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Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Karabell: Vick leads Raiders to playoffs

By Eric Karabell
ESPN.com

"There's always next year," they say. Well, next year is here. We surveyed ESPN's fantasy staff to find out a bit about what they think is in store for fantasy owners in 2010.

Reality Check

ESPN Fantasy Sports

Your fondest sports wish for 2010 is:
The Philadelphia Eagles win the Super Bowl

Why will this happen/not happen?
It's never happened before, so my expectations are kinda low

Any sport, who is your biggest sleeper pick for 2010?
Jake Fox of the Oakland Athletics

Any sport, which player do you fear will let you down, but you feel compelled to keep drafting him anyway? Jimmy Rollins of the Philadelphia Phillies

Which player has let you down one to many times and is now "dead to you?"
Dave Bush. It makes me sad.

Let's talk Football

Who will be ...

... The first quarterback drafted in fantasy football leagues? Drew Brees. People still won't trust Aaron Rodgers
... The first running back? Chris Johnson. Has to be after 2,000 yards.
... The first wide receiver? Andre Johnson.
... The first rookie? Jahvid Best. Just to make things easier for the headline writers
... The NFL MVP? Peyton Manning. At least for the first 15 weeks
... The fantasy football MVP (most value for draft position)? Felix Jones. Monster in the making
... Fantasy football's leading scorer. Aaron Rodgers.

The Name Game ...
Which player would you rather draft in 2010?

Frank Gore or Ray Rice? Rice.
Terrell Owens or LaDainian Tomlinson? Tomlinson.
DeSean Jackson or Brandon Marshall? Jackson.
Vernon Davis or Antonio Gates? Gates.
Jay Cutler or Kyle Orton? Cutler.
Fred Jackson or Jonathan Stewart? Stewart.
Knowshon Moreno or Beanie Wells? Moreno.
Shonn Greene or LeSean McCoy? Greene.
Miles Austin or Roddy White? White.
Steve Smith or Steve Smith? Smith (NYG).

Playing with Numbers:
Predict the 2010 stat.

Tom Brady's passing touchdowns: 26.
Michael Vick's total touchdowns: 21.
Adrian Peterson's total yards: 1,666.
Chris Johnson's total yards: 1,966.
Terrell Owens touchdowns: 6.
Brett Favre games played: 16. He'll never leave
Kurt Warner games played: 16.
Matt Forte's average draft position: 24

Play Ball!

Who will be ...

... The second player taken in fantasy leagues? Hanley Ramirez.
... The first starting pitcher? Tim Lincecum.
... The first closer? Mariano Rivera.
... The second catcher? Victor Martinez.
... The AL MVP? Alex Rodriguez.
... The NL MVP? Justin Upton.
... The AL Cy Young? Jon Lester.
... The NL Cy Young? Roy Halladay.
... The AL Rookie of the Year? Carlos Santana.
... The NL Rookie of the Year? Buster Posey.
... The fantasy baseball MVP (most value for draft position)? Matt Wieters.
... The highest-rated player on Player Rater? Tim Lincecum.

The Name Game ...
Which player would you rather draft in 2010?

Hanley Ramirez or Alex Rodriguez? Hanley Ramirez.
Tim Lincecum or Zack Greinke? Tim Lincecum.
Roy Halladay or Chris Carpenter? Roy Halladay.
Ryan Braun or Matt Kemp? Ryan Braun.
Yovani Gallardo or Josh Johnson? Yovani Gallardo.
Prince Fielder or Ryan Howard? Prince Fielder.
Adam Lind or Josh Hamilton? Adam Lind.
Aaron Hill or Ben Zobrist? Ben Zobrist.
Evan Longoria or Mark Teixeira? Evan Longoria.
Mariano Rivera or Jonathan Broxton? Mariano Rivera.

Playing with Numbers:
Predict the 2010 stat.

Roy Halladay wins: 20.
Cliff Lee wins: 14.
Mark Reynolds home runs and batting average: 35 and .260.
Joe Mauer's batting average and home runs: .330 and 22.
Chone Figgins and Ichiro Suzuki's stolen bases: 36 and 35.
Matt Capps saves: 12.
Javier Vazquez wins, ERA and WHIP: 15, 4.25 and 1.21.
Stephen Strasburg's wins, ERA and WHIP: 0, 0.00 and 0.00
Grady Sizemore's HR/SB: 24 and 19.
Alfonso Soriano's average draft position: 100.

Mad Gabs

Fill in the blanks to formulate 10 predictions for 2010. Do not limit yourself to football or baseball

In 2010, Alex Rodriguez will make a legit run for 30/30.
There is no way that Brett Favre will retire/shut up.
Cedric Benson will be this year's Matt Forte.
If Jonathan Stewart leaves the Panthers then he can become Derrick Ward.
• Gilbert Arenas will be the next big sports star to go to jail.
There will be 10 players that reach 40 home runs ...
... but only 1 player that steals 60 bases
Matthew Berry will become the next Howard Stern, taking his podcast to satellite radio.
This is the year that the New York Yankees finally go 162-0. OK, 161-1.
2010 will forever be remembered as the year Brad Lidge was banned from Philadelphia city limits.

Have we missed anything?

What question do you wish you had been asked on this survey?
What happens to Michael Vick?

And the answer is?
The Eagles trade him to the Oakland Raiders for a fourth-round draft pick, and Vick again becomes an offensive force, rushing for 750 yards, throwing 15 touchdown passes and having one of his best statistical seasons … and the Raiders make the playoffs.

What question are you glad you weren't asked?
How many games will the Phillies take from the Yankees in the 2010 World Series rematch?

Sucker! Now you have to answer.
4. And Danys Baez saves them all and wins the World Series MVP.