Indianapolis Colts receiver Anthony Gonzalez underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Thursday, and appears unlikely to return to the field anytime soon.
The surgery was conducted to clean up the inside of his knee, and to remove loose particles. Read more…
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Saturday, November 7, 2009
Tags: anthony gonzalez, anthony gonzalez injury, anthony gonzalez return, anthony gonzalez surgery, austin collie, colts injuries, colts receiver, Fantasy Football, fantasy player news, indianapolis colts, Pierre Garcon
He got his deal. He’s learning the offense. And now it’s time for him to shine.
Well, that’s the general idea, anyways. Read more…
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Thursday, October 22, 2009
Hey, Terrell Owens, read about Karma, much?
All of the Buffalo Bills offensive (and defensive) problems can’t lead back to the signing of Terrell Owens. However, a smart person, both with an NFL mind and a fantasy conscience, had to see this coming.
I know there was still that old T.O. upside: “Get yo popcorn ready”, and all that jazz.
But this was written in stone, wasn’t it?
Trent Edwards didn’t show us anything to really lean on last year, and after a very unproductive and under-whelming pre-season, we should have known better. Read more…
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Thursday, October 22, 2009
Tags: buffalo bills, dallas cowboys, fantasy busts, fantasy fallers, Fantasy Football, fantasy football duds, fantasy football update, Owens, Owens in decline, Philadelphia, San Francisco, T.O., terrell owens, trent edwards
Get yo popcorn ready.
More like get your suicide letter ready. While losing yet again in fantasy football may not actually drive you to end it all, the gut-wrenching feeling of watching your “top dogs” blow chunks certainly can bring the thought to mind.
Terrell Owens was just one of the many stars who came up way too short in week three, sending your once prominent starting line-up into a downward spiral of malcontent and evil-thinking. Read more…
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Saturday, October 3, 2009
It was just three weeks ago that we were talking about how spot-on Tony Romo was, and how Roy Williams and co. were replacing Terrell Owens so well, some had forgotten “get to popcorn ready” ever existed. Well, I haven’t, and I’m here to tell you that, while it’s not impossible that Romo is fine and his receivers are solid, as it stands, they are not.
And with a trip into Denver against a 3-0 surprise defense and an efficient offense, the Cowboys could be looking at falling to 2-2, and while we hate to admit it, the once glorious fantasy starter, Romo, could deliver his third straight flat performance.
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Friday, October 2, 2009
Categories: Fantasy Football
Looking for the next big gem but not into digging for it yourself? That’s all gravy.
Take a look at the 10 safest rookie bets after two weeks (by position), along with some analysis toward their future, as well as a good look at their present.
And no, Matthew Stafford doesn’t make the list. Why? Because all he’s good for is interceptions; that’s why.
Mark Sanchez, QB, New York Jets
Last Week: 14-22, 167 yds, 1 TD, 0 INT
Sanchez has looked like a seasoned veteran in his first two games, throwing for three touchdowns, 435 yards, and only one interception.
However, the drop from 31 attempts and 272 yards in Week One to 22 attempts and only 167 yards in Week Two is exactly the kind of inconsistency you need to prepare for when dealing with a rookie.
Regardless, Sanchez is doing his best Matt Ryan impression and is easily the better play between him and Matthew Stafford going forward.
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Saturday, September 26, 2009
Tags: arizona cardinals, chicago bears, Chris Wells, Donald Brown, Fantasy Football, indianapolis colts, Johnny Knox, Julian Edelman, Kenny Britt, LeSean McCoy, Louis Muprhy, mark sanchez, Minnesota Vikings, new england patriots, new york jets, NFL Rookies, oakland raiders, Percy Harvin, philadelphia eagles, Sleepers, Steals
Michael Vick to Play For Eagles on Sunday
Don’t get too excited, it won’t be as the quarterback.
Still, the coaching staff is counting on Vick to make plays, projecting him to be involved in somewhere between 10-15 plays.
You can probably even count on more than that. Kevin Kolb is expected to start as it stands, but Vick will likely be deployed in a number of packages.
The problem is, just how effective can he be in his first regular season game in more than two years?
Wes Welker Back at Practice
As inspiring as this is, it still means nothing.
While he did participate in Thursday’s practice, he was limited, opening the door to a possible “target share” with rookie Julian Edelman.
Bill Belichick isn’t foolish. If Welker isn’t 100 percent, he’ll just use him as a decoy and get some production out of Edelman. The rookie clearly has talent, and the Patriots would be doing themselves a disservice to sit him the rest of the way.
