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Josh Freeman is a fantasy quarterback to like in 2012

What we are talking about:

  • Josh Freeman

    He will bounce back in 2012

  • Matt Ryan

    Something doesn't add up

  • L.A. Kings

    Are they a team of destiny?

HBO has selected the Dolphins as this year's participant on "Hard Knocks." And I had two immediate responses (as presented on Twitter). First, how long is it going to take Kim Kardashian to try to weasel her way back into Reggie Bush's good grace? Second, the selection of the Dolphins was really a green light for the team's true star: Lauren Tannehill, wife of first round-pick Ryan Tannehill, who became the breakout star of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Let's make no mistake, Lauren Tannehill is attractive. But in a world where Kate Upton's Cat Daddy video exists, we should have some restraint. Seriously, you could spend three hours at the Century City Mall in L.A. and find 37 women on the same level as Lauren Tannehill, but she's the one the interwebs go ga-ga over. I guess it's about opportunity and exposure.

It's similar to the way we look at fantasy running backs too. With a dearth of feature backs in the NFL, we overvalue the position. So we ignore the obvious injury concerns for DeMarco Murray, Darren McFadden and to some extent Matt Forte because we want so badly for them to be productive.

So who can you trust this season, and who are the Lauren Tannehill all-stars? We'll knock that out the preseason edition of Like/dislike.

And without further ado ...

I went to a fantasy draft party with some NFL sponsors last year to press the flesh and offer advice. One dude picked Matt Ryan fourth. Not in the fourth round, but fourth overall in the entire draft. I would advise against doing that. …

Ryan did finish eighth in fantasy points last year, so he wasn't a bust. He has a pair of young superstar receivers, yet there's something about watching him play which is as unsatisfying and formulaic as an episode of "How I Met Your Mother." …

ImageHaving "How I Met Your Mother" in syndication reminds me how great the show was at the beginning and how repetitive the show has become in recent years. Have Ted meet the kids mom, or have the kids turn into Zombies who eat their dad. Either ending would work for me. …

ImageI hear Cobie Smulders was fantastic in "The Avengers." I wouldn't know because I respect Jack Kirby way too much to line the pockets of Marvel. I feel I might have wandered off topic, let's get back to Ryan. …

I would much rather over spend for one of the elite quarterbacks (or even Romo and Rivers) instead of being stuck with Ryan. Maybe it's the addition of Dirk Koetter, who certainly didn't set the scoreboard ablaze in Jacksonville. But something seems off in Atlanta. …

Drew Brees is an automatic. The year after he threw for 5,069 yards and 34 touchdowns in 2008, he followed it up with a 4,000 yard and 34 TD season the next year and dropped his interception totals. So, I don't fear a letdown. But there's something about the situation in New Orleans which will keep me from drafting him in the first round. …

I have Maurice Jones-Drew high on my rankings, because it just seems like the thing to do, and I don't have any conviction in it. MJD reportedly looks slower in camp already and the team will try to see if Blaine Gabbert can make it. (Spoiler alert: Gabbert won't.) …

Matt Forte looked impressive hauling the weight around in his video plea to the Bears for more money. Hey, if he wanted to pitch a reality TV show of dudes dragging random objects, count me in. If he's trying to convince me he's going to be good to go for the fantasy season, I still have my doubts. …

Again, if Forte settles his contract issues and his knee is completely healthy, it's all good. But it still doesn't override the fact Michael Bush is still in the mix in Chicago. The Bears didn't sign him as an insurance policy. He's playing. …

For some reason, people throw up caution flags for Mathews but are willing to invest in Darren McFadden, who started only seven games last year. McFadden is deadly when he's healthy, but we've seen it only once during his previous four years. …

McFadden is ranked in the top 10 with all of our other experts, so don't expect him to tumble in your draft. If he's there in the fourth round, then you have a decision to make. But you can't whiff in the first three rounds. There are much surer players out there. …

What about Reggie Bush? He's another guy people expect to have a major fantasy season because he started double digit games for the second time in his six year career. Yes, the durable Reggie Bush is going to have another strong season, but watch out for Mathews or Peterson - they're an injury risk. (I'm being facetious here, in case it doesn't come through.) …

Michael Turner is another guy to pass on because his numbers from 2011 were a little deceiving thanks to 172 rushing yards and two touchdowns against the Buccaneers in Week 17. Turner looked like a guy at the end of the road last year, and expect "The Quiz" to be more involved in the offense this year. …

The Falcons are also expected to go to the no-huddle in Dirk Koetter's new offense in Atlanta. If that's the case, expect to see less of Turner on the field, because he's not much of a receiver. Jacquizz Rodgers would be the beneficiary of the Falcons' no-huddle. …

Frank Gore is becoming like the fading star in one of those horrible Garry Marshall ensemble comedies such as "New Year's Eve" or "Valentine's Day." You know the ones where they jam as many stars into one movie as possible, and none of them shine? That will be the 49ers offense this season, just as disastrous. Why? Their director still isn't good and the whole thing is way too convoluted. …

