Sep 17, 2009
I’ll post my random thoughts here on selected players by position:
Jake Delhomme – I was asked about this in Wednesday’s chat. Will he hurt Steve
Smith? The answer is yes, for now. Until Delhomme can find some consistency,
he’s going to hurt Smith’s productivity and upside. That’s not something that
can be argued at this point. Hoping for the best, but it way take some time. A.J.
Feeley can be good for 3-4 games, but asking him to start several games is a
Matt Ryan – Good sign when he doesn’t play well that he can still put up some
numbers. Again, as we correctly stated in our preseason analysis, how are
defenses going to stop them? You can only really take away one guy from their
offense each week.
Joe Flacco – I think they finally realized he has to get the ball early in the
game. Read Greg Cosell’s film room blog to get an idea of this. They finally are
letting Flacco throw on first downs. I think he’s at least a low-end #1 QB for
fantasy now. I had a long talk with him earlier this year about the coaches
being willing to give him the ball more to throw early in games. He really
wanted the chance to throw a lot more and it appears they are going to give him
Matt Schaub – The bad vibes from the preseason continue. It won’t get any easier
this week at the Titans. Again, he should be part of a QBBC, not your every week
starter. He just isn’t good enough. We told you he was a reach in the 7th round.
I don’t think that will change much although he will have his moments where he
will play well. His pocket awareness is still arguably the worst in the NFL and
there have been no signs of improvement in this area. The hope is that against
the weaker defenses, he’ll be able to put up better numbers.
Kurt Warner – Until he can get back a healthy Anquan Boldin, it may a struggle
for Warner to look good as last season. It appears Steve Breaston’s PCL sprain
is going to linger for a while. That’s why we totally backed off him after he
Matt Hasselbeck – He had an uneven first half last week to say the least, but
you can see how comfortable he was. He’s healthy and their WRs are decent enough
that he can be a solid backup QB this season. And I didn’t even mention John
Carlson who is already one of the top young TEs in the NFL. Take advantage of
Hasselbeck’s schedule. He should do well enough to start against the weaker pass
DeAngelo Williams – No, I’m not concerned with Jonathan Stewart at all. If he’s
healthy, it will be the same rotation as last year. Williams just has to put up
numbers again like he did. It comes down to the QB. If they keep playing from
behind, then Williams won’t get enough carries. It’s that simple.
Steve Slaton – Totally not impressed with him based on what we saw from him in
the preseason and in last week’s game. While he didn’t get much of a chance last
week because the NYJ D dominated, I didn’t see the explosiveness that we saw
last year from Slaton. He really needs to be in a rotation and not the main ball
Oakland RBs – This situation is very fluid and one that might not be settled for
a while. No matter what, Darren McFadden will be involved each week. The roles
of Michael Bush and Justin Fargas still remain up in the air. We’ll keep an eye
on this, but it may take a few more weeks to sort it all out.
Thomas Jones – Here’s the deal. They are a power running team that clearly has
shown what they want to do. They want to establish the run and won’t get away
from it. So, Jones is going to get a lot of work. I wouldn’t worry about Shonn
Greene until he actually plays and does something significant.
New Orleans RBs – If you read the updated handcuffs report, I think we have this
mapped out well. The coaches clearly have lost faith in Reggie Bush and his role
has been reduced significantly. The question is, can Bush still have decent
value? Yes. He has to be productive in his passing down, change of pace role.
The good thing is that he plays in perhaps the NFL’s best offense and under the
best play caller in Sean Payton. So if you’re in a PPR league, you can still get
something out of Bush each week. But lower your expectations. You have no
choice, it is what it is. Bush is the one who has been most affected by the
addition of Mike Bell, not Pierre Thomas. It’s as clear as day.
As for Bell and Thomas, when Thomas is healthy, the plan is for a rotation of
both backs for the running down plays (first and second) and for Bush to be
mixed in as a change of pace. And don’t forget, Bell really isn’t seen as a pass
catcher, Thomas has excellent hands and most of his big plays last season were
as a receiver. So Thomas should get plenty of work when he’s back to normal
health wise. When that is no one can say although his knee should be close to
Steven Jackson – He ran well last week, that’s not the problem. The issue is,
can they stay close enough in each game so they can get him more work? Will they
get him the ball more in the passing game? Time will tell, but not good signs
Carnell Williams – His amazing story continues. Their OL was really blocking
well last week, so hopefully that will continue. You can start him as your #3 RB
until further notice. And the rotation seems to be working.
