Beware of the year of the Buzz Kill

I’m trying to stay positive, and I certainly feel good about the site and the content we’re putting out there, but I just have a feeling that 2009 is going to be the year of the Buzz Kill, and we’ve seen seasons like this before.

And what do I mean when I say Buzz Kill?

Well, last year was quite the opposite of a buzz kill year. There were so many intriguing players in good situations – and many of them came through. This year, I don’t see nearly as many, as I’ve stated ad nauseam.

Here’s a good example: I’ve pegged Pierre Thomas as a HUGE key to my 2009 draft plan. That’s great, right? Well the Saints may still sign Edgerrin James. If they do, that’s a MAJOR buzz kill. A massive Buzz Kill. I love Chris Johnson, but I’m now thinking LenDale White will command more carries this year, so that’s something of a buzz kill. I do still think Johnson is very much worthy of a #1 pick because he’s special. I actually kind of like Jason Campbell as a little sleeper this year, but his OL is a major problem – a buzz kill. I love Michael Bush as a sleeper, but Justin Fargas is something of a buzz kill for him. A few weeks ago I liked Torry Holt as the #1 and go-to guy for the Jags, even though I know his best days are behind him. He’s looking sluggish in camp, and I’m pulling back from him despite what is a great situation for fantasy (at least in terms of the number of pass targets and catches). Buzz kill.

That’s basically what I’m taking about, stuff like that. Sometimes, fantasy players need planetary alignment, and asking for it is asking a lot.

In this type of environment, I fully expect fantasy players to be utilizing rent-a-players a lot, so look for that to be prevalent this year. There will be many guys who will be very helpful for fantasy, but not over the courser of a full season, so watch out for that.

The other thing we can do is hop on board the situations that are not in the buzz kill realm. Here are some of them.

The Chargers – I’m seriously thinking Phil Rivers needs to be #4 at QB. I’m about ready to do it – love this team and offense.

The Patriots – Easy call here. Don’t be afraid to draft from this team; they’re going to be great.

The Eagles – A couple of minor injuries in camp, but no real buzz kills. Overall, quite the opposite.

The Bears – So far, so good. I like it. Cutler and Hester going off together in practice, Olsen, even Kevin Jones looking good. There will be an adjustment to Cutler and for Cutler, but I like it.

The Steelers – Getting a good feeling here. Lots of talent on this roster on offense. Willie Parker a value, Holmes a value, and Big Ben will have something to rally around now. I don’t trust him too much, but I like this team again in 2009.

The Saints – Also like this situation overall. Can you imagine if Robert Meachem and Jeremy Shockey really come through this year? Holy chow-dah.

The Titans – Lots of potential here, actually. Think about it: good OL, the QB is solid, and they added speed in Nate Washington, a playmaker in TE Jared Cook, a nice potential #1 down the road in Kenny Brit, and LenDale White is slim and trim. And Johnson is special. There is potential here for sure. Granted, I still don’t love any one receiver, but still.

The Seahawks – I kind of like it, believe it or not. I did not this time last year.

There are some teams on the cusp of being listed, and some teams that are on the other end of the spectrum, and I’ll touch on them in my next post.

Category: Fantasy Football

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34 Responses

  1. grampa says:

    Just found the blog. Looks great. Keep it up!

    I’m with you 100% on this theory. Last year we were spoiled with all the great rookie running backs, or previous #2 RBs who had their first shot at carrying the load (M. Turner, D. Williams). I also agree think the best way to fight the buzzkill this year is to draft from teams that will be good. Stay away from good players on bad teams, because it will eventually catch up with them (except defensive players).

  2. jay says:

    I’m surprised that you don’t have the Houston Texans on the list above. That offense looks like its going to go off this year.

  3. Mathprof says:

    I wonder whether Rivers can put up big numbers with LT healthy and a
    tougher schedule; “the ancient one” and Rogers may outperform.

  4. Mathprof says:

    One more comment – surely Payton is too smart to deny Pierre Thomas
    the field by hiring an admirable but over-the-hill runner.

  5. rollback says:

    I like rivers and the high octane Chargers offense, but i think Rodgers will out perform him.Rodgers will throw more,and run more, and with his team’s transition on defense, he will probably play catchup more often.

  6. Jimmerz says:

    I wouldn’t be too worried about Edgerrin James with Pierre Thomas. James is finished. In fact, I would love it if the Saints signed Edge just to bring Thomas’ value down.

