DEMO drafted Ray Rice, Bal RB-The only Nephew of Uncle Ben, Ray Rice has been the NFL’s brightest and most productive running back since his rookie season in 2008. Combining with supreme catching ability out of the backfield and great power and rushing speed Rice is one of the best fantasy options on the market. The past 4 years of his career Rice has averaged 1,266 rushing yards and 610 yards receiving. That’s almost 180 fantasy points not counting his nearly 10 combined touchdowns per season. Rice is a great talent, although last season he may not have produced rushing wise as many people had hoped after such a great 2011 season with the Ravens (only 4 100+ yard rushing games in 2012). However where Rice excels is the passing game, when he may not get it done on the ground, he’ll pick up yards and fantasy points through the air. That is what makes rice such a great fantasy option. I believe in 2013 he’ll bounce back from his rushing slump and earn fantasy owners fantasy points a la mode.
DEMO drafted Packers D/ST, GB D/ST-To say the least Green Bay defenses have not been known for being “shut down” defenses. Last season the Packers D let up 30 or more points 4 times and only once did they ever hold their opponents to single digit points and that was week 16 versus the Titans. The only way this defense will get fantasy points is by turnovers like interceptions. If you haven’t picked a defense earlier in the draft then don’t pick these guys, go to the waiver wire.
DEMO drafted Greg Olsen, Car TE-One of Cam Newton’s favorite targets, the former bear Olson caught 69 passes for 843 yards and 5 touchdowns. Although Olsen may not be one of the league’s flashiest tight ends, he definitely gets the job done with a solid 50-60 yards every game and a sprinkling of a touchdown here and there. Yardage-wise he is one of the better TE in the game, getting him off waivers is an absolute treasure. In 2013 look for Olsen to get around 900 yards and perhaps 6 TDs for the Panthers.
DEMO drafted Mike Williams, TB WR-One of the more underrated WR in the league last season with 8 double digit fantasy performances. Last year for the Bucs he caught 63 Freeman passes for 996 yards and 9 touchdowns. Considering many leagues had him on the waiver wire, Williams was a great waiver wire pickup, especially during weeks 4-10 when he had 4 games of over 10 fantasy points. Also considering he is #2 to big man on campus Vincent Jackson, Williams did surprisingly well. What do we have to look forward to next season? Well for starters Freeman will be back for the Bucs so that’s an automatic plus as well with Doug Martin in the backfield, Williams will get some help getting those red-zone targets. Look for Williams to repeat his near-1,000 yard season, look for his touchdowns to be around the 6/7 range with Martin looking to get more touches.
DEMO drafted Chris Johnson, TEN RB-Chris Johnson, CJ2K, is one of the most interesting running backs in the NFL. After his nearly record-setting sophomore season for the Titans many thought he would be the face of the franchise. His breakaway speed is undeniable and his moves can buckle the knees of even the fans sitting in the nosebleed section. However last season, as usual for Johnson, was a season of extreme highs and extreme lows. After holding out from training camp and some of the preseason, Johnson started out 2012 with 33 carries for 45 yards. An utterly embarrassing number for the former #1 pick who instead of CJ2K looked more like CJ½K. However as soon as many thought Johnson’s career in Tennessee might be over, he did what nobody could have predicted, came back and shocked the world. From week 4 against Houston where he exploded for 141 yards on 25 carries till week 12, when he rushed for 80 yards on 21 carries, Johnson rushed for an unheard of 797 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns in only 8 games. CJ2K was back and would finish the year with 1,243 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns, while catching 36 passes for 232 yards. Although I want to say Chris Johnson is back, with the Titans addition of Jets running back Shone Greene, Johnson’s carries might be limited to just yardage eater and no goal-line touches. Regardless, Johnson has the talent and the ability, hopefully for Johnson owners that doesn’t go to waste in 2013.
DEMO drafted A.J. Green, Phi WR-Last season the 2nd year man out of Georgia had an absolutely phenomenal season for the Cincinnati Bengals, following up his 1,057 yard, 7 touchdown rookie season in 2011, with 1,350 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2012. Part of the reason for Green’s success was in his relationship with Andy Dalton. In 2011 he had merely 116 targets, while in 2012 he had 164 targets, tied for 5th most in the league with Andre Johnson. The key to Green’s success is his ability to reach up and catch the ball, especially in traffic. From a fantasy standpoint, Green was the ultimate fantasy WR last year with 10 games of double digit fantasy points. As well as having 9 games of over 80 yards receiving, Green from week 2 to week 11 went on a blazing hot streak, catching a touchdown in every single game while receiving for over 85 yards 6 times. 2013 looks to be same old same old for A.J. as he heads into his 3rd year for the Bengals. Without hardly any competition from his teammates, A.J. can bust out as at least a top-5 wide receiver in 2013.
