Posted on: April 26, 2008 7:51 pm

Draft day - round 2

Midway through Round 2 ...

Picks I like and dislike as it relates to Fantasy Football picking up where we left off:

Likes: Jets take TE Dustin Keller, Steelers take RB Rashard Mendenhall, Cowboys take Felix Jones, Redskins take WR Devin Thomas, Seahawks take TE John Carlson, Bills take WR James Hardy, Bears take RB Matt Forte, Bengals take WR Jerome Simpson.

Dislikes: Titans take RB Chris Johnson, Rams take WR Donnie Avery, Packers take WR Jordy Nelson.

The Jets and Seahawks filled a need with getting tight ends, and the Jets got a good one. Everyone knew the Cowboys were taking Jones, but the Steelers surprise some with the pick of Mendenhall. This means two things: Willie Parker's leg might not be 100 percent and Najeh Davenport should be uncomfortable coming into training camp. There's something to be said about taking talent, which is what the Steelers did.

The Redskins get a steal in Thomas. He is going to thrive in Washington, as is Hardy in Buffalo. Finally, a big receiver for the Bills. Not thrilled with Forte to Chicago, but he fills a need. Same goes for Simpson, who most people think will be replacing Chad Johnson, but in reality he's just replacing Chris Henry.

As for the dislikes, the Titans take a good running back who will work well with LenDale White, but they passed on some good wide receivers, which is more of a need. Same goes for the Packers and Rams, who let potentially better players go to take reaches on Nelson and Avery, respectively.

Surprise: Brian Brohm and Chad Henne still on the board.

More to come ...


Category: NFL
Posted on: April 26, 2008 5:18 pm

Draft Day

OK, so the draft is in full swing, and now it's time to digest some of the picks.

Are you having fun so far? Most NFL fans are pretty annoyed or elated by now based on what their teams have done.

So, to recap the first 20 picks, here's what I like and don't like so far from a Fantasy perspective.

Likes: Atlanta taking Matt Ryan, Baltimore taking Joe Flacco.

Dislikes: Oakland taking Darren McFadden, Carolina taking Jonathan Stewart, Buffalo passing on a wide receiver, Detroit passing on a running back.

The Falcons get their QB of the future in Ryan, and if he lives up to the hype, he'll be a good fit as the face of the club. Baltimore then settled for who they consider the second-best QB in the draft, and Flacco has plenty of potential but plenty of flaws.

I wish McFadden had fallen to the Jets. He had a much better offensive line there. On the plus side, he'll face poor run defenses in Denver and K.C. four times in 2008. Carolina, Detroit and even Chicago missed on RB Rashard Mendenhall. Stewart might not be able to start the year and is injury prone, so I'm not so fond of his play. The Bills had the perfect chance to take WR Devin Thomas. They really need help opposite Lee Evans.

OK, more to come soon, have fun.

Category: NFL
Posted on: April 25, 2008 4:01 pm

Fantasy NFL Draft

Dave and I will be doing some blogs from this weekend's NFL Draft. Make sure you check it out. We'll also follow up with a video Monday, some commentary during the week and our first Fantasy draft with the rookies actually on their new teams. That will start Monday, and you can see how we all do on the site.

Now, let's play Fantasy Football with the NFL Draft. No linemen or defensive players. Just offensive players based on need. This is all hypothetical, but feel free to send me your picks as well.

Miami: Offensive need - QB, WR, TE. Pick - QB Chad Henne. Let's face it, John Beck isn't going to get it done, and Henne has a big arm and the size Bill Parcells covets. And the Dolphins can get him in the second round on the real draft.

St. Louis: Offensive need - WR, TE. Pick - WR Andre Caldwell. The Rams need speedy receivers, and Caldwell is fast. He's a little small, but he could be a nice replacement for Isaac Bruce.

Atlanta: Offensive need - QB, WR, TE. Pick - QB Brian Brohm. The last time the Falcons took a chance on a Louisville product they got burned. But Brohm's not going back to college.