Frank Gore – Again, where are the long runs? It seems much like last year. I
know it’s only one game, but it’s a bit troubling from what we saw last week.
The offense is so predictable. Lets see more out of Gore this week or we’ll have
to re-evaluate him.
Willis McGahee – I was surprised by him last week. He actually moved pretty
well. I’d pick him up for depth/#3 RB. They will always run the ball, so he
could help you later in the season.
Knowshon Moreno – You’re probably at least two more weeks away from him being
the main ball carrier, so you will have to be patient.
Felix Jones – Was surprised that he didn’t get more touches or wasn’t used
outside the formation more. Hopefully that will change this week.
Donald Brown – Notice he, not Addai, finished out the final five minutes last
week? That was the case last year quite a big with Dominic Rhodes last season.
Steve Smith – I’d have to seriously consider moving him soon. Jake Delhomme has
what, nine turnovers in his last two games (last week and the playoff game). Not
sure if I can trust Delhomme to get back on track.
Andre Johnson – They are a passing team, so he will put up numbers again, but
the inconsistency of Schaub doesn’t help. You just have to live with it if
you’re a Johnson owner. There will be better days.
Louis Murphy – I mentioned him strongly in our post-NFL draft podcast in early
May and you’re seeing already how talented he is. I’d keep starting him as my #3
WR until Chaz Schilens comes back. He runs well, is physical, and he’s smart.
Devery Henderson – He’s not normally going to catch more than three passes/game,
but one of them will likely be a big play. If you can live with his low catch
totals, he’s not a bad flex option every week. He’s probably the NFL’s fastest
Michael Clayton – As long as Giant Gary Coleman (our nickname for Byron Leftwich,
I think the Jaguar players called him GC, too) is accurate, Clayton has a chance
to be a decent WR for depth. Leftwich still has a gun for an arm. Clayton is
healthy for the first time in almost three seasons.
Santonio Holmes – I think we will be right about him this time around. He’s
unique in that he has good enough size, runs very well, and they call long and
shorter pass plays for him. He actually commands the ball to a certain degree.
Mark Clayton – He’s over his hamstring injury and with Flacco throwing to him,
Clayton is worth starting now most weeks.
Braylon Edwards – Don’t expect any consistency from him with Brady Quinn as the
Reggie Wayne – He could wind up posting over 100 catches this season with Marvin
Harrison gone. We probably missed a little on his catch total projection. It’s
about trust and Peyton Manning really trusts him.
Tony Gonzalez – He’s really the missing physical presence that they needs for
their passing game in the red zone area. 10-12 TDs isn’t out of the question.
Visanthe Shiancoe – There will be weeks when they won’t throw it very much like
last week, so understand there will be some inconsistency with Shiancoe.
Jermichael Finley – We did warn you that he’s not going to be that involved most
weeks, so lower your expectations. In a sense, this is his rookie season. As as
talented as he may be, don’t expect to be starting him much. He’s a good backup
for fantasy owners at this point with some upside.
Zach Miller – No question that he has good chemistry with JaMarcus Russell. The
problem is Russell is so inaccurate at times, that he will cause Miller’s
numbers to be very up and down. So you’ll have to accept this if you’re a Miller
Ben Watson – It’s only one game, but he was very involved. It may be that they
really lack a true third passing option and Watson may wind up being it. He’s at
least worth picking up as your backup TE.
John Carlson – Finally, Cosell has come around on this guy. Listen to the
podcast. We were all over him last year after he started to increase his role in
the passing game and you saw how high we had him ranked in the preseason. He’ll
always be no worse than the second passing option every week and he plays in a
passing offense. As long as Hasselbeck plays well, Carlson will do well. It’s
that simple. Carlson could be the best value for fantasy owners this year (10th
round in most drafts).
Todd Heap – I can’t believe how good he looked last week and how well he moved
around. With Flacco throwing to him, Heap, if healthy, is certainly a solid