Blog Entry

Interesting, informative Jamal Lewis item

Posted on: May 23, 2008 3:36 pm
The Canton Repository was among numerous local newspapers to sit with Jamal Lewis recently. Here are some highlights:

On the Browns in minicamp so far: "The tempo is much better than it was last year. You can tell the team is responding well to last season. You can see the hunger."

On why this year with the Browns will be different than years past in his career:
"The offense was all focused on Jamal Lewis running the football. But now you can't do that. You have so many weapons this team can go to. I can do my job without worrying about eight- and nine-man fronts. Here, I deal with six- and seven-man boxes. That's what I like to see."

Fantasy FYI: When debating over running backs, always ALWAYS go for the ones who play on teams with good passing offenses. Eight-man fronts and running backs don't mix -- just ask Adrian Peterson when he ran into them late last season.

On turning 29:
"I don't look at it as a big deal. You get older. What can I say? I've overcome a lot of adversity in the past that other people haven't overcome. I just look at it as another year."

Another Fantasy FYI: We're getting ready to expand on our initial research into what makes a running back break down. Big injuries play an obvious role, but so do the nicks-and-bumps a runner will deal with WEEKLY throughout his career. For now, figure that any RB with the equivalent of eight full seasons under his belt and/or 2,400-to-2,600 career carries  is BAD NEWS. One such RB this season: Edgerrin James. Jamal Lewis will be one next year ... as will some guy named LaDainian Tomlinson ...

On exceeding last year's stats:
"I think 1,400 or 1,500 yards is an understatement. I'd like to get more than that. I think I can get more than that. Missing two games ... I could have gotten more than that last year."

What we're thinking:
Jamey Eisenberg and I differ on Lewis. I'm willing to buy him for one more season, while he's off the bandwagon completely. Jamey's thinking: Lewis' new three-year deal will make him a little lazier, especially when it comes to playing hard while hurting. Lewis got paid, so why should he exert the effort. I'm on the record saying the Browns are winning it all this year, so of course I expect Lewis to do well and be motivated to play well because he wants another Super Bowl ring. I think he's a No. 2 RB; I think Jamey's avoiding Lewis at all costs in his drafts.

Would you draft Jamal Lewis? If so, where? What would you pay for him in an auction? Who would you rather have on your team than Jamal Lewis? Answer these questions and more in my message board below!
Category: NFL

Since: Jun 25, 2008
Posted on: June 25, 2008 12:31 am

Interesting, informative Jamal Lewis item

If you think the Browns are going to win the Super Bowl, then you really should lay off the crack for a little while. They choked last year when they had a chance to make the playoffs. Are you seriously saying that you see the Browns beating New England or Indy in the AFC championship after beating a team like Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, or San Diego in the divisional round? I implore you, sir, put down the pipe!

Since: Apr 21, 2008
Posted on: June 16, 2008 5:20 pm

Interesting, informative Jamal Lewis item

As the NFL coaches conspire to kill Fantasy Owners with the dreaded Running Back By Committee, any running back at the top of the depth chart with guys called "Jason Wright" and "Jerome Harrison" I would say is a bonafide starter. I've never felt comfortable with Jams (too injury prone for my liking), but with more and more teams going with RBBC, Jams moves up on my draft board. Helps that he plays with a stud in Braylon Edwards, a threat in Kellen Winslow, and has a decent QB that can live behind a decent offensive line.

He is a definite #2, and depending where you draft in your league, a possible #1 RB.

Since: Jan 20, 2007
Posted on: June 11, 2008 6:45 pm

Interesting, informative Jamal Lewis item

Hi Dave,

I think you are closer to the Jamal Lewis of '08 than Jamie.  The fact that the Browns passing game is in full blossom is why.  It appears that the early word on Winslow is very positive, and Edwards was outstanding last year(even with the off field stuff).  Jeruvicious is a question mark with the staff infection but he may not figure into the offense anyway.  Jamal will be able to coast to more yards this season because of the improvement in the pass.  He won't have to work as hard simply because the D won't be able to single him out.  The Browns to win it all is an interesting pick and actually pretty adept when you consider how above average their performance was last year.  They should rock the house.  You really hit the pizza button!!

