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I think…

September 21, 2009 Leave a comment

1. I think … I’m glad I had RB Chris Johnson on my team in one league. But I am not so glad I had to play against him in another.

2. I think … RB Cedric Benson is shaping up to be a very nice RB2. He is tied with RB Michael Turner for the most carries in the league through 2 weeks.

3. I think … the GB offense has disappointed thus far. The OL is the problem. And it could have a major affect on QB Aaron Rodgers, RB Ryan Grant, and WR Greg Jennings if it does not improve.

4. I think … NYJ CB Darrelle Revis is very good. He held WR Andre Johnson to 4 catches for 35 yards in week 1 and WR Randy Moss to 4 catches for 24 yards in week 2. I might consider benching your WRs against him.

5. I think … RB Darren Sproles is not a great RB. But, damn, he is great when he gets the ball in space. He is worth starting every week, especially while RB LaDainian Tomlinson is hurt.

6. I think … RB Felix Jones could benefit greatly if RB Marion Barber misses any time due to his quad injury. But watch for RB Tashard Choice to get some touches, too.

7. I think … As (I) expected, WR Devin Hester is not a real WR. However, its a little surprising to see rookie WR Jonny Knox has become the leading WR in Chicago.

8. I think … I love the NFL. QB Jay Cutler throws 4 INTs and CHI loses go GB in week 1. Then CHI beats PIT in week 2, and GB loses to CIN. So tough early on to tell who is for real.

9. I think … QB Matt Ryan is the real deal. And TE Tony Gonzalez is his new best friend.

10. I think … I was wrong about WR Dominic Hixon. It looks like WR Mario Manningham and WR Steve Smith are going to lead the way. One or both might even be available in your league.

Preseason Wrapup

September 1, 2009 Leave a comment

Yeah, I know. There is still one week of the preseason left. But the starters rarely play any significant amount of time in the 4th preseason game. So now seems like as good a time as any to look back at the preseason and see what we learned.

So, with that in mind: I know it’s only preseason, but…

1. The Packers offense looks very good. I have said a few times already that I expect QB Aaron Rodgers to end the season as the top scoring player in fantasy (and to back this up, I picked him in two of my three leagues so far this year). Rodgers has looked very sharp in the preseason, completing 27 of 38 passes for 458 yards, with 6 TDs and no interceptions — and he did this in approximately 4 quarters of play. Which is, like, pretty good. Beyond Rodgers, though, there is RB Ryan Grant, who should get 300 carries and rebound from his poor 2008, WR Greg Jennings, who is a top-10 (and maybe even top-5) WR, WR Donald Driver, who is an undervalued WR3, and sleepers such as WR James Jones and TE Jermichael Finley, who could put up good numbers in an offense that should be in the top 5 in the league.

2. We have no idea what TO will do in Buffalo. TO looked like he could still play early during BUF’s 1st preseason game. But that is all we saw of him. He has missed the rest of the preseason with a mysterious toe injury. I have my own issues with TO — mostly related to the QB and OL in BUF — but there is no denying the guy’s talent. If you like to gamble, you can probably get a pretty good deal on him.

3. Chris Henry could be very good. I have had this kid on many of my fantasy teams in the past, only to end up disappointed by his inconsistency and apparent stupidity. But now it seems like he has things figured out. He caught a TD in each of the preseason games, and is a prime candidate to replace the production that went with WR TJ Houshmandzadeh to SEA. He is a great sleeper pick.

4. Brett Favre still has it. At least for a few more weeks. No one really doubted that Favre could still play. I think the real question is whether he can still play for 16 (or 19 or 20) weeks. I suspect he will look pretty sharp during the early portion of the season, but judgment day(s) will come later in the year when he is getting tired and beat up. Will he still have the desire? Will his body hold up? Who knows. But he does give the other offensive players in MIN a boost — at least in the short-term.

5. We have no idea what any of the rookie RBs will do. There is some great talent at RB in this year’s rookie class. Unfortunatley, we still do not know whether any of them will be productive. We finally got to see RB Beanie Wells last week against GB, and he looked good, but questions linger about his injury issues. Everyone was excited when RB Knowshon Moreno ended his holdout, but he only lasted half a game and then was injured. And we still have no idea how DEN plans to use him. RB Donald Brown was a popular sleeper pick, but IND does not seem like it has any plans to give up on RB Joseph Addai any time soon. RB LeSean McCoy finds himself in a similar position — if (when?) RB Brian Westbrook goes down, McCoy should blow up. But what if that does not happen? Enough people are predicting Westbrook’s demise that I am convinced it is not going to happen. RB Shonn Greene is also waiting behind an aging veteran. But we have no idea when or if he will see the field. In fact, out of all the rookie RBs, RB James Davis might have the best chance of seeing the field sooner rather than later. He is stuck behind an ineffective and aging RB Jamal Lewis, and there have been rumors that Lewis might not make the final roster. (But you know how rumors go…) Overall, I think Wells has the best chance to have a big fantasy season, but Brown and McCoy could blow up if injuries open the door. And keep an eye on Davis — he is a sleeper if I ever saw one.

