Michael Turner will tumble, among fantasy football predictions

1. Darren McFadden will finish as a top-five fantasy runner. I know it is almost impossible to predict injuries. But in the case of McFadden, who hasn't played in more than 13 games in a single season, injuries have become commonplace. With that said, I still think he'll avoid the trainer's room and play at least 13-15 games in 2012. And based on the statistical potential he brings to the table, that scenario would make him one of the top running backs in fantasy football. If I'm in a 12-team league, I wouldn't have a problem taking McFadden at the end of the first round. If you get him in Round 2, the Raiders runner could become an absolute steal.

2. Michael Turner is going to be a serious disappointment. It's true, Turner has been one of the better running backs in fantasy land for the better part of the last four years. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. I think that end comes in 2012 for Turner, who has carried the football 300-plus times in three of the last four seasons. He also turned 30 earlier this year -- that's the age where countless other running backs before him have broken down. Falcons coach Mike Smith has hinted at reducing Turner's role this season, so fantasy owners could see more of Jason Snelling and Jacquizz Rodgers on offense. If you do decide to draft Turner, it shouldn't be as a No. 1 fantasy runner. Instead, take a younger runner with upside like Demarco Murray.

3. Demaryius Thomas will be a top-10 fantasy wide receiver. Thomas is another member of my fantasy man crush team. This kid showed some serious skills in the second half of last season, and that was with the inaccurate Tim Tebow throwing him the football. Imagine the numbers he could record with Peyton Manning throwing him the old pigskin? Keep in mind, the Colts seasonal leading receivers in terms of yards during Manning's tenure averaged almost 100 catches, better than 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns. Look for Thomas to break out in 2012.

4. Julio Jones will push Roddy White for fantasy production. Yes, I have the grapefruits to rank Jones ahead of White at the wide receiver spot, and I think he could outscore his veteran teammate from a fantasy perspective this season. In fact, if you project Jones' points in his 13 games as a rookie over a full 16 contests, he was on pace to better White, Percy Harvin, Mike Wallace, Vincent Jackson and Hakeem Nicks. Yes, this kid is that good. With almost a full year of NFL experience under his belt and a tremendous rapport already established with Matt Ryan, I can see Jones breaking into the top five in fantasy points at his position this season. Don't be afraid to go after him as a No. 1 fantasy wideout with huge potential in drafts.

5. Roethlisberger, Ryan, Maclin will be bargains. OK, so this is three predictions in one but I do like the value that Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan and Jeremy Maclin bring to the table this season. If you don't land en elite quarterback, don't fret or reach for someone in a panic -- I'm pretty sure Big Ben and Ryan will still be on the board after Round 5. If you ask me, I think both signal-callers can post top-10 numbers at their position. Maclin, a disappointment in 2011, will be 100 percent (remember, he had a mysterious illness in camp last year) and should greatly improve on last season's totals. Don't be shocked if he finishes in the top 15 in points among wideouts.

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