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
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
The Cowboys were supposed to be “America’s Team” again.
They were fresh off of an impressive 13-3 record and 2007 division title. They were Super Bowl contenders, and at the very least, playoff guarantees.
Well, one broken pinkie later, and all that 2007 created in Dallas was ruined.
Fast forward to the off-season, and the team has lost several starters from last year, including star receiver Terrell Owens, pass-rush specialist Greg Ellis, and safety Roy Williams.
The Cowboys have a lot of ground to make up, despite having a smart offensive plan and a slew of weapons.
Read on to see the top five issues facing the Cowboys as they prepare for August’s pre-season action.
5. The Addition of Igor Olshansky
The Cowboys got most of their pass-rush from Demarcus Ware last season, and brought in Olshansky from San Diego to add power to their front line.
Olshansky wasn’t brought in to rush the passer. His strength and brutality on the line will be of great use, as Dallas tried to improve on their 12th ranked rush defense.
The addition of Olshansky doesn’t completely make-up for the losses of Greg Ellis and Chris Canty, but he’s the type of player in the trenches that can change the tone of a game.
4. Can Ken Hamlin Bounce Back?
After a fantastic debut season with Dallas in 2007, where he registered 62 tackles and five interceptions, 2008 saw Hamlin regress after signing a big, six-year contract.
The money may have gotten to Hamlin for a year, but threats of a possible release (if 2009 goes sour) should snap him back into form.
Hamlin has little help at safety, but his secondary play and pass rush are bordering on elite.
He’s the clear-cut starter, and at only 28, is still one of the most talented safeties in the league.
3. Can Roy Williams Effectively Replace T.O.?
After showing glimmers of star-quality in Detroit, Williams came to Dallas in a trade, and after one lackluster half-season in the big “D”, Williams’ time to step up is coming.
His presence prompted the release of Terrell Owens, and with no other proven receivers aside from Patrick Crayton, Williams is officially the designated “star” receiver for Dallas.
However, it’s arguable that the Cowboys’ current third receiver, Miles Austin, is the best overall receiver on the team, and could end up thriving in the Cowboys new, balanced attack.
Regardless of how Austin or Crayton perform, Williams should see plenty of targets, that is, once he gets back on the field.
2. Marion Barber vs. Felix Jones
There are rumors swirling that the Cowboys intend on using Felix Jones and Marion Barber together on the field at the same time.
Jones’ versatility, speed, hands, and athleticism allow Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett to place him just about anywhere.
Barber, on the other hand, is still the Cowboys’ bread-and-butter chains mover, as well as their short yardage and goal-line stud.
Jones figures to (at the very worst) play on third downs, return kicks, and slide out on special plays, strictly as a receiver.
They both, along with third running back, Tashard Choice, are immensely talented, and should combine their efforts to form a formidable rush offense.
Contrary to popular belief, a talented three-headed horse at the tailback position is in no way a bad thing.
That is, unless you’re talking about fantasy football.
1. How Will Tony Romo’s Break-up’s Affect Him?
First T.O. had to go. Now there are reports that “it’s over” between Romo and now ex-lover, Jessica Simpson.
Oddly enough, both departures from Romo’s life could turn out to be the best thing possibly for him.
Terrell Owens was getting too big, even for Dallas, and whether you believe in jinxes or not, Simpson’s involvement in Romo’s life brought a negative and almost “unlucky” vibe.
With a clear head and a new mind-set, Romo should be able to spread the ball around more, while relying on one of the finest trios of running backs the league has to offer.
Even if Roy Williams can’t take hold of the number one spot, Romo should perform well.
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Monday, September 7, 2009
With his partial reinstatement back in the NFL, Michael Vick suddenly has a lot to think about. Or worry about, depending on your outlook on his financial situation, as well as his professional football career.
Regardless, some team out there in the NFL will be interested enough to take him on. After all, despite some bad PR for taking on such a risk, there is always the good PR for being the team that “rescued” Vick, and gave him another chance.
While conventional picks for a Vick signing, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, and Oakland all being ruled out (thanks to NFL Insider, Adam Schefter) Vick’s landing spot just got a little more difficult to predict.
Vick is currently under a special reinstatement that will allow him to participate in all team activities, including the entire training camp, as well as the final two pre-season games. His current suspension until week six is reportedly not a “done deal”, and could erode into no suspension at all.
Depending on Vick’s behavior, he could be able to play in week one.
However, that doesn’t do fans much good, considering teams aren’t exactly lining up to pay for his services.