Since: Jun 27, 2007
Posted on: May 27, 2008 5:12 pm

Interesting, informative Jamal Lewis item

Oops. Er... make that JASON Wright.

Jamie Wright?..... Hockey player, baseball player, hottie-in-a-bikini, but not a RB on the Browns.

Since: Jun 27, 2007
Posted on: May 27, 2008 2:14 pm

Interesting, informative Jamal Lewis item

I project him right now as a mid-to-high RB2. Too early to pick a specific rank for me, but I lump him in at the top of the pile of guys like Graham, Jacobs, Rudi, Maroney... Guys I'd take just ahead of him right now are Lynch, Grant, Barber, MJD & McGahee, not necessarily in that order. I may bump Lewis up a bit dependin on how Felix Jones, Fragile Fred and Ray Rice, affect those three guys in training camp. If I draft Lewis, I'll spend a late RB5 pick (or waiver grab) on Jamie Wright as a handcuff if my roster can spare the spot.

Couple of things that have to be considered when evaluating Lewis is that the CLE o-line is quickly becoming one of the best in the league and that all appearances point to Jamal being one of the few remaining singular back available. With all the committes out thre, a primary back like this gets bumped up quite a bit in my draft; meaning redraft league in this case.

Last season he had 298 attempts for 1304, 9 Rush TD, 30 receptions for 248 and 2 TD. So is it reasonable to assume he will be better than last season? Gotta say no because he'll be 29 years old by the time the season starts and will play a big chunk of his games against some supreme defenses. In addition to playing PIT & BAL twice, he's got to face upper tier defenses in DAL, NYG and JAX. Overall, it's a tougher schedule than last season. But doesn't mean he'll fall off the table, either. The talent is there.
So is it reasonable to assume he can perform about as well as last year? Maybe, because of the reasons I gave at the outset, and he will have one more year in the system and came on strong at the end of last season. But I think it's more reasonable over all to project him a little lower because of the age, wear & tear and tougher sched. I'm spit-balling right now, but figure ~250-260 carries, 1,100, 8-10 total TDs.

Since: May 26, 2008
Posted on: May 26, 2008 5:52 pm

Interesting, informative Jamal Lewis item

I'd love to have the guy as a flex player, but I'd grimace if I ended up with him as my #2 back.  Of the AFC starting backs, I'd take him over Ronnie Brown, Willie Parker, Fred Taylor, LenDale White, Ahman Green (is he seriously still Houston's starter?), Travis Henry, and Darren McFadden.  It's true that Cleveland's O opens a lot of doors to successful runs, but his 2006 season (albeit with the Ravens) and his age give me serious concerns (when's the last time an old comeback RB put it together for two years straight?)

Since: Nov 2, 2006
Posted on: May 25, 2008 10:42 am

Interesting, informative Jamal Lewis item

I felt last year that Jamal was someone who wasn't really playing all that great for most of the year, then turned it up several notches down the stretch, though he did have some okay stat lines prior to that late stretch.  Were teams by then over-compensating for the Derek Anderson show?  I don't trust him on my fantasy team, so in a draft I probably wouldn't really consider him for anything more than my #4 RB (I like depth, though, so that could mean a #3 for some folks or even a low end #2 for others.  I usually go RB with 3 of my first four picks).  For me, that would put Jamal in round six or seven, and he'll be gone by then.  In an auction (the format I greatly prefer) I'd consider Lewis in the $20-25 range (of a $200 cap), assuming I was happy with how my backfield was shaping up.  I don't trust him, much like I don't trust Fred Taylor -- another player who is an outstanding football player but for various reasons (injury, scheme, coaching decisions, scheduling) is not worth hanging your hat on in fantasy football -- too much risk.  I might miss out on a great season (and really we're talking two seasons in his career that have been great, fantasy wise), but I'd rather use my risk cards on players I can believe in.  If I'm playing risky (which I believe taking Lewis is), I would look at Larry Johnson as a high end #1 in a bounce back year, or the rookie Stewart in Carolina as my every week #2, or go out on a limb and nab Mendenhall (who I think will overtake Parker, not just compliment him). 

