* Total TDs is defined as passing touchdowns and rushing touchdowns.
Sam Bradford, StL - Bradford had a great rookie season for the St. Louis Rams. While he was inconsistent and had his share of bad games, Bradford showed that he will develop into an elite NFL quarterback. With a lackluster wide receiver corps, Bradford threw for over 3500 yards and 18 TDs. He will be getting back Donnie Avery and Mark Clayton, along with two draft pick WRs, Austin Pettis (3) and Greg Salas (4). He will also have another potential threat in second round pick Lance Hendricks. Hendricks will develop into Bradford's safety value and should help open up the sidelines for the receivers. With a strong offensive line and a great running game, Bradford is poised for a big season.
2011 Projections: 3475 yards, 27 Total TDs*, 12 INTs
Matthew Stafford, DET - Stafford was looking very good last season before going down with a separated shoulder. He will return to lead the Lions offense and he has the experience and the weapons to find success. He will have a healthy Calvin Johnson and Javid Best and a slew of other weapons like Brandon Pettigrew, Bryant Johnson, and Nate Burleson. Stafford is also protected by a solid and experienced offensive line that gave up 26 sacks last season.
2011 Projections: 3100 yards, 24 Total TDs*, 9 INTs
** Total TDs is defined as receiving touchdowns and rushing touchdowns.
Knowshon Moreno, DEN - The Broncos have 10 runningbacks on their roster, but none more important than Knowshon Moreno. While he did split time to start last season and suffered through some injuries, Moreno will be healthy and the primary runningback for the Broncos offensive attack. His numbers should explode in 2011 if he stays healthy.
2011 Projections: 1250 yards, 10 Total TDs**, 40 Receptions
Ryan Matthews, SD - Mathews was a huge disappointment as a rookie and he let down allot of fantasy owners. The Fresno St. star should have a bounce back year in his sophomore season. He an absolute perfect fit in the Chargers offense and with Vincent Jackson likely gone and with Floyd and Naanee possibly loss to free agency. The Chargers should be shifting their offense to a more balanced one and that bodes well for all the Chargers runningbacks.
2011 Projections: 1020 yards, 12 Total TDs**, 41 Receptions
Daniel Thomas, MIA - Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown likely gone or at the very least about done, Daniel Thomas makes a great pick for the Dolphins and should see plenty of work. Thomas is a big back (230 and 6'2") and fits the Dolphins offense perfect. He will be joined by several other Dolphin offensive rookies and an improved offense line. He will be the top performing runningback from the 2011 draft class and will provide plenty of fantasy points.
2011 Projections: 1100 yards, 11 Total TDs**, 24 Receptions
Robert Meacham, NO - Meacham is a stud and in 2011 will break out. In the off-season, Meacham had ankle surgery for a bum ankle that bothered him all season. He claims he is at full speed and that he will be 10 times better. Last season he had 44 receptions, 678, 5 TDs. Meacham will get the starting job over Devery Henderson and with a lackluster running attack (Mark Ingram does not excite me in 2011), Brees will go to Meacham far more often and he will reap the benefits. Meacham also could return kicks and does sneak in a few reverses during the season.
2011 Projections: 985 yards, 11 TDs, 63 Receptions
A.J. Green, CIN - Cincinnati went big with their #1 draft pick in Green, who stands at 6'4", 204 lbs. He is a prototypical wide receiver who has the speed and ability for big plays every Sunday. With Terrell Owens leaving and Ochocinco being his normal pain in the butt self, Green could become the star of the Bengals passing game. Carson Palmer was thrilled to see this guy get picked and he will sure he puts up the numbers.
2011 Projections: 975 yards, 8 TDs, 68 Receptions
Austin Pettis, StL - Pettis will make an instant impact for the Rams and will help raise QB Sam Bradford to the next level. Pettis has great hands, offensive intelligence, and 6"3", 203 lbs. This guy could be a machine and a fantastic red zone target for Bradford.
2011 Projections: 675 yards, 7 TDs, 47 Receptions
Detroit Lions - The Lions took power defensive tackle Nick Fairly to shore up an already effective and playmaking defensive line. He joins Ndamukong Suh and Kyle Vanden Bosch on the line and should provide the running plug that the Lions sorely lacked in 2010. The Lions only produced 2 defensive TDs last season, one from breakout cornerback Alphonso Smith and they should easily improve on that with a better offense giving them more leeway to take chances on defense with blitz's that should create scoring opportunities. The Lions finished 6th in the NFL with 44 sacks. They have an outstanding line that has added #1 pick Fairly and will only be better in 2011. The Detroit Lions will be a top 10 defense in 2011 and possibly a top 5 team.
2011 Projections: 49 sacks, 6 TDs, 19 INTs
Tony Moeaki, KC - After Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City knows the value of having an outstanding tight end and last years third round pick Tony Moeaki wants to fill those shoes. IN his rookie season, he caught 47 passes for 556 yards and 3 TDs. With the addition of #1 draft pick John Baldwin to take attention away from the middle of the field, it should open up for Moeaki. While he clearly has too many vowels in his last name, he definitely will see a large increase in pass targets and heavily improve his numbers from his great rookie season.
2011 Projections: 930 yards, 9 TDs, 69 Receptions
Lance Hendricks, StL - Hendricks won't put up huge numbers in a offense that is loaded with stars, but he will make a great late round sleeper tight end and will make his fantasy owners very happy. Hendricks is 6'4", 240 lbs and he is fast with great hands. He is an ideal fit in Daniels offense and will be the safety valve for Bradford. He also makes a great blocker for the Rams running game, which means he will be in there on allot more plays.
2011 Projections: 595 yards, 6 TDs, 43 Receptions