It’s time to talk Favre

You may have noticed that we have yet to rank and project stats for QB Brett Favre – but this week we took a step in that direction by finally downgrading Viking QB Sage Rosenfels, who we have projected to beat Tarvaris Jackson out. That was the first step in adjusting for Favre, and we may soon have to go all the way and right the following:

Brett Favre (QB, Min)

On a personal level, I’ve been a Viking fan since I was about seven years old, which is odd because I lived in Brooklyn, NY, and right around the time I started following the Vikings moved to New Jersey, so there certainly wasn’t a geographical element at play. I suppose being half Norwegian was a factor. If there’s one person to blame for my affinity for the Vikings, ironically, it’s the uncle of a staff member.

I’m referring, of course, about the great Howard Cosell, the uncle of our own Greg Cosell. He’s to blame. For some reason, I was drawn to the Vikes due to his highlights at halftime on MNF in which he would frequently replay a TD pass from (in his voice) Fran Tark-en-ton to Ah-Mad-Ra-Shad. I absolutely adored the Vikings growing up, and at 10 years old cried like a baby watching Tarkenton’s last pro game, an ugly playoff loss to the LA Rams on 12/31/78. The Vikings have always been a tough team to root for because they were usually pretty good, so expectations were high, but never good enough to win it. And they choked. For every great moment, like Tommy Kramer’s miracle Hail Mary pass to Rashad in 1980 to get the Vikings into the playoffs, there was heartbreak, like Wade Wilson failing to get the ball in the endzone in the closing minutes (or even seconds) in the 1987 NFC Title game (it would have tied the scored and likely forced OT). But nothing – not even the Hershel Walker trade and the fallout from it – was worse than 1998. It was a dream season for the Vikings, and at least in the NFC, it was *their* year. I went to the game, of course. I partied it up all night the Saturday night before the NFC Championship with fellow Viking fans, and even snuck into Jesse Ventura’s inaugural party in the city that night, half in the bag, which was an experience (never saw some many mullets in one place). That next afternoon, I wound up walking out of the Metrodome catatonic, and I remained catatonic for several days, haunted by an image from the day before, the site of Falcon LB Jesse Tuggle’s mom walking by me at the airport with her son’s jersey on confidently doing the “Dirty Bird” the whole time.

I thought that was bad, and while it was heartbreaking, it wasn’t nearly as “Bad” as 2000, when the Vikes got lambasted and embarrassed by the Giants in the NFC title game. I was very close to the field, and watching WRs Randy Moss and Cris Carter warm up pregame, I figured we were done. The weather was a little nasty, and the field conditions were terrible. Moss, Carter, Robert Smith, and Daunte Culpepper were deadly that year. Smith rushed for 1500 yards, Culpepper accounted for 40 TDs, and Moss and Carter combined for 2700 yards receiving and 24 TDs. Potent offense, right? They got shut out, 41-0. They also made QB Kerry Collins look like Joe Montana. While watching that game it occurred to me why I was so into fantasy football: because I was a Viking fan. I figured we’re never going to win a Super Bowl, so I might was well win one or 20 of my own. I wrote an essay on the experience at that game and my epiphany that was published on ESPN.com, and I wish I still had that, but it’s long gone. Moss, by the way, quit about midway through the second quarter, something I saw first-hand at the game and something I’ll never forgive him for. That’s why I call him a “front-runner.” Interesting note on Collins, too. I ran into him just 18 months before the game down in Key West, Florida. I spoke to him for a little while, but let’s just say he probably didn’t remember the conversation. He had a small problem then if you recall, yet less than two years later he managed to destroy my team in the second biggest game of the year. I’ll forever give Collins a ton of credit for turning his life around.

Over the last ten years or so, due to my frustrations with the franchise and my chosen career, I have slowly but surely been losing my fanaticism with the Vikings. Although I got somewhat riled up watching them play the Eagles (my local team) in the playoffs last year, I’d say my interest level is only about 30% of what it was back in ’98. I just don’t care like I used to.

That said, I don’t know how I feel yet about this Favre thing. He’ll clearly help the team and make them better, but I’m not sure a Viking Super Bowl would mean the same with Favre as it would with another QB leading the team. Ideally, a team drafts a franchise QB and he wins one, like Peyton Manning did with the Colts (a team I have long compared the Vikings to, before their win of course). That’s ideal, but I also wouldn’t have a problem with the Vikings getting a high-end free agent and then winning one, or even a scenario that almost came to pass in ’98, with an aged Randall Cunningham running the show.

