NEW ORLEANS - OCTOBER 24: Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints in action during the game against the Cleveland Browns at the Louisiana Superdome on October 24 2010 in New Orleans Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Drew Brees
Greetings fellow Giants fans. Are you ready for some (fantasy football)? I've been playing fantasy since 2000, since I had guys like Brett Favre and Priest Holmes leading my team. I'm pretty sure I had Amani Toomer as well. Anyway, I love fantasy football, and while I'm not claiming to be the best player on the planet (it took me ten years to finally win a title), I was thrilled that Ed asked me to write about it this season. So this column will likely consist of players to watch each week and then recaps of the fantasy week that was. Of course, there are no games right now, so we'll just start by talking about the upcoming season. I'm not going to get too geeky on you, but I'll just give you my take which will involve a lot of gut feeling and humor.
So with that, let's talk about some of the quarterbacks to keep an eye on in 2012....
Drew Brees--How much of a distraction will Bounty-gate turn out to be, as well as the fact that the Saints finally signed the face of the franchise to a new $100 million deal last week after making him sweat in the Bayou heat for months? As long as he still a sick group of receivers and a tight end no one can cover, he will be fine. The question is, will Brees produce a season like 2011 again? Brees had at least one TD pass in every game (46 in all) and never less than 258 yards in a single game (5476 in all--a single season record). Oh, and he didn't miss a single game. Dial your expectations down, but not much.
Cam Newton--On both of my fantasy teams last year, I had Aaron Rodgers AND Cam Newton. I had a feeling Cam might be special, so I drafted him with last pick twice, but didn't expect him to do what he did. Cam was a beast out of the gate, and finished with over 4000 passing yards and 706 rushing yards, with 35 touchdowns (21 passing,14 rushing). Remember that the Panthers play New Orleans twice a year, and now Newton doesn't have to worry about bounties on his head. Anyway, barring injury, Cam should be a monster again.
Eli Manning--Yeah, I know....he's a great QB but not a great fantasy QB. That's the rap on Eli, anyway. But little brother was just 67 yards shy of 5000, with 29 TDs and 16 picks--a much better ratio than usual for Eli. He lost Mario but gained Rueben. He will have Domenik Hixon back too if Hixon stays out of the trainer's room, but he won't have Jake Ballard. I think Eli is a much better fantasy player than he has ever been, but it should be interesting to see what his average draft position is this year.Matthew Stafford--There are three reasons I love Stafford. One, the Lions' defense sucks and the offense is always scoring points to catch up. Two, dude is really improving--41 touchdowns and over 5000 passing yards is pretty good. Three, Calvin Freaking Johnson.
Tim Tebow--It's just a matter of time before Tebow takes the job away from Mark Sanchez, because Sanchez just kind of sucks and Rex likes the fact that Tebow makes headlines. But in fantasy terms, Tebow is as as useless as boobs on a bull.
Peyton Manning--The guy Tebow replaced is almost as old as Broncos' head honcho John Elway, but he has a bit of a resume. Will his throwing arm or lack therof make fantasy owners queasy and uneasy and want to wait to see what he can do on the field? Yes. There is no way I'm touching big brother with a mile high pole, but you can do much worse for a second stringer.
Robert Griffin III--I find it hard to believe this guy will put up Cam-like rookie numbers, especially with six games against three different nasty D-lines. And don't think Shanahan won't pull him in favor of ol' Rex Grossman if RG3 has a few bad games. Bottom line--you can have him, as well as any Redskins player.
Matt Schaub--Always a producer when he's playing, but he's not always playing. So while Schaub has been cleared to participate in training camp, he makes me nervous as a fantasy starter.
Brady Quinn--I just noticed this guy is still in the NFL, backing up Matt Cassel in KC. If I was the head coach for the Chiefs and Cassel got hurt, I think I'd call Jeff George before putting Quinn in a real game.