- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Good luck to all of those playing for fantasy titles this week. For the rest of us, whose thoughts have shifted from what was to what will be, my team-by-team thoughts with an eye on 2015:

49ers: Breakout 2012 season, disappointing 2013 season, lost 2014 season. Sound familiar? Colin Kaepernick’s career trajectory is similar to that of Robert Griffin III, minus the injuries. It will be interesting to see how Kaepernick fares under San Francisco’s next coach.

Bears: The offense didn’t come close to meeting expectations in Marc Trestman’s second (and likely last) season. Jay Cutler already set a career-high with 28 touchdown passes, but he leads the NFL with 18 interceptions. Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Matt Forte all suffered due to that kind of inconsistency. All four will be drafted lower in 2015 than they were this year.

Bengals: Andy Dalton regressed to the mean, but Cincinnati may have a rising star in running back Jeremy Hill.

Bills: The defense may be worth drafting before anyone on the offense.

Broncos: Age is catching up to Peyton Manning. Keep that in mind when drafting Broncos next year.

Browns: With Johnny Manziel at quarterback, Josh Gordon’s stock will be significantly lower entering 2015.

Buccaneers: Mike Evans is a future star, at least as much as one can be in a Lovie Smith offense.

Cardinals: When Carson Palmer returns, how good will he be? The answer holds the key to Arizona’s future fantasy fortunes.

Chargers: Philip Rivers remains a viable fantasy starter, despite no help from the running game and questionable receivers.

Chiefs: My wife would like to know what happened to Jamaal Charles in Week 15. Travis Kelce is a poor man’s Rob Gronkowski.

Colts: My biggest regret was not drafting Andrew Luck in any league this year. That won’t happen next year.

Cowboys: Dez Bryant or DeMarco Murray? I trust Bryant more in 2015. I’m also back on the Tony Romo bandwagon. He’s a consistently underrated fantasy quarterback.

Dolphins: I’m not sure Ryan Tannehill will ever be the quarterback I keep expecting him to be. He’s very Cutler-esque in that respect.

Eagles: Best value for 2015? Running back LeSean McCoy. He led the NFL in touchdowns in 2011 and led the NFL in rushing in 2013. He disappointed during the seasons in between. He’s going to be downgraded significantly entering next year, but I’m counting on another odd-year bounceback. Another great value next year will be Jeremy Maclin, who is better than most people realize and will continue to develop as the go-to receiver in Chip Kelly’s evolving offense.

Falcons: Matt Ryan is Matt Ryan. Julio Jones is, well … Maybe the most dominant receiver in the league when he’s on, but he amazingly went two months without finding the end zone. Assuming his latest injury is not serious, I’m confident drafting him as a top five receiver next year.

Giants: Odell Beckham Jr. is going to be overdrafted in most leagues next year. He simply can’t keep up this pace, can he? His stats in his first 10 games: 71 catches, 9 touchdowns and the greatest catch I’ve ever seen. Maybe I’ll overdraft him.

Jaguars: Nothing to see here.

Jets: See above.

Lions: Matthew Stafford is not a top 10 fantasy quarterback, and that’s a good thing for Detroit. Calvin Johnson needs to get healthy.

Packers: Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the NFL. He should be drafted no lower than third overall in any league next year. Jordy Nelson is also amazing and should be drafted accordingly. Eddie Lacy is pretty good, too.

Panthers: Kelvin Benjamin is my pick for 2015 Bust of the Year.

Patriots: Tom Brady’s demise was greatly exaggerated, and as long as Gronkowski is healthy, he should be the top tight end drafted next year.

Raiders: I don’t think Derek Carr is terrible.

Rams: Tre Mason is the only St. Louis skill player worth targeting next year — unless the Rams trade for a good quarterback.

Ravens: Justin Forsett has been a great story this year, but even the best running backs are prone to inconsistency in today’s NFL. He’s another prime candidate to be widely overdrafted in 2015.

Redskins: I’m going to defiantly draft Alfred Morris next year and hope that whoever Washington’s coach is will realize who his best offensive player is.

Saints: Drew Brees has slipped but still remains a top 10 fantasy quarterback. Jimmy Graham’s disappearing act the past few weeks is troubling.

Seahawks: I was wrong about Russell Wilson as an NFL quarterback and wrong about him as a fantasy quarterback. If you’re averse to drafting QB high, Wilson is your guy.

Steelers: I told you Ben Roethlisberger would have a great year! Then again, I didn’t expect Le’Veon Bell to do what he has done. His work in the passing game has been a revelation, and he deserves to be one of the top running backs taken in all formats next year.

Texans: Will J.J. Watt have tight end eligibility next year?

Titans: For the sake of Kendall Wright and flex options everywhere, I hope Tennessee finds a serviceable quarterback.

Vikings: Has anyone seen Cordarelle Patterson lately?


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