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Posts Tagged ‘mario manningham’

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 Watch List

September 15, 2009 Leave a comment

The “Watch List” is a group of players to keep an eye on. In most leagues, they are not worth adding right now. But they could be worthy of a roster spot if they keep performing.

QB Mark Sanchez (NYJ): He is a rookie and will have his up and down games, but he could be a solid backup and a good play against weak matchups.

QB Michael Vick (PHI): I am (still) not a huge fan. But QB Donovan McNabb is injured, which could open the door for Vick. QB Jeff Garcia is an option if McNabb misses time, as well.

QB Jamarcus Russell (OAK): Just kidding. He is fat and terrible.

RB Laurence Maroney (NE): He had the most carries of any NE RB in week 1. He only gained 32 yards on those 10 carries, but it looks like he will be involved. Watch and see how they use him.

WR Laurent Robinson (STL): Robinson looked pretty good in week 1. And it looks like STL will have to throw the ball a lot this year, because they are awful.

WR Mario Manningham (NYG): Manningham showed some explosiveness and play-making ability in week 1, and could get increased looks with WR Hakeem Nicks sidelined with a foot injury.

WR Louis Murphy (OAK): Murphy seemed to be the most effective WR for OAK in week 1. I think his looks will go down when Schilens gets back, but as long as he keeps getting open, I think he will get more looks than WR Darius Heyward-Bey.

WR Jerhame Urban (ARI): If WR Anquan Boldin continues to be limited by his hamstring injury and/or WR Steve Breaston misses any more time with his sore knee, Urban could get extra looks.

WR Johnny Knox (CHI): The rookie has some speed and could turn into an option for QB Jay Cutler, as soon as he realizes which team he is supposed to be throwing the ball to.

TE Ben Watson (NE): Two great TD catches in the win over BUF. I doubt he is that involved every week, but obviously he is part of the passing game (for now…).

TE Todd Heap (BAL): He’s healthy. So he’s got that going for him. And he actually looks like a player again. Keep an eye on him.

Green Bay D/ST: I talked about the GB DEF as a sleeper before the season, and they showed up in week 1 by causing 4 turnovers, one of which was nearly returned for a TD. Look for this group to keep attacking the QB and causing turnovers all year.

So, you know, like, watch those guys this week.

Training Camp Position Battles

August 11, 2009 Leave a comment

All 32 NFL teams are now in training camp. Which means there are plenty of position battles that you should be aware of as your fantasy draft approaches. I wrote about some NFC and AFC position battles a couple weeks ago, but I thought it would be worthwhile to update them now that camps are in full-swing. I did not include much (read: any) discussion of the battles. I just listed them so you can be aware. I did, however, list them in the order I expect the final depth charts to reflect. Check back as training camps progress to get updates on the key camp battles that will affect your fantasy draft.

AFC North
BAL RB: Ray Rice v. Willis McGahee v. Le’Ron McClain
CIN QB: Carson Palmer v. His Elbow
CLE RB: Jamal Lewis v. James Davis v. Jerome Harrison
PIT RB: Willie Parker v. Rashard Mendenhall v. Mewelde Moore

AFC South
IND RB:
Joseph Addai v. Donald Brown
IND WR3: Pierre Garcon v. Austin Collie
JAX RB2: Chauncey Washington v. Rashad Jennings v. Greg Jones
TEN WR: Nate Washington v. Justin Gage

AFC East
MIA WR2: Greg Camarillo v. Devon Bess
NE RB: Fred Taylor v. Sammy Morris v. Kevin Faulk v. Laurence Maroney
NYJ RB: Thomas Jones v. Shonn Green v. Leon Washington
NYJ QB: Mark Sanchez v. Kellen Clemens

AFC West
DEN RB: Knowshon Moreno v. Correll Buckhalter v. Peyton Hillis v. Ryan Torain
KC RB: Larry Johnson v. Jamaal Charles v. Kolby Smith
SD WR2: Chris Chambers v. Malcolm Floyd v. Buster Davis
OAK RB: Darren McFadden v. Michael Bush v. Justin Fargas

NFC North
CHI WR1: Devin Hester v. Earl Bennet v. Rashied Davis
DET QB: Dante Culpeper v. Matthew Stafford
GB WR3: James Jones v. Jordy Nelson
GB TE: Jermichael Finley v. Donald Lee
MIN QB: Sage Rosenfels v. Tavaris Jackson
MIN WR2: Sidney Rice v. Percey Harvin

