Mar 2, 2010
We’re obviously still very early in the off-season process, but there’s going to be a lot for us to digest in the coming weeks and over the next two months. For now, I’m personally getting some behind-the-scenes stuff done, as well as taking on the depressing task of doing my taxes.
As for the rookies, the combine is just wrapping up and we’re in the process of gathering our information and intelligence on this year’s class. We’ll need a couple more weeks to scout the players out, and then we’ll break out our Pre-Draft Rookie Report.
Next week, however, things will start to heat up with free agency, and we’ll be covering that extensively. Once the first wave is done, we’ll reshape the dynasty and keeper league landscape for those in keeper leagues.
But I did want to chime in on one player who’s climbing the fantasy ladder, and he’s doing so in a major way: Jet RB Shonn Greene.
With the expected release of Thomas Jones, and with Leon Washington’s shaky status coming off his injury and also as a free agent, Greene’s going to be the guy – and as we know these days there’s a lot to be said for “volume” for a RB in terms of fantasy.
Greene isn’t a dynamic or overly creative runner, but he has very powerful legs, a good short area burst, and he’s athletic and fast enough to outrun some defenders. He’s very good at breaking tackles due to his balance and body control. He’s a sustaining, and that’s really intriguing because that’s exactly what the Jets want on offense, which is why they drafted him in the first place. It certainly helps that the Jets have arguably the best OL in the business (I’m still amazed that Damien Woody is a pretty damn good RT).
It’s all looking really good for Greene, so the question is: where does he stack up now at the position for fantasy?
The answer is pretty damn high.
However, I do have two concerns that, for now, will prompt me to be somewhat conservative with Greene. The first concern is whether or not he can do much in the passing game. His blocking is pretty good, but the guy caught 0 passes in 2009, and he had only 4 pass targets all year. He also caught only 11 balls in college, so he has little experience as a receiver. That’s a concern if Washington is back and healthy because Washington is a heck of a player. So while it’s clear Greene will get a ton of carries no matter what, Washington is a very good receiver and he commands the ball, too. Washington had 10 or more carries in 5 of his 6 full games in 2009, and it was clear head coach Rex Ryan was committed to getting him the ball. Remember, it was a broken leg (not a knee) for Washington, so if all goes well he should be 100% himself by season’s start.
The other concern is his knee, which Greene had trouble with in college. While he’s actually handled a light workload over his college career, which is obviously very good, those I’ve spoken to said he slipped a little in the draft because of a rumor (or it might be fact, I’m not sure) that he’s “bone-on-bone” with the knee, which is a concern. The Jets clearly feel okay about the situation, though, so I’m not overly apprehensive about the possible issue for the short term.
Green’s obviously going to be a high pick based on his new role and his playoff production, but I might not go quite as high as others are willing to go, which apparently is at high as a very early 1st round pick.
Curious to where I’d slot him off the top of my head, I took a look at al 32 teams and found a spot where I’m comfortable with him right now.
Here’s what I got.
1. Chris Johnson
2. Adrian Peterson
3. Maurice Jones-Drew
4. Steven Jackson
5. Ray Rice
6. DeAngelo Williams – He’s splitting time, but the guy’s so damn good and dynamic. He looked great in 2009, and the team was a mess.
7. Michael Turner – More wear and tear but more experience than Greene, so he’s probably a safer choice.
8. Shonn Greene
9. Matt Forte – I could rank him over Greene if the OL is upgraded simply because Forte could easily hit 1700-1800 total yards given his receiving. If Forte’s healthy, he’s going to be a yardage machine under Mike Martz. In PPR, he’s over Greene.
10. Frank Gore
11. Rashard Mendenhall – He’s more talented than Greene, but I’d probably trust Greene and their identity on offense over RM.
12. Jamaal Charles – Could have more upside; we’ll see what FA and the draft has in store for this backfield.
13. Cedric Benson – One word: volume.
14. Chris Wells – Big upside but far from a sure thing.
15. Ryan Grant – Nothing special, but he’s the guy and a great offense.
16. Jonathan Stewart – The guy’s just so damn good.
17. LeSean McCoy – We’ll see who else they bring in.
18. Knowshon Moreno – If he improves as a player, he should be fine. Probably not great, but pretty solid.
19. Ronnie Brown – Gotta see about the health.
20. Joseph Addai/Marion Barber
And here’s the good news for 2010: As this appealing top-20 shows, this year’s going to pretty solid for the RB position. It’s a cyclical league, and while the RBBCs are bad, I think this coming year’s going to be much better than 2009. Guys like Fred Jackson, Felix Jones, Kevin Smith, Jerome Harrison, Laurence Maroney, Pierre Thomas, Ahmad Bradshaw, Chester Taylor, and Justin Forsett could all be good options, yet they don’t even crack the top-30