I vouched for this kid. And regardless of many other experts opinions, he made me look like a genius, while leading the surprise New York Jets to a 3-0 start.
But I never said this was a Cinderella story. I said this was a playoff team, but I never alluded to the dream that he was a playoff-caliber quarterback.
He’s a rookie, folks. This is what rookies do. Read more…
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Monday, October 19, 2009
Tags: bench mark sanchez, Jerricho Cotchery, joe flacco, kellen clemens, Kris Jenkins, leon washington, mark sanchez, matt ryan, new york jets, NFL, quarterback benching, Rex Ryan, Rookie Quarterback, thomas jones, trent edwards
It’s a fair question. And quite honestly, based on Tim Tebow’s decision to return for his senior season at Florida, one that actually warrants a careful response.
We will undoubtedly have to wait until next April’s NFL Draft to find out for sure, but the question remains: Would it be better for an under-hyped college football star to take the short route to pro stardom and join the UFL, or take his chances in the NFL Draft and be a back-up?
Or worse—possibly not even make an NFL roster?
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Monday, September 28, 2009
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
It’s gut-check time for Buffalo, Miami, and New England. Sort of.
After Monday night is over, two of those teams will be walking into next week’s slate of games at 0-1, and staring at the Jets and their seemingly unshakable rookie quarterback with a 1-0 record.
“Broadway” Joe ain’t got nothin’ on this kid Sanchez.
Except a Super Bowl ring, years of experience, and an alcohol addiction that could kill a Rhino.
But still, all the Sanchez haters out there can give it up. The dude was flawless in a 277-yard, one touchdown effort.
Oh, and Rex Ryan has it all figured out. Think about it.
Andre Johnson had 35 yards receiving, Matt Schaub is currently screaming in his bed with a nightmare of the Jets chasing him down, and Steve Slaton is still trying to figure out how he only had 17 yards rushing.
The answer to all of Houston’s issues on Sunday? The Jets are the 2008 Baltimore Ravens, the 2.0 version.
And this is without Calvin Pace. And they’re running their offense through a rookie quarterback.
But that’s just it. This kid isn’t anymore a rookie than Brett Favre isn’t eligible for the senior citizen deal at your local Taco Bell.
Give that man, and hell, Sanchez too, a free soda. Throw in a damn taco.
While Sanchez may have been solely responsible for Houston’s only points (a pick six), he made very few mistakes, completed 18-of-31 passes, and looked in complete control.
But why is this still a shock?
Rex Ryan, who many argue was “basically” Baltimore’a head coach in 2008 (sorry, John Harbaugh), has been here before.
He had solid holdovers on defense from last season.
All he had to do was lure some solid prospects and veterans (Bart Scott and Jim Leonhard) from Baltimore, and Bam!, he has a stud-driven defense.
Oh, and a solid draft on both ends didn’t hurt, either.
Still, so many doubters, not nearly enough time to list them off. And I know it’s only one week. I know it’s just the first of 16 tests the rookie quarterback will endure. But he passed it.
He passed it big time.
Sorry, Clark Judge. This kid’s got it.
And as long as Thomas Jones and company can keep up this whole “supportive offense” thing, we could see some progress on last year’s 9-7 finish.
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Tags: andre johnson, Baltimore Ravens, Bart Scott, Contenders, houston texans, Jets Win, Jim Leonhard, mark sanchez, matt schaub, new york jets, NFL Playoffs, NFL Week One, Rex Ryan, Rookie Quarterback, steve slaton, thomas jones
(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
The Jets accepted the fact that Eric Mangini wasn’t quite the “genius” everyone thought he was, and after saying good-bye to Brett Favre, began a true transformation.
With the hiring of Rex Ryan and drafting of Shonne Green, the Jets proved that they were heavily committed to running the football and shutting down teams with an aggressive defense.
Top it off with a new franchise quarterback, and the Jets have the makings for a competitive playoff team that could contend for years to come.
The question is, will one of those year’s be 2009?
Read on to see five things to watch for this season.
