Posted on: May 19, 2008 5:24 pm
 

Oh no ... Andre Johnson hurt

Here was an update that just happened today ...

The knee injury that sidelined WR Andre Johnson for the majority of the 2007 season has crept up again, according to the Houston Texans team site. Coach Gary Kubiak announced Monday after the Texans' first OTA workout that Johnson underwent arthroscopic knee surgery after last weekend's minicamp, and the fifth-year veteran will miss the remainder of the team's offseason workouts. The good news is that Johnson should be ready for training camp at the end of July. Johnson was upbeat about the prognosis of his knee. With a sleeve covering his left knee, Johnson explained that his injury is tough to detect just by looking at it.

This is awful news. Johnson has the chance to be the No. 1 recevier in the NFL this year. Last year, Johnson had 60 catches for 851 yardsand eight touchdowns in only seven games because of the knee. If you project his stats over a full season, Johnson would have had 107 catches for 1,514 yards and 14 touchdowns, which would have been second only to Randy Moss. Hopefully for Fantasy owners, Johnson will be 100 percent in 2008.

I was planning on drafting Johnson as my No. 1 wide receiver every chance I could. Will that change now? Probably not, but I want to see what happens in training camp. Hopefully he will be healthy because without him, Owen Daniels will suffer, as will Matt Schaub.

Category: NFL
Posted on: May 15, 2008 11:03 am
Edited on: May 15, 2008 11:29 am
 

Champions

Every now and then you get a moment to still act like a kid and forget about work and have some fun with your friends. Isn't that what Fantasy sports is all about? We had one of those moments Wednesday night. Our softball team from CBSSports.com played in the championship game and we won our second title in the past three seasons.

There were plenty of highlights. David Gonos at catcher made three put-outs at home (although he did strike out along with going 4-for-6). Brett Tresky (5-for-6, four RBI) and Dwyne Philippin (5-for-6, four runs, two RBI) were stars at the plate. Pitcher Dan Dobish got the final out on a strikeout.

I was terrible at the plate, going 1-for-6 with a run scored, but I was a little tired from running for Gonos every time he got on base (outside of the strikeout, of course). I did win the hitting challenge for the season against Gonos and Tresky, finishing the year at .459 ahead of Gonos (.433) and Tresky (.424).

Other notes on the season include Eric Mack, who is our resident "softball guy" at shortstop, winning the batting title at .591 along with most home runs (four), RBI (25) and assists in the field (29). Dr. Joe in left field had the most triples (three) and put-outs (40). Gonos finished the season with a perfect fielding percentage behind the plate.

It was a great season and a lot of fun, and since we're talking Fantasy here, this is how our team compares to the real players. I had a little help from one of our Product Managers for Fantasy Sports, Corey Guerrera, who also plays third base.

  1. Danny Kadoche, RCF: Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay Rays. Plenty of speed, good glove and occasional power.
  2. Todd Farrow, LCF: Carlos Beltran, New York Mets. Hits to all fields, good glove and might kill you if you look at him wrong.
  3. Eric Mack, SS: Jimmy Rollins, Philadelphia Phillies. Think Rollins bat with Ryan Howard's speed.
  4. Dr. Joe, LF: Vladimir Guerrero, Los Angeles Angels. Power and a cannon for an arm.
  5. Corey Guerrera, 3B: David Wright, New York Mets. Hits for average and power and "he's my favorite player."
  6. Dan Dobish, P: Carlos Zambrano, Chicago Cubs. Can hit for a pitcher and also a little volatile.
  7. Jimmy O'Halloran, DH/utility: Kevin Youklis, Boston Red Sox. Don't ask him to play catcher again but he's versatile with a good bat.
  8. Jamey Eisenberg, RF: Juan Pierre, Los Angeles Dodgers. Strictly a singles hitter with no power or arm but can run.
  9. Dwyne Philippin, 1B: Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins. Clutch hitter, solid defense and developing power.
  10. David Gonos, C: Pudge Rodriguez, Detroit Tigers. Great defense, bat is coming around to days of old.
  11. Brett Tresky, 2B: Orlando Hudson, Arizona Diamondbacks. The captain has improved his stroke and defense.

