Tag:Fantasy Football
Posted on: April 22, 2010 3:23 pm

Three-man Twitter mock draft

Earlier this week I posted my annual 20-minute mock draft , but on Thursday afternoon, just hours before the NFL draft kicked off, Jamey Eisenberg and I did an impromptu mock on Twitter, complete with guest picker Jermichael Finley of the Packers, and loads of comments from the Twitter world.

Here are the results along with the initials of who drafted whom:

1. STL: QB Sam Bradford (DR)
2. DET: DT Ndamukong Suh (JE)
3. TB: DT Gerald McCoy (DR)
4. WAS: OT Trent Williams (JE)
5. KC: OT Russell Okung (DR)
6. SEA: FS Eric Berry (JE)
7. CLE: QB Jimmy Clausen (DR)
8. OAK: OT Brian Bulaga (JE)
9. BUF: DT Dan Williams (DR)
10. JAC: DE Derrick Morgan (JE)
11. DEN: LB Rolando McClain (DR)
12. MIA: FS Earl Thomas (JE)
13. SF: RB C.J. Spiller (DR)
14. SEA: OT Anthony Davis (JE)
15. NYG: LB Brandon Graham (DR)
16. TEN: DE Jason Pierre-Paul (JE)
17. SF: DL Jared Odrick (DR)
18. PIT: C Maurkice Pouncey (JE)
19. ATL: CB Joe Haden (DR)
20. HOU: CB Kyle Wilson (JE)
21. CIN: OG Mike Iupati (DR)
22. NE: WR Dez Bryant (JE)
23. GB: LB Sergio Kindle (Jermichael Finley)
24. PHI: FS Taylor Mays (JE)
25. BAL: WR Demaryius Thomas (DR)
26. ARI: LB Sean Witherspoon (JE)
27. DAL: OT Charles Brown (DR)
28. SD: RB Ryan Mathews (JE)
29. NYJ: DE Everson Griffen (DR)
30. MIN: QB Tim Tebow (JE)
31. IND: LB Jerry Hughes (DR)
32. NO: OT Rodger Saffold (JE)

Who drafted the best? Me? Jamey? Jermichael? Let us know on Twitter (twitter.com/daverichard ; twitter.com/jameyeisenberg ; twitter.com/jermichaelf88 ) or just post here on CBSSports.com.

Posted on: April 20, 2010 12:21 pm

Third annual 20-minute mock draft

When it comes to mock drafts, I'm a novice. In 2005 I was the only guy who had Aaron Rodgers going to the 49ers No. 1 overall. Last year I had Brian Orakpo going to the Jaguars at No. 8 overall.

What did I know? Only that they'd be better players than the guys those teams actually drafted (so far anyway).

I've had my fair share of bombs, too. Brian Robiskie to the Giants at 29th overall last year , for one. Limas Sweed to Dallas at 22nd overall in 2008 for another . Check out my previous mocks if you want a good laugh.

But keep in mind that I don't have big boards or inside sources for a pretend draft, and keep in mind that I put myself on a timer: 20 minutes to make 32 picks. Why 20 minutes? Well, because the boss told me so, mainly. But really, how much time do people need to do this?

One more note: I draft as if I am the GM of the team picking, not as a writer showing favoritism nor picking players who I think the real GM will take. So, because of that, my mocks are entertaining but worthless. Just like almost everyone else's mocks.

Wind up the clock. Here we go:

1. St. Louis: Sam Bradford, QB

Best possible quarterback, major upside. Fills need with a quality talent. Get a WR for him in Round 2.

2. Detroit: Ndamukong Suh, DT

Jim Schwartz gets his newest version of Albert Haynesworth, Lions D-line becomes formidable.

3. Tampa Bay: Gerald McCoy, DT

Need meets talent.

4. Washington: Russell Okung, OT

Difference between him and Trent Williams? Okung seems most prepared to play left side.

5. Kansas City: Trent Williams, OT

Not that the Chiefs won't try Williams on that left side.

6. Seattle: Brian Bulaga, OT

They desperately need help up front.

