A sneak peak at Good Vibes/Bad Vibes

I am starting to work on the annual good vibes/bad vibes article, and as I do 127 other things throughout the day, I expect to be done some time Wednesday to post on the site. It’s a little earlier than I usually post this, but I know some people are drafting earlier this year for some reason. Here’s quick look around the league.

Arizona Cardinals – Not good at all. Larry Fitzgerald is hurting, Matt Leinart stinks, and Beanie Wells for whatever reason was playing in the 4th quarter this past weekend. Wells looked okay, and I do still love his talent, but he also got dinged up this summer.

Atlanta Falcons – It’s all good here.

Baltimore Ravens – Love it.

Buffalo Bills – Good lord, it’s already horrendous. Beware.

Carolina Panthers – Little too early to tell here. But I think they are holding steady.

Chicago Bears – So far so good for the most part. It’s a little early here, but I loved those two plays my guy Johnny Knox made.

Cincinnati Bengals – I feel better after last weekend. I think this offense will be good, but it won’t be particularly explosive or deadly.

Cleveland Browns – Not bad at all. The vibes could be a lot worse. Now let’s see some Montario Hardesty. Unfortunately, he won’t likely play this week.

Dallas Cowboys – Could be better, but it could be worse. They’re okay.

Denver Broncos – Wow, it’s pretty bad. At least is should be clear already that Eddie Royal will play a key role. He was overwhelmed with the offense last year but should be better off, and of course they lost their #1 WR.

Detroit Lions – I’m definitely liking this here. I even thought their OL looks good this past weekend.

Green Bay Packers – As for the passing game, the vibes are fantastic.

Houston Texans – Vibes are good for the passing game after a nice Schaub-to-Johnson connection. I’ve struggled with the running game for weeks and one of the main reason we had Steve Slaton ranked highest was because we felt we knew he’d have a pretty large role and we weren’t yet sure about Arian Foster and Ben Tate. But now that Tate is done and Slaton fumbled and looked sluggish running it, I’m getting bad vibes on Slaton. There are some in Houston (fans, mostly), who think he might have aggravated his neck injury just before that big fumble. Regardless, the vibes are great with Foster and shaky with Slaton. I always knew Foster had very good potential here, but I am now ready to officially endorse him as a nice pick.

Indianapolis Colts – No problems here.

Jacksonville Jaguars – It’s too early to tell, but the vibes overall are still shaky to me.

Kansas City Chiefs – Mixed bag, as Jamaal Charles looked great and Matt Cassel looked terrible. At least they went to the shotgun a lot in the game, which is a good sign. Dexter McCluster also looked good. Things could get better in a hurry if Cassel actually plays well.

Miami Dolphins – It’s early, but they got off to a rough start. I’m reserving judgment here.

Minnesota Vikings – They’re terrible right now, but other than Sidney Rice, they could get better in a hurry if the other injured guys all return (they should) and Brett Favre returns. I spoke with a guy who covers the Vikings yesterday and he was pretty damn confident that Favre was returning.

New England Patriots – Very solid so far.

New Orleans Saints – Little shaky, and I think they might have some OL issues. But Robert Meachem is back and Lance Moore looks great, so they will be fine.

New York Giants – Pretty solid, other than the WR injuries they’ve had, which aren’t too serious. But Brandon Jacobs looks like the same guy from last year, and that’s not good. Ahmad Bradshaw, however, looks great. I thought both Danny Ware and Andre Brown looked good last night, so they have depth. It’s been a good month for the University of Massachusetts. First, I send them a large check for my son’s college tuition, and then undrafted free agent wideout Victor Cruz goes for 145 and scores 3 TDs. That dude’s going to make the team.

New York Jets – Pretty damn good. I thought LT looked good last night, little quicker than last year, that’s for sure. He could wear down and slow down due to injury, but he looks like he has some gas left. Shonn Greene ran hard. Mark Sanchez played well (and a lot).

Oakland Raiders – “Not so good, Al. Yep, yep, yep yep.” The Al is Al Davis, and if you get the reference here, you’re cool. If not, move on. Point is, the vibes were shaky in the opener, and I’m not hearing encouraging things out of Raider camp other than the sparkling play of my guy Zach Miller.

Philadelphia Eagles – Pretty good. Not perfect, but pretty good. I’ll take that for now.

Pittsburgh Steelers – Oh, man. I am struggling with Rashard Mendenhall. How a professional RB can have ball security issues and come off an entire offseason only to showcase the EXACT same problems holding the ball is beyond me. I need the vibes to get good here in a hurry – like this week. If they don’t, we’re moving his ass down.

San Diego Chargers – Considering two key players are holding out, the vibes are pretty damn good here.

Seattle Seahawks – Too early to tell here, but things could be worse.

San Francisco 49ers – It’s going to be all about the running game, and I LOVED what I saw from rookie Anthony Dixon. If Frank Gore goes down early, Dixon could be the fantasy sleeper of the year at RB, and I know they signed Brian Westbrook. Dixon looked great.

St. Louis Rams – Little too early to tell here, but it’s going to be a struggle again.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Not bad. I really like Mike Williams as a fantasy sleeper. On the downside, there are rumblings the team may cut Derrick Ward, so I’m off him as a viable guy in the 14th round (that was more than half his appeal in my eyes). We’ll see if Kareem Huggins is a factor, but I thought Cadillac Williams looked exactly like he did last year, when he ran really hard. Caddy’s not a bad option later for depth, especially if Ward’s still going to be a dog or out of the mix.