Oakland: Offensive need - RB, WR. Pick - I don't want to see Darren McFadden with the Raiders because I think he will suffer there. So Oakland gets Chris Johnson of East Carolina. He's fast and will work well with Justin Fargas and Michael Bush.

Kansas City: Offensive need - QB, WR. Pick - Brodie Croyle is b-a-d. They go with John David Booty, who is a winner with a good arm. He starts for the Chiefs in 2009.

Jets: Offensive need - QB, RB, WR, TE. Pick - This is where Darren McFadden lands here and in real life. If that offensive line is for real, McFadden will thrive in a tandem with Thomas Jones.

New England: Offensive need - RB, TE. Pick - Ben Watson gets hurt too often. The Patriots don't have any holes to fill, but they take TE Dustin Keller from Purdue. Just one more target for Tom Brady.

Baltimore: Offensive need - QB, WR. Pick - Matt Ryan is a lock in the real draft and this one.

Cincinnati: Offensive need - WR, TE. Pick - They need someone to replace the whiny 85 so they take WR Jerome Simpson from Coastal Carolina. Hey, you didn't know who Chad Johnson or T.J. Houshmandzadeh was either before they made the NFL.

New Orleans: Offensive need - WR, TE. Pick - Eric Johnson isn't going to help them win many game. They take TE Fred Davis from USC.

Buffalo: Offensive need - WR, TE. Pick - WR Devin Thomas. He would be a nice complement to Lee Evans and give Trent Edwards another weapon.

Denver: Offensive need - WR, RB. Pick - The Broncos need to replace Javon Walker, and WR DeSean Jackson gives them a great deep threat.

Carolina: Offensive need - QB, RB. Pick - DeAngelo Williams might be the starter for now, but that won't last long. The Panthers draft Jonathan Stewart from Oregon.

Chicago: Offensive need - RB, QB, WR. Pick - The Bears need a lot of help, but they pair Cedric Benson with another RB from Texas in Jamaal Charles.

Detroit: Offensive need - RB, QB, TE. Pick - The Lions get the second best running back in the draft in Illinois' Rashard Mendenhall.

Arizona: Offensive need - RB, TE. Pick - The Cardinals stay in the state and take RB Ryan Torain from Arizona State. He will eventually take over for Edgerrin James.

Kansas City: Offensive need - WR. Pick - They got their QB, now they get another WR in Malcolm Kelly from Oklahoma.

Houston: Offensive need - RB, WR. Pick - They need a young running back and another WR opposite Andre Johnson. We'll go running back and take Kevin Smith.

Philadelphia: Offensive need - WR, TE. Pick - The Eagles may make a play to get Chad Johnson. If not, they take WR James Hardy from Indiana.

Tampa Bay: Offensive need - WR, TE. Pick - The Bucs surprise their fans by taking TE Brad Cottam from Tennessee. If he ends up like Jason Witten, look out.

Washington: Offensive need - WR, QB. Pick - Jason Campbell has been a disappointment thus far, so the Redskins invest in a project and take Delaware QB Joe Flacco. He's two years away from starting anyway, so they have time to see if Campbell can finally step up.

Dallas: Offensive need - RB, WR. Pick - This is another lock: Arkansas RB Felix Jones.

Pittsburgh: Offensive need - RB, WR. Pick - Michigan RB Mike Hart will give the Steelers an insurance policy in case Willie Parker's leg isn't ready to start the season.

Tennessee: Offensive need - RB, WR. Pick - The Titans need to give Vince Young more weapons, and he gets reunited with his former college teammate in WR Limas Sweed.

Seattle: Offensive need - WR, TE, QB. Pick - The Seahawks are looking to win now, so they need to address some holes in the receiving game. As bad as their wide receiver situation is, tight end is worse. They take Martellus Bennett from Texas A&M.

Jacksonville: Offensive need - WR, TE. Pick - Maybe Marcedes Lewis develops into a quality TE. Or maybe the Jaguars think Michigan State's Kellen Davis is better and take him here.

San Diego: Offensive need - RB, QB. Pick - The Chargers need a running back who can backup LaDainian Tomlinson now that Michael Turner is in Atlanta. They take Ray Rice here from Rutgers since he can catch the ball also.