7. Cleveland: Jimmy Clausen, QB

They're not going into the season with Delhomme and Wallace as their only QBs.

8. Oakland: Eric Berry, FS

Even the Raiders can't fumble this one. But if Clausen is there come Thursday ...

9. Buffalo: Anthony Davis, OT

Absolute nightmare situation for Buffalo. Clausen, Bulaga, Williams their primary targets in the draft. Defense seems fairly set as it is. I hate this pick like poison but can't pull the trigger on Spiller here.

10. Jacksonville: Earl Thomas, FS/CB

So long, Reggie Nelson.

11. Denver: Rolando McClain, LB

Run-stuffing inside linebacker.

12. Miami: Sergio Kindle, LB

The Dolphins might find a D-tackle later -- they won't find a pass rusher like this later.

13. San Francisco: C.J. Spiller, RB

49ers win big: They get a Top-10 talent to slide to them and they nab him ahead of the Seahawks, who reportedly covet him. Bad for Fantasy because of sharing scenario with Gore, obviously.

14. Seattle: Derrick Morgan, DE

Pass rush in Seattle is super weak.

15. New York Giants: Dan Williams, DT

Giants need to invest in a defensive tackle for the future of their pass rush.

16. Tennessee: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE

Like the Seahawks, the Titans need a pass rush developer. I really like Pierre-Paul's long-term potential.

17. San Francisco: Jared Odrick, DT

Excellent 3-4 defensive lineman.

18. Pittsburgh: Maurkice Pouncey, C

A match.

Running short on time ...

19. Atlanta: Brandon Graham, LB
20. Houston: Kyle Wilson, CB
21. Cincinnati: Mike Iupati, G
22. New England: Joe Haden, CB

Had to comment here. Haden will be a solid corner but doubts about his speed/ability pushed him down. He's too good for the Patriots to pass on and Belichick should do a good job working with him.

23. Green Bay: Taylor Mays, S
24. Philadelphia: Devin McCourty, CB
25. Baltimore: Dez Bryant, WR
26. Arizona: Sean Lee, LB
27. Dallas: Charles Brown, OT
28. San Diego: Brian Price, DT
29. New York Jets: Carlos Dunlap, DE
30. Minnesota: Terrence Cody, DT

I personally think Cody will be a phenomenal NFL player.

31. Indianapolis: Vladimir Ducasse, OT
32. New Orleans: Tim Tebow, QB

I'm not sure if Tebow will be a Saint when this is all said and done, but a team out there will sneak into Round 1 to get him. The Saints do have a need for a backup/developmental quarterback, and giving Sean Payton a player he can be creative with could only make things in New Orleans more interesting.
Posted on: April 13, 2010 10:55 am

Fantasy fallout from Holmes trade

Santonio Holmes' off-field decisions made the Steelers' front office decision on what to do with him easier to make. With a year left on his contract, the team simply decided to punt on him and give him to the Jets for a fifth-round pick. He's one less headache for the franchise to worry about.

But Fantasy owners have a headache of their own as this was one of the rare trades where only a handful of players have a better outlook than before the deal. In a nutshell, this deal (along with his four-game suspension which was a precursor to the deal) crippled Santonio Holmes' Fantasy expectations and also threw a bunch of question marks into the status of other Steelers and Jets, including Ben Roethlisberger.

Holmes might be happy for a fresh start with the Jets, but his numbers aren't expected to be anywhere near as good as they were last year. Conside this: Last season the Steelers threw the ball 536 times with Holmes targeted 138 times. That's essentially a rate of one out of every four passes thrown his way (Hines Ward had the same rate by the way). The closest Jet to receive that kind of attention was Jerricho Cotchery with 115 of the measly 393 pass attempts they had. One would argue that the Jets will pass more in 2010 considering their beefed up receiving corps, but team officials have said as recently as Holmes' introductory press conference that the "ground-and-pound" approach will stick. Besides, even if the Jets do throw, say, 75 more times than last season, Holmes will still have to share the ball with Cotchery, Braylon Edwards and tight end Dustin Keller.

