State of the franchise: With a Dude's Balls:
After making the championship game in the initial two seasons of this league, seasons three and four have been disappointing. With a strategy emphasizing veteran players over younger less-proven players, I think my team has the power to make the playoffs this season after missing them by one game last season.
QB: The trade for Flip Rivers was a success in my mind even though he had his worse year in terms of fantasy points. He'll be a consistent team leader for the foreseeable future. Alex Smith finally had a breakout year for the Niners last year and is now a solid back up QB/ bye week play option. Vince Young could become relevant again if he some how gets a starting gig or gets the backup role on a team with an injury prone QB. On a side note, how strange has Vince Young's career been? Blaine Gabbert had a miserable rookie season but a lot of that can be blamed on his supporting cast, I still have hope for him.
RB: RB has never been a big strength of my team. Sproles really made the Philip Rivers trade for my team. He's a great fit in the Saints offense and as long as Brees is there, he should be a huge contributor in any PPR league. Unfortunately Sproles arrival in New Orleans led to a decrease in Pierre Thomas's role. He's still a decent #3 back for my team and is only 27 years old, so he's a decent asset going forward. Cedric Benson is a free agent and not drawing much interest, so his value has taken a big hit. He's definitely been a solid player for my team in the last few years after I traded for him, I'm hoping he somehow signs somewhere as a #1 back but more than likely he'll be no more than a #3 option in fantasy. With Benson leaving Cincy, Bernard Scott should have a larger role there even after they signed Ben Jarvis. He's a decent pass catcher out of the back field and could be a surprise contributor for my squad this year. With Brandon Jacobs leaving New York, DJ Ware could see an increased role. Running back is definitely an area I'm looking to improve but I'm still confident a combo of Sproles and the platoon of Thomas/Benson/Scott can succeed with the other strengths of my team.
WR: Larry Fitz has been hurt the last few years by his lack of a QB, we both certainly miss the impact Kurt Warner had on our teams. Even with the terrible QB situation, Fitz has still put up very solid numbers but hasn't been able to break out in the way most expected after his crazy playoff performance a few years ago. He's still one of the most elite receivers in the league and could definitely improve his numbers if Kolb ever steps up or they get an elite QB. Steve Smith had a great season last year with the breakout season from Cam Newton. He just signed a three year extension so he should be considered an elite receiver going into next season. Hopefully has two more elite seasons in him. The Dexter McCluster for Steve Smith trade is turning out to be one of my best trades. Outside of those two I have a ton of receivers who could be solid contributors. Darius Heyward-Bey showed signs of breaking out last year and if I like his chances with an offseason to work with Carson Palmer. Malcolm Floyd is very inconsistent but can definitely put up some points. Santana Moss could be a decent bye week play if he and RG3 can work well together. Burleson, James Jones and Andre Roberts are also decent options who can put up some good games.
TE: I love the trade for Gates last season. With Vincent Jackson leaving it will certainly be interesting to see how Gates performs. I love the double points I get from the Rivers-Gates combo. Obviously there's some concern with his age and injuries but he's still an elite TE. Zach Miller was a great TE prospect when I drafted him four years ago, unfortunately he never broke out. Hopefully with an improved QB situation in Seattle, Miller can be a decent back-up option. Heath Miller is a pretty decent back-up/bye week play.
D: My defensive guys have always been a strength for my team. Drafting Patrick Willis really set me up to have great defensive production for the next decade. D'qwell Jackson has been a surprising player who has been one of the top linebackers in the league the last few years. Jon Beason was a stud until his injury, hopefully he recovers well from it and regains that production. I don't have a lot at DB but that position doesn't typically supply a lot of point production. Getting Suh in the D-Line draft this year was a big win for me, I think he'll really breakout in the next few years and become the dominant force he's supposed to be.
K: Graham Gano, meh.