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Posts Tagged ‘darren sproles’

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.

Week 2 Injury Report

September 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Here are some notable players who are injured and what you should do about it:

QB Matt Cassel (KC): Cassel (knee) is expected to be a game-time decision (GTD). I would avoid him. OAK has a solid pass defense.

QB Donovan McNabb (PHI): McNabb (ribs) is out this week and could even miss a couple more.

QB Matt Schaub (HOU): Schaub (ankle) is reportedly feeling better and will be close to 100% this week against TEN.

Some possible fill-ins who might be available on waivers include:  QB Trent Edwards (BUF), QB Shaun Hill (SF), QB Mark Sanchez (NYJ), QB Byron Leftwich (TB), and QB Jason Campbell (WAS).

RB LaDainian Tomlinson (SD): Tomlinson (ankle) is out. RB Darren Sproles should get some extra touches. And RB Michael Bennett might even get some work.

RB Pierre Thomas (NO): Thomas (knee) was looking good-to-go earlier this week, but now is reportedly questionable (50-50). I would avoid him. But since he might play, it makes using RB Mike Bell somewhat risky.

Some possible fill-ins at RB who might be available on waivers include: RB Michael Bush (OAK), RB Ahmad Bradshaw (NYG), RB Leon Washington (NYJ), RB Kevin Faulk (NE), and RB Correll Buckhalter (DEN).

WR Anquan Boldin (AZ): Boldin (hamstring) is questionable (50-50) but I say he will probably play (which, of course, means he will not). I wish AZ would rest him. But he generally refuses to sit unless he absolutely has to (i.e. last year when he broke his jaw — and even then he only missed two games).

WR Anthony Gonzalez (IND): Gonzalez (knee) is expected to miss up to 8 weeks. WR Pierre Garcon should step into his spot and is worth a start if you are hurting for WRs.

WR Antonio Bryant (TB): Bryant (knee) suffered a set-back last week and is unlikely to play. Avoid him either way. WR Michael Clayton played well last week and makes a solid start with Bryant out.

WR Andrew Walter (HOU): WTF? Is every single WR who’s name starts with “A” injured this week?

WR Steve Breaston (AZ): Breaston (knee) is questionable (50-50). If he (and Boldin) are out, WR Jerheme Urban will get more looks and makes a soild start.

If you are desperate at WR this week, consider these guys (who are probably on waivers): WR Laurent Robinson, WR Pierre Garcon, WR Kenny Britt, WR Michael Clayton, WR Jerheme Urban, WR Robert Meachem, WR Davone Bess, and WR Chansi Stuckey.

Anyone I missed? Post a comment if you have a question about an injured player and I will get back to you…

Yes… No… Maybe?

September 17, 2009 Leave a comment

“Yes… No… Maybe?” is my version of the start-sit post. For the most part, I avoided the obvious (i.e. “Start Adrian Peterson and Drew Brees!”) and tried to focus on the fringe players. Beginning next week, I will recap how I did the previous week. So, eventually, when it turns out I am wrong all the time, you can pull a Costanza and just do the opposite.

And, just in case you are confused by the obvious nature of the post, here is a key:

Yes = Start these players. They have a high likelihood of performing well.
No = Sit these players. The risk is too high that they will struggle.
Maybe = Start these guys if you do not have better options. They could do well. Or they could fail.

Yes

QB Trent Edwards (BUF) vs. TB: Last week, QB Tony Romo put up a career-high in passing yards against TB. I doubt Edwards will replicate that effort, but he should have a good game. He has the weapons and TB is vulnerable.

RB Ray Rice (BAL) @ SD: OAK was able to push the SD DL around last week and managed to put up some rushing yards. BAL is a better running team, so Rice should get plenty of work. RB Willis McGahee and RB LeRon McClain could steal his TDs, but that is no reason not to use him. He should have around 100 total yards again.

RB Fred Jackson (BUF) vs. TB: Jackson did very well last week in place of suspended RB Marshawn Lynch, and he should have another solid outing against TB, who is not nearly as strong on DEF as most people think.

RB Clinton Portis (WAS) vs. STL: Portis is probably a must-start guy each week, but there are rumors that hsi touches are going to be limited and RB Ladell Betts is going to get more work. But RB Julius Jones went nuts on STL last week, so Portis should have a big day.

WR Louis Murphy (OAK) vs. KC: Yes, I know he has the fat caveman throwing him the ball. But there are just not many other options in OAK outside of TE Zach Miller (here’s a free one: Start Miller, too). Murphy was inches away from scoring 2 TDs last week and should have another good day against a KC pass DEF that struggles.