NFC South
NO WR2: Lance Moore v. Robert Meachem
NO WR3: Robert Meachem v. Devery Henderson
TB QB: Byron Leftwich v. Josh Freeman v. Luke McCown
TB RB: Earnest Graham v. Derrick Ward
TB WR2: Michael Clayton v. Maurice Stovall

NFC East
NYG RB2:
Ahmad Bradshaw v. Andre Brown v. Danny Ware
DAL WR2: Patrick Crayton v. Austin Miles v. Sam Hurd
NYG WR: Dominic Hixon v. Steve Smith v. Mario Manningham v. Hakeem Nicks v. Ramses Barden
NYG WR2: Steve Smith v. Mario Manningham v. Hakeem Nicks v. Ramses Barden
PHI WR2: Kevin Curtis v. Jeremy Maclin
WAS WR2: Devin Thomas v. Antwaan Randle-El v. Malcolm Kelley

NFC West
AR RB: Tim Hightower v. Beanie Wells
SF QB: Shaun Hill v. Alex Smith
STL WR2: Laurent Robinson v. Keenan Burton

More Sleepers

August 6, 2009 Leave a comment

Here is another discussion regarding potential sleepers. Some of these names appeared on my previous list of 2009 sleepers, but some of them are new. Either way, here are some guys to keep your eyes on during the preseason and during the later rounds of your fantasy draft.

QB Kyle Orton (DEN): Most of the focus has been on QB Jay Cutler as a result of the offseason swap of the two QBs, but I think Orton could benefit the most. Orton was actually playing fairly well last year before an ankle injury derailed his season. And now he is in Denver, with a capable stable of RBs, WR Brandon Marshall and WR Eddie Royal as his main targets on the outside, and a coach who loves to throw the ball. The system is set up very well for Orton, who does not have great arm strength, but is pretty accurate. He is going pretty late in most drafts, but should end up out-performing his draft position by quite a bit.

RB James Davis: He should be the top backup to RB Jamal Lewis in Cleveland. And Lewis has seemingly been on his last legs for a couple years. I would not be surprised to see Lewis give way to Davis as the season progresses. It is also worth noting that Davis broke all of Lewis’ high school rushing records.

RB Andre Brown (NYG): Most people assume that RB Ahmad Bradshaw will assume the role vacated by RB Derrick Ward and pile up the yards in 2009. However, I do not think Bradshaw is that type of back. In fact, I think Brown has a chance to step in a claim quite a few carries in the NYG’s RB rotation. Also remember that RB Brandon Jacobs has a tendency to suffer nagging injuries.

RB Jamaal Charles (KC): There are rumors abound that RB Larry Johnson will have to fight for his starting spot. Now, this may just be the new coaches forcing the formerly-disgruntled RB to work harder. But it also could be due to the fact that Johnson is apparently not a great fit for new HC Todd Haley’s pass-central offense. Charles is a bit undersized, but has great speed and could excel in a more open offense. Keep an eye on Johnson, though. He reportedly showed up at camp weighing 223 pounds, after checking in at over 230 pounds last year. He is said to be in the best shape of his career. Maybe Johnson is the real sleeper here?

RB Ray Rice (BAL): I love Ray Rice in 2009. He is the starting RB on a team that loves to run — they ran more than any other team in the NFL in 2008. Obviously, RB Willis McGahee and RB Le’Ron McClain will steal some carries, but I think Rice will be the main ball carrier, getting around 20 carries per game. He loses some value, because McClain will likely steal the goal line carries, but Rice has solid hands, so he should put up good yardage totals. Either way, he is usually going pretty late in most drafts, so he should easily out-perform his draft position.

WR Robert Meachem (NO): Meachem was very talented coming out of Tennessee, but simply was not able to stay healthy and/or pick up the system thus far. However, coming into the 2009 season, QB Drew Brees has been raving about this kid. Now, normally, this might be shrugged off as a QB talking up a fellow teammate. But when you consider that in 2007, Brees kept talking up a guy by the name of WR Marques Colston, and in 2008, Brees was high on previously unheard of WR Lance Moore, you start to think that maybe you should pay attention. How well Meachem does is anyone’s guess. But with praise like that from Mr. Brees, you best keep him on your radar.

WR Limas Sweed (PIT): He was expected to be a very high draft pick while at the University of Texas, but a wrist injury and some other issues pushed him down on draft day. And then he was nearly invisible as a rookie in Pittsburgh. But rumors out of camp are that Sweed is looking very good and should be in line for the 3rd WR spot behind WR Hines Ward and WR Santonio Holmes. Although there are not a ton of passing yards to go around in Pittsburgh, due to his size, Sweed could develop into a nice redzone target, if nothing else.