Dallas: Offensive need - WR. Pick - The Cowboys stay in the SEC after taking a Razorback and go for LSU WR Early Doucet. He will play in the slot between Terrell Owens and Patrick Crayton.

San Francisco: Offensive need - QB, WR. Pick - Alex Smith has been a bust, and Shaun Hill might only be a short-term solution. The 49ers look long-term here and go with a QB in Josh Johnson from San Diego.

Green Bay: Offensive need - QB, TE. Pick - Aaron Rodgers will take over for Brett Favre, but the Packers have a history of taking QBs in every draft when the need is there. They start again with Ricky Santos from New Hampshire.

Giants: Offensive need - WR, TE. Pick - Amani Toomer is old, and the Giants go for a reach with Virginia Tech's Eddie Royal. Between Royal, Steve Smith and Sinorice Moss, one of them need to be good.

Category: NFL
Posted on: April 23, 2008 6:38 am

So long Shaun

The Seahawks finally got rid of Shaun Alexander on Tuesday, and this is a good thing for several reasons.

Alexander now has a few days to find a new home before the draft, which means Detroit, Chicago, Carolina or some other team in need of a running back can try to sign him without using a high pick and go for another need.

Alexander still has some mileage -- albeit very little -- in his old legs. He can be part of a tandem as the bigger back, which would make sense with the Panthers (DeAngelo Williams) and Lions (Tatum Bell).

Along with the Bears, these three teams should still draft a running back. But now maybe they can wait until after the first round to draft a running back and go for offensive line or help on defense.

For the Seahawks, the job now officially goes to Julius Jones. He will be the starter with Maurice Morris likely in on third downs and T.J. Duckett the short-yardage guy. Jones is a solid No. 3 Fantasy RB with a lot of upside. He will be better than what you saw in Dallas because he will likely get at least 15 touches a game. There will be no Marion Barber looking over his shoulder.

In other news Tuesday, the Bengals have reportedly turned down one and possibly two first-round draft picks for Chad Johnson from Washington. If that offer was out there, which I doubt, the Bengals should have jumped on it. The Redskins are known to make strange decisions, and giving up two first-round picks for Johnson would have been ludicrous.

I know Johnson is an elite receiver. And I know you likely won't get someone as talented as him in the draft. But look at some of the recent trades for receivers, most notably Randy Moss going for a fourth-round pick. Is Johnson better than Moss? No way.

And I like Marvin Lewis telling Johnson if he wants to sit out, do it.

The Dolphins made it official with Jake Long as the No. 1 pick. It's the right move. If he sticks at left tackle and is any good, you have an anchor on your offensive line for several years. And if he fails, you stick him at right tackle and hope he can block. But he should have more shelf life than a defensive lineman, and the Dolphins need to fill several holes, with offensive line the most important.

Posted on: April 22, 2008 5:36 pm

NFL Mock Draft

I took part in a mock draft on this afternoon, which is the New Orleans Times-Picayune. The participants are David Gladow,; Jude Young, WGSO; Dave Richard,; Jamey Eisenberg,; Ross Devonport, and David Schexnaydre Jr., We were each assigned certain teams, and trading was allowed.

Here are the results ...

1. Miami Dolphins -- Michigan T Jake Long
Jamey Eisenberg:
The Dolphins finished 1-15 last year, so they need help in plenty of places. But adding Long, who is considered the best offensive lineman in the draft, makes the most sense. If Miami is lucky, Long will anchor the offensive line at left tackle for 10 years. It not, they just drafted a very expensive right tackle, which could set back the franchise. But Long is the right pick for the Dolphins at this time.

2. St. Louis Rams - LSU DT Glenn Dorsey
Dave Gladow:
If the Saints want to get Dorsey, they may have to move here, as he just makes too much sense as an elite interior defender for too many teams to pass on him. The Dolphins went in another direction, meaning it will be down to Chris Long and Dorsey for the Rams should they choose to stay put. Most pre-draft speculation has the Rams tied to Long ... meaning it will probably be Dorsey. Misdirection is the name of the game in the draft, folks, and Dorsey is too much of a difference-maker to pass on.