NO

QB Jay Cutler (CHI) vs. PIT: I doubt Cutler wil blow up and have 4 INTs again — although it would be awesome if he did — but I would consider other options this week. PIT is very good on DEF and could give him troubles, just like GB did with their version of the 3-4.

QB Matt Schaub (HOU) @ TEN: Schaub struggled last week against NYJ, and TEN is just as good or better than NYJ against the pass. TEN does not have a shutdown CB like NYJ has in CB Darrelle Revis, but I think they will contain Schaub enough to make him bench-worthy. Plus, I think his ankle is still bothering him.

RB LaDainian Tomlinson (SD) vs. BAL: LT is banked up with an ankle injury and is expected to be a game-time decision. Even if he does play, I have very little confidence that he will have a good day against the BAL DEF.

RB Steve Slaton (HOU) @ TEN: This was a tough one. Partly becuase I have him in one of my leagues. But also because, last year, he was the only RB to put up over 100 yards rushing on TEN. And he did it twice. So he is a lock to have a good game again, right? I wish. I think he will struggle. He is a borderline “no/maybe” though. Start him if you are really desperate.

WR Devin Hester (CHI) vs. PIT: But for one blown coverage last week in the GB game, Hester did nothing. I do not think PIT will blow coverage and let him get behind them, even without SS Troy Polomalu.

MAYBE

RB Pierre Thomas (NO) @ PHI: Thomas claims to be healthy and ready to go. If this is true, he should get enough work against PHI to make him worthy of a start. I think RB Mike Bell will continue to get some reps as they ease Thomas back in, but Thomas will be the man once he is 100%.

RB Darren Sproles (SD) vs. BAL: I am not sure why I hate Sproles. I was not high on him coming into this year. And now, even with LT hurt, I am still not all that high on him. He is very involved in the passing game, which is great. But he simply is not an every-down RB. However, with LT out, he makes a good start if you do not have other options. But I think BAL will do a better job of containing him than OAK did.

RB Kevin Smith (DET) vs. MIN: Smith could have an okay day, because he is involved in the passing game. And that is the only reason he is a “maybe” and not a “no”. MIN is just too stout against the run. But this has “trap game” written all over it… MIN has all the hype, and DET has not won a game in a long time. Who knows a good bookie? I just got paid…

RB Willie Parker (PIT) @ CHI: I am not a fan of FWP this year. He looked very marginal in week 1. And the PIT OL is not great. But CHI is without MLB Brian Urlacher, which makes him slightly more attractive.

WR Laurent Robinson (STL) @ WAS: Robinson had a solid week 1 and led the team in targets. And he had a couple red zone looks. STL is gonna be losing so they will have to pass. Which makes him a sneaky WR3 play this week if you need help.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Or, if you have other start-sit dilemmas, leave a comment and I will respond.

This is what I think…

September 16, 2009 Leave a comment

1. I think RB Leon Washington is underrated. He had 19 touches in week 1 after averaging 7.7 last year. I think NYJ wants to get him involved more. Which is a good thing.

2. I think I hate DAL. When I was in the old stadium, I quickly made my way to the 50-yard line and spat on the star. That is how much I hate DAL. But I will admit, seeing QB Tony Romo pass for a career high in yards in his first game after WR Terrell Owens left made me smile.

3. I think the OAK defense looks a lot better with Greg Ellis and Richard Seymour on the DL. Now if they could just find a QB who was not grossly overweight and had a forehead that did not resemble that of a caveman.

4. I think RB Adrian Peterson is a beast. Watching him literally throw defenders off him was comical. But you almost feel bad for CLE. Remember, it was CLE who got abused in a similar fashion by RB Jamal Lewis a few years ago.

5. I think RB Ray Rice looked very good as the featured RB in BAL. But, as expected, RB Willis McGahee and RB LeRon McClain stole his TDs. Why didn’t he try a little harder to score on his run down inside the 5 yard line? He must hate his fantasy owners.

6. I think I feel bad for anyone who drafted CAR WR Steve Smith this year. QB Jake Delhomme looks absolutely terrible. I might even take the fat caveman over him.

7. I think the RBBC in OAK with RB Michael Bush and RB Darren McFadden may render both of them useless due to unpredictability. Although Bush has an edge as the goal line back.

8. I think you can count me among the people who did not think QB Drew Brees was worth a 1st round pick. Right now, anyone who took him that high is pretty happy with themselves. But he can’t throw for 6 TDs every game, can he? No, really … Can he?

