We interrupt this vacation for a retirement

I’ve been on vacation officially for less than 24 hours, since technically we just moved into the house I rented for the week Monday afternoon. I unpacked, spent $3712.27 at the Piggly Wiggly on food for the week, and went into the (80 degree) water.

And, of course, I didn’t have my blackberry with me to find out that Raven WR Derrick Mason retired.

Not a big deal, since it’s mid-July and I was able to throw up a twat on twitter shortly after the news broke (that shows up on the site, btw). But I do feel the need to break away from my supposed down time to cover this.

This is obviously a huge blow to the Ravens and for QB Joe Flacco. I love Flacco more than most, but I still put him on the ‘avoid’ or ‘overvalued’ list because I smelled a comedown season due to the fact that the team simply didn’t get him any help at receiver, plus I was still concerned with Mason’s health.

Now, Flacco’s receiving corps is perilously thin.

Of course, if Mason does stay retired, and I’m inclined to believe he will, the Ravens will likely sign a veteran, and they do have options, such as Marvin Harrison, Matt Jones, Drew Bennett, Amani Toomer, etc. I think that’s what they do since again, I don’t see Mason pulling back from his retirement announcement. I’ve interviewed Mason on the radio and he takes his football very seriously. Always a consummate professional, I don’t think he’s the type of guy who’ll make such an important decision and change his mind. No matter what he says, I have to think the Steve McNair tragedy factored into this decision.

For now, let’s assume they Ravens don’t bring someone in. It’s obviously big news for WR Mark Clayton, who I’ve liked all off-season. He’s a very nice #2, but he’ll have to be their #1 most likely. I think he’s clicked very well with Flacco, something I spoke to the QB about on Sirius last December. The chemistry is there, so while Clayton’s not an elite guy, if the pass routes are clearly defined and somewhat simplistic as their run-heavy formations dictate coverages, Clayton should catch more passes, especially in a possession role. He’s now an excellent #3 fantasy receiver, which is good for me since I drafted him like 4 times already as my #4 in my expert leagues.

But the player who sees the biggest spike in value is clearly Demetrius Williams. Williams not only has the vertical ability they desperately need, he actually projects best as their #1 WR. He’s probably more talented than Clayton, although Clayton is very solid and is right now a better player. Williams has good size along with that deep speed, which is why he’s now a very legit sleeper. The team has been waiting for him to break out, and they’ve been very patient with him. He might have already by this point, but injuries have been a major, major problem. But if he’s healthy, he’s definitely a big-time sleeper this year, especially if they don’t bring in another receiver of note. If they don’t, a healthy Williams will start.

Next up, we have second-year receiver Marcus Smith, who really impressed in camp last year as a rookie. He didn’t catch a pass last year, but he definitely made an impression. Our own Adam Caplan was really impressed with him watching him in practice last summer, and he now has a great opportunity, especially if Williams continues to have injury problems. Like Anquan Boldin, he’s big, physical, is a great run- after-the-catch guy, and he runs good routes. He saw time as the #3 in camp last summer, so he’s been in this position before in training camp.

In addition to the impacts for these three WRs, there should still be some catches to account for, since a healthy Mason’s a lock for 80 catches. The TEs will have to step up, but the problem there is veterans Todd Heap and Little John Smith (funny, isn’t it?) will split production. I’m looking more for the RBs to see a boost in value, particularly Ray Rice, who should be their most active pass catcher. This move could mean 5-10 more catches for Rice, which could bump him a few spots (for now, even if give him 5 more catches and the yardage, he stays where he is).

Here’s how the other guys move on my board:

Clayton goes up to #30 WR from #36.
Williams soars up to #64 from 83.
Smith moves up to 101 from no man’s land.

By the way, I’m driving back to NJ on Monday; that’s about right for Brett Favre to sign. I’m thinking he’ll sign while I’m stuck in a parking lot (I-95) in Northern Virginia around mid-afternoon.

Category: Fantasy Football

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16 Responses

  1. MI-5 says:

    Did you really spend three thousand dollars on food for a week? I think Toomer, as you mentioned, is a good fix.

  2. indycolts#1 says:

    harrison i think would be the best fit of the guys you mentioned. any chance baltimore goes after disgrubtled brandon marshall in denver.

  3. good2bking says:

    Geez, cheer up, you’re on vacation. Turn off the Blackberry. You’ve got a good staff back at the office to handle this stuff, right? No one is going to unsubscribe if we don’t hear from you for a week in mid-July. (Easy to say coming from someone who doesn’t own their own business.)

    I like Toomer in this spot as well. Of course I have no idea what they’re looking like cap-wise and if they can affort a vet.

  4. Hail Skins says:

    Hahaha, “twat”.

  5. Jeff Woller says:

    “I was able to throw up a TWAT on Twitter” U said. Man what was that like? Whose was it?

  6. Larry Buzzard says:

    Have a great vacation, Guru. Rest up so you’ll develop those accurate good and bad vibes by draft time! Thanks also for these tropies on my wall from years past. Good luck in 2009 to all subscribers.

  7. If the Mason retirement is legit, and not just posturing to get an extension, the Ravens will definitely be HURTING for pass catchers. Especially if Heap gets injured again.

  8. Brad Freeman says:

    I think Clayton can handle the #1 role. He has some very good upside. Flacco will need to throw to someone and he does get the job done. I think he will relish the opportunity and shine.

  9. JK says:

    $3700+ for a week’s worth of food? I didn’t know Piggy Wiggly sold caviar and high price wine! Dude, can I come over for a snack? ;-)

    Enjoy your vacation. Turn off the twitter. We’ll still be here!

  10. John Hansen says:

    I was exaggerating, trying to be sarcastic and ironical. That usually works for me, not so much here. But the vacation’s going well!

  11. JK says:

    I hope you know I was being sarcastic and ironical when mentioning about dropping by for a snack. I’m not Bill Murray in “What about Bob?”

    Glad the vacation is going well!

  12. Jackson Carter says:

    3K for food? Telling us, the paupers (who support your enterprise) is not the most astute move!

  13. John Hansen says:

    Jackson, if it makes you feel better, I spent $215 on food and thought that was a lot, so I exaggerated and said $3712.27.

  14. Scott H says:

    We were at Holden (south of OBX) over the 4th….and it was fantastic. Rented a house on the beach…100 yrd walk and you are in the water. I know what you are saying about the food…1st trip is a killer and then it seemed like the Food Lion was taking a $100 off us every day. Water was like a bath as you said…it goes fast so enjoy it!

  15. John Rice says:

    This is the FCC hansen. You can’t say ‘throw up a twat.’ I’m not saying…I’m just saying.

  16. Simon says:

    These pictures are so buetaiful : )The black barber might have been surprised at the hair you brought to him. When I take Kaishon to black barbers they have no idea what to do because it is absolutely SO different than what is normal. I do think it is a shame when white people make their kids look so foreign from their own kind. Kaishon’s situation is a little different since he is 11 now and basically able to decide what kind of hair he wants. When he was little though, it was my job to make sure he looked ‘normal’ and that meant going to the city and finding a barber that could do a good job. You never want your kids to feel like they are sticking out and different.

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