2011 NFL Fantasy Football Projections From WhatIfSports.com image

2011 NFL Fantasy Football Projections

Simulation engine likes Philip Rivers at top fantasy QB

By Ryan Fowler - WhatIfSports.com
Sept. 1, 2011

We've all had this phone conversation before:

You: "Plug the square end of the cable into the computer."

Parent: "It won't fit."

You: "Flip it over."

Parent: "The computer?"

You: "No. The square end."

Parent: "But it's a circle."

This 21st century version of "Who's On First?" highlights the daily battle between man and machine. Historically, man's only defensive maneuvers were the CTRL+ALT+DELETE scare tactic or a baseball bat to the hard drive.

In the latter case, neither side wins.

The WhatIfSports.com simulation computer is immune to the propaganda and the slugger from Louisville. It's won many battles in the past, but this season I'm going to challenge its weekly projections in the feature Man vs Machine that will run on FOXSports.com's fantasy football page.

The cliche goes, "the pen is mightier than the sword" and now the words I ink will prove more powerful than any statistical spreadsheet.

2011 Fantasy Football Leaders
 NamePosTeamGPPoints
1 Philip RiversQBChargers16402.9
2Tony RomoQBCowboys16340.8
3Tom BradyQBPatriots16336.2
4Drew BreesQBSaints16335.8
5Aaron RodgersQBPackers16333.6
6Ben RoethlisbergerQBSteelers16325.8
7Michael VickQBEagles16319.3
8Jamaal CharlesRBChiefs16317.5
9Matt SchaubQBTexans16317.4
10Josh FreemanQBBuccaneers16312

Josh Freeman - (19.5 fantasy ppg / 4107 pass yards / 25 TDs / 12 INTs)

Josh Freeman

The third-year quarterback out of Kansas State finished 2010 with 25 touchdowns and only six interceptions in 474 pass attempts. Freeman's ability to avoid the pick was second only to Tom Brady's four interceptions (based on QBs who passed more than 400 times).

If his pass attempts remain 400-plus, I believe Freeman throws at least four more interceptions and hits the double-digit mark in turnovers. With the Packers, Cowboys, Bears and Atlanta (twice) on the schedule, he will face tougher pass defenses in 2011. All those teams ranked in the top ten in interceptions last year.

LeGarrette Blount (15.5 carries per game in 2010) went from Tennessee Titans castoff to Tampa's go-to back. With Cadillac Williams now in St. Louis, Blount emerges as a consistent option on offense. If he sees a bump in carries per game, in the 20-25 range, that means less opportunities for Freeman to find Mike Williams, Kellen Winslow and Arrelious Benn.

I think Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford, Mark Sanchez and Sam Bradford have better fantasy seasons.

11Arian FosterRBTexans16305.5
12Matt CasselQBChiefs16299.9
13Matt RyanQBFalcons16293.3
14Kyle OrtonQBBroncos16289
15Kevin KolbQBCardinals16288.6
16Peyton ManningQBColts14285.2
17Mark SanchezQBJets16280.9
18Joe FlaccoQBRavens16279.6
19Sam BradfordQBRams16278.6
20Jay CutlerQBBears16275.2
21Matthew StaffordQBLions16266.4
22Jason CampbellQBRaiders16263.9
23Ahmad BradshawRBGiants16262.8

Ahmad Bradshaw - (16.43 fantasy ppg / 1407 rush yards / 13 TDs)

In order for Bradshaw to reach his simulated rushing total of 1407 yards, he will need to average 88 rush yards per game. That's nearly 11 yards more per game than last season. To place those projections under the microscope further, Bradshaw rushed for 88 yards or better in less than half of the games in 2010.

Brandon Jacobs' (nine rush touchdowns in 2010) role in the Giants' offense will dictate whether or not Bradshaw will hit 13 rush touchdowns this season. After driving fantasy owners crazy in 2009, BJ found new fantasy life in a redefined role as a vulture. This is not good news for Bradshaw owners.

Give me Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, LeSean McCoy, Rashard Mendenhall and MJD (among others below this sentence) well before Bradshaw.