Monitor this situation all the way up until their game with the Atlanta Falcons.
Jerry Jones Gives Tony Romo Vote of Confidence
Well, I should sure hope so.
They got rid of Terrell Owens, labeling him as the one and only problem in Dallas. And now the owner raises doubt by saying he’s “backing” Romo after one bad game?
Don’t be like Jones and get too excited. Romo was facing the Giants tough front-four and the Cowboys barely lost the game.
Start Romo with confidence this week in a favorable match-up with the Carolina Panthers.
Saints Running Backs Sharing Reps in Practice
Add Tynell Hamilton to the mix in the Saints backfield.
Who? Well, regardless of not being very well known, Hamilton figures to get some grind with Mike Bell (knee) out this week, and Pierre Thomas being slowly brought back from his own knee injury.
Reggie Bush also factors into the muddled equation, making all three Saints running backs risky starts. And you thought it was difficult to predict their production before.
Chargers Center Nick Hardwick Out Until December
It just keeps getting worse for the San Diego running game.
This doesn’t hurt Daren Sproles’ value that much, as most of his production comes from the passing game and bouncing runs outside.
LaDainian Tomlinson, who is dealing with his own injury, could find it even more difficult to run in the middle when he returns, however.
Hardwick has ankle surgery, and if things continue to work against San Diego, he could end up going on IR.
Jamal Lewis Misses Wednesday’s Practice
Lewis is dealing with a bad hamstring, as well as a horrid performance against the Broncos, rushing for just 38 yards on 14 carries.
If he’s out this week, a suddenly-healthy James David could split carries with Jerome Harrison, making both Cleveland back-ups interesting plays.
Well, they would be, if they weren’t facing the Baltimore Ravens.
Marion Barber Practicing, Wants to Play Monday Night
While this isn’t exactly earth-shattering news, it’s worth noting.
Knock Felix Jones’ value down a bit with Barber practicing, although a hindered Barber ensures at least a few more touches for Jones and Barber’s other back-up, Tashard Choice.
The way the Carolina Panthers rush defense is going, all three backs could field solid numbers on Monday night.
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Thursday, September 24, 2009
Tags: Brian Belichick, cleveland browns, dallas cowboys, Darren Sproles, donovan mcnabb, Fantasy Football, Felix Jones, Jamal Lewis, James Davis, Jerry Jones, Julian Edelman, Kevin Kolb, LaDainian Tomlinson, Marion Barber, michael vick, Mike Bell, Monday Night Football, new england patriots, New Orleans Saints, NFL Injuries, Nick Hardwick, philadelphia eagles, Pierre Thomas, Reggie Bush, san diego chargers, Tashard Choice, tony romo, Tynell Hamilton, Wes Welker
(Sanchez was a good sleeper play on Sunday)
Forgive me for playing Nirvana’s “All Apologies” to the max level. But I can’t rid my shame. The guilt, dear God, the guilt.
Actually, that’s a lie, but it’s not for a lack of sorrow that some of my predicted “starts” didn’t pan out. After all, I tend to follow the advice that I give out. So, this week, fair friends, you were not alone.
Through those highs, and those terrible lows, I promise you that you were not alone.
While I may have led you (and you, and you) astray, if only a little bit, I still had enough tricks up my sleeve for the first week of fantasy action.
Enough to keep you listening to my fantasy advice, perhaps? Well, before I indulge myself and your fantasy hopes into another Fantasy Football: Start and Sit column, it’s only my duty to review my picks, and to fully explain why certain players failed to live up to my expectations, while also boosting my ego with my “correct” calls.
The Record: 9-5
Okay, so Brett Favre didn’t throw for 200+ yards and two touchdowns. My bad. In fact, he barely cracked 100, and only threw 21 passes.
But no interceptions and a score doesn’t make playing him a total loss. Still, as far as “starts” go, he was a dud.
And I apologize for Willie Parker. Boy, was that a blown call.
I truly did not believe he was that washed up, or that Tennessee’s run defense would show-up like that. Both of those comments could be overblown, but considering Mewelde Moore did pretty well overall, I’m placing most of the blame on Parker no loner living up to his “Fast Willie” nick-name.
If you followed my lead and played Greg Jennings (despite a nagging injury), Matt Hasselbeck, and Ray Rice, you were pleasantly surprised.
Rice topped 100 yards rushing, Hasselbeck threw three scores, and Jennings hauled in the game-winning touchdown and over 100 yards against the Bears on Sunday night.
You were probably feeling rather smart if you followed my “Sit” suggestions this week, as well.
