Fantasy Football in Review: The NFC East

Before the season I did long series of predictions of every team and every important player that we knew about at the time. Here is how I did predicting the NFC East.

Check out all 32 articles here to make sure I'm not lying.

Dallas Cowboys

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Tony Romo

What I Said: As far as fantasy, Romo is being drafted around the 4th or 5th round, 1 round ahead of Matt Ryan and 2 rounds ahead of Matt Schaub. I wouldn't pass on a good running back or wide receiver in the 4th if I could grab Schaub in the 6th, but Romo should have a very good season and it won't hurt you to have him as your starting QB.

What He Did: The Cowboys wasted another good season on inconsistency and costly mistakes. Stop me if you've heard this before: Dallas loses four of their last five games and misses the playoffs. Dear Romo, you have GOT to win in December and January. I don't care what your numbers say... this is Dallas.

Otherwise, Tony was excellent in fantasy: 66.3% completions, 4,184 yards, 31 TD/10 INT, 102.5 QB rating. He had a career year on the stat sheet, but the Cowboys are home early again.

Felix Jones

What I Said: I expect him to rush for over 1,100 yards and gain at least another 500 yards in the air in 2011, and I believe he'll be able to get in the 10 TD range at least, with Barber gone. He's currently going 22nd among running backs, which I think makes him a steal. He's an above average RB2, but he'd make one hell of a flex position play.

What He Did: Owners were very high on Jones, but failed production early and injuries opened the door for DeMarco Murray until injuries to him opened the door for Jones. He finished with 575 yards rushing, 221 yards receiving, and 2 TDs in 12 games. Jones has nine career touchdowns... He did rush for 214 yards during a two game stretch in December.

DeMarco Murray

What I Said: In the right offense, he could be one heck of a player, and Dallas is the right offense. But he's just returning from a hamstring injury which already puts him a step behind for 2011.

What He Did: I really liked Murray, but didn't think he'd catch on so soon and he was hurt in the pre-season. Then in week 6 he ran for 253 yards and a TD. He was the hottest running back in the middle of the season but his year was cut short in week 13.

I don't know how Murray will recover from injury but if he's good to go in training camp and beyond, I'll have him rated as one of the top backs in 2012.

Dez Bryant

What I Said: I have 2 hesitations: First, that he's only a 2nd year player and second there's that whole injury thing. Hey, he's probably perfectly fine now, but I'm allowed to have hesitations when you're making him one of your top receivers. I'm not getting great value on Dez Bryant if I draft him in the 3rd or 4th round. He's not being seen as a sleeper because the secret is out.

What He Did: In principal, I was a Bryant fan. But nothing about him screamed "WR2" to me this year. Too much risk. In the end, he put up 63 catches for 928 yards and 9 TDs, which is very good but I think underwhelming, especially in the year of the pass. He's too explosive to only put up those kinds of numbers, and I really question the attitude.

Miles Austin:

What I Said: However, when Jon Kitna was the QB, he didn't do so good. Romo is the QB again, so feel safe with Austin. He's currently going in the 3rd round, I'd much prefer him in the late 4th, early 5th.

What He Did: Austin started off very hot but then injuries happened and Laurent Robinson became the #1 WR.

I did not preview Robinson, for obvious reasons and Laurent finished with 54 catches for 858 yards and 11 TDs in limited action for a big portion of the season.

Jason Witten

What I Said: He's averaged 91 catches, 1,032 yards, and 6 TDs over the last 4 seasons and that's almost certainly the kind of numbers he'll put up in 2011.

What He Did: 79 catches for 942 yards and 5 TDs. I traded for Witten this year and was mildly disappointed, though I shouldn't have been.

Washington Redskins

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Rex Grossman

What I Said: He still can't complete 60% of his passes, he's still going to throw picks, he's still Rex Grossman. There is really nothing to see here if you're seriously trying to win your fantasy league.

What He Did: Grossman started 13 games, completed 57.9% of his passes for 3,151 yards, 16 TD/20 INT... and he still might have a job in Washington next year?

