2011 NFL Predictions: Projecting Stats for the Top 10 Offensive NFL Free Agents

Matthew WolfeCorrespondent IIIAugust 5, 2011

2011 NFL Predictions: Projecting Stats for the Top 10 Offensive NFL Free Agents

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    The NFL season is right around the corner, which means its time to start studying up for fantasy drafts.

    With a ton of big names changing uniforms this offseason, drafting your team just became that much harder.

    A player on a new team comes with a high risk but could also pay off with a high reward.

    Here is a projection of how top free agents will do statistically this season.

Joseph Addai

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    Addai was plagued by injury for most of his 2010 season but is back in Indy and ready to produce in 2011.

    The running back out of LSU should return to his role as the starting running back because he is experienced and works well with Peyton Manning.

    Addai could surprise a lot of people this season, but he is by no means a No.1 back.

    Projected statistics: 810 yards, six touchdowns

Steve Smith

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    Smith is still a free agent at the moment, but he is expected to be re-signed by the Giants at some point.

    It has been reported that he is unlikely to be ready for the start of the season, so there is obviously risk involved when selecting him.

    When healthy, Smith is a fairly valuable receiver in PPR leagues, but he doesn't appear to be at his healthiest going into 2011.

    He is worth keeping an eye on but don't draft him higher than a No. 3 receiver.

    Projected statistics: 41 reception, 585 yards, four touchdowns

Plaxico Burress

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    It is official. The New York Jets are not bringing Braylon Edwards back, which is good news for Burress.

    There is a lot of risk involved when drafting Burress, but he could also turn out to be a diamond in the rough.

    He is currently the No. 2 receiver for an up-and-coming Jets offense and will likely be the red-zone threat he always has been.

    Keep in mind that he has not played since 2009, so there will be an adjustment period.

    Projected statistics: 56 receptions, 750 yards, six touchdowns

BenJarvus Green-Ellis

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    Green-Ellis came out of nowhere in 2010 when he became the first Patriot to rush for over 1,000 yards since Corey Dillon in 2004.

    Unfortunately for him, the Patriots didn't seem to buy into his talent, as they went on to draft two running backs in the first three rounds of this year's draft.

    He is also going to compete with Danny Woodhead for carries, which lowers his fantasy stock even more.

    The good news for Green-Ellis is that the Patriots kept him around, so they must plan on using him the most out of any of these backs.

    Projected statistics: 900 yards, 11 touchdowns

Braylon Edwards

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    Edwards has found his new team: the San Francisco 49ers.

    He has lost some value since leaving Cleveland, but he can still be a productive No. 3 receiver in most leagues.

    Going to the 49ers drops his value because they do not have an established quarterback, which could cause problems for him.

    Edwards does have the potential to be a steal in fantasy leagues this season if he can find some chemistry with Alex Smith, so he is worth keeping an eye on.

    Projected statistics: 46 receptions, 540 yards, four touchdowns

Zach Miller

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    Miller will still be considered a top 10 tight end in most leagues—despite signing with Seattle, a team with a very inaccurate quarterback in Tarvaris Jackson.

    Despite downgrading at quarterback, Miller has been consistent throughout his career and should be solid again this season.

    He will have to compete for receptions with Mike Williams and fellow newbie Sidney Rice, but he should make for a nice target for Jackson in the red zone.

    Projected statistics: 62 receptions, 740 yards, five touchdowns

DeAngelo Williams

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    The Panthers are unstable at quarterback going into this season, which could equal good things for DeAngelo Williams.

    But staying in Carolina means Williams will have to share carries, as opposed to being the featured back somewhere else.

    When healthy, he has the talent to be a top fantasy running back and is worth drafting in Round 3 or 4 in most leagues.

    Projected statistics: 985 yards, seven touchdowns

Ahmad Bradshaw

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    After all the hoopla surrounding the running back situation in New York, the Giants have opted to keep both Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs.

    This is good news for Bradshaw, as he is in line for another productive season with the G-Men.

    He will have to compete for carries with Jacobs and has a history of fumbling problems, but he should still be a No. 2 running back in most leagues.

    Bradshaw will likely be the starter in New York this season and is a solid option at running back.

    Projected statistics: 1,150 yards, seven touchdowns

Sidney Rice

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    Just like new teammate Zach Miller, Rice is seeing a downgrade at quarterback.

    Rice is likely to get drafted high in many leagues because he is a big name who got a big paycheck this summer, but that doesn't mean he will produce.

    The Seahawks appear to be headed in the wrong direction, and Rice may just be headed in that direction with them.

    Although he will probably be drafted as a No. 2 receiver in a lot of leagues, there is a good chance he will not produce like one.

    Projected statistics: 55 receptions, 790 yards, five touchdowns

Santonio Holmes

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    In his first season with the New York Jets, Holmes was very productive and had formed noticeably good chemistry with quarterback Mark Sanchez.

    If Plaxico Burress can return to his old form, Holmes will see less action in the red zone, but he will still be Sanchez's primary target.

    He is a solid No. 2 fantasy wide out who has the potential to produce like a No. 1.

    Holmes is an exciting player to watch and a fun guy to have on your fantasy squad.

    Projected statistics: 70 receptions, 1,100 yards, seven touchdowns