3. Atlanta Falcons - Virginia DE Chris Long
Ross Devonport:
While many Falcons fans will be clamoring for their team to take Matt Ryan so they can try and forget about some Vick dude, they should instead be ecstatic that Long fell this far. While Chris certainly isn't as good of a football name as Jake is, Howie's son has the genes and the talent to be an elite DE in the league for a long time.

4. Oakland Raiders - Arkansas RB Darren McFadden
Jude Young:
You never really know what Al Davis will do ... except wear a white jumpsuit! So, I think the Raiders go with the most exciting player on the board since Howie Long's son is gone. Run DMC is the kind of superstar talent that the Raiders won't pass on here. The only alternative is Gholston, if they think he's the next Shawne Merriman. But in the end, Justin Fargas and Dominic Rhodes are "nice" backs. McFadden may present the kind of greatness that will remind Davis of Marcus Allen.

TRADE: Patriots acquire No. 5 pick from Chiefs for 1st (No. 7) and 2nd (No. 62)round picks.

5. New England Patriots - Vernon Gholston, LB, Ohio State.
Dave Richard:
New England jumps at the chance to get ahead of the rival New York Jets and snap up the versatile Gholston. It was very important for them to get Gholston, not the Jets. Gholston can be used in a variety of ways and has off-the-charts intangibles and excellent character. New England was able to give up their second-round pick, citing that they have no real needs otherwise.

TRADE:  Bengals acquire No.  6 pick from  Jets for 1st (No. 9) and 2009 1st round picks.

6. Cincinnati Bengals - Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC.
Dave Gladow:
The Bengals were desperate to get Ellis, and with the Jets freshly having been screwed over by the Patriots once again, they were ripe for trade discussions.   Ellis will immediately improve the middle of a defense that just also got Odell Thurman back from suspension.   The Bengals are in win-now mode, thus a first-rounder in '09 was deemed expendable.

7. Kansas City Chiefs (from Patriots) - Ryan Clady, T, Boise State
Dave Schexnaydre:
The Chiefs have multiple holes so trading two spots down and picking up a 2nd rounder was a no brainer. They tried to drum up some interest in moving down again but nobody was biting. Some say this should be a QB but they're not sold on Matt Ryan here. Offensive line is a main concern and the Chiefs take the best offensive lineman available in Ryan Clady. He will protect Brodie Croyle's blindside and shore up a line that was below average at best last season, averaging only 3.3 yards per carry and giving up 47 sacks.

8. Baltimore Ravens -- Boston College QB Matt Ryan
Jamey Eisenberg:
The Ravens were looking to draft a quarterback coming into this draft all along, but when Steve McNair retired, the decision was easy. Waiting it out for Ryan was tough, but he will come in and compete with Kyle Boller for the starting spot. Don't be surprised if Ryan is the starter from Day 1, and he should do well learning from offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. The Ravens got potentially the best player in the draft at No. 8.

9. New York Jets (from Bengals) -- Troy CB Leodis McKelvin
Ross Devonport:  
McKelvin might play in the lowly Sun Belt Conference that was won by the stellar Florida Atlantic University Owls last season (editor: Ha!), but this kid can play as well as many BCS conference guys. Along with being a solid CB and exceptional athlete, he is a special teams beast who can score from any part of the field. If he impresses enough to earn a starting spot in 2009, the Jets will have a pretty good pair of CBs in McKelvin and Darrelle Revis.

10. New Orleans Saints -- Tennessee St. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
Jude Young: (From March)
Yes, he is a small college guy (so were Jerry Rice, Walter Payton, Marques Colston, etc...the list goes on-and-on ), but he has an NFL pedigree (cousin Antonio Cromartie). But, he is simply the best corner prospect in this draft. He was a standout at the Senior Bowl against big college prospects and can be a playmaker who changes games. DRC is the best athlete at his postion with the ball skills that can make him the closest appromixation to the mythical "shut-down corner" every team craves. And, no one needs help like that in their secondary anymore than the Saints. Runner up - USC LB Keith Rivers (Saints will see value on the board in Round 2 at WLB).  (Update) Interestingly, several trade proposals were floated here (including a possible first-round swap with the Giants for Shockey), but in the end, New Orleans wasn't comfortable with what was offered.

