July 26, 2010

2010 Breakout Candidates (QB and RB)

Its been a while since I posted here, but the fantasy football fever has gotten me, and there's no way things like work or the World Cup can keep me away from the keyboard now. Even though there are still months until most draft days, I figured I'd better start getting my ideas down on paper so that I can hear the rest of the fantasy football community's thoughts. Here are my picks for players who will see a major jump in their production in 2010.

Joe Flacco , Baltimore Ravens
I remember watching Flacco compete in the quarterback skills competition coming out of Delaware and thinking there is no way this guy can keep up with the real Division 1 studs. That's when he threw a bomb out of the end zone and made the other competitors look like they belonged in Pop Warner. His first 2 campaigns were very impressive before he imploded in 2009 playoffs. What sets 2010 Flacco apart from his previous two seasons is the addition of Anquan Boldin. As the anti-prima-donna wideout, the Ravens won't have to worry about chemistry as they add a receiver who can always be penciled in for 80 catches and 8 TDs, despite his constant injury concerns. That is something that Baltimore has been eagerly searching for, and I'm sure Flacco will be more than happy with his new option. With Boldin, the consistent Derrick Mason, and explosive talents like Todd Heap and Ray Rice, I think Flacco could put up top 5 QB numbers without the high price tags that guys like Romo and Rivers.

Honorable Mention:
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons: One of the guys who Flacco embarrassed at the college skills competition, the Falcons' QB has just as many weapons, and his combination of football knowledge and touch makes up for his slightly weaker arm than the cannon that is Joe Flacco.

Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs:
Over the first 8 games in 2009, Jamaal's best game was 36 rushing yards, and he didn't manage his way into the endzone a single time. By the end of the season, he had 1400+ total yards and an impressive 8 trips to paydirt. If he had kept up that pace for an entire 16 game schedule he would have made even Chris Johnson look like a paraplegic. A lot of people think the looming Thomas Jones could rob Charles' of some of his carries. But if the Jets see more talent from an aged Ladainian Tomlinson, that's saying a lot towards Henry's deterioration. I have faith that Charles' youth will win out and he will be a major fantasy contributor again.

Honorable Mention:
Jahvid Best, Detroit Lions:
Drafting anyone from Detroit runs a risk. Especially a player who was hit so hard that he had to miss the end of senior season with a massive concussion. Throw in all of his other college ailments and you might think I've been sniffing glue. But Best can be as good as his surname describes. With the ball in his hands and no major physical hangups, Jahvid can overcome all of the difficulties that comes with the Lions uniform.