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Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Updated: January 4, 11:43 PM ET
Fantasy Predictions 2009: Will Warner retire?

By James Quintong
ESPN.com

What does 2009 hold in store for the world of fantasy sports? We surveyed our team of fantasy analysts and editors for the answers. Check out all twelve completed surveys by using the drop-down menu. (Some surveys were abridged to protect the innocent.)

Your name:
James Quintong

But you wish to be referred to as:
JQ

You're a shameless, unabashed fan of:
Northwestern University football

But we shouldn't hold it against you because:
You can't really accuse me of being a bandwagon fan, now can you?

Your fondest sports wish for 2009 is:
For Brett Favre to retire for real.

Why will this happen/not happen?
He'll get the itch to play again after a raucous game of "Madden" sometime in March.

Any sport, who is your biggest sleeper pick for 2009?
Aaron Harang

How high would you reach for that sleeper in a standard ESPN draft?
Middle rounds at best, possibly my third or fourth starting pitcher

Which player are you buying into but is most likely to disappoint you?
Mark Teixeira

Which player are you not buying but will likely disappoint everyone else?
Matt Cassel

Any sport, who will be the best rookie to emerge in 2009?
Mat Gamel

… but everyone is going to think it's going to be?
Matt Wieters

Who will be …

Darren McFadden
McFadden, if healthy, should get the bulk of the carries in Oakland in 2009.

… The first player drafted in fantasy football leagues? Adrian Peterson
… Who will everyone wish they had drafted? Darren McFadden
… The first player drafted in the NFL draft? Sam Bradford
… The first rookie drafted in fantasy football leagues? Beanie Wells
… The first player drafted in fantasy baseball leagues? Alex Rodriguez
… The first pitcher? Johan Santana
… The first rookie? Matt Wieters
… The player who'll start his season in Triple-A to everyone's frustration? Mat Gamel
… The NHL's top scorer? Alex Ovechkin
… The NBA's MVP? LeBron James
… The 2009 Sprint Cup champion? Jimmie Johnson

Mad Gabs

Fill in the blanks any which way you want to create 10 more predictions for 2009.

  1. In 2009, a major fantasy baseball commodity will get injured playing for his World Baseball Classic team.
  2. There is no way that Thomas Jones will score 15 touchdowns .
  3. Randy Johnson will be this year's Mike Mussina.
  4. Brett Favre will tease everyone again but finally put an end to everyone's misery.
  5. If Kerry Wood saves at least 35 games then the Indians will reach the playoffs.
  6. There will be 10 players who reach 40 homers
  7. … but only two players who reach 45 stolen bases.
  8. Matthew Berry will replace Billy Mays as America's most loved/most hated commercial pitchman.
  9. This is the year that the Detroit Lions finally win a game.
  10. 2009 will forever be remembered as the year the Yankees bought their way to a World Series title.

