(Doc’s Note: I’d like for y’all to welcome Joe to Razzball! He’ll be giving us his take on fake football all season)

AFC East

  • Living in the New York metro area, I can tell you New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan has been quiet. It’s refreshing, and perhaps a little hint that he doesn’t have to inflate his team for them to realize they are damn good.
  • If Chad Ochocino puts up last season’s stats (14 GP, 831 yards, four TD’s) for the Patriots in 2011, I’d take it. Disappointed, but I’d take.
  • Daniel Thomas owners, do you want your draft pick back? He’s playing in the fourth preseason game, which tells you he’s taken up residency at the Chateau Bow-Wow.
  • Anonymity is wonderful. From PFW Audibles: “I keep hearing what a great job (Bills GM) Buddy Nix is doing. The offensive line sucks. He did not address the quarterback position. C.J. Spiller is still struggling two years running. How do you win with Kraig Urbik, Erik Pears and Demetrius Bell starting on your offensive line? And there is nothing behind them. They paid Nick Barnett a ton of money to play in a system that he is not good at. He is a 4-3 Mike ‘backer who is on the downside of his career. Who are their outside ‘backers? Chris Kelsay and Shawne Merriman are old and broken down. There’s nothing behind them. I’m shocked Jammie Kirlew is on an NFL roster. Buddy has been around awhile — he must have the hype machine working overtime. Unless I’m missing something, that is a bad football team.”

AFC North

AFC South

  • Glover Quin (Houston Texans) is getting a lot of love this preseason as he makes the transition from cornerback to safety. But why has it been dead silent regarding Danieal Manning? Sure he spells his first name funny, but the guy has produced more often than not. His kick returning potential has been wiped out due to rule changes, but I’d still feel comfortable rolling with him as long as he can hold off Troy Nolan and rookie Shilo Keo for the starting job.
  • The Texans are aggravated by Arian Foster tweeting an MRI image of fantasy football’s most famous hamstring. I’m sure the “anti-awesomeness” knocked him down a few picks in many drafts. As for repercussions from the Texans, I’d be surprised if it was anything more than a warning. Now if it was the Texans releasing the pic, HIPAA would be all over it.
  • In one of my Dynasty Leagues, I took Reggie Wayne over Michael Turner and Frank Gore. I think this is the first time I ever took a WR1 over a RB1 this high in the fantasy draft. Owning a stable of solid wide receivers seems to be the new phase of fantasy football.
  • I have nothing nice to say about the Jacksonville Jaguars, so I won’t say anything at all. Well, isn’t that saying something in itself?
  • Last season, Chris Hope produced over 80+ solos and 100+ total tackles for the second time in his career. He followed up his 2006 career-best season with 11 GP, 37 solos, and 49 total tackles. We’ve seen him lay an egg once for the Tennessee Titans. Don’t be angry if he does it again.

AFC West

  • I’m deep into my Dynasty League draft, and I was searching for some rookie talent. I was doing research on the popular inside linebackers like Kelvin Sheppard (Buffalo Bills) and Colin McCarthy (Tennessee Titans). Then I came across Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston. The former college defensive end has significant size as a 3-4 OLB (6’3”, 258 lbs). NFL.com pick analysis should have Dynasty owners scrambling to acquire this guy: “The Chiefs nab a first-round talent with the selection of Houston. He is an explosive pass rusher with the initial quickness and burst to consistently pressure the passer off the edges. Though he suffered a dramatic slip on draft day due to some character concerns, he gives them a big-time playmaker along their defensive front.” The concerns mentioned include a reported failed drug test at the Scouting Combine. Let other owners reach for Mason Foster (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and Nate Irving (Denver Broncos). Houston is the guy you want.
  • The Brett Favre media circus has finally gone away. Now we have Tim Tebow.
  • I’ll believe the Oakland Raiders are for real when they make the playoffs. Their potential bothers me.
  • Things I never thought I’d see: Mike Tolbert drafted ahead of Ryan Mathews. And smart fantasy owners do exactly that.