5. Mark Sanchez vs. Kellen Clemens
Sanchez was highly touted, and rightfully so, and is easily the best quarterback on the Jets roster, already despite being a rookie. While Kellen Clemens is a “veteran”, very little about his game would actually suggest it. Sanchez may not be polished in some respects and have NFL-ready game-managing skills, but he’s a true gamer, and has better instincts than Clemens.
Despite Clemens being dubbed the “opening day” starter for the pre-season, it’s unlikely he holds onto the job.
Sanchez can make things happen on the run, has a better arm than Clemens, and would give New York a Joe Namath, young-gun mystique that it hasn’t had in almost 40 years.
Look for the rookie to win the job.
4. The Rex Ryan Era
Ryan new how to build defenses and get them to perform at the highest level in Baltimore, so why would that change in New York?
The only difference now is the colorful Ryan has the ability to choose all of his players, rather than have his personnel decisions handed down to him and made for him.
Ryan knows talent, and he knows potential. But the best part is that he knows, with a deeper understanding than most, that there’s a difference between the two.
Eric Mangini left a solid corps of players that Ryan can easily work with, while some former Baltimore defenders, Jim Leonhard and Bart Scott, who were both successful in his system, joined the team.
Another thing to note is that Mangini has been around contending teams that had in-experienced or rookie quarterbacks. Just look at Joe Flacco.
The tools are there on both sides of the ball, and if we go by history, the Jets should be very competitive.
3. The Progression of Vernon Gholston
After being a rookie bust in 2008, while registering just 13 tackles, Gholston finally has life.
With Rex Ryan in town, he should receive the best guidance and teaching he’s ever gotten, and should every change to succeed in Ryan’s aggressive 3-4.
Gholston is even the starter to start the season, and he was picked to be Calvin Pace’s replacement after Pace was suspended for four games.
It may be difficult to hold off Pace when he gets back, but Gholston is too athletic to not make things happen in a Rex Ryan system.
Anticipate a break-out season for the second-year player.
2. Can Thomas Jones Do It Again?
Before Brett Favre, Jones was just cracking 1,000 yards and scored one measly touchdown in 2008. With Favre? Jones is still relishing in a 13-touchdown Pro Bowl season.
Post-Favre? You tell me.
Jones is 32, more than likely just hit the highest numbers he’ll ever get, and has fierce talent around him weighting for more carries.
Leon Washington, despite being in contract discussions, is still a home-run threat every time he touches the ball, making it an almost certainty that his touches will increase.
Throw in the rookie, Shonne Green, the Jets pre-determined “closer”, and Jones is suddenly in a very quiet RBBC.
If that is indeed the case, which it plainly is, there’s no way Jones scores over 10 touchdowns again, and could even struggle to top 1,000 yards.
But hey, if it means a division title, who cares, right?
1. Can Jerricho Cotchery Survive On His Own?
Cotchery isn’t particularly fast, and isn’t overly reliable in traffic or on deep balls.
To be honest, Cotchery has been living in an elite receiver’s body, but has put in very average results.
It didn’t help that he has never had any truly elite help to take the focus off of him, but being the top (and only) option sure doesn’t hurt your stock, either.
There is no true second receiver behind Cotchery that is scary to opposing defenses, while Dustin Keller and Leon Washington are the only other effective options in the passing game.
If another receiver can’t emerge from the mix to help out Cotchery, he may fold up. Like a lawn chair.
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Sunday, August 16, 2009
There won’t be a Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco this year.
Mark Sanchez could see his team get the playoffs, but it will undoubtedly not be because he throws for 3,000 yards and 20+ touchdowns.
There’s not going to be an Adrian Peterson, or a slew of Chris Johnson’s, Steve Slaton’s, and Matt Forte’s.
Realistically, there are only two rookie running backs worth drafting in the top five rounds.
That might even be a reach.
Wide Receivers are no different.
There are a few with a solid chance at starting, and a few more with duties in the slot almost guaranteed.
But superstars? Not even Michael Crabtree.
If you must take a chance, or are investing for a dynasty or keeper league, here’s the top five guys that could pan out, just as you’d hoped.
Honorable Mentions: Donald Brown, Shonne Green, LeSean McCoy, Kenny Britt, Percy Harvin
5.Michael Crabtree, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Regardless of what some biased scouts said about him, the guy can flat-out play.