Jay Cutler had a forgettable four-pick performance, Larry Johnson only managed 20 rushing yards against the Ravens, Kevin Curtis only had 26 yards against the Panthers, and sitting Pierre Thomas was a good choice.
If you went the extra mile and plugged Mike Bell into your line-up on a whim, kudos to you.
Jeremy Shockey and Mark Sanchez made me look smart, while Peyton Hillis and David Clowney did nothing to warrant a spot on the “look out for me” list.
The jury is still out on Darren McFadden for tonight, while Carnell Williams (originally a sit candidate) had over 90 yards rushing and a score. Still, with Derrick Ward splitting carries, he will continue to be a risky play.
All in all, it’s only Week One, but with a 9-5 record on my start-and-sit calls, the fantasy gods may soon be shining on you to listen to this advice.
Look for this week’s Fantasy Football: Start and Sit column on B/R, or go straight to www.theredzonereport.com for all of your fantasy advice and NFL news.
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Monday, September 14, 2009
Tags: brett favre, Carnell Williams, Darren McFadden, David Clowney, Derrick Ward, Fantasy Football, greg jennings, jay cutler, Kevin Curtis, Larry Johnson, mark sanchez, matt hasselbeck, Mike Bell, peyton hillis, Pierre Thomas, Ray Rice, Willie Parker
How about none of those?
Why do either of these guys have to be regarded as fantasy (or real world) busts for 2009, just because they are switching teams?
Yes, they both have new offenses, new coaches, new cities, and new weapons.
But that doesn’t mean they aren’t good or can’t play at an elite level.
Since both of these players have a hate-wagon following them to every city they go to, I beg of you to relax, sit back, and read an unbiased approach to both of their new situations.
Life is about change, people. Remember the song? Change, change…will do you good. No?
Well, still, both of these guys are talented enough to make things happen in their first year in new colors, and I have evidence as to why I believe so.
Cutler took over for Jake Plummer mid-way through the season three years ago, and showed enough to Mike Shanahan and co. that they knew they had done the right thing.
Trouble is, they stopped at the quarterback, and never built a new defense.
John Lynch, anyone?
Cutler went on to form a bitter and exciting rivalry with Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers, routinely dominate the Oakland Raiders, and finally turned himself into a sure- fire Pro Bowler in 2008.
You don’t pass for 25 touchdowns and over 4,500 yards on a whim. The guy is talented.
He’s got a Brett Favre-moxie that you can’t teach, a rocket arm, and excellent mobility.
To anyone who doubts his ability to win, or his fading at times in clutch situations, I have some news for you.
The guy is 25 years old.
He just started coming into his own last year, and while a change in scenery could potentially affect that growth, I believe he’s already reached a confidence and talent level too high to be knocked back down to where he was as a rookie.
In Chicago he will find no Brandon Marshall’s, no Eddie Royal’s, and no Mike Shanahan.
But he still has weapons.
Devin Hester’s speed and explosiveness could make both players look like magicians in 2008, and Greg Olsen’s size and speed could make Tony Scheffler look like a baby Mark Chmura.
The point is, Cutler may not be quite as “great” as his Denver weapons and numbers made him out to be, but he also isn’t anywhere close to the wimpy, cry baby, drama king that the trade to Chicago made him out to be, either.
He still knows how to play football, and he’s talented enough to make things happen with the few weapons that Chicago does have.
Oh, and this time around, he’ll actually have a supportive defense.
Orton is entering into a system that gave Matt Cassel the quickest quarterback make-over we’ve ever seen.
Cassel had no experience to speak of at any level, and hadn’t started a football game since high school. We may find out fairly soon in Kansas City that, while the guy is talented, he is nowhere near as good as this system (and Randy Moss and Wes Welker) made him out to be.
Do you see the common theme, here? Nothing is what you think it is. At least, not when you’re discussing Cutler and Orton.
Orton tossed over 2,900 yards and 18 touchdowns with those average weapons everyone keeps talking about, and is now walking into Jay Cutler-territory, where he has the luxury of having Marshall, Royal, and Scheffler at his disposal.
So, really, which is it?
Did those talented receivers make Cutler, or did Orton’s lack of talent make him? Or is it both?
I say neither.
Orton proved (on a bum ankle for the final four weeks) that he can manage games, and is talented enough to put up solid numbers, despite not having polished weapons around him.
With a new cast of friends sharing the load on offense, Orton’s numbers could get half-way to where Cutler was last year.
And as far as that whole “system quarterback” label is concerned-so what?
If he is indeed a system quarterback, then that’s all the more reason to pull the trade that Josh McDaniels orchestrated, and nab Orton, a guy who can clearly do what he’s told, when he’s told it, and do it well.