11. Buffalo Bills - Michigan State WR Devin Thomas
Jude Young:
  Devin Thomas will be a WR to compliment Lee Evens, but I think this spot might be too high for an unproven commodity. Still, he is tall and fast --  a good YAC guy. I say they give Trent Edwards the best chance to succeed by trying to snag another threat at WR.

12. Denver Broncos -- USC LB Keith Rivers
Dave Schexnaydre:
  The Broncos jump on Rivers at 12. He's the best playmaking linebacker in the draft and fits a need for Denver. The defense allowed 4.6 yards per carry last year and poor tackling was a reason for that. Adding Rivers gives them an immediate starter on a side of the ball where they desperately needed help.

13. Carolina Panthers -- Virgina OT Branden Albert
Ross Devonport:
  With Clady off the board, the Panthers will go with the man who is clearly the second-best offensive lineman on the board, Branden Albert. While his Wunderlich score might not be among the best, this kid has the combination of size and athleticism to help the Panthers immediately. He can play both OL positions, but is likely to me used more as a guard in the NFL. Jake Delhomme will be thanking the Panthers brass for making this pick.

14. Chicago Bears -- Boston College OT Gosder Cherilus
Dave Richard:
The Bears try like the dickens to move down, but the Lions, Cardinals, Vikings, Texans AND Eagles all shut Chicago down. So the debate in Chicago is between Jeff Otah and Gosder Cherilus, and the consensus is that Otah's injury could stunt his short-term growth, and he has zero chance to play left tackle. Cherilus seems to have a little more burst along with the size and potential to play left tackle at the pro level, and the Bears will try him out there. It's a reach, but the Bears settle for who they think is the best left tackle left on the board.

15. Detroit Lions -- Illinois RB Rashard Mendenhall
Jamey Eisenberg:
The Lions are in dire need of a running back with Kevin Jones' failures and Tatum Bell the only quality player still on the roster. Mendehnall has the potential to be a Marshawn Lynch-type of runner, who has speed and power. Look for Mendenhall to make the Bears pay for not taking him at No. 14 since he is a local product, was recruited to Illinois by Bears offensive coordinator Ron Turner and Chicago even had a need for a running back (because Cedric Benson is terrible).

16. Arizona Cardinals -- Florida OLB/DE Derrick Harvey
Dave Schexnaydre:
The Cardinals lost Calvin Pace and Darryl Blackstock to free agency and are very thin at outside linebacker. Though there are a few other areas they could have addressed here, this is the most obvious need on the side of the ball that needs the most help. Harvey will provide a pass rush that the team desperately needs and will definitely be an opening day starter.

17. Minnesota Vikings -- Texas WR Limas Sweed
Dave Gladow:
Cornerback is becoming a valuable position right around this area, but the Vikings are stacked there. Harvey would have been a terrific addition, but the Cardinals snatched him up. That makes the choice easy: Get some help for Tarvaris Jackson, and do it now! Sweed has dropped down some boards thanks to injury concerns, but he's clearly the most gifted wide receiver in the draft, and he'd complement Sidney Rice very well to at least give Jackson a fighting chance on Sundays.

18. Houston Texans -- South Florida CB Mike Jenkins
Jude Young:
Even though he goes off the board as the third CB in this draft, might he end up the best of the bunch? Could be ... Jenkins has natural cover skills and isn't afraid to be physical with opposing receivers. Houston's top CB, Dunta Robinson, has injury issues that could linger into the start of the season or worse, so the Texans take a guy whose biggest question marks are off-the-field.