He has the hands, smarts, and body control of a dominant NFL wide receiver, and that’s exactly what he’ll be-some day.
Crabtree is still behind Isaac Bruce, Josh Morgan, and probably even Jason Hill.
Due to missed practices and the depth ahead of him, Crabtree is in danger of starting his rookie year as the fourth option.
He’s still been going high (eighth) round, so you may have to fight for him.
But I suggest you let someone else take that chance.
4. Brian Robiskie, WR, Cleveland Browns
If there’s any receiver who is a shoe-in to start, it’s Robiskie.
He has exceptional hands and body control, and reportedly runs routes and handles coverage like a veteran.
He may not have blazing speed, but Robiskie is vastly underrated, and projects to snag the number two spot before the season starts.
Robiskie would make for a nice steal in rounds 8 to 10.
3. Knownshon Moreno, RB, Denver Broncos
He could very well end up being the best player on this list (this year, and beyond), but his offensive system and depth at his position really don’t suggest so.
Head Coach Josh McDaniels runs 3-4 backs at all times, and prefers the pass over the run. If Kyle Orton does well, they’ll stick to that plan, which could have Moreno falling short of 1,000 yards, despite being “the starter.”
2. Jeremy Maclin, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
There’s simply too much talent ahead of him for him to start right away.
Kevin Curtis has paid his dues and is still effective, while it’s unrealistic to think the electric DeSean Jackson will take a back seat to the rookie.
Maclin’s talent is off the charts, though, with excellent size, speed, and hands.
He won’t start the season as Philly’s go-to receiver, but he’s likely to send Curtis to slot duties, eventually.
1. Chris “Beanie” Wells, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Don’t buy the hype.
Tim Hightower is a failed experiment, and Arizona spent a first rounder on Wells for a good reason: to start him.
He may be eased into the role, but there’s no reason to have him sit behind the ineffective Hightower.
Hightower has a slight advantage in the passing game, but expecting that to keep Wells off the field is simply laughable.
The Cardinals aim to have a more balanced attack, and if Wells can help make that successful, he could post the best numbers of all the rookies.
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Saturday, July 18, 2009
Tags: adrian peterson, arizona cardinals, atlanta falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Brian Robiskie, chicago bears, Chris Wells, cleveland browns, denver broncos, Donald Brown, houston texans, indianapolis colts, Jeremy Maclin, joe flacco, Knowshon Moreno, LeSean McCoy, mark sanchez, Matt Forte, matt ryan, Michael Crabtree, Minnesota Vikings, new york jets, Percy Harvin, philadelphia eagles, San Francisco 49ers, Shonne Green, steve slaton, tennessee titans
The top ten picks of a Fantasy Football draft is fairly self-explanatory, no matter the format or scoring settings.
It’s simply, really. If you have a league the has two quarterbacks starting, getting Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, or Tom Brady with your top pick isn’t a bad move.
If your league has three running backs starting, you would be doing yourself a favor to get the best three running backs available—and so on and so forth.
But what few people realize, is that many fantasy football championships are won in the later rounds, when owners take fliers on rookies, players with legal troubles, or guys without a team.
Here are 13 players, in no particular order, that deserve a shot to prove to you that they’re still fantasy relevant.
Plaxico Burress, WR, Free Agent
Rumors in New York (Jets) have cooled a bit, but don’t buy it. Burress will see his court issues simmer down for the 2009 season, likely allowing him to continue his playing career.
After all, how is a man to pay for all those lawyers if he can’t earn a paycheck?
Burress may still wind up with some sort of suspension, but either way, is worth taking in the later rounds of your draft, simply because he’s still a candidate for 1,100 yards and 10 touchdowns if he plays.
You’re not really going to draft a demoted Isaac Bruce before Burress, are you?
Matt Jones, WR, Free Agent
Jones won’t be facing any suspensions from the league, and the serious part of his legal issues is pretty much over with.
All Jones really has to worry about now is finding a starting spot on a team.
There are plenty of team (Jets, Giants, Cowboys, and Bears, just to name a few) that could use a 6’6″ receiver with good hands and great speed.
