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The 2011 Hater's Guide To Fantasy Football (NFC)

Illustration for article titled The 2011 Haters Guide To Fantasy Football (NFC)

In case you missed it, here was the AFC preview. Now it’s time for Andy Behrens and I to take on the NFC. Off we go.

Eagles: Before you cream your pants taking Michael Vick No. 1, remember that he nearly got killed in Week 16 last season when Minnesota decided to corner blitz the shit out of him. There’s a lingering danger that teams have perhaps “solved” Vick, not to mention the fact that he openly refuses to slide and therefore constantly subjects himself to injury. What a fucking idiot. Vick was also terribly inaccurate against Pittsburgh last week. Of course, when he’s on, he’s two fantasy players in one. So that’ll tease your dick real good. DeSean is a top ten wideout, and is doubly motivated by his shitty paycheck. Jeremy Maclin is supposedly healthy after battling an unnamed ailment (my guess was SuperAIDS, which I’m told is incorrect). Steve Smith is strictly insurance for Maclin. Behrens advises you to stay away from Brent Celek, since Vick doesn’t seem to have much use for him and given the arrival of Donald Lee. Behrens also isn’t as high on LeSean McCoy as he was last year, with the threat of both Vick and Ronnie Brown taking away some of his touchdowns. He remains a top ten back.


Cowboys: Behrens believes Dez Bryant’s potential is virtually unlimited, and that he could end the season as the No. 1 scoring wideout in fantasy. How that affects Miles Austin is unclear. Austin is still being drafted before Bryant, but you get the sinking feeling their draft positions should be reversed, especially with Austin battling hamstring issues in camp. Felix Jones finally has the running back position all to himself with Marion Barber gone, and Behrens even said people have mentioned Jones as being this year’s Arian Foster, which is a sure sign to me that Felix will again find a way to rip out your heart and piss all over it. Lonyae Miller, Phillip Tanner, and DeMarco Murray are all vying to back him up. The Cowboys also like to run a zillion fade routes in the red zone, which could hurt Felix’s touchdown totals. He was never a prolific scorer to begin with. When healthy, Tony Romo is always a good bet to throw for over 3,000 yards and 25 touchdowns. He’s a second tier starting fantasy QB.

Giants: Against all odds, it’s yet again Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw in the backfield. Bradshaw ran for over 1,200 yards and eight scores last season. Mario Manningham is expected to get a lot more looks thanks to Steve Smith’s departure. Hakeem Nicks is a beast, but missed games late last season due to injury. Eli had a career high for picks last season with 25. Such an Eli thing to do. Eli no longer has Kevin Boss to throw to, and new LT William Beatty is in charge of protecting his blindside. Things could get hairy.

Redskins: RETCH. They brought in a little bit of help for the offensive line, but watching the Redskins is still gonna be like smashing your nuts with a hammer every Sunday. The two quarterbacks suck. The wideouts suck (drafting Santana Moss this year will be least exciting moment of your existence). And the running back crop is a three-headed Cerberus of Ryan Torain (gets hurt), Tim Hightower (Behrens notes he could be banished to the bench for fumbling at any time), and Roy Helu, who has the advantage of not being either Ryan Torain or Tim Hightower. The whole thing is a diarrhea milkshake, regardless of how the team has looked this preseason.

Packers: Aaron Rodgers has a healthy Jermichael Finley back and a healthy Ryan Grant back, so this Packers offense could be insane. I hate them all so very much. Behrens says he expects much of the running workload to transfer back from James Starks to Grant, though I remain skeptical since Grant is still an injury risk. Professor Jennings, Donald Driver, and James Jones are all back. Jordy Nelson is also in the mix, but holy shit does he like to drop passes. Finley is currently the No. 2 TE taken off the board is most Yahoo drafts. When healthy, he’s devastating. Behrens would like to note that Rodgers has run for at least four TDs in each of the last three seasons. I’d take him before Vick because I have no sack.


