The 2012 NFL Draft is nearly upon us, and this edition is much clearer than last year, at least in terms of team needs, because free agency has already taken place. Here on the staff blog, I’m going to break down each team’s top needs and fantasy outlook for the draft, going division by division. First up is the AFC East. Got a player you want your team to target? Let me know in the comments.
Picks: 10, 41, 71, 105, 124, 144, 147, 178, 217, 251
1. Offensive Tackle – The Bill offensive line actually held up well last year, giving up a league-low 23 sacks in the regular season. However, this area is still a concern, as starting LT Demetress Bell signed with the Eagles, leaving them with Erik Pears and Chris Hairston, a 2011 4th-round pick, as the tackles. The ideal scenario for Buffalo in the 1st round appears to be Iowa OT Riley Reiff falling to #10 overall. Our Greg Cosell also likes Ohio State’s Mike Adams, although the Bills may be able to trade down a few spots if they want to target him.
2. Wide Receiver – Yes, the Bills locked up top WR [...]
According to multiple reports, the Bengals and Raiders have agreed to a deal that would send veteran QB Carson Palmer to the Raiders for a 1st round pick in 2012 and another conditional pick in 20103.
You’d have to think Palmer is in decent shape for this deal to go down, so this is good news for their offense and their WRs, especially Darrius Heyward-Bey, who is really their main possession receiver on the outside. Palmer may not have a great arm at this point in his career to get the ball down the field to their speedy WRs, but while Palmer has been shaky the last couple of years, this is still an upgrade and helps their offense overall, including their running game, when you consider the alternative (Kyle Boller).
With this trade, Palmer is a fantasy backup only in this run-based offense, but he’d have some upside each week because they will always take deep shots to guys like Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore. We can see him averaging 230-240 yards and 1-2 TDs a game.
Palmer has reportedly been working out with former NFL QB Ken O’Brien and has a connection to Raider HC Hue Jackson from their time together [...]
We survived the 2011 NFL lockout.
After more than four months of daily updates on the labor problem in the NFL, we are finally finished. This is the last lockout-related post here in the Guru Daily, and we couldn’t be happier. No more worrying. No more stakeouts for Albert Breer. No more labor talk for 10 years. Just football.
We're happy too, Jerry.
But now that the lockout is over, it’s time to get down to business. The next few weeks are going to be some of the most hectic we’ve ever seen, as free agency has been delayed several months and will now take place in a short span lasting only a few days. Just a few days ago, everyone was worrying about how the players would respond to the owners’ celebratory press conference. Now, training camp opens tomorrow. Things change quickly, and we’ll continue working hard to make sure we have everything covered. For now, let’s take a quick look at the calendar:
Tuesday, 10 a.m.: Sign rookies and UDFAs; trades can begin to be made; Free agent negotiations can begin with no signing
Wednesday: Training camp [...]
Not only is today a great day for America, but the entire football world. What began when the owners opted out of the last CBA back in 2008 ends today when the lockout is lifted thanks to the owners and players agreeing to a new CBA. You make take this moment to high five the nearest person.
What a beautiful image
Players, owners agree to new CBA … pending an approval by the players vote on Monday, although that is considered a formality at this point. The players will participate in a conference call scheduled for 11am ET and the vote is expected to take place when the executive committee is in place. What happens after that has been widely contested. Some, including Jay Glazer, report that facilities can open as early as Tuesday, with trades and draft pick signings occurring as early on Tuesday, and unrestricted free agency beginning Friday at 6pm ET. However, others, most notably Adam Schefter, report that teams can begin talking to free agents and talking trades Monday afternoon with signings beginning Tuesday at noon ET. However, new contracts wouldn’t take effect until August 2 and trades wouldn’t be official until Saturday. Teams would report on [...]
If you were lucky enough to avoid what happened in the labor fiasco on Thursday, congratulations. Yesterday was essentially a microcosm of the hideous standoff that has plagued us, and all NFL fans, since March. But when the dust settles from it, are we actually closer than ever before to labor peace? Will the locked doors of the NFL finally open this weekend? It is possible.
Owners send ratified proposal to players, but… At about 7 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday, the whooping and hollering could be heard from a meeting room in the Westin Atlanta. The NFL owners had passed a new CBA, 31-0 (with Al Davis abstaining, of course), paving the way for the four-month-old lockout to end. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell held a press conference celebrating the new “agreement,” and all of us on the periphery were left to believe the NFL players’ approval to be a fait accompli. The lockout was over! Only one problem: the players insist there was no agreement, and were taken by surprise by the fact that they were expected to vote on a proposal they hadn’t seen. And an 8 p.m. conference call with NFLPA director DeMaurice Smith and the 32 NFL [...]