  7. Wax Man says:

    John – I want to hear more about K. Warner. You have him ranked #5, but on the Sirius show last night you sounded very wary. I play in a keeper auction league and can have him for $4 ($200 league) or I can go with Schaub at $3. Maybe, I should count on Warner to be my #2 and go after Cutler, Palmer or Romo for about $20. Is Schaub a better risk? Warner has more upside with Fitz and Bolding on the recieving end of his passes.

    What is your take and why is he still ranked so high if there is such an injury concern?

  8. Idiot Savant says:

    I’m on Rogers over Rivers… MUCH, MUCH Easier schedule…his defense will not be as good as San Diego, so they will need to throw later in games probably…and as much as I like the Chargers Chambers, V Jax, Gates and LT/Sproles as targets… GB has weapons to be admired as well in Jennings, Driver, Jordy Nelson…
    I do have Rivers ahead of Warner on durability..but he’s my 6. Like McNabb AND Romo ahead of Cutler..but think Cut-Daddy will be solid. I have a sneaky suspicion K Jones will be a cagey pickup for someone…but unless I have Forte, I’ll probably be lookin’ elsewhere.

    BTW…what do you take from Horn’s recent Breakout rate article that he updated this year? Do you use such information?

  9. Idiot Savant says:

    I’m on Rogers over Rivers… MUCH, MUCH Easier schedule…his defense will not be as good as San Diego, so they will need to throw later in games probably…and as much as I like the Chargers Chambers, V Jax, Gates and LT/Sproles as targets… GB has weapons to be admired as well in Jennings, Driver, Jordy Nelson…
    I do have Rivers ahead of Warner on durability..but he’s my 6. Like McNabb AND Romo ahead of Cutler..but think Cut-Daddy will be solid. I have a sneaky suspicion K Jones will be a cagey pickup for someone…but unless I have Forte, I’ll probably be lookin’ elsewhere.

    BTW…folks…Edge might have some gas left…if he had an oline that could open a hole for him…he didn’t see much daylight to run throuhg when he started last season.

    BTW…what do you take from Horn’s recent Breakout rate article that he updated this year? Do you use such information?

  10. Idiot Savant says:

    What does Cossell say re: Edge abilities?

  11. Rudy says:

    Ditto Jay. I’m liking Houston’s Qb,Rb,Wr’s&TE. Their return specialists gives their Special Teams some juice. John, re Eagles: If Maclin does not beat out Curtis for #2WR, do you see him as really boosting their D\ST w\ kick returns?

  12. PackFan says:

    After the insanity of having 5 offensive coordinators in five seasons, Jason Campbell actually gets to run the same Redskin offense for two seasons in a row. Imagine that!

  13. Woo says:

    Drafting J. Campbell = not making your fantasy playoffs. He has no upside to get excited about.

  14. Jackson Carter says:

    Jeff Fisher is not likely to tolerate Johnson’s self-aggrandizement; and that, coupled with White’s improved physical condition, does not bode well for Johnson in 2009.

    Jackson
    Allardt, TN

  15. Wax Man says:

    Jackson – Are you saying that C. Johnson will be a bust and isn’t worthy of a first round selection?

  16. HooknLadder says:

    i’m starting to feel pretty good about the Bengals offense

  17. vixen says:

    it seems as though crabtree may be added to that list for the teams that had early drafts.

  18. Wax Man says:

    Very nice. Just watched L. White finish off the TD drive. With L. White and C. Johnson sharing the backfield, should I expect an up and down season this year? White seems to have shed the 25 lbs but has not lost any of his goal line power.

    In a $200 salary cap league, I have to decide between C. Johnson @ $14 or AP @ $41.

  19. John Hansen says:

    I think Johnson will be fine. White could be more valuable than last year and Johnson may dip a little, but I would not over-think the situation. The guy’s special and he commands the ball. He hasn’t been a problem off the field or in the locker room, so the notion that Fisher won’t play the guy or “put up with him” is unrealistic.

    I’m only concerned with Warner as he relates to Rodgers and Rivers, that’s all. He’s going to out-produce them most likely if healthy, but it is a little concerning to me to have him higher than Rodgers and Rivers, given his age. I guess the closer we get to the season the more I’m thinking about it.

    I think Edge has some gas left. He’s nothing special of course, but he looked damn good to me in the playoffs. He’s still a professional runner who can get you 4 yards when you need 3.

  20. Wax Man says:

    John – Thank you for repsonding to my specific questions. Keeper selections are due soon, so you can understand the anxiety. I was at the Nationals game on Friday night and was bummed out about missing your show. I was pleasantly surprised to find out the show was delayed, as I traveled back to Richmond around 11 pm. Keep up the good work! BTW, I would not have had Chris Johnson or AP as keeper choices if I had not been a avid listener of your show.