19. Philadelphia Eagles -- Pitt OT Jeff Otah
Dave Richard:
The Eagles' needs are slim outside of wide receiver, and the team has already missed on Devin Thomas and Limas Sweed (nice pick, Minnesota). So the Eagles will lean on their draft board, and Jeff Otah's slide ends here. Now the club has precious insurance for both of their tackles and can rid themselves of Winston Justice, who was a nightmare at left tackle last season. Otah will go on to ultimately replace Jon Runyan and be a nightmarish big man for the Iggles to unleash on the Giants', Cowboys' and Redskins' pass rush.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Oregon RB Jonathan Stewart
Dave Gladow:
The Caddie always seems to be breaking down, and while the Buccaneers could use youth pretty much all over their roster, bringing in a freakish talent like Stewart may be too hard to pass on. Stewart will ratchet the team's running game up another couple of notches and make the Bucs the clear preseason favorite in the NFC South (which counts for as much as a hill of beans, but still).

21. Washington Redskins -- Clemson DE Phillip Merling
Ross Devonport:
Wide receiver is probably one of the Redskins' biggest needs, but with Sweed and Thomas gone, they might be stretching at this spot for someone like Deshean Jackson. Looking at the way the Giants hurried the QB to great effect last season, I think the Redskins go with Merling in this spot. While he might not have the speed of DeMarcus Ware or Osi Umenyiora, Merling is a physical specimen who will give even the best of OTs nightmares.

22. Dallas Cowboys (from Browns) -- Cal WR Deshean Jackson
Dave Gladow:
Never underestimate the importance of special teams. Jackson is the sort of difference-maker in that phase that can turn a game around instantly. And while smurfish, Jackson should prove to be a great replacement for Terry Glenn opposite Terrell Owens (or at least initially, in the slot). Giving Tony Romo the best available weapon (and adding a special teams threat in the process) will be a temptation too great for Jerry Jones to resist.

23. Pittsburgh Steelers -- Tennessee LB Jerod Mayo
Dave Richard:
The Steelers take a long look at offensive line, and even think about tapping the D-line left out there, but cannot pass up Jerod Mayo's physical nature. Some people think he's more of an outside linebacker than an inside backer, but with James Farrior expected to be a free agent after '08, Mayo should step right in thereafter, learning the ropes as a rookie this season.

24. Tennessee Titans -- UNC DT Kentwan Balmer
Jude Young:
Ok, so all the worthy WRs are gone. If there's no help for Vince Young, why not snag a guy capable of being a dominant force in the middle of a defense that already has Albert Haynesworth (for now). So, Jeff Fisher gets a mature guy in Balmer ... who may be rising to stardom if he has the fire within. That line suddenly has potential.

TRADE: Falcons acquire No. 25 pick from Seahawks for 2nd (No. 37) and 2009 1st round picks.

25. Atlanta Falcons (from Seahawks) -- Louisville QB Brian Brohm
Dave Richard:  
Brohm has a lot of what the Falcons want at quarterback -- character, ability and leadership skills. Moving up from early Round 2 to get to late Round 1, and costing a 1st-round pick next year, was worth it to them. Now they've added a legit playmaker on both sides of the ball and still have two more second-round picks to play with in this draft. Brohm could even win the opening day job considering who else is there.

26. Jacksonville Jaguars -- USC DE Lawrence Jackson
Jamey Eisenberg:
  The Jaguars thought about taking WR James Hardy here but feel comfortable with the offseason additions of Jerry Porter and Troy Williamson. Defensive line is a need, and this might be a tad early to take Jackson, but he was a beast for the Trojans and will be a nice fit on this defense.

27. San Diego Chargers -- USC OT Sam Baker
Ross Devonport:  
Baker won't have to go far from USC to begin his pro career, as the big man will head down I-5 to join up with the Chargers. Baker overcame injuries during his final two years as a Trojan to be a first-team All-American pick by many people, including He will open holes for L.T. and give Phillip Rivers time to throw -- sounds like a plum job to me.

28. Dallas Cowboys -- Arkansas RB Felix Jones
Jamey Eisenberg:
The Cowboys didn't get the Arkansas running back they really wanted, but they'll definitely settle for Jones, who some think has more upside than Darren McFadden. While that's hard to rationalize, Jones has the potential to be a solid NFL player and contribute as a rookie. He will pair with Marion Barber and be a great change-of-pace runner with his speed. Look for Jones to make an impact right away in Dallas' explosive offense.