Alex Smith is still the quarterback (or director in this case) of the 49ers right? Sure, he got the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game. (Expletive) like that works once. It's the reason why the Ravens dumped Trent Dilfer after a Super Bowl win. The 49ers knew this, which is why they went after Peyton Manning. And it's why they've added a bunch of curtain-jerkers and other mid-carders to jump their shabby offense. …

This is why the 49ers will stumble a bit this season. The defense will still be as dominant as ever. But Smith is all out of excuses and it's going to catch up to him eventually. Don't be surprised if Colin Kaepernick ends up starting for non-injury reasons in 2012. …

Image What's interesting to note, Jessica Beil appeared in both "New Year's Eve" and "Valentine's Day," but played two different characters. And I only know that because of IMDB, not because I watched either movie. Seriously, I watch bad movies, so I would admit to it. Do those films even make money? …

Demaryius Thomas is not going to be a top 10 fantasy receiver. The expectations for him are through the roof, but he's going to be frustrating to Peyton Manning and fantasy enthusiasts alike. Let somebody else deal with the headache. Trust me, you will be a lot happier if you do. …

The knock against Thomas coming out of Georgia Tech was route running because the Yellow Jackets ran an offense better suited for a remake of "School Ties." Thomas is going to need to be able to run proper routes and make adjustments as Manning barks audible calls at the line of scrimmage. He's not there, yet. …

Look at a lot of Thomas' big plays last year, they came after Tim Tebow extended the play and it involved into sandlot football. But his big play against the Steelers did show Thomas won't be a complete bust, but he's not going to be the top 10 receiver many expect. …

Speaking of Tebow, don't go for him. No need to take a gamble on the NFL's version of John Cena. Speaking of the face of the WWE, as I mentioned before, heels are at their best when they speak the truth. The Big Show's statements about Cena were spot on. Instead of acting like Jim Carrey, why not stick up for Show? …

ImageThe one thing that truly upsets me about Cena is when he challenged Rey Mysterio for his title moments after he won a tournament for it on RAW. Rey was celebrating with a champagne shower, and there was Cena with that stupid, (expletive)-eating grin on his face, hand extended and asking for a shot. I'll never get over that. …

ImageAnd what the hell, Randy Orton? A second wellness suspension for 60 days. Here's the thing, the WWE has enough young superstars who can pick up the slack. But WWE suspensions should involve putting over talent for 60 days, instead of not being on WWE TV. But what would really hurt Orton would be for him to lay down for guys like The Miz and Dolph Ziggler. Having Brodus Clay squash Orton would be a great way for the big man to get his heat back. …

Which works better for a gratuitous Alvin Harper joke: Vincent Jackson or Laurent Robinson? Jackson is joining the Buccaneers, but Robinson actually played for the Cowboys, so it's a tough call. I'm going with Robinson. Jackson will see his value tumble a bit, but Robinson is prepared to return to the fantasy milk carton. …

Not that I blame Robinson, I'd rather be a bust making tons of cash instead of falling victim to the Yasmine Bleeth principle. But dang, there wasn't a better situation for you? Why not go back to St. Louis or something, because it needs help following the loss of Brandon Lloyd? …

Lloyd will have some great games for the Patriots, but he's not going to be a consistent performer for fantasy enthusiasts. Not with all of the receiving talent available in New England. You have Welker and the multiple tight ends to deal with. There are much better options. …

So this leaves St. Louis with Brian Quick and Danny Amendola. Not crazy about either guy, to be honest with you. (Like I could lie to you.) But if I had to pick one of those guys, it would be Amendola. I'm not enthused by either guy, but I do like Sam Bradford as a QB2 breakout candidate. …

Looks like the St. Louis FC dodged a bullet when it traded down in the draft, and avoided Justin Blackmon. Though, it's hard to imagine a team with such a rich draft history of making great picks like Gabbert could make a mistake with Blackmon. …

I was down on Blackmon prior to his legal troubles, and this situation isn't going to help. In addition, Jacksonville's quarterback situation is a mess and he's going to compete with Laurent Robinson for targets. Avoid Blackmon. …

Robert Griffin, III is going to be a great quarterback in the NFL, but I'm not going to risk taking him. You want to know why? His coach, Mike Shanahan is bat crap crazy. I'm not taking RGIII, Roy Helu, Tim Hightower, Fred Davis, Santana Moss or anybody. Although, I might consider Pierre Garcon. …

Here's a crazy Shanahan prediction; RGIII rides the pine at some point this season for a reason other than injury. Can't you just see Shanahan doing the Mr. Burns in "Homer at the Bat" and starting Kirk Cousins? …

ImageFinal thought: What was the most surprising return for 2012 - Norv Turner, Vinny Del Negro or the Pro Bowl? Of if this was a Jeopardy question, it would be, "What are three things the sports would be better off without?"


For the record, you can submit your fantasy questions to NFL Fantasy Live, Michael Fabiano or me on Twitter. But realize, NFL Fantasy Live has 45,000 followers, and Fabiano has 50,000. Me? Just 13. See, the odds are better I will answer your question, so hit me up both via Twitter or via Facebook. Also be sure to catch the latest "Dave Dameshek Football Program."

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