  21. John Hansen says:

    Ah, we were actually on live from 10-1am last Friday night, one time thing only.

  22. Rob says:

    I agree with you on Rivers. Rivers has plenty of weapons and a healthy Gates will only make him more dangerous. Do you believe Meachem will be a sleeper this year? Feeling on Addai? One day I feel he will be solid the next day I feel I should trade him in my keeper league. I have a feeling Addai might be my fantasy buzz kill in 2009.

  23. Opper44 says:

    john, is there going to be a podcast for last friday’s show? three hours of fantasy talk would make the commute to work a lot less unpleasant.

    but seriously, dude. you need to tell caplan to dial it down a bit and let you get in a word edgewise. your listeners/subscribers aren’t tuning in to hear him talk 75% of the time. the guy obv knows his stuff, but jesus, he can be an insufferable frack at times (and not an entertaining one). less is def more with him.

    having listened to most of the podcasts, I can tell you that the show is at its best when it’s you taking calls solo (you’re actually a bit of a natural) with cosell providing occasional analysis.

    so yeah, either do the show solo or find a muzzle for caplan. more of you, less of him.

  24. Deputy says:

    John,

    One of the many things that I do follow on this site are your good vibes/bad vibes articles both before and during the season.

    In light of your vibes on this buzz kill (and you seemed to be moving in this direction somewhat in your recent articles) do you think fantasy owners would be best advised to play their drafts/auction conservatively? For example, last year I made it a point to get Chris Johnson and Calvin Johnson because everything was saying YES about them all pre-season long, and they both definitely panned out.

    Do you think a conservative drafting/auctioning approach is the best method to follow for this upcoming year?

  25. Whacko says:

    This year is feeling like an oddball year for fantasy, We shall see but I for one am not going to be drinking any kool-aid on the bandwagon this year.

  26. Wax Man says:

    I’m feeling a down year too. I play in an auction keeper league and my keeper selections will be based on value + risk. There are fewer and fewer RB’s that command most of the carries than any other year that I can remember. I can see a frustrating season if I have too many backs that are in a time share.

  27. GQ1NYC says:

    John, you’ve summed up what I’ve felt so far this offseason. I haven’t been wowed by anyone in drafts. You mock at any spot and don’t feel 100% about the team you have like you did in passed years. It will be a waiver wire hunt every week. I like Rivers but is SOS against the pass suggest he will have some low scoring games.

  28. John Hansen says:

    Guys, I’m too swamped to answer all these questions, but I invite you to go to a chat and/or all into the radio show (Thursday 7-8pm). I do those 2 things specifically for those who are interested in asking me a question. As for the radio show, it’s not like the phones are jammed up, so you can get through pretty easily.

  29. [...] John Hansen suspects that this could be the year of the fantasy football buzz kill. That is to say, many of his preferred sleepers and breakout talents find themselves in potentially tricky situations, behind bad lines or competing for touches. John himself always gets a full workload. He’s a lock for 330 carries, 10 scores. Gets a bump in PPR, too. [Fantasy Guru] [...]

  30. [...] John Hansen suspects that this could be the year of the fantasy football buzz kill. That is to say, many of his preferred sleepers and breakout talents find themselves in potentially tricky situations, behind bad lines or competing for touches. John himself always gets a full workload. He’s a lock for 330 carries, 10 scores. Gets a bump in PPR, too. [Fantasy Guru] [...]

  31. [...] John Hansen suspects that this could be the year of the fantasy football buzz kill. That is to say, many of his preferred sleepers and breakout talents find themselves in potentially tricky situations, behind bad lines or competing for touches. John himself always gets a full workload. He’s a lock for 330 carries, 10 scores. Gets a bump in PPR, too. [Fantasy Guru] [...]

  32. Dear John, No buzz kill here! My team from this weekends draft looks like a copy of your draft strategy this year. Standard scoring, non PPR. Held off on QB, ended up with Cutler and Hasselbeck. #2 pick landed Turner, Portis, Pierre Thomas, and K. Moreno at RB. Serious hogging of elite QB’s and WR’s early in draft afforded me A. Johnson, Welker, Hester, Mason and C. Henry as WR’s. Feeling like the WR pool was being emptied early, I chose to counter with Witten at the end of round 4, getting Carlson later on. Finished with PK M. Crosby , NYJ D. I LOVE this team and believe that it will be more than comptitive this season. Thanks for all of your hard work and advice.

  33. Jesse says:

    I bookmarked this link knowing you’d be right! Good article, and good calls.

  34. Raul Uresti says:

    I enjoy your writing style truly enjoying this website .

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