6. The Seahawks could surprise some people. SEA was terrible last year. But that was mostly due to a rash of injuries. Although they still have some issues along the OL, and RB Julius Jones does not scare [m]any teams, their offense could be pretty good. QB Matt Hasselbeck is a sleeper at QB, WR TJ Houshmandzadeh is a very good value at WR, TE John Carlson is a great value at TE, and WR Deon Butler is a deep sleeper. Shoot, even Jones is the main ballcarrier, so he should put up solid yardage totals and can likely be picked very late in your draft.

7. Eli Manning is still a mouthbreather. Nothing has changed. Except now he has lost his favorite target at WR. Which means he will probably do a lot more mouthbreating and blaming his teammates when things do not go right.

8. The Raiders are one messed up franchise. There are guys in OAK with potential — RB Darren McFadden, RB Michael Bush, WR Chaz Schilens, TE Zach Miller — but can we really trust anyone in OAK to produce on a weekly basis? The team is so dysfunctional that it seems foolish to draft any of them. Which really makes me wonder why I took both Bush and Schilens in one of my recent drafts…

9. Brady and Moss could return to their 2007 form. The circus that is the Brady-to-Moss connection could be back. They make it look too easy. Way too easy. Which is why I made sure to grab Moss in a couple of my leagues. I expect him and Brady to put up huge numbers. And since Moss is going as the 3rd or 4th WR, he is a great value, because he could very well end up as the number 1 WR at the end of the year — especially since the other top WRs — WR Larry Fitzgerald, WR Andre Johnson, and WR Calvin Johnson — all have QB health/quality issues.

10. Fantasy football is fun. I am so glad the season is (almost) here. I have been thinking about this sh!t way too long. So I am happy that the season is right around the corner…

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.

Stock Up

August 25, 2009 Leave a comment

It’s tough to predict much based on the preseason. Most top players only get a few series per game, and even then it is hard to tell much. But there are some players who look very sharp, and as a result, they see their fantasy draft stock rise. Here is a list of players who are looking very good and are moving up draft boards.

QB Aaron Rodgers (GB): Rodgers has looked very sharp in the preseason and I am confident that he will end the season as one of the top fantasy players. If he continues to look this sharp, it is going to be hard to keep him out of the top 3 QBs in the rankings.

QB Tony Romo (DAL): Just in case you forgot, Romo is a very good QB. WR Terrell Owens certainly made him better, but Romo will still do very well even without TO. He has looked good so far and should play very well this year, despite the fact that DAL wants to focus on the running game more.

QB Matt Hasselbeck (SEA): After a miserable 2008 season marred by injuries all across the board, Hasselbeck has looked very sharp this year. Besides being healthy, Hasselbeck is now throwing to newly-acquired WR TJ Houshmandzadeh, a healthy (for now) WR Deion Branch, and impressive rookie WR Deon Butler. Plus, second-year TE John Carlson looks to build on a solid rookie campaign. I do not expect Hasselbeck to be among the top-scoring fantasy QBs, but he does present a very nice value in the later rounds as a backup who could post solid numbers in favorable matchups.

RB DeAngelo Williams (CAR): Count me among the skeptics. And by that, I mean I am not one who expects DeAngelo to continue his unreal performance to end 2008. However, I am reconsidering that position, because DeAngelo has looked very good this preseason, and RB Jonathan Stewart cannot seem to stay healthy, which is an issue he has dealt with since his college days in Oregon. If Stewart’s injury issues continue, DeAngelo’s stock goes way up. But even if he returns, I think we can expect DeAngelo to do quite well in 2009.

RB Darren McFadden (OAK): Obviously, McFadden is not going to average 8.5 YPC all year. But that is what he is doing in the preseason. Which shows that he has big-play ability. I am still worried about him as a full-time RB, but OAK runs the ball enough and will use him out of the backfield as a receiver to allow him to post pretty solid fantasy numbers.

RB Ray Rice (BAL): Rice has been steadily rising up draft boards for awhile. Which kind of worries me. I liked him a lot more before when he was undervalued. I think the hype surrounding him now could push him high enough where he is borderline overvalued. Either way, his stock is going up, because he seems to be ready to handle the load in BAL. RB Willis McGahee will still get some carries, and LeRon McClain is always a threat to steal TDs. But Rice is the best all-around RB on the roster. And it was nice to see him get a 3-yard TD against NYJ. It was also nice to see him as the only RB to get carries with the 1st team offense.

RB Cedric Benson (CIN): I am aware of his past, but he seems to have found a new home in CIN. And, if nothing else, he is set to get a lot of touches in what should be a much-improved offense. He should be a solid RB3 and you can get him very late in most drafts.

RB Leon Washington (NYJ): This guy is extremely fast/quick and catches the ball very well out of the backfield. I think RB Thomas Jones is on the way out, but I am not convinced that RB Shonn Greene is the answer. Instead, I think NYJ will try to get Washington the ball more often and let him work in space.