Good article though.  Interesting also the note about Tomlinson and 24-26K carries.  Like all fantasy players, I love LT, but my gut tells me to avoid LT this year the way I avoided Larry Johnson last year and Shaun Alexander the year before that.  He doesn't have some of the issues those guys did (drop off in o-line play, also in the case of LJ incompetence at the controls of the offense -- I'm not going to mention Herm Edwards name), but he does have the workload, which is slightly larger than those carries suggest due to his heavy use in the passing game.  For my money this year, I'm believing in Steven Jackson.


Since: Nov 13, 2007
Posted on: May 23, 2008 11:25 pm

Interesting, informative Jamal Lewis item

This is a tough one. I had put Jamal Lewis on my don't draft list a couple years ago, then he had a good year last season. Chances are I would still pass on him for a top flight WR and take my chances with a rookie RB like Jonathan Stewart. In my league RBs get 1 point per reception, and Lewis doesn't catch too many balls. Other receiving backs can make up ground on him if they are catching 30-40 balls a year. I just checked my leagues stats from last year and he did finish in the top 10, I wouldn't have guessed that. (This is why I always print out the final numbers at the end of the year!) I still have a bad feeling about him for some reason though. If i did draft him, I don't see myself being happy about it unless it is the 4th or 5th round, and he won't last that long!

Since: Dec 19, 2006
Posted on: May 23, 2008 6:51 pm

Interesting, informative Jamal Lewis item

He is a little tough - the guy is known to not give 100% BUT is 900 yards away from 10,000 career, and close to a Super Bowl Ring as you stated.
I could see myself taking him in the tail end of round 2 gladly, but not over Ronnie Brown, Maroney (eh... I'll think twice about Maroney maybe...), Rudi Johnson (he is so undervalued this year), MJD, Michael Turner, Deuce McCalister (another one that is undervalued), Ryan Grant, and Edgerin James. And of course not over the top tier, who I justs didn't bother to list.

But I would take J-Lewis over Thomas Jones, Fred Taylor, LenDale White ( so overrated, and gives such little effort), Travis Henry (I just have no confidence in that Denver O-Line, it's changed far too much since the days of Olandis Gary. Plus Henry is a wild card himself), Justin Fargas (He's been a nonentity his whole career, and had a breakout year. Great - he still has no help up front, and Darren McFadden stealing carries), McFadden himself (Don't trust a rookie), Brandon Jacobs (he's like James Stewart - do you really want him on your team. Eh... even if he's the best guy around at the end of round 3, I'd stretch for another guy...), Cedric Benson (He'll be playing alongside Onterrio Smith in the CFL before you know it), both Panther RBs (will split carries, and TDs may be a rarity), Reggie Bush (nobody realized except for the USC haters like me that he has poor vision, goes out of bounds instead of getting the tough yard, and is terrible in the red zone. But if you get a point per reception then he goes above), Earnest Graham (Fluke), and the Seattle RBs (kinda obvious).

I like the O-Line with Joe Thomas, Stienbach, Fraley, Ryan Tucker, and Shaffer. But it comes down to the effort for me - and I think it may be there in crunch time.

Since: Feb 9, 2007
Posted on: May 23, 2008 3:49 pm

Interesting, informative Jamal Lewis item


I am with you on Jamal Lewis--you also must take into account his awesome offensive line.  I agree good for about one more year.  I have him as my 16th best RB--would be happy if he were my 2nd RB--we don't do auction so I cannot answer that.  Here is my list of RB's is cas you are interested--in order:

LT, Adrian Peterson, Steven Jackson, Westbrook, Gore, Addai, Portis, Lynch, Barber, MJD, McGahee, LJ,Maroney, Grant, Ronnie Brown and then Jamal Lewis. Lewis isn't too old age wise, but has had a lot of carries and took some hits with Baltimore!

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