Vikings: Behrens likes Purple Jesus as the top overall pick because of his reliability, and it’s true. He’s gone for over 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns every year of his career. He’s as safe a pick as you can make. HOWEVER, the Vikings line this year is awful. And Sidney Rice is gone, so no more stretching the field. Percy Harvin, who usually excels as a slot receiver, will be forced to perhaps take up too much of the load. The other receivers are Michael Jenkins and Devin Aromashodu, which makes me want to shoot myself in the face. Donovan McNabb will spend a lot of this season throwing to the tight ends (new draftee Kyle Rudolph is very good) and backs, and that could hurt Adrian’s ability to tear off big runs. If you draft Peterson, you have to handcuff him to Toby Gerhart.

Bears: Roy Williams reported to Bears camp fat and out of shape because that’s what Roy Williams does. Johnny Knox is still the No. 1 wideout, essentially by default. Behrens says the Bears staff loves Marion Barber (it’s because they haven’t seen him get hurt yet), which means he’ll probably steal goal line carries away from Matt Forte, which makes him a fucker. They also signed WR Sam Hurd, who sucks. TE Greg Olsen is gone, so Cutlerfucker will again be working with a limited arsenal. I’m sure he’ll handle it with his usual dose of good cheer. He’s a third tier starting fantasy QB. He’s also a dipshit.


Lions: They brought in Jerome Harrison and Mike Bell to play running back alongside Jahvid Best, who suffered a concussion in training camp, so who the fuck knows what’s going on. Harrison got boned by Eric Mangini, then rode the pine in Philly after getting traded. Who knows if he’ll ever put up numbers like he had during his great late season run in Cleveland in 2009. Bell is waiver bait. Rookie back Mikel LeShoure is on IR. Megatron remains a top 5 wideout and scored a dozen TDs last season. Nate Burleson will likely start opposite him. Second rounder Titus Young has had leg problems in camp. Matthew Stafford has yet to start an entire NFL season, which is distressing, because he looks kinda fat too. The line has injury problems. I wouldn’t exactly be jazzed to be stuck with Stafford as my No. 1 QB.

Panthers: DeAngelo Williams just got paid a shitload of money but will still likely split carries with Jonathan Stewart, which is okay since the Panthers will probably be forced to run the ball 40 times a game. If either back gets hurt, the other instantly becomes a stud. Cam Newton needs to learn both the offense and basic addition. Two new tight ends are here: Greg Olsen and Jeremy Shockey. I’m sure they’ll swap lots of nice stories about free hookers and blow at the U. The wheels finally fell off of Steve Smith last season, and with Newton still trying to figure shit out, I doubt he’ll bounce back and suddenly start posting Pro Bowl numbers again. Horse Balls Anderson (HORSE BALLS!!!!) is there to replace Newton when Newton gets killed.


Saints: Mark Ingram is the biggest name of all rookie running backs, and the man is built to carry the ball 25 times a game. But Pierre Thomas is also still there and they brought in Darren Sproles to mix things up. Basically, every team’s running back situation is really, truly annoying. I hate my team already and I haven’t even drafted it. Marques Colston, Lance Moore, and Robert Meachem are still the top wideouts, and I’m sure Drew Brees will distribute the ball between each just enough to make them all inconsistent fantasy players. The team drafted tight end Jimmy Graham in the third round in 2010 and he is expected to take over for Jeremy Shockey. Brees, as always, is a top-5 fantasy QB.

Falcons: Julio Jones was drafted at No. 6 by the Falcons (they traded up a shitload to get him), presumably because the team is ready to become a pass-first offense. Roddy White is still a top-5 fantasy wideout, and Jones may help free him up for even better numbers. TE Tony Gonzalez is in decline, but has his moments. Ryan threw 28 touchdowns last season and could easily best that number this time around. Michael Turner is still the bell cow for the running game and a top-10 back, but the team drafted Jacquizz Rodgers and could use him on third downs and what not. Also, Jason Snelling signed a one-year deal to back up Turner. He ran for over 900 yards the past two seasons, which makes him a mandatory handcuff for Turner. Between the depth at running back and Turner’s mileage and Atlanta’s dedication to making Ryan into a superstar, this backfield could turn into a pile of shit very quickly. Great. Another potential platoon. Wonderful, fan-fucking-tastic. Someone bake a cake. I couldn’t be happier.


