1. Who will be this season's biggest breakout player?
Boy, I really want to go with Jacob Tamme or the Cardinals defense here. Maybe Coby Fleener. But to me, it comes down two receivers...A.J. Green or Julio Jones. I'm giving Jones the sliiiiightest edge based on Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan's experience, an advantage Green doesn't have. After all, Andy Dalton was a rookie in Cincinnati last year (like Green), and has some maturing to do. That said, look for Jones to have a big year, especially with Atlanta evolving into a more pass-oriented ballclub. Running back Michael Turner is 30, and one wonders if he can lug the rock 300 times again. Meanwhile, Jones caught 54 passes for 959 yards and eight touchdowns in only 13 games last year.
2. Who will be the biggest fantasy bust?
There are so many candidates here. Mark Ingram comes to mind, but he really hasn't done anything yet so it's hard to call him a bust. Calvin Johnson can't possibly repeat his 2011 season of 1,681 yards and 16 touchdowns. Adrian Peterson might have tough sledding this year, especially considering he's coming off major knee surgery, so I wouldn't pick him in the early rounds. Michael Turner is bound to hit the wall at some point. But to me, you should stay away from picking LeGarrette Blount this year, unless it's awfully late. There will be owners who look at Blount's 2010 season, and think he has potential to be a productive back who will score touchdowns. The more likely scenario is Blount having a Marion Barberesque season (at best), with little to no catches in the passing game. Blount's best fantasy days are likely in the rearview mirror. This will be Doug Martin's baby by the back half of 2012.
3. Biggest fantasy impact with new team?
Peyton Manning. One, if he can stay healthy, he should put up 4,000 yards passing and 25 touchdowns. But think about how he'll affect Demaryius Thomas' game, or Eric Decker's fantasy production. Last year these guys played with a good fantasy quarterback in Tim Tebow, but not necessarily a player who was good for their fantasy production. In fact, Tebow hurt their value tremendously, like every time he tucked the ball under his arm and ran. Moreover, Jacob Tamme caught 67 passes in 10 games with Manning back in 2010 while both were suiting up for the Colts. Manning's fantasy influence is far reaching, thus giving him the biggest fantasy impact of a player on a new team.
4. Comeback fantasy player of the year?
Andre Johnson. He's not over the hill yet, folks. His hamstring injury hamstrung his season, and subsequently, his fantasy value. AJ is still one of the best - if not the best - receiver in the game. While Arian Foster's presence still signals that Houston is an effective rushing team, the offshoot of the running game's productivity will be more playaction opportunities for Johnson. The guy had 492 yards in parts of seven games last season. My guess is he has 1,200 yards and 8 touchdowns in 2012.
5. Fantasy rookie of the year?
Trent Richardson seems like the obvious choice, although I like Doug Martin's prospects in Tampa Bay. Richardson seems motivated by Jim Brown's somewhat disparaging comments, but more importantly, who else is a threat on the Cleveland offense? If Brandon Weeden wins the starting job, then the Browns will be rolling with a rookie quarterback. A premium lead back can take the pressure off a first-year QB in ways good wideouts can't. I expect coach Pat Shurmur and staff to get Richardson 250 carries this season, if not more. Cleveland has a solid young defense (10th in the NFL in 2011), so running the football and playing conservatively might be the ticket to winning games...which of course ups Richardson's fantasy value.