With the 2012 NFL Draft only days away, we are taking a look at the top needs for each team, division by division. Today we head to the AFC North, and, if you missed it, check out the AFC East from Tuesday. Got a player you want your team to target? Let me know in the comments.
Also, be sure to take a look at our massive 2012 Pre-Draft Rookie Report, which takes an in-depth look at all the top fantasy prospects.
Picks: 29, 60, 91, 130, 164, 169, 198, 236
1. Guard – The Ravens lost Pro Bowl LG Ben Grubbs in free agency to New Orleans, leaving them very thin at that spot. At the moment, 2011 3rd-round pick Jah Reid is expected to move from tackle to guard and start in place of Grubbs, but the Ravens could use some competition there. Guard is not always a position that’s in demand in the 1st round, but Wisconsin’s Kevin Zeitler would make sense with the 29th overall pick. Wisconsin C Peter Konz could also be a target with Matt Birk now 35 years old.
2. Linebacker – The Ravens could add help both inside and outside in their 3-4 scheme. [...]
Wednesday is yet another big day in labor talks as things heat up with players and owners once again in New York, and we also head to Denver, San Francisco, and Washington for some football talk.
Is a John Fox-DeAngelo Williams reunion on the horizon in Denver?
Fox wants a running back … One of the biggest offensive shifts in the league could come in Denver, where the wide-open passing attack of Josh McDaniels will give way to John Fox’s multi-RB approach. OC Mike McCoy is a holdover from the previous staff, but he has experience under Fox and will call the plays. Although the Broncos drafted Knowshon Moreno with the 12th overall pick just two years ago, Fox’s #1 priority is to bring in a free agent RB with Moreno potentially moving into more of a third-down role. It’s a move we agree with, because Moreno isn’t really equipped to be the centerpiece of an offense. He can put up decent production, but he’s limited with a lack of fluidity as a runner. Among the free agent RBs, the obvious name is DeAngelo Williams, who had a lot of success with Fox in Carolina, rushing for 1000 yards in back-to-back [...]
As we wait for more positive news on the labor front, the weekend brought injury news for a couple of big-name players, including the possible end of a career.
Is T.O.'s career over? Next question.
The end of the T.O. era? … We already knew that we probably wouldn’t be seeing Terrell Owens in a Bengal jersey again in 2011, leaving us with another offseason of uncertainty for the 37-year-old WR. Well, now we don’t know if T.O. will even play again at all. ESPN reports that Owens tore his ACL and underwent knee surgery. This follows a previously undisclosed injury and a torn meniscus that cut his 2010 season short in Week Fourteen. ESPN’s report indicates that Owens won’t be ready to play until November at the earliest, meaning a team would have to take a chance on him late down the stretch. He showed he could still play last year despite losing a step, as he had a huge stretch toward the middle of the season and finished with 72/983/9. He’s played for four teams in seven years (three teams in the last three years) after spending his first eight seasons in San Francisco, and now he’ll need a [...]
We are finally getting good news on the labor front, and details are starting to emerge about what a new CBA could like it. Get ready for a hectic time in fantasy football, as free agency could be just a few weeks away.
Free agency on the horizon? … The owners’ expected extended stay in Chicago ended up lasting only one day, but just about all the news coming out of their meetings was positive. Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports that the dissenting opinions in the room were not very significant, with only a handful speaking out against the progress that’s been made in labor talks. He believes there is a push to get a deal done around July 4. Negotiations with the players are scheduled to resume today in the Boston area.
Obviously, this is all good news, but perhaps the biggest story of the day was a report from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that provides an overview of what the new CBA could look like:
About 48% of revenue to the players
A rookie wage scale
No mandated 18-game schedule
The potential for a 16-game Thursday night schedule
Welcome to another lockout-free edition of the Fantasy Guru Daily, where we forget about the agonizing labor dispute and instead focus on what we all want to focus on: football.
Surgery for Ward… At least the injury didn’t happen on “Dancing with the Stars.” We here at the Fantasy Guru Daily have done our best to avoid discussing the appearance of Steeler WR Hines Ward on the hit ABC show, and now that it’s over and he apparently won, we can focus on his football. Well, he will undergo surgery to repair ligament damage in his left thumb, and he’s apparently been dealing with the injury since the end of the 2010 season. It was a disappointing year for Ward, as he saw his involvement in the offense take a big hit, and he didn’t have much value for fantasy in most weeks. He had four 100-yard games but was ineffective in many other games in a passing offense that lacked rhythm all season. Instead, the focus was on the running game and taking shots with Mike Wallace downfield. After putting up 95/1167/6 in 2009, Ward’s numbers plummeted to 59/755/5 with an average of 6.6 FPG. As for the injury, he [...]
This past Sunday, Matt Camp and I spent a lot of time talking AFC North, with some Packers thrown in. We got a lot of interesting tidbits, so naturally, Sirius Business is back. Will T.O. end up in Cincy? Even if not, the Bengals’ interest in him is telling:
Joe Reedy covers the Bengals for the Cincinnati Enquirer (@joereedy on Twitter):
Reedy raised an interesting point with the Terrell Owens situation. If Antonio Bryant is actually healthy (his knee looks severely questionable at this point), who becomes the #3 receiver if T.O. is signed? You’re paying Bryant like a #2, and Owens isn’t going to be comfortable playing third fiddle (hell, do we know if he can he even play second fiddle?). This is already a crowded WR position. Rookie Jordan Shipley and Andre Caldwell will be battling it out for the slot role, Dezmon Briscoe is a talented rookie, and don’t forget that the Bengals signed Matt Jones early in the off-season. Reedy’s point was this: the Bengals have enough talented young guys who won’t clear waivers if they choose to sign Owens and go with three big names at the WR position.
T.Ochocinco? It may happen.
The concerns with Bryant’s knee [...]