Still, he’s still too talented to not have a place in this league, and as long as a team believes he’s truly remorseful and a changed person, he will definitely be suiting up for someone in 2009, and very possibly as the starter.
Here’s a look at five teams that could pull the trigger:
Current Starter: Chad Pennington
True, the Dolphins have a capable starter in Pennington, and have two young signal callers, Chad Henne and Pat White, who they would probably prefer to have on the roster, rather than the controversial Vick.
However, if Vick’s speed and explosiveness haven’t left him, he would potentially be a perfect fit for their Wildcat offense.
Again, White was drafted both for that, as well as a possible quarterback that could out-perform Henne.
But if Vick was just signed to a one-year deal, the Dolphins could mold the rest of their offense around him, and give it a go.
The worst case scenario would be that the team upsets the 33-year old Pennington. And considering they’ve already stated that Henne is their guy for 2010, they won’t be too worried about that.
Verdict: If it’s all about the Wildcat in Miami, then why not? Very possible.
St. Louis Rams
Current Starter: Marc Bulger
The Rams are moving in different directions on both sides of the ball. They are trying to be more defensive-minded, while changing their air attack offense into a more time-controlled ground attack.
With Steven Jackson, that’s entirely possible. With Marc Bulger? Not so much.
The Rams could really use an extra explosive weapon on offense, as well as an athletic and elusive passer that can help their line grow as a unit, rather than take sack after sack.
Bulger has been ineffective for two straight years, is mobile as a rock, and is older than Vick.
The Rams play indoors and with their current rebuilding project, would be a fine place for Vick to start over.
Verdict: If you can upgrade over Bulger, you should. Unless the Rams hate him, it’s a perfect fit.
Current Starter: David Garrard
Garrard regressed last season, but also showed improved passing skills and the ability to take over games with both his arm and legs.
However, he’s not the explosive player that Vick is. He may have better accuracy and is currently a better fit for the offense, but Vick’s potential in an offense that already doesn’t really rely on it’s air attack is quite interesting.
With a player like Vick, a patchwork offensive line turns into “not such a big deal”, while opening things up for newly acquired Torry Holt, Maurice Jones-Drew, and possibly turning the inconsistent Marcedes Lewis into a more reliable target.
The Jaguars are said to be remotely interested in his availability, and if his suspension is lifted, Jack Del Rio just might try this one last dash to save his job.
Verdict: Vick is about as good as Garrard as a passer, but blows him away in athleticism. Slightly possible.
Current Starter: Tony Romo
There’s no way Dallas would bring in Vick to take over for Romo, but if they’re truly adamant about implementing the Wildcat offense, signing Vick to a one-year deal wouldn’t be a bad decision.
After all, Jerry Jones has already shown he likes to take chances with both Terrell Owens and Adam “Pacman” Jones.
The real question isn’f if Dallas wants Vick or if he’ll fit in. We know Jones and co. loves talent.
The question is, has Jones learned his lesson?
Verdict: Jones will probably continues to take silly chances, but this is still unlikely. Vick wants a starting gig at all costs.
Current Starter: Undecided
If Brett Favre does indeed come back, this drops from unlikely to completely unrealistic.
However, if the Vikings are even slightly worried about Favre making it through a full 16 -game season, adding Vick as a situational passer wouldn’t be a terrible idea.
After all, if Favre does indeed sign, Tarvaris Jackson has reportedly said he’d want to be traded, which would leave the door open for another athletic quarterback to run special packages-if that’s something Minnesota would be interested in.
My gut tells me Favre signs, Jackson leaves, and Sage Rosenfels does what he does best: holds a clipboard and refrains from helicopter dives.
Verdict: Vick’s best shot at starting in the NFL is in St. Louis, with Miami taking the immediate backseat. Favre is likely to sign, making this move almost impossible.
Overall, there could still be random interest in Vick across the league, depending on injuries in pre-season, as well as poor play.
For example, if the Jets suddenly weren’y happy with Kellen Clemens or Mark Sanchez, it’s not too crazy to imagine them bringing Vick in.
I’m still not sold on Washington, Oakland, Seattle, and San Francisco all having no desire to even bring Vick in for a tryout.
Monitor these five situations, however, as they currently appear to be the most logical.
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Tags: atlanta falcons, brett favre, Chad Henne, chad pennington, dallas cowboys, david garrard, jacksonville jaguars, Jerry Jones, marc bulger, miami dolphins, michael vick, Minnesota Vikings, oakland raiders, Pat White, San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams, Tarvaris Jackson, tony romo, washington redskins