Fantasy is a speculative game. Predict the future, and you look like a genius. Don't, and you're painfully human. Gazing into the crystal ball, here's our view on 10 intriguing over/unders this week.
With Rob Gronkowski a giant-sized question mark and Danny Amendola constructed from Waterford crystal, season receptions for Aaron Hernandez 74.5
Brandon – OVER. I think Hernandez could be an absolute monster this year (No. 1 TE upside). The key is for him to actually play 15-16 games. If he plays 15 games, he'd go over this number based on last year's pace. But, like I said, I think he'll be even better in '13.
Dalton – OVER. The biggest concern here is Hernandez's inability to stay healthy, but I'll take an optimistic look, as he has the upside to beat this mark even if he misses 3-4 games. It seems crazy, but he's still just 23 years old and will be an integral part of New England's offense even if Gronkowski and Amendola are healthy.
Brad – OVER. Hernandez, reportedly already catching passes at Pats minicamp, is on pace to start the season on time coming off shoulder surgery. Unless Aaron Dobson makes some serious noise in his inaugural season, Gronk's tag-team partner will soon hoist a golden belt. It's not unfathomable to think he challenges Jimmy Graham for top tight-end honors. Bank on at least 80 catches.
Robert Griffin III, who vies he will be available for Day 1 of Redskins training camp, number of rush attempts on the season 99.5
Dalton – UNDER. I believe RG3 will be fully ready for Week 1, but he didn't surpass this number all that much last year (he had 120 rush attempts, albeit in 15 games). Cam Newton has averaged 126.5 rush attempts over his first two years in the league. In other words, it's not easy to surpass 100 carries as a QB even when fully healthy, let alone one returning from a torn ACL and LCL suffered in January.
Brad – UNDER. Lucifer Shanahan has made his intentions of protecting his most prized possession abundantly clear. RGIII, who has echoed his coach's desire to express more caution with the football, will play it safe. Expect him to trim off a large chunk of last year's 120 rush attempts, finishing in the 70-80 range with roughly 450 yards.
Andy – I'll take the OVER here, though not by a lot. Griffin doesn't necessarily need to run less, he just needs to finish his runs less violently. Step out of bounds every once in a while, kid.
Freshly inked Colts running back Ahmad Bradshaw, who will work in-tandem with Vick Ballard and Donald Brown, total touches this fall 229.5
Brad – OVER. Bradshaw desperately needs titanium pedals, but, despite his injury downside, he should exceed this number. The man can do it all -- pass-block, power inside, burst outside, catch passes. For a team that struggled to keep Andrew Luck upright last year, he will be leaned on heavily. Anticipate him to tally roughly 16-17 touches per game.
Andy – OVER. Of course it's ridiculous to say "over," because Bradshaw's feet would need to remain attached for at least 13-14 games. But I'm not really worried about competition from Vick Ballard. There's a wide talent gap between these two backs.
Scott – OVER, because Bradshaw will play through a ridiculous amount of pain. Pound for pound, he might be the toughest player in the league.
Maurice Jones-Drew, who in recent photos appears he chugged multiple mayonnaise shakes during the offseason, average fantasy points per game in standard (non-PPR) formats 14.5
Andy – OVER. I am not interested in betting against MJD. The per-game wrinkle here makes this a safer bet.
Scott – UNDER. Gravity always wins.
Brandon – OVER. Let's face it, you aren't going to get an unbiased MJD opinion from me. I love the guy. But I also know that nothing makes MoJo go like a chip on his shoulder, and he has plenty of naysayer fuel to work with this summer.
Surprising minicamp attendee, Hakeem Nicks, receiving yards with the G-Men in a contract year 1049.5
Scott – OVER. I know, he never plays full seasons, but New York's passing game is always heavily routed through the primary wideouts, and no one doubts what Nicks can do when he's on the field.
Brandon – UNDER. I have just lost faith in Nicks' ability to stay healthy and, he hasn't been a huge yardage guy even in his healthiest of seasons.