And he'll have zero catches between Weeks 1 through 4, plus no catches during his bye week. Suddenly, Fantasy owners are without Holmes for five weeks. If your Fantasy regular season is 13 weeks long, you're drafting a benchwarmer for 38% of the year. Taking all this into account, Holmes is not going to be a popular pick in drafts.

But when he is active he'll help the Jets' passing game quite a bit. After all, he is someone defenses must account for (Rex Ryan learned that the hard way in his years defending against Holmes while with the Ravens). That means deeper play for opposing safeties and good opportunities for tight end Dustin Keller. He came on strong for the Jets last postseason with 12 catches for 181 yards and three touchdowns, displaying some of the potential owners have clamored for over the last two summers. He's going to be a sleeper -- again -- in 2010.

The rest of the Jets' receivers don't gain much. Cotchery holds steady as a low-end No. 3/top-end No. 4 choice if only because he's established chemistry and timing with Sanchez, and he has the best hands on the team but doesn't score much. Braylon Edwards takes a big hit as we figure Holmes will replace him in many situations. And for good reason: Edwards finished '09 with 51 catches of 108 targets -- he caught less than half of the passes thrown his way. How reliable can he be? That question was answered when the Jets acquired Holmes.

Now typically when a quarterback has a receiving corps as strong as this, expectations are sky-high. But that's not the case for Sanchez. Again, the Jets intend to run the ball a ton in 2010, much as they did last season. Not having the opportunity to throw the ball means not having the opportunity to post good Fantasy totals. Even if we gave quality projections to Holmes, Cotchery, Edwards and Keller based on their recent play, Sanchez would still only total around 18 touchdowns or so. He's worth taking late just in case he does end up owning his fair share of 250-yard, multi-touchdown games but there are obviously safer Fantasy quarterbacks out there.

Meanwhile, the Steelers have a hole in their starting lineup. Replacing Santonio Holmes is not as easy as plugging in Mike Wallace and calling it a day. Wallace had great success last season as a mismatch deep-ball threat as 14 of his 39 catches were good for at least 20 yards. He practically averaged 20 yards per catch, too. Putting him in as a starting split end will mean more receptions but almost certainly a reeled-in receiving average. Simply put: Wallace should see more targets and catches, but not necessarily better yardage and touchdowns.

And if Wallace replaces Holmes, who replaces Wallace? That's almost a bigger question for the Steelers since Wallace really stretched defenses last season and made it easy for Ben Roethlisberger to accumulate his gaudy totals. On-staff candidates include Antwaan Randle El, Arnaz Battle and third-year receiver Limas Sweed. All have drawbacks, however: Randle El and Battle are old and without a great statistical track record and Sweed hasn't gotten up to speed on the NFL game thus far. None of these guys can be trusted in Fantasy outside of being a late-round flier in a deep draft.

Many Fantasy owners expect Hines Ward to be unaffected. We're not so sure. Ward's best seasons came when he played opposite either Plaxico Burress or Holmes. Getting a quality split end to take some pressure off of him has been a key to his success. Wallace will still draw coverage, but until he proves he's explosive, Ward could struggle. He's also not getting any younger and really is a high-reception target with potential for a good amount of touchdowns. He's a No. 2 Fantasy receiver.

So if Wallace's stats are in for a decline, and if Ward's stats could be capped and if replacements in the offense aren't appealing, does this mean a reversal of fortune for Ben Roethlisberger? We say yes. Obviously without a player he targeted often and trusted all over the field, Roethlisberger is going to have to lean on others, and that could put a hammerlock on his chances to have another big season. He'll need to cultivate another receiver to give him a fearsome foursome in the passing game, or else he'll be good enough to start, not good enough to consider a second-tier Fantasy quarterback like he was in '09. Throw in a possible team-mandated suspension for his off-field problems and he's effectively the Santonio Holmes of Fantasy quarterbacks, albeit without as big of a drop-off.