Jones probably hasn’t signed yet for two reasons: He doesn’t want to go to the Organized Team Activities, and a few teams may be a bit cautious about his recent problems.
Don’t worry. He’ll find a team and he’ll continue his progression into the better half of the league’s receivers. If the guy could put up solid numbers in Jacksonville, just imagine what he can do if Jay Cutler is throwing him the ball.
Edgerrin James, RB, Free Agent
James may be getting up there in age, but he showed he can still grind it out in last year’s playoff run with Arizona.
He’s lost some speed, but he’s a tough runner who is useful out of the backfield as a receiver, and is solid at picking up blitzes.
While he’s unlikely to find a starting job, he could be very useful as a change of pace back, with several teams in the league lacking veteran experience or overall depth at the position.
Brett Favre, QB, Free Agent
After Favre appeared on HBO’s Joe Buck Live and answered the tough questions, it appears imminent that he will sign with the Vikings.
Still, nothing is certain until he’s signed and in camp, so you can probably still get him in the late rounds of your draft.
Maybe people either still don’t believe he’s coming back, or don’t feel he offers anything as a fantasy quarterback.
I’m here to tell you that it’s foolish to buy into that line of thinking. Favre has all the supporting cast in the world to put up his 2007 numbers again, although with less yards.
Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor will pick up the slack so Favre won’t wear out his arm again, while Bernard Berrian will give Favre the big-play threat he craves.
The Vike’s solid offensive line should be able to protect Favre while all this goes on, and numbers like 3,500 yards, 25 TD, and 15 INT are extremely possible in an offense he knows better than anybody.
Laurence Maroney, RB, New England Patriots
No, he’s not guaranteed the starting job, and yes, he was hurt for most of last season. In fact, even when he was playing, he was ineffective and didn’t look like he did in 2007.
However, regardless of what you may have heard, he’s definitely in Bill Belichick’s plans, and based on the success of the running back by committee in New England last season, he’s still a better pick-up than, say, Noah Herron.
It obviously depends on how many teams are in your league, but if Maroney ever does grab hold of the starting job again, he could be a fantastic steal by you.
Peyton Hillis, RB/FB, Denver Broncos
After putting up over 340 yards and five touchdowns as the Broncos’ interim starting running back lat least season, Hillis figures to get some kind of touches in Josh McDaniels new offense.
Hillis is a versatile offensive threat that can run, block, and catch at an extremely high level, and should be used in a variety of packages.
Despite the likelihood he will be deployed a good amount, he’s lasting on boards until the very end of drafts. Make sure that he doesn’t.
Chris Henry, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
With a healthy Carson Palmer back and a new gung-ho attitude from teammate Chad Ochocinco (I still hate saying that), Henry could emerge as the explosive third option he was just three seasons ago.
Injuries to himself and his quarterback, as well as the usual off-field issues have been holding Henry back, but he could be primed for a big season if everything in Cincy works out as well as Carson Palmer thinks it will.
When healthy and out of trouble, Henry is a threat for 6-9 scores, as well as 350-600 yards. He shouldn’t be without a fantasy owner when your draft is through.
Brian Leonard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Let’s keep things relative, and address the Bengals ground game, too.
We all know Cedric Benson had an impressive three-game stretch to end the season last year, but we’re fooling ourselves if we think three good games can erase the previous three seasons of horrid play.
Benson is no sure thing, which is why the Bengals brought in Leonard from St. Louis.
Leonard will be used as a blocker and a third-down/short yardage back initially, but if Benson struggles, we could see him taking on a more prominent role.
Leonard is a very useful weapon as a receiver out of the backfield, as well, and Marvin Lewis will look for several different ways to get him on the field.
Mark Sanchez, QB, Jets vs. Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions
These guys are at a tie for now, simply because neither has been guaranteed the starting gig.
I like Stafford’s potential for this season better based on Calvin Johnson, while Sanchez has a better moxie to him, and probably has a better running game and overall team surrounding him.
Neither are Joe Flacco or Matt Ryan clones, and both are in worse situations than last year’s impressive rookies were. However, there is still some fantasy value there, and if they wind up starting, they could become useful in deeper leagues.