Tim Hightower

What I Said: Hightower is an excellent sleeper option for the 8th round, but I think his stock will start going up soon. He had a 58 yard run against Indianapolis in the last preseason game.

What He Did: We were reminded how frustrating Shanahan really is. He ran for 72 yards and a TD in week 1, for 96 yards in week 2, for 41 yards with a receiving TD in week 3, and for 88 yards in week 6... but he didn't play much beyond that. He wasn't good, wasn't terrible, wasn't entirely healthy.

Ryan Torain

What I Said: I'd personally much rather have Hightower, but either one could be the main back, or be in a ball-share, in Washington. But I can't trust him to make more than a handful of starts before getting hurt again.

What He Did: Torain rushed for 135 yards and a TD in week four and sucked the rest of the year in very limited action.

Roy Helu

What I Said: He's an interesting deep sleeper candidate in Shanahan's offense.

What He Did: Helu was easily the best back in Washington this year and if you're willing to trust Shanahan, an RB2 next year. He ran for 100 yards in three straight games near the end of the season, though he struggled in his last two games.

Santana Moss

What I Said: He's now 32 years old and probably with an even lesser QB throwing him the ball this year than he's ever had. He's going 35th amongst WRs in drafts, and that's probably good value as you're still waiting for age to catch up withhim. But maybe it doesn't and that makes him an above-average WR3.

What He Did: Moss might not have any left in the tank. 46 catches for 584 yards.

Jabar Gaffney

What I Said: Last season in Denver, Gaffney had a career high 875 yards and in one game against the Colts he caught 12 passes for 140 yards. Now he's in Washington, in a less pass-happy offense, with a lesser QB, and he turns 31 this year. No thanks.

What He Did: Weird career-arc for Gaffney, and he put up a new career-high, 947 yards with 5 TD. I still wouldn't draft him next year, but that's just me.

Fred Davis

What I Said: Maybe if given an opportunity again, he could run with it to be a good fantasy tight end. Cooley missed 9 games in 2009 and Davis stepped up for 41 catches, 464 yards and 6 TDs in the final 10 games of that season. At this point, he's undraftable except for really deep leagues. If Cooley doesn't play much this season, Davis is a sneaky option.

What He Did: Cooley played in only 5 games (did nothing) and Davis had 59 catches for 796 yards and three scores. A good sleeper candidate for 2012.

Philadelphia Eagles

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Michael Vick

What I Said: From a fantasy standpoint, it was hard to lose with Vick. Other than his injury-shortened game against Washington, he had at least 2 TDs in all but 1 other game. That being said, I'm wary of giving up a 1st round pick to any QB. If you drafted Manning or Brady in the first round after their career seasons, you paid the price. I'd feel better taking an elite RB or WR.

What He Did: Vick was a bad first round pick if you used it on him, though he wasn't terrible. I still won my keeper league with Vick. He made 13 starts, completed 60% of his passes for 3,303 yards, 18 TD/14 INT, 589 yards rushing with 1 TD. Not great, but the rushing yards help. Next season, Vick is at the back end of the QB1s I think, which makes him a good value again.

LeSean McCoy

What I Said: He ranked 12th in the NFL in receptions and in PPR leagues that makes him elite. The Eagles style of offense works perfectly around McCoy and he should continue to rack up rushing yards and catches while hopefully adding a few touchdowns this year. He's a mid-first round pick.

What He Did: McCoy did add a few touchdowns... 20 to be precise. That's always gonna make an owner happy and McCoy is only 23. He ran for 1,309 yards and had 48 catches for 315. He's flirting with #1 overall pick status, and though I won't expect 20 TDs again, I think he's become worthy of the top pick. He could have a lot of years left in him.

DeSean Jackson

What I Said: What I love about Jackson is how talented he really is. What I don't love about Jackson is his boom-or-bust games. Last season he had 4 games where he went over 100 yards and 8 games where he had 52 yards or less. Because he's not a possession receiver, he also won't rack up a lot of PPR points during games where he doesn't break off a huge play. For that reason, Jackson is a back-end WR1 and a top-end WR2.

