10 Things to Watch in Training Camp

Today’s a big day because by this afternoon more than half the team in the league will have had opened training camp. After tomorrow, there will be only a handful of teams yet to. It’sa a good time to offer up the top-10 things I’ll be watching this month. There are about 20 other things that would be tied for #11 on this list, but here’s the top-10.

Donovan McNabb – He’s been easy to read in the preseason the last few years. Just check out his body language. If he appears comfortable in the pocket, throwing the ball, and in his own skin, and if he’s healthy, he’ll be more than fine. 

Panther RB situation – Veteran DeShaun Foster opens as the top guy again, but everyone expects promising younger DeAngelo Williams to be the main back. Williams has to show he should be. 

Cedric Benson – He has all the talent in the world and it’s a good situation for him in Chicago; Benson just has to do it. We’ll get an idea as to how prepared he is to do “it” in August. 

Packer RB Battle – I [...]

It’s your ‘Turn’ to get a starting running back for 2008

By Jim Coventry, Guest Blogger

As you are having the supplemental draft in your keeper league, be ready to jump early on Michael Turner (RB, SD). Depending on how many players you are allowed to keep will dictate when you have to pull the trigger to select Turner.
The risk of drafting Turner is less than going after a rookie player, because we’ve seen a solid sample size of positive production against NFL competition. It is not a guarantee that he will be a superstar, but he certainly will have fewer questions than someone that has only played against college competition.

It is understood that Turner is a speculative pick, but that does not mean that you will have to bench him this year. If only LaDainian Tomlinson had been on the cover of this year’s Madden video game, you could have counted on Turner playing a lot this year, but regardless, any player can go down at any time and if LT went down, Turner could easily be a top-seven back on the Chargers.

Once the season is over, Turner becomes an unrestricted free agent and the Chargers will not likely be able to sink huge money into a #2 RB unless [...]

Something going on with Priest

There was a report (“breaking story” they called it) Tuesday night on 610 Sports, one of KC’s sports talk radio stations, that Priest Holmes is undergoing medical evaluations, and that if he passes one final test on Wednesday the 25th, he will be officially cleared to begin practicing with the Chiefs. Rhonda Moss, the local reporter who broke this story, claims that the Chiefs are planning to use Holmes as a “3rd down back” this season–assuming of course he passes the final medical exam and is cleared to practice.

If Holmes is cleared to practice….wow, that would be huge news and a blow to Larry Johnson’s negotiating power. It would also be one of the most interesting stories we’ve seen in quite some time. Johnson’s career was put on hold by Holmes, and if this story ends up having legs, then Holmes could possibly slow down Johnson’s negotiations and possible even limit the $ he commands. Of course, if he fails the test, all of this will be quickly forgotten, but after sniffing around a little, it looks like there’s something going on with Priest. 

RB Handcuff not that important

I’ve been working this week on our annual look at the top NFL backups to look at for fantasy football. It’s a whopper, but I gotta say, while there’s a lot of quantity, there’s not much quality. That’s in part because I never include players in something of a committee or in a true committee, and there are more of them these days. Back in the day, though, RB handcuffs were much more prevalent. So what I have found this year in my drafts is that I’m not really looking to back up my studs at the RB position as much.

Here are the few RB handcuffs I will make it a point to acquire.

LaDainian Tomlinson – Michael Turner
Clinton Portis – Ladell Betts
Travis Henry – Mike Bell

Honestly, that’s about it in terms of the “must have” handcuffs. The committees are a killer, but there are also some other factors that are reducing the value of the RB handcuffs this year. In Philly, I’m still not sure who the handcuff is, Correll Buckhalter or Tony Hunt (for now I’m saying CB and TH for upside). In Indy, I know the Colts like DeDe Dorsey, but they also have this kid named [...]

Sick of Vick

One of the best things about what I do for a living is that most of the time people have a vested interest in what I have to say. If you think I know what I’m talking about, and if you respect my opinion, you’ll pay attention and have interest because you could tangibly benefit from my knowledge or opinion. I could, for example, help you win $200,000, as I did for this past year’s WCOFF Champions, according to them.

I honestly don’t know how much longer I can do TV and Radio because I have a hard time picturing myself on the air talking about fantasy football at 40-something years old. I’m ok for now, since I’m 38 as I write this, but my time is running out on the air. For now, I still think it’s a viable endeavor because, again, I can help people with my advice. I’m not just some big fat talking head exposing my opinion on a topic that really doesn’t affect anyone in the grand scheme of things. With the proliferation of the Internet, blogs, etc., and of course all the cable TV and satellite radio channels these days it seems there are more [...]

About John Hansen

John Hansen

Specializing in football, Hansen is one of the most connected fantasy writers in the country.

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