It's that time of the year again. When you gather around the drafting kit or enter your online draft three hours early to see what pick you ended up with. Just remember to make your fantasy football draft picks with your heart. That is, if you don't have any interest in winning.
Here's a few projections you might want to consider before clicking the draft button.
1) Larry Fitzgerald will finish outside the top 10 in fantasy WRs and will have career lows in yards and touchdowns. With a knee injury and the shaky Matt Leinart at QB, expect a disappointing season if you draft him in the first round.
2) Tony Gonzalez will lead the Atlanta Falcons in both receptions and touchdowns. The Falcons won’t be unleashing Matty Ice like a lot of analysts think. They are a run-first team with a very balanced passing game.
3) Joe Flacco will throw more touchdowns than Brett Favre. The addition of Anquan Boldin and another year of growth for Flacco will make him a very dangerous QB this season.
4) Terrell Owens will finish as a top 25 WR and score more touchdowns than Wes Welker and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. He’s big and he can still play. With the run game the Bengals have, and Ochocinco on the opposite side of the field, expect T.O. to have plenty of opportunities to score.
5) Michael Bush will become the every-down back for the Raiders and will rush for over 1,000 yards. He has been underrated the past couple of seasons, and with an improvement at QB and injury problems to Darren McFadden, Bush takes the cake.
6) Steve Smith (Car) will finish with more touchdowns and receiving yards than both Miles Austin and DeSean Jackson. He has something to prove this year, and seemed to show good chemistry with Matt Moore at the end of '09.
7) Jay Cutler will throw for 30 touchdowns, more than Phillip Rivers. It’s a bold projection, but with his big arm and quick receivers in a Mike Martz system, expect him to let it fly and surprise a lot of people.
8) Carson Palmer will finish as a top 15 QB and have more touchdown passes than Matt Ryan. Ryan will get his. But I like the Bengals’ receiving corps just a tad bit more.
9) Jake Delhomme will throw for more touchdowns than Sam Bradford and Matt Castle and finish among the top 25 fantasy QBs. Delhomme isn’t as bad as a lot of people think he is. He has enough magic left in the tank for one more solid year.
10) Tony Romo will throw for over 30 touchdowns and finish as a top five fantasy QB. Romo is an experienced QB with a strong offensive line and plenty of weapons. He’s thinking Super Bowl at home this year.
11) Kyle Orton will finish as a top 25 fantasy QB and will throw for more touchdowns than Matt Stafford and Vince Young. Orton is in his prime and has shown improvement every year dating back to his rookie days with the Bears.
12) Matt Stafford will throw for at least 20 touchdowns and finish as a top 20 fantasy QB. The Lions are slowly, but surely, improving. Expect him and Megatron to be a dynamic duo in 2010
13) Greg Jennings will finish as a top 10 fantasy WR. He has tremendous talent and will easily double his touchdown total of four from last season.
14) Arian Foster will have a 1,000 yard, 10 touchdown season finishing as a top 20 fantasy RB. With a powerful passing game, and the inconsistent Slaton behind him, Foster will be ready to find the holes with every carry.
15) Matt Schaub will throw more touchdown passes than Tom Brady. That’s right.
16) Pierre Garcon will finish as a top 25 fantasy WR and will score more touchdowns than Wes Welker. Did you see this man down the stretch of the 09’ season? If Peyton Manning trusts him, I do.
17) Mike Sims-Walker will not finish as a top 25 WR. With nobody proven opposite him, Walker will be grinding for catches this season.
18) Dwayne Bowe will not finish as a top 20 fantasy WR, and will have less receiving yards and touchdowns than Hakeem Nicks. I’m not sold on Matt Cassel, especially when the Chiefs have a solid backfield to depend on.
19) Brandon Marshall will not finish as a top 10 fantasy WR. It’s his third different QB in as many seasons. Expect a slight drop off fantasy wise.
20) Javon Walker will be the Vikings' second leading receiver, behind Bernard Berrian. Sidney Rice is out for several games. Percy Harvin has been dealing with migraines his entire NFL career. Oh, and Walker has rapport with Farve, who can make anybody look good.
21) Laurence Maroney will be a top 30 fantasy RB, finishing ahead of Darren McFadden and Steve Slaton. Maroney will get more carries than people think. The New England Patriots are becoming a more balanced offense looking to eat up some yards on the ground this season.
22) Drew Brees will not finish as a top 3 fantasy QB. Blame it on the “Madden Curse” if you will.
23) Heath Miller will finish as a top 10 fantasy TE and will score at least eight touchdowns. Roethlisberger loves him. So will whoever else is quarterbacking for the Pittsburgh Steelers this season.
