Seven Fantasy Football Players Who Could Make or Break Your Season
By Guest Writer James Zembriski:
Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
Last season, Stafford was an overall disappointment after finishing with only 20 TD passes and 17 interceptions after having a career year the season before. If he can return to that form, where he finished with 41 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, Stafford may not only be one of the biggest bargains this year but may become a top ten quarterback again. This year is a great chance for him to bounce back with the best receiver in the Calvin Johnson breaking the Madden Curse and new playmaking running back Reggie Bush. It also helps that the Lions have thrown more over the past two seasons than any other team.
Phillip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers
Rivers certainly is not the same QB we are used to seeing after another lackluster season. While he seems to throw at least 25 touchdowns a year, he has been a turnover machine, responsible for 30 turnovers last season. Many of those turnovers are due to the lack of talent that surrounds him but he has proven in the past he can make a lot out of nothing. If Ryan Matthews can stay healthy and Antonio Gates can find the fountain of youth, Rivers could be successful once again.
LeSean McCoy, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
McCoy will not go past the second round in virtually every league because of his potential. For being praised to go into the top five last season, he would be considered disappointing because he failed to break a thousand yards, had a measly two touchdowns and played in only 12 games. Owners pray he can stay healthy so he can return to 2011 where he had 17 rushing touchdowns. With Chip Kelly now at the helm, the sky’s the limit for McCoy.
Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans
Johnson had a quiet year for his standards, finishing just shy of 1,250 yards rushing and six touchdowns. What makes Johnson so intriguing is that at any moment, he can break a 90-yard TD run. The Titans will have a better offensive line but do not forget that they did sign running back Shonn Greene from the Jets. Johnson is one of the toughest running backs to predict how their season will go because of all the variables going into this season. Will we see CJ2K or the guy complaining about his subpar offensive line?
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals
The surest hands in the NFL will no longer have to catch throws from Brian Hoyer or John Skelton ever again thanks to the new starting QB Carson Palmer. He will be the biggest factor on whether Fitzgerald is back to being himself. New coach Bruce Arians, who helped revitalize Reggie Wayne’s career in Indy, is also a major boost. Owners just have to hope last season is never repeated.
Hakeem Nicks, WR, New York Giants
If Nicks is looking for that big top ten contract, he has to prove he is a top receiver this season. He has yet to play a full season in his young career but if he can do that, Eli Manning will look for him a lot. Look for their chemistry to improve from just 53% completion to target rates. If he wants to out pay Cruz, he has to outplay him.
Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers
Despite his slump of a season, Vernon Davis remains a top five choice at tight end because of his playmaking ability that is rarely seen at his position. The 49ers have to get the ball to him more and most likely will with Michael Crabtree injured. His poor season had a large part to due with rising superstar Colin Kaepernick becoming the starting QB. We have seen two sides to Davis, the superstar and the forgotten soldier. It will be interesting to see which one is on the field in the upcoming Sundays.