Some topical gut feelings

We’ve been busy finishing up the rest of our 2009 player profiles, working this week on the annual “Contract Year Players” article, and plenty of other side projects, but I thought it was time to make a post that is topical, as opposed to all the expert draft posts.

It’s early, but I’m starting to get some vibes and gut feelings on some things based on deeper research, and some of the news and notes that are out there.

So here’s some stuff to chew on.

  • It looks like Brett Favre’s going to play for the Vikings, I’d say at this point it’s about 90%, and that may be conservative. If so, I LOVE Vishante Shiancoe. That guy can run, and if Favre’s arm is okay, he’ll be looking for him down the seam a lot, as defenses tend to stick an extra man in the box to stop their running game. He’s also a great red zone threat, and Favre will be looking for him. I think he has the upside to be a top-5 fantasy TE with Favre, easy. This would also be good news for WR Bernard Berrian.
  • Right now, I’m avoiding WR Brandon Marshall. If he’s not moved by training camp, I won’t touch him, period. And if he is, that’s a huge blow for the entire Bronco offense, obviously. I’ll be downgrading everyone if that’s the case. However, I like him in Baltimore. It’s a running team, but his production could still be solid, much like Plaxico Burress in New York the last few years. If there’s one QB in the league right now I would favorably compare to Jay Cutler, it’s Joe Flacco. If it’s not Chicago or Baltimore, then it’ll likely be TB, and I’m not in love with that fit when it comes to Marshall’s value. Dallas would be interesting, but I can’t see them pulling that risky trigger. Bottom line, right now, Marshall is to be avoided. If the Ravens do get Marshall, that’s going to be good news for RBs Willis McGahee and Ray Rice, since they will likely utilize fewer power run formations that aim to dictate coverages, which worked best with RB/FB LeRon McClain. It’ll also be a clear sign that they’re ready to open up the offense more for Flacco, who by the way would be a very desirable fantasy backup if he gets Marshall.
  • I’m warming up to WR Chad Johnson (I refuse to use the new name). He’s always had the talent, and while he’s frustrating to watch some time and getting older, he’s usually very productive. There’s no question he’s a value right now – but we’ll be watching the vibes in Cincy closely.
  • We’ve written how we feel the Bucs will be running an offense very similar to what the Giants have the last few years, which explains in part their interest in WR Plaxico Burress. If they do land Burress, and if he can play 10-12 games for them, or if they get Marshall, you have to be impressed with their arsenal on offense. That would make QB Luke McCown an interesting sleeper. Sorry, I can’t say anything positive about Byron Leftwich, who I completely abandoned several years ago. McCown can sling it, and while he’s very thin, he should be the guy, not Leftwich.
  • I actually kind of like the Texans’ signing of QB Rex Grossman. I didn’t trust Dan Orlovsky, so it gives them better depth at the position. Grossman cannot overcome the weaknesses or flaws throughout the rest of his team, but if everything around him is going well, he is still capable of putting up big numbers. I would say his situation on the Texan offense is better than it ever was in Chicago, so I feel better about the key Texan players now that Grossman is in the fold, believe it or not.

That’s about all I have right now off the top of my head. We’re entering the quiet period on the NFL calendar, but things will be going hot and heavy soon enough.

Category: Fantasy Football


23 Responses

  1. Simon says:

    Good insights, John. With regards to the other Broncos offensive players, are you saying you would avoid Moreno in the 4th and Royal in the 5th in a PPR? Obviously there’s the problem of 8 in the box for Moreno or double coverage for Royal w/o Marshall, but surely these two will see a ton more targets?

  2. John Hansen says:

    I’m really concerned now with Denver. Just from an overall bad vibe perspective, but of course actually their ability to line up and play effective football. I would be inclined to downgrade Royal, even though he’ll certainly see more targets. I’m just not sure how effective he can be with a new QB without the physical presence of Marshall on the other side. It’ll be harder for Moreno, too. I don’t really have confidence in McDaniels running an offense featuring Orton, a rookie RB, and a bunch of #2 and #2 WRs.

  3. Simon says:

    In a PPR, would you now take McFadden over Moreno?

  4. John Hansen says:

    Probably not because I think Moreno is a better runner and a better receiver. He will have a large role, we still don’t know what McFadden’s role is. I’m sure it’s going to expand, but we need to know what McFadden is in the NFL. Ultimately, I don’t think Moreno has as many limitations.

  5. Simon says:

    You mentioned last week about targetting as many special players as you can (AP as a rookie over McGahee). Will you be writing an article listing your special players?

