1. Peyton Manning will be the highest scorer in fantasy football this year. Peyton put on an aerial display Thursday night against the Ravens, and there is no reason this offense will slow down over the course of the season. Manning is not going to throw 7 touchdowns every week, but he can definitely put up better fantasy numbers than Tom Brady did during the 2007 season. The Broncos' offense is tailor made for Peyton to have the greatest statistical season for a QB in NFL History. The Broncos WRs are excellent with several red zone targets, their TEs are big and fast with great hands, and the running game is lacking. All these factors add up to Manning having to throw more touchdowns and passing yards to move the offense with a few hints of the ground game to keep defenses honest. It will be a huge season for Peyton, and he will reward all the fantasy owners that went against the 2013 consensus of not drafting a QB in the early rounds.
2. Kaepernick is the real deal. The 49ers offense looked sharp and explosive against the Packers on Sunday. Kaepernick was very impressive, and he showed a great chemistry with Boldin and Davis. Many fantasy footballers were afraid to go after Kaepernick because they feared he could be a one trick pony or a read-option bust. That is not the case however. Throwing for over 400 yards and 3 touchdowns is impressive, but Kaepernick's rushing stats were the most telling numbers of the game. Kaepernick ended up with only 7 carries for 22 yards because he was not pressured into scrambling. Kaepernick has great pocket presence to go along with excellent field vision. Kaepernick is the complete QB package, and he will handsomely reward those fantasy owners that took a chance on him.
3. Fumbles can cost a running back his job and destroy the best fantasy draft strategies. Stevan Ridley and David Wilson learned this lesson the hard way. And one has to wonder if DeAngelo Williams would have learned the same lesson if Jonathan Stewart was healthy. Stevan Ridley fumbled in the second quarter against the Bills, and he never saw the field again. Shane Vereen had an excellent game, but he broke his wrist and will now miss 4-6 weeks. Vereen's injury could reopen the door for Ridley to get a second chance, but Blount is sitting and waiting for the opportunity to be the Patriots' starting RB. David Wilson had two fumbles against the Cowboys and now the Giants are inviting unemployed RBs to work out for them. This is a terrible sign for Wilson, and his fantasy football value is in a huge state of turmoil. Fumbles can ruin a season for a team and they can cause super hyped running backs to become unemployed.
4. Pittsburgh is in serious trouble. The Steelers offensive performance was nothing short of terrible Sunday, but that is not the worst part of the story. Pittsburgh lost their starting center, Maurkice Pouncey, for the rest of the season. The Steelers did not have the strongest offensive line to begin with, and an injury like this will affect the entire offense. The Steelers running game was absolutely atrocious, and to make it worse their most productive running back for the day, LaRod Stephens-Howling, is now gone for the rest of the season as well. The weaker the Steelers offense becomes, the more pressure will mount on their defense. It's looking like this will be a down year for Pittsburgh and fantasy owners should start to temper their expectations from the Steelers.
5. Cook should live up to the offseason hype. They say the NFL is a copycat league, and fantasy owners have been waiting for the next Gronk and Jimmy Graham to come along. Well that time appears to be now, and that guy appears to be Jared Cook. Cook has been hyped since he was drafted by the Titans, but he never lived up to his potential in Tennessee. Now Cook is with the Rams, and he dominated on Sunday against Arizona. Cook had 7 catches for 141 yards and 2 touchdowns, which could have been 3 touchdowns if he did not fumble in the first quarter. Cook is big, strong, fast, and has great hands. It is looking like 2013 will be the year Cook finally lives up to the hype and becomes a top fantasy tight end.
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