Fantasy Sports Chat

Monday, August 28, 2006

AFC North Preview

Continuing with the preseason predictions and their fantasy implications. Today we will get caught up a little bit and look at the AFC North.

The AFC North is projected like this....
1) Pittsburgh (they are still the defending champs and deserve to be on top because of that)
2) Baltimore
3) Cincinnati
4) Cleveland

First in the AFC, this division historically is "a last man standing wins, no holds barred, grudge match." Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Cleveland. Pittsburgh the defending champs may have lost some personnel off their title winning team (Randel El, Hope, Bettis) however, they landed Santonio Holmes is the draft and typical Steelers style football let's replace within. Pittsburgh doesn't burn up the headlines by getting the top free agent on the market, they have their system and the players understand the concept of "Steeler Football."
The big question is will Willie Parker be able to withstand the full season of being the primary back or will guys like Deuce Staley and Verron Haynes step up and try to replace the immortal Bettis. Roethlisberger, needs to stay focused this season and after the near-fatal motorcycle crash I think that he is more focused than ever.

Next we find the Baltimore Ravens, who last season couldn't move the football down the field to save their lives. That apparently will all change as Steve "Air" McNair comes in from Tennessee and reunite with wide receiver Derrick Mason (he suprisingly had over 1,000 yards receiving last season.
This has quickly turned into a veteran team and the question will be if they can maintain the intensity over a full season. Also, a side note here Jamal Lewis will not be a full-time starter my money is on Mike Anderson to take over.

Now the Mighty Cincinnati Bengals (now many Cincy fans are irate) over the prediction of 3rd place. They won the division last year not the Steelers and Carson Palmer is improving with each and ever snap from surgery. They did add big Sam Adams (always a good thing, oh wait the football player not the beer.....anyways) to clot up the middle and let the linebackers run a little more freely. I think that the defense overachieved a little bit last season and that the offense will struggle because no one is afraid of the mighty bengals anymore.

Lastly, the Browns (now don't get me wrong I think that the Browns will be improved) are a good team playing in a bad divison. If the Browns played in the NFC North or AFC East I might be able to predict a few more wins out of them and a possible playoff hope (maybe 5% percent instead of 2%). However, Channing Frye is their permanent starting quarterback, which may or may not be a good thing for the Browns imfamous Dawg Pound. I like what Romeo Crennel is doing but he is a year maybe two from shaking things up in the AFC North.
One final note, Reuben Droughns went 8th overall in my moeny league draft. 8th! and no, the owner is not directly related the Droughns. (Excuse me, but thanks for your donation to the eventual champions.)

Until next time,


Blogger Webs said... love for Cincy??? I like this division. It's gonna be hard fought and probably one of the most competitive divisions in football. Even though bias is involved with you, I agree with Pittsburgh No.1. If Parker remains healthy, Ward shines, and Ben has a typical average QB season, they'll be good again. OH did I forget to mention the Steel Curtain? The 2-3 positions could go either way. The way Cincy hammered GB last night, I think Id give the slight edge to the guys in stripes. However, McNair is showing glimpses of his old form and with his old buddy Mason, they could do some damage. Will their defense stay healthy though??? Oh and then there's the browns--they're just not good--well good enough to beat the Bills, but cmon, does that really say anything?

12:49 PM  

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