49ers- Does Randy Moss have the speed that he once did? If yes, can Alex Smith get him the ball? The defense can win a Championship, all Alex Smith has to do is navigate and manage the game properly. RB depth, skilled positions and Defense make them an early season winner.
Bears- Cutler and Marshall are back together; they picked up Michael Bush to compliment Forte but what about WR depth?
Where is the production going to come from besides Marshall? Jeffery? Will Urlacher hold up to a seasons worth of hits?
Bengals- This team can be very dangerous; they made the playoffs last year with a rookie QB who seems to be completely legitimate and ready for the big stage. They have a tractor-trailer of an offensive line and even upgraded at RB. Playoffs? Yes. More than just a wildcard? Maybe.
Bills- The team just shelled out a ton of cash for Mario Williams and the defense seems to be keying in on his talent and leadership, could mean great things for the team. Will the team get what it’s expecting from Ryan Fitzpatrick? Is the Harvard grad worth the cash they gave him or should they have gone with a Yale man?
Broncos- The obvious: PM is throwing the rock for them now, Tebow has departed. The not so obvious: WR depth is an issue. PM can make anyone look great, but Eric Decker? I guess. The point is that if Decker or Thomas is limited with injuries, where the heck are they going to get point production? RBBC.
Browns- The Browns have a lot of work to do! Is Trent Richardson the answer for their litany of problems, I don’t think so. The knees, the youth of the entire team and the Defense are all suspect. Cleveland deserves a break, but the football team wont provide it this season. How are the Indians and Cavaliers looking? Oh, sorry.
Buccaneers- They have upgraded on the offensive side of the ball, they have given Josh Freeman every reason to excel, and he should be able to regain his 2010 form. The defense and schedule are an issue. Love their chances in the division though.
Cardinals- The Cards are a mess and a miss. The QB drama, the injuries/health at RB are two major sticking points to a successful season. Larry Fitz will get his and the rookie corp will produce, but it will another disappointing season. What’s Kirk doing these days? Can he come back? Brett?
Chargers- After last season, it seems that almost anything would be better! Gates is back but Mathews is hurt, Phillip is back but so is Norv, V Jackson is gone but he has been replaced by skilled youth. The chargers are going to have some issues discovering their identity: are they an offensive team, defensive, run first, throw first? Or are they going say “ahh the hell with it! Lets got to the beach.” Their first test against the new and improved Raiders will be a good litmus test.
Chiefs- Sleeper D. Charles is back, looking healthy, Bowe is back after his contract dispute, the RB depth is upgraded with Peyton Hillis who should have a chip on his shoulder. Can Matt Cassel be the man that they expected him to be?
Colts- Big questions remain. They have got their guy in Luck; they have completely changed out their team including the coach, defense and the man that built Lucas Oil Field. But things are looking up. It should be a good learning experience this year for the entire defense and their shortcomings should “build the character” of Luck. The good news, if there are down in games for most of the season, he will get very familiar with his receivers and they should have a great year. Expect a bounce back year for Reggie Wayne and maybe even Donald Brown.
Cowboys- Where to begin, who deserves more credit for this teams recent playoff collapses? ROMO, Godfather, the DC Ryan, defense, running game? The D in “BIG D” should be drama and unfortunately the 2 men that can control it, Romo and JJ, either can’t control it or refuse to. Strange things are going on in Dallas these days. Side note: I hope Jerry doesn’t give that lady suing him a dime! Hope they have a bounce back year, they DESERVE IT.
Dolphins- The curse of Hard Knocks? It looks like they have solidarity in their future QB in Tannehill and the run game but who is Tannehill going to throw to and how is Reggie going to get through 8/9 players in the box? The team is set up to fail in that division and will use this year to teach Tannehill the ropes and hopefully use the draft to upgrade beyond Devon Bess? Midseason trade? We think so.
Eagles- Dream Team? Could be. Its tough to tell. This team is the most talented in the NFL besides the Patriots. Can they harness that raw talent into something that resembles a world-beater? Yes, they can! But will injuries to the franchise QB, RB or WR derail their hopes? Yes, they will!
