Due to volume and the number of articles that receive comments here on DLF, start/sit questions will likely only be answered up until Sat. night. Any questions after that should be asked in the chat room this week. I will only be in the chat room until 9:00 AM on Sunday, 10/9.
Oct. 8, 2011
Al Davis has passed away. Say what you will about Davis but there has been no bigger supporter of the NFL and the game than Davis. His passion and willingness to be intimately involved for such a long period of time is arguably unrivaled. He was 82.
In shallow leagues, it’s time to pick up Joe McKnight. The Jets are going back to a ground and pound running game and Shonn Greene will be leading the way. But here’s the problem, Greene is terrible. Whether it’s his offensive line or his single dimensional style of running, Greene’s value has never been lower. Sporting an anemic 3.1 ypca. and an old L.T. backing him up, it’s not going to be long until McKnight gets his chance to be the spark in that offense and that newcomer Bilal Powell gets his chance for increased touches. Nick Mangold is set to return so we’ll see just what affect the return of the pro-bowl will have.
C.J. Spiller says he’s not worried about his slow start and “I know what I’m capable of doing….”. So do we C.J., so do we. We’re sure he’s just saving all that capability for a very special moment sometime within the next 2-3 years.
Why is the media on Peyton Hillis regarding this ridiculous notion that he sat out week three due to strep throat. Have you ever had strep? It’s kept me in bed and sleeping on football Sunday … let alone playing in an NFL game. Don’t get me wrong, Hillis was perhaps DLF’s biggest over-valued player heading into 2011, but he’s not without a good head on his shoulders and talent. Get off of Hillis. And Cleveland management – Pay him!
I love the reported quote by free agent David Garrard that stated the reason he didn’t sign with Miami this past week is because “he simply didn’t feel like playing right now”. Think Jack Del Rio and Jacksonville fans didn’t see that same thing over the past few years? Nothing says “I’m still a capable NFL quarterback” like saying you don’t feel like playing. I’m sure teams are lining up.
Careful with Vincent Jackson this week as he’s still nursing a hamstring. Looks like he’s a go and can be in your lineup but if you have an equally weighted receiver, consider playing him instead just in case.
Looks like Danny Woodhead is out yet again this week which should provide more touches for the rising Ridley. Ridley, believe it or not (sorry), may be your primary back in 2012.
If Jonathan Baldwin is on your waiver wire, add him back this week as he’s close to returning. Keep your expectations low, but the Chiefs need playmakers in a bad way.
Still no definitive word on Rashard Mendenhall and you’ll have to watch for news ahead of the early games to see if Redman could be starting. If so, get him in your lineup. Even if Mendy is a go, expect him to receive less carries. Yards could be tough vs. Tennessee but Redman has shown ability.
Curtis Painter is starting again, no surprise here. I still expect Wayne to put up solid numbers but Painter has shown a willingness to spread it around now, which I wasn’t seeing in past action. May be no better time to sell high on Garcon.
Oct. 6, 2011
Heading into week five, you have a good idea of whether your team is of championship material or not. Sure, you may be wallowing in mediocrity after these past four games, but either way, you have at least some idea of your prospects for playing in the championship game. If, however, it is becoming painfully obvious that the only unanswered question is in how high your draft pick will be, know that DLF is here for you.
Within the next week or two, I’ll be starting in on my annual college football evaluation with special attention on those likely 2012 high round selections that you will want to have your eye on. Thus far, 2012 is shaping up to be an interesting year, especially within the quarterback and receiver positions. And as you’ve also come to expect from me, at least if you have followed me for any length of time, I’ll be breaking down recent drafts to show you the likelihood that your first and second round fantasy pick will turn out to be a fantasy producer.
But regardless of the prospects of your team(s), the first thing you must commit to is to never give up fighting for each win. There is no mailing it in, mismanagement, sandbagging or otherwise laying down to obtain a better draft pick. If you do, expect to be punished severely by your league commissioner and to be publicly berated by everyone here at DLF if we find out about it.
Keep it tuned here for your upcoming draft coverage.
Back to week 5 news and notes….
Revis island looks to be shadowing Wes Welker early and often but it’s not expected to be an exclusive coverage. Look for Belichick to move Welker around and to create other mismatches. In now way is Wes Welker benchable this week, so don’t ask. You remember tenet #1 here at DLF, right?
