Before the season, I previewed all 32 NFL teams. Proof here.
There were some interesting storylines in the AFC South this year: The Texans won their first division title, made their first playoff appearance, and won their first playoff game. Peyton Manning missed the season and the Colts wound up with the #1 pick. Blaine Gabbert actually started 14 games. Jake Locker did not. Chris Johnson was the bust of all busts. Maurice Jones-Drew won the rushing title.
Here's what I said about every player before the year, and how they ended up doing.
What I Said: Even at 34, and with a neck injury, Manning hasn't missed a game in his career and I wouldn't expect him to start now. It's the consistency, the talent, the brains, and the weapons around him that still makes Manning the #2 QB in the league to me behind Brady. He just makes me feel safe. I like to feel safe.
What He Did: This was written a few weeks before the season started and we all know what happened. He made it so that I'll never feel safe again.
What I Said: Addai has been in running back by committee ever since and he's averaged 53 yards per game combined over the last 3 seasons. That won't change this year, and with Addai returning from injury, I wouldn't touch him in the draft unless he slipped considerably.
What He Did: With 3 players nearly splitting carries evenly, Addai had 433 yards, 3.7 YPC, and 1 TD. Not draftable.
What I Said: Of course, it is possible on some level which is why Brown will get drafted, but why he's a late round pick for me. He's a 2009 first round pick who tore up the Jaguars last season, but did poorly in almost every other game.
What He Did: Brown led the team in carries and had 645 yards, 5 TD, and 4.8 YPC. He's a good sleeper next season in an improved (assuming) offense.
What I Said: Because previous Colts like Domonic Rhodes came out of nowhere to have a fantasy impact, that's why you always keep an eye on their RB depth chart. Especially with Addai coming off injury. As of now, he is trying to be the short-yardage back, which could mean "TD Vulture"
What He Did: Carter had the same 3.7 YPC as Addai and scored twice with 377 yards.
What I Said: Over his last 7 seasons, he has averaged 92 catches, 1,264 yards, 8 TDs, and he hasn't missed a single game. Do you see why I value guys like this? He's 33 now, but that's not quite over the hill for wideouts, especially ones like Wayne.
What He Did: Wayne did have a few good games, but he didn't have a quarterback and every receiver suffered because of it. He finished with a very respectable 75 catches for 960 yards and 4 TDs. He's still not finished and could be good value next season.
What I Said: Collie is my 2nd favorite Colts receiver. In his first 3 games last year he had 27 catches, 359 yards, and 4 TDs. He was doing just fine until he got his bell rung and Collie ended up playing in only 9 games. If healthy, he's a potential WR1.
What He Did: I had Collie as a big pre-season sleeper and he let me down. Even in re-watching every NFL game, I'm disappointed with how he looks out there. He'll need to re-establish himself next season for me to believe again. He had 514 yards and 54 catches.
What I Said: Not saying I wouldn't definitely want him on my team, but I wouldn't reach for him either. I like him, I just can't get past the fact that he's the third WR on the Colts when the other guys are healthy.
What He Did: Garcon took over as a number one for much for much of the season, but slowed down in the second half. He finished with 70 catches for 947 yards and 6 TDs.
What I Said: In 2008 he caught 77 passes for 848 yards, and 6 TDs. That's about what I would expect from 32 year old Dallas Clark in 2011, and coming off injury, that's the peak of what I do expect.
What He Did: Clark struggled big time and in 11 games, finished with 34 catches for 352 yards and 2 TDs. The days of drafting him are over.
What I Said: In Tennessee he's getting a better offensive line, a better running back, and perhaps with Kenny Britt, a better wide receiver. However, he's got a young buck hot on his heels. It all adds up to: Don't draft him unless its a 2 QB league.
What He Did: Matt was respectable and had 61.6% completions, 18 TD/14 INT, 3,571 yards and started all 16 games. He started off hot, had a few nice games, but slowed down and it seems all but a forgone conclusion that Jake Locker will be the starter next season.
What I Said: His running skills are off the charts. He did it all on a Titans team that had no other weapons. If not for the holdout, I have to put him ahead of Arian Foster andJamaal Charles and Adrian Peterson because Johnson is proven and provides a little more of a well-rounded game than Peterson does
What He Did: Oh Johnson, what happened? In watching the Titans first two games of the season, he doesn't have that pep in his step... he had a couple of good games, but was so very bad for most of the season and former Mr. 2000 finished with 1,047 yards rushing, 4 TDs, and 418 yards receiving.
What I Said: Britt could be a #1 WR this year, but he's got to stay healthy and out of trouble. On average, he's getting drafted 26th amongst WRs and 63rd overall, which screams "MAJOR SLEEPER" to me.
