Posted on: March 18, 2011 4:35 pm
 

Kellen Winslow excited for 2011

Kellen Winslow is expecting a big year in 2011, and he has a good reason to be optimistic. He finally has a franchise quarterback throwing him passes.

Winslow was impressed with how Josh Freeman played in 2010 when Tampa Bay was one of the surprise teams in the NFL since the Bucs went 10-6 and nearly made the playoffs. He said in a recent phone interview that Freeman can be even better in 2011 – and so will the Bucs.

"Josh made it look real easy," Winslow said."He puts the time in to be successful. He's so calm out there on the field, and we know who our leader is out there. The sky's the limit for him."

Freeman had a breakout year in his second season with 3,451 passing yards, 25 touchdowns and six interceptions and 364 rushing yards. We consider Freeman a No. 1 Fantasy quarterback heading into 2011, and you won't get any argument from Winslow on this status.

Winslow thought Freeman would "struggle" more in his sophomore campaign, but now he expects his quarterback to become a star.

"He can be up there with the Drew Brees' of the world, the Peyton Manning's of the world," Winslow said.

While we won't go that far, there is plenty to like about Freeman, and the same goes for Winslow. After a slow start in 2010, Winslow closed the season on a tear.

He had 30 catches for 337 yards and no touchdowns in the first eight games of the season, but he finished with 36 catches for 393 yards and five touchdowns in the final eight games. It wasn't the best year of his career (that came in 2007 in Cleveland), and he even regressed from his first season in Tampa Bay in 2009 when he had 77 catches for 884 yards and five touchdowns.

But Winslow feels like he's building something with the Bucs, and the main reason is Freeman.

"I have a great quarterback out there, and we can grow together," Winslow said. "I finally have a guy to click with in Josh Freeman."

Fantasy owners should draft Winslow as a No. 1 option with a mid-round pick. He's not a Top 5 or even Top 10 tight end, but the potential is there if he and Freeman can put together a full season like they did in the final eight games last year.

Aside from Winslow and Freeman, the Bucs have two other starting Fantasy options this season in running back LeGarrette Blount and wide receiver Mike Williams. Blount should be considered a solid No. 2 Fantasy running back after the way he played in 2010.

Blount, who went undrafted out of Oregon following his unfortunate incident when he punched a player at Boise State and was cut by Tennessee in training camp, finished the season with 1,007 rushing yards and six touchdowns. But Blount did not start until Week 11 against San Francisco, which shows his potential.

Winslow said when he first saw Blount on film he said "where did this guy come from? He just ran with it."

Winslow was also impressed with Williams, another rookie who finished with 65 catches for 964 yards and 11 touchdowns. Williams is worth drafting as a No. 2 Fantasy wide receiver, and like Winslow, he benefits from playing with Freeman.

"Mike really came out and showed who he was," Winslow said. "He showed he can play in the NFL."

Winslow, 27 and entering his eighth year, is the elder statesman of this group, but he's OK with that. He will continue to stay in shape during the offseason, and he splits his workouts between San Diego, Miami and Tampa Bay.

This could be a big year for the Bucs, and Winslow is excited. He is ready for the season to begin.

For more on Winslow, visit his website at kellenwinslow.com.

Category: NFL
Posted on: March 4, 2011 5:30 pm
 

Owen Daniels is back

Now that Owen Daniels is staying with the Texans he can continue to work on his dream. On the field that means trying to win a Super Bowl. Off the field it means trying to make a difference.

Daniels, who signed a four-year, $22 million contract extension Thursday, runs the Owen Daniels' Catch a Dream Foundation. The mission of the foundation, which was started in Houston in 2010, is to provide opportunities, support and resources to children and families in need.

His latest project, Owen's Locker, is designed to enrich the lives of chronically and critically ill children by providing them and their families access to a variety of electronics and games to help pass time during treatment and recovery. He has set up this program at the Texas Children's Hospital with the goal of expanding to Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital later this year and Houston Shriners in 2012.

"Anything we can do to help out," Daniels said in a recent phone interview with CBSSports.com.

It was important for Daniels to stay in Houston to continue his charity work, and he also wants to help the Texans succeed. Daniels was drafted by the Texans in 2006, and he feels the team is on the verge of becoming a legitimate playoff contender.

