First Round RBs lack downside

I think we can all agree that 2007 was a tough year for fantasy. Mainly because it was a down year for RBs, and there were the usual number of injuries, there were more disappointments than strong producers plucked in the early rounds. However, I’ve learned over the years that thing tend to even out in fantasy. When there are a disproportionate number of disappointments one year, for example, there are usually a higher number of values the next. I think that will be the case this year.

One of the things that stood out to me while doing our RB writeups for the magazine was that the player I had in my top-12 didn’t seem to have a disconcerting amount of downside. Everyone has some downside, or course, and a guy like Frank Gore may have a lot of it. But I really feel as if this year’s first round should be a lot less treacherous than last year. That said, I can’t see taking QB Tom Brady in the first, and I might be inclined to pass on Randy Moss. After the first, I’m totally in BPA mode (Best Player Available), but as I’m preparing for my first [...]

Cutler looking better these days

I was a little scared off my boy Jay Cutler this year, but I’m feeling better now. I’ll feel a lot better if they address the offensive line in the draft, which they likely will.

Too often in the NFL we see high expectations for a player or a team for a given year only to see the player or team fail to meet those expectations. Then, the next year, while expectations are low, the player or team seemingly surprises and plays very well. That could be the case in Denver this year. After all, coming on and performing well when no one expects you to is a classic Travis Henry move, one he did last in 2006 in Tennessee.

I am still concerned about the line, so it’s not all rosy in Denver, far from it. But after being concerned about Cutler’s Broncos a few weeks ago, especially after the Brandon Marshall fiasco, I am feeling better. I’ll assume for now that Marshall will be okay for at least the start of the season (remember that he missed a lot of training camp last year). And now, teamed with Darrell Jackson, Denver’s receiving corps looks pretty damn solid. Yes, [...]

On Schaub, I’m just saying…

I was going to do some NFL schedule analysis this week, but I’ve decided to wait until after the draft. I arrive at my projected SOS by assigning each defense a number grade (100 being the highest) versus the run and the pass, and I won’t truly know a team’s strengths against the run and pass until after the draft. So I’m holding off on that, but it’ll be banged out shortly after the draft. I’ll at least have the rankings and the numbers the week after the draft, while the analysis may wait another week.

I’m still a little high after hearing Weezer’s new song for the first time today. The track is called “Pork & Beans” and I love it. The sound reverts to classic Weezer, perhaps from their 1994 debut album. There are few things I like better than fresh Weezer, so I’m really looking forward to the new record, which drops in June.

I’ve been working this week on the player previews for this year’s FantasyGuru.com Magazine, and of course for the site. I’ve grappled a little with the guys we want to rank in the top-10. In fact, after you get past 6-7, it’s [...]

Deuce will be back

It was no forgone conclusion that RB Deuce McAllister was going to return to the Saints, but once he officially agrees to restructure his contract today, he’ll be back. And unless his knee is very problematic, it looks like McAllister will be a contributor for the Saints.

While the presence of McAllister creates more of a committee at running back, this has to be considered a good thing for the Saints. QB Drew Brees put up huge numbers throwing the ball a disproportionate number of times for most of the season, but the lack of a consistent running game was the main reason Brees was terrible for most of September. With Deuce and his power running game in the fold, Brees’ play and season will have more balance, and there will likely be more opportunities down the field for Brees to make big plays to guys like Devery Henderson, David Patten, and hopefully Robert Meacham. The long ball was definitely missing from the Saint offense last year, and their lack of a consistent running game was one of the big reasons why. Head coach Sean Payton simply couldn’t dictate to defenses like he did back in 2006. Instead, they [...]

Will Earnest go to camp?

After a few weeks of seeing RB Earnest Graham play, I thought he was a guy who, for a short period of time, can look good, but that the more he plays, the more the more his limitations would be exposed.

But he got better and better as the weeks went by. He ran hard, he ran physically, he was consistent, and he was more of a sustaining runner than Carnell Williams. He has some good downhill instincts and some power to him for a smaller guy, and he did a great job in the passing game. He looked a little like Emmitt Smith.

However, just because he was a fantasy gem and a great find in 2007, doesn’t exactly mean he’s going to be a nice pick in 2008. After all, this is a guy who had just 52 carries in three full seasons on the Bucs before last year. And after all, this is Jon Gruden we’re talking about. Gruden has no loyalties in his backfield and he’ll sign anyone, as he’s shown over the years and as he’s shown yet again this off-season. As soon as he picked up veteran Warrick Dunn I thought, uh-oh, that’s [...]

About John Hansen

John Hansen

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

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