Oct. 15, 2011
Shall we talk about Tim Tebow for a bit?
What a great play for Denver. They are in a win-win situation for the remainder of 2011. Denver faithful continue to scream for the high-character Tebow at every turn and Kyle Orton’s days are, again, numbered. How can Denver possibly lose in this situation? The sun is setting on the Broncos for the 2011 campaign and it’s time to give fans what they have been asking for. The charismatic Tebow will likely start all remaining games and will be judged accordingly. Should Tebow not turn the proverbial ship around, fans have received what they have asked for and the Broncos are sitting with a high draft choice in a draft that does contain noteworthy signal callers. Perhaps they could even win the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. Should Tebow perform admirably and steer the team to a .500 record, Denver will still likely use a high selection on a quarterback and the competition is on. Should Tebow perform the remarkable feat of steering the Broncos to a greater than .500 record or even the playoffs, it’s yet another win for the club. For the Johns, Fox and Elway, it’s a can’t-lose situation and one that has complete fan support.
Tebow is nearly impossible not to root for, at least in my opinion. I am not awed by anything about Tebow other than his ample leadership ability. He’s a great kid with a great head on his shoulders and is more grounded than most twice his age. Does he possess a rocket arm, flawless footwork or a prototypical release – far from. But Tebow possesses the one thing that cannot be taught, that sheer confidence and dynamic that is displayed in his nearly every movement and spoken word. What we are about to embark upon is a study as to whether a successful quarterback is more defined by an exceptional skill-set, or perhaps more so by psychological make-up. Recall that NFL experts far and wide haven’t agreed as to whether Tebow can be a successful quarterback at the NFL level, suggesting everything for an early-career washout to an H-Back to an unquestionable star at the position. If the experts can’t agree, you and I certainly can do little more than guess ourselves with any modicum of confidence.
To me, Tebow will be a much better fantasy quarterback than an NFL quarterback. Much like Michael Vick in his early years, Tebow’s long row to hoe will be in the deprogramming of his run-first style. Already you are seeing indecision in this area and his instinctual desire to break from the pocket, usually chewing up chunks of yardage in the process. As Tebow becomes more aware of the pocket around him, he’ll no doubt find a level of comfort that will allow him to maximize his potential. This does not guarantee success but will be the first step toward his ultimate maturation. Breaking from the pocket at key times will maximize his balance between the two styles.
Regardless of what Tebow becomes, I will stand by my belief that he represents a form that is very easy to root for. There’s just something about rooting for the underdog, especially when they come in a humble, well grounded, package. Go get’em Tim, we’re pulling for you.
In the meantime, downgrade the entire Denver offense, especially the receivers.
Don’t be caught too far away from your PC this next week. With the approaching deadline on the horizon, there may be an opportunity for a few deep roster moves.
Lee Evans is out this week leaving rookie Torrey Smith with another opportunity. He’s likely no better than a low WR3 against the Texans and more likely only an emergency fill-in.
Rookie Daniel Thomas is now questionable for the Dolphin’s Monday night tilt vs. the Jets. Lex Hilliard was seen getting significant reps in practice and could be in line for more work. I wouldn’t risk Thomas in your lineup unless you have Bush backing him up. And even then, do you really want to head into Monday night needing points with only Bush to get them for you? Exactly! Start someone else and play it safe.
Kudos to Shonn Greene who averaged more than 4.0 ypc. vs. New England while also adding a touchdown. Truth be told, I’m not overly impressed as it came against a very suspect Patriot defense, but Greene needed that type of game in a big way. Next up are the winless Dolphins on Monday night. Greene likely makes for a lower RB2 on Monday night vs. a middle tiered Dolphin defense.
One of my partners in crime here at DLF, Ken Kelly, says that James Starks is rather ordinary as far as running backs go. I disagree. I love the way Starks runs in most situations. He gets his shoulders square in a hurry but also has that slash that I love to see on stretch plays and finishes most runs with good pad level for a back of his size. What I do find ordinary or perhaps better put, more concerning, is Green Bay’s use of Starks. More and more, Green Bay reminds me of the Colts of three or more years ago. In a system such as that, running backs just don’t become fantasy producers with any level of consistency. Whether in New Orleans, New York, Indianapolis or Carolina, backs in consistent rotations are constantly inconsistent. In Starks’ case, what I find amazing is that they have yet to utilized perhaps his strongest attribute, his receiving skills out of the backfield. In week four, Starks did pull down 5 receptions for 38 yards but now only has 13 on the year. Someone is going to have a good game on the ground vs. St. Louis in week six. Who is the bigger question.
Good luck to everyone this week!
Oct. 14, 2011
Looks like Brandon Lloyd is on the block and will be moved ahead of the approaching trade deadline. No real surprise here other than Eric Decker has really stepped up in 2011 and has obviously solidified a starting role. Lloyd was a frequent visitor to DLF’s most overrated and most over-drafted articles during the off-season and currently sits at approximately #43 of wide receivers. Decker currently sits in the neighborhood of #15 depending on your format.
Still no further clarification on who will start for the Colts this Sunday with Addai likely out. No reason to doubt that Delone Carter will draw the start as the backup to Addai but carries still look to be split. Truth be told, I’m looking for Brown’s speed and dynamic to be used a bit more than Carter’s pile moving abilities. Inside the 10 yard line though, expect Carter to get the touches.
