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Archive for August, 2009

New Design

August 31, 2009 Leave a comment

Yes. It is still the same great/crappy fantasy football advice you got before. But now it looks different. I got bored with the other one. So now I am going to use this one. Until I get bored with it and change to something else. Enjoy.

Categories: Random Thoughts

RB Handcuffs

August 31, 2009 Leave a comment

As I have said before, you should not automatically grab the “handcuff” for the RBs you draft simply because they are their real life backup.

However, there are some “handcuffs” you should defnitely grab if you draft certain RBs. And here is a list of guys that, if you draft them, you should also draft their “handcuff”:

RB Adrian Peterson (MIN): Peterson has been a workhorse since he came into the league as a rookie. But he is not without injury concerns. And he may have one of the better backups in the league in RB Chester Taylor. If AP misses any time, Taylor should put up very good numbers in his stead.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew (JAX): MJD has had a very healthy career thus far. But he has also been limited in the amount of touches he’s had. This year JAX (finally) expects to use him as a fulltime ballcarrier. Although that increases his fantasy value, it also increases his chance to get injured. There has been no official word from JAX on his backup, but I expect RB Chauncey Washington would get the nod (initially) to take over the load. But also keep an eye on rookie RB Rashad Jennings, who could get some touches, too.

RB Michael Turner (ATL): Whether you believe “The Curse of 370” or not, you cannot argue with the fact that there is a body of statistical evidence out there that says it is very likely Turner will get injurd this year. So, even if you do not believe it, you should play the odds and pickup his backup. Unfortunately, his top backup, RB Jerious Norwood, suffered a knee injury recently. But he should be fine by the time Turner goes down. But you should also keep an eye on RB Jason Snelling and rookie RB Thomas Brown, who could get some work if Turner succumbs to “the curse”.

RB Frank Gore (SF): Gore is a highly-ranked RB this year, due to his skill level, the offense he is working in, and his history of being productive. However, he also has a history of being injury-prone. And rookie RB Glenn Cofffee is playing ver well. So add him if you have Gore, and look like a genius when Gore misses time and you casually insert Coffee into the lineup and pile up the points.

RB Brian Westbrook (PHI): If you gamble on Westbrook early, you need to make sure you get RB LeSean McCoy later in the draft. McCoy should put up very Westbrook-like numbers if/when Westbrook goes down.

RB Marion Barber (DAL): It is not entirely clear what role Barber will have in the DAL offense this year. But he should get enough touches to make him a very solid RB2. Either way, in the event that his brutish running-style causes him to miss any games, look for RB Tashard Choice to pick up his touches. RB Felix Jones should continue to get his own touches no matter what, although they would likely increase in the event that Barber goes down.

RB Pierre Thomas (NO): Thomas came into the year with high expectatoins, but an MCL injury has put his status for week 1 in doubt. If you have Thomas on your team, you should also add RB Mike Bell, who would benefit immensely if Thomas misses any time.

RB Clinton Porits (WAS): Those who had Portis on their team last year remember how much fun it was at the beginning of the season when he was killing it. And they also remember how miserable it was at the end of the year when he was getting killed. And now there are reports that he has a bruised rib. I love Portis and think he is about as tough as they come for NFL RBs. But as a result of his toughness, he often has nagging injuries. I think RB Ladell Betts will be involved more this year, and he should be on your roster if you own Portis.

RB Marshawn Lynch (BUF): We already know Lynch is going to miss the first 3 games of the year, which means RB Fred Jackson is going to get a majority of the touches during that time. Add him to your roster if you have Lynch, not only for those first three games, but also for later, just in case Lynch gets injured or cannot keep his nose clean.

RB Thomas Jones (NYJ): Thomas is getting older and has not looked good so far this year. But he did have a career-year in 2008, so it is hard to discount him completely. Either way, if he were to get hurt or become entirely ineffective, RB Shonn Greene would probably take over his role as the main ballcarrier. Although I think RB Leon Washington is the only NYJ RB worth owning, Greene will probbaly do alright in the event Jones goes down. But, like the situation in DAL, Washington would probably see his touches go up, as well.