But if the Vikes win the Super Bowl with Brett Favre, I’m not sure it would be quite as sweet as it would have been had they, for example, had a crack at Joe Flacco in the draft and snapped him up.

But that’s not really why I’m posting a note on Favre. No one cares about what I’m rooting for or not rooting for, and I’m not even sure I do at this point. It’s all about fantasy, so let’s break Favre down on the Vikings.

First of all, I don’t totally agree with Greg Cosell’s contention that Favre wouldn’t be much of an upgrade over the guys they currently have. Greg said as much in our podcast this week. Greg knows more than I do about QBs, but I think Greg may be placing too much of an emphasis on what he saw from Favre last year. If you recall, we were writing midseason about how something wasn’t right with Favre, perhaps before anyone else on the planet. That was all Greg breaking him down on tape. He looked done, but the fact that he actually had an injury changes things. If we can assume that the injury was the problem, and I’m inclined to believe it was at least 75% of the issue, and if it’s cleared up, then we need to look more at 2007′s numbers than 2008′s.

In ’07, he completed 66.6% of his passes, the highest number of his career other than, ironically, 2008, when he wasn’t throwing down the field. His 4157 yards and 28 TDs were excellent. That was only two years ago, technically, he was putting up his ’07 numbers still just 18 months ago.

He knows the Viking offense like the back of his hand, whereas picking up the Jet system last summer was like learning another language on the fly.

The Viking and Jet lines are comparable, but I’d give the Vikes a slight advantage this year in terms of pass protection. Most importantly, I think the LT McKinnie is a little better than D’Brick in New York.

And the running game? Please, that’s not even up for debate. Favre’s not the same player he was even 2-3 years ago, that really can’t be debated, so having the best back in the NFL behind him would greatly help him. I’m not 100% sure Favre will help Peterson, but Peterson will help Favre.

That leads us to the receiving corps. As solid as Laveranues Coles was, and knowing Favre may have stifled the Jet receivers last year, I actually think the guys the Vikings will be lining up with this year are better than the guys in New York last year. Bernard Berrian’s a really nice player. He’s not perfect, but he’s really explosive. I like the Viking TE a lot, and I like the versatility Vishante Shiancoe brings to the table in that he can be extended from the formation. Percy Harvin is a wildcard and I have confidence the Vikes will take advantage of him. If healthy, Sidney Rice could be just a notch below Jericho Cotchery, believe it or not. And don’t look now but the Vikes may be in the Marvin Harrison business in the next 30 days.

This stuff is all well and good, but what does Favre REALLY bring to the Vikings this year? More than anything else, it’s that intangible quality that the Packers missed last year. I love Aaron Rodgers, but Favre wouldn’t have gone 6-10 with that Packer team. Favre would have found a way to win at least a couple more games, and that’s what I’m talking about. I’ve watched Favre play as much as anyone not in Green Bay, but as a Viking fan, I’ve been more in tune with Favre’s ability to convert on 3rd down. It’s been maddening watching Favre the last 15 years or so when you’re rooting for the other team. The guy converts more often than not. That extends drives, and creates more plays and opportunities for fantasy.

That’s why I think Favre would be an upgrade for the Vikings, and if healthy he would make them definite Super Bowl contenders. A healthy Favre, for example, probably would have beaten the Eagles in Minnesota last year (that game was a lot closer than the final score would indicate), and I would have bet on him at home against the Cards the following week. Not sure about Pittsburgh in the big game, but Favre probably would have gotten them there.

As for the fantasy stuff, Favre under center can’t hurt Peterson, and he could easily help him, so that’s good. We saw Greg Jennings flourish with Favre in Green Bay, which is good news for Bernard Berrian, but I absolutely LOVE Shiancoe this year if Favre is there. Favre is also smart enough to take advantage of Harvin on the field.

So here are some projections, for a goof.

1. MIN @ CLE – 235 yards, 3 TDs

2. MIN @ DET – 250 yards, 2 TDs

3. SF @ MIN – 220, 1 TD

4. GB @ MIN – 215, 1 TD

5. MIN @ STL  - 240, 2 TDs

6. BAL @ MIN – 195, 1 TD

7. MIN @ PIT – 185, 0 TDs

8. MIN @ GB  - 210, 1 TD

10. DET @ MIN – 235, 3 TDs

11. SEA @ MIN – 225, 1 TD

12. CHI @ MIN – 220, 1 TD

13. MIN @ ARI  - 240, 2 TDs

14. CIN @ MIN – 245, 2 TDs

15. MIN @ CAR – 195, 1 TDs

16. MIN @ CHI  - 215, 1 TD

17. NYG @ MIN – 200, 1 TD

Totals: 3525 yards, 22 TDs

I’ll give him 40 yards rushing and 1 short sneak at the goal, which translates to 274.25 fantasy points. That ranks him currently at tied for 16th in our projections. A good preseason, and he’ll likely get bumped up to the 12-14 range. In other words, a good backup and right on the fringe of being a starter in a 12-team league. He’s probably not going to miss any time, which means he’ll probably just squeak into the top-12 by season’s end. And where did he finish last year? 11th in total points.