When Gary Kubiak was retained as the head coach for 2011, Daniels knew he wanted to return, and the Texans rewarded him with a contract extension.

"I've grown to love the city," Daniels said. "A big reason is coach Kubiak. I like the way he works."

Kubiak is a big fan of Daniels – and so are Fantasy owners. He got off to a good start in his first three seasons when he was a marginal Fantasy starter before having a breakout year in 2009.

In his first eight games of that season, Daniels had 40 catches for 519 yards and five touchdowns. He was the best Fantasy tight end at that point of the year, but then he suffered a torn ACL and was out for the season.

When last year started, Daniels was ready for a full recovery, but he suffered a setback in training camp when he injured his kneecap. Once his knee got healthy, he dealt with a hamstring injury that cost him five games.

He said last year was "extremely frustrating," but at least he ended it on a high note. He finished the season strong with 22 catches for 271 yards and two touchdowns in his last four games. For the season, Daniels finished with 38 catches for 471 yards and the two scores.

"I'm just thankful to finish the season healthy and to be making progress toward where I was before," Daniels said. "There's peaks and valleys with everything. I'm just hoping to get back to the peak."

Kubiak said during the final four games of last season that Daniels was playing at a Pro Bowl level, so that gives him encouragement to start this year. He doesn't have any problems with his knee or hamstring and is looking forward to a full offseason or training as opposed to going through rehab.

Kubiak said Friday that he's counting on Daniels to succeed. He should resume his role as the No. 2 receiving threat behind wide receiver Andre Johnson. We consider Daniels a No. 1 Fantasy tight end, and he's worth drafting with a mid-round pick in all leagues. We expect him to return to his form of 2009.

"If you look at his numbers from two years ago, it looked like he was going to be a 1,000-yard receiver at tight end," Kubiak said. "Those guys don't come along very often. If you look at what he did last year on a limited basis, if he plays the whole season, he'd have done it again. Those guys are hard to find like that. Owen, like I said, is a team guy and gives us a lot of versatility as an offensive football team. I just like what he stands for."

Everyone should like what Daniels stands for. He is a quality player on the field and a star off it for his charity work. He's the kind of player we all like to root for.

Category: NFL
Posted on: February 10, 2011 1:09 pm
 

Lauren Shehadi poem

This was a poem Lauren Shehadi wrote for our Fantasy Football Update podcast on Thursday.

By Lauren Shehadi

Fantasy Football, we miss you so.
Jamey wants to talk about last season, I say dude, no.

Dave's obsessed with draft status and who he's picking in Round 1.
All I really want to tell them is if I'm in their league, they're done.

Dave says Lauren, is the first defense off the board the Steelers or the Jets?
I say it's February, shouldn't we be more worried about the Mets?

I was looking forward to the offseason since I would have more pens in stock.
But all these Fantasy Football guys want to talk about is, of course, their mock.

So keep it here on CBSSports.com since Dave and Jamey are obsessed, it's what they live for.
Our viewers are our motivation and next season we want you to soar.

Jamey's opinionated and Dave has too many notes
All these guys really want to do is be in Disney World on Aaron Rodgers' float.

The season is over, I say take a breath and relax.
Jamey says in a minute, Tim Tebow, did you just get more stats?

Posted on: January 28, 2011 5:20 pm
 

The value for Brandon Lloyd in 2011

Friday's Twitter question @jameyeisenberg: What are your thoughts on Brandon Lloyd in 2011?

We'll start with your responses ...

@collinjc775 I thank him for my '10 Victory but HC and QB situation tell me to avoid until late rounds when he'll be some1 elses headache
 
@Ross_Spargur I would't draft him any earlier than sixth round. Can't trust him at all and would hate to have an early pick go to waste

@gingerdad1 7 yrs- 15 tds. 2010- 11. 2,370 yrds prior, 1,448 in 2010. 4th tm, new coach, QB? I'll let someone take him as a #1, not me.
 
@BrandonEichholz i'm expecting a dropoff like Miles Austin. should be a solid WR2.
 
@ONN8 just have some hesitation believing in him. Especially w a new QB.
 