RB Knowshon Moreno (DEN): Moreno has a ton of potential, unfortunately we have no idea whether he will ever meet said potential, because we have yet to see him play in the NFL for any legitimate amount of time due to a knee injury he suffered early on in his first preseason game (after a long holdout). I suspect he will be fine once he recovers, but if you took a flyer on him in your draft, you should also add RB Peyton Hillis, who seems (to me, anyway) as the best option DEN has if/when Moreno is out. RB Correll Buckhalter and RB LaMont Jordan are also in the mix, I suppose, but Hillis should be the most effective RB in the group.

RB Joseph Addai (IND): Addai has been fairly ineffective recently, and he has struggled to stay healthy. Enter rookie RB Donald Brown, who has looked sharp so far. It is hard to say what will happen with this RBBC, but it is safe to say that if Addai gets injured or cannot get the job done, Brown will step in and could do very well.

RB Jamal Lewis (CLE): Lewis has looked slow this preseason and is at that magical age (30) when RBs go down hill. So if you take him, you should also grab RB James Davis, who could supplant him as the starter by midseason.

RB Willie Parker (PIT): Parker has seen his YPC go down each year since becoming the starter. That is not a good sign of things to come. So if you take Fast Willie, make sure you also grab RB Rashard Mendenhall, who should see his role increase as the year goes along, especially if FWP cannot stay healthy.

Undrafted Watch List

August 31, 2009 Leave a comment

I had a couple drafts this weekend, and now that they are over, I noticed that there are some players available on waivers that you should keep an eye on as the season starts. If they start to perform, add them to your roster.

RB Mike Goodson (CAR): Goodson is in a great situation, because CAR has a great OL and they love to run the ball. Unfortunately, he is stuck behind two very good (and productive) RBs. However, since RB Jonathan Stewart cannot seem to stay on the field, Goodson has some value. Because CAR runs too much to give all the touches to one RB.

RB Glenn Coffee (SF): He is burried behind RB Frank Gore, which means his touches will be limited. But if Gore misses any time, Coffee could be very productive. And since Gore has been known to miss a few games now and then, make sure you keep an eye on Coffee.

RB Bernard Scott (CIN): Scott has looked better than expected in the preseason. But CIN seems intent on giving RB Cedric Benson his shot. I actually think Benson could do well this year. But if/when he falters, consider adding Scott.

RB Chauncey Washington (JAX): Although no official announcement has been made, it seems as though Washington has the lead in the race for RB2 in JAX. Obviously, RB Maurice Jones-Drew will get most of the touches. But someone has to share the load.

RB Javon Ringer (TEN): The backfield in TEN is already very crowded. But Ringer has looked good in the preseason, and could work his way into the rotation. However, unless RB Chris Johnson or RB LenDale White get injured, his value is pretty limited.

WR James Jones (GB): Jones has a lot of talent, but has been limited by injuries. However, he is healthy this year, and looks to assume the role of the WR3 in GB. QB Aaron Rodgers looks very sharp, and Jones could end up putting up some solid numbers against favorable matchups.

WR Austin Collie (IND): Everyone seemed to jump on the WR Pierre Garcon bandwagon early and forgot about Collie. But he is very much still in the gameplan for IND. At this point, I am not sure either one is worth a roster spot, but when it becomes clear which one will get more looks, they are probably worth picking up.

WR Louis Murphy (OAK): All the attention in OAK seems to be focused on rookie WR Darius Heyward-Bey and second-year sleeper WR Chaz Schilens. However, since DHB is not really, you know, very good, and Schilens is on the sidelines nursing an injured foot, Murphy has gotten a chance to shine. And he has done pretty well. I am not sure if it is really worth owning any WR in OAK, but see how Murphy does as the season starts. He could be surprisingly productive.