Our reserves:

  1. Jake Payton, OF: Vernon Wells, Toronto Blue Jays. He was here, played well and then left us when he moved to Detroit.
  2. Frank Olearczyk, OF/C: Luis Gonzalez, Florida Marlins. A veteran presence who comes up big when we need him.
  3. George Wakeling, OF/C: Hank Steinbrenner. He's never around, but we always hear from him.

Looking forward to next season boys. Good job on the title.

Category: General
Tags: Softball
 
Posted on: May 12, 2008 3:38 pm
 

We love Steven Jackson

There was a story out of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch  this weekend about Rams RB Steven Jackson and his impending free agency after this season. A quote from Jackson should have all Fantasy owners pretty excited about his upcoming 2008.

"Well, we all know what happens in a contract year: you ball out," Jackson said. "So, I expect to."

As most Fantasy owners know, contract years are typically good things. For recent proof, check out Ahman Green in 2006 and Jamal Lewis last year. Jackson is a far superior talent than those two and well in his prime.

He also got recent good news that left tackle Orlando Pace is healthy after missing most of last year with a torn rotator cuff. That will improve the offensive line and help Jackson find more running room.

Jackson is in line for a big season. He will likely be drafted in the first six picks of all Fantasy drafts, but I think Jackson will finish as the best running back in Fantasy Football in 2008. In three recent drafts I took part in, Jackson went seventh, fifth and third overall. He should be drafted behind LaDainian Tomlinson, but that's as far as he should go. He will be better than Adrian Peterson, Brian Westbrook and Joseph Addai.

Some owners might shy away from Jackson because of what happened last year, but count on Jackson having a monster season and earning a big pay day. It's time for him to "ball out."

Category: NFL
Posted on: May 9, 2008 10:00 am
 

Another mock draft

Like I said, we're doing plenty of mock drafts at this time of year. You can check out the one on the site, which is the third one I've done in the past week: www.sportsline.com/nfl/fantasy/stor
y/10804743

I did another mock draft last night with members of different Fantasy sites. I had the 12th pick, and the only major difference in this draft were touchdown passes are 4 points instead of 6. The starting lineup is QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, K, DST.

Here are the picks I made in order.

1. Clinton Portis, RB, Washington

2. Tom Brady, QB, New England

3. Chad Johnson, WR, Cincinnati

4. Anquan Boldin, WR, Arizona

5. LenDale White, RB, Tennessee

6. Kevin Smith, RB, Detroit

7. Ahman Green, RB, Houston

8. Bobby Engram, WR, Seattle

9. Bryant Johnson, WR, San Francisco

10. Tatum Bell, RB, Detroit

11. Owen Daniels, TE, Houston

12. James Hardy, WR, Buffalo

13. Jaguars DST

14. Josh Brown, K, St. Louis

I was surprised Portis fell to No. 12 because I think he will have a big year. Getting Brady in the second round was an easy choice even with the scoring difference for passing touchdowns because he's still a lock to get at least 30-35 touchdowns.

I wasn't thrilled with Chad Johnson and Boldin, but they were the two best receivers on the board. The same goes for White at RB, which is why I went with Smith also and backed him up with Bell later. Bobby Engram, despite his age, remains Matt Hasselbeck's favorite target and is a solid No. 3 WR.

After that, I was drafting for value, which is why I went with Green, Bryant Johnson and Hardy as reserves. Green should have a bounce back year and is a good No. 4 RB, Johnson could thrive playing for Mike Martz and Hardy has the potential to be the No. 1 rookie WR.

Daniels will be a quality Fantasy TE this year, and the Jags defense and Brown could be the best players at their respective positions.

 

Category: NFL
Posted on: May 7, 2008 5:46 pm
 

Mock Draft

We just held one of the many mock drafts we'll be doing over the next few months, and I couldn't have asked for a better team.