DEMO drafted Andrew Luck, IND QB-Picked #1 overall in the 2012 Draft, Andrew Luck played incredibly well considering the situation he was given. He turned a cellar-dwelling 2-14 2011 Indianapolis Colts into a 11-5 playoff bound team. In 2012, Luck passed for 4,374 yards and 23 touchdowns, while rushing for 255 yards and 5 touchdowns. Although Luck did not rush for as many yards as his Rookie counterpart Robert Griffin III (826 yards, 7 touchdowns), Luck did pass for 1,100 more yards. During his rookie year with the Colts, Luck only had 3 single digit fantasy performances, while going for over 20 points 4 times. However I’m still not assured with Luck. He may not be a top-3 QB, but he’s definitely worth a #3 or #4 pick. The real uncertainty with Luck is his interceptions and turnovers. We know he is a great pocket passer and is a yardage machine, but his 23 turnovers last season were mind boggling. This season, Luck will bounce back from his 18 interceptions and to many dissenters, break the curse of the Sophomore slump. With targets such as veteran Reggie Wayne, 2nd year man T.Y. Hilton and new addition Darrius Heyward-Bey, 2013 looks promising for the young Stanford QB.
DEMO drafted Eric Decker, Den WR-While Decker may not have been a yardage machine like his counterpart Demaryius Thomas in 2012, Decker was 2nd in the league with 13 touchdowns. Although Decker rarely caught for over 80 yards (only 6 games last season with 80+ yards), Decker has a multitude of touchdowns to make up for it. He is very athletic and strong and let’s face it undeniably handsome. 2013 looks to be another strong year for Decker, considering Wes Welker, don’t expect him to eclipse 1,100 yards, but he will get the red-zone targets that fantasy owners love. Also there’s his quarterback, you may know him, his name is Peyton Manning, so that is probably a good sign. Besides weeks 10-13 last season, Decker was as solid as a rock. Look for him to have a nearly identical season in 2013.
DEMO drafted Tony Gonzalez, ATL TE-He’s perhaps another interview and two trades away from becoming the next Brett Favre, before last season, Gonzalez had doubts whether or not he was going to continue on to play another season for the Falcons, however after much speculation, and an NFC playoff win later, he’s back for the Falcons in his 17th season as a TE. Last season was spectacular for the 36 year-old, catching 93 passes and 8 touchdowns for 930 yards. It was almost as if the falcons plucked 2003 Tony and put him into a 2012 Falcons jersey. This season, whether or not it is his last, should be a great one for the all-pro out of Cal. I never make guarantees, but in Tony’s case I’ll make an exception. He is guaranteed, if he stays healthy, over 800 yards and at least 5 touchdowns this season, pending his health. Solid tight end for your fantasy squad, but feel free to look at the waiver wire if anything, younger and trendy pops up.
DEMO drafted Marques Colston, NO WR-A staple of New Orleans wide receiving since he was drafted out of Hofstra in 2006, Colston last year continued to impress even at age 29. Although he doesn’t have consistent games of 90 yards or more every game, Colston can sure burn defenses when the moment is right. In considering Colston’s 1,154 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns, Colston was at times outstanding and at the same times average. At times he looked like 29 year old Marques Colston, earning single digit fantasy points 10 games out of 16 and catching below 63 yards 8 times, and at times he looked like 25 year-old Marques Colston catching over 9 Drew Brees passes for over 130 yards 3 times last season, including an absolute monster game versus the Chargers when Colston caught 9 passes for 131 yards and 3 touchdowns. Now is Colston a reliable fantasy option? Absolutely. Can he deliver over 100 yard performances? I’m not so sure. Considering Colston still has the best QB in the NFL in Drew Brees, I think his chances to repeat another 1,000 yard season are very big. The main question is touchdowns, we’ll have to see if he can deliver another 10 TD performance. I have faith he can be a #1 receiver on your fantasy team, but unfortunately time is not the greatest friend, so I’d say #2 fantasy receiver in 2013.
DEMO drafted Alfred Morris, WSH RB-Freddy, Freddy, Freddy Morris. Every year there is at least one player who does well and yet still goes under the radar for the beginning of the year, and then I pick him up off of Waivers just as he does well. First it was Arian Foster, then this past season, it was Alfred Morris. Drafted in the 6th round, 173rd overall, many didn’t expect Morris to do very well in the NFL, however like records, expectations are meant to be shattered. As a rookie out of Florida Atlantic University, Morris rushed for over 1,600 yards and 13 touchdowns for the Washington Redskins, coming up 200 yards short of Erik Dickerson’s record set in 1983. To say the least, Morris was a complete and utter boss last season for the Skins. While only driving his affordable mid-sized sedan, Morris only went below double digit fantasy points 4 times during the entire 2012 season, his lowest total 5, against the Steelers when he only got 13 carries for 59 yards. The only weak side of Morris’ game would be his production receiving wise. With only 11 catches for 77 yards, Morris needs to get out of the backfield a bit more often for some passing plays or as a check down for RGIII in case he can’t escape the pocket that easily. If Morris can improve his receiving game and continue pounding the ball through defenses and into the end zone, Morris will surely be a worthwhile #1/#2 pick.