WR Marko Mitchell (WAS): If you want to impress your friends/enemies with a super-duper-hella-deep sleeper, toss out the name “Marko Mitchell”. He was a 7th round pick this year, and is not even a lock to make the final roster. But if he does make it, keep an eye on him. The WAS WRs have been less than impressive, so there is a chance that Mitchell could work his way up if he continues to play well.

WR Miles Austin (DAL): With WR Roy Williams getting injured — and really not looking all that impressive in the preseason — there is room for some other WRs to get some extra attention from QB Tony Romo. Austin has played well and could end up getting enough looks to make him worth adding to your roster.

WR Brian Hartline (MIA): Most people thought the battle for the starting WR opposite WR Ted Ginn was between WR Greg Camarillo and WR Davone Bess, but Hartline has been playing with the 1st team offense for a week or 2, and it seems just as likely that he will end up the starter as it does either of the others will win the job. Although the passing game in MIA is nothing to get too excited about, Hartline could be a sneaky sleeper if he wins the job.

WR Mike Thomas (JAX): Unfortunately, Thomas has been limited by a hamstring injury during the preseason. So it’s hard to tell whether he will be an effective WR at this level. But the competition for looks in JAX is not all that impressive, so if he can get healthy, there is an opportunity to work his way into the lineup as a slot WR. He is very quick/fast with the ball in his hands.

WR Deon Butler (SEA): The SEA running game is not going to scare anyone. And QB Matt Hasselbeck is healthy, which means SEA will likely throw the ball a lot. Butler is a rookie, but runs good routes and has great quickness. He could begin to get enough looks to make him worth a roster spot.

TE Jermichael Finley (TE): Finley has been very productive in the preseason, and GB keeps finding ways to get him the ball. Against ARI, he lined up at WR and caught a TD on a nice fade pass from QB Aaron Rodgers, beating CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. He is a matchup nightmare, and could end up scoring quite a few TDs this year.

TE Visanthe Shiancoe (MIN): I am surprised that he is going undrafted in many leagues. He was a top-5 TE in 2008, and now has a QB who often looks to his TEs in the red zone.

I am confident that in the world of internal medicine, my intellectual curiosity will never be idle.

Don’t Buy the Hype

August 28, 2009 Leave a comment

Everyone loves to put together lists of sleepers during the preasons, to show how smart they are and how well they can evaluate up-and-coming talent. But most of the guys on these lists will not do anything during the regular season.

On an entirely unrelated note, please see my list of sleepers here.

So, here are some guys who have been identified as “sleepers” by many (including me) who are not likely to be worth a pick. They are, however, worth keeping an eye on, because if they continue to perofrm, they will be worth adding as a FA or WW acquisition.

QB Michael Vick (PHI): I am annoyed that I keep finding myself writing about Vick. Hey, I am fine that the guy is getting a second chance. In fact, I support his endeavor to return to NFL stardom. Lord knows I have had my fair share of second chances. But do we really have to follow his every step? Or does ESPN and NFLN have to show every single snap he takes — four times? He is a backup QB who will get a few snaps a game. But he will never put up enough stats to make him worthwhile as a starter. Who knows, though. Maybe I am wrong. I hope I am. But there is no way I will waste a draft pick on a guy like him. I would rather take QB Jamarcus Russell than Vick. At least Russell plays every snap.

WR Troy Williamson (JAX): He has caught some balls and put up some yards in the preseason, but I am still not buying into the hype. I have him on my list of sleepers (gotta cover my bases, right?), but I think he is only worth consideration in very deep leagues. Even if he does continue to catch passes (as opposed to, you know, dropping them like he usually does), he will be a Devery Henderson type player — catching one or two long bombs each game, or catching nothing. Too risky.

WR David Clowney (NYJ): Clowney seems kinda like Williams, insofar as he has looked good in the preseason catching mostly long passes, but I am not convinced that he will continue to produce during the regular season. It is also worth noting that Clowney led the NFL in receiving yards during the preseason in 2008. And then he proceeded to have exactly 1 catch during the regular season. I do think Clowney will have a somewhat productive year, since he is (currently) listed as the starter opposite WR Jerricho Cotchery. As you may know, I have Clowney listed as a sleeper (I think), but I consider him a “deep” sleeper who has a pretty high chance of not showing up.

