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Posts Tagged ‘chris johnson’

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.

Coach’s Kid & Point Shaver

September 17, 2009 Leave a comment

The “Coach’s Kid” is a player who most people would never expect to do well but ends up turning in a good game. If you put him in your lineup, people will ask: Why is that guy even in the lineup? He is terrible. Maybe he is the coach’s kid.

This week, the “Coach’s Kid” is RB Ahmad Bradshaw (NYG) @ DAL. Bradshaw had a respectable showing in week 1 (71 total yards on 15 touches), and now he is up against a DAL team that let the RBBC in TB run all over them (31 carries for 174 yards and 2 TDs). I think both RB Brandon Jacobs and Bradshaw will have solid games, as NYG will look to run the ball quite a bit against their division foe.

The “Point Shaver” is a good player who, for some unknown reason, fails to perform this week. Much like a stud basketball player mightmiss a few free throws at the end of a meaningless game to put some extra cash in his pocket.

This week, the “Point Shaver” is RB Matt Forte (CHI) vs. PIT. Do you see a trend here? Last week, I picked a RB who was playing against PIT. Basically, any RB that is playing against PIT is going to disappoint. And Forte disappointed last week against GB. So he will have a tough time against PIT this week.

How did I do last week? I suggested sitting RB Chris Johnson, who managed just 6.8 points. And I recommended starting RB Mike Bell, who put up 143 yards, but also lost a fumble, so he had 12.3 points. I call those both wins for me.

Coach’s Kid and Point Shaver

September 9, 2009 Leave a comment

Each week, I will write (new) a post called “Coach’s Kid and Point Shaver” that will highlight two players:

(1) The Coach’s Kid — This is a guy who is usually buried on the bench because he has no reason to be in your starting lineup. But this week, you decide to play him. And when he appears in your lineup, everyone will look around and ask, “What is he doing in the lineup? He must be the coach’s kid… What other explanation is there?”

(2) The Point Shaver — This is a player who should perform very well. He has the talent and the skills. And everyone expects him to showcase his talent. But for some unknown reason, he fails to meet expectations. Keep an eye out for shady characters lurking in the shadows. And try to figure out what you are going to tell your wife when she asks where all your money went.

So, here are my picks for Week 1.

Week 1 Coach’s Kid: A couple years ago, RB Mike Bell was in DEN. One RB in a line of many who had temporary success, only to quickly disappear into obscurity. But he resurfaced in NO. And with RB Pierre Thomas nursing a knee injury, Bell looks to get a bunch of touches. And, even better yet, he will get all these touches against DET. Who, by the way, is still terrible. Put Bell in your lineup, like a proud daddy would put his lanky, uncoordinated kid on the field.

Week 1 Point Shaver: I expect RB Chris Johnson to have a very big year in TEN. Unfortunately, he starts out his soon-to-be-big-year against PIT. Who, by the way, is still very good on defense. Johnson will get a bunch of touches, but could struggle to put up too many yards. And I expect the TEN-PIT matchup to be somewhat low-scoring. I have a hard time advising you to bench Johnson, but you should lower your expectations.

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.

RB Rankings: Updated

August 20, 2009 Leave a comment

I updated my RB Rankings. No major surprises. LT is moving up on my board. And Turner is sliding down. If RB Jonathan Stewart (CAR) cannot stay healthy, RB DeAngelo Williams (CAR) will move way up. No denying his talent. Just worried about the RBBC situation.

Here is my top 10:

1. Adrian Peterson (MIN)
2. Matt Forte (CHI)
3. Maurice Jones-Drew (JAX)
4. Michael Turner (ATL)
5. Steven Jackson (STL)
6. LaDainian Tomlinson (SD)
7. Chris Johnson (TEN)
8. Steve Slaton (HOU)
9. Frank Gore (SF)
10.
DeAngelo Williams (CAR)

And here are the rest of the updated rankings…

Also, check out the Player Rankings page (above) for other positions.

Should I draft Michael Turner?

August 19, 2009 Leave a comment

There is quite a debate over RB Michael Turner. Some think he should be the number one pick, while I have talked to others who think he should drop to the second round.

What do I think? Well, I think you should pick in somewhere in the middle of those two. And, at some point in the convoluted mess below, I explain why.

Turner blew up in 2008 with 1699 yards rushing and 17 TDs. And he returns in 2009 with an improved QB in second-year QB Matt Ryan, no major injury concerns, and relatively little wear on those tree-like legs (only 598 total carries in the NFL).

So, he should be one of the top RBs heading into 2009, right? Well, yes and no.

I think Turner will end up being a top 10 RB, but whether he will be a top 5 RB is questionable. I have Turner ranked as the 4th RB (behind RB Adrian Peterson, RB Matt Forte, and RB Maurice Jones-Drew). But to be entirely honest, I would rank RB Steven Jackson above him but for S-Jax’s injury issues. And I like RB Chris Johnson more, but I cannot rank him up there due to RB LenDale White‘s tendency to vulture his TDs. And I could go on. But my point is, Turner does present some risks. So, although I have him ranked 4th among RBs, there are definitely some issues to be aware of if you are considering taking him with your first round pick.

