We’re just about a week away from the beginning of the season. With most fantasy drafts in the books, the countdown has officially begun for dynasty league owners.
Novice fantasy players may just look at last year’s statistics in order to evaluate future performance.
That’s a rookie mistake.
This column is about a different type of countdown. There are a host of players who we can count on having a very difficult time replicating last year’s statistics.
When we look at our teams, we should assume the performances of these players will be down in relation to last year. Thus, we should “count down” when we forecast their statistics as we look at our team’s 2010 potential.
This list has many stars on it. In fact, there are a couple of top ten picks. Fantasy football players need to be realistic when they look at their teams. That requires some element of objectivity.
It’s easy to put players like Thomas Jones, Sidney Rice, Vincent Jackson, Santonio Holmes, and Ben Roethlisberger on this list. We KNOW they’re not going to duplicate their numbers based on new teams, injuries, or suspensions.
Today, we look at a different group of players. These ten players are likely being asked to do way too much for fantasy owners in 2010.
1. Brett Favre, QB, MIN
Favre’s 2009 campaign was ridiculous.
His 4,202 passing yards were his highest total since 1998, his 33 touchdown passes were his most since 1997, his seven interceptions were his least EVER, and his quarterback rating of 107.2 marked a career high.
To expect similar numbers from a 40-year old quarterback missing his best wide receiver is simply asking a little too much, even for Favre.
2. Chris Johnson, RB, TEN
Johnson is an absolute stud.
Much like Favre, Johnson finds himself on this list as a product of his own 2009 success.
A season of 2,006 rushing yards, and 2,509 total yards from scrimmage require a whole lot of different factors to go right. They all did for Johnson last year.
Expecting the stars to align again for a season that incredible is a little unfair, even for a player as talented as Johnson.
Temper your expectations just a little bit.
3. Fred Jackson, RB, BUF
Jackson finds himself on this list for a very different reason. He’s suddenly found some competition other than Marshawn Lynch in the form of C.J. Spiller.
Spiller has shown a dynamic playmaking ability the Bills have sorely lacked as of late. He’s going to be a big part of the offense, regardless of if he starts or not.
Jackson is the clear loser in that scenario.
4. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI
Fitzgerald is one the most talented players in the game. His quarterbacks are not.
His 2009 season wasn’t quite up to standard for Fitzgerald as he posted 1,092 yards, and 13 touchdowns on 97 catches. That was with Kurt Warner at the helm.
Sadly, it’s going to be tough for him to replicate those statistics with the inconsistent quarterback play we expect from Arizona.
5. Laurence Maroney, RB, NE
I can’t really verify this, but I expect Maroney has spent more time in Bill Belichick’s doghouse than Bill’s actual dog.
It’s very apparent that he’s not being counted on to be a huge part of the offense this season. It looks like he’ll be part of a big committee at running back, at best.
His 2010 numbers should be a far cry from the 757 yards and 9 touchdowns he recorded last season.
6. Derrick Mason, WR, BAL
Has there every been a player who has put together eight 1,000 yard receiving seasons any more quietly? It’s truly amazing.
Unfortunately, the existence of Ray Rice and the addition of Anquan Boldin is going to make Mason a clear No. 3 option.
There’s little chance he can come up with 73 catches, 1,028 yards, and seven touchdowns this season.
7. Chad Ochocinco, WR, CIN
This preseason has shown us a clear theme in Cincinnati, and it may not be great news for the Ocho. Carson Palmer has obvioulsy favored both Terrell Owens and Jermaine Gresham over Chad so far in preseason games.
While there’s little chance we see the 540 yard clunker he posted in 2008, it may be asking too much to expect the 72 catches, 1,047 yards, and nine touchdowns he had last season.
8. Cedric Benson, RB, CIN
The Bengals have realized one other thing this preseason – Bernard Scott can play.
It’s very apparent that Scott will get more action this season and it’s going to be at the expense of Benson.
Benson was a bellcow last year with 301 carries, 1,251 yards, and six touchdowns. While the touchdown numbers are more than attainable, it’s highly doubtful he gets close to 300 carries this season.
It’s looking closer and closer like a 75/25 running back split in Cincinnati.
9. Dallas Clark, TE, IND
The Colts have done nothing to change Clark’s role and still expect him to be a huge part of the offense.
So, how can he be on this list?
Let’s be honest here. A season of 100 catches, 1,106 yards, and 10 touchdowns from a tight end is absolutely ludicrous.
While Clark will still be a top-3 option at his position, expecting a repeat is just being greedy.
10. Joseph Addai, RB, IND
The Colts have to find out if Donald Brown can contribute this season and Joseph Addai stands to suffer.
Indianapolis has always preferred the running back committee approach, but had to lean on Addai more than they wanted to with Brown being injured last season.
Brown is back to full strength, and the Colts are going to see what he can do this season as part of their regular rotation.
Addai may get the 828 rushing yards he had in 2009, but the ten touchdowns will very tough to attain in 2010.
Ken is on Twitter at DLF_KenK