What He Did: Oh, how I loved me some Kenny Britt. He had 17 catches, 289 yards, and 3 TDs in three games before getting injured. He was going to put up some huge numbers. So sad.
What I Said: He averaged 66 yards per game when Britt was out, and 3 of those 6 games were very good WR2-fantasy kind of stuff. He'll never be a star perhaps, but if Britt misses an extended period of time, go get Washington.
What He Did: Nate had a career year when Britt went out and finished with 74 catches, 1,023 yards and 7 TDs. He'll only be 29 next year, he's a good WR3/Flex.
What I Said: Cook could be a breakout tight end option this season. He was a 3rd round pick in 2009 and with Bo Scaife out of the picture, Cook has every chance to be the #1 TE on the depth chart.
What He Did: Cook had a very nice season, with 759 yards and three scores, plus a few big games. He's still only 24.
What I Said: He could still be the best kept secret in the NFL. He's a solid performer that still has the potential to be great and amongst the leagues best. He's a good bet to go later in the draft and provide great value if you don't want to draft a QB out of the elite class.
What He Did: Schaub had stayed healthy for two years, but the injury bug bit him again. He had 2,479 yards, 15 TD/6 INT in 10 games. The Texans lost four of their last five games, costing them a potential bye, but they did win a playoff game.
What I Said: Remember Dominick Davis/Williams? Another Texans running back that came and went quickly. Foster isn't those guys, but I'd feel a lot more comfortable after seeing him do a repeat performance. He feels like a guy I'd LOVE to get at 5, but I admit I am concerned at #1. But I completely understand the move, and I might do the same thing.
What He Did: Foster is definitely now one of the top backs in the league, I just like to see repeat performances. He missed three games, but finished with 1,224 yards and 10 TDs plus 617 yards receiving and 2 more scores. He can do it all and it's fun to watch Houston run the ball.
What I Said: Tate would be an interesting free agent option, I don't believe a player thats a year removed from being a 2nd round pick, would have a hard time finding a new team. Keep an eye on his situation. Running backs like Frank Gore and Willis McGahee started their careers with injuries so bad, it seemed they might never make it in the NFL.
What He Did: Tate was hot to start the season and even was worth a start in some weeks as a backup to Foster. He finished with 942 yards and 4 TDs, and FootballOutsiders rated him as one of the most valuable running backs in the entire NFL. He'll be a RB1 if/when he becomes a starter.
What I Said: He's only 30 years old, he still has at least 3 to 4 seasons left at the top of his game. He's a fair choice for a first round pick in a PPR league.
What He Did: Oh, injury bug. Not only did it cause Johnson to miss 9 games, but with Texans having injuries all over the field, everyone suffered. He had 492 yards in seven games.
What I Said: There's always injury concerns with Daniels, but in his last healthy season (2008) he was one of the most targeted tight ends in the NFL and he did an excellent job with the ball after the catch. If healthy, Daniels is a top 5-7 tight end.
What He Did: Daniels wound up with 677 yards and 3 TDs, while Joel Dreessen "stole" six TE touchdowns at the goal line.
What I Said: The Jags moved up 6 picks to get Gabbert and he'll be starting no later than 2012 barring a real surprise. He'll probably get an opportunity this season, but he's undraftable in anything but keeper leagues.
What He Did: At the time of the writing, David Garrard was still a Jaguar. Then Luke McCown was named starter, which nobody believed would last. Gabbert, potentially the most raw of any QB taken in the first round last year, started 14 games and completed 50.8% of his passes for 2,214 yards, 12 TD/11 INT. He did improve as the yer went on, I just started to watch Gabbert's game tape.
What I Said: He's still just as talented as he ever was and I fully expect him to fall safely into the range of 1,400 yards rushing, 40 catches for 400 yards, and 10-15 touchdowns. I'd feel comfortable drafting him in the top 8. If he slips to back 1st or into the 2nd round, he's a steal.
What He Did: MJD went to the next level of elite backs and ran for 1,606 yards, 8 TDs, 347 yards receiving, and 3 more scores, despite being the only offensive weapon in Jacksonville. He's awesome to watch play... he's the only thing watchable about the Jags.
What I Said: I'd feel very comfortable with Thomas as my WR3, a little worried with him as my WR2, and definitely wouldnt have him as a WR1. He could still follow-up with a breakout, but the QB situation in Jacksonville and not having a viable opposite end wideout is a concern as well.
What He Did: The Jags had the worst wide receivers in the league, and Thomas wasn't much of an exception. He had 415 yards and 1 TD.
What I Said: Lewis had a season high 70 yards in week 2, so he never broke out with giant games, but he was very consistent and a solid bet for 40-60 yards, 3-5 catches, and he had 3 games with 2 scores. Expect more of the same this year, as he leads the 2nd tier of tight end options.
What He Did: 460 yards and no touchdowns. But who was throwing to him?
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