24Eli ManningQBGiants16260.4
25Ray RiceRBRavens16259.7
26David GarrardQBJaguars16257.6
27Donovan McNabbQBVikings16257.3
28Matt HasselbeckQBTitans16256.1
29Alex SmithQB49ers16253.4
30Tarvaris JacksonQBSeahawks16253.2
31Colt McCoyQBBrowns16253.1
32Rashard MendenhallRBSteelers16251.3
33Adrian PetersonRBVikings16249.9
34LeSean McCoyRBEagles16249.1
35Darren McFaddenRBRaiders16240.6
36John BeckQBRedskins16237.9
37Michael TurnerRBFalcons16236.7
38Steven JacksonRBRams16235.5
39Frank GoreRB49ers16229.2
40LeGarrette BlountRBBuccaneers16227.2
41Maurice Jones-DrewRBJaguars16225.9
42Peyton HillisRBBrowns16225
 NamePosTeamGPPoints
43Chad HenneQBDolphins16225
44Matt ForteRBBears16217.9
45Ryan GrantRBPackers16211.1
46Ryan FitzpatrickQBBills16210.9
47Brandon LloydWRBroncos16210.7
Brandon Lloyd

Brandon Lloyd - (13.18 fantasy ppg / 79 recs. / 1574 rec. yards / 9 TDs)

Let's play the law of averages game with Brandon Lloyd. Before 2010, his best receiving numbers were 733 receiving yards and five touchdowns with San Francisco in 2005. I think we need to take a step back with the simulation projections of 1500-plus receiving yards.

First, while Kyle Orton may remain in Denver, the Broncos' number two wide receiver is no longer Jabar Gaffney (875 rec. yards). Now, it's Eddie Royal, when healthy, and Eric Decker. Defensive backs will turn their attention to Lloyd, he of the 1448 yards and 11 touchdowns, and leave the second wide out in single coverage.

Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson, Roddy White, Mike Wallace and Larry Fitzgerald all ranked higher on my board.

48Andre JohnsonWRTexans16207.7
49Joseph AddaiRBColts16206.5
50Ryan MathewsRBChargers16204.6
51Chris JohnsonRBTitans16203.7
52Felix JonesRBCowboys16202.5
53Andy DaltonQBBengals16194.7
54Shonn GreeneRBJets16192.4
55Roddy WhiteWRFalcons16189.2
56Knowshon MorenoRBBroncos16188
 NamePosTeamGPPoints
57Mark IngramRBSaints16187.6
58Miles AustinWRCowboys16185.9
59BenJarvus Green-EllisRBPatriots16183.8
60Mike WallaceWRSteelers16178.4
61Cedric BensonRBBengals16172.6
62Larry FitzgeraldWRCardinals16170.7
63Cam NewtonQBPanthers16167.7
64Santonio HolmesWRJets16167.5
65Antonio GatesTEChargers16165.3
66Reggie BushRBDolphins16164.2
67DeAngelo WilliamsRBPanthers16163.6
68Jonathan StewartRBPanthers16163.5
69Fred JacksonRBBills16160.7
70Vincent JacksonWRChargers16159.7

2011 Fantasy Projections

Quarterback Running Back Wide Receiver Tight End
Kicker Team Defense

 NamePosTeamGPPoints
71Calvin JohnsonWRLions16158
72Reggie WayneWRColts16157.8
73Greg JenningsWRPackers16151.8
74Dwayne BoweWRChiefs16151.3
75Chad OchocincoWRPatriots16151.2
76Jahvid BestRBLions16149.1
77Mike WilliamsWRBuccaneers16147.9
78Ryan TorainRBRedskins16147.8
79Marques ColstonWRSaints16147.3
80Hakeem NicksWRGiants16147.1
81Marshawn LynchRBSeahawks16146.8
82Beanie WellsRBCardinals16146.6
83Nate KaedingKChargers16145.7
84Brandon JacobsRBGiants16141.2
 NamePosTeamGPPoints
85Adam VinatieriKColts16140.1
86Matt BryantKFalcons16139.6
87LaDainian TomlinsonRBJets16138.6
88Shaun SuishamKSteelers16136.9
89Stevie JohnsonWRBills16135.8
90DeSean JacksonWREagles16134.3
91Alex HeneryKEagles16134.1
92Rob BironasKTitans16133.5
93Percy HarvinWRVikings16132.8
94Jason HansonKLions16130.9
95Neil RackersKTexans16130.7
96Jermichael FinleyTEPackers16129.4
97Jay FeelyKCardinals16128.4
98Mike ThomasWRJaguars16127.8