Denver won’t have the defensive support Orton had last year, at least not immediately, but if McDaniels system is anything like Bill Belichick’s in New England, there should be some good results.
If you’re looking to draft either of these guys as sleepers, good luck.
It’s becoming more and more obvious that both quarterbacks are getting very comfortable in their new environment, and with all of their respective offensive weapons healthy, there’s no reason to think they both can’t succeed.
Cutler has his defense backing him, as well as a fantastic weapon in Matt Forte (who people tend to overlook when talking about Cutler’s supporting cast), and whether you like it or not, the guy is actually good.
Orton, on the other hand, is only going to play as bad as Brandon Marshall allows him to, and Eddie Royal is set-up to have huge numbers as the Wes Welker-clone, as well.
If those two receivers are putting up elite numbers, don’t you think Orton will reap some of those benefits?
Real World Summary
If we’re being realistic, it’s as simple as this:
Orton is good enough to help make the Denver offense go, but their offensive line is still aging, and their entire defense is, well, incomplete.
They are probably still a .500 team, but Orton is too smart and safe to have them lose more than nine games.
Cutler, on the other hand, has a good defense and special teams, and while some of his weapons aren’t necessarily elite or proven yet, they have the athleticism and explosive needed to make that jump.
With Cutler’s arm guiding the way, the Bears could enter into the top ten in the league, offensively.
Even if they don’t, Cutler is still better than Orton, and Chicago won’t finish any worse than they did last year, which could equate to Cutler’s first “winning” season.
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Saturday, August 1, 2009
(Calvin Johnson has already arrived.)
Everyone knows the old cliche’ about wide receivers. They don’t always make an immediate impact as rookies, and despite having natural talent, usually take a while to carve a niche with their team.
About three years, to be exact.
Not everyone can be Randy Moss and bust out 17 touchdowns in their first try, or like last year’s Eddie Royal, and haul in 91 receptions.
No, sometimes fantasy owners and NFL teams are forced to go the traditional route and wait.
Here’s a look at the wide receivers from the 2007 NFL Draft, who are entering their third season, with analysis on their progress and role with their team.
(This article will only analyze those receivers taken in the 2007 draft.)
1. Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions)
Johnson is arguably a top-three fantasy receiver, depending on who you’re talking to.
Despite not having a dependable quarterback, or any sort of supporting cast, Johnson racked up over 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2008.
The new regime is reportedly enamored with Johnson (how couldn’t they be?), as he’s poised to match last year’s numbers, and possibly add to them.
Prediction: 85 rec., 1,479 yards, 13 TD
2. Dwayne Bowe (Kansas City Chiefs)
Bowe has already made a quiet name for himself, as he was the second-best weapon (behind Tony Gonzalez) on Kansas City’s offense in 2008.
With Matt Cassel coming to town, Bowe should easily crack 1,000 yards again with a pass-happy system and an upgrade at the signal caller position.
Bowe has already showed glimpses of his potential with 12 touchdowns in his first two seasons. This should be his break-out year.
Prediction: 87 rec, 1,244 yards, nine TD
3. Anthony Gonzalez (Indianapolis Colts)
Gonzalez has been showing for the past two years that his speed and hands are more than able to make up for the loss of future Hall of Famer, Marvin Harrison.
His chemistry with Peyton Manning improves with every day of practice, and there’s no doubt Gonzelez can improve (and will) on his 2008 numbers of 57 catches, 664 yards, and four scores.
Prediction: 81 rec, 1,209 yards, eight TD
4. Ted Ginn Jr. (Miami Dolphins)
Ginn has progressed slower than many had hoped, but he has still shown flashes of electric play-making ability, and has starred as a solid return man, too.
His role has been increasing in the offense over his two years with the team, and to avoid the Wildcat offense from getting predictable, his production will have to increase.
Prediction: 74 rec, 1,088 yards, seven TD
5. Steve Breaston (Arizona Cardinals)
Breaston has been quite impressive already, as he topped 1,000 yards as the Cardinals reliable third option.
Apparently it’s not very difficult to get open when you have Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin taking all the attention from the secondary. Go figure.
Breaston has already “broken out” more than he or anyone else could have hoped, considering he was the third option last year, and will continue to be in 2009.
His numbers are likely to dip a bit, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t already “arrived.”
Prediction: 72 rec, 955 yards, five TD
6. Steve Smith (New York Giants)
With Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer out of town, Steve Smith is likely to pair up with Domenik Hixon (at least in the early going), and will have a legitimate chance at locking down a starting role.
