NFC South 2012 fantasy preview
You never can expect a record-setting quarterback to repeat his performance, especially when you throw in the variables working against Drew Brees right now.
Peyton Manning hasn't had a season with a QB rating over 100 since his record-breaking 2004. Tom Brady couldn't even finish the first half of Game 1 in '08, after his record-setting '07, being lost for the season with a torn ACL.
But Brees now has to play up to a large contract, deal with the loss of his offensive guru Sean Payton, who is suspended for the entire season over the bounty scandal, deal with the loss of one of his weapons, Robert Meachem (signed with San Diego) with no significant addition to replace him and cope with the expected emergence of a running game that might alter a pass-heavy scheme.
It may be enough to see the Saints take a significant enough of a step back to allow Matt Ryan and the Falcons to step forward. The Falcons are moving away from a run-heavy offense, while Julio Jones is on verge of a huge breakthrough as a fantasy star.
Oh, there's also the sophomore season to consider for Cam Newton, who is coming off the greatest rookie season in fantasy football history. This will be an interesting division to watch, particularly when you consider the little defense played by the four teams that reside here.
We are already taken our capsule looks at the NFC East, AFC East, NFC North, AFC North and AFC South. We continue with the wide-open NFC South's depth charts, position battles, injury questions and fantasy positional rankings:
1 Drew Brees NO
1 Michael Turner ATL
1 Roddy White ATL
1 Jimmy Graham NO
1 Garrett Hartley NO
1 Falcons ATL