The Name Game

A-Rod or Hanley Ramirez? A-Rod. Hanley isn't far behind, though.
Tim Lincecum or Johan Santana? Santana, but for just one more year as the No. 1 overall pitcher.
Evan Longoria or Garrett Atkins? I'll take Longoria. I have a feeling Atkins gets traded away from Colorado at some point this year.
Chase Utley or Dustin Pedroia? Utley will return sooner than people think, and thus he'll eventually outshine Pedroia, who had a great season but could be a fluke.
Manny Ramirez or Mark Teixeira? I'll take Teixeira just barely over Manny now because of Tex's age and the lineup around him. But where Manny signs and what type of deal he gets could inspire him to be the Manny we think he can be.
Tom Brady or Peyton Manning? Peyton Manning. I'm not totally sold on Brady's health right now, although Carson Palmer proved it's possible to be fine after serious knee surgery.
Michael Turner or LaDainian Tomlinson? Tomlinson, but for maybe one more year, and it's really close. LT likely has one or two more good years in him if he can get healthy during the offseason. Turner's season was great, but teams will figure him out next year.
Randy Moss or Calvin Johnson? Moss. I think Moss' highest highs will be better than Megatron's top games, while Randy's "down" games won't be as awful, thanks to the offensive schemes the Pats run.
Antonio Bryant or Marques Colston? Colston. Drew Brees will try again to break Dan Marino's single-season yardage record, and Colston will be a major part of that.
Brandon Jacobs or Marion Barber? Barber. I'm still a big Barber fan, while Jacobs' injury issues will continue to cause such "will he play or will he sit?" dilemmas like in Week 16.
DeAngelo Williams or Clinton Portis? Portis for another year or two. Williams isn't scoring 20 TDs again, and Jonathan Stewart will eat into some of his production next year.
Chris Paul or LeBron James? (For the rest of the season) LeBron James. That supporting cast -- along with whoever comes in at the trade deadline -- can only accentuate his stats.
Danny Granger or Dirk Nowitzki? (for next season) Granger's all-around game will make him that guy whom only fantasy players can appreciate, while Nowitzki's name recognition will get him drafted higher but cause more disappointment.
Derrick Rose or Kevin Durant? (for their careers) Durant. There's still time for Oklahoma City to build a team around him to make sure Durant deserves his pub.
Alexander Ovechkin or Sidney Crosby? (for the rest of the season.) Ovechkin. The Caps still need to rely on him as much as possible.
Alexander Semin or Ilya Kovalchuk? (for next season) Kovalchuk. Can't rely on Semin just yet because of his injury history. Meanwhile, Kovalchuk might soon end up with a team on which he could thrive without killing his plus/minus.
Steve Mason or Carey Price? (for their careers) Price. Both have had great runs, but I'm still buying Price over Mason for the long run.
Jimmie Johnson or Carl Edwards? Johnson. Given how the economy is affecting NASCAR, it might actually help the top stars even more.
Kyle Busch or Jeff Gordon? Gordon. He's not going to go another full season without a win. Busch's fade during the Chase wasn't a good sign.

Playing with Numbers

Baseball

Francisco Rodriguez's saves: 37
A.J. Burnett's wins: 14
CC Sabathia's ERA: 3.95
Yovani Gallardo's wins and strikeouts: 14 wins, 175 K's
Manny Ramirez's home runs and RBIs: 34 HRs, 104 RBIs
Matt Holliday's home runs and RBIs: 28 HRs, 96 RBIs
Mark Teixeira's home runs and RBIs: 36 HRs, 115 RBIs
Jay Bruce's batting average and home runs: .285, 29 HRs
Rafael Furcal's average and steals: .285, 38 steals
Rafael Furcal's average and steals against the Braves: .200, 1 steal

Football:

Adrian Peterson's yards and touchdowns: 1,435 yards; 12 TDs
Drew Brees' yards and touchdowns: 4,250 yards; 32 TDs
Tom Brady's yards and touchdowns: 3,850 yards; 28 TDs
Kurt Warner's starts: 0; he beats Brett Favre to the retirement punch
Braylon Edwards' yards, touchdowns and drops: 1,134 yards; 7 TDs; 19 drops
Chad Ocho Cinco's yards and touchdowns: 925 yards; 3 TDs (all in one game)
Chad Ocho Cinco's ridiculous statements: 2 (depends on your definition of ridiculous)

Basketball (end of 2008-09 season):

Danny Granger's PPG: 23.5
Allen Iverson's PPG: 17.5
O.J. Mayo's PPG: 22.1
Jose Calderon's missed free throws: 10
Shaquille O'Neal's and Dwight Howard's FTP: Both at 57.5 percent
Tracy McGrady's missed games: 25
Carlos Boozer's MRIs: 3

Hockey (end of 2008-09 season:)

Evgeni Malkin's points: 110
Sidney Crosby's points: 101
Alexander Ovechkin's goals: 51
Alexander Semin's goals: 25
Alexander Semin's missed games: 15
Martin Brodeur's wins: 8
Phil Kessel's points: 85
Mats Sundin's points: 40
Combined points for Ottawa's Big 3: 199

Speak now or forever hold your peace

What question do you wish you had been asked on this survey?

Which potential 2008 Fantasy Hall of Famer is most likely a one-year wonder?

And the answer is?

Le'Ron McClain. He has been a godsend as a fullback, TD vulture and random big-scoring running back, but at some point, the Ravens will return him to being a true fullback and pin their hopes on Ray Rice and Willis McGahee.

What question are you glad you weren't asked?

What role will Joba Chamberlain have in 2008?

Sucker! Now you have to answer.

Joba should be in the bullpen as Mariano Rivera's set-up man. That will limit his fantasy value a bit, unless your league counts holds, but it will make him a far better "real" pitcher for his team.

James Quintong is an editor for ESPN Fantasy.