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Fantasy Football in Review: AFC West

Before the year I previewed all 32 teams. Check here to see them all right now if you're bored... It only took me about 50 hours to complete.

How were my predictions? Let's see how I did in the worst(?) division in football.

Kansas City Chiefs

Matt Cassel

What I Said: He's not as exciting as some other, higher-ceiling QBs, but he's usually pretty efficient. This season will be a real test for him though considering the much tougher schedule. He also has a new weapon at WR, which might or might not be a difference maker.

What He Did: Injuries caused Cassel to only play in 9 games this year and he completed 59.5% of his passes for 1,713 yards, 10 TD/9 INT. This was more of the Cassel I was expecting, but it didn't help not having a good line or a running game behind him. I'm not sure what the future holds for him, but the Chiefs should find a better backup than Tyler Palko (2 TD/7 INT)

Jamaal Charles

What I Said: Charles won't average 6.4 yards per carry, but he could duplicate his success in terms of yardage and score a few more TDs, but I'm always a little wary of a guy going from backup to "star" now that defenses are keyed on him and the pressure is mounting. He's not going to slip past 5 in any fantasy drafts I know of, and that may be fair, but I do think its tiny bit risky. (Again, remember Larry Johnson?)

What He Did: He missed 99% of the season. I wasn't huge on Charles, but I thought he'd have a fine year. It's tough to come back from an ACL injury like that.

Jackie Battle

What I Said: Sort of sounds like the name of a female character in a new Street Fighter game. Jackie Battle, hyruken! But other than that, not much to see here.

What He Did: He played like Dhalsim... he's fine for what he is. 597 yards, 4 yards per carry, and 2 TDs.

Dexter McCluster

What I Said: McCluster left some to be desired last season, but he was only a rookie and there's PLENTY of time for him to grow into perhaps one of the best playmakers in the NFL. He's a good sleeper, but hard to say when the breakout is really going to happen.

What He Did: When Charles went down I thought this might finally be McCluster's time to shine, but he had 516 yards rushing, 328 yards receiving, and 2 total touchdowns. His 4.5 yards per carry is good, but he's not an every down back. There's still time to grow and get better, he's only 22.

Dwayne Bowe

What I Said: I'm not expecting a repeat performance of 15 TDs, so I would draft him like a guy that can get 8-10 TDs and not one who just had a career-performance.

What He Did: Bowe had 1,159 yards and 5 TDs, which is good and what I would have paid for him. He's a free agent now and will be highly sought as a player who has matured on and off the field over the last several years. I don't see Kansas City retaining him.

Jonathan Baldwin

What I Said: That's probably enough news for me to stay away from Baldwin in the draft this year, or at least drop him considerably if not entirely off of my board. He's worth looking at long-term, but come on kid... Get it together.

What He Did: 254 yards and 1 TD in 11 games. He had a nice debut, but still has a long ways to go in order to live up to his draft status. Sleeper status next year, but he needs to mature and improve.

Steve Breaston

What I Said: He's been just over 700 yards in each of the last 2 seasons and only has 7 career touchdowns, but he averaged a career high 15.3 yards per catch last season. He should fit in nicely in KC as a consistent target for Cassel, but the Chiefs aren't yet about the passing game. He's a WR4 in fantasy.

What He Did: 785 yards and 2 TDs. He had some nice games, but when you pay attention to patterns in the NFL, you can easily predict a player like Steve Breaston.

Oakland Raiders

Jason Campbell

What I Said: The Raiders have some very interesting players around Campbell, but who can trust him to take advantage of that when he completes less of 60% of his passes, can't get it down field, and makes poor decisions? I would list him as a QB3, whatever that is.

What He Did: No way to predict Carson Palmer here pre-season, but Campbell was having a decent year. He completed 60.6% of his passes for 1,170 yards, 6 TD/4 INT and 2 rushing scores in 6 games. In a few ways, he was better than Palmer. Campbell will be playing somewhere else, trying to start in 2012.

Darren McFadden

What I Said: McFadden will go late 1st, early 2nd, and I think anything in the 2nd round is a steal. He's young, talented as hell, and has opportunity. I'm thinking a healthy McFadden can top 1,400 yards, grab 50 catches, and score 10-15 TDs.