Smith has good hands and is a solid route runner, and also possesses underrated speed and quickness. If he and Manning can continue the chemistry that landed him 57 catches and over 500 yards.
Prediction: 79 rec, 855 yards, three TD
7. Sidney Rice (Minnesota Vikings)
Rice battled injuries last year, taking him down a peg after putting forth solid effort in his rookie year.
With the potential (and likely) addition of Brett Favre, Rice could easily develop into a solid red-zone target, and could also be a decent down-field threat, as his speed has gotten better every year.
Prediction: 58 rec, 744 yards, six TD
8. James Jones (Green Bay Packers)
Jones and fellow slot receiver candidate, Jordy Nelson, both arguably have the talent right now to unseat Donald Driver.
Unfortunately, they will have to settle (at least for 2009) for fighting over third receiver duties.
While Nelson appears to have the upper hand with better size, speed, and hands, Jones may have more ability after the catch, making him a better fit for the slot.
Regardless, Green Bay’s system leaves the door open for tons of yards and scores to go around, especially as Aaron Rodgers matures.
Prediction: 46 rec, 690 yards, five TD
9. Johnnie Lee Higgins (Oakland Raiders)
Higgins is in line for contending for a starting role, and may end up with one of the starting gigs, almost by default.
Seventh overall selection, Darrius Heyward-Bey, has been slowed for the past month with injuries, and Javon Walker hasn’t been able to put forth 100 percent of his effort in over a year.
Higgins was a highlight reel waiting to happen on returns (three scores), and it’s clear Oakland coaches will do what is necessary to get the ball in his hands.
Prediction: 45 rec, 722 yards, four TD
10. Mike Walker (Jacksonville Jaguars)
Dennis Northcutt and Matt Jones are gone, which leaves the door open for Walker to step in and snag the spot opposite of Torry Holt.
Walker has the skills needed to make the jump, and in limited action, has impressed.
Prediction: 44 rec, 596 yards, three TD
11. Laurent Robinson (St. Louis Rams)
Robinson was a bit of a disappointment in Atlanta, which prompted the Falcons to send him packing to St. Louis.
Now Robinson is a better environment to utilize his skills, but will also have some young talent around him, making his production difficult to gauge.
Prediction: 42 rec, 539 yards, four TD
12. Jason Hill (San Francisco 49ers)
Until further notice, Michael Crabtree and Isaac Bruce are not starters, while Josh Morgan and Jason Hill are.
Hill has good after-the-catch ability, and could snag a spot in the slot, regardless of the play of Crabtree.
Prediction: 39 rec, 477 yards, three TD
13. Chansi Stuckey (New York Jets)
Stuckey burst onto the scene early last year with some nice catches and decent performances, as he and Brett Favre formed some solid chemistry.
However, that eroded mid-way through the season, and we never saw that confident, rising receiver again.
It’s unlikely he’ll reach his potential with Kellen Clemens or a first-year Mark Sanchez throwing him the ball, but he’s a better bet than, say, a Titans receiver.
Prediction: 41 rec, 505 yards, four TD
14. Robert Meachem (New Orleans Saints)
Meachem only makes this list because Drew Brees spreads the ball around more than Fabio spreads I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, and that Saints offense is insanely sick.
He can still run with the best of them, and even as their fourth option, could still put up some decent numbers.
Prediction: 33 rec, 421 yards, three TD
15. Dwayne Jarrett (Carolina Panthers)
Muhsin Muhammad won’t be around forever to rescue Steve Smith from double teams. Come to think of it, I’m not sure he was that great at it last year.
Jarrett isn’t guaranteed slot duties, and is still in a run-first offense. But if he can show he can get it done in pre-season, he could prove to be a dangerous weapon with Steve Smith distracting the secondary.
Like many receivers, though, he’ll have to start slow.
Prediction: 22 rec, 311 yards, four TD
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Friday, July 24, 2009
Categories: Fantasy Football
Tags: anthony gonzalez, arizona cardinals, atlanta falcons, Calvin Johnson, Carolina Panthers, Chansi Stuckey, Detroit Lions, Dwayne Bowe, Dwayne Jarrett, Fantasy Football, indianapolis colts, jacksonville jaguars, james jones, Jason Hill, Johnnie Lee Higgins, kansas city chiefs, Laurent Robinson, miami dolphins, Mike Walker, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, new york jets, NFL, oakland raiders, Robert Meachem, San Francisco 49ers, Sidney Rice, St. Louis Rams, Steve Breaston, Steve Smith, Ted Ginn Jr.