9. I think I am still not convinced that RB Darren Sproles can be an every-down RB. He looks good when he gets the ball in space, but he has a hard time running inside. Which limits his value. But with RB LaDainian Tomlinson suffering an ankle injury, and SD cutting RB Gartrell Johnson, we may see a lot more of Sproles.

10. I think there is no better player in the NFL who is stuck on a worse team than RB Steven Jackson? (Maybe WR Calvin Johnson?) You have to feel bad for S-Jax. Let him run behind the MIN OL and we would be talking about the possibility of 2,000 yards rushing, just like we are with AP.

RB Handcuffs

August 10, 2009 Leave a comment

You have all heard the term “handcuff” before when referring to fantasy football players and their backups. Generally, I am not a huge fan of automatically drafting a “handcuff” for your starter, but there are situations when it can be valuable.

I would only recommend drafting a handcuff if you are drafting a RB with a high (e.g. first 3 or 4 rounds) who is (1) injury-prone and (2) plays in a high-powered offense. For example, I would recommend grabbing Westbrook’s backup, because he is injury prone and the Eagles’ offense is very good. Conversely, I would not recommend grabbing RB Steven Jackson‘s handcuff, because he will not perform at anywhere near the same level. My point is this: Do not waste a pick by automatically selecting a handcuff for each of your RBs. There are more valuable players out there in many situations.

For your 2009 fantasy football draft, I would recommend the following handcuffs if you draft any of these players:

RB Adrian Peterson (MIN): Peterson accounts for a large percentage of the Viking offense. And it is reasonable to assume that if AP goes down, RB Chester Taylor will assume a similar role. Grabbing Taylor as a handcuff for AP can be tough, though, since Taylor gets enough touches on his own to make him worth drafting late. But it is always worthwhile to protect your investment in a guy like AP, who gets a lot of touches and thus is more exposed to potential injuries.

RB Brian Westbrook (PHI): Westbrook is old and about to breakdown. Or so everyone (including me) says. He could very well prove us all wrong this year, and avoid any injuries. But he is a risk. Handcuff = RB LeSean McCoy.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew (JAX): I do not consider MJD to be injury-prone, but any time a guy increases his workload in a significant way, you have to also consider him an increased risk to get injured. And the Jags like to make their RBs the focal point of their offense, so his backup should still do fairly well.  The only problem is, right now we are not entirely sure who that is going to be. Keep an eye on this situation throughout camp. Potential Handcuff(s) = FB Greg Jones, RB Chauncey Washington, and RB Rashad Jennings.

RB Brandon Jacobs (NYG): Jacobs is a bruiser. And although he usually doles out more punishment than he receives, you can almost guarantee he will miss time in 09 with a nagging injury. However, much like the Jags, it is not clear yet who would be the primary ball carrier if Jacobs goes down. Keep an eye on the battle for his backup during camp. Potential Handcuff(s) = RB Ahmad Bradshaw, RB Danny Ware, and RB Andre Brown.

RB Marion Barber (DAL): Although Barber did miss some time last year due to injury, I do not consider him injury prone. However, due to his running style, it is always a possibility. Handcuff = RB Tashard Choice (Note: I do not consider RB Felix Jones to be a handcuff for Barber, because I think Jones will be used differently in the offense.)

RB LaDainian Tomlinson (SD): As we all know, LT is getting older. And last year showed us that he is, in fact, human. Although I do expect him to have a better year in 09, there is no reason to be foolish. Handcuff = RB Darren Sproles (Note: Due to the touches he will get regardless, Sproles will likely go pretty early. If you do not want to waste an early pick on a handcuff, then consider grabbing RB Gartrell Johnson later.)

RB Clinton Portis (WAS): The Skins want to reduce his workload already, but despite how tough Portis is, he has missed some time due to injury. Handcuff = RB Ladell Betts.

RB Darren McFadden (OAK): The Raiders love to run the ball. And they want to make McFadden a focal point on offense. But McFadden has a slight build, is an upright runner, and missed quite a few games in 08 due to injuries. Handcuff = RB Michael Bush (Note: RB Justin Fargas is in the mix, too, so watch how the Raiders use these guys in camp.)

RB Thomas Jones (NYG): Jones had a surprisingly good year in 08. But he is past the 30-year old mark and he is unhappy with his contract. Plus he has a shaky QB situation. And he has a rookie RB breathing down his neck. Handcuff = RB Shonn Green. (Note: RB Leon Washington, much like Sproles and Felix Jones, already has a role in the offense, but I do not expect him to become the full-time RB if Jones goes down.)