Here are the picks I made in order. My favorite picks were in Round 4 and 5, but it's unlikely those two running backs will slip that far in most drafts.

1. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, San Diego
 
2. Andre Johnson, WR, Houston
 
3. Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans
 
4. Earnest Graham, RB, Tampa Bay
 
5. Reggie Bush, RB, New Orleans
 
6. Marc Bulger, QB, St. Louis
 
7. Kevin Smith, RB, Detroit
 
8. Bobby Engram, WR, Seattle
 
9. Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco
 
10. Bryant Johnson, WR, San Francisco
 
11. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay
 
12. Chris Brown, RB, Houston
 
13. Jabar Gaffney, WR, New England
 
14. Mark Clayton, WR, Baltimore
 
15. Seahawks DST
 
16. Neil Rackers, K, Arizona

This was a 12-team league with the starting lineup of  QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, TE, K, DST. That means I'm starting Bulger, Tomlinson and Graham, Johnson and Colston, Davis, Rackers and the Seahawks. With Bush, Smith, Engram, Johnson and Rodgers as my key reserves, this team will be very competitive.

Category: NFL
Posted on: May 5, 2008 5:14 pm
 

Shaun Alexander visits the Saints. What?

Former Seattle RB Shaun Alexander is scheduled to visit New Orleans on Wednesday as his free agent tour continues. That's the last place any Fantasy owner wants to see Alexander end up.

The first thing Alexander looking at the Saints should tell you is Deuce McAllister must still be recovering from his knee injury and isn't close to 100 percent. Alexander and McAllister would play the same role in this offense as the lead back on first and second down. So you might want to avoid Deuce even if Alexander passes on New Orleans.

Alexander has looked at Cincinnati also, and that's another bad place. He would be a bad fit for the Bengals, who are loaded at running back with Rudi Johnson, Kenny Watson and eventually Kenny Irons. Alexander may be washed up as a feature back, but he can still do some damage with the right amount of carries in the right offense.

The best place for Alexander right now is Chicago. With Cedric Benson's recent boating escapade, the Bears are unhappy with their starting situation. They should throw a boatload of money at Alexander to make him their starter, keep Benson as a reserve and slowly bring along Matt Forte. That scenario would make Alexander still a No. 3 Fantasy option.

Another good place for Alexander would be Detroit, where the Lions have Tatum Bell and Kevin Smith. Alexander would still get plenty of touches with the Lions and could have limited Fantasy value there.

So now the choice is yours. Where do you want to see Alexander end up? Send us an email at dmfantasyfootball@cbs.com and put Alexander in the subject line. I'll post the results later this week.

Posted on: April 28, 2008 2:46 pm
 

NFL Draft overview

The NFL Draft is over, and I like the new format. It made the first round quicker and the second day more interesting with Round 3.

Here's an overall assessment of how I thought each team did based on the impact for Fantasy leagues in 2008. We're just looking at skill players here.

Feel free to share your thoughts.

Arizona: Taking WR Early Doucet in the third round will give the Cardinals a replacement for Bryant Johnson. You're not going to draft him in most leagues, but he could be a valuable waiver wire guy if Larry Fitzgerald or Anquan Boldin get hurt. RB Tim Hightower is not going to replace Edgerrin James. He's more of a special teams player.

Atlanta: I'm not thrilled with Matt Ryan going to the Falcons. I would have preferred him in Baltimore. But he will be the face of the franchise down the road. This year, consider Ryan a low-end Fantasy option, and Chris Redman will likely still start the season. Harry Douglas will compete with Michael Jenkins and Laurent Robinson for playing time opposite Roddy White, but don't plan on drafting Douglas in Fantasy leagues. RB Thomas Brown and TE Keith Zinger are backups with no Fantasy value.

