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 entering the final weekend of drafting.
Jay Cutler passing touchdowns 25.5
Andy — OVER. Bet against this offense at your own risk. The receiving corps has been upgraded massively.
Brad — UNDER. The elimination of seven-step drops should keep his head attached, but Mike Tice will want to pound the pigskin with Matt Forte and Michael Bush. It should be a good season for Jay, just not a great one. Think he finishes in the 23-25 pass TD range.
Dalton — OVER. Cutler averaged 25 touchdown passes his first two years in Chicago before his injury-shortened season last year and now has Brandon Marshall to throw to, which is a massive improvement over the Bears' previous dreck at wideout. I also think Mike Martz leaving will be addition by subtraction. Cutler has a big year in 2012.
Kevin Smith in-game ankle sprains 2.5
Scott — I'll go UNDER the ankle sprains, but it's always something with Smith. He probably won't play 12 games.
Brandon — UNDER. He'll surely have one, and that will probably linger for much of the remainder of the year.
Dalton — UNDER. I would take the over on 2.5 games missed but actual in-game ankle sprains, I'll say two. I do like this question though. I still say Smith is a borderline RB1 on a per-game basis, but there's no doubt few other players in the league are as big of an injury risk.
2.5 regular season quarters for the Jets to score their first touchdown
Brandon — UNDER. You see, you should have specifically stated "Jets offense." I can see the Jets defense taking a Ryan Fitzpatrick turnover to pay dirt at home early in Week 1. As for that ghastly offense, you probably could have set the line at 2.5 games.
Dalton — UNDER. They have looked terrible this preseason, and Buffalo's defense projects to be one of the better units in the league, but I feel pretty comfortable saying they will reach the end zone within the first 37.5 minutes in Week 1. Vegas has them as three-point favorites, with the over/under at 40.5, so they would agree with me.
Andy — UNDER. We've all had our laughs at the Jets this preseason, and I won't defend their skill players. But it's still just preseason football; no team is showing us anything they don't want us to see.
Jordy Nelson receiving touchowns 11.5
Dalton — UNDER. I really, really like Jordy Nelson and expect him to be targeted more frequently this year. I think there's about a 50/50 chance he has a better season than Greg Jennings. That said, that's a big number to project for any receiver not named Calvin Johnson. I say he comes close but falls just short.
Andy — UNDER. Jordy can still have a great fantasy season, even if he doesn't hit this number. Only two wide receivers in football caught 12 or more TD passes last season, so this is a tough total to reach.
Scott — UNDER. I'm projecting a little less than that, no knock on Nelson. He should be a Top 10 wideout on everyone's board; in some pools, he'll be a modest value. Dynamite route runner, spectacular after the catch, and on a permanent mind-meld with Aaron Rodgers
Russell Wilson final per game fantasy rank among QBs 14.5 (In other words will he be a top-15 passer)
Brad — OVER. Wilson is the movie trailer that looks completely awesome, but doesn't meet up to the mammoth expectations once viewed in-full (e.g. "Independence Day"). Yes, he's absolutely fascinating, but Seattle's staunch defense minimizes shootout possibilities. Like him, but, shockingly, I don't want to hump his leg.
Scott — UNDER. I've fallen, head-over-cleats. Wilson has everything you'd want from a QB but the preferred height: he's smart, a hard worker, a leader of men, and a nifty combination of passer and runner. Yahoo's ranking him higher than any other site, too. All-in. Go get him.
Brandon — UNDER. I have him at No. 14 in my latest QB rankings and even at that I had to fight the temptation to push him higher. He's such a smart, instinctual player. And when he sees open field ahead, his 4.5 speed covers that ground quickly. He's a efficient passer and a lethal runner, and that sets his ceiling pretty high in fantasy.
Larry Fitzgerald receiving yards 1,299.5
Brandon — OVER. I'm assuming Skelton will be QB for the Cards, more often than not. And he worked out pretty well for Fitzgerald last season. We've seen Fitz rise above his situation before, and I expect he'll do it again.