RB Shonn Greene (NYJ): Some people are convinced that Shonn Greene is going to take over for RB Thomas Jones at some point this season. While I do expect Jones to experience a decline in production this year, I do not expect him to be replaced by the rookie. First, I am not all that high on Greene. Second, RB Leon Washington will still get a lot of touches in this offense no matter how well Jones (or Greene) is playing. So even if Greene does get some carries, he is probably not worth starting anytime soon. I would allow Greene to go undrafted and consider picking him up later if it looks like the NJY are going to use him.

Alright… That is enough for now. It’s Friday night. And it’s time for me to go have some fun. And by “fun” I mean prepare for my auction draft tomorrow…

Do Not Draft List

August 28, 2009 Leave a comment

So, I (finally) have my first draft this weekend. It is a live auction draft with a group of friends, so it should be fun. As I finalize my rankings and prepare for the draft, I like to make a “Do Not Draft List” with all the guys I am going to avoid at all costs. Most of these guys I want to avoid because I think they are too risky — i.e. they will either bust or get injured. Some of them, I simply do not like.

DO NOT DRAFT

QB Kurt Warner (ARI): Age, injury history, and, well, that’s pretty much it.

QB Eli Manning (NYG): Mouthbreather.

QB Brett Favre (MIN): Traitor.

QB Mike Vick (PHI): He will miss the first part of the season. And he is a backup QB. I still do not get whey people are drafting him.

QB Pat White (MIA): Again: Backup QB. 3rd string, even. Yes, I realize he will run the Wildcat. So, put him in at QB one week. And enjoy losing your game. You would be better off with QB Brady Quinn as your starting QB.

RB Brian Westbrook (PHI): Everyone is convinced that this is the year he falls apart. Which means he will probably blow up. So, I guess you can thank me.

RB Thomas Jones (NJY): Career year last year. Career-ending year this year?

RB Jamal Lewis (CLE): He’s had a nice run. But I think he is phased out this year in favor of RB James Davis.

RB Joseph Addai (IND): He could do well. Or he could get replaced by RB Donald Brown. I am not taking the risk.

RB Willie Parker (PIT): Oh, FWP, we’ve had some good times. But, seriously, now it’s time for you to leave.

RB Derrick Ward (TB): He is sharing the job with RB Earnest Graham and RB Cadillac Williams. And Ward will find that life is a lot tougher when not running behind the NYG OL.

RB Jonathan Stewart (CAR): He has to prove he can stay healthy before I add him to my roster.

WR Larry Fitzgerald (ARI): Call me silly or call me stupid, but I am a believer in the Madden Curse.

WR Terrell Owens (BUF): Toe injuries scare me. And so does the OL in BUF.

WR Michael Crabtree (SF): His hubris is unreal.

WR Brandon Marshall (DEN): Extremely talented. Extremely stupid.

WR Antonio Bryant (TB): No way he has back-to-back monster years. Especially not with those QBs.

WR Devin Hester (CHI): He is not a WR. I repeat: He is not a WR.

Updated Rankings

August 27, 2009 Leave a comment

I updated all my rankings — including Busts and Sleepers today.

So check them out — by clicking on the individual links below or by going to the Player Rankings page.

QB Rankings

RB Rankings

WR Rankings

TE Rankings

Sleepers

Busts

Preseason Injury Updates

August 25, 2009 Leave a comment

Here are some notable injuries to be aware of as you draft your teams and/or scour the waiver wires after your drafts:

QB Kurt Warner (ARI): Warner is old and has a hip issue. Although his hip is reportedly getting better, it is still a concern.

QB Carson Palmer (CIN): Palmer missed nearly all of 2008 with an elbow injury, only to injure his ankle upon his return to the field in 2009. I do not expect either to be very serious, but it would be nice to see him play a little more before the real action begins.