What He Did: Jackson finished with 58 catches for 961 yards and 4 TDs, which is quite disappointing for him and now he's a free agent. That "boom or bust" still rings true... he had 171 yards in week 4, but didn't top 90 yards the rest of the season.

Jeremy Maclin

What I Said: Maclin was the more consistent receiver in Philly, catching more passes and more TDs, while Jackson would make more highlight reels. While Jackson is going 11th in fantsay drafts amongst WRs, Maclin is going 18th. If healthy, Maclin might be the safer choice, but that's a question right now.

What He Did: He played in 13 games and caught 63 passes for 859 yards and 5 TDs, which is way less than I thought he could do. Overall, the passing game wasn't clicking in Philadelphia, and when it finally did, it clicked more with Brent Celek than anyone else. I still expect big things from Maclin down the line.

Brent Celek

What I Said: He's going off as the 20th TE in fantasy drafts, which is about right. He's someone who is good for a spot start when you need it, and in deep leagues he's probably a more intriguing option than Jermaine Gresham based on the offense he plays with.

What He Did: Celek caught on late, and scored a TD in each of the last three games, finishing with 62 catches for 811 yards and 5 scores and he basically did nothing in the first five games, which means over a full season of production like that, he's a 1000 yard TE. He's a good sleeper for 2012.

New York Giants

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Eli Manning

What I Said: He's got a problem throwing interceptions, but he also potentially has the most weapons in his arsenal in his career and hasn't missed a game in 6 years. Expect 4,000 yards, 28-32 TDs, 20 INTs, and generally being a backend QB1 or a top-end backup QB for fantasy.

What He Did: IT's pretty unusual for a guy to have a career-year at 30, but that's what Eli did, transforming himself into a better version of Eli Manning, though some of that had to do with the emergence of Victor Cruz. Some of what Cruz did has to be attributed to Manning, but also... come on... did you see how many times Cruz turned nothing into a whole lot? He's kind of amazing. Manning had 61% completions, 4,933 yards, 29 TD/16 INT.

Ahmad Bradshaw

What I Said: Bradshaw is a risky pick in the third round, where he's going on average, because I worry about: his share, his consistency, and the risk of being a one-year wonder. In the 5th round, he's worth the risk.

What He Did: Didn't love Bradshaw and thank God for that. He ran for 659 yards, played in just 12 games, but he did score 11 total TD and catch 34 passes. Still, not third round material.

Brandon Jacobs

What I Said: Bradshaw is the more talented back, he's the younger back, he's got the potential to be a RB1 while Jacobs will peak as an RB2... but Jacobs is going 70 picks after Bradshaw, and there's a lot more value in that.

What He Did: I said I liked the value of Jacobs more and was I wrong? He ran for 571 yards and scored 8 total TDs but could be had for much cheaper.

Hakeem Nicks

What I Said: I believe there are four elite wide receivers in the NFL on their own level, and Nicks isn't with them yet, but on average he is the 5th WR off the board making him just on the cusp of that group. There's not a lot of great value in drafting Nicks in the 2nd round, but he's a solid WR to have.

What He Did: Nicks finished with 76 catches for 1,192 yards and 7 TDs and that's not bad value for a 2nd round pick, though it's not good value either.. .it's just.. what you expect. He had some really nice games this year and was somewhat consistent with not putting up duds, but he's no Cruz!

Mario Manningham

What I Said: He's a nice compliment to Nicks as the deep-threat WR, and being drafted in fantasy alongside fellow breakout candidates Kenny Britt and Austin Collie. I prefer the other 2, but Manningham is a good option as a WR2 or WR/RB, WR3.

What He Did: He played in 12 games and caught 39 passes for 523 yards and 4 TDs, which is not good. Surprisingly, the other two guys I mentioned weren't good picks either, it turned out.

Victor Cruz

What I Said: Also competing for catches are Michael Clayton, Domenik Hixon, and Viktor Cruz.

What He Did: Yes, I really said Viktor Cruz. Viktor had 82 catches for 1,536 yards and 9 TDs.

That's it for my review of the NFC Least. Follow me on twitter or checkout my website.

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