Posted on: August 9, 2008 8:52 pm


Matt Ryan threw his first career touchdown pass in his first preseason game. It was a 25-yards pass to Roddy White. I hope those two can hook up quite often, and you can count on Ryan being the eventual starter.

Chris Redman started the game, but Ryan will start the season opener. And if he can find White often, that would continue to allow White to be used as a No. 2 Fantasy option.

Go into the year with White as a No. 3 WR, but he does have upside if Ryan can take hold of the job and succeed.

Meanwhile, the Bucs just scored before halftime with Brian Griese throwing a touchdown to Brian Clark. Griese is currently the third string behind Jeff Garcia and Luke McCown.

Category: NFL
Posted on: August 9, 2008 8:42 pm


Earnest Graham also didn't play for the Bucs on Saturday. He is dealing with an ankle injury and was replaced by Michael Bennett and Kenneth Darby.

Graham will be fine for the start of the year. Continue to draft him as a No. 2 option worth a pick in Round 2 or 3 of most leagues. He will be fine until Cadillac Williams comes back, and then Graham could be hurt if WIlliams is healthy.

Category: NFL
Posted on: August 9, 2008 8:15 pm


Some updates from other preseason games ...

Clinton Portis scored for the Redskins and had 18 yards on seven carries. Jeff Lippman, one of our Fantasy writers, said Jason Campbell looked good in limited action.

DeAngelo Williams has two touchdowns against Indianapolis. Jonathan Stewart is out with a toe injury, which could open the door for Williams to sneak in and remain the starter. Jake Delhomme was limited to one pass in his return from Tommy John surgery. Steve Smith played and caught one pass for 19 yards. He's allowed to play in the preseason and practice despite the suspension.

David Garrard scored a rushing touchdown for the Jags. Maurice Jones-Drew started at running back with Fred Taylor resting. It would nice to see MJD start a full game during the season, but Taylor will be fine by the start of the year.

Category: NFL
Posted on: August 9, 2008 8:05 pm


Run, Ricky, Run ...

When RB Ricky Williams got into the game, he got a huge ovation. That's typical, since Dolphins fans remember the Ricky of old and not the old Ricky. He's 31 now, and he will be the No. 2 option behind Ronnie Brown, but Williams still has some life in his legs.

If Brown can't sustain his level of play coming off a torn ACL, Williams would have significant value. For now, though, Brown looked good. He started Saturday and ran without hesitation. Williams, however, is still a solid pick around Round 8 or 9 and should be handcuffed to Brown.

Category: NFL
Posted on: August 9, 2008 8:01 pm


Some other news from the Bucs ...

The Bucs kepts WR Joey Galloway, QB Jeff Garcia and FB B.J. Askew back in Tampa for the game. Luke McCown started for Garcia, Maurice Stovall started for Galloway and Warrick Dunn started for Askew, but Dunn played tailback instead of fullback. It was expected that all three wouldn't play since they were battling injuries. Continue to draft Galloway as a No. 3 Fantasy WR, Garcia as a No. 2 option and leave Askew undrafted. The same goes for McCown and Stovall, but Dunn is worth taking with a late-round pick in all leagues.

And for the Dolphins ...

The Dolphins started WR Derek Hagan against Tampa Bay in place of Ernest Wilford, who is the projected starter for opening day. Hagan will likely be the No. 3 receiver, but he started the first preseason game opposite Ted Ginn Jr. Wilford is the better Fantasy option between him and Hagan. Plan on drafting Wilford with a late-round pick in most leagues. Hagan is worth a flier in deep leagues since he's entering his third year, and all the Dolphins receivers get a boost with the addition of Chad Pennington at quarterback.

Category: NFL
Posted on: August 9, 2008 7:57 pm


Well, here we are at the Dolphins-Bucs game, and I'll be posting stuff all night. If you'd like to send feedback, feel free at and put "preseason" in the subject line. I can promise a personal response.

Anyway, some early news is with the signing of Chad Pennington, who is at the game but wearing shorts and not in uniform, the Dolphins made a quarterback switch. Josh McCown was scheduled to start, but he was benched in favor of John Beck. The Dolphins are likely trying to showcase Beck to trade him.

Beck will be the odd man out with Pennington the starter, McCown the backup and rookie Chad Henne, who is the eventual starter, as the third option.

Also, and more important to Fantasy owners, Ronnie Brown started and appeared to run without hesitation. Brown, who is coming off a torn ACL, is going to be watched a lot during the preseason, and if he can go without a setback at 100 percent, that would increase his Fantasy value.

Going into the year, I like Brown as a No. 3 Fantasy option. If he's close to 100 percent, then I like him as a No. 2 option with upside, and Ricky Williams' value would be lower.

Category: NFL
Posted on: August 7, 2008 2:46 pm

Cowher and Esiason

Been a while since I did a real "blog" with our new Fantasy takes. So I figured with all this Brett Favre saga I would run the Q&A's I just had with Bill Cowher and Boomer Esiason regarding Favre. They were both great interviews.

You'll also see in the coming week some other Q&A's I've done with T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Rudi Johnson, Chris Cooley, Matt Forte and Matt Schaub, among others. They all had some great stuff to say about the upcoming year.