QB Drew Brees (NO): Thankfully, Brees is not hurt. But his starting LT Jamaal Brown is. Which does impact Brees’ value. Brees is still a top-ranked fantasy QB, but this might be enough to bump QB Tom Brady above him.

QB Brett Favre (MIN): Favre ended 2008 on a down note due to a bum shoulder. He seems to be ready to go this year, but keep an eye on him and see how he feels after throwing a few passes.

RB Jonathan Stewart (CAR): The most recent reports say that Stewart will miss the rest of the preseason due to a lingering achilles injury. This is bad news for Stewart but very good news for RB DeAngelo Williams, who would benefit immensely from the absence of Stewart.

RB Brian Westbrook (PHI): Westbrook had offseason ankle surgery, and is likely recovering from any number of other injuries he sustained in 2008. Many think 2009 could be the end of the line for Westbrook, but he is a tough player and will not go away easily. But do pay attention to his injury status, because RB LeSean McCoy is lurking in the shadows waiting for his chance to shine.

RB Pierre Thomas (NO): Thomas suffered a minor sprain to his MCL recently, but should be fine by the time week 1 rolls around.

RB Reggie Bush (NO): Bush is reportedly going to see his first action in the next preseason game after missing time due to various injuries. Which is nothing new for Bush.

RB Knowshon Moreno (DEN): After all the hype and the holdout, all Moreno did was get injured. When healthy, he should get enough touches in DEN to make him a borderline RB2. Keep an eye on his knee.

RB Beanie Wells (ARI): Another rookie with some hype was Wells. But no one was surprised when he hurt his ankle on the first day of camp. Wells has dealt with injury issues throughout his career. So it is worth seeing how quickly he recovers.

RB Marshawn Lynch (BUF): Lynch is not injured, but he will miss the first 3 games of the season due to a suspension. If RB Fred Jackson (see below) is healthy, he should get the carries. Otherwise, RB Xavier Omon could get some extra work, along with RB Dominic Rhodes.

RB Fred Jackson (BUF): Jackson has been dealing with a wrist injury and recently left practice due to a thumb injury. It is not yet clear how serious either one is, but since Lynch will miss some time, it is worth following his progress.

WR Calvin Johnson (DET): Johnson returned to practice recently after missing some time with a thumb injury. I think he should be fine for the regular season. If not, he could still probably put up 1000 yards with one hand.

WR Terrell Owens (BUF): Owens will miss another preseason game with a sore toe. Which is not good. Foot/toe injuries have a way of lingering and causing problems all year. Hopefully this one is not serious.

WR Antonio Bryant (TB): Bryant added to the long list of question marks hovering over him heading into 2009 when he injured his meniscus. He could be ready by week 1, but the timetable for his return is not clear. I was already avoiding him, so this does not help his cause.

WR Donnie Avery (STL): Avery suffered a foot injury early in camp, but the reports are that he is on the road to recovery. He could have a very good year, but there are a lot of question marks in STL, including the OL and the QB.

WR Chaz Schilens (OAK): Schilens was rocketing up draft boards (which was easy, since he started near the bottom) and was on everyone’s sleeper lists, and then he broke a bone in his foot and had to have surgery. He will miss the first couple games of the season, but should be back eventually and ready to make an impact.

WR Nate Washington (TEN): Washington injured his hamstring and will miss the remaining 2 preseason games. Which is unfortunate, because it seemed like TEN was working on getting him more involved in the offense.

WR Mike Sims-Walker (JAX): Walker is another sleeper candidate who cannot seem to get on the field and prove he is worthy of a late-round pick. I still like his potential, but he needs to show me something before I waste a pick on him rather than someone else — like his teammate WR Troy Williamson, who is playing well in place of Sims-Walker in the lineup.

WR Michael Crabtree (SF): Crabtree is not injured (that I know of), he is simply being a complete idiot and not signing a contract. Obviously, if he is not under contract, he will not play. So you draft him at your own risk.

That is all I have for now. I am sure I missed someone, or someone else will get injured. So check back for injury updates as we get closer to the regular season.