NFC East

  • I trust Felix Jones about as far as I can throw him. Tashard Choice can be had for much better value, but the problem is he’s Tashard Choice. I’m still puzzled why Cowboys management drafted DeMarco Murray, who on paper is identical to Felix.
  • Every time the Giants are supposed to be mediocre-to-lousy, they’ll surprise you with a good season.
  • Reason #1 why you shouldn’t bet your house on the Philadelphia Eagles: The superstars can’t dominate if the offensive line can’t block.
  • Reason #2 why you shouldn’t bet your house on the Philadelphia Eagles: Their linebackers suck, and the new scheme (being run by a first-time defensive coordinator) will employ lots of “standard cover-2, Tampa-2 and cover-4 defenses with more gap control and read-and-react principles”. As PFW points out, “What that also means is that they’ll give up some yards.”
  • All aboard the Tim Hightower train. Owners that drafted a month ago appear to have hit the jackpot.

NFC North

  • Curious, has Jay Cutler been taking abuse in the Chicago-area this preseason for his playoff softness?
  • Roy Williams’ average over the past two seasons: 15 GP, 563 yards, six TD’s. If he a first-round draft bust? Yes. Is he way past his prime? Yes. Does Johnny Knox deserve to start over him? Yes. But he still belongs on fantasy rosters as a serviceable backup.
  • Mikel LeShoure‘s injury is a devastating blow to the Detroit Lions offense. There is no way Jahvid Best can handle 300+ rushes. If the Lions abandon the run because they don’t have adequate running back depth, they’re going to see a lot of dime packages, which will include double and triple coverage on Calvin Johnson.
  • Once Green Bay Packers linebacker Desmond Bishop was inserted into the starting lineup, he dominated. From Weeks 5 through 17, he had less than four solo tackles just once, and in that game he had a sack and forced fumble. In seven of those 12 games, he had six solos or more. He’s easily one of the safest Individual Defensive Players (IDP) available.
  • Well hello Bernard Berrian. I thought you retired.

NFC South

  • I’m scooping up Atlanta Falcons rookie running back Jacquizz Rodgers in all my Dynasty Leagues. Not only is it cool that he has a “Q” and a “Z” in his first name, but his profile reminds me of Ray Rice. However, you can’t ignore Jason Snelling. Although he’s already 27 years old, he only has 257 career rushes. Plus, he performed well when Michael Turner’s missed time with injuries.
  • The Carolina Panthers went 2-14 last season, and management made it a priority to get the gang back together. Here’s the Panthers offensive playbook: Cam Newton handoff, Newton play-action roll to the right with pass-run option, Newton play-action roll to the left with pass-run option, 3rd-and-15+ Newton throws deep to Steve Smith in double coverage.
  • I’ve read some great community forums about how New Orleans head coach Sean Payton will use running backs Pierre Thomas and rookie Mark Ingram. Some suggest that Payton craves the RBBC beast (Running-Back-By-Committee). Others say Payton has used it only out of necessity, because he’s never had a back like Ingram. My suggestion, own both or neither.
  • According to the ADP (Average Draft Position), Matt Ryan, Matt Schaub, and Ben Roethisberger are gone before pick 60. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman leads the next tier, just ahead of Matthew Stafford and Eli Manning. Freeman is a quality fantasy quarterback, but I’d make to move to get any of those guys in the 50’s, or draft other positions of need and take a different QB later. It’s like Freeman is in no-man’s land.

