(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)
- 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.”
- Reason #1 why I love Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice: Last season, Vonta Leach blocked for Arian Foster. This year he’ll be the lead blocker for Rice.
- Reason #2 why I love Rice: Vulture back Willis McGahee is now in Denver.
- If the Cincinnati Bengals have the worst record in football this season – a very realistic possibility – do they draft Andrew Luck first overall after already drafting a “future” QB in Andy Dalton?
- If Cedric Benson behaves in jail, he’ll be available for the Bengals season opener. But why exactly did you draft him in the first place? He had a 3.5 rushing average with Carson Palmer at QB. How do you think he’ll do against nine-man defensive fronts?
- Mohamed Massaquoi and Brian Robiskie make great late-round fantasy targets. Both were drafted in the second round, so they clearly have some talent. A new West-Coast offensive could be the trick to get one or both of these guys to be roster-worthy. Who else you gonna draft that late anyway… Jason Avant? Roscoe Parrish?
- James Harrison is no longer the most productive fantasy linebacker on the Pittsburgh Steelers. That would be Lawrence Timmons, and it includes leagues that favor big-play scoring.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.