29. San Francisco 49ers (from Ind.) -- Indiana WR James Hardy
Dave Gladow:
  Hardy isn't the best of the bunch when it comes to wide receivers, but San Francisco ain't picky ... they're downright desperate.   The 49ers figure to at least briefly consider offensive line as well, but Hardy's playmaking ability and the 49ers' intense need at the position should make the selection fairly simple ... unless the team wants to gamble on fast-dropping Malcolm Kelly. I'm guessing they don't.

30. Green Bay Packers -- Arizona CB Antoine Cason
Jude Young:  
Time for the Packers to inject some youth and depth into their cast of corners. Charles Woodson and Al Harris can take Cason under their wings and help him along as the GB nickel man in Year 1. Cason was a 4-year starter in the PAC-10 and took home the Jim Thorpe award winner as the nation's best DB in his senior year. Speed may not be ideal, but the same was said of Al Harris way-back-when.

31. New York Giants -- Miami (Fla.) FS Kenny Phillips
Dave Richard:
The G-Men have a hole at safety and have done well with Miami Hurricanes in the past. Phillips is an aggressive talent who should be a solid safety in the NFL.

Category: NFL
Tags: Mock draft
Posted on: April 21, 2008 3:22 pm

L.T. is fine

Just to bring you up to date on some news from this past weekend, Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson said his injured right knee is fine and at 90 percent. That's great news since he will remain the No. 1 overall pick in nearly every draft. If he's healthy, he will be dominant. And he also said he might play in the preseason. You don't want to see him get hurt, but you do want to see if he's able to go.

Also in San Diego, QB Philip Rivers said his knee, which had ACL surgery, is fine. If he's healthy, with quality weapons like Tomlinson, Antonio Gates and Chris Chambers, he can be a great sleeper QB. He will be drafted as a backup, but he could be a starter by the end of the season. We still don't know about Gates and his toe, but he will likely also be fine to start the year.

Giants RB Brandon Jacobs had surgery on his wrist. He was spotted at Madison Square Garden wearing a cast. He expects to be fine for training camp, but you never want to see a bruising back have minor aches and pains before the season even starts.

It appears the Jets are going to draft Darren McFadden. It would be the best landing spot for him in the Top 10. He has a great offensive line in front of him with the addition of Alan Faneca, and he will be expected to produce as a rookie. If it happens, consider McFadden a starting Fantasy option. Thomas Jones also will still be a factor, but McFadden will be a star in New York.

Look for Baltimore to take Matt Ryan as their franchise quarterback. He will compete with Kyle Boller to be the starter this year, but Ryan will thrive with the Ravens as long as Cam Cameron is the offensive coordinator. Cameron can't coach a team, but he can run an offense and teach young quarterbacks.

Posted on: April 18, 2008 5:46 pm

Who wants Chad Johnson?

Here's a question: If you're the Atlanta Falcons, would you trade your entire NFL Draft for WR Chad Johnson, TE Jeremy Shockey, LT Bryant McKinnie and DE Jared Allen? If I'm Arthur Blank, I look into making it happen.

Now, it would obviously be hard to do, because most of those players would go for high draft picks. But if you're the Falcons with one pick in the first round, three picks in the second round, two picks in the third round and one in the fourth, it could work. And you could still get some quality players.

Let's just say for fun you won't give up your No. 1 pick, which is No. 3 overall. But you give up a second-round pick and a fourth-round pick for Allen. You give up a second-round pick for McKinnie, a second-round pick for Johnson and a third-round pick for Shockey. With the first-round pick, you draft QB Matt Ryan.

You have now added a stud wide receiver, pass rusher, left tackle and tight end while also drafting your quarterback of the future. And you have also given fair offers to these other teams.

Of course, this is never going to happen because it's too far-fetched. But with a team like the Falcons, who need a lot of talent, getting proven players might be a better option than reaching on youth. And Johnson, McKinnie and Allen are still young.