Dalton — OVER. The safest bet here is the under since this will likely require no injuries, but I'll say he surpasses it. Arizona's QB position remains a huge problem, but it's unlikely to be much worse than it was last year, when Fitzgerald had 1,411 receiving yards. He's topped 1,400 yards in three of the past five years.
Andy — UNDER. I won't say Fitz can't possibly get there, because he's an all-timer. But his quarterback, whoever it is, will be a drag on his stats.
Fred Davis receptions 74.5
Andy — UNDER. So many things need to go just right for Davis to reach 75 catches. This is a player who hasn't yet caught 60 balls in any season. You can play the on-pace game with 2011 stats if you want, but this is a new year. Garcon is going to lead the 'Skins in receptions.
Brad — OVER. Chris Cooley's dismissal from the team paves the way for additional targets for arguably the most underrated TE in the game. And, no, I'm not worried that RGIII targeted just twice in preseason play. It's roughly 4.5 quarters people. Provided he passes on the blunt, he's a near lock for 75-plus receptions. Recall he averaged 4.8 receptions per game in '11.
Scott — OVER. He should pass that number, given that he would have done it last year (if given a full 16 games) and the Redskins actually have a capable QB this season.
Rashad Jennings opening week touches at Minnesota 19.5
Brad — OVER. With MoJo flushing $100 bills down his golden toilet, Mike Mularkey is fully prepared to drive Jennings into the Metrodome turf Week 1. It would be no surprise if he roars out of the gate with 90-110 total yards and 1-2 scores on 21-23 touches. That happens and a MJD/Khan divorce is likely.
Scott — OVER. And this Jaguars offense might be upgraded from "dumpster fire" to "merely mediocre" because Blaine Gabbert is improving under Mike Mularkey's tutelage.
Brandon — OVER. It seems pretty clear that MoJo won't yet be in the Jags picture by Week 1, so I don't see why Jennings wouldn't get 15-20 carries and a few looks in the passing game.
Doug Martin total yards from scrimmage 1,299.5
Andy — UNDER. I would be more bullish on Martin if ... well, if I thought he were a better running back. I've actively tried to like this guy, but I can't endorse all the Ray Rice comps, based on what I've seen. I'll concede that this is an attainable total, if the team keeps feeding Martin the ball.
Brad — OVER. Some within the industry have changed face in regards to Martin, but with LeGarrette Blount clearly the No. 2, the rookie is locked in to 15-20 touches per game. Davin Joseph's season-ending injury is a black eye, but the offensive line still boasts plenty of talent. Given the 'Muscle Hamster's' versatility and overall positive vibe, I would have probably gone over on 1,399.5 total yards.
Dalton — OVER. I'm buying. He badly outplayed LeGarrette Blount all preseason and should immediately become a feature back as a rookie. He can play on all three downs, and there should be a lot of shootouts in that division. The new regime is tied to him.
Alfred Morris total regular season carries 179.5
Scott — UNDER. Did you see Helu and Royster strutting their stuff on Wednesday? Just what Sahanahan needs - options. In any offensive designer's world, the star of the offense is the head coach, himself. Under.
Brad — OVER. In what shouldn't be earth-shattering news to anyone, Morris, a sixth-round rookie who entered training camp fourth on the 'Skins RB depth chart, looks to be the winner of the starting sweepstakes. No first-teamer saw action in Wednesday's final tuneup, which could offer a clue. With a generous Week 1 matchup versus New Orleans, expect him to run away with the job, assuming he starts, of course.
Brandon — UNDER. I wouldn't predict any Redskins running back for more than 150 carries, let alone 179.5. Early in the summer we joked that Shanahan just might throw a curveball and start Morris. As usual, the joke is on us. Well, not me. I don't draft Redskins running backs anymore.
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