If fantasy football was impacted by the win-loss record of the team, then I would want to own Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers galore. However, it’s typically the quarterbacks on these teams for whom you would like to own. Teams that score touchdowns win. Teams that don’t score usually wind up on the outside looking in from the playoffs. Defense is equally important in NFL championship runs. That’s why the Seahawks and 49ers are largely expected to return to the playoffs and make a strong run to the Super Bowl. Vegas lines and predictions have these teams pegged neck and neck atop the odds.

Stepping away from fantasy football for the opening week I would like to turn the attention towards those Super Bowl contenders and predictions for the upcoming season. The season opens with a renewed optimism that every hometown team has a legitimate shot at the Lombardi trophy and with clean slates, it’s very possible for teams that have been long been playoff dormant to inspire a city on an improbable playoff run.

Looking at the cast of characters in both conferences it’s come to my attention that Peter King from Sports Illustrated has made the bold prediction that Super Bowl XLVIII will be won by the New England Patriots over the Seattle Seahawks. Wow, a rematch of week 6’s contest in Seattle that featured the infamous jawing Richard Sherman doled out to Tom Brady, “You mad, bro?”

While that is a bit of homer pick, if you ask me, I would point out that New England is as ready to compete for a Super Bowl this season as Bill Maher is ready for a religious experience. Simply put, it’s just not going to happen. As the model of consistency for the past decade in the NFL, the Patriots have been unbeatable in the AFC North while the rest of the division looks like the day after a Lamar Odom bender. The problem with King’s prediction is that while a quarterback is arguably the most important cog in the wheel of a team, it’s the defense that wins championships.

As cliché as that sounds, it is a fact. Based on the offseason moves, overall talent and experience I am inclined to predict the Seahawks, 49ers or dark-horse candidate Washington Redskins as likely contenders to hoist the Lombardi trophy at Met Life stadium come winter.

The teams mentioned in title contention have been playoff tested. It benefits teams who are more tested throughout the regular season, gain momentum into the playoffs and find the right amount of talent and chemistry to grind out victories. Home-field advantage doesn’t hurt either, which is why I think the NFC West champion will have a much greater chance of making a Super Bowl run than the wild-card.

For the AFC Championship game I have the Denver Broncos vs. the Cincinnati Bengals and NFC Championship will be the upstart Seattle Seahawks vs. Washington Redskins. When it’s all said and done I’m going with the NFC to win it all this year. In a rematch of the wild-card round from last season, I’ll go with the team who has the home-field advantage in that game as the eventual Super Bowl champion.

Call me a homer, but in a year where much of nothing is happening in our nation’s capital – here’s looking at you Congress – I’ll take London Fletcher and Robert Griffin III for the win.

Fantasy Tip of the Week:

Do not drop anyone outside the top 100 on your team because they are injured. Patience my friends, the NFL season is a marathon and depth is always a factor. It’s better to be injured early with a time table for return than suffer that setback mid-season. Best of luck this season!