Fantasy Reality: 5 burning questions fantasy owners are asking
With another exciting NFL season just around the corner, let's take a look at the five most important questions for fantasy owners at this time of year:
Who will be the breakout star? At least one player every year comes out of nowhere to become a fantasy star - think Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton in 2011. Here are some potential free agents in your league worth keeping an eye on early in the season: Jake Locker (QB, Titans), Bilal Powell (RB, Jets), Alfred Morris (RB, Redskins), Lestar Jean (WR, Texans), T.J. Graham (WR, Bills) and Jordan Cameron (TE, Browns).
Who is ready to make the leap to true stardom? Like Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford last season, I expect this could be the year Jay Cutler plays to his potential and rewards the Bears for the investments they finally have made around their quarterback.
Which rookie will struggle to adjust to the NFL? There is always a widely-praised rookie who gets thrown into action too early. Like Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert (2011), Bills RB C.J. Spiller (2010) and Panthers QB Jimmy Clausen (2010) before him, I expect Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill could be in for a rough year.
Who is about to take a fall? While many have concerns about Michael Turner (RB, Falcons), Steven Jackson (RB, Rams) and Steve Smith (WR, Panthers), I am especially nervous about RB Frank Gore after an offseason in which the 49ers loaded up on other options.
Who is primed for a bounceback year? Last year was especially tough on many RBs, and players coming back out of shape from the lockout led to more injuries, weaker play and tons of fantasy owner frustration. No one was as disappointing as the Titans' Chris Johnson, but if I had to pick one player to return to superstar form I would pick him.
Alex Case is amNewYork's fantasy football columnist.