10 Breakout Candidates for 2009

197 Carries, 824 Yards, 62 Catches, 565 Yards, 14 Total TD's

197 Carries, 824 Yards, 62 Catches, 565 Yards, 14 Total TD's

Maurice Jones-Drew – RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

The reason Jones-Drew is listed as a breakout candidate, is because this will be his first season as the #1 Back in Jacksonville.  Fred Taylor has gone on to New England, leaving Drew to carry the load.  Jones also added more muscle in the offseason, which proves how serious he’s taking his new role this season.  With the Jaguars adding Torry Holt at wideout, it gives the offense much more balance, and should make defenses play a more balanced scheme.  Drew almost exceeded 1,000 yards in a time-share system as a rookie, so there’s no reason to see him not greatly exceeding that total this season.  I expect Jones Drew to produce in the neighborhood of 1,700 total yards and 15 TD’s.

62 Catches, 912 Yards, 4 Total TD's

62 Catches, 912 Yards, 4 Total TD's

DeSean Jackson – WR, Philadelphia Eagles

D-Jax turned in a solid season for the Eagles, and quickly became one of Donovan McNabb’s favorite targets.  With the Birds adding the electrifying rookie, Jeremy Maclin, across from Jackson, things should open up for the talented 2nd year Wideout.  Jackson has also been reported as he most impressive player in training came so far, and should carry over into the regular season.  Expect Jackson’s catches to total around 70-75, with 1,000 plus yards, and around 10 total TD’s, for this upcoming season.

316 Carries, 1238 Yards, 63 Catches, 477 Yards, 12 Total TD's

316 Carries, 1238 Yards, 63 Catches, 477 Yards, 12 Total TD's

54 Catches, 574 Yards, 5 TD's

54 Catches, 574 Yards, 5 TD's

Matt Forte – RB, Chicago Bears & Greg Olsen – TE, Chicago Bears
It was easy to say Matt Forte was Chicago’s best player last season.  He totaled nearly 400 touches as a rookie, and was their most productive offensive player…And that was with Kyle Orton at QB.  No disrespect to Orton, but he’s just a solid QB, at best.  The Bears have added a much needed threat at QB this season, with Jay Cutler, manning the ship.  Cutler now forces the defenses to play a more honest set, with more than the Bears’ running attack to be feared.  Which brings me to the next breakout candidate, Greg Olsen.  In just a very short amount of time at training camp, Olsen has already been named the team’s #1 Tight End, unseating Desmond Clark.  Olsen has already been seen as Cutler’s favorite target, and we’ve seen what Cutler’s favorite targets can do, (see Brandon Marshall).  Expect Forte’s receptions to go down some, but still totaling about 1800 total yards, and 14 Total TD’s.  Olsen should see about 70+ catches, 800 yards and about 8 TD’s. 

78 Catches, 1331 Yards, 12 TD's

78 Catches, 1331 Yards, 12 TD's

Calvin Johnson – WR, Detroit Lions 


Megatron exploded last season, after the departure of Lions’ former #1 Wideout, Roy Williams.  Although Johnson will most likely have a rookie throwing him the ball, he’ll still be an elite Wideout, and a MAJOR force this season.  Daunte Culpepper is currently penciled in as the Lions starter, but that will most likely change around mid-season, barring a sudden outburst of victories, from last year’s win-less team.  The Lions also added dynamic rookie Tight End, Brandon Pettigrew, who should make some noise himself, and allow teams to account for his presence on the field as well.  Also added, speedy WR, Derrick Williams, out of Penn State, along with former Penn State Star, Bryant Johnson.  If BJ, can finally catch on with his new team, Calvin will face less double, and triple coverage…Yeah Right!  Teams will be all over Megatron, but that shouldn’t stop him at all!  Expect 90 Catches, 1500 Yards, 14 TD’s, as Johnson takes over in his first full season as, The Guy!

129 Carries, 625 Yards, 31 Catches, 284 Yards, 9 Total TD's

129 Carries, 625 Yards, 31 Catches, 284 Yards, 9 Total TD's

 Pierre Thomas – RB, New Orleans Saints

Thomas is entering the season as the Saints’ #1 Back, Deuce-Free, and a hampered Reggie Bush.  Barring any injuries, Thomas is as close to a sure thing as there will be for production, this upcoming season.  Thomas also added much needed bulk, over the offseason, to assure the Saints won’t need to overlook him at the goaline.  Thomas hasn’t struck any fear in opposing defenses just yet, and with Drew Brees at QB, defenses will be very weary of the Passing Attack of New Orleans.  Fear of the pass should mean for enormous running lanes for Thomas, early on in the season.  Thomas will have to earn the respect of opposing NFL defenses, and he definitely should.  Expect 1400-1600 total yards, and 11 Total TD’s.

