NFL predictions, 2012: Go big, or go home

Roto Arcade

With the 2012 NFL regular season set to get underway, we've asked the Yahoo! experts (Brandon Funston, Andy Behrens, Brad Evans, Scott Pianowski, Dalton Del Don) to take one final look into their crystal ball and share their most outrageous visions for the upcoming season. And, for the record, preseason player accuracy has been a specialty of this Yahoo! contingent, so don't discount the possibility that some of these bold predictions might actually come true — well, except for the last one (below).

The Quarterbacks

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Peyton Manning is a notable disappointment and the Broncos don't make the playoffs. (SP)

Andrew Luck is a top-12 fantasy quarterback, and the Colts make a serious run at the playoffs. (DDD)

Andrew Luck rushes for the same number of touchdowns as Russell Wilson/RGIII. (BE)

Robert Griffin III finishes ahead of Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger in per game average. (BE)

The Redskins will be led in rushing this season by their quarterback, RGIII. And he'll run for less than 750 yards. This ground game is simply noise; try to tune it out if you can. It's not worth the chase. (AB)

Jay Cutler will throw for less than 4,000 yards and 25 TD passes. (BF)

Kyle Orton will finish as a top-12 scorer at his position on a per-game basis. (Alternate quarterback name for this bold/ridiculous prediction: Shaun Hill). (AB)

Nick Foles fills in for an injured Michael Vick in five games, records a top-10 fantasy QB total during that stretch. (BE)

The Seahawks win the NFC West, the defense is excellent, and Russell Wilson is an overnight star. (SP)

The Running Backs

Maurice Jones-Drew will appear in less than 12 games this season. (AB)

Ryan Mathews miraculously plays 14 games, finishes No. 1 in per game average among RBs. (BE)

Stevan Ridley is more valuable than Michael Turner, Steven Jackson, Ahmad Bradshaw and Frank Gore. (DDD)

Former Hokies Ryan Williams and David Wilson will finish with more total fantasy points than their respective backfield running mates. (BF)

David Wilson is a top 10 fantasy back in the second half of the year. (SP)

David Wilson overtakes Ahmad Bradshaw by Week 7, and, from that point on, compiles top-12 numbers among RBs. (BE)

Cedric Benson finishes as a top-15 fantasy back. (DDD)

After finishing as the No. 10 fantasy running back last season, Darren Sproles finishes outside the top 20 at the position and does not end up as his own team's best fantasy RB. (BF)

Kevin Smith is a top-12 fantasy back on a per-game basis. (DDD)

Kevin Smith will gain at least 25 percent of his 2012 total yardage in Week 1 against the Rams. I'm trying to imply two things here: 1) Smith has an outstanding match-up in the opener, and 2) I do not trust him over a full season. (AB)

Fred Jackson tramples the competition en route to a top-5 fantasy season among RBs. (BE)

DeMarco Murray lives up to his hyped ADP and produces top-5 fantasy production from the RB position. (DDD)

DeMarco Murray will enter 2013 as a consensus top-5 fantasy pick. No explanation required. (AB)

Jonathan Dwyer emerges as the most valuable fantasy asset in Pittsburgh's backfield. (DDD)

Peyton Hillis bowls his way into the end zone 12 times, chipping in an additional 1,200 total yards. (BE)

LeSean McCoy has a better fantasy year than Ray Rice, while Chris Johnson scores more fantasy points than Darren McFadden. (DDD)

Doug Martin becomes the most revered rookie rusher, logging 1,300 total yards and 7-9 touchdowns. (BE)

Doug Martin does not finish as the best among the top 2 fantasy running backs of the '12 class. (BF)

The Wide Receivers

Thanks to a historic season by Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones ends the year as "just" the No. 2 fantasy wide receiver. (DDD)

Brandon Marshall does not lead the Bears in touchdown catches. (SP)

Malcom Floyd will finish with a higher single-season fantasy tally than Vincent Jackson ever produced as a member of the Chargers. (BF)

Torrey Smith scores 11 touchdowns and goes well over 1,000 yards. (SP)

Kenny Britt amazingly staves off his ninth arrest and knee woes and tallies a top-15 WR line . (BE)

Victor Cruz leads the NFL in receiving yards and scores double-digit touchdowns. (BF)

Greg Jennings finishes outside the top-10 fantasy wide receivers, while teammate Jordy Nelson ends up top-5. (DDD)

Andre Johnson scores five times or less. (SP)

Pierre Garcon finishes as a top-15 fantasy wideout. (BF)

Eric Decker leads the AFC in receptions with 106. (BE)

Greg Little catches 78 passes, and the Browns somehow win seven games or more, most of them in ugly fashion. (SP)

Miles Austin easily outpaces Dez Bryant as the Cowboys top fantasy WR. (BF)

Josh Gordon emerges as Brandon Weeden's go-to guy, totals 60-850-6. (BE)

Stephen Hill leads the Jets in receiving touchdowns. (SP)

The Tight Ends

Aaron Hernandez outpaces Rob Gronkowski finishing only behind Jimmy Graham in overall tight end value. (BE)

Vernon Davis leads all tight ends in fantasy scoring. (AB)

Vernon Davis scores a dozen touchdowns. (DDD)

Jermichael Finley will catch more touchdown passes than Jordy Nelson this season. (AB)

Jason Witten is not a Top-12 tight end. (SP)

Jared Cook leads the Titans in receiving yards. (BF)

The Others

In an effort to spark his slumping team, Jeff Fisher shaves his mustache in November. (SP)

By November, Mike Shanahan is starting a running back that we haven't talked about at all this summer. (BF)

In a moment of confusion, Bill Belichick discloses useful injury information about one of his own players. (SP)

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