We are in the home stretch in labor negotiations, but of course, this will not be a simple process. The owners are meeting in Atlanta Thursday, and hopefully, the 2011 NFL lockout is in its final moments despite any last-minute issues.
Labor meetings bring confusion … In a perfect world, we’d have a new CBA by the end of today and everyone would be happy. The players would have all voted “yes” yesterday in Washington, and the owners would all vote “yes” in Atlanta today. But if we’ve learned anything over the last four months of lockout living, it’s that nothing is ever easy when it comes to labor disputes. The players’ meetings in Washington were filled with confusion yesterday, delivering us conflicting reports and uncertainty as to how things would play out. Still, the owners expect to vote today, and we should have a settlement and new CBA in the near future. Let’s try to recap what is happening through the words of those covering the situation (keep in mind that the situation is developing by the minute):
Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports that players representatives gave conditional approval Wednesday to finish a settlement pending the resolution of a [...]
While the focus this week has been all about a possible end to the labor madness, the bigger story, at least when it comes to fantasy football, centers around the availability of one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game…
Looks like Colt fans will be seeing a lot of Curtis Painter in the preseason. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Peyton won’t be ready for the start of camp … as he continues to recover from May neck surgery. The Colts are scheduled to open training camp on July 31, but it’s unknown when Manning will be able to participate, which puts a huge cloud of doubt over his status for the season, especially as a top fantasy QB. Manning had surgery on his neck back in March 2010, which didn’t cause him to miss any time, but the problems kept coming back during the season due to a calcium buildup. He attempted to avoid surgery by looking into other options after the Super Bowl, but this discomfort lingered and doctors insisted surgery was the only way to go. When the surgery was initially reported, Colt owner Jim Irsay didn’t seem alarmed, noting that the recovery was expected to be six to [...]
Is today going to be the last day we have a Fantasy Guru Daily without a labor deal imminent or an agreement in principle reached? We sure hope so. As the players and owners come down the home stretch in labor talks, we are preparing for the free-agency period, which could start as soon as Monday. What does this all mean?
CBA talks take another big step… Nearly nine hours of meeting on Monday brought the NFL and the decertified NFLPA even closer to a settlement in the Brady v. NFL case when NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith followed through on a promise to get increased benefits for retired players. While Smith is still looking for $320 million in lost benefits because of the uncapped 2010 NFL season, he did manage to lock up nearly $1 billion in improvements to the benefits program over the course of the next CBA, which is expected to last up to 10 years. The hope is that every big issue will be resolved by Wednesday morning, so the NFLPA can vote on approving a settlement via email or conference call with the 32 NFL team representatives, a vote that will likely also include the decision to [...]
Could this be the final week of labor talks? Things are looking good, and with free agency possibly just days away, the Monday edition of the Guru Daily features plenty of actual football talk… and some other stuff thanks to a Bengal RB.
Benson arrested … Free agent RB Cedric Benson was arrested on a misdemeanor assault charge and released from jail Sunday in Austin, Texas. Full details, from the Cincinnati Enquirer:
According to an arrest affidavit, the former roommate was standing at a street corner in downtown Austin talking on his cell phone around 4:45 a.m. Sunday morning when a “hostile and aggressive” Benson approached him and said they had to talk about their problems.
The two began talking about their living arrangements when “all of a sudden he was struck on his face with a closed fist thrown by Benson,” according to the affidavit. Benson then struck him several more times, it said, resulting in injuries to the left side of the victim’s face.
It’s the second arrest of a Bengal player in the last week, as troubled CB Pacman Jones was arrested after an incident at a club. It’s also Benson’s second problem in the last two years in Austin [...]
Breakthrough. That is the word seemingly every reporter used to describe the labor negotiations on Thursday. For the first time since the lockout began, there seems to be a unanimous feeling of positivity, which has led many to speculate that a deal could come at any time now. Will that day be today?
Sorry Cam, but you won't be getting Sam Bradford money.
Thursday’s labor negotiations yield much progress … thanks to a breakthrough made on the rookie wage scale. After making little headway on the issue last week, the owners and players reportedly both made concessions to come to an agreement, which was considered a major, if not the biggest hurdle to get over in the talks. With that situation settled, the salary cap number appears to be set at about $123 million for 2011. With momentum rolling right along, it looks like a deal could be close to happening, although some potential tricky issues remain. The August 7th Hall of Fame Game between the Rams and Bears is still on track to be played, but the new CBA will need to be approved by the players and owners before training camps can begin. The hope is that a deal [...]