Is there anyone in Pittsburgh who benefits from the trade? One guy is tight end Heath Miller -- provided that the Steelers do not draft another receiver or get good play from one of the aforementioned "replacement receivers." Miller really stepped up last season as an easy target for Roethlisberger, especially with Holmes and Wallace stretching defenses. He should continue to put up nice numbers, and with Holmes gone, his role in the red zone might increase.

But it's Rashard Mendenhall who stands to get the most out of the deal. As Jamey Eisenberg pointed out in one of our recent Fantasy Football podcasts , the Steelers have done their best when they run the ball effectively. Mendenhall himself ran extremely well last season in spite of the fact that the Steelers leaned on their pass attack. Again, if the team doesn't pick up another receiver, Mendenhall should see more touches as offensive coordinator Bruce Arians utilizes him and takes some pressure off of Roethlisberger and the rest of the offense. That will almost certainly be the case if Big Ben misses games with a suspension.

What remains to be seen is how this trade impacts other trades involving receivers leading up to the draft. Brandon Marshall especially sticks out as a player who seems to be on a crash course with the transactions report, and like Holmes, Marshall is a free-agent-to-be with a history of off-field problems. Will this trade create a market for Marshall now that Holmes was taken for a fifth-round pick? Is Marshall worth a second? A third? Granted, we think Marshall will do well no matter where he plays because he's a tremendous talent (a big difference between him and Holmes), but we might be surprised again if he goes on the move this offseason.

Posted on: March 30, 2010 5:02 pm
Edited on: March 30, 2010 5:05 pm

New rule will impact Fantasy Football

I was in Orlando last week for the NFL Annual Meeting, and while there was much hubbub over the league's passing of the playoff OT rule, another change might impact Fantasy owners much more.

The league added 'defenseless players' among those who cannot be hit without penalty. Not just quarterbacks or kickers or punters, but any player in the act of making a catch but is not in a position to make a football move.

If you've played or watched football, or even played or watched Madden , you've seen a receiver jump for a ball and get jacked before he comes down with it. Here's a well-known example of such a play: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9RfJwSkMU8

That is now illegal, and not just with leading with a helmet. A forearm, a shoulder and any part of the helmet can't touch a defenseless player. So by my interpretation of this new rule, tackling anyone who catches a ball while in the air will cost you.

That's going to hurt defenders who would react naturally and take down anyone near the ball. It's also going to result in game planning to take advantage of the rule so that hits like these over the middle are either completed or penalized: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RcIJ2rLMUQ

Translation: More completions, more receptions, more stats. It might even be enough for one of the elite quarterbacks to make a Brees-like run at taking down Dan Marino's single-season yardage mark.

We already had a record amount of 4,000-yard passers last year. More 5,000-yard passers, anyone?

Category: NFL
Posted on: March 5, 2010 4:59 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2010 5:05 pm

Day 1 of free agency

NFL fans are already wondering how the first day of free agency is impacting Fantasy Football. I'm glad to offer some thoughts, one topic at a time:

1. Brandon Marshall visiting Seattle. This is potentially the biggest news of the day as it would mean a quality, sure-fire No. 1 receiver changing addresses. Marshall is a restricted free agent who can sign an offer sheet with the Seahawks but would cost the team its No. 6 overall pick if the Broncos don't match.

That said, the Broncos are probably begging the Seahawks to sign him to an offer sheet.

The prospect of Marshall in Seattle is good, not great. I don't think he'll be quite as effective as he was in Denver. Fine, he'd still have a pretty good schedule in the NFC West (including a game at Denver), but quarterback issues, offensive line issues and people taking coverage away from him would all hinder his output. I'd still consider him a No. 1 WR, but I wouldn't be over the moon about it.

Domino effect: T.J. Houshmandzadeh, all Broncos receivers and passers would struggle.

And now on to things that HAVE happened instead of speculation ...

2. Chester Taylor signs with the Bears. This is great for the Bears, bad for the Vikings and knife-in-the-eye brutal for Fantasy owners. By virtue of this signing, we've lost another potential 15-to-20-touch running back out of the player pool.