Jerome Harrison, RB, Cleveland Browns
Jamal Lewis is over 30 and clearly not as quick or fast as he used to be (was he ever?).
Harrison has been offering Cleveland a special change-of-pace style for a couple years now, and should finally get his chance to prove his worth.
He won’t take over the starting job before the season starts, but by the end of the season, I’d be shocked if they weren’t at least splitting carries.
The Wild Card
Joey Galloway, WR, New England Patriots
Galloway is definitely up there in age for a receiver, but he can still burn rubber and get behind the secondary.
Bill Belichick’s offense will allow him to have the field all to himself with most of the attention focused on containing Randy Moss and Wes Welker.
Think back when Donte Stallworth was the third option on the 2007 New England team. Galloway could easily put up numbers in the realm of 50 rec, 750 yards, and 6 TD.
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Categories: Fantasy Football
It’s the first day of June, which means all of those premature NFL power rankings and fantasy football rankings are no longer, well, quite as premature.
While everyone (including myself) is discussing LeBron James and his handshake phobia, the Magic and the Lakers, or Bruno’s fall into Eminem’s lap, I’ve decided to take that free fall dive into the loving arms of fantasy football.
And yes, the fantasy realm loves me back.
However, let’s pace ourselves. After all, it is in fact the first month of summer (first day, no less), and we don’t want to generate pre-football heart attacks.
I mean, Brett Favre hasn’t even made up his mind yet, so why should the rest of us be getting antsy?
Regardless, here is a team-by-team look at all 32 starting quarterbacks, their weapons, offenses, and how they may destroy or enhance your team.
Still worried about Favre’s final decision, camp battles, or injuries? I’ll do my best to fill you in, allowing you an early look at which quarterbacks may be the best bets, which could be potential sleepers, and which ones you should stay away from.
Tom Brady—New England Patriots
Matt Cassel is in Kansas City, and Brady is back in camp, meaning two things.
You have nothing to worry about, and you have nothing to worry about.
Brady has looked sharp in limited practice, and still has the same awesome weapons he had in 2007 during his 50-touchdown season. This list isn’t a ranking, but if it were, I’d have Brady at the top.
Verdict: If you can get him in the second round, you’re already winning.
Proj: 4,090 yards, 35 TD, 13 INT
Mark Sanchez—New York Jets
Don’t buy the Kellen Clemens hype (not that there actually is any).
For better or worse, Sanchez will begin the new Joe Namath era.
It won’t be as sexy or productive as either of Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco’s seasons last year, but I wouldn’t be shocked if the Jets reached the playoffs.
Verdict: Not yet an option for FF
Proj: 2,400 yards, 16 TD, 17 INT
Trent Edwards—Buffalo Bills
I like the addition of Owens, but not the loss of Marshawn Lynch to start the season.
Edwards isn’t as bad as people think, and now he has a sound offense around him. He’s a borderline top-15 quarterback, and depending on how he looks in pre-season, could crack that barrier quite easily.
Proj: 3,555 yards, 26 TD, 14 INT
Chad Pennington—Miami Dolphins
This is probably Pennington’s last hurrah with Miami, and something tells me the exciting juice that this offense had last season has all but dried up.
Pennington still doesn’t have enticing options, and he’s got two quarterbacks breathing down his neck.
He’ll be serviceable to start the season, but you won’t claim your league’s championship if he’s your starter.
Verdict: He’s a stop-gap
Proj: 3,100 yards, 17 TD, 14 INT
Ben Roethlisberger—Pittsburgh Steelers
If he endures a Super Bowl hang-over, we could see some bad numbers.
Because, as we’ve learned, the less Big Ben throws, the better he is.
He’s still a fantasy quarterback with solid weapons around him, so don’t be afraid to snatch him up.
Proj: 3,470 yards, 23 TD, 18 INT
Brady Quinn—Cleveland Browns
Personally, I think Derek Anderson has the better arm and size, but Braylon Edwards favors Quinn, and the organization is more likely to run with the young, more familiar face.
Quinn is actually a good, young quarterback, and I’m not sure why Eric Mangini isn’t higher on him.
Regardless, aside from Braylon “Mr. Drop” Edwards, Quinn has no weapons.