2011 Fantasy Projections

Quarterback Running Back Wide Receiver Tight End
Kicker Team Defense

 NamePosTeamGPPoints
99Garrett HartleyKSaints16127.2
100Steve BreastonWRChiefs16127.2
101Dez BryantWRCowboys16126.9
102Dan CarpenterKDolphins16126
103Jason WittenTECowboys16125.9
104Stephen GostkowskiKPatriots16125.7
105Daniel ThomasRBDolphins16125.3
106Phil DawsonKBrowns16125
107Billy CundiffKRavens16124.9
108Robbie GouldKBears16124.6
109Ryan SuccopKChiefs16124.4
110Ryan LongwellKVikings16123.5
111Matt PraterKBroncos16122.6
112Wes WelkerWRPatriots16122.3
 NamePosTeamGPPoints
113Lawrence TynesKGiants16121.4
114Arrelious BennWRBuccaneers16121
115Josh BrownKRams16120.8
116Brandon MarshallWRDolphins16118.7
117Mario ManninghamWRGiants16118.6
118Julio JonesWRFalcons16118.5
119Mason CrosbyKPackers16118.3
120Kenny BrittWRTitans16117.2
121Lee EvansWRRavens16116.9
122Danny AmendolaWRRams16116.8
123Connor BarthKBuccaneers16116.8
124Lance MooreWRSaints16116.7
125Tim HightowerRBRedskins16116.1
126Jeremy MaclinWREagles16116.1
 NamePosTeamGPPoints
127Nick FolkKJets16116
128Anquan BoldinWRRavens16115.6
129Braylon EdwardsWR49ers16115.5
130A.J. GreenWRBengals16115.4
131Pittsburgh SteelersDEF16114.8
132David AkersK49ers16113.5
133David BuehlerKCowboys16113
134New England PatriotsDEF16112.9
135Eddie RoyalWRBroncos16112.7
136Malcom FloydWRChargers16112.1
137Louis MurphyWRRaiders16111.2
138Jimmy GrahamTESaints16111.1
Jimmy Graham

Jimmy Graham - (6.9 fantasy ppg / 62 recs. / 775 rec. yards / 5 TDs)

The successor to Jeremy Shockey in New Orleans made a name for himself at the end of 2010. Graham scored four touchdowns in the last three weeks. Right now, the simulation projects him to average 48 receiving yards per game. I believe, even though Drew Brees is known to spread the wealth to his receivers, Graham could average closer to 60 yards per game.

When you combine David Thomas' 2010 stats to Graham's and Shockey's, Saints tight ends hauled in 983 receiving yards and ten touchdowns. Graham is locked in as the starter and should see more looks in the red zone and outperform the projected five touchdowns.