WR Dominic Hixon (NYG): A lot of the focus in the preseason has been on rookies WR Hakeem Nicks and WR Ramses Barden. However, I doubt either one of these guys will have an impact in 2009. Instead, the NYGs will make due with guys like Hixon, WR Steve Smith, and WR Mario Manningham. Smith is more of a possession WR, and Manningham is an unknown quantity after being injured for most of 2008. Hixon, however, showed us last year that he has some talent, and should step into the role of the #1 WR this year. The Giants run the ball a ton, so do not expect Fitzgerald-like numbers. But he is worth taking late in your draft, probably even after someone else takes Nicks.

WR Earl Bennett (CHI): Count me among the people who do not believe WR Devin Hester is a legitimate #1 WR in the NFL. Couple that with the lack of other WR options in Chicago, and all of a sudden second-year WR Earl Bennett becomes intriguing, especially considering that he and QB Jay Cutler used to be college teammates. Will we see a reprise of the Jay and Earl Show in Chicago?

WR Josh Morgan (SF): I still like Morgan. I liked him last year. And despite the presence of WR Michael Crabtree (assuming he actually plays in 2009), I still like him this year. Obviously, the QB situation in SF is less than desirable. But that does not mean Morgan will not put up decent numbers. Remember, he had a TD catch in every game he started in 08. Which shows that the guy can get open. He is worth taking late for depth and could turn into a solid WR3.

TE Kevin Boss (NYG): Boss had a solid rookie campaign and is reported to have developed a very good chemistry with QB Eli Manning so far in camp. Which is good, because I think Eli will be looking to his TE a lot in 2009. Although I do think Hixon is a sleeper at WR, I do not expect the Giants’ WRs as a group to be all that dangerous. Which means that Eli will have to look to his TE a lot.

Packers Defense: Usually I would not bother to even include a defense on a list like this. But I think the Packers are going to be much better on defense this year than in 2008. They have a very good secondary, an improved defensive line, and they are switching to the 3-4, which should help them get more pressure on the QB. Are they going to be as good as the Ravens or Steelers? No. But if you wait until the very end of your draft to get a defense (like I do), I think they are a great value.

Fantasy Impact: Rookies

July 20, 2009 Leave a comment

Generally, rookies do not have much of an impact on the fantasy landscape. But, just like everything else, the fantasy world is reactionary. So, since a few rookies — e.g. RB Steve Slaton, RB Chris Johnson, and RB Matt Forte — had great seasons last year, people will expect the class of 2009 to produce some stars. Unfortunately, I do not expect this to happen. But there are some guys who you should consider on draft day.

QB Matt Stafford (DET): It is not even clear yet whether he will be the starter. I would bench him for a year. But I am not in charge. Even if he does end up as the starter, he is not a worthwhile fantasy option. Sure, he will throw a few jump-ball-touchdowns to WR Calvin Johnson, but he will be way too inconsistent to rely on.

QB Josh Freeman (TB): The Josh-Freeman-as-starter camp has been growing lately, but a lot can change between now and Week 1. Either way, he is not a viable fantasy option. Do not be fooled by the (appearance of) success of QB Matt Ryan and QB Joe Flacco last year.

QB Mark Sanchez (NYJ): See Stafford, Matt and Freeman, Josh.

RB Knowshon Moreno (DEN): If you are looking for someone who could make an inmpact, it is Knowshon. As of now, it looks like he is set to be the starter in Denver. And he has a very attractive combination of running and receiving skills. However, I do have some concerns about how new HC Josh McDaniels will use Moreno, given his extremely annoying tendency in NE to use multiple (marginal) RBs. Either way, the competition is fairly weak, so I expect Moreno to get every opportunity to shine. (But I am still holding out hope that RB Ryan Torain will recover from his knee injury and become the fantasy stud I expected him to be last year. But, at this point, that seems unlikely.)

RB Lesean McCoy (PHI): Fact: RB Brian Westbrook is breaking down. It is unfortunate. Because he has been a great fantasy player for a long time. But he is nearing 30, and he has a ton of touches over the past few years. Even if he can stay healthy this year (which is extremely unlikely), McCoy should get plenty of touches as the Eagles try to keep Westbrook fresh. And if Westbrook goes down, McCoy should do very well in that offense, which is set up to give RBs big numbers. If you draft Westbrook, do yourself a favor and take McCoy as a handcuff.