Now if he stays retired, after holding off as long as I could to chime in, I’ll feel like a real jackass.

Category: Fantasy Football

Tagged:

20 Responses

  1. Stretch says:

    Ok John here’s the scoop,

    I’m from Minnesota. The only reason why B.Childress is considerly Farve because of D.McNabb. Childress thought McNabb would’ve fall in his lap thats why he did not go after J.Cutler & M.Cassel which would have made alot of sense.

    He was hoping that A.Reid would have be fired and McNabb wanted out of Philly this off-season. But of course, Jeffrey Lurie was not having none of that after what he saw in Denver with J.McDaniels, Cutler, & Pat Bowlen. What a mess!

    Now Childress is scrambling to save his job, because he is in his final year of his contract. And Zygi Wilf has not offer him an extension as of yet. So Farve is his only saving grace.

    As we know Farve is a coach-killer ask E.Mangini. When Farve join the team and Childress plan does not workout at the end this year. He will be fired and Farve will stay retired for good.

    Stretch

  2. JOOCE says:

    So you are saying that Childress thought that Andy Reid would be fired, which would result in McNabb wanting out of Philly, and Minnesota would then acquire McNabb? And when none of this happened, Childress went after Favre?

    That is one hell of a random theory… Don’t believe everything you hear or read, especially when it sounds ridiculous.

  3. John Hansen says:

    Stretch, thanks for the “scoop.”

  4. RJC says:

    As an Adrian Peterson owner in 2 dynasty leagues, I’m hoping Favre does join the Vikes so he won’t be facing against 8 and 9 men in the box all game.

  5. Susi says:

    John, Fantasy Football aside and on a personal note, thanks for that painful walk down memory lane! LOL

  6. matt says:

    hey just picked up the fantasyguru magazine today, was surpised to see it in Target already and it was too good to pass up. I love the interview with MJD and all the great information keep up the good work John

  7. Stretch says:

    JOOCE,

    John wanted inside information on the Farve situation. This is not fictional. It was in the works. You won’t hear about this on NFL Network or ESPN.

    You can ask anyone close to the Vikings. But obviously your not.

  8. Gump says:

    That was an interesting walk down memory lane. As football fans, we’ve all been there. Yet, somewhere in the distance, I hear Artie Lange going “Wah!”

  9. PackFan says:

    None of us here thought Favre would retire with his last pass being an interception that basically put the Giants into the Super Bowl – we figured he was good for at least one last season. How could anyone leave a career in that fashion? Yet this game, plus his poor December performance in Chicago in windy, cold conditions had me feeling that the old war horse had peaked – that if we were ever going to get back to the title game, it wouldn’t be with him at quarterback. As good as he was in his prime remember, Green Bay only won one Super Bowl in his tenure and at the risk of sounding disrespectful, I still believe Peyton Manning in the same time frame would have at least gotten us to 3 or 4 – remember, Manning came into the league as a serious football workoholic … and Favre spent at least a third of his career as a hard partying nite owl before actually getting semi-serious about the game.

    This personal vendetta against Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy has somewhat split the fan base into Favre fans and Packer fans, but I for one remain firmly in the Thompson/McCarthy camp. Former coach Mike Sherman didn’t require Favre to show up for OTAs, and he left Ted Thompson to clean up a salary cap mess that eventually led to Sharper becoming a Viking, and our veteran guards going to Carolina and Dallas as free agents. McCarthy held Favre to a different standard, forced him into attending offseason activities, and required him to come into camp in better shape than even Brett’s buddy Steve Mariucci would have. Thompson has put together a young team with some potential and, he is the one who basically removed Favre’s diva status, which has made him public enemy #1 in Brett’s eyes. If all works out, Rodgers will be a mature signal caller around the time the team hits their window and is ready to make a 3 or 4 year run into the playoffs.

