Fantasy  

 

Five Questions: Mathews primed to breakout

 

1. Who will be this season's biggest breakout player?

The Chargers have a lot of confidence in Ryan Mathews this season, and fantasy enthusiasts should, too. The thing that amuses me the most about Mathews is he gets a bad rap about being injury prone and missing games. Yeah, he played in 14 games last season, but he's not Darren McFadden, who played in only seven games last year. I'm going to take my chances with Mathews.

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2. Who will be the biggest fantasy bust?

Again, why does McFadden get a free pass for all of his injury troubles, while Mathews continues to be ripped for being injury prone? To me, it's akin to having child-proof seals on every bottle of aspirin so intricate, the team of Ocean's 11 would have trouble breaking through, yet we think nothing of letting some 16-year old have direct access to the pizza he's delivering to your house. Have fun with McFadden, I'm avoiding him.

3. Biggest fantasy impact with new team?

The obvious answer is Peyton Manning, but I'll take the guy who is going to helm his old job, Andy Luck. Now, you're not to draft Luck as your starting quarterback, but he deserves roster consideration because of his ability to run the ball. Compare his combine numbers to Cam Newton last year, and you're looking at a guy who could approach double-digit rushing touchdowns (who is going to be counted on for goal-line touches in Indianapolis). Similarly, Luck will revive the career of Reggie Wayne, much in the same way Newton rejuvenated Steve Smith's fantasy career.

4. Comeback fantasy player of the year?

Chris Johnson will have a monster bounce-back season this year. Johnson was not ready for 2011 and fantasy owners suffered for it. But now you can use it to your advantage because as he slides down the draft board, you can be ready to pounce. And then you can laugh at the guy who drafts McFadden.

5. Fantasy rookie of the year?

It's going to be one of the rookie quarterbacks, so I'll side with Luck. And my main reason is this - is his head coach Mike Shanahan? Seriously, I wouldn't be surprised if Shanahan decides to be the first coach since Tom Landry (Google him) in the 1970s to have a quarterback-by-committee approach. I like Luck, and his teammate Coby Fleener, who already has as history with the No. 1 overall pick.

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