24) Houston Texans’ D/ST will finish as a top 10 fantasy D/ST. Expect the defense to step up a notch this season. They’re going to have to if the Texans want to go to the postseason
25) Ryan Matthews will score at least 10 rushing touchdowns and will finish as a top 10 fantasy RB. Phillip Rivers is scary good at QB, and Matthews will be the main back behind a good offensive line.
26) Antonio Gates will lead the San Diego Chargers in receiving yards and touchdowns. He can do it all, and with the Vincent Jackson situation not looking good, Rivers and Gates will be connecting all season long.
27) Ricky Williams will rush for over 1,000 yards and 10 scores. What can I say? The guy is determined.
28) Sleeper Alert: Devin Aromashodu will lead the Chicago Bears’ WRs in receptions and touchdowns. A big guy, who can work the middle of the field bodes well for a team with a weak offensive line.
29) Derrick Mason will have more touchdowns and receptions than fellow teammate Anquan Boldin. You don’t really think Flacco is going to turn his back on ole’ faithful just because Boldin wants to be the number one, do you?
30) Michael Turner will finish among the top 5 in fantasy RBs and will score more rushing touchdowns than Ray Rice. Expect a comeback year for “The Burner” in 2010. He’s tough, with speed, and can handle the goal line carries.
31) Matt Moore will be a top 25 QB ahead of Mark Sanchez, Alex Smith, and Matt Leinart. Moore will take full advantage of the Panthers’ strong running game. Expect him to connect with Steve Smith on a regular basis.
32) Sleeper Alert: Mohamed Massaquoi will finish with more touchdowns and receptions than Braylon Edwards. He’s got good hands and has someone to throw him the ball this year. Sorry Brady Quinn.
33) Cedric Benson will finish with more rushing yards and touchdowns than both, DeAngelo Williams and Ryan Grant. He’s a beast who is taking full advantage of his opportunity in Cincinnati.
34) Marion Barber will lead the Dallas Cowboys in rushing yards and touchdowns. After a down season, expect the feisty Marion “The Barbarian” to close out games for the "Boys" this season.
35) Calvin Johnson will catch at least 12 touchdown passes, more than Brandon Marshall. This is Megatron’s year to open up shop in the end zone.
36) Aaron Rodgers will throw for 35 touchdowns, more than Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. Is it really that hard to believe?
37) Sleeper Alert: Jabar Gaffney will have a 1,000-yard receiving season and finish with at least eight touchdowns. With Brandon Marshall gone, someone has to take over the receiving duties. He’s shown good chemistry with Kyle Orton in the past.
38) Mercedes Lewis will score more touchdowns than Dustin Keller and will finish as a top 15 TE. The tight end is a quarterback's best friend. Especially when there are few other options.
39) The San Francisco 49ers D/ST will finish with more fantasy points than the Eagles D/ST. They’re quick, they're tough, and they have Mike Singletary as their coach.
40) Beanie Wells will rush for over 1,000 yards and 10 scores. With the almighty Kurt Warner out of the picture, Wells will be seeing a lot of carries in 2010. He won’t disappoint.
41) Dallas Clark will lead the Colts in receiving yards and touchdowns. Not a big surprise here.
42) Sleeper Alert: Jacoby Jones, not Kevin Walter, will be the Houston Texans’ number two WR and will catch at least six touchdown passes opposite Andre Johnson.
43) Both Greg Jennings and Donald Driver will have 1,000-yard receiving seasons. The Green Bay Packers are a team built for offensive domination. Rodgers will be more than willing to spread the wealth.
44) The Bears D/ST makes a huge turnaround this year and finishes in the top 12 fantasy D/ST. Peppers was a huge addition. Urlacher is back. Lovie Smith wants to keep his job.
45) Nate Burleson will score at least five touchdowns and finish with more receiving yards than Steve Breaston. With so much attention being drawn towards Calvin Johnson, Burleson will be open early and often.
46) Jason Witten will have more receptions, reception yards, and touchdowns than fellow teammate Roy Williams, and will finish as a top five TE. He’s clearly got fantastic chemistry with Romo and is highly trusted by his QB.
47) Jerome Harrison will finish as a top 25 RB and have more rushing yards and touchdowns than Ronnie Brown and Matt Forte. Harrison took advantage of his late opportunity last season rushing for over 500 yards and five scores during the Browns last three games. He’s in for a huge season.
48) Chad Ochocinco will have more receptions than T.O., but less touchdowns. He’s still Carson Palmer’s top target, but not as dangerous in the red zone as T.O.
49) Jonathan Stewart will be the Carolina Panthers’ leading rusher. He proved he’s got what it takes when DeAngelo Williams was out with an injury during the stretch of the 09 season.
50) Santana Moss will have a 1,000-yard plus season with Donovan McNabb under center.
There it is folks. Go ahead and book it.
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