Posted on: June 5, 2008 4:21 pm
Edited on: June 5, 2008 5:26 pm
Fun exercise for you all to do today ... but first ...
Check out our latest positional rankings, our latest Top 200, and drum roll please ...... tatatatatatatatatatata .... our latest projections release! Interestingly enough, you will find the players in order based on our projections in the positional rankings, but not the Top 200 (if we did that, there would be a lot of QBs at the top).
As you'd expect with any relaunched site, we have a lot going on behind the scenes here, so I'm keeping it short. But here's the exercise for you:
Below, you will find a list of NFL players who at one point earlier this offseason was ON our Top 200 list. Your mission -- if you choose to accept it -- is to find ONE name on the list below who you think belongs on our Top 200 list, and be sure to explain why.
Roydell Williams, WR, Tennessee
Devin Thomas, WR, Washington
Limas Sweed, WR, Pittsburgh
Donnie Avery, WR, St. Louis
Antwaan Randle El, WR, Washington
Shaun McDonald, WR, Detroit
Brandon Jackson, RB, Green Bay
Jason Wright, RB, Cleveland
Steve Slaton, RB, Houston
Aaron Stecker, RB, New Orleans
DeShawn Wynn, RB, Green Bay
Kenton Keith, RB, Indianapolis
Lorenzo Booker, RB, Miami
Cadillac Williams, RB, Tampa Bay
Mason Crosby, PK, Green Bay
Neil Rackers, PK, Arizona
Olindo Mare, PK, Seattle
Mewelde Moore, RB, Pittsburgh
Chris Henry, RB, Tennessee
Michael Bush, RB, Oakland
Najeh Davenport, RB, Pittsburgh
Adrian Peterson, RB, Chicago
Nate Washington, WR, Pittsburgh
Dennis Northcutt, WR, Jacksonville
James Jones, WR, Green Bay
Arnaz Battle, WR, San Francisco
Keary Colbert, WR, Denver
Chris Henry, WR, Cincinnati
LaBrandon Toefield, RB, Carolina
Kurt Warner, QB, Arizona
Brian Leonard, RB, St. Louis
Kolby Smith, RB, Kansas City
Correll Buckhalter, RB, Philadelphia
Pierre Thomas, RB, New Orleans
Kenny Irons, RB, Cincinnati
Kris Brown, PK, Houston
Kevin Jones, RB, Detroit
Ron Dayne, RB, Houston
Darius Walker, RB, Houston
LaMont Jordan, RB, Oakland
Musa Smith, RB, Baltimore
David Patten, WR, New Orleans
Jason Elam, PK, Denver
Andre Hall, RB, Denver
Terry Glenn, WR, New England
Kenny Watson, RB, Cincinnati
A good argument will get your guy on our list in our next release.
Posted on: June 2, 2008 5:13 pm
The Broncos released veteran RB Travis Henry on Monday, opening up the competition at running back for the team. That's all well and good, but what are the Fantasy implications?
You've come to the right place. You can 'feel the impact' in our positional rankings and our Top 200 rankings.
With Henry gone, Selvin Young appears to be the most likely person to start. Young ran well last season but couldn't find the end zone more than once despite totaling close to 1,000 yards. Furthermore, Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said earlier this offseason that he didn't envision Young as anything more than a 15-carry-per-game guy. So you can eliminate any visions of him being the proverbial Broncos stud RB from your head -- especially since he's built for goal-line carries like I'm built for body building.
Newly signed veteran Michael Pittman is in line to at least begin training camp as the third-down back. This is a job Pittman has excelled at for years and should be functional at immediately. That means he'll not only be blocking pass rushers on third down, but he'll also be catching the ball out of the backfield and even running the occasional draw. The likelihood is that he'll finish with around 500 total yards.
Andre Hall, last year's surprise runner who posted a big week at Chicago, will compete to be at least a change-of-pace running back. Before Henry's release, I figured Hall would be cut come late August. It's still a possibility, but without Henry there, it's not as likely. I don't expect Hall to get many yards unless it's as a replacement for Young.
The guy I think who will be the star of the Denver run game before the season is over is Ryan Torain, a fifth-round pick out of Arizona State. Although Torain was injury prone in college, he ran in a one-cut system nearly identical to what the Broncos use in their run attack. Torain is a physical back who is best built for goal-line carries from all of the players listed above, and can be effective on first and second downs, too. I could easily see a scenario where Young gets hurt or plays poorly, and Torain comes in and doesn't let up on the job. But even if Young does a nice job, Torain could get the touchdowns at the goal line and also fill in on shorter first and second downs.