@iMarques82 I think he'll have 4 TD's and 850 yards. A decent no. 3 receiver.
 
@oCLAYBOYo I think Lloyd's numbers looked good this year because Denver was always playing from behind and no run game. 6th or later
 
@phishnguy Lloyd falls back to earth. Have a hard time seeing him with wr2 value.
 
@AgentJR3 easy, one hit wonder under mcdaniels. Fox will lean on ground game. Back to mediocrity for blloyd.
 
@AP_Manning think he's too risky, came out of nowhere and now has new QB and coach. Too much uncertainty to take in 1st 4-5 rounds
 
@wulfy Brandon Lloyd - "Can't Trust Him. Can't Win With Him. Can't Draft Him Before The 7th"

@cDrow Can't help but think Lloyd takes a step backwards. New coach (who loves to run) and maybe Tebow at QB
 
@ninocapo I wouldn't draft him any higher than a WR2. Probably won't be on my teams cause don't think he has enough upside.

I agree with the majority of your thoughts. He's not someone I want on my Fantasy team. Not that I expect him to be a total failure, but there are too many things working against him.

- A new offensive system with Josh McDaniels gone. Under John Fox, you can guarantee more rushing and less downfield passing.

- Tim Tebow isn't the same quarterback as Kyle Orton. Not that Tebow can't get Lloyd the ball, but he's not attempting 35-plus passes a game.

- The improvement of Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker. Remember, the Broncos invested a lot in these rookies in 2010, especially Thomas, and it will be time for them to produce or at least see more targets.

- Body of work. He has one-year wonder written all over him.

Now, Lloyd does have some things working in his favor. He will be in a contract year in 2011, and maybe he's found a home with the Broncos after bouncing around the league. He also benefits from playing in a weak division that just lost Nnamdi Asomugha.

I have Lloyd ranked as a No. 2 wide receiver at No. 19, but I'd rather draft him as a No. 3 option. The advice here is let him fall to you on Draft Day and don't reach for him before Round 5 at the earliest.

Category: NFL
Posted on: January 27, 2011 5:55 pm
 

Rebound running backs

Thursday's Twitter question @jameyeisenberg: Who has the better chance for a rebound year out of Shonn Greene, Beanie Wells, DeAngelo Williams and Ryan Grant?

In my 2011 rankings, I have them ranked in this order: Grant at No. 21, Williams at No. 24, Greene at No. 25 and Wells at No. 36. Grant likely won't move up much with the emergence of James Starks, but Williams and Greene could pass him depending on their situation. Wells also could improve his value, but he will remain a No. 3 Fantasy running back.

For Williams, if he signs with a team as a starter (Miami is a possibility if Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams leave) his value could improve. But if he returns to Carolina or follows John Fox to Denver then his value is limited, and you also have to worry about injury concerns following the past two years. As for Greene, hopefully his latest playoff run can help him in 2011 where he failed in 2010. LaDainian Tomlinson is likely to remain a factor with the Jets, but Greene should take control of the No. 1 job and play well behind that offensive line.

Here are your thoughts ...

@bsmurray06 Grant, but Greene is due to shed the LT backpack.

@RossMooring If he stays healthy, DeAngelo can be top 5. And it depends where he lands too. Big ifs.

@CdotNICHOLAS Ryan Grant. I don't see much competition for playing time when he returns. Starks did ok, Brandon Jackson not so much.

@rockhoundlsu CBA makes this one difficult, where will D.Williams be playing? Regardless I think it is Williams, Grant right on his heels

@chosyen1 depends if D Will can be feature back somewhere. Rest will be split backs Grant/Starks, Greene/LT, Wells/Hightower. Toss up

@FantasyF Ryan Grant doesn't belong on that list. He went down Week 1.

@oCLAYBOYo Cross between Shonn Greene and DeAngelo Williams if he leaves Carolina!

@jouvernile wells

@gingerdad1 I'm going w/ Grant. No real time share on a great offense. Williams, unsure where he'll b; Greene- LDT split; wells QB issue

@qcebel in order: DeAngelo Shonn Grant Wells

@Ross_Spargur deangelo or grant. I'll say deangelo cuz he will probably have a lead role with a new team. Grant has to worry about starks

@jtsoria I would say Greene- great o-line. D-will, where will he end up? Grant-never a great RB. And Wells, overrated.