Verdict: Things could get ugly
Proj: 2,899 yards, 20 TD, 20 INT
Carson Palmer—Cincinnati Bengals
He was awful last season, going 0-4 before bowing out with an arm injury.
However, his weapons are still potentially elite, and if he can return to form, could easily put up numbers that will have you kicking yourself for passing him up in the fourth round.
Verdict: Possibly ends the season as a top-5 passer
Proj: 3,884 yards, 27 TD, 17 INT
Joe Flacco—Baltimore Ravens
Flacco proved to be a capable game-manager, and has reportedly looked good over the offseason.
However, the Ravens are likely to base their offense around the run, and Flacco doesn’t have superstar options surrounding him.
Verdict: See Chad Pennington
Proj: 3,335 yards, 18 TD, 16 INT
Vince Young—Tennessee Titans
Call me crazy, but I don’t see Kerry Collins finishing the first half of the season as the starter.
He’s up there in age, which makes a regression or an injury extremely likely, and if things aren’t going well, he’ll be benched rather quickly.
Young may not have a cloudless head on his shoulders, but he still can make things happen with his feet.
Verdict: Young might surprise some people
Proj: 2,467 yards, 15 TD, 13 INT, 430 r yards, 4 TD
Peyton Manning—Indianapolis Colts
Manning loses Marvin Harrison, Tony Dungy, and two other important assistant coaches.
That doesn’t mean he’ll suddenly lose his touch, but there’s only so much Anthony Gonzales and Austin Collie can make up for.
Verdict: Draft him below Tom Brady, for sure this time
Proj: 4,300 yards, 33 TD, 19 INT
David Garrard—Jacksonville Jaguars
He lost Matt Jones, but gained Torry Holt.
Something tells me Garrard won’t really notice.
Jacksonville’s offense is all about grinding it out, but they were forced to put the ball in the air more last year because of an atrocious offensive line.
Verdict: A better line means Garrard is good again
Proj: 3,090 yards, 20 TD, 12 INT, 260 r yards, 3 TD
Matt Schaub—Houston Texans
Schaub has too many weapons to fail. The only problem is, he needs to stay on the field.
If he can play even 13 games, he’ll put up huge numbers, while leaving everyone guessing, yet again, what he’d do if he played a full season.
Still, with Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter, Steve Slaton, and Owen Daniels, the future looks good for Schaub.
Verdict: He can lead your team to a title
Proj: 3,800 yards, 25 TD, 16 INT
Philip Rivers—San Diego Chargers
If Rivers’ defense can back him up, unlike in 2008, he could easily approach last year’s numbers, and possibly even surpass them.
With a healthy Antonio Gates and LT, Rivers is more confident than ever.
Verdict: Draft him like he’s Tom Brady
Proj: 4,270 yards, 30 TD, 16 INT
Jeff Garcia—Oakland Raiders
I just don’t see the JaMarcus Russell experiment lasting more than three or four losses in 2009, and wouldn’t be shocked to see him benched in the pre-season.
As long as Garcia wins a few games, Al Davis will let him start. After all, he brought him in for a reason.
Verdict: Nobody in Oakland is worth your while
Proj: 2,300 yards, 15 TD, 9 INT
Matt Cassel—Kansas City Chiefs
Cassel is in a new place with a huge drop-off as far as offensive weapons. He still has good experience from last season, combined with his solid arm and good athleticism.
However, we’ll all be left wondering what could have been, had Tony Gonzalez not been traded to Atlanta.
Verdict: Stay away in year one
Proj: 3,700 yards, 22 TD, 23 INT
Kyle Orton—Denver Broncos
Orton was putting together a solid season in Chicago before hurting his ankle. Once he came back, he played admirably through injury, and didn’t have the best options out there.
In Denver, he’ll have a friendlier offensive line and system, as well as excellent receiving options.
Verdict: Orton could make the leap to elite
Proj: 3,600 yards, 24 TD, 16 INT
The NFC Edition will be made available, depending on the reads/comments for this article. Thanks for reading, and for those basketball enthusiasts, check out my NBA blog: www.robertsroundballreport.com
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Monday, June 1, 2009
Categories: Fantasy Football
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