Do we know Andre or what? Dude?s been a lock for 1,000 yards since he entered the league in 2003. Bonus points for doing it with disaster-ridden Matt Schaub and undersized Case Keenum at quarterback this season.
True story: since Peyton Manning took over for Tim Tebow at quarterback (congrats to Tim on his new gig at ESPN), Demaryius has averaged 1,432 receiving yards per season. In his previous two seasons, he averaged just 417.
This hasn?t been confirmed but I?m inclined to believe the 26 touchdowns Julius and Demaryius combined for this season are the most ever by two teammates with the same last name (help me out, Elias).
Not that you had much riding on him, but Woods did almost exactly what we thought he would this year. Mostly we bring it up because it makes us look good. And really, isn't that the whole point of this?
Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots TSN Preseason Projection: 28 TD, 11 INT, 4,122 yards
Final 2013 stats: 25 TD, 11 INT, 4,383 yards
It?s understandable why Brady wasn?t able to reach our lofty projection of 28 touchdown throws. Rob Gronkowski, arguably the most dangerous red zone target in the league, missed nine of the Patriots? 16 games this season. But the rest of his stat line was superb. So superb, in fact, that it has him headed to his fifth consecutive Pro Bowl.
My one knock on Brady? He was 0-for-3 on high-fives this season.
Jennings wasn?t quite the weapon he was in Green Bay during his first season with the Vikings. I guess that?s to be expected when you look at who was delivering him the football: Matt Cassel, Josh Freeman and Christian Ponder all had turns at QB this season. It may as well have been Moe, Larry and Curly.
All things considered, Jennings had a productive season in 2013, just like we envisioned back in August.
Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers TSN Preseason Projection: 20 TD, 9 INT, 3,437 yards
Final 2013: 21 TD, 9 INT, 3,197 yards stats
When our projections were released late last summer, many thought we were underestimating Kaepernick's ability as a passer.
That wasn't it at all. Kaepernick is a fine passer. But with Michael Crabtree sidelined with an Achilles tear, we knew a repeat of Kaepernick's phenomenal postseason would be out of the question.
True to form, Kaepernick has managed a QB rating of over 100 in four of his last five games with Crabtree back in the lineup.
It's not exactly breaking news that this guy has a big arm. Even last year in Oakland, Palmer wowed us with his huge yardage totals (4,018 yards in 15 games). With Michael Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald to toss the pigskin to, we didn't think 20+ touchdowns would be too much to ask for.
Unfortunately for fantasy owners, Palmer's nasty habit of throwing the ball to the wrong team continued in 2013. Old habits die hard I suppose.
Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots TSN Preseason Projection: 63 catches, 608 yards, 3 TD
Final 2013 stats: 105 catches, 1,056 yards, 6 TD
If you're looking for proof that Bill Belichick is an evil warlock, here it is.
We thought we were being generous by spotting Mini-tron (a nickname that he hates, by the way) 600 yards and 60 catches. But 100 catches? What is this, amateur hour?
Seriously, if any of you predicted Edelman would catch 1,000 yards worth of passes this season, you can have my job. But not really. I like this job.
This one isn't totally out of the blue because you knew at some point Darren McFadden was going to get hurt. I imagine the simple act of clicking on this article would be enough to break several of his fingers.
But when Jennings was given a similar opportunity when Maurice Jones-Drew got injured in Jacksonville last season, he squandered it (283 yards on 101 carries). Somehow Jennings was able to turn that around with six rushing touchdowns in 2013. That's one fewer than he had in his previous three seasons combined.
It's true that Jones packed a lot into one week. Four of his ten touchdown receptions came in a blowout win over the Jets in Week 8. But after going four weeks without scoring, Jones finished the season strong with three TDs in his last four games.
Needless to say, he blew our projections out of the water.
This is just silly. Manning devoured the NFL record books like Garfield would a plate of lasagna.
Our excuse for not predicting this would happen? How about the fact that throwing for 50 touchdowns in a season had only been accomplished once in human history prior to 2013?
Yeah, I think that gets us off the hook. If Peyton was your fantasy quarterback this season and you didn't win your league, you should be ashamed of yourself.
I GIVE UP
Harry Douglas, WR, Atlanta Falcons TSN Preseason Projection: 41 catches, 442 yards, 1 TD
Final 2013 stats: 85 catches, 1,067 yards, 2 TD
Curiosity may have killed the cat but that's nothing compared to the fantasy carnage Julio Jones caused when he went down with a broken foot. With Roddy White also broken both physically and mentally (my guess is he had Julio on his fantasy team), Matt Ryan's top target this year ended up being Harry Douglas, who caught more passes this season (85) than he had in his previous two combined (77).
Surprisingly, we did not anticipate this. I guess we're human after all.
We even got his team wrong! Wow, what happened to this guy? One minute, Freeman looks like a Pro Bowl-caliber talent. The next he's late for meetings and holding a clipboard for Matt Cassel of all people.
I hope somebody got Freeman an alarm clock for Christmas. If not, I'll send him one.
Hakeem Nicks, WR, New York Giants TSN Preseason Projection: 71 catches, 1,022 yards, 8 TD
Final 2013 stats: 56 catches, 896 yards, 0 TD
And the train wreck of the year award goes to ... okay it's still Freeman but you have to admit, Nicks was pretty darn awful this year. Zero touchdowns ... in a contract year? That's like misspelling "money" to lose a spelling bee.
This year was supposed to be a layup for Nicks and instead he air-balled it Nick Young style. As the great philosopher Charlie Brown once said, good grief.
Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers TSN Preseason Projection: 675 yards, 4 TD
Final 2013 stats: 1,255 yards, 6 TD
Injuries and overall ineffectiveness reduced Mathews to a nightmarish 707 yards on 184 rushes last season. The expectation was, with Danny Woodhead stealing his third down carries, 2013 would be more of the same for the consistently overrated Mathews. Instead, he paced the playoff-bound Chargers by belting out 1,444 yards from scrimmage on a career-high 311 touches.
Of course, next year when we project him for 1,500 yards he'll probably lay an egg. What a rascal.
Never have the lines between right and wrong been more blurred than in the case of the 2013 fantasy season. That's why I loved every second of it.
Care to join us again next year? I thought you might.