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Fantasy football predictions: top performers, biggest busts, top rookie

Why we love Antonio Brown and hate Devonta Freeman.

With the NFL season to start in earnest Sunday (after the Broncos edged the Panthers Thursday night) we started thinking about making award predictions — NFL MVP, most improved player, etc. But these designations don't really matter to most football fans. It's the stats that matter.

So, as a fan service, hereare our predictions for which players will be the top performers in fantasy football this season:

Most touchdowns, wide receiver: Antonio Brown

We really, truly believe Brown will be a bona-fide fantasy dynamo — scoring as many as 20 touchdowns. If he's on your roster he should be an auto-start every week.

Most touchdowns, running back: Adrian Peterson

With Sam Bradford now making the passing game viable (OK, a little viable) following the ugly injury to Teddy Bridgewater, Peterson will have a little more room to operate and will once again lead the NFL in rushing yards and touchdowns.

Most points, quarterback: Russell Wilson

Wilson is due for a breakout, MVP-caliber season and we are betting this is the one. If you nabbed Wilson in a mid-round this year, good move. He can run and pass and has the weapons to rack up the points.

Most points after Week 4: Tom Brady

When Brady's suspension ends, watch out NFL. He could win an MVP award in 12 weeks.

Most points, defense: Cardinals

Yea, we are buying the Cardinals this year. With a potent offense usually the first thing people notice in Arizona, it will be their turnover-making, get-off-the-field defense that will lead them — potentially — to the promised land this year.

Top fantasy rookie: Ezekiel Elliott

We are picking the Cowboys' Elliott for obvious reasons. Behind that Dallas offensive line, watch out.He's half a step ahead of New York's Sterling Shepherd, who will create a mad waiver wire dash when he explodes onto the scene.

Biggest fantasy bust: Devonta Freeman

He had one of the best half-seasons in recent memory for Atlanta last fall, but his extreme drop-off and Tevin Coleman — originally the No. 1 last year — will eradicate any opportunity for a repeat performance.


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