Baltimore: The Ravens miss on Ryan but take Joe Flacco instead at No. 18. I don't like this pick at all. I think Flacco could be good down the road, but with their aging defense, the Ravens are saying we're going to live with Kyle Boller. That's not a good thing. Consider Flacco a notch below Ryan this year in Fantasy leagues. Ray Rice also was an interesting choice. Rice will steal some carries from Willis McGahee, but I don't see Rice doing much to help your Fantasy team. WR Marcus Smith and WR Justin Harper will compete for the No. 3 spot behind Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton, but neither is worth drafting in Fantasy leagues. And RB Patrick Allen is a backup.

Buffalo: I love the Bills taking James Hardy in the second round. Finally, a tall receiver to play opposite Lee Evans. Hardy is going to make Evans and QB Trent Edwards better in 2008, and you should draft Hardy as a No. 4 Fantasy option. TE Derek Fine could find playing time behind Robert Royal, and RB Xavier Omon and WR Steve Johnson are just backups.

Carolina: Dave Richard loves Jonathan Stewart so much that I'm starting to see the light. If he wins the starting job, he will be like Stephen Davis was for the Panthers back in the day, and that was pretty good. Stewart appears to be the starter, which means you'll want to draft him as a No. 3 Fantasy option with A LOT of upside. TE Gary Barnidge could find playing time, but don't draft him in any leagues.

Chicago: The Bears made some subtle picks that could be good in 2008. RB Matt Forte will push Cedric Benson for the starting spot, and if that happens you'll want Forte as a No. 3 Fantasy option, making Benson someone to avoid until the later rounds. WR Earl Bennett could end up being the No. 1 option since Marty Booker is terrible. TE Kellen Davis won't have a role on offense, and WR Marcus Monk is a backup.

Cincinnati: The Bengals loaded up at wide receiver in case Chad Johnson bolts. Drafting Jerome Simpson in Round 2 and Andre Caldwell in Round 3 will give them a replacement for Chris Henry and a possible second starter if Johnson is traded. TE Matt Sherry is a backup, and don't expect much from WR Mario Urrutia.

Cleveland: With now picks in the first three rounds, they couldn't do much. So don't count on TE Martin Rucker or WR Paul Hubbard to have any Fantasy impact in 2008.

Dallas: The Cowboys passed on Rashard Mendenhall to take Felix Jones, which shows how much interest they had in the former Arkansas back. Jones will complement Marion Barber and could be a nice sleeper in Fantasy leagues. You can also expect Tashard Choice to see some time as well, but don't draft him in any leagues in 2008. TE Martellus Bennett might be a deep sleeper if he gets playing time as the No. 2 option behind Jason Witten.

Denver: The Broncos needed help at WR and took a chance on Eddie Royal in the second round. If Brandon Marshall's arm is bad from the cut, Royal will pay immediate dividends. Otherwise, don't expect much from Royal, but he's someone to watch on the waiver wire. I like Denver trying to help QB Jay Cutler with some weapons. RB Ryan Torain could play a role since it's the Broncos.

Detroit: The Lions might have gotten the best rookie for Fantasy play when it comes to RB Kevin Smith. I'd rather see Rashard Mendenhall with the Lions, but Smith will compete with Tatum Bell for the starting spot. Smith could be a No. 3 Fantasy RB with upside. WR Kenneth Moore is not worth drafting in Fantasy leagues. Mike Martz is gone, so extra receivers behind Roy Williams, Calvin Johnson and Shaun McDonald won't matter much.

Green Bay: The Packers made some nice moves that will pay dividends down the road but not much in Fantasy leagues in 2008. WR Jordy Nelson will likely compete with James Jones for the No. 3 role, but he'll still be behind Greg Jennings and Donald Driver. QB Brian Brohm also will sit behind Aaron Rodgers this year. And TE Jermichael Finley will replace Bubba Franks, but he's No. 2 behind Donald Lee. None of these players should be drafted in 2008, but in keeper leagues, they have some extended Fantasy value.

Houston: The Texans are obviously sold on Kevin Walter and Andre Davis because they didn't draft another wide receiver. They did, however, draft RB Steve Slaton, which could mean bad things for Ahman Green. Look for Green to remain the starter, but Slaton should be drafted as a No. 4 Fantasy RB with upside. We know Green is injury prone, so Slaton could play at any moment.