63.6% Comp, 4,038 Yards, 32 Total TD's

63.6% Comp, 4,038 Yards, 32 Total TD's

Aaron Rodgers – QB, Green Bay Packers

Dealing with the entire Brett Favre situation last season, had to be beyond a headache for Rodgers.  This season, Rodger enters without any distraction, and the stand-alone leader of the Green Bay Offense.  With the Packers locking up their #1 Wideout, Greg Jennings, the Green Bay Packers look poised to make huge steps next season.  Throwing for over 4,000 yards and almost 30 Touchdowns, was a huge burst onto the scene for Rodgers, and he’ll only get better.  If the Pack can get a healthy Ryan Grant running behind Rodgers, then there’s no doubt he’ll exceed last year’s statistics.  I expect Rodgers to throw for about 4,000+ yards, and 36 Total TD’s.

65.5% Comp, 2,699 Yards, 14 Total TD's

65.5% Comp, 2,699 Yards, 14 Total TD's

Trent Edwards – QB, Buffalo Bills

Edwards is a natural breakout candidate, after Buffalo pulled the trigger on one of the biggest free agent acquisitions, signing Terrell Owens.  Aside from Owens’ rants to the media, he’s a game changing player.  T.O. also makes all the players around him, BETTER.  Edwards should enjoy playing with Owens, who’ll open things up for young star, Lee Evans.  The Bills are also hoping last year’s draft pick, James Hardy, can recover from injury, and contribute at some point.  If Hardy is unable to go, the Bills’ offense should still succeed.  Josh Reed, and Roscoe Parrish provide game changing speed from the slot position(s), and should also have much better seasons, playing with Owens.  Edwards is being given the keys, and will be able to call his own plays during the no-huddle offensive sets.  Expect Edwards to reach 3,500-3,800 Yards, and 30 Total TD’s.

19 Catches, 220 Yards, 2 TD's

19 Catches, 220 Yards, 2 TD's

Chris Henry – WR, Cincinnati Bengals

Don’t let last year’s numbers throw you off with Henry…the guy has talent, it’s always been OFF the field where he’s fallen short.  I’ve always been a doubter of Henry’s abilities, due to his off the field antics.  However, Carson Palmer has seemed to have fallen in love with Henry this year.  Every interview, and every chance he’s gotten to…Palmer’s praised Henry.  The talented wideout has been receiving rave reviews, and has seemingly, “turned over a new leaf.”  For the first time, they’re saying Henry has come into came with a completely different attitude and work ethic.  With Palmer showing so much favoritism towards Henry, it can only bode well for his fantasy owners.  Expect Henry to record 60 catches, 900 Yards, and 9 TD’s. 


61.1% Comp, 3,440 Yards, 17 Total TD's

61.1% Comp, 3,440 Yards, 17 Total TD's

Matt Ryan – QB, Atlanta Falcons

Last year’s rookie of the year, totally exceeded first year expectations.  Ryan led the Falcons to the playoffs, and played far beyond his years.  The Falcons have now added Tony Gonzalez, who will be a very intricate part in Ryan’s progress.  Gonzalez brings leadership, and veteran talent to a young Falcons team.  Gonzo will also be very helpful for Ryan’s Red-zone Numbers, which means more TD’s.  Roddy White emerged as a legit WR talent last season, and should only aid in Ryan’s further growth as an NFL Quarterback.  I expect Ryan to throw for about 3,800 Yards, and 25 Total TD’s.   


Others To Watch:

Chansi Stuckey – WR, N.Y. Jets
Donnie Avery – WR, St. Louis Rams
Ray Rice – RB, Baltimore Ravens
Vernon Davis – TE, S.F. 49ers
Vincent Jackson – WR, San Diego Chargers
Brent Celek – TE, Philadelphia Eagles
Sage Rosenfels – QB, Minnesota Vikings
Steve Slaton – RB, Houston Texans
Darren McFadden – RB, Oakland Raiders
5 Responses to “10 Breakout Candidates for 2009”
  1. Sportzguy2Fly says:

    I’m not sure I see Chris henry in this catergory, if anyone I think Harry Douglas will produced better than him, I also feel Trent Edwards will have a rougher season than expected, and Pierre thomas will be a bust! Bush is back baby!

  2. Davermann says:

    Bush is back? When was he ever here? The guy is an OCCASIONAL playmaker but nothing you’d want your franchise depending on. Maybe they’ll learn to stop running him between the tackles

    Excellent list though…each one of these guys looks to legitimately have a big year.

    Are we going to see a list of defensive players, too? Because Darelle Revis will have an all pro season this year.

  3. Q_Crush says:

    well you can cancel harry douglas, he is out for the season, and until bush proves he can be an every down back thomas will get the looks he needs to be effective. The league now is 2 back driven and other than the case in TN with chris johnson and lendale white, the the bigger bruising back is the goto man with the scat back being the change of pace.

    being a lions fan im looking forward to seeing what the WR corp does because i believe that CJ has the potential even with the double teams to still get 90+ catches if the QB trusts him and his ability to “go get it” there arent many DBs that can stay with him, and i say test it early in the season. treat him like they do Moss, yeah you may come up with an interception here or there but more often CJ will come down with the ball or its going to be a P/I call

  4. Davermann says:

    Don’t be fooled by Rivers numbers

    he had a nasty habit of choking alot down the stretch and kept throwing picks in pressure

    he needs to drop into the 2nd group

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