So, how does a Fantasy drafter try to maximize his or her value with the Broncos' running backs?
I think if you're going to go after Young, you've got to get Torain, too, and it will mean drafting both fairly early. Young is now going to be drafted between late Round 5 and Round 7; Torain no later than Round 9. I'd suggest getting Young as late as you can (early Round 7?), then come back and take Torain with your next pick. While that will hurt to do come Draft Day, you will lock up the Broncos' backs, which is a valuable commodity in Fantasy. Moreover, if you pick your WRs and QB early in drafts (which we're recommending this year), you'll be happy to aim for this combo in Rounds 7 and 8 (or 6 and 7 if your league is deep or RB-intensive).
Now then, what about Travis Henry? Is he useless? As of now, I'd say no. I think Henry will find a place to work out this summer and try to make a club on a one-year deal. Is he good for 1,000 yards and six touchdowns? I doubt it. His legs are beat up, as is his reputation after last year's positive drug test that got, uh, overturned. Might he be a good bye-week replacement once he gets a job in the NFL? Probably so.
Just one last thing: Never rule out Mike Shanahan finding someone on the waiver wire or the street to come in and compete ... and completely mess up this whole rigamarole. LaMont Jordan, Shaun Alexander ... the league has plenty of re-treads that might be useful for the Broncos, if only for a year.
Shanahan's firm grip on Fantasy Football continues to pinch owners everywhere.
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!
Posted on: May 15, 2008 2:07 pm
I have a free minute to post and thought I'd drop a line from lovely Chicago, where if it ain't winter, it's time for some construction on one of the highways!
Most of my vacation is over, but the two-and-a-half days away from the wife and kids while I hung out with good friends from high school was some much-needed therapy. I spent most of the time either eating pizza (Aurelio's and Giordano's), playing cards and being a derelict, sleeping or watching my buds golf. During much of that time, I was hammered with football questions, not that I didn't mind ...
Only other note of interest -- not really Fantasy related -- my brother-in-law, David Farby, just finished his freshman year at Syracuse. He's in their Newhouse School of Broadcasting and Journalism, which has churned out legendary sports-broadcast figures such as Bob Costas, Mike Tirico, Jason Horowitz and Eric Mack. Before he finished his first year, he landed an internship at WMVP-AM in Chicago, a sports-talk station affiliated with a network not many people have heard of (it's pronounced "Espen"). Interestingly enough, it's the rival station of the one I am on during the football season, WSCR-AM 670 The Score, which is affiliated with a network EVERYONE knows about, CBS Radio!
Anyhoo, David is an intern for the Silvy and Waddle Show, featuring Chicagoland fave Tom Waddle, an ex-Bears receiver. Waddle was one of my faves when I was younger too. A gritty player who never got the recognition he truly deserved while playing. By the way, David said that Waddle is a cool guy really into his work -- I could have figured that myself, but it's good to know.
Now, get this ... the announcer who does the sports updates during the show is Bryan Dolgin, who was (is?) a fraternity brother of mine at Miami. I met Dolgin before I even came to school at a pre-UM party for incoming Chicagoland freshmen. He's got a year on me and came to the party wearing his fraternity letters with his best friend, Dan Fleischer. Suffice to say, four of us who were at that party wound up being in the fraternity. Now he's pushing around my brother-in-law, who BETTER think long and hard about joining the same fraternity at the Cuse ...
I'm not done ... the executive producer of the show is Randy Merkin, the brother of Chicago White Sox beat writer Scott Merkin. The Merkins lived in Olympia Fields, Ill., right near where I lived when I was little. One of them ... I think it was Scott ... was my camp counselor at River Oaks Camp one summer when I was like 10.
Just a crazy series of coincidences. It really is a small world (or maybe Chicago is just a small city). By the way, if anyone at WMVP wants good, embarrassing stories about David (or Bryan), email me.
Upon my return to Florida, I'm going to help put the finishing touches on the CBSSports.com/Pro Football Weekly Fantasy Football Preview Magazine. One of the projects: 165 words on why I like Ernest Wilford. Not a tough assignment since I think he's got a shot to post career-best numbers (not 1,000 yards, though) with Miami in 2008. The magazine is shaping up to be the most informational -- and believe it or not, controversial -- preview magazines you'll find. Our mock draft is off-the-charts stunning, and Jamey and I each have some really provocative articles to help you get ready for '08.
After the mag is put to bed, I have to start crankin' out preseason outlooks for every player and DST you'll find in the CBSSports.com draft room and player pages this summer. You know, quick blurbs that paint the picture of what you can expect from players this season. I also have to tweak our projections and begin delving into a Draft Prep content series deeper than a Giordano's stuffed pizza (second Gio's reference in the same blog! Nice!!).
