Happy NFL Kickoff Eve everyone!
We’re less than 36 hours away from the Broncos and Ravens getting this season underway. I’ve had an incredible time writing this Over/Under series this Summer and today we’re going to revisit each player and the line we created for them. Some players have suffered injuries and some players have looked so good or bad their line needs adjusting.
Rashard Mendenhall, RB ARI
Original Line: 1,050 yards rushing and 8.5 touchdowns
Not much has changed in the desert. Mendenhall is still the lead dog in the ground game and the line is the same questionable unit it was months ago but now they’re dealing with the loss of first round pick Jonathan Cooper at Guard. Mendenhall has experienced some swelling and “looseness” in his surgically repaired. There are plenty of red flags surrounding the entire Cardinals’ ground game.
Originally, I took the over on yardage and under on touchdowns.
On second thought: I’ll take the under on both. The Cardinals are going to throw the ball a ton.
Reggie Bush, RB DET
Original Line: 65 catches, 1,400 total yards and seven touchdowns
I expected the Lions to roll out a “Thunder and Lightning” committee at running back with Reggie Bush and Mikel Leshoure. It’s become quite apparent the Lions have more faith in Joique Bell than Leshoure, which they should. Leshoure has shown very little while Bell has shown the best all around skills of any runner on the team. It has also become quite obvious Reggie Bush is going to obliterate this receptions line. He has the opportunity to break Larry Centers’ record of 101 receptions by a running back.
Originally, I took the over on catches, over on yardage, and under on touchdowns.
On second thought: I’m going to take “way over” on catches, over on yardage and over on touchdowns. The chemistry with Matthew Stafford has been so much better than I expected. In PPR leagues he is going to end up being a beast every week.
Arian Foster, RB HOU
Original Line: 1,500 total yards and 12.5 total touchdowns
The Arian Foster hate train has continued to pick up steam this off-season as he failed to participate in any preseason games. Coach Kubiak has gone on record saying Foster will not see a full work load in week one and the haters immediately screamed “I told you so” from the mountain tops. The good thing is, nobody has ever won or lost a fantasy title in week one. The presence of Ben Tate, who is much more of an injury risk than Foster, will actually help keep him fresh and more productive on a per touch basis.
Originally, I took the over on both lines.
On second thought: I’m very comfortably taking the over on both lines. His price has dropped to the point he has become one of, if not, the greatest value in fantasy leagues. The fact he is currently has an ADP of 10.83 is ludicrous.
Alfred Morris, RB WAS
Original Line: 1,300 yards rushing and 9.5 touchdowns
With all the attention in Washington going to Robert Griffin III’s week one availability we really haven’t heard a whole lot about Alfred Morris. Instead, the running back getting the most press is a now healthy Roy Helu. Throughout the preseason we have seen very little of Morris, which is a great sign for his fantasy outlook. Shanahan runners rarely play in the preseason. They know what they have in him and will not waste unnecessary wear and tear on their featured runner.
Originally, I took the under on yards and over on touchdowns.
On second thought: I am going to take the over on both. With RG3 ready to roll for week one, look for Morris to pick up where he left off in 2012. Helu will have a role on this team but won’t deter Morris from being a beast like RB1.
Sam Bradford, QB STL
Original Line: 4,200 yards passing and 30 touchdowns
This was one of the loftier lines I set while doing this series and as a result the poll heavily favored the under. While everyone has been excited for the arrival of rookie Tavon Austin and free agent Jared Cook, the pass catcher who has shown the most chemistry with Bradford has been Chris Givens. For the first time in his career he has legitimate weapons at each level of this offense.
Originally, I took the over on both yards and touchdowns.
On second thought: I’m still going to take the over on both. The lack of a proven running game will force Bradford to throw early and often. As the season progresses look for Austin to become a more integral piece on offense.
Tom Brady, QB NE
Original Line: 4,200 yards and 30 touchdowns
Perhaps nobody has seen their value roller coaster quite like Brady this offseason. Dynasty owners lost their minds when the news of Aaron Hernandez broke and when Wes Welker left for the Mile High City. He saw his ADP slide all the way to the QB9 in dynasty start ups. How did he respond? By lighting up OTAs and the preseason. In normal Brady fashion, he is turning nobodies like Zach Sudfeld and Kenbrell Thompkins into key fantasy assets.
Originally, I took the under on both… and I’m sorry.
On second thought: That was stupid. Brady has a hunger like so many of the all-time greats which drives him to succeed. His ability to make everyone around him better is phenomenal. He will be able to take this mix and match offense and produce the Brady-like numbers we’re all used to.
Adrian Peterson, RB MIN
Original Line: 1,492 yards and 12.5 touchdowns
This seemed like a no-brainer for the over, right? Of all the running backs to rush for 2,000 yards, none have followed up their historic campaign with more than 1,491 yards. With history working against him can Adrian Peterson be the first to potentially record a second 2,000 yard season? He has set his personal goal at 2,500 yards for 2013, so we’ll see.
Originally, I took the under on yards and over on touchdowns.
On second thought: I’m sticking to it. If Barry Sanders couldn’t do it, can anyone?
Larry Fitzgerald, WR ARI
Original Line: 85 receptions, 1,200 yards, and 8.5 touchdowns.
I’ve been saying all offseason Larry Fitzgerald should be everyone’s number one target to acquire at a discounted price. With the arrival of Carson Palmer and Coach Arians, look for both Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd to have big seasons in the desert.
Originally, I took the over on all three lines.
On second thought: I’m still taking the over on all three lines. Palmer isn’t what he once was but he might be the perfect passer for Bruce Arians offense because of his ability to effectively perform under pressure.
