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Favre is a Viking

August 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Well, it’s official (almost): Brett Favre has joined the Vikings. And apparently he will play this Friday against KC.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about how the Vikings were impacted by Favre’s decision not to sign with the team. (And apparently I was right when I said that we had not heard the last of Lord Favre.) And here we are, only a week into the preseason, and Favre has change his mind yet again. (Which is no surprise to this Packer fan.)

So, you can either go re-read that post and just assume the opposite is true, or you can read the discussion below. Or both. But if you do that, please kindly ignore any inconsistencies.

(1) Is Favre worth drafting in my fantasy league? Yes, he certainly is. But I would not take him too early. I have not had a chance to update my rankings in light of Favre unretiring, but I will likley put him in the 4th Tier, with guys like  QB Jay Cutler and QB Carson Palmer. The Vikings are a run-first team, but I expect Favre to average between 25-30 attempts per game. I might rank him higher, but I am still a little worried about his shoulder. Watch to see how he does during the preseason, and bump him up a little if it looks like he still has the ol’ rocket arm.

(2) How will the addition of Favre impact the MIN RBs? Obviously, having a capable QB will help RB Adrian Peterson. Assuming Favre’s shoulder is healthy, having him under center will force teams to respect the pass. Which will open up more running lanes for AP. Which could make him extremely dangerous. Although the Vikings will likely throw the ball a little more with Favre than they would have otherwise, AP will still get between 20-25 carries a game (he averaged 22.7 last year). And having Favre at QB should provide AP with more scoring opportunities. RB Chester Taylor is a better receiver than AP, but he is still the backup. He will see duty on third downs, but his role should not change all that much. His overall yardage totals will likely be slightly higher, simply due to the fact that the Vikings’ offense should be better.

(3) Will Favre make the MIN WRs fantasy superstars? Probably not. But he certainly does increase their value. WR Bernard Berrian has great deep speed, which makes him a good target for Favre, who loves to take chances. Favre is a great play-action QB, so with a RB like AP and a deep threat like Berrian, the Vikings are set up very well to take a few deep chances every game. Berrian is the most complete WR on the team and should lead them in receptions. WR Sidney Rice has been up and down during his career, although mostly he has been hampered by injuries. If he can stay healthy this year, he could benefit greatly from the arrival of Favre. I have always been a fan of Rice, who has great size and pretty good speed. Now he has a QB who likes to throw the ball up and let his WRs go get it. Which is where Rice could shine. Although I am still not convinced WR Percy Harvin is going to make an impact as a WR in his rookie year. But he does have loads of talent. And the Vikings seem intent on working him into the offense. As with the other players, the arrival of Favre certainly boosts his value. But it remains unclear how many touches he will get or how consistent he will be. I would be more inclined to take a chance on him now than I was before, simply because the Vikings will have a more well-rounded offensive attack, but I still think many people overvalue Harvin.

(4) How about that TE with the weird name? Funny you should ask. TE Visanthe Shiancoe quietly had a pretty productive 2008, with 596 yards and 7 TDs. And Favre likes to target his TEs. Which means Shiancoe could have an even more productive 2009. I had him as the 17th (Tier 5) TE before Favre. I will probably bump him up into Tier 4 (somewhere between 11th and 13th) now.


RB Rankings: Updated!

July 30, 2009 3 comments

Check out my updated RB Rankings:

My (new) Top 10:

1. Adrian Peterson
2. Matt Forte
3. Maurice Jones-Drew
4. Michael Turner
5. Steven Jackson
6. Chris Johnson
7. Steve Slaton
8. LaDainian Tomlinson
9. Frank Gore
10. DeAngelo Williams

The Favre Effect

July 29, 2009 Leave a comment

Well, by now you have all heard the news: Brett Favre informed the Vikings yesterday that he plans to stay retired. As a life-long Packer fan, I must say, this news pleases me. I was not worried that Favre would lead the Vikings to a couple victories over my beloved Green and Gold. I simply did not want the deal with the media circus that was sure to surround him on a weely basis. Favre was a magical figure in my eyes while he was in Green Bay, but even I grew tired of the constant adulation and praise given to him by the media. And, as you can imagine, it only got worse when he was considering playing for the Viqueens.