    I have no idea how this thing with Minnesota is going to work out, but I think the expectations of the Viking fan base and media will be off the charts, and is going to make this a pressure packed season for the team. I don’t think they’ve handled Jackson’s development real well, and deep down Rosenfelds has to be really pissed about how this saga has played out for him. If Favre falters, the backups aren’t going to be met with much confidence or enthusiasm. I think Childress is nuts for going this route instead of pursuing Cutler, and it would be truly amazing to me if this soon to be 40 year old quarterback is the missing link. Like it or not, he’s taken another summer off, and I’m not sure Brett’s revenge is a strong enough elixer to guide this team through a 16 game season, to the playoffs and finally, to the Super Bowl.

    As for John’s analysis, I think he’s pretty close … but I’ll give Favre just 20 TD passes for the season, and 13 interceptions, plus I think there will be an early season struggle at Detroit, plus an upset that will get the fan base humming. The early part of the season will funnel down to Game #4 when Green Bay comes to town for that first visit, meaning Game #5 might be a let down – followed by games with Baltimore and Pittsburgh.

    I’m not going to be looking forward to seeing Favre run out of the visitor’s tunnel at Lambeau in Week #9, but I’m not going to lose any sleep over it either. Win, lose or draw, these guys all draw a big paycheck each week, while I fork out 54 bucks to sit on a metal bleacher attached to a concrete slab. Should be interesting though.

  10. warrior79 says:

    I agree with Mr. Cosell, I would rather see the Vikings go with Sage.

  11. JOOCE says:

    OK Stretch, I guess the Eagles planned for their QB position in 2009 by saying “maybe Eagles brass is going to fire Andy Reid, and if they do maybe McNabb decides he wants out of Philly, and when that happens, we will scoop him up and have our QB for 2009.”

    No, I did not ask anyone close to the Vikings. When you speak to them again, tell them what I think about their McNabb plan! :)

  12. Stretch says:

    JOOCE,

    Let it go. This is J.Hanson’s Blog. He did not disagree with the scoopage at all. We are not doing a Mock Draft where someone has to get the last word in.

    This is a informative site where we get scouting insight on all players. It sounds like you out of the loop on this type of information.

    Here is a piece of advice.

    1. You can start by getting in the loop by listening to “In the Loop” with Matt Camp & Joe Dolan.

    2. Don’t miss any podcast with J.Hanson, G.Cosell, & A.Caplan. You can’t afford to.

    3. Buy Fantasy_Guru Magazine it is in stores now.

  13. JOOCE says:

    thanks for the advice.

  14. John Hansen says:

    I don’t want to get in the middle of any arguments, Stretch, but your first point here:

    >I’m from Minnesota. The only reason why B.Childress is considerly Farve because >of D.McNabb. Childress thought McNabb would’ve fall in his lap thats why he did >not go after J.Cutler & M.Cassel which would have made alot of sense.

    Makes no sense at all. McNabb turned their season around and brought them to the brink of the super bowl, nothing changed that in the off-season, so there’s zero reason for Childress to believe the Eagles would have traded or released McNabb. McNabb had absolutely nothing to do with them not acquiring Cutler or Cassel, and he has nothing at all to do with Favre.

  15. larry gambino says:

    I have watched the packers my whole life. the two factors in the superbowl i believe are Reggie White & Desmond Howard !! Brett Farve changed the game but needed to be corraled by his coach. Which we seen with Mike Holgr. After him no one coach did that, hence no more super bowls….. Also what is it realy about mark my words we will find ouy one day… pride, being kids, it will be petty. The words i am sorry go a long way . I love what Brett Favre did for the Greenbay Packers, and football but he had the chance to be soooo much more…

  16. jbeau says:

    I share your sentiment for Shiancoe John. He had a decent season last year, but showed potential. Favre loves his TEs around the Endzone, and Shiancoe proved effective down there. I also love Berrian. Favre will be hitting him all day, especially of play action. I agree that he will be an upgrade over Sage.

  17. Stretch says:

    John,

    I don’t want to keep beating a dead horse here. But you can follow-up with Charch, B.Mitchell, and/or J.Tuvey. They will give you full details on the Farve, Childress, & McNabb senario.

  18. Brett says:

    John,

    Not sure how you don’t see at least ONE 300 yard game outta Favre this year. There will definitely be some tight games where he will be asked to win it and he’ll reach that 300 yard mark. C’mon, week 4 he’s going to be gunning for 500 yards in that game… let’s be real!

    Anyways, great stuff…

    B

  19. John Hansen says:

    Hard to predict a 300-yard game until we see *something* from these defenses in 2009.

  20. [...] free to peruse my original post on Favre in Minnesota, but here’s the cliffs notes [...]

Leave a Reply