Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
We're still a few weeks away from the beginning of NFL summer camps, but it's always a good idea to plan ahead.
As in most seasons, many of the lineups are set before the teams head to camp and into the exhibition season, but there is still enough open competition to force fantasy owners to pay attention.
Below are the top-12 NFC questions I want answered before I arrive for my fantasy draft.
Next week we will evaluate the AFC.
1) Kevin Kolb or John Skelton?
I believe the team wants Kolb to win the job, but the Arizona Cardinals were 5-2 last season with Skelton under center and just 3-6 behind Kolb's lead. It appears that coach Ken Whisenhunt will allow this one to be an open competition and won't make his decision until late in preseason.
2) Can Brian Quick fill Brandon Lloyd's shoes?
It's a lot easier to look good at OTAs than when the pads are on and the hitting is fierce. Quick, the St. Louis Rams rookie, has the talent, but he'll need to learn the playbook and get on the same page as quarterback Sam Bradford. Quick should see enough targets to be a solid fantasy value, but he'll have to convince me that he can play at Lloyd's level of 2011.
3) Will the real Randy Moss please stand up?
Moss has all the talent in the world, but does he want to play or collect a paycheck. If he wants to play, he can still be a No. 2 fantasy receiver. But if he's just out to collect the dollars, the San Francisco 49ers can easily make Mario Manningham their guy opposite Michael Crabtree.
4) Matt Flynn or Tarvaris Jackson?
Jackson has the advantage of knowing Pete Carroll's system in Seattle, but unless Flynn falls flat on his face throughout Seahawks training camp and the preseason it should be the "new" guy's job.
5) Doug Martin or LeGarrette Blount?
Early predictions were that Martin would be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' every down back with Blount a red zone guy, but Blount came to the offseason OTAs with better preparation and attitude. He may steal some of Martin's time and force a lowering of expectations for the rookie.
6) The division of the rushing workload in Chicago?
Chicago Bears star Matt Forte is holding out for a better/long-term contract and Michael Bush has proven he has talent. This could get interesting if Forte holds out for much of training camp and the preseason.
7) Can Titus Young supplant Nate Burleson as No. 2 in Detroit?
Young put together a solid rookie season (48-607-6) with the Detroit Lions, and with all eyes focused on Calvin Johnson, the spot on the other side of the field can be highly productive.
8) Will Adrian Peterson be ready to go in Week 1?
It would seem unlikely for a "normal" human being to be able to return from his late December knee injury (ACL, MCL, meniscus surgery), but the Minnesota Vikings star seems on track to do just that. The wide range of fantasy value that Peterson could return in 2012, from a first-rounder when healthy to a mid- round selection if he starts the season on the PUP list, makes this a very important question.
9) Can DeMarco Murray play an entire season like he did from Week 6-9 last year?
The Murray we saw for those four weeks with the Dallas Cowboys was the best running back in the league. But whether he can produce at that level for 16 weeks is another questions. How much production will a healthy Felix Jones steal?
10) Is Victor Cruz the real deal or was last year a career season?
All signs point to another big season from Cruz, but will the breakout New York Giant again post better numbers than Hakeem Nicks, or should Nicks still go off the board first?
11) Will the 2010 DeSean Jackson return?
The 2011 version of Jackson didn't really want to play the game of football. The previous season, the Philadelphia Eagle was one of the most dynamic receivers in the league, keeping defensive coordinators up late at night. In 2010, Jackson had five touchdowns of 45 yards or more, 1,160 yards from scrimmage and a spectacular game-winning 65-yard punt return for a touchdown that broke the Giants' heart. After signing a huge contract in the offseason, which one will show up in Week 1?
12) Who will be Mike Shanahan's lead back?
It's a trick question that no one can answer no matter how much you watch the Washington Redskins play.
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