A fantasy football roster should be like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get, but hey: at least it’s chocolate.
They instead tend to resemble a box of chocolate-coated rocks. It looks like chocolate, smells like chocolate, and tastes like chocolate… until you suffocate with a giant pebble lodged in your throat.
Fortunately for you, you have a friend like me that will taste-test any chocolates you deem potentially hazardous, as well as protect you from various manners of fantasy football folly. Here’s what I’m thinking.
1. DeMarco Murray will overtake Ezekiel Elliott as the best backfield breadwinner.
Three words, people: strength of schedule. I’m not saying that Elliott isn’t the best tailback since Emmitt Smith. I’m just saying he won’t be playing teams in the AFC South six times this year. With Mariota’s arm to take the edge off the run game, Murray is sitting pretty… so long as David Johnson doesn’t catch for 1,000 yards this year.
Nothing like a great workout to get back going… Damn is the season here yet?????!!!
— DeMarco Murray (@DeMarcoMurray) February 16, 2017
2. Kyle Rudolph will come into his own and produce more points than an unhealthy Gronk or an aging Olsen.
If you had the privilege of watching this man play the last two seasons, the raw athletic ability is jaw-dropping. He’s not exactly a spring chick, but Rudolph really came alive after the Vikings brought in Sam Bradford, catching for 840 yards and seven touchdowns. He’ll hit a 1,000 yards this year, and take the fantasy title from Travis Kelce.
The #Vikings are back in the building as the offseason program starts.
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) April 17, 2017
3. Cam Newton will not return to his former glory.
Let’s face it. Super Bowl 50 was brutal. DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller laid it on thick, and Cam hasn’t been the same since that fateful February night. Call it being scared, or shaken up, or whatever term of endearment you choose, but this just simply is not the same Cam. The excuse last year was an injured offensive line.
What will the excuse this year be? Your guess is as good as mine, but one thing’s for sure: it won’t be that Cam got his bell rung repeatedly and is yet to recover. That might be a fantasy.
— rankplays (@rankplays) May 25, 2017
4. The Viking defense will finally start getting the credit they deserve.
I know the Houston Texans looked better on paper, but they also had fewer plays from scrimmage than anyone else did. Minnesota showed flashes of brilliance in the 2015 season, then they finally ignited in 2016. They’ll continue doing so this year, with J.J. Watt and crew catching a fetching tan from the glow.
5. Mason Crosby will benefit from the high-powered Packer offense.
As Aaron Rodgers leads the Packers in a quest to revenge their barn burner playoff loss, Mason Crosby will be in tow picking up PAT after PAT after field goal after field goal. While Justin Tucker is being forced to kick for threes out past the 50 yard mark and Stephen Gostkowski is racking up PATs, Crosby will quietly accrue both.
6. Despite the competition, Antonio Brown will be the wideout to beat.
What else can I say? The man is amazing. Big Ben has enough options to keep defenses guessing and Brown has enough unadulterated talent to keep it from mattering. Brown boasted 1,284 yards and twelve touchdowns last year, good enough to eclipse the 200 point mark. Make no mistake that OBJ will be hot on his heels, but the better supporting cast in Pittsburgh will be the difference.
Antonio Brown: The man can sell a head fake (Martavis Bryant approves) pic.twitter.com/NWMNc1lPqb
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) May 25, 2017
6 and a 1/2. Matty Ice will nurse himself back to health amidst the infamous “Super Bowl Hangover.”
This really shouldn’t surprise anyone. Matt Ryan is just too talented to be pinned under the weight of a heartbreaking defeat, even if that defeat is a Super Bowl where the Falcons allowed the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history. Ryan will by no means contend for the top spot, but no way does he slip out of the top ten, either. Matty Ice will stay chill, especially with Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu as capable targets, and should net 270 points easy.