Dalton – UNDER. I love Nicks' talent and also believe Eli Manning bounces back in 2013, but Nicks has averaged just 931.5 yards per-season during his four years in the league. He's great on a per-game basis, but Nicks is too injury-prone to bet on him beating this total.
Russell Wilson, who’s slipped in drafts (72.0 ADP, QB9) despite rave reviews this offseason, total fantasy points scored in traditional scoring leagues (4 pts/pass TD, 1 pt/20 yds passing) 339.5
Brad – OVER. I'm extremely bullish on Wilson. When the light turned on for him last season, he suplexed the competition. Extrapolate what he achieved from Week 8 on, playoffs included, over 16 games and you're looking at a 417 point passer, a number that would've outpaced Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Cam Newton last year. He'll only get better with Percy Harvin in the mix.
Andy – OVER. Easily. That's really not much of a number for a dual-threat QB with an upgraded receiving corps. If he stays healthy, he gets there.
Scott – OVER, easily. Talent meets desire meets work ethic, with an improved supporting cast thrown in. What's not to love here?
Kyle Rudolph, ultra-confident off his MVP-earning performance in the Pro Bowl, final rank among tight ends 5.5 (Will he be a top-5 TE?)
Brandon – OVER. His TD potential gives him more upside than most TEs, but he was only No. 11 among TE last season despite 9 TDs. I'm not going to put faith in Christian Ponder being able to elevate Rudolph into the top 5.
Dalton – OVER. I just hate banking on touchdowns, as Rudolph finished 25th among tight ends in receiving yards last season, when he totaled 81 (yards) over his final four games. I've heard the hype that he's going to be much improved this season, and even if that proves true, there are a lot of other TE options who could make the leap as well.
Brad – UNDER. Christian Ponder is waste water, but Rudolph is primed to take a major leap forward. Leslie Frazier has expressed his desire to feature Rudolph more and when considering he's already one of the game's premier red-zone targets (80.0 catch percentage inside the 20 in '12) he should easily finish in range of 65-680-9, which should sneak him just under the number above.
Fill in the blank. Though he will only play a maximum of 14 games, suspension slapped receiver Josh Gordon finishes with _____ receptions, _______ yards and _______touchdowns.
Dalton – 65 receptions, 875 yards, 8 touchdowns
Brad – 71 receptions, 1,066 yards, 7 touchdowns
Andy – 61, receptions, 929 yards, 6 touchdowns. If this guy ever gets an upper-tier QB (or even a middle-tier QB), you'll love the results.
Amid concerns of Bernard Pierce’s possible increased role, total touchdowns scored by Ray Rice this year 9.5
Andy – OVER. Again: Easy. You guys don't scare me with your Bernard Pierce. Pffft. Have a little faith in Ray. He's reached double-digit TDs in back-to-back years.
Scott – OVER. Teams always tell us the time-share story, but when push comes to shove, they tend to go back to who they really trust. I'll do cartwheels if Rice slides in the first round for 2013; this is a very safe place to park your money.
Brandon – UNDER. He's probably going to split more carries than he has since his rookie season, and he's not really a huge TD guy anyways (8, 6, 15, 10 in past four seasons). I'll put him down for 8-9, but I think he falls short of double-digits.
Discount RB Roundup (35-plus ADP). Rank ‘em in projected points per game finish: Ryan Mathews, Rashard Mendenhall, Lamar Miller, Chris Ivory, Le’Veon Bell, Eddie Lacy
Scott –Mathews, Miller, Ivory, Mendy, Bell, Lacy.
Brandon – Miller, Mathews, Bell, Ivory, Mendenhall, Lacy
Dalton – Bell, Miller, Lacy, Mathews, Ivory, Mendenhall
Brad – Bell, Mathews (Yes, I have addiction issues), Miller, Mendenhall, Ivory, Lacy
Andy – Bell, Miller, Mathews, Mendenhall, Ivory, Lacy. *checks to make sure that matches his ranks* Yup, confirmed.
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