|LaMont don't need football|
The season has arrived. If you listen closely, you can hear a couple of fantasy heads talking late round fliers over a plate of Mega Nachos at Ruby Tuesday. Like those fellas know, these weeks are all about draft preparation. And I’m here to help out by giving away my top six players to target in 2012. Is this the year I finally make up for guaranteeing a bounce back season from LaMont Jordan in '03?
Chris Johnson – Johnson draws those, “I thought I was watching a video game then I realized, no, this is a real life football guy, and that’s a real life Tony Siragusa eating real life brisket while yelling shit into a Fox headset on the sideline” reactions, right? Well last year, at times, he looked a lot more like the running backs I control in video games. GM Thomas drafts a burner, Coach Thomas calls a stretch play, and RB Thomas sprints past his blockers and gets tackled.
OK, Johnson wasn’t all that bad. He just didn’t always work in unison with the parts around him, and seemed frustrated. That’s why CJ doesn’t have the appropriate amount of heat behind him coming into this year. Which is very cool, because the best back in the league can now be had with the 8th pick.
After Johnson went off for 2,000 yards, I sorta talked myself into him following it up with 3,000 (because that was the obvious progression). Those days are gone. He’ll probably be more like CJ1.5K or whatever. Throw in a bunch of reception yards and touchdowns, and there you go. I’m really only basing this off of the Steve Hutchinson signing.
Cam Newton – Remember those early years of The Challenge back when folks were there to have some fun, and chill dudes like Eric Nies were unstoppable? And then remember when Alton showed up? He possessed all the chill qualities of an Eric Nies, but also had freakish abilities that the show hadn’t encountered before. Yeah, Cam Newton is the NFL’s version of Alton.
History suggests Cam will regress. History doesn’t think Cam will run into the end zone as often. History won’t shut the hell up about “sophomore slumps”. History has never seen a Cam Newton.
Cam should only get better. The extra year and full training camp could make for quicker reads and smarter decisions. Defenses can adjust; so will Cam. The offense may also be aided by full years from Williams and Stewart (lol).
Calvin Johnson – Calvin Johnson will continue to bust open every coverage he sees, and Matt Stafford will continue to let it fly. Stafford and Johnson are what Lions fans convinced themselves they had in Joey Harrington and Charles Rodgers. But, if Stafford’s arm falls off mid-season, Shaun Hill has proven he can put the ball in Johnson’s general area.
If you’re skeptical about taking Johnson, go back and watch what he did to the Cowboys last year in week four. That’ll ease your nerves heading into draft day. However, I don’t endorse this strategy for all players. Back in ‘01 I reached early on Elvis Grbac after a pre-draft viewing of the carve session he had the previous season against the Chargers. I did not win that league.
Darren McFadden – “Scared money don’t make money.” -Dudes I once played dice with behind a Burlington Coat Factory.
Either McFadden plays close to fourteen games and brings in major fantasy points, or you spend four months feeling like Tom Cable just stuck you in the jaw. I say take the risk.
Matt Forte – A key moment last year was when Mike Martz figured out he didn’t have to drop Cutler back ten steps on every down, and that running plays weren’t outlawed. While Martz’ old position is now held by Mike Tice (seriously, what an awesome swap), his new approach showed the potential of Chicago’s offense. Sixteen games of Forte in a system not designed by a crazy person will make him a killer fantasy play.
Toby Gerhart – Unless you draft with small children or people who don’t use the Internet, sleepers barely exist anymore. Gerhart is all value – and heart, and work ethic, and white. Take him at his ADP of 106, and hope Adrian Peterson is made of regular human parts.
P.S. My bad for this being posted three days from football starting. The worst part is that it helps all you suckas that have drafts after the season has opened.