But until then, I still have some time left to relax at home.
See ya next week.
Posted on: May 8, 2008 5:16 pm
Edited on: May 9, 2008 5:30 pm
I'm putting the finishing touches on my annual breakouts, sleepers and busts article for the Pro Football Weekly/CBSSports.com Fantasy Football Preview Magazine (on newsstands this June ... I think ...), but I wanted to share something I did just for those of you reading the blog.
In addition to the 30 or so players I asked CBS' panel of analysts about, I got their take on Laurence Maroney, who is the one running back that I can't quite put my finger on in terms of production.
Guess what? Our panelists couldn't put a solid finger on it either. But, the exercise here is to take what our experts had to say, and see the common threads. That will tell you what the consensus opinion on Maroney is heading into 2008.
"That's the enigma. Maroney is just like Marion Barber, and they were coached the same way in college. They both run with that frenetic style that's like a tsunami. He attacks defenders. I don't know if you can sustain that to 25 carries a game for 16 games. With that said, he'll be a high-efficient runner so long as he's not getting a lot of carries. Sammy Morris will be a factor and Kevin Faulk will continue in his third-down role. Now, whether or not Maroney stays healthy is what will tell you if he gets to 1,000 yards. But I still think you need to surround him with talent. Now he has to prove he can stay healthy, or he'll have to augment his running style, and if he does that, then will he be the same runner?"
-- Solomon Wilcots
"The vast majority of people don't know what to think of him. I think everyone agrees on his physical talents. You have to question his physical endurance as a professional, and at what point does he kind of get turned loose. We waited a long time for that last year. It would appear that he is and will continue to be just a very good contributing piece of an offense. So if you're looking for that center-cut diamond, Maroney's not it."
-- Randy Cross
"I think he'll be a solid back, but he's got to stay healthy. That's been a little bit of a problem for him. But the Patriots will still be a pass offense first, and I think he'll have a solid year, probably limited just by the fact that there's only so many touches you're going to get in that offense."
-- Charley Casserly
"With the Patriots, I still think he's got a chance to have some numbers, but they're still about throwing the football, though. I think you can see the biggest question with him is if he can stay healthy. If Maroney stays healthy, he'll be a big-number guy."
-- Bill Cowher
Posted on: May 2, 2008 5:23 pm
It's been busy here at the office. Next week, I have two feature stories due for our annual Fantasy magazine; one is written, the other is an easy write. It's chasing down people to get quotes for the stories that's the tough part, but hopefully next week rolls by without incident.
I spent part of my week this week, however, drafting. Yes, in April (technically it was April). Krause Publications held their annual expert's draft, which I got to be a part of. I always look forward to this draft because it features Fantasy luminaries (is that really a good word to describe us?) such as Greg Ambrosius, Adam Caplan, John Hansen and former co-worker, Michael Fabiano. In fact, all of us are in the same division! No doubt, it's going to be a tough league.
I can't divulge the complete results, only my results. I picked 4th in the odd rounds, 9th in the even rounds. We start 3 WRs and a FLEX on top of 2 RBs, 1 QB, 1 TE, etc. There are points per reception; the rest of the scoring is how you'd expect it. Here are the notables ...
ROUND 1: Brian Westbrook. Pretty standard after LaDainian Tomlinson, Adrian Peterson and Steven Jackson went off the board. And NOT in that order.
ROUND 2: Larry Fitzgerald. While the running backs weren't entirely thin, I didn't want to lose out on getting TWO good WRs. Fitzgerald's potential for 100 receptions played a big role. Maurice Jones-Drew was also a consideration.
ROUND 3: Wes Welker. Really wanted Marques Colston here. Steve Smith, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Braylon Edwards went right before my pick. I passed on Torry Holt.
ROUND 4: Derek Anderson. Running backs were still plentiful, so I was able to pass on them and pick one up in a few picks.
ROUND 5: Julius Jones. Loved getting him here. I expect him to go a full round higher in drafts come August. AND, he was the only RB drafted in the round, so the talent pool that I was staring at heading into this pick was still there for the most part for my next pick.
ROUND 6: Kevin Smith. Big risk-reward pick here, but I figure the Lions will put him in at some point as their starter. I know Tatum Bell can't do it. I picked him over Travis Henry -- big, big risk there. I would have preferred Jonathan Stewart here, but he went earlier in the round.
ROUND 7: Todd Heap. Risk-reward, but doing it with a TE in a Cam Cameron offense. Lock it up.