@bigjon559 Greene b/c of his o-line but if Williams lands somewhere good then he has more of a chance

@phildreis DeAngelo. Assuming he stays healthy (BIG IF), he's by far the most elite of this 4some.

@iMarques82 D. Williams! In the right situation he could lead the league in rushing and none of the other guys have that upside.

@cblockd Gotta go with Grant then Greene

@guylindvall Can't believe i'm saying this but Shonn Greene again. And I got torched on him last year!

@ninocapo I say DeAngelo Williams, but that depends where he ends up. Do you see Carolina resigning?

Category: NFL
Posted on: January 26, 2011 5:30 pm
 

Round 6 and 7 of our mock draft

Wednesday's Twitter post @jameyeisenberg: Grade these #fantasyfootball picks. In Round 6 and 7 I selected Jimmy Graham and Steve Johnson.

In our first 2011 mock draft, I went with Graham in Round 6 and Johnson in Round 7. My draft thus far is Round 1-Arian Foster, Round 2-Tom Brady, Round 3-LeGarrette Blount, Round 4-Wes Welker and Round 5-Vincent Jackson. Graham is my starting tight end, and Johnson, for now, is my flex option.

There were a handful of running backs I considered here: Pierre Thomas, Fred Jackson, Brandon Jacobs, Mike Tolbert and Beanie Wells. And I also looked at some other receivers in Sidney Rice, James Jones and Deion Branch. I passed on Branch because I didn't want to load up on all Patriots.

As we discussed in the previous blog entry, I see plenty of upside in Graham and consider him a great Fantasy tight end in 2011. As for Johnson, he did score 10 touchdowns this past season with 82 catches for 1,073 yards. Can he do that again? Probably not, but he's still worth drafting as a No. 3 Fantasy wide receiver.

Keep following along with our draft because I'll get the players I want in the later rounds. Now for your thoughts on Graham and Johnson ...

@oCLAYBOYo B+ / Looks good Jamey

@rockhoundlsu Stevie Johnson has great upside as a WR3, Graham has upside but I have him ranked below Winslow/Daniels who are still avail.

@gingerdad1 I love the value of getting Stevie Johnson in rd 7, but I think Graham in the 6th is a reach. You can wait for similar value

@carlgetsmoked Graham will pay off in the 6th and johnson is kinda a risk

@iMarques82 I hate the Graham pick! 6th round for a TE project is a reach. I would have taken F-Jax. SJ is a strong pick.

@ErikRBaughn I like graham a lot and even if shockey is there. I see upside of 1000yd&12td --Johnson good breakout yr but still wr#3 imo

Category: NFL
Posted on: January 24, 2011 5:28 pm
 

Did Cutler ruin the Bears?

Monday's #fantasyfootball question @jameyeisenberg: Are there any #Bears you would draft in 2011 besides Matt Forte?

Here's my weekly playoff column looking at Jay Cutler, which you can read by clicking here. I consider him a No. 2 Fantasy quarterback, and there's no format where I would want him as a starter. And this has nothing to do with knee-gate.

After Cutler, I would only take the current guys with a late-round pick, and that includes Johnny Knox, Earl Bennett, Devin Hester and Greg Olsen. They should all be considered reserves and are not worth drafting as starters in the majority of leagues.

Robbie Gould is OK, and the DST still has value as a starting option. But the Bears, aside from Forte as a starter in all leagues, don't have much Fantasy appeal in 2011.

Here are your thoughts ...
 
@AlexCannata Cutler should be ok. Knox will probably get drafted but i'm not touching him, and Olsen should be good based on his finish
 
@naptime555 cutler and knox and def
 
@rockhoundlsu DST is always a good bet

@oCLAYBOYo Knox and Bears Defense
 
@ninocapo I thought that Bennett was starting to emerge in the slot. I think he's draftable in ppr

@kcopen probably Knox...late
 
@gingerdad1 I would be ok drafting Knox in the mid rounds (9-13) and the Defense and kicker at the end. But that is all.
 
