While there are plenty of situations around the NFL that are crystal clear, I do feel there are also a lot of them this year that are fluid and won’t sort themselves out until we’re well into training camps and the exhibition season – so August could be a pretty chaotic month in the fantasy world.
There are always questions that need to be asked as we head into each preseason, but this year many of these key questions have significant fantasy implications.
I probably have about 40 questions that I’d like to see answered – and we’ll obviously be all over them this summer. But for the purposes of this post here’s the top-10 on my mind:
Will Robert Griffin III be back?
He said as the team wrapped up their off-season that he’s ahead of schedule with his recovery from ACL and LCL surgeries, and that he’s had no setbacks and is confident he’ll be ready to participate when training camp opens. He’s been through this process before, so he should know what it’s like. If he’s back to his old self, then the team will continue to use plenty of zone-read plays, which means his upside is still high. His completion [...]
It’s been a pretty wild offseason, and it got wilder late Sunday night, when the Steelers traded troubled wideout Santonio Holmes to the Jets for a 5th round pick.
Clearly, the Jets got Holmes at a major discount (the 155th pick of the draft) for a reason. Actually, it’s a few reasons. He has myriad of off-the-field issues the last five years, is in the final year of his contract and the Steelers don’t want to pay him, and he’s facing a 4-game suspension to start the 2010 season.
For the Steelers, they now have a need at WR. Third-year wideout Limas Sweed has been a major disappointment, and if he makes the team it’ll probably be only because Holmes was moved. He cannot be counted on, but this move will probably extend his stay and give him another chance to make an impact. Hines Ward’s 34 years old, so the Steelers don’t have much for the future. Look for them to draft a wideout in one of the first three rounds, perhaps in the 1st round. It will be interesting to see which WR they take. Dez Bryant with the 18th pick would be extremely tempting if he slides that far, [...]
For those in standard keeper leagues, especially ones that keep only 3-4 players, retaining a TE and using a valuable keeper spot on him usually isn’t a great idea unless you have one of the fantasy superstars at the position. However, with the production being spread thinly these days among RBs and WRs, keeping an elite TE you can count on may be more prudent than usual.
Although both are getting a little older these days, you still have to include Dallas Clark (IND, 31) and Antonio Gates (SD, 30) as the top options. Clark’s been in a major zone with his QB for years now, and there’s no end in sight to his production. Although the Colts have riches at the WR position now, Clark’s role is so cemented in the offense now, so he should still be golden at least two more years with Peyton Manning. As for Gates, I think he’s lost a little bit, but he did look good on film last year, and he should have 2-3 peak years left. With the team currently lacking a legit RB (they will certainly draft someone early), it’s looking like their offense will be keyed by Philip Rivers and [...]
It’s time to cover the TEs for those of you in keeper leagues. For many in these leagues, you’re not going to hold on to a TE, unless you have a high-end stud who is young, like Antonio Gates or Jason Witten – or unless you’re able to keep a high number of players.
Let’s assume for now you can keep only a small number of players, like 2-3. If so, keeping Gates or Witten is a tough call. You have to consider your scoring, first of all, for example I’d view Witten as a VERY desirable in a PPR league. He may catch 100 balls this year if healthy with Terrell Owens gone. Gates is still a beast in a great spot, but I’d value a young quality back or a stud wideout over him. He hasn’t exactly been a fantasy savior the last couple of years.
But those two are clearly the top guys for keeper leagues. Tony Gonzalez is still playing at a high level, so he should be considered a top starter at the position for at least 1-2 more years. I have to assume his new coach will utilize him well.
If you're looking for a TE [...]