Free Agency seems to cause a Boggle like effect every year. It's the same players and teams, they just get shaken up and put in a new order and leave you to figure out how to play them. Fortunately for you, Zeus and Thayse are really good at Boggle, (especially when it comes to deciphering fantasy value). So let's Boggle:
1. Peyton Manning is a Bronco. With the offense he is in, and expecting near 100% health, can it be expected that he will throw for 4700 or more yards?
Zeus- I don't think so. Manning has only thrown for 4700 yards once in his career. I know, I know, the NFL has evolved into even MORE of a passing league since Manning's last game in 2010, but I just don't think that he has the weapons to eclipse that number. I am still forecasting a very good year for Manning, just not 4700 yards good.
Thayse- Sounds like we get to answer an age old question, does the quarterback make the receivers or do the receivers make the quarterback? 4700 Yards is a lot, but he has surpassed 4,000 yards 11 times and that defense will keep the ball in his hands. I'm feeling adventurous so I will take that bet; Manning gets 4,700 yards or darn close and reminds us why he is a 4 time MVP.
2. Who on the Denver receiving core could break out with big number 18 at the helm? Who do you like if any and what can be expected?
Zeus- As I mentioned in the previous question, I am not extremely high on the Denver receiving core. But Peyton Manning does make everyone around him better. Obviously Demaryius Thomas will get a big bump. But I love Eric Decker's upside here. In most fantasy drafts Decker will be taken in the late rounds, and he could be a great sleeper option and just could be a Wes Welker close with Manning under center. I don't really take any WRs on the Denver roster right now and say that Manning alone gives them legit fantasy value.
Thayse- Pretty tough to judge a receiving core that has to share 6-10 catches in an entire game wouldn't you say? Although I still think Denver plans to add another receiver through draft or free agency (on top of Caldwell), I would only draft Thomas at this time. I think he is a true stud poised to have a break out year. Decker, in deep leagues, late could be worth having at. Quick trip down memory lane though: Stokley, Tamme, Garcon, Collie, and Blair White. Recognize any of these names? All players who got starts in fantasy that were otherwise unknown due to Mr. 18.
3. How does the addition of Peyton Hillis affect Jamaal Charles ' fantasy value, and is Jackie Battle worth a late round flier?
Zeus- I think that Charles takes a big hit, but it all depends on if Hillis can be the man he was prior to the Madden curse. If you start to see Hillis succeed early, the Chiefs could ride him because we all know that Hillis is a player that builds throughout the game. Don't get me wrong, Jamaal Charles will still be a very viable fantasy option for 2012, but I think they still ease him into things. My guess would be 200 carries for Charles. Battle is not an option in my mind. Sorry, he may see the field a handful of plays per game with those two exciting backs ahead of him.
Thayse- Definitely a lot of competition and likely a lot of sharing to take place in KC. I like all these players but I will heed on the side of caution and not draft unless I feel they have slipped a few rounds and the value is worth the risk. I see production just inconsistency.
4. Josh Freeman and the TB offense in general struggled last year. Why can we expect them to improve so much just by adding Vincent Jackson ? Can VJAX go over 1,000 yards in this setting?
Zeus- The Bucs finished 16th in the league through the air in 2011. Actually better than I thought, but not well enough. Freeman gets a great weapon and a true number one in VJax. Jackson lines up on the opposite side of Mike Williams, and I think that is a very good WR duo. That being said, I still see the Buccaneer offense struggling a bit. A lot of people don't realize this, but TB was the 30th rushing team in the league. That is poor. Blount is not the answer. Although he can be exciting, he can't carry the load there and be efficient. And in my eyes VJax value takes a major hit going from Rivers to Freeman. I still say he reaches 1,000 yards, but he won't surpass it by far.
Thayse- This one is really tough, I like Vincent Jackson a lot but I will take the under. He will come close but I don't see Tampa's offense resurrecting and I'm afraid we might see some disruption caused by frustration if the losing streak continues into the early season.
5. Now that Rivers has lost some of his weapons (VJax, Tolbert), where do you draft Rivers now in comparison to other QBs?
Zeus- Rivers had a disappointing 2011 campaign with all of his weapons. Now he goes into a new year with new faces (including Robert Meachem) trying to play the role of WR1. I find it hard to believe that Rivers has a year like he did in 2008-2010. Gates looked so slow last year and even though we all know that the Chargers are a pass first team, Ryan Matthews could start to see more carries as he progresses. I draft Rivers after Rodgers, Brady, Brees, Stafford, Cam Newton, both Manning brothers, Tony Romo, and possibly even Vick. Strange to say it, but Rivers could be a borderline QB1 in 10 man leagues.
Thayse- Tough to argue with the depth at QB and where you are placing Rivers, but he still finished 6th in yards last year and did so without Jackson in the line up all year and with Gates limping around the field. Down year is a relative term, and turnovers was the problem. If he can shore that up, keep an eye on the other Vincent in SD, that being Brown. I believe Rivers will actually improve in production this year with a new array of weapons and improving running game.