Matt Forte might not have been your favorite choice for a No. 2 Fantasy rusher this summer but at least he had upside to work a lot and accumulate a ton of yardage and maybe more than four touchdowns. That's out the window now -- the assumption is that Taylor will compete with Forte for the starting job but ultimately share the ball with him. Under that guise, it would be a shock to see either running back land more than 15 touches in a game but instead hover around 10 per game.

And then there's the Martz factor: Already potentially hurting Forte's value, the mere presence of pass-happy offensive coordinator Mike Martz scares me further. Martz was phenomenal with Marshall Faulk in St. Louis but couldn't muster the same kind of stats out of Kevin Jones in Detroit, then ran Frank Gore into mediocrity with the 49ers -- Gore had his worst year as a starter under Martz. Don't be shocked if there's a game or two this season where Forte and Taylor combine for 15 touches. 

I'll watch the backs in training camp and the preseason, but the biggest truth of all is that they've very much alike. Good size, great hands, able to block, no breakaway speed. It's going to be a mess. Taylor's Fantasy stock improves -- he's a legit No. 3 Fantasy RB, but so is Forte.

Domino effect: Vikings need a backup rusher for Adrian Peterson; if they don't add one, Peterson could be a beast -- as in, bigger than normal.

3. Nate Burleson signs with Detroit. If you take the financial aspect out of the deal, I like it a lot. I've been a Burleson fan for a while but strictly as him being a contributor, not a leading receiver. He's getting paid pretty well, but that doesn't matter in Fantasy.

What does matter is his presence across from Calvin Johnson in a high-powered Lions offense. On paper I like it a lot -- but I can't consider Burleson as anything more than a low-end No. 3 Fantasy WR. Could he get 900 yards and seven touchdowns? Yeah, and that would be great. But I think 700 yards and four touchdowns is more realistic.

Domino effect: Matthew Stafford has a real shot at 3,500 yards and 20 touchdowns. That would be great for him. Also, the Lions' run game could lose work with the passing game enhanced, but they're thin there anyway with Kevin Smith banged up.

4. More Bears: Julius Peppers signs. Again, I don't like the money involved, but I do think it's a good move for the Chicago defense. Their biggest problem last season was a consistent pass rush. They've got it now, and it should be ferocious because even if you double-team Peppers, you still have to deal with Alex Brown coming from the other side and Tommie Harris from up the middle. And Brian Urlacher blitzing. And so on. The Bears might be the best 4-3 scheme defense in the NFL in 2010. Peppers should also pressure opposing quarterbacks which typically results in interceptions. The biggest key to the Bears DST might be Devin Hester, who is believed to be returning kickoffs again. If that happens, and if he re-dedicates himself, then the unit could be Top 10 once again. That's where I have them ranked now.

Domino effect: Panthers DST is toast.

5. Jake Delhomme cut in Carolina. Matt Moore takes over, and he's OK as a No. 2 Fantasy QB but it's clear that the Panthers are heading in a youth movement direction. Not going to be pretty for them, and not going to be pretty for Steve Smith. He's a fine No. 2 WR but it's clear that this team will run the ball a ton in 2010. Good news for DeAngelo Williams (if he survives the offseason) and Jonathan Stewart (if he can stay healthy.

Domino effect: Jake Delhomme continues to be Fantasy repellent. Many are already pinning him to a backup role with the Saints.

For other Fantasy news from Friday, click here

Posted on: February 5, 2010 8:35 am

Forward-looking thoughts on Tomlinson

With the news that San Diego running back LaDainian Tomlinson believing that he won't be back in a Chargers uniform next season, it's time to re-evaluate him and what his options are.

Let's begin with an assessment that many people who I've spoken with this week agree on: Tomlinson simply is not the same running back that he once was. Can he still digest a playbook, catch a pass, set a block and find the end zone? No doubt. Can he run? Not with as much consistency as he could as little as three years ago. Does he still have breakaway speed? If he does, he hasn't shown it lately. The overriding belief is that Tomlinson can still be an effective back, but not for nearly the amount of work he'd like. He is -- at best -- a tandem-situation running back.