Many other fantasy experts cite the so-called “Curse of 370” — which basically says that any RB who has more than 370 carries in a given year is all but guaranteed to have a drop-off in (fantasy) production in the following season. In fact, only the aforementioned fantasy God LT has avoided the Curse of 370. In 2002, LT had 372 carries. But LT went on to score more fantasy points in 2003. But other than LT in 2002-2003, every other RB in the history of the NFL has done worse in the year following his 370-plus carries. (I have yet to see any analysis, however, on how many total carries the RB has in his career prior to the dropoff. LT was young when he had his 370-carry season, so it is not all that surprising that he kept going. Others were much older.)

So, we should expect a decline in production then, right? Well, yes and no. I am not usually one to argue with that kinda body of evidence. However, it is worth noting that Turner only had 228 carries before his arrival in ATL. And can we really believe that Turner is destined to fail while AP — who had 363 carries — is safe because he was 7 carries short of 370 in the regular season?

Hard to say. But a curse is a Curse, right? Well, yes and no.

I do expect Turner to see a decline in production. But it has very little to do with the Curse. I believe his production will decline for three very simple reasons: (1) His schedule is tougher, (2) ATL will limit his carries, and (3) QB Matt Ryan will be better.

(1) Fewer Carries: ATL will likely reduce Turner’s workload in 2009 in order to prolong his career. I am predicting they will give him the ball around 325 times. So, even if he averages 4.5 YPC again, he will gain less than 1500 rushing yards.

(2) Tougher Schedule: Based on traditional scoring (i.e. 10 yds = 1 pt, TD = 6 pts.), Turner scored  265 points in 2008. However, a closer examination of how he scored those points reveals that he piled up most of those points against some very weak defenses. In fact, Turner scored 198 of those points in 8 games. Which means he only scored 67 points in the other 8 games.

In the 8 games when Turner scored only 67 points (average = 8.4), he faced defenses with an average rush defense ranked 11.8. In the 8 games when Turner scored the other 198 points (average = 24.5), he faced teams with an average rush defense ranked 26.8. (Remember, there are only 32 teams… So those teams were pretty bad.) You do not have to look at these figures long before you realize that Turner piled up most of his fantasy points against very poor defenses.

Not only does this concern me because his 2009 schedule is tougher, but it also concerns me because Turner was very inconsistent, especially early in the season. In 4 of his first 8 games, he scored 5 or fewer points. In his second 8 games, however, Turner scored at least 10 points in each game, including 13 points against the #1 ranked MIN rush defense in week 16 (the championship game for many leagues). So at least he was putting up solid scores towards the end of the year. But the fact that he had so many stinker games is cause for concern. (For the sake of comparison, AP scored 5 or fewer points only 1 time in 2008.)

Overall, in 2008 Turner faced teams with an average rush defense rank of 19.3. And he only faced 4 teams — MIN (1st), PHI (4th), CHI (5th), and SD (11th) — that were ranked in the top half of the league in rush defense (although, as you can see, 3 were ranked in the top 5). In the 4 games against defenses ranked in the top half, Turner averaged 8.3 points. In the 3 games against teams in the top 5, Turner averaged 7.7 points.

However, Turner’s schedule in 2009 is much different. First, let me say that I realize defenses can change dramatically from year to year. But since we have no other way to measure them, I will look at last year’s stats and rankings. So, below is a chart (of sorts) that compares Turner’s 2008 schedule with his 2009 schedule:

Average Rank
2008 = 19.3
2009 = 13.6

Ranked in Top Half
2008 = 4
2009 = 9

Ranked in Top 10
2008 = 3
2009 = 6

Ranked in Top 5
2008 = 3
2009 = 2

Ranked in Bottom 10
2008 = 6
2009 = 0

Ranked in Bottom 5
2008 = 4
2009 = 0

The ones that stick out to me the most are the number of teams ranked in the Bottom 10 and Bottom 5 each year. In 2008, Turner faced 6 teams in the Bottom 10, 3 of which were in the Bottom 5. However, Turner does not face a single team that is ranked in the Bottom 10 in 2009. And Turner scored over half of his total points (137 / 265 = 52%) in these 6 games in 2008.

(3) QB Matt Ryan will be better. This goes right along with (1) above — If Ryan is better, ATL can give Turner fewer carries and rely on the passing game more. Ryan is quickly on his way to being a very good NFL QB. So I think ATL will open up the playbook for him a little more this year.

So, what does this all mean? Who knows. No one can predict the future. But I will say this: I think the Curse of 370 is overblown in this case. However, you can expect to see Turner get fewer carries, have a lower YPC average, and score fewer TDs in 2009.

Which means, curse or no curse, he will be less a less productive fantasy player. (Just in case you missed that.)

Please comment and let me know what you think…

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