Either way, this is somewhat surprising, since most people (including me) assumed he would come back and play in Minnesota in 2009. And I can only assume that many people built this assumption into their RB rankings, with RB Adrian Peterson sitting atop most lists (including mine).

In light of this news, there are some issues to address:

(1) Who will be the Vikings starting QB in 2009? It will likely be determined by a camp battle, but despite HC Brad Childress’ man-crush on QB Tavaris Jackson, I think the newly-acquired QB Sage Rosenfels will end up getting the nod. Rosenfels played adequately last year as a fill-in for the oft-injured QB Matt Schaub in Houston. Although he has an uncanny ability to throw a game-changing interception, he actually has a pretty sold set of skills. And I think he gives the Vikings the best chance to win.

(2) How will this impact RB Adrian Peterson? Without a guy like Favre under center, the Vikings will (once again) rely on the very-capable legs of AP. He had 360-plus carries in 2008 (including 20 more in the playoffs), so it is hard to believe he could be used more, but I do think the Vikings will be a run-first team, using AP and RB Chester Taylor to carry the team. I would have felt better about his fantasy value if Favre was handing him the ball, but AP can get it done no matter who is the QB. Assuming Rosenfels does win the job, I think teams will have to respect the pass enough to give him some room to run (and run and run and run).

(3) Where do the Viking WRs rank? Not very high, is the simplest answer. Honesty, even with the prospect of Favre joining the Vikings, I was not very high on any of the Viking WRs. In my rankings, I currently have WR Bernard Berrian at 29 (Tier 4), WR Sidney Rice at 62 (Tier 7), and WR Percy Harvin right behind him at 63 (Tier 7).  I do not think much changes, although I am definitely less excited about WR Sidney Rice as a potential sleeper without Favre hucking him balls. Regardless of who is QB, the only WR you should consider drafting for anything other than a sleeper is Berrian, and he is a borderline WR3, at best.

(4) Is Favre really going to stay retired this time? Childress apparently said the door is closed. But something tells me we have not heard the last of Lord Favre…

Update: Barber Out

December 6, 2008 Leave a comment

RB Marion Barber (toe) has been ruled out for this week’s game.  Apparently, he did not even make the trip to Pittsburgh.

So RB Tashard Choice will start at RB for the Cowboys.  I do not expect him to have much success, however, against the best defense in the NFL.

Update: Deuce McAllister Suspended

December 2, 2008 Leave a comment

As expected, RB Deuce McAllister has been suspended by the NFL due to a violation of the league’s steroid policy.

This greatly increases the value of RB Pierre Thomas, and to a lesser extend RB Reggie Bush (who is still recovering from a knee injury).

Also, it is worth nothing that Vikings DT Pat Williams and Vikings DT Kevin Williams have been suspended, which means that the Vikings run defense should no longer be feared as one of the NFL’s best.

Other players suspended include Saints DE Charles Grant and Saints DE Will Smith, which will also make the Saints defense less effective (although they were never that scary to begin with).

Update: Brady Quinn to start Thursday

November 3, 2008 Leave a comment

QB Brady Quinn has been named the starter in Cleveland, and will make his debut against the Denver Broncos on Thursday night.

Advice: I am not sure what to think of this. Obviously, QB Derek Anderson was really struggling this year, but there is no guarantee that Quinn will do any better. I am going to go out on a limb (sorta) and say that Quinn will do better than Anderson, thereby improving the value of guys like WR Braylon Edwards and TE Kellen Winslow. Consider adding Quinn, who has a very favorable matchup next week against the Broncos. However, do not expect much out of Quinn in his first NFL start. And also remember that Edwards has dropped a ton of passes this year, which likely would have happened with Quinn at QB. So temper your expectations for him, as well.

Update: RB Deuce McAllister to be suspended?

October 24, 2008 Leave a comment

ESPN has reported that Saints RB Deuce McAllister is among 10 to 15 players who might have tested positive under the NFL’s steroid policy. The NFL rules dictate that a first offense carries a 4-game suspension.

Advice: It is not certain that McAllister will be suspended (and I believe he will be available this weekend, either way), but if you have McAllister (or are in need of RB help), you should consider adding RB Pierre Thomas. If McAllister does miss any time, Thomas should get quite a bit of work, since RB Reggie Bush is also out for the next few weeks with a knee injury. Keep an eye on this situation and see how it develops.