Jun 17, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) during minicamp at the New Orleans Saints Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Several players put forth excellent NFL fantasy football seasons in 2014. Enough to the point that assumptions are already strong they’ll duplicate those feats in 2015. Not so fast. Here are just five of those standouts who face the probability of a major regression.
DeMarco Murray (RB, Philadelphia Eagles)
2014 output: 294.10 points
A few things are going against DeMarco Murray this year. First, he’s no longer in the same offensive system and behind the same offensive line that helped him win the rushing title last year. Running backs who are coming off 400+ carry workloads also tend to regress the next year. On top of that, Murray will have Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles competing with him in the backfield for touches during games. All of that speaks to less output and by default fewer fantasy points.
Drew Brees (QB, New Orleans Saints)
2014 output: 302.98 points
Rumors persist that the coaching staff of the New Orleans Saints are concerned about the arm strength of Drew Brees, who is now 36-years old. So there is that to worry about. Then one must consider the substantial losses he’s seen to the offense, specifically the trading away of tight end Jimmy Graham and wide receiver Kenny Stills. They were two of his most reliable targets and will prove very hard to replace. Brees has adapted before but Father Time is against him and the lack of weaponry is bound to slow him down from where he was last year.
Jeremy Maclin (WR, Kansas City Chiefs)
2014 output: 191.80 points
Playing in the Chip Kelly offense has proven quite profitable for wide receivers over the past two years. Jeremy Maclin turned it into a major financial gain when he signed with the Kansas City Chiefs. The problem is that decision also gets him away from the Kelly offense that made him so productive in the first place. Yes, he’s reuniting with former head coach Andy Reid but keep in mind Maclin never had a 1,000-yard season when he played for Reid. Top it off with Alex Smith being his quarterback, who isn’t known for his prolific passing numbers and it leads to belief Maclin will take a step back.
Julius Thomas (TE, Jacksonville Jaguars)
2014 output: 120.90 points
Nobody can blame Julius Thomas for following the money. Free agents are expected to do that. However, he did so at great risk to his own reputation as a playmaker. Thomas emerged with the Denver Broncos when he had Peyton Manning as his quarterback. Now he joins the Jacksonville Jaguars with second-year kid Blake Bortles coming off a rookie year where he threw more interceptions than touchdowns. Nobody is debating Thomas has talent, but he can’t be expected to duplicate his numbers with that steep of a drop in QB play.
New England Patriots Defense
2014 output: 139.00 points
Stop for a second and take stock of what the New England Patriots have lost over this offseason: Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, and Vince Wilfork. Arguably those three were the biggest keys to their defensive dominance last season. Now Devin McCourty may be on the move back to corner where he was never as effective as he’s been at safety. Nobody is saying Bill Belichick can’t adjust, but there is no way he can hope to keep the unit as strong as it was last year. Not with those losses and the prospect of losing Tom Brady for a stretch of games.
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