Bucs: They have three great skill position players (Josh Freeman, LeGarrette Blount, and Mike Williams) all maturing at the same time, which I find fucking terrifying. All of those guys, in my mind, are worth drafting high. They also have Arrelious Benn as the deep threat. And who can forget the fucking SOLDIER! Kellen Winslow put up just decent numbers last season, but those could go higher if Freeman and Williams and Blount all improve as much as they’re expected to. Cadillac Williams and his knee made of candy canes is out on his ass. I picked this team to win the NFC this season, which probably means they’re going to eat shit.

Rams: Josh McDaniels is the new offensive coordinator (replacing Pat Shurmur), and I’m really excited to see who he plans on cutting in the middle of the season to ruin the offense. Statistically, no one threw the ball downfield less last season than Sam Bradford, but it’s hard to blame him given the fact that he was a rookie and given the fact that his receivers ate a bag of shit. Bradford has some new wideouts in Mike Sims-Walker (kinda like his potential with Bradford) and rookies Austin Pettis and Greg Salas, plus a new guard in Harvey Dahl. Bradford should improve rapidly, especially in this horrible division. The Rams also brought in depth at running back with Cadillac Williams (again, knees made of candy canes) and the terminally underused Jerious Norwood, who never got playing time in Atlanta because he must have given everyone siffy. Steven Jackson is still the No. 1 back, but I’d rather watch SportsNation for 24 hours straight then draft his boring old ass.


Seahawks: GAHHHH KILL IT WITH FIRE! There’s no way Tarvaris Jackson will be allowed to start 16 games. Take it from some who had to endure watching him in Minnesota. He’s awful, and yet Gruden and Jaws were still talking him up in the preseason game, like he was somehow useful and not shitty. Jesus, those two are horrid. Anyway, the QB situation pretty much ruins both new additions: WR Sidney Rice and TE Zach Miller, who would both be studs if they played on better teams. Beast Mode is still your running back, and he sucks except apparently when it’s the playoffs and he’s facing the Saints. Justin Forsett is still the backup, and at least once this season you will find yourself picking him up off waivers and openly sighing as you do it.

Cardinals: Rookie running back Ryan Williams is done for the year with an injury, leaving Beanie Wells as pretty much the only option left. LaRod Stephens-Howling is his backup and is very tiny, small enough to fit into most compact flashlights and vibrators. Before last season, Kevin Kolb was quite the chic fantasy pick, which is proof that chic fantasy picks will always RUIN YOUR SHIT. Kolb will throw to Larry Fitzgerald a million times even though Fitty will be quintuple-covered. Fitzgerald scored only 6 TDs last season, and I have to think Kolb will at least get him back into double digits. Starting opposite Fitty will be a committee of no-names including Andre Roberts, Early Doucet, and Chansi Stuckey. All of them are waiver bait. The Cardinals schedule, excepting games against the Steelers and Ravens, is pretty easy, so Kolb would be a pretty nice backup to have.


49ers: You know, this wouldn’t be that bad of an offense if it weren’t being directed by Alex Smith and his little tyrannosaurus hands. Smith is poised to beat out Colin Kaepernick for the starting job, and then get benched sometime around Week 2. It’s too bad because Michael Crabtree and Braylon Edwards would be productive on a lot of other teams. But because of the QBs, they’ll be inconsistent all year long. Smith has a nice rapport with Vernon Davis, who remains one of the best TEs in fantasy. But if Smith gets benched (and he will), there’s no telling who Kaepernick will end up using for his safety blanket. Frank Gore is pissed about his contract but still ended up reporting to camp. He’s still a top-15 back, but drafting him is about as fun as leprosy. Behind him is the trio of Anthony Dixon, Kendall Hunter and Xavier Omon, all of whom are waiver bait.

And there you have it. Happy drafting, everyone.

[AFC guide]

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