VIBE’s 2012 Fantasy Football Sleeper and Bust Picks
Ten years ago you would have never envisioned Lil Wayne with lip piercings and being a “skater.” The same is to be said with everyone’s fascination with fantasy football. It is now being played by your mom, the hot girl that sits next to you at work and the homeless guy that somehow has a smartphone. Whether you’re a newcomer to fantasy football or a veteran, knowing who to draft and who to avoid can be pretty confusing, but VIBE is here to help. Here are VIBE Magazine’s Fantasy Football Sleeper and Bust picks.
Sleeper: Andy Dalton (#14, Cincinnati Bengals)
Bust: Peyton Manning (#18, Denver Broncos)
Andy Dalton balled out last year to many people’s surprise, including mine. I didn’t think the TCU kid had it in him, but he did. Expect him to only improve now that he’s one year wiser. Cincinnati Bengals wide weceiver A.J. Green is back and tight end Jermaine Gresham will provide a good security blanket. Also, without an elite running back, look for Dalton’s numbers to sky rocket from last year.
Peyton Manning is back! Peyton Manning is a creature of habit…uh oh. Peyton Manning has spent his entire career with the same offensive coordinator, same stadium, same offense, same everything. Now, he’s a year removed from game play after four neck surgeries, and joins the Denver Broncos after 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. He’s also playing outdoors and not indoors. Not saying Peyton is going to have a bad year, but in terms of Fantasy Football it’s not going to be pretty.
Sleeper: Mike Goodson (#0, Oakland Raiders)
Bust: Adrian Peterson (#28, Minnesota Vikings)
Goodson has wheels and in today’s NFL, you need a running back that can score from anywhere on the field because gone are the days of ground and pound. Also, Darren McFadden is injury prone, so Goodson could be the starting back by season’s end.
Adrian Peterson is my dogg. I went to school with him and he’s a good friend, but he’s coming off an ACL injury in December. I think he’s coming back too fast. He may have a good year, but with most RBs it takes two years to be back to “normal” from an ACL injury.
Sleeper: Justin Blackmon (#14, Jacksonville Jaguars)
Bust: Brandon Lloyd (#0, New England Patriots)
Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert looks like he turned a corner and caught up with Andy Dalton and Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton, which means Blackmon is going to benefit tremendously. Blackmon has looked great in the preseason. He also is in one of the weakest divisions in terms of cornerbacks.
Brandon Lloyd can ball but the issue is that there’s only one ball. Lloyd is going to have to compete with fellow Patriots Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez for catches and yards this season.
Sleeper: Jermaine Gresham (#84, Cincinnati Bengals)
Bust: Greg Olsen (#88, Carolina Panthers)
Gresham is ready to explode this season and with Andy Dalton being one year better and A.J. Green facing double teams, the middle of the field is going to be a party for Gresham.
The Panthers ran a lot of two tight end sets last season which really helped Cam Newton have the successful season he did. Olsen was one tight end, but the other guy, Jeremy Shockey is now gone. Whoever replaces Shockey isn’t going to perform nearly as well, which means teams will be able to focus on Olsen much easier.
Sleeper: Dallas Cowboys
Bust: Baltimore Ravens
Rob Ryan had a rough first year with the Cowboys but much of that was because he had an old secondary and the defense as a whole didn’t get a training camp. This year, the defense has a training camp and some new blood in the secondary with cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne.
The Ravens are just old. Ray Lewis doesn’t have the range he once did, and coming into the season no one was sure if Ed Reed even wanted to play. Terrell Suggs injured his Achilles in the spring although he’s vowing to play this season, which is highly unlikely.
For more from Richard Boadu, checkout 6Magazine.com