Reports have T-Jax bringing back Minnesota nothing more than a mid-round pick in next year’s draft, and with little-to-no leverage, they’ll be lucky if they get that.
Jackson is still a young, athletic passer with a good amount of potential, but there doesn’t appear to be a clear front-runner for his services in 2009.
Just know that he won’t be wearing purple.
Tennessee Titans Work-out Receiver Matt Jones
The ex-Jaguar is getting his first official look from an NFL club, even after a humbling interview on ESPN about a month ago.
Jones still has outstanding size and speed, and even though he knows nothing of Tennessee’s offense, he could still emerge as their top receiver if signed.
As it stands, he’d probably step in behind Justin Gauge and Kenny Britt, while surpassing the injured Nate Washington.
The Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys, both in need of an impact receiver, are reportedly keeping a close watch on the situation.
No Progress in Brandon Marshall Trade Talks
The heat is on Josh McDanies and the Broncos, as they have heard plenty of interest from the New York Jets, but still have a hefty asking price on the table.
The reported offer has been Marshall for a New York first round pick, along with veteran linebacker, David Harris.
If Denver doesn’t budge on either Harris or the pick, the reportedly won’t happen.
Bengals’ Carson Palmer Expected to be Ready for Opener
Isn’t this the same news we got all of last season?
Palmer was apparently at full health heading into pre-season, but then arm questions again emerged.
This time the concern is over his ankle, but with soid practices lately, head coach Marvin Lewis is holding him out of the final pre-season game, merely as a precaution.
Brett Favre to Sit for Minnesota’s Final Pre-season Game
This isn’t news, but since it’s Favre, it still makes headlines.
Add the arm surgery, his age, and the reported cracked rib all together, and you’ve got a concerned Brad Childress.
Besides, they may want to give Tarvaris Jackson the full stage as they try to up his value in the wake of trade rumors.
Favre will be more than ready to go for the season opener at Cleveland.
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Thursday, September 3, 2009
Categories: Breaking News/Transactions
Tags: Adam Schefter, Brad Childress, Brandon Marshall, brett favre, carson palmer, cincinnati bengals, denver broncos, ESPN, Injury Updates, Jeff Jagodzinski, matt jones, michael vick, Minnesota Vikings, new york jets, NFL News, philadelphia eagles, Roger Goodell, Sage Rosenfels, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tarvaris Jackson, 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
Tags: andre johnson, anthony gonzalez, antonio gates, austin collie, ben roethlisberger, brady quinn, braylon edwards, brett favre, bruno, buffalo bills, carson palmer, chad pennington, cincinnati bengals, cleveland browns, david garrard, denver broncos, derek anderson, eminem, eric mangini, houston texans, indianapolis colts, jacksonville jaguars, jamarcus russell, jeff garcia, joe flacco, kansas city chiefs, kellen clemens, kerry collins, kevin walter, kyle orton, l.a. lakers, lebron james, mark sanchez, marshawn lynch, marvin harrison, matt cassel, matt jones, matt ryan, matt schaub, miami dolphins, new england patriots, new york jets, oakland raiders, orlando magic, owen daniels, peyton manning, philip rivers, pittsburgh steelers, san diego chargers, steve slaton, tennessee titans, terrell owens, tom brady, tony dungy, tony gonzalez, torry holt, trent edwards, vince young