Bill Cowher, studio analyst for the NFL Today on CBS and a former Super Bowl winning coach with the Steelers

JE: How do you think Favre will do in New York?

BC: Brett will make the adjustment. The question is how much the team will adjust to him. There's going to be an acclimation period that takes place. But Brett offers the Jets an experienced quarterback still playing on a high level.

JE: What will be his biggest adjustment?
BC: It will be interesting to see what they give him with the playbook. But he's been in the NFL a long time and knows what he's doing. There's no question it's going to take some time to adjust. But there's not a blitz or defense he hasn't seen.
JE: Is it hard for older players to adjust after leaving a team they've been on for a long period of time?
BC: There's going to be an expectation level based on Brett did in Green Bay, what Emmitt Smith did in Dallas, guys like that. There will some newness that will take place, some acclimation that will take place, but fans have an expectation level with elite players. You have to give the player a period of time to acclimate. But he gives the Jets a quality passer.
JE: What does his presence do for the team?
BC: He creates a level of excitement. To add a player of his caliber along with the other moves the Jets made this offseason shows the Jets are talking about doing something now. It's a strong message to the team.
JE: Will there be any nerves for Favre trying to prove himself?
BC: He gives them a stable player at that position. Brett's been in the big games and knows how to handle himself. He's been there before.
JE: As an analyst, how do you think this will all unfold?
BC: I think it's going to be fun to watch. He's created a lot of excitement, but the move also will bring a lot of scrutiny if it doesn’t work out.
Boomer Esiason, studio analyst for the NFL Today on CBS and a former quarterback with the Bengals, Jets and Cardinals
JE: What is your opinion of the trade?
BE: First and foremost, the Jets are a better team with Brett Favre. He brings a shot of confidence to the franchise. You have to realize he has to learn a new playbook. He knew those plays in Green Bay with his eyes closed. I bet he knew them better than some of the coaches.
JE: Can Favre be successful in New York?
BE: If you think getting that guy from last year, you're asking a whole lot from a 38-year-old quarterback. He still has a lot left in his heart and his arm, but this is a completely different set of circumstances. This isn’t Green Bay. This is a new set of coaches and a new system for Favre to learn. I don’t know if Mangini could be conservative, and Brett could want to let it loose. It could be choppy early on while they figure each other out.
JE: Could you have imagined this scenario for Favre?
BE: This is as bizarre as it gets. Nobody expected five months ago that Brett Favre would be the starting quarterback for the New York Jets. It's going to be a big adjustment for him. He's going to want to throw five touchdown passes in that first game and show everyone he can still play. That could be a dangerous thing. There's going to be growing pains in the short term.
JE: How do you see this is all working out?
BE: On the surface it's a great trade, but we have to see if he can fit in.
JE: Does this move help Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery and the other receivers?
BE: Without question. Defensive coordinators have to play the Jets differently now. With Brett, you never know where the ball is going.
JE: What will be the biggest adjustment for Favre?
BE: He has to learn new pass protection, plays, the subtleties of the offense. He has to learn to speak the Jets offensive language.
JE: Do you think it was a good trade?
BE: On the surface it's great. But underneath the initial shock, it's a lot for everyone to work through. It's not going to be an easy transition. This isn’t like Manny Ramirez going from the Red Sox to the Dodgers. Brett Favre just can’t go play left field like it's the same thing. This is a lot more complicated.

Category: NFL
Posted on: July 23, 2008 5:40 pm

Finally, Peyton Manning

Over the course of the next few weeks, I will be posting some of the best seasons in Fantasy Football history at quarterback, running back and wide receiver.

In looking at the top Fantasy seasons of all-time, we used a standard scoring system. That includes six points for all passing, rushing and receiving touchdowns, one point for 25 yards passing, one point for 10 yards rushing and receiving and minus-two points for interceptions and lost fumbles.

Feel free to comment if you ever drafted these players and how they helped you perform. The more interactive the conversation, the better it will be.

We started with the No. 5 Fantasy QB of all time, which was Steve Young in 1998. At No. 4 is a former Vikings QB still trying to make a comeback this year in Daunte Culpepper. At No. 3 is Dan Marino, and in 1984 he was pretty good. But he's just the No. 3 overall Fantasy QB of all time.

Now we come to Peyton Manning, who had a tremendous year in 2004.

Peyton Manning

Stats: 4,557 passing yards, 49 passing touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 38 rushing yards, one lost fumble
Fantasy points: 458
Best game: Week 8 at Kansas City, 10/31/2004 - 472 passing yards, five touchdowns, one interception
Comment: Manning broke Dan Marino's record of 48 touchdown passes, which stood for 20 years. Manning had two games of at least 400 passing yards and four games with at least five touchdowns. In Week 12 at Detroit, Manning passed for six touchdowns, but he only had 236 passing yards. Manning only attempted two passes in the final week of the season with the Colts resting their starters for the playoffs. He had great weapons in Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and Brandon Stokley.
Following year: 3,747 passing yards, 28 passing touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 45 rushing yards, two lost fumbles

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