RB Marshawn Lynch (BUF): Lynch is already scheduled to miss the first 3 games of the year due to an NFL-imposed suspension. Which makes drafting him fairly risky to begin with. But he should do well later in the year to make him attractive in the middle rounds of the draft. If nothing else, you will want a replacement for the first 3 games. Handcuff = RB Fred Jackson.

RB Larry Johnson (KC): No one really knows what to expect out of the Chiefs this year. New Coach. New GM. New QB. And a happy LJ? It’s hard to say how it will all work out, but we do know that LJ has had his fair share of injury issues in the past. Handcuff = RB Jamaal Charles.

RB Jamal Lewis (CLE): I am still surprised Lewis has an NFL career, at this point. It seems like he has been around forever, and I expected him to fade away awhile ago. And this may be the year it finally happens. Handcuff = RB James Davis.

RB Joseph Addai (IND): We all know about the struggles Addai had last year. And then the Colts went out and drafted a talented rookie RB. So if you roll the dice with Addai, you better be willing to spend a mid-round pick on insurance. Handcuff = RB Donald Brown.

RB Willie Parker (PIT): Parker has been slowly declining for the past couple of seasons, and missed significant time last year due to injuries. He is getting older and there is youth behind him. Handcuff = RB Rashard Mendenhall.


Big Risks = Bigger Rewards

July 22, 2009 Leave a comment

There are a few guys that could have absolutely huge fantasy seasons if they can stay healthy. Unfortunately, they have not shown us that they can do this on a regular basis. Which is why they are big risks. But if things work out, the rewards could be tremendous.

QB Matt Schaub (HOU): Somewhat surprisingly, Schaub has been one of the best QBs in the NFL (statistically) when healthy over the past couple of years. Unfortunately, he has missed a significant amount of time recently due to a variety of injuries. If he can finally put together a healthy season, he should be a top-level fantasy QB, with guys like WR Andre Johnson, RB Steve Slaton, and TE Owen Daniels.

RB Steven Jackson (STL): Remember when Jackson was one of the best RBs in fantasy football? Me either. It seems like so long ago. But on top of coming into the year healthy, Jackson will also be running behind a much-improved offensive line. If you could guarantee me that Jackson will play every game, I would rank him right behind RB Adrian Peterson. But Jackson’s health is far from guaranteed. So if you like to gamble, S-Jax is your man.

RB Brandon Jacobs (NYG): In most respects, the departure of RB Derrick Ward to TB is good for Jacobs, because he should get more carries. However, it also means he will take more of a pounding. And he has missed nearly 10 games over the past two years due to injuries. But if he can stay healthy, he should be a beast and improve on his numbers from 2008.

RB Clinton Portis (WAS): Portis had nearly 950 yards through 7 games in 2008. And then, well, he slowed down, so to speak. Portis gets a lot of touches. And he is one of the toughest RBs in the NFL. But he is wearing down. And that is a major concern. Although you can expect RB Ladell Betts to get a larger share of the carries this year, Portis is still going to have over 300 touches. So if he can avoid the minor injuries that have slowed him in the recent past, he should be a very solid option at RB.

RB LaDainian Tomlinson (SD): Do you think he has one last hurrah in him? I do. His foot injury last year really hampered his ability to run and cut effectively. Which is precisely what made him so great to begin with. And do not buy all the talk about RB Darren Sproles. Yes, he is good. But he is not a full-time RB and he never will be. So look for LT to be the main guy again, although Sproles will eat into his production. Either way, I expect LT to be a top-10 RB one last time before he descends into fantasy oblivion with the likes of Shaun Alexander and Priest Holmes.

WR Marques Colston (NO): When Colston plays, he is a stud. Unfortunately, he has not played much over the past couple of years. Many people will be gun-shy after spending high picks on him last year. But you saw what he can do in the last few games of the year when he was finally back in action. QB Drew Brees is playing at a very high level. And if Colston is healthy, he will be the main beneficiary of Brees’ play. Maybe it was just bad luck. Or maybe he is injury-prone. But if he can stay healthy, someone will get a very good deal on him.

TE Kellen Winslow (TB): Winslow has had knee surgery every year since his rookie year. Yet, somehow, he has been pretty effective as a playmaking TE. When he is on the field, he performs well. And he was on the field during 2006 and 2007. But he missed 6 games in 2008. Given his history, you can probably get him on the cheap. But do not be upset if he misses some time.