So, who could use a split-time rusher with a wealth of experience? Lots of teams, but you can be sure that Tomlinson won't chase dollar Bills like Terrell Owens did last year and sign with a team with little chance of making the postseason. Tomlinson, like most other players, wants a championship. He'll want to play somewhere where that can happen.

With those parameters in place, here are some candidates for Tomlinson upon his release from San Diego (in alphabetical order):

Houston: They're on the brink of competing for at least a wild card berth, and they'd have to win every game possible just to have a shot at breaking the Colts' hammerlock at the top of the division (beating them sure would help). Tomlinson has the skill set to be successful in Houston, and he's a Texas native to boot.

New England: Bill Belichick loves veterans looking for a final shot at glory, and there's no doubt that he has profound respect for Tomlinson. Whether or not he has respect for Tomlinson's skills is another story altogether, not to mention having the space amid a crowded running back corps for him.

Philadelphia: If Brian Westbrook is headed the way of Isaac Bruce and Kurt Warner, then Tomlinson would be a neat one-year insurance policy in case LeSean McCoy can't pick up the slack. True, this would be a nightmare for Fantasy owners who are waiting for McCoy to pop in 2010 but the Eagles weren't shy about using three backs last season and could easily do it again. Like in Houston, Tomlinson has the right skill set for the Eagles.

Pittsburgh: Tomlinson wouldn't have much of a chance to start with the Steelers, but being a 10-carry-per-game guy behind Rashard Mendenhall would be a nice fit for him. He'd be a heck of an upgrade over Willie Parker.

There are other spots too -- Cleveland, Detroit, Seattle -- that could be interested in Tomlinson, but they're not playoff contenders.

And there's one last place where L.T. could be wanted -- maybe -- and that's San Diego. Norv Turner was mum on the L.T. topic with me when I asked him about it last week, but Tomlinson is the one saying he'll refuse a pay cut. It's not a case of the team saying "get outta here." If Tomlinson did an about face and accepted an, ahem, salary correction, then he'd probably get a chance to stay and maybe even get 250 touches. And last I checked, the Chargers were a playoff contender.

Seems like a great fit to me.

Posted on: February 2, 2010 9:44 pm

Faulk: Martz will make Bears' offense great

Marshall Faulk knows a thing or two about Mike Martz and his offense. After all, he was easily the most productive running back in Martz's coaching history.

Currently an analyst for NFL Network, Faulk sees Martz as a boon for the Bears, who hired Martz this week to coordinate their offense. Following five seasons of mostly uncreative, vanilla play calling from coordinator Ron Turner, Martz is expected to turn up the juice and give Jay Cutler a shot at maximizing his potential.

If Cutler lets him, Faulk says.

"This will be the first time that Jay Cutler will not have control of the decisions that he wants to make," Faulk said Tuesday from Super Bowl XLIV Media Day. "It will be a challenge to Jay. ... Mike will test his football knowledge. He'll test his willingness to want to get better in the NFL. He'll ask him to do some things that Jay might not feel comfortable with."

Faulk recognizes that Cutler's gunslinger tendencies don't mesh with Martz's offense, which is based on anticipation and putting a ball where a receiver is going to be. But it's something that can be taught, Faulk says. 

"He's a see-it throw-it guy, and when you have a talent that a guy like that has, you sometimes don't rely on your instinct to guide you," Faulk said of Cutler. "That's the part of the game that makes Brett Favre special -- Favre has that arm but he'll throw a ball into a window and wait for the guy to come there instead of throwing the ball after you see the guy because it's too late sometimes.

"Mike will ask him to be an anticipator. And Jay will struggle with it at the beginning but hopefully he'll look at Mike's resume, he'll watch film of Kurt and Marc and Trent Green and he'll [notice]. And it will even be harder with him because he kind of started to do that at the beginning of the year and he threw some picks. Hopefully Mike can get him to move forward beyond that and just accept what it is and to get him to be more responsible with the football."