139Robert MeachemWRSaints16110.9
140Pierre GarconWRColts16110.6
141Atlanta FalconsDEF16110.4
142Nate WashingtonWRTitans16110.4
143New York JetsDEF16110.1
144Derrick MasonWRJets16110
145Todd HeapTECardinals16110
146Hines WardWRSteelers16109.6
147Philadelphia EaglesDEF16109.4
148Anthony ArmstrongWRRedskins16109
149Santana MossWRRedskins16108.9
150Dallas ClarkTEColts16108.6
151Sidney RiceWRSeahawks16108.5
152Zach MillerTESeahawks16108.4
153Baltimore RavensDEF16108.2
154Mike Sims-WalkerWRRams16108.1
 NamePosTeamGPPoints
155Chicago BearsDEF16107.9
156Roy WilliamsWRBears16107.4
157Vernon DavisTE49ers16107.3
158Green Bay PackersDEF16107.3
159Darrius Heyward-BeyWRRaiders16107.2
160Josh ScobeeKJaguars16106.7
161Michael CrabtreeWR49ers16105.6
162New York GiantsDEF16105.5
163St. Louis RamsDEF16105.3
164Javon RingerRBTitans16105.2
165Brian HartlineWRDolphins16105.1
166Olindo MareKPanthers16104.8
167Sebastian JanikowskiKRaiders16103.6
168Graham GanoKRedskins16103.1
 NamePosTeamGPPoints
169Mike WilliamsWRSeahawks16103.1
170Kevin BossTERaiders16102.7
171Danny WoodheadRBPatriots16101.3
172Benjamin WatsonTEBrowns16101.2
173Andre RobertsWRCardinals16101
174Dustin KellerTEJets16100
175Joshua CribbsWRBrowns1699.2
176Greg LittleWRBrowns1698.8
177Patrick CraytonWRChargers1698.1
178Johnny KnoxWRBears1697.1
179Devin HesterWRBears1697.1
180Earl BennettWRBears1696.7
181C.J. SpillerRBBills1696.1
182Indianapolis ColtsDEF1695.5

2011 Fantasy Projections

Quarterback Running Back Wide Receiver Tight End
Kicker Team Defense

 NamePosTeamGPPoints
183Jeff ReedKSeahawks1695.3
184Visanthe ShiancoeTEVikings1695.2
185Legedu NaaneeWRPanthers1694.5
186Chris CooleyTERedskins1693.7
187Tony GonzalezTEFalcons1692.8
188Tennessee TitansDEF1692.4
189Nate BurlesonWRLions1691.8
190Mike NugentKBengals1691.8
191Marcedes LewisTEJaguars1691.7
192New Orleans SaintsDEF1691.5
193Kellen WinslowTEBuccaneers1691
194Deion BranchWRPatriots1690.9
195Detroit LionsDEF1690.9
196Donald DriverWRPackers1690.9
 NamePosTeamGPPoints
197San Francisco 49ersDEF1690.3
198Kansas City ChiefsDEF1690.2
199San Diego ChargersDEF1690.1
200Lance KendricksTERams1688.7
201Donnie AveryWRRams1687.1
202Cleveland BrownsDEF1686.8
203James StarksRBPackers1686
204Davone BessWRDolphins1685.9
205Miami DolphinsDEF1685.7
206Seattle SeahawksDEF1684.8
207Josh MorganWR49ers1684.3
208Willis McGaheeRBBroncos1684.2
209Rian LindellKBills1683.8
210Jared CookTETitans1683.8
 NamePosTeamGPPoints
211Brandon PettigrewTELions1683.5
212Tampa Bay BuccaneersDEF1683.5
213Jermaine GreshamTEBengals1682.3
214Austin CollieWRColts1682.2
215Heath MillerTESteelers1681.3
216Jabar GaffneyWRRedskins1680.6
217Tony MoeakiTEChiefs1680.3
218Mohamed MassaquoiWRBrowns1679.7
219David NelsonWRBills1679.3
220Maurice MorrisRBLions1678.6
221Jacoby JonesWRTexans1678.4
222Dallas CowboysDEF1677.9
223Golden TateWRSeahawks1677.2
224Bernard BerrianWRVikings1677.2