NFC West

  • The Arizona Cardinals lost Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (traded) and Greg Toler (torn ACL) this season, and stud safety Adrian Wilson has a partially torn bicep. No reason to run if you’re the Cardinals’ opponent.
  • Michael Crabtree owners, sorry.
  • How wacky is the St. Louis Rams receiving unit? Donnie Avery was the highest receiver drafted in 2008, and he consistently disappoints. Danny Amendola was an undrafted free agent who has become a reliable NFL receiver. Mark Clayton’s career was basically finished in Baltimore, then he gets shipped to the Rams where he goes bonkers in the first four games of 2010 before busting his knee. Mike Sims-Walker is coming off consecutive seven TD seasons, but wore out his welcome in Jacksonville. And then there’s the parade of mid-round receivers who’ve shown no signs of life to date (Marty Gilyard, Austin Pettis, Greg Salas).
  • I’m a Seahawks fan, and this team is bad… I mean real bad. Losing a competent quarterback in Matt Hasselbeck is going to send the ‘Hawks skyrocketing up the 2012 draft board. Their attempts of addressing the offensive line have backfired at every turn. Management is obsessed with adding tall cornerbacks and receivers in favor of players with skill. Former fourth overall pick Aaron Curry is unable to do what he was drafted to do, which is see quarterback, kill quarterback.

 

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  1. Trick dad says:
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    Very informative! In detroit, do you think jerome harrison could be a good fill in for best? Or would you rather roster: choice, snelling, jacquizz? (non-ppr non keeper)

  2. anon says:
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    I’m really digging the Tecmo avatar. Houston Oilers for LIFE!! Unless that is the original Tecmo Bowl, then I’m all about the 49ers.

  3. Mike says:
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    I drafted Spiller from Buffalo my last pick should I have taken Hunter SF, Snelling or Rogers ATL, or Murray DAL. My three starters are Foster, Hillis, Hightower with Starks Spiller backup. 11 team points league. Non PPR.

  4. Gary Bajillion says:
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    Haha, Rams receiving corps so muddled, you didn’t even mention Gibson, the WR who had the best preseason.

    Good stuff, but Massaquoi/Robiskie??? Massaquoi basically missed the whole preseason, and Robiskie is constantly praised by the coach as “steady.” 1.9 YAC last year. He did finish last season pretty strong, but I’m going to say >= TDs for Hillis, Watson, Cribbs, Moore AND Little. Plenty of folks to catch the ball in Cleveland. And in dynasty aren’t you taking Norwood, Moore, Cameron or Mitchell over Robiskie?

    Second you on Danieal Manning. You can cut his return yards in half, and that still makes him a very steady option at DB in the right scoring system. I think he’ll likely see some time at SS as well, at least at some points during the year.

  5. Joseph Buccellato

    Joseph Buccellato says:
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    Re: Mike

    Just “Mike”. Damn, you were probably here since Day 1.

    I’m a fan of Spiller. Keep him on your roster unless there is some juicy WR available.

    Re: Gary Baillion

    Let the professionals do the scouting. Massaquoi and Robiskie are CLE starters. More playing time = more opportunities to produce. It’s so deep, take a chance on guys with jobs rather than potential on paper.

  6. Joseph Buccellato

    Joseph Buccellato says:
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    Re: trick dad

    “Good”, no… but worth a roster spot especially if you own Best.

    In Redraft Leagues, I’d rank them Choice, Snelling, Harrison, QZ. I’m still blinded by Choice.

  7. Mike Scobey says:
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    OK my full name. I go by OLDNAVY in all my teams, only playing 4 teams on yahoo this fantasy season. Cutting back from 24 teams in baseball and basketball. My wife thinks I play to much.

  8. great Article. In a Dynasty league, who would u keep, stafford or Schuab?

  9. Gary Bajillion says:
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    Ha, and do the pros have a consensus on the CLE WRs to own? Difference of strategy I guess. Most leagues I doubt Robiskie ever makes your starting lineup, so I’d prefer an on paper flier. Or Roscoe Parrish.

  10. Random Collmenter says:
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    would you start Eli vs. Redskins or Kolb vs. Carolina week 1?

    these are two evils and i’m trying to decide which is lesser. thanks.