  6. JOOCE says:

    Looking forward to your Contract Year Players article. Will you also be touching on players to target in a keeper league as a result of other players being in contract years? For example, I believe that Willie Parker is entering a contract year, which could mean big things for Mendenhall in 2010, and maybe in 2009, if they let Parker walk.

  7. John Hansen says:

    Sure, that will be part of the article, Jooce.

    I will also work up a listing of the “special” players.

  8. Good morning John,

    In a PPR and keeper league, I can protect 3 of the following:
    Terrell Owens, Marques Colston, Michael Turner, Steve Slaton, and Frank Gore.
    Who would you suggest that I keep?

  9. Brad Freeman says:

    Great call on Shiancoe! I was looking at him for my Dynasty League draft in August even without the Favre factor.

  10. Law Firm says:


    I’m no John Hansen, but I would definitely keep Slaton (PPR gold), Gore and Colston. Turner is a definite in non-PPR, but I can’t see his upside in PPR, since he’s strictly a downhill guy. T.O. is on the tail end of his career and only has short term value.

  11. John Hansen says:

    Ronald, I think I’ll differ with Firm on Gore-Turner. I’ve always loved Gore – to a fault. But the fact is he’s come up somewhat small two years running, and he’s really had only 1 big year, 2006. Turner has one, too, but it was 2008. I really like what the Falcons have built on offense, so Turner should be money the next 2-3 years.

  12. Law Firm says:


    Turner, even in PPR? I hear you on Gore, but I think in PPR he has more value than some of the others.

  13. John Hansen says:

    It looks like the Bucs are truly serious about playing rookie QB Josh Freeman. I know they are trying to make a move away from Gruden’s annoying QB situations and that two rookies did well last year, but I would be shocked if Freeman excelled from the jump. It’s good news for their RBs, though. That will be their identity, running the ball with Ward and Graham.

  14. John Hansen says:

    I understand the PPR and all, but if you’re rushing for 1700 and 17 TDs, it’s not a huge problem that he doesn’t catch the ball. He was #4 in PPR scoring last year at RB. I just think he’s a sure thing more so than Gore.

  15. Idiot Savant says:

    For fun I did projections using F Guru for Gore and Turner using 1ppr…and Gore came out ahead by a smidge…ranked 2 places better…but “Too close to call” with Marion Barber sandwiched between them! Ranked 10-12 only 3pts separating the 3 for the entire season.

    This could be a good message board topic to discuss.

  16. John Hansen says:

    Then I’d look at the situation, and Atlanta’s is better, much better offense. It’s certainly not a slam dunk, but I’d go Turner.

  17. LJP says:

    To Ronald Krahn:

    I would definitely keep Gore, Slaton, AND Turner. After 2 injury plagued seasons, Colston is far from a sure thing. It’s not like you’re talking about Moss, Fitzgerald, or one of the Johnson’s here. Speaking of “special players” I’m not convinced that Colston is that special of a player at all and think he’s more a product of a great QB and passing offense. Toss him and TO back into the pool for sure. Another alternative would be to look at trading one of your RB for one of the WR mentioned above (Wayne & Jennings included as well).

  18. Guys,

    Great feedback. I too have loved Gore to a fault.

    What’s your thoughts on Turner and Colston or Owens for MJD and Jennings?

  19. Gump says:

    90% of the sites and rankings I see have Tampa going with Leftwich. Talk about short-term memories. McCown will make a great Derek Anderson (2007 version) or Thigpen-type sleeper pick.

  20. John Hansen says:

    Really Gump? Jeez, I know we’re going out on a little bit of a limb projecting Rosenfels to beat out Jackson by ranking him higher (ignoring Favre for now). But that’s just a bad job by them if they project Leftwich to be the guy. He may not even make the team.

  21. Idiot Savant says:

    I think Rosenfels is the mainstream thought right now too…but if you want any of them…they ALL are going late…and I do believe Guru should rank Favre higher than Rosefels, on the probability that he signs and starts, his value is higher than Rosenfels, Mc Cown and perhaps 1/3 or more other QB’s. (Downgraded him since his confidence in his arm is not there yet). I suppose its natural to want a guy to be signed before he’s ranked in the top 32…but really…is Guru really projecting Rosenfels to start and be of more value than Favre this year? I would draft Favre ahead of Rosenfels and Mc Cown today.
    One site I saw that my brother subscribes to had

    Leftwich- 29th
    Rosenfels- 33rd
    T Jax -34
    Mc Cown- 37th

  22. Idiot Savant says:

    Oh sorry…failed to mention Favre was #35 on their list

  23. John Hansen says:

    Sorry, but we’re just simply not going to rank and project for a 40-year old guy who’s retired unless he’s officially unretired. Just a matter of taste and principle, I suppose.

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