Fantasy Football Frolicking: Bounce Back Mountain

There were some big name players who had some disappointing fantasy seasons last year.  Some of those will fade into “bolivion” but a few should return to glory in 2012.  Here is the short list of players I fully expect to regain their mojo.


1. Chris Johnson RB, Tennessee Titans – Johnson wanted to get paid last season, so he sat out all of training camp pouting, and it took him about half the season to find his groove.  This year he’ll have a full camp to get prepared, and will be looking to prove any doubters wrong.  He’ll likely have a young QB under center, so they will rely on the run heavily and he may also get more dump off passes his way as young Locker gets acclimated to reading defenses.  Look for Johnson to be near the top of all fantasy RBs this season.

2. Philip Rivers QB, San Diego Chargers – Statistically Rivers 2011 season wasn’t a disappointment as he threw for over 4,500 yards and nearly 30 TDs.  The problem was he also threw 20 picks.  A lot of analysts thought he was hiding injury but Rivers insisted he was fine.  He doesn’t have V-Jax to throw to anymore, but the Chargers still have plenty of weapons.  Gates looks fully healthy for the first time in years, Ryan Mathews should be a factor both on the ground and in the air, and the team added Robert Meachem to go along with Malcolm Floyd and promising young Vincent Brown.  Rivers has averaged 4,400 passing yds the last four seasons and 30 TDs, so to see him ranked outside the top 10 QBs on some sites and all the way down in the 60s overall is downright mind boggling.

3. Miles Austin WR, Dallas Cowboys – Miles Austin missed 6 games last season battling a hamstring injury and it cost him not just time but also some chemistry with Tony Romo.  Laurent Robinson and Dez Bryant became more frequent and favorite targets of Romo and Austin went on to have a middle of the road type of year in 2011.  Fast forward to the present and Austin looks like he could be Romo’s top target.  Laurent Robinson left for the swamps of Jacksonville, Dez Bryant could miss time due to slapping his momma around, and only Jason Witten stands in the way of Austin getting the majority of looks.  If he does return fully healthy, Austin could apporach his 2009 season numbers, which were 81 grabs for 1,320 yds, and 11 scores.

4. Brandon Marshall WR, Chicago Bears – You can’t really call Marshall’s 2011 season bad, he had 81 receptions for 1,214 yds, and 6 TDs.  That was done playing with some of the worst QBs in the NFL.  But now that he’s reunited with Jay Cutler in Chicago Marshall could put up superstar numbers.  A stat line of 100 receptions, 1,300 yards, and 8-10 touchdowns in not out of the question.

5. Antonio Gates TE, San Diego Chargers – Gates was once seen as the king of the TE mountain but has been knocked down from his lofty perch, by young Rob “The Gronker” Gronkowski, and Jimmy Graham.  Injuries have riddled this freakish athlete the last few seasons but supposedly he is healthy as an ox this year.  He is reported to be in great shape and as fast as he’s ever been and is blowing up Chargers training camp.  Whether he can regain his status as “King of the TEs” remains to be seen, but Gates could be in for a pretty stellar season.

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