@sjohnson1019 bears DST, deep league maybe handcuff chester
 
@jouvernile maybe defense
 
@iMarques82 Earl Bennett and Johnny Knox could be good sleepers at no. 4 or 5 receivers. Another yr in this offense will help.
 
@RossMooring The handcuff to Matt Forte, as long as it's not Chester Taylor!
 
@NYLivinCAMind Only other Bear may be Earl Bennett. The bears shoukd start utilizing him more. When used, he's done a lot of damage.
 
@daverichard Cutler. Stock falls, upside improves.

@AP_Manning definitely Gould and the D if that counts, possibly Knox as a WR3 or Olesen as a late round TE. I want no part of Cutler
 
@chinch77 Cutler is still draftable. As is the bears d and maybe Olsen

@wulfy Bears DST

Category: NFL
Posted on: January 20, 2011 5:32 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2011 5:39 pm
 

Four options as backup quarterbacks

Here was Wednesday's Twitter question @jameyeisenberg: Which of these quarterbacks has the most upside in 2011? Tim Tebow, Matthew Stafford, Matt Cassel or Sam Bradford

In our 2011 rankings, my order is Stafford, Tebow, Cassel and Bradford. Based on your responses, many of you think Bradford should be drafted first with the addition of Josh McDaniels as the new offensive coordinator.

@tattsnscars13 Stafford if he can stay healthy, then Bradford

@mattcassel44 Matt Cassel

@phildreis Definitely Tebow. If I knew he'd play 16 games, he'd be top 5-10.

@CraiginSuwanee QB upside: Cassel, Bradford, Stafford, Tebow. TT has to show more. MS has to stay on field.

@collinjc775 Bradford with the addition of McDaniels and 1 year under his belt. If the WR's stay healthy he's a top 10 QB.

@HaitianKid79 Bradford. The Josh McDaniels factor.

@iMarques82 Stafford! If healthy, he has the best weapons. Could have a Schaub like season

@Jonbrony I like tebow because of his receiving core as a whole.

@RJones22 Stafford cuz he'll play a full season, then Tebow. I think Bradford will do the exact same next yr. Cassel :(
 
@rockhoundlsu wow tougher than first thought, may have to lean toward Bradford but must get Clayton back and Julio Jones in draft.

@gingerdad1 wow, great question! I would go Cassel (bowe/Charles), tebow(orton?), stafford(inj),& Bradford(mcd could be huge boost)

@oCLAYBOYo 1) Bradford 2) Stafford 3) Cassel 4) Tebow / that is my ranking and I see the Rams taking the NFC West next season!
 
@AP_Manning Stafford, he has top 5 upside, but he's also the biggest risk.

@fantasytips Stafford with all those weapons.

@FantasyJedi I'm guessing StL goes WR early in the draft. Bradford has the highest ceiling going forward. McDaniels should help.

@BenStandig Stafford by far. Look at what the #Lions qbs did this year collectively, plus gets a "healthy" Best for pass game

I like Stafford the best of this group for a couple of reasons: Calvin Johnson and the Lions production at quarterback in 2010. Whether it was Stafford, Shaun Hill or Drew Stanton, each quarterback had quality Fantasy production. The downside for Stafford is obviously health.

Tebow is next because of what he showed in his three starts to end the year. Like Michael Vick, his rushing and passing totals should lead to quality stats, and he had at least 24 Fantasy points in each outing. He also has a solid receiving corps with Brandon Lloyd, Eddie Royal, Jabar Gaffney, Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker. But Tebow first has to win over new coach John Fox and prove he deserves the job.

Cassel was tremendous this season and has an elite wide receiver in Dwayne Bowe. But we'll find out how the loss of offensive coordinator Charlie Weis will impact the passing game.

And Bradford, as many of you pointed out, has a high ceiling with McDaniels now calling plays, but the receiving corps needs to be addressed. Keeping Mark Clayton will help, but they need a proven No. 1 option to help Bradford take the next step in his career.

These are four quarterbacks many Fantasy owners should consider on Draft Day. You won't count on them as starters, but they could end up as a bye week or injury replacement. And if they develop or play as expected, then they can turn into trade bait.

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