  11. Chris says:
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    Great post.

    Who’s the top WR to own in CLE?

  12. D Fresh says:
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    lol at the panthers offensive playbook!

  13. Chris says:
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    Posted this earlier, but it seems to have disappeared into the recent Razzball comment section abyss (again) —

    I’m gonna be drafting tonight in a 10 team $200 budget PPR. How does it being 10 teams vs 12 teams affect your $ projections (in a general sense)?

    On one hand, there’s less available cash ($2000 overall vs $2400 overall) so one would think that player $ values would decrease. On the other, there’s gonna be more readily available productive talent on the waiver wire, so super studs may go at an even higher premium due to being the only guys that are “irreplaceable.” I really have no idea.

    What do you think?

  14. Joseph Buccellato

    Joseph Buccellato says:
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    Re: chompster
    Schaub

    Re: Random Collmenter
    Eli is not evil, but take the home QB in week 1.

    Re: Chris
    “Top”. Ha! There is no Top WR in CLE. Little has most potential, but coaches want MQ to be WR1.

    I don’t get involved with salaries for football; I hate it. My philosophy is football = draft, baseball = auction.

    Everyone clicking on links for audio and visual delights, yes?

  15. herschel says:
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    @Joe: posted the same question to doc, but curious about your thoughts as well. concerned with taking charles 4th in ppr league after last nights 2 fumble performance? i know its still the preseason, but the fact haley had him in there in the 4th quarter is more concerning than anything. i will probably be able to pick from either foster or cj as well at 4. thoughts??

  16. Ian says:
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    10 team PPR, 2RBs and 3 WRs + flex, points for return yards and TDs:

    My RBs are Foster, Best, Ingram, Reggie Bush and now Derrick Ward.

    Foster’s hammy and Ingram’s boom or bust potential have me a little worried. I have bench receivers like Sims-Walker, Amendola and Jordy Nelson that are drawing interest from a team looking to add a WR. He has Joseph Addai and Ryan Grant as RBs he’d be willing to part with for one of those WRs. I like Addai over Grant, but am not sure which WR to offer up. Or should I just stand pat at this point?

    Thanks!

  17. John says:
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    How did I do drafting my team?
    Should I drop anyone or trade to make any improvements before the season starts?
    Anyone you think might be a free agent in my leage (it is kind of difficult to show you who is available, although Cedric Benson is…) that I should pick up?

    1st Year of 10 Team PPR Keeper League
    QB: Romo
    RB: Forte
    RB: Shonn Greene
    Flex: V Jax
    WR: Roddy White
    WR: Calvin Johnson
    TE: Jason Witten
    D/ST: Bears
    BE: Lynch
    BE: Mike Thomas
    BE: Reggie Bush
    BE: Stafford
    BE: Jimmy Graham
    BE: Rashad Jennings
    BE: Amendola

  18. WDE05 says:
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    @John:

    How’d you manage to get Forte, VJax, Roddy White, and Calvin Johnson in a 10 team league PPR league? No offense, but the other owners must be brain dead.

  19. Ryan says:
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    Is it time to drop Javon Ringer for Kendall Hunter? (.5 PPR, neither would be a handcuff)

  20. Joseph Buccellato

    Joseph Buccellato says:
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    Re: Hershel
    My team is never bad enough to have that high a pick :-P
    Seriously, Charles is fine.

    Re: Ian
    I rank them Amendola, Sims-Walker, Nelson – and Addai over Grant.
    Try and got one of those backs for sure!

    Re: John
    Hard to say – don’t know who’s available

    Re: Ryan
    All depends on if you are a Gore of CJ2K owner. Murphy’s Law says whichever one you drop will come back to bite you in the ass.