Indianapolis: The Colts made some subtle moves that are interesting. TE Jacob Tamme and even TE Tom Santi could see playing time as replacements for Ben Utecht, but they won't have much Fantasy value. But RB Mike Hart could be a great, late Fantasy addition as a backup to Joseph Addai. With Kenton Keith's recent arrest, Tony Dungy might not have much patience. If Hart is No. 2, then draft him with a late-round Fantasy pick. And the Colts did draft WR Pierre Garcon in the sixth round, but that they didn't take a WR earlier means Marvin Harrison is probably healthy and ready to go in 2008.

Jacksonville: The Jags addressed most of their offensive needs this offseason, so the draft was spent on defense. RB Chauncey Washington will be a backup and has no Fantasy value.

Kansas City: The Chiefs made solid draft picks, but no one who will help your Fantasy value in 2008 unless there are injuries. RB Jamaal Charles is a solid player, but he will sit behind Larry Johnson and potentially Kolby Smith. The same goes for RB DaJuan Morgan. TE Brad Cottam is a blocker but has good hands. And WR William Franklin and Kevin Robinson will compete for playing time, but you're not drafting secondary receivers for the Chiefs in your Fantasy league.

Miami: The Dolphins did little to help your Fantasy team in 2008. QB Chad Henne may start, but he's not a good Fantasy option right now. And RB Jalen Parmele and RB Lex Hilliard aren't playing over Ronnie Brown or Ricky Williams any time soon. The Dolphins did make two trades over the weekend, getting TE Anthony Fasano from Dallas and giving up RB Lorenzo Booker. Fasano should be a TE sleeper.

Minnesota: I like the Vikings taking QB John David Booty. He could eventually start but not this year. WR Jaymar Johnson is a backup and has no Fantasy value in 2008.

New England: The Pats start thinking about the future with QB Kevin O'Connell, but he's obviously not playing in 2008. And WR Matt Slater has special teams written all over him. Don't draft either of these players.

New Orleans: The Saints did nothing to help your Fantasy team. They should have traded for TE Jeremy Shockey. Instead, they took WR Adrian Arrington late, but he's playing special teams.

New York Giants: I like what the Giants did by taking WR Mario Manningham, and he will compete with Steve Smith and Sinorice Moss for the No. 3 spot. You can spend a late-round pick on Manningham, and he may be productive. QB Andre Woodson is just a backup.

New York Jets: The Jets needed a tight end, and Dustin Keller is a good one. He could start right away and should be considered a solid sleeper in all leagues. QB Erik Ainge is worth taking in deep keeper leagues, and WR Marcus Henry is a special teams player at best. The Jets not getting Darren McFadden means Thomas Jones remains a great Fantasy option in 2008.

Oakland: If you play Fantasy Football, you wanted to see Darren McFadden with the Jets. Now with Oakland, there is a cluster of running backs with Justin Fargas, Michael Bush and Dominic Rhodes (LaMont Jordan will be released). McFadden is a No. 3 Fantasy option at best. Fargas will definitely get carries and limit how good McFadden will be in 2008. WR Arman Shields and WR Chaz Schilens have minimal Fantasy value.

Philadelphia: The Eagles got the receiver they needed in DeSean Jackson, who is small but adds another weapon to Donovan McNabb's arsenal. Consider Jackson a No. 4 Fantasy option with upside. The Eagles also added RB Lorenzo Booker in a trade, and he could have value in leagues where receptions count.

Pittsburgh: The Steelers complicated many Fantasy leagues by taking RB Rashard Mendenhall in the first round. Willie Parker will remain the starter, but look for Mendenhall to fill the Jerome Bettis role and play on short-yardage situations. Parker won't be getting many touchdowns, but Mendenhall won't get many yards. Look for Parker to be a low-end No. 2 Fantasy options, and Mendenhall is a low-end No. 3 on his own. WR Limas Sweed will make Ben Roethlisberger better, and he will take away some catches from Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes.