As you might expect, Faulk's focus is at running back where Matt Forte inherits Martz. While Faulk is a staunch supporter of Martz -- "I'm biased," he said -- he's clearly the only NFL rusher that Martz has had incredible success with. With Martz in Detroit, Kevin Jones posted career-best totals but still never rushed for even 700 yards in a season. And in a 2008 campaign with the 49ers, Frank Gore had his worst season as a starter under Martz's tutelage. There were times in each of Martz's last two stops where he'd call games and seemingly forget the running back.

Forte was a major disappointment in 2009 in spite of totaling 1,400 yards -- a big part of his failure was not getting in the end zone much -- but Faulk thinks Forte will "love" Martz.

"[He needs to] understand and come to grips with the fact that a screen pass or a check-down is just like getting a handoff and breaking the line of scrimmage," Faulk said of Forte. "If you can fix that in your head and not expect to get 30 carries a game, then you can play and play well in Mike's offense."

But the real wild card in the offensive mix in Chicago is at tight end, according to Faulk. Greg Olsen, who had career-best stats in his first season with Cutler, might be the biggest benefactor of all from Martz's playbook. Faulk says Olsen "will be the best tight end that he's ever had."

"Getting a tight end involved, what you're able to do with a running back that can catch the ball and a tight end in that offense, it will be tremendous. It will be hard to stop. ... That combination inside will be tough to defend and it will really open up things on the outside. The Bears might not need a receiver [in the draft]."

But in outlining Martz's offense, Faulk says it all comes back to the quarterback, which is probably a big reason why Martz met with Cutler before the job was officially his. Martz claims he and Cutler had an "instant connection" upon meeting, and Faulk says that it will have to last if this football tandem will work properly.

"If the quarterback can call it and learn it, everybody else can call it and learn it because he has more on his plate than anybody else," Faulk said of Martz's playbook. "Everything is based on the quarterback. They're going to run what Cutler can handle; the offensive line coach, it will be on him to make sure they get the protections, the running backs -- protections and run plays, and the receivers coach will be pressed to make sure his guys are, what Mike likes to call 'in the right place at the right time.' In that offense, the quarterback is rarely wrong. Don't fool the quarterback -- he's expecting you to be at a certain spot. That ball will be thrown there. You have to be there. So the learning curve is based on Cutler and what his abilities are. He's a Vanderbilt guy, he should be able to digest it in a week."

After a year of great expectations gone wrong in Chicago, Faulk predicts a big turnaround -- at least offensively -- because of Martz. And he can back it up.

"I think this is a great move for Mike, going to Chicago," Faulk said. "He understands this may be the last chance for him to prove to people that he can get it done, which doesn't make sense because everywhere that he's been the offense has done well."

Posted on: December 23, 2009 2:35 pm
Edited on: December 23, 2009 2:43 pm

Boldin TD ruled a run

The following message was posted in CBSSports.com Commissioner leagues on Wednesday:

Please be advised that the following statistical corrections were made by the official stat provider of the NFL and it may impact the results in your league.

Kurt Warner will a lose a TD pass and 5 passing yards. Anquan Boldin will lose a reception, 5 receiving yards and a receiving TD and will gain 5 rushing yards and a rushing TD.

This change should be reflected when CBSSports.com makes its next statistical run later today.

CBSSports.com has made the change in all of its Commissioner leagues, but we implore each league commissioner to make his or her own ruling.

That said, this is a stat-based game, and as such the stats should be honored as they're ruled by the NFL's official stat provider, the Elias Sports Bureau. As an example, the change in scoring will be official in all of the leagues that I commish.

The ruling is different in CBSSports.com free and premium leagues based on a rule we established for those leagues years ago. Because the playoff results were recorded and waivers ran, those leagues will not record the scoring change.

Also, it should be noted that Drew Brees' pass to Lance Moore was indeed a forward pass. The play will be ruled as it stood on Saturday night: A touchdown pass from Brees to Moore.

I've been told that all queries should be directed toward the Help Center available to all owners in CBSSports.com leagues.

Category: NFL
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com