Another big draw to the game is comparing how some people view other players, seeing who can predict which players are going to breakout, which ones are going to fall off and which ones will remain consistent.
Over the next 32 days, I'm going to go team by team making my predictions on which players are going to fit into those categories, starting today with the Arizona Cardinals.
Breakout - Edgerrin James
I know the trendy pick for this spot is Matt Leinart, and completely understand the pick, i just get this feeling like Leinart will get overrated in fantasy drafts this year and go a few rounds earlier than comparable QB's. To me, a bigger breakout will be Edgerrin James.
Sure, last year he struggled, but that was in a Denny Green system that has only been ranked in the top 15 in the league once in the past 10 seasons. This year should be different. Out goes Green and in comes Ken Whisenhunt, the mastermind who revived the Pittsburgh Steelers running game in 2004, and has consistently put up good running numbers. Also, from last year, the cardinals hired one of the leagues better OLine coaches (Russ Grimm) to come coach Levi Brown and the rest of the linemen. Edge showed last year that even with a bad scheme and poor line, he can still be an effective fantasy player (almost 1400 total yards and 6 TDs), with the improvements around him, i could see him returning to his 1,800 yard/12+ TDs form.
BUST - Matt Leinart
This is a tough one, But im going to go with Matt Leinart. I think he will have a pretty solid year, but with the hype surrounding him, many people are going to expect him to have a a top 5 fantasy season which i just don't see happening. Looking at what Whisenhunt did in Pittsburgh, with a comparable offensive roster, i don't see Leinart getting the opportunity to put up the HUGE numbers people are expecting. In 3 years under coach whiz, only once did Big Ben attempt more than 300 passes in a season, only once put up more than 2700 yard yards and has never thrown more than 18 TD's in a season. I see Leinart having a similar type of season and throwing for around 2800-3000 yards and 17-18 TD's, which would make him a good QB2, but not really the top 5 QB people are making him out to be.
MR. DEPENDABLE - Anquan Boldin
Over the past 4 season, it would be hard to find a more consistent WR than Anquan Boldin. In his 4 years, he has averaged 6 catches a game, 83 yards per game with 27 games with 80 yards, 19 of which were over 100 yards. The only major draw back to Boldin would be his average TD numbers (20 TD's in 55 games), but i think with a solid running game for the first time in his career and a more experienced Matt Leinart, he could easily surpass his career high (8 TD's) and put up double digit TD's for the first time in his career. I could see him have a similar season to his 2005 season but with more TD. Something like 95 catchs, 1450 yards and 10 TD's
Next Up - Atlanta Falcons
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