So you know that Peyton Manning and Drew Brees are fantasy studs. Congratulations.

But what is really important in fantasy sports is not only keeping an eye on what's now, but also, what's next.


So when you are watching the opening night of the NFL season, here are some fantasy stories to keep an eye on:

Reggie Bush, RB, (NO):


We know that Bush is going to be an integral part of the offense, but we also want to gauge just how valuable he can be. He's going to catch a lot of passes and pick up a ton of yardage, but will his role be expanded in the red zone? It took him 10 weeks to find the end zone last year.

Typically, Bush takes the carries outside the tackles and catches a lot of swing passes. If he is getting more of the tough carries than his backfield mate, Deuce McAllister, bump up his value a bit.

Deuce McAllister, RB (NO):

When the New Orleans Saints drafted Bush, a lot of fantasy owners shied away from McAllister, but he still churned out 1,057 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2006.

Keep an eye on McAllister to make sure that he is still the same red zone threat. Also, the Saints didn't give Bush a ton of rushes between the tackles last year in an effort to keep him fresh. If McAllister is still doing the dirty work, he should produce another quality fantasy season.

Eric Johnson, TE (NO:

Johnson is an interesting sleeper prospect. In training camp, he was Brees' favorite target in the red zone.

This offense seems to cramp up a bit when it has less field to work with, which means that a tight end could really thrive here. Brees also had a lot of success with tight end Antonio Gates in San Diego.

Johnson is battling with Mark Campbell, who is out for Week One with a back injury, but Johnson is the better option anyway. He had 82 receptions and 895 receiving yards just two seasons ago.

Marques Colston/Devery Henderson/David Patten/Robert Meachem, WR (NO):

Joe Horn is gone, which moves up Marques Colston to the No. 1 spot this year. He basically manned the top spot last year, but dealing with higher expectations is another story.

With Colston receiving much more attention this time around, look for one of the other three Saints wideouts to thrive. It likely won't be Meachem, who is a rookie.


Keep an eye on Patten, who had a good preseason and is pushing Henderson for the No. 2 job.

Joseph Addai, RB (IND):

Last season, Addai carried the ball more than 20 times only twice in a game. In the offseason, Dominic Rhodes walked and the Colts never found a capable tag-team partner for Addai.

Watch to see if the Colts have a trick up their sleeve, such as a backup running back that none of us have heard of who will split the load (such as Kenton Keith, formerly of the CFL) or if they plan to feed Addai all he can eat. My guess is the latter will be the case, similar to what they used to have with Edgerrin James.

Dallas Clark/Byron Fletcher/Ben Utecht, TE (IND):

Without Brandon Stokley in the slot last season, the Colts relied on their two-tight end sets a lot more to supplement Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison in their passing game. But not one tight end stood head-and-shoulders above the rest.

If there was a surefire No. 1 guy, he would probably be a top-10 fantasy tight end. Just monitor the situation to see if Clark is going to be the main man or if it is going to be a platoon yet again.

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