Falcons- Aging skill positions in Turner and Gonzo, but these two are seemingly indestructible and durable as hell! They wont go down. Matty Ice has plenty of weapons to make it to the playoffs, but what then? Matty is 0-3 in playoffs.
Giants- CHAMPS! Until someone beats them in the playoffs, no one should say a damn thing. OK I will say it, they lost a lot of talent and its really tough to repeat.
Jaguars- The lamest hold out ever is over! But there are two things that scare me regarding holdouts, especially those of star RBs: conditioning and injury. Both are devastating to a running back AND YOUR FANTASY HOPES, and with MJD, both are possible. Rashard Jennings eagerly waits in the wings for either.
Jets- NO COMMENT.
Lions- Love the teams chances to beat the Saints this year. Dome team but looking very unstoppable this year.
Panthers- Sophomore slump for Cam is a possibility, JUST LOOK at his second half last year, DCs figured him out. His wide receivers are old. Good things: the corps of quality ball carriers should take some of the pressure off of Cam, and the addition of Mike Tolbert should pay off very well.
Patriots- See comments on Lions and Packers. The Pats have reloaded; they have the looks of a prolific offense, one for the ages. The defense is improved and they have a chip on their shoulder. Look out!
Raiders- Sleeper. Just win baby is gone and the offensive side of the ball is looking tough. Its says a lot about lot your team when the most intriguing aspect of your offense is your QB; Carson Palmer is motivated focused and happy to be playing in Oakland. The health of the running game is always a question but they have plenty of skill behind him if he goes down for an extended time. The Raiders may be on an upswing and they are another team that deserves it!
Rams- Adding a new coach is almost a never good thing in the first year but when his name is Jeff Fisher and the team has so much raw talent, it could be a great thing. Bradford has to stay healthy, the passing game has got to come together and TE end play must improve. The defense will be tested but if they can provide some pressure on the opposing QB, the offense may just be able to win some games on their own merit.
Ravens- Love this team. They came within a hair of the super bowl last year and with the same pieces in place this year, they should have similar successes. One big thing missing is the defensive pressure and 14 sacks from T-Sizzle but he is eyeing a midseason return.
Redskins- RGIII looks to be the man. The Shan Man seems happy with the Helu/Royster combo in the backfield. The have upgraded at the WR with Pierre, Moss and Hankerson. Special Teams will be a concern because of the youth in that department, but the skins fans should see an uptick in wins and prestige this season. It’s the price they paid for RGIII in coming drafts that scares me; they don’t have a first round draft pick until 2015. Hah!
Saints- The bounty? The suspension? The wire tapping of coaching booths? The hurricane? I bet Drew, Jimmy and Darren cant wait to remind us all about “who dat!”
Seahawks- I was surprised the Hawks dropped Winslow, it tells me that they have huge confidence in Zach Miller but they are not targeting the TEs very much to matter from a fantasy perspective. I do like what they have done with Russell Wilson and he seems to be completely legitimate for them and the Defense is looking better and better but the problem is that this is Seattle and they suck.
Steelers- The Steelers Defense is old right? I guess but being old does not spell doom for the season, being old tells me that you are seasoned and savvy, they have managed to keep the core group of defenders in tact and with free agency they have continued to dominate. I love the offense with the exception of the running game, but when Mendy comes back I have a feeling that that will take care of itself. Protection of Big Ben is going to be tested early!
Texans- Sleeper! They have a dominant offense, an improved and nasty defense and a core group of skill players that are vocal about goals and focused on the postseason. Schaub is in a contract year; Foster and Johnson are both healthy. That’s not too bad at all. Hopeful the Texans have a better year, injury free.
Titans- They are perhaps the most intriguing team in the entire league. What to make of CJ2K? Jake Locker is the starter! What about TE Cook? The defense and the defensive line both have questions, which must be answered.
Vikings- With a seemingly healthy AP back and ready to run, anything can happen. His presence alone forces defenses to be honest; Purple Jesus is still a game changer. The defense is solid as always. And even the roof is guaranteed to not cave in. A major question mark is Christian Ponder and his ability to have/make the time needed to complete 20 passes a game.
Good luck this season Fan!
BY MIKE KOMROSKY for GETREALFOOTBALL