St. Louis: The Rams needed a WR with Isaac Bruce gone, and they took plenty of them in Donnie Avery, Justin King and Keenan Burton. Whoever wins a starting job, and they will compete with Drew Bennett and Reche Caldwell opposite Torry Holt, could have significant Fantasy value. Keep an eye on what develops, but Avery will have the best chance to succeed. If you have Marc Bulger, you like this draft because he was getting some help.

San Diego: The Chargers took RB Marcus Thomas in the fifth round, and he could be the new backup to LaDainian Tomlinson if Darren Sproles doesn't pan out now that Michael Turner is gone. Look for Thomas to compete for the job, and if he wins it, spend a late-round pick on him or handcuff him to Tomlinson.

San Francisco: The 49ers did little to help your Fantasy team. They took WR Josh Morgan in the sixth round, and he will be a backup and special teams player. Ignore him in all Fantasy leagues.

Seattle: It was interesting that the Seahawks passed on wide receivers in this draft, meaning they really like Bobby Engram, Nate Burleson and Ben Obomanu. They needed a tight end, so consider John Carlson a decent sleeper in all leagues. RB Justin Forsett has minimal Fantasy value.

Tampa Bay: Michigan fans might not like WR Dexter Jackson (he's from Appalachian State), but he could play a role for the Bucs. If he's given extended playing time, which is likely since Tampa Bay has a weak receiving corps, consider him a late-round draft pick in most Fantasy leagues. QB Josh Johnson gives Tampa Bay 45 quarterbacks on the roster. Ignore him in all leagues along with RB Cory Boyd.

Tennessee: The Titans need help at wide receiver. So what do they do? They wait until Round 4 to take Lavelle Hawkins, who will make little impact in 2008 and doesn't help Vince Young much. TE Craig Stevens also won't do much in 2008 with Alge Crumpler around. As for RB Chris Johnson, he's a good player who did well at the Combine. But he will play behind LenDale White, who also saw his value nose dive with this pick. This draft made RB Chris Henry an afterthought.

Washington: The Redskins made sure QB Jason Campbell was happy by adding WR Devin Thomas, WR Malcolm Kelly and TE Fred Davis with their first three picks. Thomas and Kelly should be considered decent Fantasy reserves, and Davis is a deep sleeper in 2008 since he will be playing behind Chris Cooley. Washington added QB Colt Brennan, but he isn't expected to play in 2008.

Category: NFL
Posted on: April 27, 2008 12:01 pm
 

Draft Day 2

Round 3 is over, and let's go over some of the picks as it relates to Fantasy Football.

Likes: Detroit takes RB Kevin Smith, Chicago takes WR Earl Bennett, Arizona takes WR Early Doucet, Houston takes RB Steve Slaton, New England takes QB Kevin O'Connell, Giants take WR Mario Manningham, Cincinnati takes WR Andre Caldwell.

Dislikes: Kansas City takes RB Jamaal Charles, Kansas City takes TE Brad Cottam.

The Lions get a starting RB in Smith, who will compete with Tatum Bell right away. He's big with speed and should be good with the Lions. The Bears needed help at WR, and Bennett can play right away. Doucet will replace Bryant Johnson, making Matt Leinart happy. Slaton could get A LOT of playing time if Ahman Green's injuries continue to happen. The Giants get a potential steal in Manningham, who has some baggage but can also play. He could start in three receiver sets. Caldwell gives the Bengals some nice receiving options with Jerome Simpson in the second round. They now have plenty of options if Chad Johnson remains a baby. And the Patriots start planning for the future with O'Connell.

The Chiefs made good moves, but they took quality players from other teams, who will just sit on their bench. Charles has talent, but he will sit behind Larry Johnson and Kolby Smith. And Cottam is more of a blocker, but I like his potential. He will sit behind Tony Gonzalez. I would have liked to see these guys elsewhere.

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