LeGarrette Blount will miss multiple weeks with an MCL injury, his somewhat disappointing season continues. His backups of Earnest Graham and Kregg Lumpkin don’t inspire but can be added and played in an emergency, especially Graham.
Julio Jones’ hamstring is probably going to cost him at least a couple of weeks. Atlanta has a bye coming up so don’t expect to see Jones back in the lineup until possibly week nine.
Greg Jennings tweaked his groin recently but should be a go this week. That said, Rodgers and the Pack play at home vs. St. Louis this week and I would suspect that this game will be quickly out of reach. I expect fewer snaps for Jennings if that is the case as the coaching staff will want to not over-work his groin. This is a great week to start Starks but I’ve said that before. Do so at your own risk as it’s anyone’s guess as to which back gets the most carries as well as if Rodgers will even rely on the run with a good lead.
Oct. 13, 2011
Sorry for the late entry.
Things are getting more interesting by the week!
The punch line of this week’s joke is – “The Eagles!”. Not sure what the actual joke itself is but you can’t say “The Eagles!” and not have it be at least a little funny, even on it’s own. Sorry Iggles fans, I know that deep inside, you are shaking your head and laughing at least a little bit. That team needs an identity in a big way and big win in an even bigger way. Going to give you a bit of love here and tell you that my lock of the week is the Eagles winning on the road in Washington in a big intra-divisional game.
Bye weeks are in full force now and week six is a bad one many top players on the shelf. Hopefully, some of the insights within this blog will help you sniff out a possible emergency fill-in. I know that in one of my main leagues, between injuries and bye weeks, I’m looking at names such as Kevin Walter and Devin Aromashodu as two possible replacements. Yes, it IS that bad.
In Houston, Andre Johnson seems to be recovering well and could be an outside bet to be back in the lineup in week 7. Until then, Coach Kubiak is expressing the need for one Jacoby Jones to step up. I wouldn’t hold my breath. On the other side of the feeling however, Kevin Walter makes for a possible one week play as, potentially, the WR1 against a tough Baltimore defense. You could do worse.
With Percy Harvin struggling in 2011 and yet to find any consistency, Minnesota is in a bad way while looking for someone, anyone, not named Adrian Peterson, to step up. Against Chicago in the Sunday night game, expect the Bear’s defense to stack the box against Peterson and take their chances with the trio of Percy Harvin, Devin Aromashodu and Michael Jenkins. But in Aromashodu’s case, he’s got the speed to get behind single coverage and the motivation in going up against his old team and Mike Martz. Look for a lot of McNabb play-action to pull up the safety and slip Aromashodu in deep. It only takes a couple of balls for Aromashodu to put up 10+ for you. You can’t expect a big game, nor would it be a surprise if he puts up two-for-twenty.
There’s been a Marshawn Lynch sighting. That’s the best I’ve seen Lynch run in some time. It finally seems as though Seattle has realized that to gain any traction in the run game, they were going to have to get Lynch outside. We’ve been saying all along that Lynch’s struggles are more about Seattle’s O-line than his ability. Still, you may consider trading high to a team in need while Lynch has back to back weeks with a touchdown.
Double check to make sure that Seahawk receiver Doug Baldwin isn’t still floating around in your free agent pool.
If you missed it, Cam Newton is likely the second or third best quarterback in fantasy, depending on your scoring format. Crazy!
Staying on the topic of quarterbacks just for a bit, just try to pick the week that Matt Ryan is actually going to produce. He’s as exciting as they come for a young QB with potential significant dynasty value, but unless some scoring consistency is found soon, he’s going to start losing significant value. It’s very difficult to make a championship run in fantasy without a top ten quarterback. If you’re depending on the likes of Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Colt McCoy, Josh Freeman or even Matt Schaub and Ben Roethlisberger (until this last week), you’re likely feeling some pressure. I’m particularly worried about the regression of both Josh Freeman and his WR1, Mike Williams. Both are very talented and should turn it around, so don’t bail out too soon.
No Julio Jones this week makes Harry Douglas an sneaky start. Nothing more than an emergency though.
Joseph Addai is out this week, or looks to be. That means that Delone Carter should get an increase in touches. Donald Brown looked more dynamic in week five and you can expect a relatively even split. Neither are likely playable. In a pinch, roll with Carter as he’s likely to see any goal line touches.
Is DeAngelo Williams back from limbo after two decent weeks? You’ll have to play him to find out. I don’t trust him yet but will be starting him in one league.
Holy Jahvid Best! He’s still doing his best Reggie Bush impression. He’s best as your last flex player due to his ability to break out any given week. It’s the best you can hope for. Marshawn Lynch has “Beast” mode, we’ll call Jahvid’s performance this past week “Best” mode. Or maybe we won’t.
James Jones is finally on the radar again in Green Bay. You never know who will be the big scorer week in, week out, in Green Bay but it’s good to see Jones getting some love again from Rodgers. But for Jones, the better news is that he made some tough catches vs. Atlanta and his hands didn’t fail him. The Pack play at home vs. St. Louis in week six, this should be ugly.
Fred Jackson is redraft gold right now. He’s also likely sitting atop your running back rankings. You just never know in fantasy. I promised myself that I was going to leave Spiller alone this week.
Brandon Jacobs looks like to be down this week again. Bradshaw should get increased touches.
You can find Jeff on Twitter at @dlf_jeff