Fantasy files: All non-LeBron all the time

Today I covered four more teams. In Detroit I expect Matthew Stafford to lead the league in interceptions and I expect Calvin Johnson to prevent that number from getting higher. I think Jahvid Best will run wild but his NFL candle’s going to burn briefly, so it better burn hot. Perhaps he’ll let Lion fans forget about Kevin Jones and Kevin Smith.

Detroit hopes to have their version of Dallas’s Triplets. After Detroit I found three teams that could corner the market on offense. I started with the Green Bay Packers. I’m not sure what stiff I drafted two years ago with an opportunity to select Aaron Rodgers, but it would make me a lot less depressed than if I were a Cleveland sports fan. What a punch to the nuts.

Aaron Rodgers was a benchwarmer who became the top fantasy quarterback. He got injured in his fill-in game for Brett Favre two years ago. Since that he’s shed the label. Not only is he a great QB, he has nine rushing touchdowns in two years. That’s 67 total touchdowns after gathering dust for three seasons. You like him, you really like Greg Jennings, who had a down touchdown year and should be closer to double digits, you really really like Jermichael Finley, and if Donald Driver doesn’t cut it for his seventh straight 1,000-yard season and a spot as the all-time Packer yardage leader as a receiver, you have James Jones. Ryan Grant was the most boring top ten running back season ever. See that the difference between being RB22 and RB8 is about six touchdowns. Grant had five scores in 2008 and 11 in 2009. It’s hard to predict that, except that a guy with a lot of touches and few touchdowns probably will score more in the following year.

The key player on the Texans is Matt Schaub. In his first two years after leaving Atlanta, he missed ten games. Last year he missed none and led the league in passing yards. If you believe that he’s over the injury bug, he’s a great pick among the Big Seven quarterbacks. They’ve put together a nice offense in Houston, even if the run game kind of imploded last year. Andre Johnson could catch 120 balls especially if number two target Owen Daniels is still recovering from his ACL tear suffered midway through last season. Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter can only do so much.

For the moment, I can’t recommend going after the Texan run game even though it’s due for a bounce back. Steve Slaton might catch a lot of passes but I doubt that Gary Kubiak’s going to give him more than 150 carries. That leaves Ben Tate and Arian Foster. Foster’s the better buy, and since Kubiak killed my fantasy season by benching Foster in a critical spot, he’ll probably be the guy. I can’t pull the trigger.

I have a sneaking suspicion that there will be a new RB star in Indianapolis. Peyton Manning’s so consistent that he’s boring people into drafting him behind Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees. What do you want from a guy who hasn’t ranked lower than ninth in his career? Yeah he’s getting older but he’s never hurt and probably will play until he’s 40. Reggie Wayne is a bit of a risk from a dynasty/keeper point of view because his contract’s up soon and he’s on the wrong side of 30. As a redraft guy, he’s top five. Dallas Clark caught 100 passes last year. His previous career high was 78. Should he be the top tight end drafted? I hate to be the first of drafting any position except for a RB. Pierre Garcon came on last year and scored a Super Bowl TD, but he’s the third banana. Expect inconsistency.

The Colts didn’t draft Donald Brown to be a benchwarmer. Joseph Addai has been very good and scores a lot of touchdowns. I say that his role is diminished in the final year of his contract. Brown can do what Addai does, only better. In the Indy offense, a RB isn’t ever going to be the focal point. Consider both guys potential RB2s on a weekly basis but nothing that’s going to win you a title.

Oh yeah, Anthony Gonzalez will be the rare first-round bust for the Colts. How rare is that?

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