RB Ryan Grant (GB): Grant teased us with a great finish in 2007, only to limp through 2008 with an injured hamstring after holding out all through camp. But Grant looks much quicker and faster this preseason, which makes me think he is ready to regain his late-2007 form. Plus, the GB offense looks very sharp and primed to score a ton of points. And you have to love a guy who is not part of a RBBC, even if he is not all that dynamic.

WR Troy Williamson (JAX): Thus far in his career, Williamson has been known mostly for not being able to catch the ball. But this preseason, he is actually becoming known for making catches. In fact, he leads all WRs in the preseason with 221 yards (on only 7 catches). He is still considered a very deep sleeper, but he could be worth a roster spot if he can keep, you know, catching the ball.

WR Laurent Robinson (STL): Speaking of reviving your career, Robinson has been playing well in STL. WR Donnie Avery is recovering from a foot injury, allowing Robinson some more reps. And Robinson has been taking advantage of the increased playing time. As with Williamson, Robinson is still a sleeper and is only worthy of a bench spot in deeper leagues. But keep an eye on him and see how STL uses him.

WR David Clowney (NYJ): Clowney might as well be called “Mr. August”. After leading the NFL in receiving yards during the preseason in 2008, Clowney has played very well again this year, scoring 2 TDs already. But it is worth noting that, after playing well in the 2008 preseason, he only had 1 catch for 26 yards in the regular season. His stock is certainly up due to his play, but do not get too excited. Especially with a rookie QB under center.

WR Chris Henry (CIN): Henry has finally (or so they say) cleaned up his act and is ready to play football. The guy is freakishly athletic and is a favorite target of QB Carson Palmer, which could work out very well for him if he can keep his head on straight. I think the CIN offense is very underrated, so Henry could end up posting some very solid numbers.

QB Rankings: Updated

August 20, 2009 1 comment

I have updated my QB Rankings. Here is my top 10:

1. Drew Brees (NO)
2. Tom Brady (NE)
3. Peyton Manning (IND)
4. Aaron Rodgers (GB)
5. Tony Romo (DAL)
6. Donovan McNabb (PHI)
7. Matt Ryan (ATL)
8. Kurt Warner (ARI)
9. Matt Schaub (HOU)
10. Philip Rivers (SD)

And here is the rest of the list

17 Crazy Predictions

August 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Here are 17 crazy (and/or not so crazy) predictions for the 2009 fantasy season that I — um, predict — will come true.

Why 17, you ask? Because that is all I could think of…

1. QB Philip Rivers will not be among the top 10 fantasy QBs at the end of the year.

2. QB Matt Ryan will be.

3. WR Larry Fitzgerald will miss at least one game. (I believe in the Madden Curse.)

4. QB Kurt Warner will miss at least one game. (I believe in reality.)

5. RB Adrian Peterson will score at least 15 total TDs.

6. RB DeAngelo Williams will not score more than 15 total TDs.

7. Rookie RB James Davis will take over for RB Jamal Lewis by week 10.

8. The top 3 fantasy QBs will be QB Drew Brees, QB Tom Brady, and QB Aaron Rodgers.

9. RB Michael Turner will score less than 10 points in at least 4 games.

10. TE Vernon Davis will be a top-10 fantasy TE.

11. WR Randy Moss will be a top-5 fantasy WR.

12. At least 5 rookies will score more points fantasy than WR Percy Harvin.

13. RB Ryan Grant will finish as a top-10 fantasy RB.

14. The top scoring fantasy WR will be WR Andre Johnson.

15. RB Ray Rice will be the highest scoring fantasy RB in BAL.

16. RB LaDainian Tomlinson will finish as a top-10 fantasy RB.

17. WR Devin Hester will not have more than 800 yards receiving.

Updated QB Rankings

August 7, 2009 Leave a comment

Here are my updated QB Rankings. The only notable changes are that QB Kurt Warner dropped down a couple of spots due to injury concerns and his age. I am just not convinced 2009 will be as magical as 2008. QB Donovan McNabb also jumped up a couple of spots. I just think he is going to have a great year.

1. Drew Brees (NO) — He might not put up 5,000 yards again… But he certainly could.
2. Tom Brady (NE) — Do not expect 2007-like numbers. But the Brady-Moss connection should be profitable.
3. Peyton Manning (IND) — One of the most consistent fantasy QBs ever.
4. Aaron Rodgers (GB) — Played great in 08 despite Favre saga. Should be more focused and calm in 09.
5. Phillip Rivers (SD) — Showed he is an elite QB. A healthy LT and Gates should serve him well.
6. Tony Romo (DAL) — Moved up a couple spots from previous rankings. His offense is too good, even without TO.
7. Donovan McNabb (PHI) — Moved up a couple spots. He is still in his prime.
8. Kurt Warner (ARI) — Dropped down in rankings due to age and injury concerns. Can 09 be as magical as 08?
9. Matt Schaub (HOU) — Would be higher but for injury concerns.
10. Matt Cassel (KC) — KC is not NE. But that should not stop Cassell from putting up solid numbers.
Click here for the rest of the QB Rankings.