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THE round table
June 28, 2012
So many questions, so little time until draft day. SI's pro football gurus open up and provide a few answers
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June 28, 2012

The Round Table

So many questions, so little time until draft day. SI's pro football gurus open up and provide a few answers

Which player will be this season's fantasy MVP?

Who will be the breakout player of 2012?

Who will be the season's biggest bust?

Which rookie will produce the most as a fantasy player?

Which player is the biggest injury risk?

Peyton Manning will ...

Which Chris Johnson shows up, the 2010 version or the 2011?

Except Calvin Johnson, which receiver will be most productive?

Who will benefit most from a change in scheme or coaches?

Take a late-round flier on ...

What is your boldest fantasy prediction for 2012?

Damon HACK SI Senior Writer

LeSean McCoy. Andy Reid may sit him late in games, but McCoy will have 200 total yards and three TDs by then.

A.J. Green can outrun and outleap most players in the secondary. In his second season, he's ready to become a star.

Even if Blaine Gabbert improves slightly, he'll be too inconsistent and won't make enough big plays.

Trent Richardson. He will fight for every yard, and he will get them in chunks.

No matter how sturdy the flak jacket, Michael Vick (left) is still a candidate for time on the sideline.

... succeed in Denver, but he's rusty, and playing outdoors means he won't match those pinball numbers from Indy.

The 2010 version. Pride, motivation and the addition of left guard Steve Hutchinson will have him busting through defenses.

Andre Johnson. He's had some bad injury luck, but he remains worthy of high-first-round consideration.

Josh Freeman. Offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan brings Giants rings and credibility to the Bucs' QB room.

... Mark Ingram. After an up-and-down rookie season, he's healthy, wiser and ready for a full workload.

Cam Newton, last season's surprise, will throw for 4,500 yards, rush for 800 yards and have 40 total TDs. At least.

Tim LAYDEN SI Senior Writer

Calvin Johnson. He led all receivers in fantasy points last year, and I don't think he has peaked. Detroit's getting better.

Now that he has Peyton Manning in Denver, Demaryius Thomas will make a huge jump just by showing up.

Wes Welker (right). Little man, surgical knee and no longer the focal point of the offense.

Trent Richardson. The Browns will get him 20-plus touches a game.

It's got to be Michael Vick. Same old song: The way he plays, and at his size (and age), it's just a matter of time.

... do pretty much what he has done his entire career. He'll work the rust out.

Some combination of the two: a low-1,000-yard rusher with 10 touchdowns.

A healthy Andre Johnson (right). He's almost as big as Megatron and much faster.

Mike Mularkey helps the entire Jags offense. That'a a boon to Maurice Jones-Drew.

... C.J. Spiller. Fred Jackson is the man, but the improving Bills will get the dangerous Spiller added touches.

Drew Brees could have a truly lousy year. He has a unique synergy with Sean Payton, and he'll miss Payton a lot.

Jim TROTTER SI Senior Writer

I'll take Aaron Rodgers. I expect him to leap from 45 TD passes to more than 50.

Julio Jones. The wideout has freakish athleticism, a year under his belt and a QB who'll put the ball in the air.

Michael Turner. The Falcons will be leaning more heavily on Matt Ryan.

I look at Robert Griffin III, who will have no shortage of weapons at receiver and tight end.

Darren McFadden is a tremendous talent, but he has started more than seven games just once since debuting in 2008.

... throw for at least 30 touchdowns.

The 2010 version. With no contract distractions, the Titans' titan will challenge for the NFL rushing title.

Brandon Lloyd put up good stats with Josh McDaniels in Denver and St. Louis. They'll do even better in New England.

The last time Josh McDaniels was the Pats' coordinator, Tom Brady threw for 50 scores. It could happen again.

... LaMichael James. The thing about him is that he can contribute as a third-down back and as a receiver.

Matt Ryan, who has never thrown for more than 29 scores, will throw for at least 35 this year.


Can't argue with Aaron Rodgers, who's in an ideal system with ideal components for the type of quarterback he is.

I'll go there: Robert Griffin III (right). Cam Newton showed what a smart, mobile rookie QB can do.

Matt Forte. The contract hang-up and the ignoble tradition of Bears backs hurts him.

O.K., I'll go with the flow here: Trent Richardson has all the tools.

Every year I pick Adrian Peterson in this category, so I'll give him a break. Arian Foster's workload and hammy scare me.

... show surprisingly little rust, click from the outset with Demaryius Thomas and throw 40 TD passes.

The speed is still there, so he's good for 1,400 yards. But don't you really want the 2009 Johnson?

With all due respect to Tim Layden, Wes Welker had 122 catches without being the focal point last year.

The move to K.C. will do Peyton Hillis good. He'll be the workhorse and pick up short-yardage TDs from Jamaal Charles.

... Bears second-rounder Alshon Jeffery. At 6' 3", 216, he could be Jay Cutler's new Brandon Marshall.

Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson will combine for 25 touchdown passes, breaking the Brady-Moss mark of 23 from '07.

Jim GORANT SI Fantasy Sports Editor

The improved defense in Green Bay will only give Aaron Rodgers more chances.

Jake Locker has a year of NFL experience, a balanced offense and serious weapons at his disposal.

Drew Brees. Contract woes, suspended coaches, etc. He'll end up trying to do too much.

The Browns' passing game is suspect and Peyton Hillis is gone. I'll say Trent Richardson.

Darren McFadden (left) hasn't played more than 13 games in a season, and there's no Michael Bush to share carries.

... look like a 36-year-old with a bad neck early, but as the offense jells, he'll get younger and healthier.

The burst is back! With no lockout or holdout to slow him down, it'll be 2010 all over again.

There's a new coordinator in Atlanta, but Roddy White will still see a lot of action.

Mike Sullivan, the Bucs' new coordinator, will really help Josh Freeman (right).

... Robert Griffin III. Lots of downside but lots of upside, too.

The Cincinnati offense, led by quarterback Andy Dalton, will put up big numbers.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]