Commentary

Fantasy Predictions 2009: Watch out for those Blue Jays (no, not those ones)

Updated: January 5, 2009, 3:04 PM ET
By AJ Mass | 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 fondest sports wish for 2009 is:
For Syracuse to make a BCS Bowl game.

Why will this happen/not happen?
Have you watched them play anytime in the last decade? I'll settle for out of the Big East cellar.

Any sport, what is your biggest sleeper pick for 2009?
Wladimir Balentien.

How high would you reach for that sleeper in a standard ESPN draft?
Round 18

Which player are you buying into but is most likely to disappoint you?
Nate McLouth. I don't think it was a total fluke, but I do fear that second half is closer to the real Nate.

Which player are you not buying but will likely disappoint everyone else?
Carlos Zambrano

Any sport, who will be the best rookie to emerge in 2009?
Josh Heytvelt

... but everyone is going to think it's going to be?
Blake Griffin

[+] EnlargeMichael Crabtree
L. Scott Mann/Icon SMIMichael Crabtree will be catching passes in the NFL in 2009.

Who will be …

… the first player drafted in fantasy football leagues? Adrian Peterson
… the player everyone will wish they had drafted? Frank Gore
… the first player drafted in the NFL draft? Detroit takes Sam Bradford, though it should be Andre Smith.
… the first rookie drafted in fantasy football leagues? Chris Wells, but Michael Crabtree will end up with more fantasy points.
… the first player drafted in fantasy baseball leagues? Albert Pujols
… the first pitcher? Tim Lincecum, but I'd go with Roy Halladay
… the first rookie? If we're counting David Price, then he's the man. Otherwise, it's Matt Wieters.
… the player who'll start his season in Triple-A to everyone's frustration? Matt LaPorta

Mad Gabs

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

  1. In 2009, Jose Reyes will hit for the cycle. Twice!
  2. There is no way that Bill Cowher will coach the Browns.
  3. CC Sabathia will be this year's Erik Bedard.
  4. Brett Favre will end up wearing purple.
  5. If Mexico doesn't beat the USA at home then they will not qualify for the World Cup.
  6. There will be 15 players that blame slow starts on the World Baseball Classic ...
  7. ... but only two players that will actually get hurt during the tournament.
  8. Matthew Berry will be asked to present at the Soap Digest awards.
  9. This is the year that a New York Mets pitcher finally throws a no-hitter.
  10. 2009 will forever be remembered as the year the Super Bowl was decided on a play that could have and should have been overturned by replay, but the coach of the team on the short end of the stick had no challenges left after three previous successful challenges of equally horrible calls.

The Name Game

A-Rod or Hanley Ramirez? Hanley
Tim Lincecum or Johan Santana? Lincecum
Evan Longoria or Garrett Atkins Atkins
Chase Utley or Dustin Pedroia? Pedroia
Manny Ramirez or Mark Teixeira? Manny
Tom Brady or Peyton Manning? Peyton
Michael Turner or LaDainian Tomlinson Turner
Randy Moss or Calvin Johnson? Calvin
Antonio Bryant or Marques Colston? Colston
Brandon Jacobs or Marion Barber? Jacobs
DeAngelo Williams or Clinton Portis? Williams

Playing with Numbers

Baseball

Francisco Rodriguez saves: 39
A.J. Burnett wins: 15
CC Sabathia's ERA: 4.02
Yovani Gallardo wins and strikeouts: 10, 137
Manny Ramirez home runs and RBIs: 31, 107
Matt Holliday home runs and RBIs: 22, 87
Mark Teixeira home runs and RBIs: 34, 110
Jay Bruce batting average and home runs: .283, 22
Rafael Furcal average and steals: .294, 15
Rafael Furcal average and steals against the Braves: .242, 2

Football:

Adrian Peterson yards and touchdowns: 1742, 11
Drew Brees yards and touchdowns: 4650, 27
Tom Brady yards and touchdowns: 350, 1
Kurt Warner starts: 6
Braylon Edwards yards, touchdowns and drops: 825, 3, 12
Chad Ocho Cinco yards and touchdowns: 640, 1
Chad Ocho Cinco ridiculous statements: 7, including one that declares he will be "back at the top" despite all evidence to the contrary

Speak now or forever hold your peace

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

What coach deserves to be fired, but won't be?

And the answer is?

Andy Reid. The success of this team is all because of Jim Johnson, Andy only gets in the way.

What question are you glad you weren't asked?

Who's your early pick for Sweet 16 sleeper school?

Sucker! Now you have to answer.

Creighton Blue Jays.