Tennessee Titans – Too early here, but their first drive was impressive with Vince Young at the helm.

Washington Redskins – I feel pretty good here and think 1-2 veteran players will have some surprising value. Probably Clinton Portis, but Larry Johnson is a factor here. It could be Santana Moss, who I’m told is running well and is being sent deep a lot in practice. That is my theory, that they use Moss as their deep threat 1-2 times a game, and Donovan McNabb does throw a good deep ball.

Category: Fantasy Football

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18 Responses

  1. The Firm says:

    Haha! I was waiting for a UMass shout out. Victor “Carnival” Cruz was absolute money. Agree w/ the Mendenhall sentiments. Have to be honest, never convinced the kid could sustain any type of fantasy value. Reminds me of Maroney in a lot of ways, and that’s not good. While Maroney could be a value, it took him far too long to break out of bad habits. Fear the same is true of Mendenhall.

  2. Kevin says:

    Great Article! Tons of good information.

  3. eric says:

    I agree with “The Firm” in the Mendenhall-Maroney comparison. The main difference though is the lack of commitment to the run by Belechick made Maroney “fade away” sooner than Mendenhall may in Pittsburgh, who is more committed to the run. The work habit analogy and lack of improvement are eerily similar. Mendenhall will have many more attempts to try to “work it out” than Maroney did and that may save some of his value.
    John: LOVE the blast from the past with Al! I believe most of the time he uttered the phrase was in response to the memories of “Rosa Coletti”(?spelling)!!

  4. Ross Grisham says:

    I pick 8/12. Need the dirty low down on Steven Jackson. Back surgery v. one-man show???? Thinking of skipping both him and Mendenhall and taking Moss or A. Rodgers…

  5. John Hansen says:

    I don’t completely agree with the Mendenhall/Maroney comparison, although both certainly leave you wanting more. One of the main reasons I’ve been feeling the need to rank Mendenhall high(other than his large role) is the fact that last year I watched him very closely on almost every carry and he did “bring it” consistently, and he did “hit it up there” a lot. Maroney’s main issue is his propensity to bounce too many runs outside. Both have ball security issues.

    But the fact that I had to watch Mendenhall so closely is the problem: we shouldn’t have to closely inspect his every touch to ensure he’s doing all he can to succeed.

  6. Law Firm says:

    Eric,

    Have to to disagree slightly. Belichick isn’t afraid to commit to the run, he just doesn’t want to give away points by putting the ball on the ground. Maroney’s fumbling kept him on the bench. Other RBs were brought in but couldn’t stay healthy. If Ryan Mathews fell to them in the draft, Pats would have had their RB of the future, they just refused to divert from their draft/currency chart. In the end, SD had a more pressing need and was willing to do so. As for PITT, Mendenhall will get reps because they have little or no choice. Dixon is a mobile QB, and Leftwich has poor touch. PITT will run a ton the 1st 4 games until Ben comes back.

  7. Law Firm says:

    John,

    We’ll agree to disagree then. I think both Maroney/Mendenhall play inside their head too much and don’t trust their instincts. Both can be punishing runners if they commit to the hole. Both have been benched for fumbling/assignment issues. Mendenhall has more time to correct those deficiencies, but I don’t think he’s worth the risk.

  8. eric says:

    I agree, I will be avoiding Mendenhall for the same reasons. He is a “harder” runner and does “hit it up in there” more than Maroney (a dancer) ever did as John has mentioned.

  9. irishcowboy55 says:

    as for mendy, love the situation he was in until all hell broke lose. first getting rid of there wr then there QB trouble. with there inj on both def and of line, i started to get that bad feeling. i had enough starting rb so when the offer came that was too good to pass up i went for it and traded him for Maclin and B Marshall for Mendy and holmes. upgraded my WR core

  10. PackFan says:

    I don’t think I can draft Mendenhall unless he’s available deep into the draft. The team isn’t exactly in disarray, but there are too many concerns at quarterback, wide receiver and offensive line for my taste. This isn’t going to be a ‘normal’ Pittsburgh season.

  11. Brian says:

    I think Mendenhall may end up like Jackson or Forte last year, tons of touches but nothing spectacular. I’m not comfortable with him as my #1.

  12. JBeau says:

    The Vibes article is one of my favorites, and for the most part we seem to get the same vibes on teams. I have been down on Mendy all off season, and that wont change…especially if Tomlin makes one of his worst coaching decisions and starts Lefty

  13. JBeau says:

    The Wells situation concerns me some. Is he in the dog house? What is going on there?

  14. MDS says:

    good stuff John. you’re one of my fav when it comes to football

  15. John Hansen says:

    Of course we do JB, great minds think alike.

  16. John Hansen says:

    Also, don’t think wells is in the dog house at all, but it was odd.

  17. Stretch says:

    John,

    Awesome info as expected. And I know this is not the finished product. But I just have one suggestion. Can you separate the teams that have Good Vibes and Bad Vibes similiar to your 2010’s Overvalued/Players to Avoid article.

    Opposed to listing the teams by alphabetical order.

  18. Darryl says:

    Guru, why is Palmer getting no love this year? Look at his weapons: Ocho, Owens and Shipley in the slot. Like Welker for the Pats, won’t Shipley open up the outside for Ocho and Owens and get this offense humming with Palmer benefitting?

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