ROUND 8: Santana Moss. Another player I expect to post a nice season. I may be a former Miami Hurricane like Moss, and I like Moss a lot on a personal level, but I've always been able to pass on him in drafts before, figuring that he'd underperform. In Round 8, I cannot pass him up. I hope he goes off for 1,200 yards.
ROUND 9: Vikings DST. HUGE pick there that will either pay off in spades or flub like a party boat filled with ... nevermind. I secretly hoped this would start a DST run, but I was wayyy off (keep in mind, I did draft with guys who know that DSTs are more plentiful than Britney Spears paparazzi shots).
ROUND 10: Bryant Johnson. Lots of upside playing in Mike Martz's offense. Has the size to be a No. 1. Not much competition for him there. Niners will be behind a lot. Not bad for Round 10.
ROUND 11: Jake Delhomme. A guy everyone reading this should target to be their backup QB in 2008.
ROUND 12: Leon Washington. Another guy I'm stealing. Not only will he see 8-to-10 carries a game, but he'll be a gem if something happens to Thomas Jones. That O-line in New York should be much better this year.
ROUND 13: T.J. Duckett. Backing up Julius Jones, with some upside as a touchdown hog.
ROUND 14: Darren Sproles. Just in case ...
ROUND 15: Lorenzo Booker. Backing up Brian Westbrook.
ROUND 16: Nate Kaeding. The necessary evil of Fantasy Football -- placekickers. My goal is to draft ALL of my kickers with my final pick in every single draft I do between now and when I die.
You may comment on my team and draft strategy below. Would love to hear from you.
Posted on: April 18, 2008 4:36 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2008 4:37 pm
When people meet me, they usually have two questions:
"How the heck did you get that job?!"
"Are you guys hiring?"
I can answer the first question easily: I fell backwards into it.
The second answer usually is no.
But not today. We're hiring.
The folks who market our Fantasy products are looking for someone who (1) loves Fantasy (2) wants a career in marketing (3) has some marketing experience, preferably search engine marketing and/or optimization and (4) lives in or is willing to relocate to South Florida (sorry, without assistance).
If you meet that criteria, we’d love to get your resume.<o:p></o:p>
To be considered, click here. Any resumes emailed to me will die in a grease fire.
The NFL released their "strength of schedule" for the 2008 season. Fantasy owners flock to this to see who got the "easiest" schedule.
And if you buy into that sack of propaganda, I'd like to play in a Fantasy league with you.
For starters, anyone who plays Miami, St. Louis, Atlanta or Oakland in 2008 is going to have a "favorable" schedule based on those teams' horrid 2007 final stats. However, both teams have upgraded and are expected to be better than top-of-the-draft worthy, especially Oakland (gasp!).
What *I* recommend you do is look at which teams are EXPECTED to stink this season, then check out the NFL schedules. That's a much, much more reliable way to decipher the sked and see what it means for your Fantasy team.
What's that? You don't want to do all that? You think someone should do it for you?
I'm on the case. But just to whet your appetite, here are six non-playoff teams from 2007 and what I expect from them in '08:
CHICAGO: BAD OFFENSE, DEFENSE SUFFERS ALONG WITH THEM.
KANSAS CITY: DOWNWARD SPIRAL. ANOTHER TOP-5 PICK IN 2008.
N.Y. Jets: IF THEY DRAFT WELL, THEY MIGHT FINISH 2ND IN AFC EAST AND 8-8.
ARIZONA: WILL BE MUCH IMPROVED. POSSIBLE PLAYOFF TEAM.
HOUSTON: VERY COMPETITIVE, ESPECIALLY OUT OF CONFERENCE.
CLEVELAND: MY PRESEASON AFC CHAMPIONS.
Posted on: April 17, 2008 5:28 pm
This is lifted from the Associated Press. And it's PRICELESS!
DAVIE, Fla. (AP) -Perhaps it was a slip of the tongue, or subterfuge scripted by Bill Parcells.
Or maybe Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland inadvertently tipped his hand regarding the team's plan with the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft.
At a news conference Thursday to discuss the draft, Ireland said he wouldn't talk about the Dolphins' strategy, and he didn't discuss specific players. But one comment he made was surprisingly specific.
"Of course I want guys that have great upside," Ireland said. "This is the first pick in the draft. This guy is going to be - you hope that he's a pillar of your defense for a long time."
Defense? That would be news. As Ireland continued, the room broke out in laughter.
"What did I say?" he asked.
"You said, 'pillar of your defense,"' someone replied.
Ireland's face began to turn red.
"Pillar of your defense, or offense, or team," he said to more laughter. "That's a Freudian slip."
Or perhaps a smoke screen, someone suggested.
"I'll let you guys decide," Ireland said.