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Will They Thrive or Dive in 2009?

1)
Tom Brady
: There is no bigger name coming into this season with question marks surrounding him. Will he bounce back or struggle after his knee injury and surgery? Will it take him until the 2010 season to become his prolific self again? Will he ever become himself again? While the questions will remain until the regular season officially begins, it will probably take only a game or two to come to the conclusion that Brady will thrive in ‘09. Brady was hurt game one last year, giving him a full season and offseason of recovery time. Brady still also possesses potent WR weapons in Randy Moss and Wes Welker, the same tandem that helped the little-known
Matt Cassel
throw for 21 touchdowns and garner a $63 million dollar contract from the Kansas City Chiefs. While Brady owners should not expect career high 2007 numbers, when he threw for an astonishing 50 touchdowns, the returning star should finish the season as a Top 5 fantasy quarterback.

2)
Matt Cassel
: It would be hard to analyze Brady without immediately looking at the above-mentioned
Cassel
. Simply put, look for
Cassel to dive in 2009. While Cassel received a contract stunner from

Kansas City
, he is also the recipient of a team that went 2-14 the previous season, a far cry from stepping in for the injured Brady in 2008, taking charge of a team that went a perfect 16-0 in the regular season and all the way to the Super Bowl. While
Cassel joins a team with the talented
Dwayne Bowe
at wideout, he also joins a team that just lost league leading tight end
Tony Gonzalez
to the Atlanta Falcons. Lacking any receiver as good as
Moss
, or any number two as effective as
Welker
, combined with a struggling running game and a team in the midst of rebuilding,
Cassel
is looking at a long first season with the Chiefs.

3)
Jay Cutler
: Another QB with lots of chatter surrounding him after his emotionally charged move from
Denver to

Chicago
. Look for Cutler’s numbers to dive this season. No longer will Cutler have
Brandon Marshall
and
Eddie Royal
to deliver the ball to. Cutler has been downgraded a bit at wide receiver to the very fast, but still developing, Devon Hester and the under performing Rashied Davis, or perhaps even the inexperienced
Earl Bennett
. Cutler also should not need to throw as much with the Bears, as his running game has been greatly upgraded from the rotating stable of backs in
Denver, to the multi-talented

Chicago
workhorse,
Matt Forte
. A better running attack combined with the Bears strong defense means Cutler should be in many game-controlling situations, utilizing a short passing game and
Forte
, rather than being forced to consistently throw in the third and fourth quarters, as he was much of the time in

Denver
. While Jay should still put up solid QB numbers, they will unfortunately not be the numbers he or his fantasy owners were used to in

Denver
.

4)
Terrell Owens
: Handed his walking papers by the always competitive Dallas Cowboys and landing with the AFC East last place team, the Buffalo Bills, this season will surely be a dive year for T.O. Owens has been downgraded in QB from the consistent
Tony Romo
to the hot-and-cold
Trent Edwards
. It’s going to be chilly in

Buffalo
, Terrell. Hope that popcorn of yours can keep your hands warm on the sidelines. And try to use a little less butter, maybe you will have a few less drops this year?

5)
Brandon Marshall
: The top-tier receiver, with the numerous off-field problems, may face yet another suspension this year. Missing games, combined with losing
Jay Cutler
and picking up
Kyle Orton
at QB, is a bad recipe for staying near the top at his position.

Marshall
’s numbers should dip more than just a little bit this season, and if his off-the-field behavior keeps up, even shorten what should be a great overall career.

6)
Brett Favre
: He may not even return to football in ’09, but his possible return to the Minnesota Vikings has clogged up the airwaves for weeks now. Without even taking the field, the one time face of the Packers has already taken a dive. Pulling a diva move of yet another possible comeback, this time with the Packers’ NFC East rivals, the Minnesota Vikings, Brett is not only insulting his long-time Packer fans, but also damaging his own Hall Of Fame career. Playing for the Vikings would be nothing short of a revenge-driven comeback in an attempt to stick his finger in the eye of the Packers, who had the nerve to move on, after Brett left them! Grow up Brett and let it go. You retired from

Green Bay
. Keep it that way. Your season with the Jets should be enough proof to yourself that your career is over. Don’t come back just to seek some foolish retribution against

Green Bay
. You owe yourself, your fans and football more than that.

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