DEMO drafted Demaryius Thomas, Den WR- Demaryius Thomas, as a 2nd-year WR out of Georgia Tech went relatively unnoticed in 2011 until week 14, when he burst onto the NFL scene with 144 yards and 2 touchdowns vs. the Vikings, catching 25 passes for 450 yards and 3 touchdowns to lead the Broncos to the playoffs. Then, perhaps the most masterfully and most clutch played game of his career, the Wild-Card round versus the Pittsburgh Steelers. 4 receptions for 204 Yards and the play that will define his career; “Shotgun for Tim Tebow, short motion is Eddie Royal. Tim play fakes, in the pocket, sets, throws, Pass caught Demaryius Thomas! Out on the 45, midfield! Here we go! 40, 35, foot race, 20, 15, 10, Touchdown Denver! Ah it’s over!” The words that will ring through Denver fans for decades to come, all from a 2nd year Wide out and a Quarterback whom many doubted and hated, but could never stop watching. As a 3rd year WR, Thomas and Manning in 2012 exploded, combining for 1,434 yards and 10 touchdowns on 94 receptions. Although “Optimus Prime” had some minor problems hanging onto the football, his athleticism and ability to get open across the field were unparalleled last season. Then again, with the NFL’s greatest Quarterback, it’s kind of hard not to be one of the best receivers in the NFL. 2013 looks very bright for Thomas, although the addition of Wes Welker might take away a lot of Thomas’ targets, he still has the talent to be a #1 stud in Denver. Look for DT to repeat his breakout season, perhaps not to the same extent, but he is definitely worth at least a #3 overall pick in your fantasy drafts.
DEMO drafted LeSean McCoy, Phi RB- Last year was a bit disappointing for Shady and for those who picked him #1 on their fantasy drafts. As compared to the previous season 2011, McCoy had 15 less rushing touchdowns, and about 450 less rushing yards in his 2012 season. Due to his week 11 concussion vs. the Redskins, Shady was unreasonably cold last season. However, I still have high hopes for the former Pitt Panther in that former Oregon Coach Chip Kelly will be coming to the City of Brotherly Love. Last season the Eagles had “The Walrus” a.k.a. Andy Ried, a great coach no doubt, however despite McCoy’s great play, would not give him the goal-line touches, and even when given goal-line touches, unexpectedly Shady could not get it done. Now, whether or not he trusted McCoy, who in the past has been prone to getting stuck up, is still up in the air. As well, it surprised me how McCoy, coming off a season of over 17 touchdowns, wasn’t given as many carries as he got. Only 3 times did McCoy get over 20 carries. 3 times? For a rusher that in the previous season went for over 1,600 overall all-purpose yards? No matter whatever happened, 2012 is in the books and I believe that with Chip Kelly’s infinite offensive wisdom and experience with college rushing powerhouse Oregon, Kelly can turn McCoy into the Real Slim Shady that has dazzled us for the past 4 years. Regardless of his performance last year, McCoy looks as to add yet another 1,000 yard season to his resume. He has so much talent, especially in the passing game; blocking and catching passes out of the backfield, he is an invaluable piece to this Eagles offense. With breakaway speed and absolutely knee buckling moves, it’s impossible not to love Shady. Now, as long as Bryce Brown stays away and McCoy stays healthy, he should bounce back.
DEMO drafted Jamaal Charles, KC RB- J.C. the beast from K.C. Also known as the undisputed #boss mode the past 5 years, looks primed for yet another awesome season. After his season-ending ACL tear in 2011, I expected the worst coming back and after such performances as week 2 vs. the Bills, I expected the worst, but then unfortunately for my fantasy teams, week 3 happened. 233 rushing yards, a 91 yard touchdown, and 55 receiving yards vs. the Saints, a grand total of 34 ESPN Standard fantasy points. I stood kicking myself, but in reality I was happy, Jamaal was back. Charles went on to rush for more than 1,500 yards and catch 35 passes for 236 yards. The only thing that was lacking was the lack of goal-line carries for Jamaal. Unlike McCoy who was a bit shady himself, Charles for sure earned his share of goal-line touches, however Coach Romeo Cronnel would always give the ball to burned-out Peyton Hillis or rookie Shaun Draughn. Never-the-less, Charles has a fresh start with a new and better QB, and hopefully can reproduce his successful year that he had last year. As well, with Romeo Cronnel out and Andy Reid in, hopefully Charles will actually get the ball when he deserves it. Watch for the former Long Horn to hook em, and by hook em, I mean rush the ball like nobody else in the entire NFL.