Any other crazy ideas for the draft? Let me know.

One more thing. Farewell Steve McNair. You were a great quarterback and gave me one of my best football memories. The first Super Bowl I ever covered was in Atlanta when the Titans lost to the Rams. McNair nearly led the Titans to victory in a tremendous game.

Posted on: April 16, 2008 10:11 am

Bye-week blues

We all know when drafting a Fantasy Football team, you want to check the bye weeks to make sure you have capable backups when your starters are off. This year, the bye weeks are scheduled from Weeks 4-10.

Week 4: Detroit, Indianapolis, Miami, New England, Giants and Seattle

Impact: This is the week you want to face the owners with Tom Brady and Peyton Manning because they will be off. The backup quarterbacks will be tested this week because starters in Brady, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning and Matt Hasselbeck will be missing. Some backups with favorable matchups this week will be Jake Delhomme against Atlanta, Vince Young against Minnesota, Philip Rivers in what might be his first game back from his knee injury at Oakland, Jason Campbell at Dallas and Trent Edwards at St. Louis.

Week 5: Cleveland, Jets, St. Louis and Oakland

Impact: This is a soft bye week in terms of quarterbacks because only Derek Anderson and Marc Bulger are expected starters. Running backs will be missed this week with Jamal Lewis, Thomas Jones and Steven Jackson off. Some backups with good matchups this week will be Cedric Benson at Detroit and DeAngelo Williams vs. Carolina.

Week 6: Buffalo, Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Tennessee

Impact: Just like Week 5, not many quarterbacks will be missed here with only Ben Roethlisberger a definite starter. At running back, you'll be without Marshawn Lynch, Larry Johnson, Willie Parker and LenDale White. Some backups with good matchups here include Cedric Benson at Atlanta, Ahman Green vs. Miami, Chester Taylor vs. Detroit, Deuce McAllister vs. Oakland, Thomas Jones vs. Cincinnati, Rudi Johnson at the Jets and Fred Taylor at Denver.

Week 7: Arizona, Atlanta, Jacksonville and Philadelphia

Impact: We'll stay with the running backs again this week with Edgerrin James, Michael Turner, Fred Taylor, Maurice Jones-Drew and Brian Westbrook all off. Some backups with good matchups include Deuce McAllister at Carolina, Chester Taylor at Chicago, Ahman Green vs. Houston, Thomas Jones at Oakland and Justin Fargas vs. the Jets.

Week 8: Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Green Bay, Houston and Minnesota

Impact: This is a good week to have backup wide receivers with Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Brandon Marshall, Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, Andre Johnson and Bernard Berrian all off. Some backups with good matchups include Anthony Gonzalez at Tennessee, Bobby Engram at San Francisco, Jerry Porter vs. Cleveland, Kevin Curtis vs. Atlanta, Dwayne Bowe at the Jets, Jerricho Cotchery vs. Kansas City, Chris Chambers and New Orleans, Jabar Gaffney vs. St. Louis and Santana Moss at Detroit.

Week 9: Carolina, New Orleans, San Diego and San Francisco

Impact: Again, we're looking at key running backs missing this week, with Reggie Bush, LaDainian Tomlinson and Frank Gore off. Some backups with good matchups include Thomas Jones at Buffalo, Cedric Benson vs. Detroit, Fred Taylor at Cincinnati, Chester Taylor vs. Houston, Travis Henry vs. Miami, Michael Turner at Oakland and Justin Fargas vs. Atlanta.

Week 10: Baltimore, Dallas, Tampa Bay and Washington

Impact: Tight ends will be missed on the final bye week with Todd Heap, Jason Witten and Chris Cooley all off. You can look at starting Tony Scheffler at Cleveland, Greg Olsen vs. Tennessee, Owen Daniels vs. Cincinnati, Marcus Pollard at Miami, Donald Lee at Minnesota and Ben Watson vs. Buffalo if you need a backup.

We'll know more as the season unfolds, but take a look at the bye weeks now, especially in keeper leagues to make sure you are covered when one of your studs is off.

More to come.

Category: NFL
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