Commentary

Quintong: All Morrow needs is a role

Updated: January 5, 2010, 2:31 PM ET
By James Quintong | 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 Jets winning the Super Bowl to go along with the Yankees' World Series win in 2009 for that great 1-2 punch.

Why will this happen/not happen?
It's really hard to rely on Mark Sanchez to get through the entire playoffs without doing something silly to cost the Jets a game. Plus, while there's a certain expectation of the Yankees to do something in the playoffs, there's a similar expectation for the Jets to do something bizarre. Sadly, "just happy to be in the playoffs" is probably the best way to approach this season's results.

Any sport, who is your biggest sleeper pick for 2010?
Brandon Morrow. A change of scenery helps, as will finally locking down a role, whether it's as a starter or a reliever. He's got the stuff to be a solid pitcher no matter the role.

Any sport, which player do you fear will let you down, but you feel compelled to keep drafting him anyway? Felix Jones. Being such a home-run threat at running back is both good and bad, especially if there's a time-share at work. There's the hope he'll have a monster game, unfortunately, it always seems like it's the week he's on the bench after four straight duds. Yeah, I'm taking the chance again on him at the right spot.

Which player has let you down one to many times and is now "dead to you?"
Jeff Francoeur. Unfortunately, I still have another year left on him in one of my long-term keeper leagues, but it's crazy how much I invested in him over the years. At least now I can just treat him as just another guy as opposed to the next big thing.

Let's talk Football

Who will be ...

... The first quarterback drafted in fantasy football leagues? Drew Brees
... The first running back? Chris Johnson
... The first wide receiver? Andre Johnson
... The first rookie? C.J. Spiller
... The NFL MVP? Aaron Rodgers
... The fantasy football MVP (most value for draft position)? Darren Sproles
... Fantasy football's leading scorer. Chris Johnson.

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

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

Playing with Numbers:
Predict the 2010 stat.

Tom Brady's passing touchdowns: 27.
Michael Vick's total touchdowns: 2.
Adrian Peterson's total yards: 1,812.
Chris Johnson's total yards: 1,975.
Terrell Owens touchdowns: 6.
Brett Favre games played: 16.
Kurt Warner games played: 14.
Matt Forte's average draft position: 35

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? Derek Jeter.
... The NL MVP? Chase Utley.
... The AL Cy Young? Justin Verlander.
... The NL Cy Young? Roy Halladay.
... The AL Rookie of the Year? Brett Wallace.
... The NL Rookie of the Year? Jason Heyward.
... The fantasy baseball MVP (most value for draft position)? Jake Peavy.
... The highest-rated player on Player Rater? Albert Pujols.

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? Matt Kemp.
Yovani Gallardo or Josh Johnson? Yovani Gallardo.
Prince Fielder or Ryan Howard? Prince Fielder.
Adam Lind or Josh Hamilton? Josh Hamilton.
Aaron Hill or Ben Zobrist? Ben Zobrist.
Evan Longoria or Mark Teixeira? Mark Teixeira.
Mariano Rivera or Jonathan Broxton? Mariano Rivera.

Playing with Numbers:
Predict the 2010 stat.

Roy Halladay wins: 18.

Cliff Lee wins: 15.
Mark Reynolds home runs and batting average: 34/.255.
Joe Mauer's batting average and home runs: .325/15.
Chone Figgins and Ichiro Suzuki's stolen bases: 45/35.
Matt Capps saves: 8.
Javier Vazquez wins, ERA and WHIP: 16/4.25/1.25.
Stephen Strasburg's wins, ERA and WHIP: 9/4.00/1.22.
Grady Sizemore's HR/SB: 26/29.
Alfonso Soriano's average draft position: 75.

Mad Gabs

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

In 2010, Marion Barber will rush for 1,000 yards for the first time in his career. Surprisingly, he's never done it before in his career despite being such a highly regarded fantasy prospect. The Cowboys will find a way to get him enough carries to break that mark next season. The upcoming playoffs will go a long way in figuring out how the team uses Barber.
There is no way that Rick Porcello will strike out just 89 batters. His fantasy value should take a step up as he uses more of his stuff to strike out hitters instead of just getting outs. He'll continue to pick up wins, and also get the K's to help become a more valuable player.
Justin Upton will be this year's Matt Kemp. Upton is the guy who is on the verge of greatness who leaps into the top 10. Hopefully, though, Upton won't be hitting eighth in the lineup like Kemp did for part of last season.
If Chris Cooley leaves the Redskins after this season then Fred Davis will be a top-10 tight end no matter who's at quarterback.
• Charles Barkley will be the next big sports star to have his own sitcom. If Michael Strahan can do it, why not Barkley? • There will be 15 players that save at least 35 games ...
... but only 2 players that win 20 games. Sure it's comparing apples and oranges, but it also shows how easy it is to get one stat compared to the other.
Matthew Berry will inadvertently get into a Twitter battle with a famous athlete over one of his fantasy calls.
This is the year that Northwestern finally reaches the NCAA men's basketball tournament for the first time in school history.
2010 will forever be remembered as the year the U.S. shocks the world by winning both the Olympic gold medal in ice hockey and the World Cup title. However, most fans will react to the news with a collective yawn.

Have we missed anything?

What question do you wish you had been asked on this survey?
Which soon-to-be NFL rookie is going to be all the rage on the waiver wire late next season?

And the answer is?
Florida tight end Aaron Hernandez, who looked really good at the Sugar Bowl. Given his position, there won't be a real pressing need to draft him as a starting fantasy tight end, but if he lands in the proper situation, he'll put up some solid stats for some team as he matures. He'll be a guy who will save a team that drafted poorly at the position.

What question are you glad you weren't asked?
How many fantasy league titles will you win in 2010?

Sucker! Now you have to answer.
The optimistic answer is all of them, but the realistic answer is that I'll get lucky to win one. I've now lost in the finals of one football league for three straight years, so I'm guessing that's my ceiling there. Otherwise, as with all leagues, you need a combination of luck and smart drafting to win a title. Here's guessing that I take one of our mock draft leagues that most of us don't touch after the draft, and then blame at least one or two leagues on either a trade I didn't make or an injury to an early-round draft pick.