What He Did: Well, we did not get a healthy McFadden, and that's a shame. He had 614 yards and 4 TDs in seven games with 154 yards receiving. That would put him on pace for 1,400 yards, near 50 catches, and 11 touchdowns. I was right about everything, including the "IF HEALTHY!" part.

Michael Bush

What I Said: If anything happens to McFadden, Bush is a must-own. He may be worth drafting anyway, and especially if you own McFadden. I have a gut feeling that somewhere down the line, whether its in Oakland or another city, Bush will be a top 10-15 running back in fantasy for at least a year or two.

What He Did: I thought Bush was a must-own and a definite handcuff. If you had McFadden and not Bush, that was a mistake. It saved my season (for awhile) to have Bush as a backup. Otherwise, I would have been crippled by the loss of McFadden. He ran for 977 yards and 7 TDs and is now a free agent.

Jacoby Ford

What I Said: When the Raiders offense started to go off last year, Jacoby was a big part of that and though he doesn't look like a classic "#1 WR" neither did Steve Smith once upon a time. I'm targeting him big time in the draft this year. He's out with a broken hand right now, but expected to return before the season starts.

What He Did: The first real bond that fellow FT writer Mike Gallagher and I really shared was our love for Ford. He's just so talented... wish it wasn't so wasted... Ford had 279 yards and 1 TD in 8 games (3 starts.)

Darrius Heyward-Bey

What I Said: He could be relegated to being the #3 WR in Oakland, and that might be lucky, but what if he did "figure it out"? I admit that his speed makes him very interesting, but he's got to learn how to play in the NFL.

What He Did: DHB did figure it out somewhat and finished with a career-year of 975 yards and 4 TDs. He had 433 yards over the final four games of the year. Will that translate to a big 2012? I'm wary. Very wary. But also somewhat intrigued and optimistic that a full year with Carson Palmer will bode well for DHB, but what's that worth? He's a risky WR2 with WR1 upside.

Denarius Moore

What I Said: There's still competition in Oakland, Ford and Murphy will still get a lot of targets, and Jason Campbell is still the QB. If he gets 600 yards, that's a great accomplishment for him, but still makes him a WR4 at best.

What He Did: 618 yards and 5 TDs. I make this look good.

San Diego Chargers

Philip Rivers

What I Said: He threw 30 touchdowns against 13 interceptions and had a QB rating above 100 for the third straight season. He is amongst the NFLs elite quarterbacks and if he has a full season from Antonio Gates and Vincent Jackson, he could put up the best numbers in the league for QBs. He's a QB1 and a solid pick early on draft day.

What He Did: He had the worst start imaginable and threw 17 interceptions in the first 10 games. However, he finished the year on fire with 12 TDs/3 INT in the final six games and made another Pro Bowl with 4,624 yards and 27 touchdowns. He's still an upper-tier QB.

Ryan Mathews

What I Said: Its tough to make heads or tails of which Mathews will show up this year; the one drafted 12th overall who gets 20-25 carries per game, or the one who will split carries and lose goal-line touches to the backup. For me, he's like a "starting sleeper" who could have a huge year or disappoint once again.

What He Did: He started out okay, then had 125 yards in week five against Denver, then struggled again for four weeks, then finished the year strong with 4 90+ yard games and 3 TDs. He ended with 1,091 yards and six touchdowns. Will he flip that into 1,400 yards in 2012? Mike Tolbert is a FA, so I say it's very possible.

Mike Tolbert

What I Said: Of course, he comes with some risks as on paper, he's the far less talented back and isn't your classic "#1 running back" option, but he could still potentially steal 10 or more touchdowns at the goal line. He's one of the top handcuff running backs in fantasy leagues.

What He Did: Tolbert had almost half as many carries as Mathews, but had 490 yards and 10 total touchdowns. It will be interesting to see where he's stealing touchdowns next year. He's NOT the next Michael Turner, but he's interesting.

Vincent Jackson

What I Said: I think he's good for 60 catches, 1,100 yards, 10 TDs over the course of a full season. Right now he's going 8th amongst WRs in fantasy, and that's just too rich for my blood no matter how much I like him. He's going ahead of players like Reggie Wayne and Miles Austin, and even if he's more talented at this stage in his career, he's not reliable enough for me.

What He Did: 60 catches, for 1,106 yards and 9 TDs. What are the appropriate words here? "I told you so?" "Yeah. Buddy."? I'll go with "Suck it." Yeah, that's good.