Andy Dalton, QB CIN
Original Line: 4,000 yards and 29 touchdowns
Perhaps no other quarterback has had the influx of talent around him this offseason quite like Dalton. The Bengals got aggressive in adding plenty of talent to maximize Dalton’s skill set. The addition of running back Giovani Bernard and tight end Tyler Eifert will give him two more short to intermediate targets while freeing up All-Pro wide receiver A.J. Green on deep routes. Getting Mohamed Sanu back will be huge too.
Originally, I took the over on both the yards and touchdowns.
On second thought: I still believe think he’ll pass for 4,000 yards this year but the touchdowns are going to be difficult due to Bernard’s nose for the end zone. This preseason he punched in three one yards touchdowns.
David Wilson, RB NYG
Original Line: 1,200 yards rushing and 7.5 touchdowns
Since I wrote the piece on Wilson, Andre Brown has since fractured the same leg he broke late last season. Even though he should return by week four, Wilson might have feature back duties wrapped up to his self by then. He has had quite an impressive preseason while showing improvements in pass protection and ball security.
Originally, I took the under on both.
On second thought: Somewhere along the way I subconsciously bought into David Wilson. I even traded for him in two separate leagues on the same day. Even though I don’t think it will be easy, I do think Wilson will eclipse the 1,200 yard mark and score eight touchdowns.
CJ Spiller, RB BUF
Original Line: 1,400 yards rushing, 500 yards receiving and 11.5 total touchdowns
Anytime a coach openly declares his intent to run his star player until he pukes, you take notice. Spiller is quite obviously going to be the focal point of this offense from now on. We all had a little scare when he went down clutching his knee in the preseason but it turned out to be nothing. With E.J. Manuel showing promise, this Bills offense has the potential to be better than anticipated. We might have to stomach a week of undrafted quarterback Jeff Tuel making life difficult for Spiller but Manuel should be back for week two at the latest.
Originally, I took the over on all accounts.
On second thought: I see injuries being the only thing possibly derailing this breakout. He’s one player I can’t wait to see this season.
Wes Welker, WR DEN
Original Line: 90 receptions, 1,050 yards and eight touchdowns
This offense is going to be insane. With Welker, Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas, Montee Ball and Julius Thomas at Peyton Manning’s disposal, defenses are going to have to pick their poison.
Originally, I took the over across the board.
On second thought: I’ll still take the over on catches and yards but I’m going to now take the under on touchdowns. With Montee Ball picking up this offense and the emergence of Julius Thomas at the tight end position, I don’t think there will be enough red zone balls to go around after Eric Decker gets his.
Tony Romo, QB DAL
Original Line: 4,200 yards and 28 touchdowns
This defense will continue to put the offense into unfavorable positions, which is great for fantasy owners of the Cowboys’ skill players. Dez Bryant is a well documented beast, Jason Witten is a top three player at his position, and Miles Austin is an underappreciated asset looking to bounce back in the fantasy world.
Originally, I took the over on both.
On second thought: I’m still taking the over on both. Tony Romo is being taken after all the read option quarterbacks like Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson but it won’t surprise me to see Romo approach top six production this year.
Ryan Mathews, RB SD
Original Line: 1,000 yards rushing, 30 receptions for 250 yards and eight total touchdowns
The comments section of the Mathews article went about how I expected. You would think this guy killed everyone’s puppies in front of their children. The hatred is ridiculous and has gotten to the point where you can get a talented RB2 at sometimes RB4 prices.
Originally, I took the over on all of the above.
On second thought: I still like Mathews for 2012 and I’m still comfortable taking the over across the board. It’s difficult to not hold grudges against players when they cost you money but at some point you have to appreciate the value and bury the hatchet.
Matt Forte, RB CHI
Original Line: 1,100 yards rushing, 500 yards receiving and ten total touchdowns
For the first time in the Jay Cutler era the Bears have made a conscious effort to improve the offensive line and finally ended the J’Marcus Webb experiment. Forte has looked down right explosive this preseason while finding huge running lanes and even performing at the goal line. If the coaches allow him to even split goal line duties with Michael Bush we could see a career year from an already consistent fantasy back.
Originally, I took the over for all the lines.
On second thought: I will still take the over. I think it’ll be close because 1,600 total yards is difficult for any player but new coach Marc Trestman will feature Forte in every way possible. Now he just has to stay healthy.
Percy Harvin, WR SEA
Original Line: 80 catches, 1,050 yards and six receiving touchdowns.
Obviously, the original article was written prior to Harvin’s hip injury. While he is expected to return at some point this season he will not return in time to approach these numbers.
Originally, I took the under on Harvin.
On second thought: Hopefully he can return to 100% health and contribute at some point this season.
Ryan Tannehill, QB MIA
Original Line: 3,700 passing yards and 20 touchdowns.
For all the additions the Dolphins have made this off-season, their season could quite possibly be derailed by one departure, left tackle Jake Long. The left side of this offensive line has looked awful and Tannehill is going to have to run for his life whenever they want to throw downfield. On top of that, losing his security blanket, Dustin Keller, to a gruesome knee injury will hurt his fantasy potential for this year. It will prove difficult to hit Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline deep when you have pass rushers riding your back like Yoda through the swamps of Degobah.
Originally, I took the over on both.
On second thought: I’m now taking the under on both. Things haven’t gone well for the Dolphins this preseason and it looks like we might still be a year away from Tannehill breaking out.
That’s a wrap. Thanks for reading the Over/Under series and leaving comments. I’ve really enjoyed this series and look forward to picking it back up next Spring.