  21. MJD Took A Knee says:
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    12T NonPPR 2RB/2WR/Flex

    Stafford – Eli
    Peterson – Gore – Ingram – McGahee – Starks
    Wallace – Manningham – Collie – L.Moore
    Gronk

    Starting to get some anxiety since I don’t have the Gore handcuff. I am not sure who to drop for K.Hunter. I guess McGahee or Moore but you just said it I will be sore on the ass later in the season. Not sure if I should chance not doing anything and wait to see how the first week or two plays.

  22. JR says:
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    Have Foster, Charles, Jacobs and Starks. How much should I bid to get Tate off waivers? Keeper league so i could keep him next year too if the Texans let Foster go.

  23. John says:
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    Re: WDE
    I was the last pick and gambled since everyone was loading up on RBs I grabbed White and Johnson back to back and then people were using their 2nd and 3rd picks to grab their 2nd RBs and some QBs so I got lucky when Forte fell to me.

    Re: Joseph
    Is there anyone on my team that you think is worth dropping?
    Only big names I can think of on the free agent list right now are:
    Jacoby Jones
    Aaron Hernandez
    Nate Burleson
    Crabtree
    Derrick Mason
    Cedric Benson (I have thought about picking up him in place of Jennings…)
    any other deep sleepers or sleepers in general that you could suggest might be better than anyone on my team and I could then see to look if they are available

  24. Damion says:
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    I wanted to get josh freeman, but I ended up picking up flacco and orton. Are they any good? Will the be better than freeman or close to his production?

  25. Damion says:
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    I have

    QB-FLACCO/ORTON
    RB-MCCOY/FELIX JONES/MCHAGEE/J.HARRISON
    WR- DESHAUN/MEGATRON/STEVESMITH/BRITT
    TE-GRAHM/AARON HERNANDEZ
    DEF-NE
    K -HARTLEY
    WHAT DO YOU THINK
    I CAME OUT DISAPPOINTED

  26. MJD Took A Knee says:
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    Ok one down (sorry Ivory) one to go (Thomas). Let’s go Ingram!

  27. Matt says:
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    Which WR should i give up for Beanie Wells; Harvin, Boldin, or Holmes? I’m leaning Harvin but let me know what you think.

  28. John says:
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    Re: Matt
    Harvin! No question about it in my opinion

  29. Joseph Buccellato

    Joseph Buccellato says:
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    http://www.profootballweekly.com/2011/09/02/texans-finding-ways-to-get-s-nolan-on-field

    The Texans were awful defending the pass last season, so it is no wonder the secondary will have an entirely new look in 2011. We all know about the club’s two big-ticket free-agent signings, CB Johnathan Joseph and FS Danieal Manning, both of whom will start immediately. We also have discussed cornerback-turned-strong safety Glover Quin, who has made a very smooth transition during training camp. But word is the Texans’ nickel sub package has undergone a transformation. Quin, the team’s best cornerback the past two seasons, will serve as the nickel back, with S Troy Nolan coming off the bench to replace Quin at strong safety. Nolan, a part-time player last season who tied for the team lead in interceptions (three), has had a great camp and is always around the football. CB Brice McCain, the team’s nickel back the past two seasons, will have to find other ways to get on the field.

  30. Joseph Buccellato

    Joseph Buccellato says:
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    Re: Damion
    Tate means more to you than every other team.

    Re: Matt
    Hmmmm, those are nice receivers. I like them all better than Beanie, but if you had to move one, make it Boldin.

  31. WDE05 says:
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    @John:

    So VJax and Forte fell to the 3rd and 4th rounds? Like I said, the guys in your league are brain dead.

  32. Damion says:
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    @joseph….tate was taken…anything else?

  33. shippity says:
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    I thought I already did this last night, but wanted to say thank you for this write-up and thanks to Doc to adding you to the razzball offering. This was very informative.

  34. Joseph Buccellato

    Joseph Buccellato says:
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    Re: Shippity

    Thumbs up. I designed it to be half fantasy awareness, half laugh out loud when you click on a dumb audio link, and half to-the-point, easy reading.

    “How can you go wrong?”

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