Malcom Floyd

What I Said: Floyd played in 10 games, caught 6 touchdowns and had 717 yards. Over the course of a full, healthy season opposite Jackson, Floyd could be a good WR3 in fantasy capable of 900 yards and 5-7 touchdowns.

What He Did: 43 catches, 856 yards, 5 TDs in 12 games.

Antonio Gates

What I Said: Jason Witten has more catches, and puts up the same kind of yards but there's a major difference: Gates averages 10 touchdowns a season and Witten averages 5. This is fantasy, and touchdowns matter.

What He Did: Gates was strong. 64 catches, 778 yards and 7 TDs, but he's not the best anymore and probably won't be at age 32.

Denver Broncos

Tim Tebow

What I Said: Asking Tebow to drop back, sit in the pocket, and throw it 30 times a game sounds ludicrous right now. He'd probably complete just barely 50% of his passes and be forced into poor decisions. But ask him to direct snap, roll-out, option throw or run it 10 times a game? It might harken back to the original days of the Dolphins Wildcat offense that worked so well. In Denver, John Fox is the new head coach and Josh McDaniels is out, so there's no connection between the current head guy and Tebow. There's no reason to believe that he will or has built any kind of offense just for Tebow. There are NFL teams that are prepared or could use him, but I'm not sure Denver is it. Tebow could probably be a scoring machine in the right offense and put in the right position, but he's not a fantasy QB until he actually goes out there and proves it. Nothing he did last year or in college proves he'll be used in such a manner in 2011 or beyond.

What He Did: Sorry, this is Tebow so I had to give that much of a copy/paste job. Tebow didn't complete 50% of his passes. He had 46.5%, 1,729 yards, 12 TD/6 INT, 660 yards rushing and 6 TDs. When it was announced that Tebow would start, I picked him up immediately. He won't wow you in fantasy, but he rarely disappoints. He averages almost two touchdowns per game. You just can't get that very often, plus he gains ground. His relationship with Demaryius Thomas is very interesting too. If they combine forces for 16 games next year, Thomas could have a "boom or bust" 1,200 yard season and Tebow could score 35 total touchdowns. Or, it could go down like Hindenberg. Either way...

Willis McGahee

What I Said: Last season he carried the ball just 100 times for 380 yards and 5 TDs, and now he'll be turning 30 this year. Moreno is the guy, McGahee will snag 100 carries in a backup role, and while he may vulture a couple scores he won't be a big hurt on Morenos fantasy value.

What He Did: One of the most random late-breakout seasons you'll ever see, mostly aided by the Tebow-ffense, that caused Denver to run-run-run. McGahee had 1,199 yards and 5 total touchdowns in 13 starts. The good news is that yards, but the bad news is the vultured touchdowns. We'll see how the roster shakes out in 2012.

Knowshon Moreno

What I Said: Moreno will lose carries to McGahee, but there's no doubt that he's "the guy" as far as who the primary ball carrier is. You can grab Rashard Mendenhall at the top of the 2nd round, or Moreno at the end of the 4th, and I'll make the bold argument right now that they'll finish the year with nearly the same amount of fantasy points.

What He Did: Don't be fooled into thinking that Moreno just stunk this year and then got hurt. He has issues still, but his 4.8 yards per carry was the same as McGahee. He just only got 37 carries and played in eight games. I still believe... he's super sleeper in 2012.

Demaryius Thomas

What I Said: As stated, the 2010 first round pick for Denver is starting the year on the Physically Unable to Perform list, meaning he'll miss at least 6 weeks. In his 2010 NFL debut he had 8 catches for 97 yards and a TD. You want to love him, but you gotta stay away.

What He Did: Thomas came on strong late as Tebows favorite target and murdered in the Wild Card game. He finished 2011 with 551 yards and 4 TDs and I like him a lot for 2012.

Eric Decker

What I Said: He was a 3rd round pick out of Minnesota as a WR/KR last year. Because he has the KR label, that always makes me semi-interested. If Royal sucks or isn't healthy enough to go, Decker should be next in line. He had 3 catches for 39 yards in the last preseason game.

What He Did: Decker was hot stuff early, but then faded when Thomas came on. Tebow can't have more than one target per game! He finished with 612 yards and 8 TDs and if he had a QB, I'd like him a lot. I feel like he faded right around the same time I heard him criticize Tebow (probably out of context) to the media.

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