Life is full of challenges – climbing the corporate ladder, getting over a broken heart, saying no to the super-sized Coke and fries.
As a fantasy football columnist, this is the most challenging week for me to write an article, because it’s that awkward time sandwiched between your draft or auction and kickoff weekend. Your fantasy team is set, and you should wait at least until after you’ve seen your players in action before you second-guess yourself.
So in the meantime, I’ll share with you some of my fantasy-relevant predictions for this season:
Julio Jones won’t transform the Falcons offense. Atlanta, which ranked 31st in passes of 20 or more yards last season, desperately needed to add a deep threat. But don’t confuse a team that wants to take some more shots downfield with one that is migrating to a wide-open attack. Mike Mularkey’s reputation as a conservative offensive coordinator is well cemented, evident by the fact that no Mularkey-coached quarterback has ever topped 3,800 yards passing.
Running backs C.J. Spiller and Bernard Scott will break out. The Bills have shown signs that they’re ready to give Spiller a larger workload in his second season. Buffalo coach Chan Gailey could be out of a job unless his team makes significant strides, and I doubt he’ll go down in flames while his prized first-round draft pick from last season rides the bench. Fred Jackson is still in the mix, but he’s not a long-term solution. Meanwhile, in Cincinnati, starter Cedric Benson averaged an abysmal 3.5 yards per carry last season and could face a suspension following his assault conviction. Scott has shined whenever he’s been given an opportunity.
Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne will pass for at least 3,700 yards and 23 touchdowns. Miami’s horrific running back tandem of Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas will leave Miami with no choice but to air it out often. Henne certainly needs to improve his decision-making, but he did have six 250-yard games last season.
Kevin Boss will finish as a top-10 fantasy tight end. In Jason Campbell’s four seasons as a starting quarterback, he has produced three top-10 tight ends (and it likely would have been four if not for Chris Cooley’s season-ending ankle injury in 2009). Only two tight ends -- San Francisco’s Vernon Davis and San Diego’s Antonio Gates -- averaged more yards per catch last season than Boss’ 15.2.
Ryan Chatelain is amNY’s fantasy football columnist.Follow him on Twitter at @flexposition.