RB Beanie Wells (ARI): The Cardinals throw too much for Wells to be a stud, but he is by far the best RB (sorry, Edge) the Cards have had in awhile. RB Tim Hightower has a great name, but he had his chance to shine last year and he was less than impressive. I am not a huge Wells fan in general, because I think he lacks the mental and physical toughness necessary to be a good RB, but he does have the skills. So, if he can stay healthy, he should get plenty of goal line carries in Arizona’s offense, because they run the ball surprisingly often inside the 10-yard line.

RB Donald Brown (IND): I love this kid. He is smart and not flashy. And he ended up in a great situation. RB Joseph Addai has struggled with injuries lately (ahem, understatement), so Brown could get plenty of chances. Even if Addai stays healthy, the Colts will likely give Brown some carries early. They do not draft guys high to let them sit. And if (read: when) Addai goes down, he could be a stud in that offense (assuming QB Peyton Manning trusts him in pass protection).

RB Shonn Green (NYJ): I am skeptical of this kid. He was a one-year wonder in college and has never really impressed me. He did put up some good numbers last year at Iowa, but I just do not see him replicating that in the NFL (this year, at least). He is a guy to keep an eye on, though, because he is a very physical runner and could do well in NY, since they love to run the ball. Plus, RB Thomas Jones is getting old and RB Leon Washington is not a full-time RB. But the QB situation does concern me. Neither QB Mark Sanchez nor QB Kellen Clemens are going to scare many teams into not playing 8 in the box.

WR Michael Crabtree (SF): Crabtree is a great talent. Do not let his foot injury (or the fact that his coach made him cry) concern you. You should, however, be concerned about the QB situation in SF. Because, honestly, they are terrible. The problem with WRs is that, no matter how talented they are, they need a QB to throw them the ball. However, Crabtree could be a poor QB’s best friend, since he has fantastic body control and catches the ball at its highest point. Plus, he immediately becomes the best receiving option on that team. But I am guessing someone in your fantasy league will over-value him.

WR Brian Robiske (CLE): I love this kid, even though he played for THE Ohio State University. He has exactly what you need to succeed as a rookie WR in the NFL — intelligence, good hands, and route-running skills. Plus, he is penciled in as the starter opposite WR Braylon Edwards. Obviously there are QB concerns. But he should put up solid numbers as a rookie.

WR Hakeem Nicks (NYG): I think Nicks will be buried on the NYG depth chart behind guys like WR Steve Smith, WR Dominic Hixon, and WR Mario Manningham. People love Nicks because of his behind-the-back catch in college last year. Unfortunately, circus catches like that are not what you need to do well as a rookie WR in the NFL. So look for Nicks to be worked in slowly by the Giants.

WR Kenny Britt (TEN): The Titans sound like they want to bring this kid along slowly. Which is somewhat surprising, given their lack of talent at WR. But, again, it is difficult for rookie WRs to do well in the NFL. And the Titans do not pass the ball often enough to make their second or third option at WR valuable for fantasy purposes.

WR Percy Harvin (MIN): He is a superb athlete. But a very marginal WR. And usually, rookie WRs who have success in the NFL are very polished. However, early rumors out of Minnesota are that they will use Harvin in a variety of ways to try and get him the ball. Either way, I expect him to struggle as a WR, making him a very risky prospect. My guess is someone in your league will over-value him.

WR Jeremy Maclin (PHI): Last year, we saw WR DeSean Jackson blow up as a rookie in Philly. Could it be Maclin’s turn this year? Other than Jackson, he really does not have much competition. WR Kevin Curtis is solid, but he is getting old and, well, he’s white (and not named WR Wes Welker). I think Philly will give Maclin his chances, but I do not expect him to do much. If your league gives points for return TDs, though, bump him up a little.

TE Jared Cook (TEN): Rookie TEs are tough. Especially thin ones with suspect blocking abilities on teams that love to run. However, Cook is a great receiver and could provide a nice red zone  target for QB Kerry Collins. Recall that last year, Collins and the Titans offense made TE Bo Scaife fantasy-relevant. Cook may be young and raw, but he is twice the (receiving) talent of Scaife.

TE Shawn Nelson (BUF): Nelson is very talented, but as with Cook, he has suspect blocking abilities. However, there is very little competition in Buffalo, so look for him to get plenty of chances. With WR Terrell Owens in town, and guys like WR Lee Evans, RB Marshawn Lynch, and RB Fred Jackson getting looks in the passing game, do not expect too much.