Going from two wins to 8-10 appears drastic, however even other than these upgrades, it’s additionally protected to say the Chiefs had been unfortunate final year, as they had an anemic 33.three percent fumble restoration price. And it’s not just like the team is void of expertise, having sent a whopping six players to final year’s Professional Bowl (admittedly, this distinction isn’t precisely a perfect measure of efficiency). Finally, I gave them a six-win leap however think Alex Smith’s limitations lead to Kansas Metropolis falling just short of the postseason. And whereas Dwayne Bowe improves along with his new QB and move-completely satisfied system, his skill set doesn’t mesh well with Smith, resulting in a disappointing fantasy season for many who drafted the WR at his current ADP. It’s not all unhealthy, as Jamal Charles finishes as a top-5 fantasy back.
This is fairly superior. Right here’s a ten-yr-old beating a chess master.
The Chargers suffered some bad luck final 12 months, losing a handful of video games wherein they led within the second half and finished with a shedding document despite not getting outscored general. They also finally rid themselves of coach Norv Turner during the offseason. However Philip Rivers’ YPA has dropped three straight seasons, together with a profession-low 6.eight last year (when he also took 49 sacks and fumbled 15 instances). And it might have appeared a lot worse, as he in some way produced an eight:0 TD:INT ratio over the final four video games while getting 6.2 YPA (that’s like a baseball participant batting400 over a month with a 35 K%). The loss of Danario Alexander certainly doesn’t assist either. This is a workforce transferring within the flawed path. Ryan Mathews posted a nice YPC through the preseason and usually looked good, but he’s onerous to belief on third downs (particularly with Danny Woodhead instead) and near the objective line, so his fantasy value is capped even when he were to by some means stay wholesome, particularly with his environment declining round him. Vincent Brown remains an intriguing late round WR flier.
Longread of the Week: “The Rock ‘n’ Roll Casualty Who Grew to become a Warfare Hero.”
It’s turn out to be more and more tough to say nice issues about what’s happening in Oakland. Their offensive line was a serious worry earlier than losing left deal with Jared Veldheer, who was arguably the team’s greatest participant, and since his substitute (Menelik Watson) HAS BY NO MEANS PLAYED LT at any level in his soccer profession, it’s secure to say one of the best fantasy protection every week would be the Raiders’ opponent. It’s one factor for Matt Flynn to lose his presumed starting job to Russell Wilson, however it’s another to do so to Terrelle Pryor. I’m beginning to think this efficiency could go down as an outlier. This all units up Tyvon Department to have a giant IDP yr. I wished to love Denarius Moore’s fantasy prospects this season, but his arrow isn’t precisely pointing up. Commenters gave me a hard time for calling Darren McFadden a bust right here, and while I acknowledge the prediction isn’t exactly “bold,” McFadden remains to be being drafted as a prime 15-20 RB in every single league I’ve been on this yr. So let me be clearer: McFadden shall be less helpful in 2013 than Eddie Lacy, Shane Vereen, Giovani Bernard and Daryl Richardson.
Side note: I am totally aware this appears weak choosing five of final year’s six AFC teams to make the playoffs when on average the turnover is about half yearly, but this wasn’t completed with out a variety of thought (for whatever that’s value), and I am not a fan to do something completely different just for the sake of it. I will say I make some extra unlikely predictions throughout my NFC preview, which will likely be up on the end of this week. So Stay tuned.