2011 Fantasy Projections

Quarterback Running Back Wide Receiver Tight End
Kicker Team Defense

 NamePosTeamGPPoints
225Oakland RaidersDEF1677.2
226Arizona CardinalsDEF1677.1
227Ed DicksonTERavens1676.9
228Houston TexansDEF1676.5
229Anthony FasanoTEDolphins1676.3
230Plaxico BurressWRJets1676.3
231Donald BrownRBColts1676.2
232Isaac RedmanRBSteelers1676.1
233Jerricho CotcheryWRSteelers1676
234Early DoucetWRCardinals1675.9
235Justin GageWRTitans1675.7
236Titus YoungWRLions1675.4
237Kevin WalterWRTexans1675.2
238Sammie StroughterWRBuccaneers1674.9
 NamePosTeamGPPoints
239Minnesota VikingsDEF1674.6
240Jerrel JerniganWRGiants1674.4
241Carolina PanthersDEF1674.3
242Aaron HernandezTEPatriots1673.9
243Steve SmithWRPanthers1673.4
244Jordy NelsonWRPackers1673.3
245Jerome SimpsonWRBengals1673
246Owen DanielsTETexans1673
247Washington RedskinsDEF1672.7
248Ronnie BrownRBEagles1672.6
249Devery HendersonWRSaints1672.3
250LaRod Stephens-HowlingRBCardinals1672
251Thomas JonesRBChiefs1671.2
252Rob GronkowskiTEPatriots1671.2
 NamePosTeamGPPoints
253Torrey SmithWRRavens1668.6
254Joel DreessenTETexans1668.5
255Michael JenkinsWRVikings1668.2
256Justin ForsettRBSeahawks1668
257Denver BroncosDEF1667.4
258Chaz SchilensWRRaiders1667.1
259Chester TaylorRBBears1665.7
260Seyi AjirotutuWRChargers1665.1
261Andre CaldwellWRBengals1665.1
262Mike TolbertRBChargers1664.8
263Michael BushRBRaiders1663.8
264Harry DouglasWRFalcons1662.9
265Kevin OgletreeWRCowboys1662.3
266Jarett DillardWRJaguars1662.2
 NamePosTeamGPPoints
267Buffalo BillsDEF1661.9
268Cincinnati BengalsDEF1661.4
269Jason SnellingRBFalcons1661.2
270Antonio BrownWRSteelers1661.1
271Jason HillWRJaguars1660.5
272Ricky WilliamsRBRavens1658.7
273Pierre ThomasRBSaints1658.3
274David ThomasTESaints1657.9
275Jacksonville JaguarsDEF1657.9
276Eric DeckerWRBroncos1657.1
277James JonesWRPackers1657
278Roscoe ParrishWRBills1656.7
279Greg OlsenTEPanthers1656.4
280Toby GerhartRBVikings1655.7
 NamePosTeamGPPoints
281Travis BeckumTEGiants1655.6
282Daniel FellsTEBroncos1654.8
283Rashad JenningsRBJaguars1654.6
284Cecil ShortsWRJaguars1654.4
285Jordan ShipleyWRBengals1653.7
286Bernard ScottRBBengals1652.6
287Randy McMichaelTEChargers1652
288Brandon LaFellWRPanthers1650.4
289Brandon JacksonRBBrowns1650
290Jason AvantWREagles1649.7
291Micheal SpurlockWRBuccaneers1649.5
292Tashard ChoiceRBCowboys1649.1
293Carnell WilliamsRBRams1648.3
294Brandon TateWRPatriots1648.2
 NamePosTeamGPPoints
295Scott ChandlerTEBills1647.4
296Brent CelekTEEagles1646.8
297Shane BannonRBChiefs1646.8
298Danario AlexanderWRRams1646.1
299Jerheme UrbanWRChiefs1645.5
300Jacoby FordWRRaiders1644.7

The individual players and defensive teams are ranked based entirely on projected full-season fantasy points using the FOXSports.com Fantasy Football default scoring where:

  • QBs, RBs, WRs and TEs: TDs are 6 points
  • QBs: 25 passing yards is 1 point
  • QBs: Interceptions are -2 points
  • RBs: 10 rushing yards is 1 point
  • QBs, RBs, WRs and TEs: Fumbles lost are -2 points
  • WRs, TE and RBs: Ten yards receiving is 1 point
  • QBs, RBs, WRs and TEs: Two-point conversion are 2 points
  • K: Extra points are 1 point and all field goals are at least 3 points with an extra bonus point for field goals made over 40 yards and another bonus point for field goals made over 50 yards.
  • DEF: A sack is 1 point, an interception is 2 points and each DEF touchdown is 6 points

Ryan Fowler is the Content Manager for WhatIfSports.com. He can be reached at rfowler@whatifsports.com.

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