Players who will avoid the Sophomore Slump
Mark Sanchez- In an offense that does not rely on the pass, Mark Sanchez showed that he has all the potential in the world. He just needs to mature and trust himself, his line and his receivers, which he has many of. Braylon Edwards, Dustin Keller, Santonio Holmes, Jerrico Cotchery, Shonn Greene and LT. Not to many QBs have that many options which should allow Sanchez to increase his Fantasy Value this season.
Matthew Stafford- Only played in 10 games last season and threw 20 INTs. You have to assume that he will not throw 2 a game this year with the addition of Nate Burleson, and Jahvid Best. Burleson should free up Calvin Johnson some this season and Best will allow the Lions to run the ball more often. Kevin Smith did tear his ACL but he is looking close to 100%. Tony Scheffler should be targeted many times this season even when Brandon Pettigrew returns. We should see a decrease in pass attempts this season which should increase Staffords value, as he will not be throwing as many interceptions.
Rashad Jennings- The Jaguars need MJD and can not risk him getting injured. Therefore his 312 carries in 2009 will have to be reduced some, and Jennings will be there waiting his turn. He averaged over 5 yards a carry on 39 attempts last season and will be rewarded for his success in limited playing time. He is also having a great training camp and the coaches love him.
Knowson Moreno - The Broncos are a run first team and Moreno is the teams future. He had 947 rushing yards last season and split some time with Buckhalter. The two backs will still split some time but it will be more 80/20 rather than 70/30 last year. With Brandon Marshall and Tony Scheffler gone, the Broncos will be running a lot more and that is good for Moreno owners. If he can stay healthy all year he will rush for well over 1000 yards and his 7tds from '09 will be in the double digits.
Beanie Wells- Kurt Warner and Anquan Boldin are no longer Cardinals and that means big things for Beanie. He split carries nearly 50/50 with Tim Hightower last season and proved he was the clear #1. Hightower is in the Reggie Bush mold of catch and create while Beanie Wells is a pure RB. The Cardinals will have to run the ball this year and that means Wells could see up near 250 carries this season.
Michael Crabtree - Crabtree held out of contract negotiations which forced him to miss the first 5 games of the season. When he finally signed a deal and did get to play he opened up the passing game for the Niners. Unfortunately, he only gained 625 receiving yards but teams focused on him allowing Vernon Davis to have big games. This season, look for it to be the other way around, as teams try to figure out how to cover Davis. Crabtree should be open for some big games against some of the worst pass defenses in the league(Rams x2, Seahawks x2, Cardinals x2, Saints, Chiefs, Falcons)
Hakeem Nicks - Has solidified the #2 receiver spot on a Giants offense that fell in love with the pass last season. Nicks catches anything thrown near him and does a great job of creating YAC. 47 catches and 790 yards with 6 TDs is impressive for a rookie. Look for Eli to be more comfortable throwing the ball his way this season.
Kenny Britt - Listed as the #3 receiver on ESPNs depth chart, Britt looked like a #1 receiver at times last year. Nate Washington and Justin Gage have yet to prove their worth in the NFL. 42 catches and 701 yards shows he knows how to find space. Look for Britt to start the season as the #2 receiver and become the #1 option for Vince Young later in the season.
Players who will Slump
Josh Freeman - Freeman went back to back weeks tallying 0 TDs and 8 INTs. He is in a tough situation as the Bucs do not have many options for him to throw too. They acquired Kellen Winslow and that has been Freeman's go to guy, but outside his 77 receptions, the next best option, Antonio Bryant, is now a Cincinatti Bengal. Fellow Sophomore Sammie Stroughter will have to step his game up this season in order for Freeman to have a productive year.
LeSean McCoy - McCoy is the only returning Eagle with more than 323 rushing yards. They are going to rely heavily on him and he will have to prove right away that he is capable of carrying the load. Mike Bell was signed in the off season and for good reason. Expect the carries to be split to start the season and whoever performs to steal the majority of the carries.
Donald Brown - Didn't play in 5 games last year and Addai is one of the most underrated RBs in football. Expect Brown to get around 130 carries max and not help your fantasy team until the end of the season, when the Colts are resting starters.
Austin Collie - Was just a possesion receiver last season and will fall behind Pierre Garcon and Anthony Gonzalez this year on the depth chart. The Colts are looking to cut down on Mannings passing attemtps which will cut down on receptions to anyone other than Wayne and Clark.
Percy Harvin - Percy Harvin's migraines has kept him from playing during training camps and I can see this being an on going problem this season. Also with out Brett Farve, the Vikings become a running team and all of their receivers lose value
Jeremy Maclin - Maclin was third on the team in both receptions and yards last season. But when you go from Donovan McNabb to Kevin Kolb throwing you ball you can assume your stats will suffer. The Eagles will revert to a run first team that throws lots of short passes, and screens to the RB.
Mike Wallace - No Big Ben means no big plays for Mike Wallace. He has stepped into the #2 slot, by default, with Santonio Holmes being shipped to the Jets, but that move favors Heath Miller more. Wallace was targeted 72 times last season and only had 39 receptions. He is a deep threat only and with no QB to toss him the ball for up to 6 weeks, Mike Wallace will suffer.
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