Are you stressing out this week because you’ve lost your Johnson? Andre that is. It could be worse. All indications were that AJ had suffered a non-contact knee injury, which never ends well. After watching the play, I had hoped that it was a hamstring but fully expected the dreaded ACL tear. Instead, it looks like Johnson will miss three weeks. But with hamstrings, you just don’t know. With the Texans playing Oakland’s 29th ranked run defense, expect the box to be stacked to stop Arian Foster, yielding greater opportunities for Kevin Walter, Jacoby Jones and Owen Daniels. I expect Jones to get deep on at least one long gainer this week.
The Bucs continue to get good play from second year player Preston Parker. He’s got size similar to Greg Jennings and seems to be at home in the slot. He’s likely rostered already in deeper leagues and he’s worth a shot in all formats. It’s a bonus that he’s also receiving extra touches in the return game.
I’m really looking forward to the Sunday night game when Green Bay visits Atlanta. It sure to be another great offensive performance for Aaron Rodgers, but I have a sneaky suspicion that Ryan is going to take advantage of a very porous Green Bay secondary at an increased rate. I won’t be surprised to see pass attempts in the mid forties. To date, Ryan hasn’t met my expectations. Something I’m not looking forward to is starting James Starks. As mentioned in other blog posts, I just don’t trust Green Bay’s rushing game in that it’s simply used to keep the defense honest. You’ll need to wait for 2012 to see what Starks can give you as an ever-down starter as Ryan Grant likely won’t be back as a free agent in 2012.
Keep your eye open for Cedric Benson news on Friday. If Cincinnati doesn’t get word on Benson’s possible suspension, look for him to play against Jacksonville. He makes for a decent RB2 this week. Rookie A.J. Green is on pace for 1,250 yards on 8 touchdowns, by any count a great rookie year for a receiver.
Peyton Hillis may request a trade? That was fast. I hope the Browns aren’t thinking that Hardesty is a suitable replacement. Hardesty has looked capable but it’s far too soon to put much stock in him.
Is Michael Crabtree ever going to be anything more than a Michael Jenkins type of receiver? You know the type. It’s pretty clear to me that he’ll settle into anonymity as a spot-starting WR3.
Ryan Mathews owners, you have to be happy. It seems that confidence in Mathews is at an all-time high and he’s likely to carry the load over the next few weeks. Did you buy low on him? …perhaps sell low? You’ve got to give your rookie running backs at least three years before cutting bait. Unless your name is C.J. Spiller. Jahvid Best is quickly becoming suspect as well. You’re shouldn’t be afraid if you see him in the lineup against you. 3.2 ypca. isn’t going to get it done. I expect to see more Keiland Williams going forward but I’m not high on the run blocking in Detroit.
That’s all for now folks, I’m going to get started on your start/sit questions.
Oct. 5, 2011
Another wild week in the books!
There’s definitely something in the water because it seems there is so much energy every week in the NFL and teams are really lighting it up. If you read the ESPN monthly magazine, this year’s “Player X” makes a case for all the scoring and offensive consistency being due to the defenses not finding their rhythm yet because of the shortened season. Somewhat reversed to most years and his reasoning makes sense. Interestingly enough, he also makes the case for the need of a much longer camp which was nice to hear for a change.
Let me just jump right in to some things that are on my mind for the coming week, as well as some thoughts from week four.
Calvin Johnson has finally emerged into exactly what he was billed as coming out of college. Early in his career, he suffered from recurring injuries but still managed to flash that signature dynamic . In 2011, he’s finally the dominant receiver that simply can’t be stopped.
Chris Johnson is starting to have that little hop in his step again but still appears to be a step slow. He’s against PIT this week but the Steeler’s run defense is not what it once way, now allowing 4.8 ypc. thus far into 2011. Expect them to stack the box and allow their top rated passing defense to suffer just a bit.
Cam Newton has already wrapped up the Rookie Of the Year (ROY) award and many dynasty drafters had this one very wrong. As we mentioned in support of our rankings, the first quarterback off the board has to go relatively highly as NFL teams do their homework and the first off the board is usually a difference maker, at least at quarterback. I am simply amazed by his poise in the pocket.
Carolina’s run game has started taking hold but it’s still anyone’s guess as to who will be the primary ball carrier week to week and a 50/50 timeshare can be expected going forward. What has been surprising is that Williams hasn’t been used in the passing game to any degree yet.
A lot of people were selling low on Forte’ and I never understood that. He’s young, has great balance/vision and should have many good years ahead of him. What Chicago is trying to accomplish by not getting his deal done is beyond me. Pay him! Their passing game, however, is a wasteland.
What’s this? Buffalo came back to earth in week four but Fred Jackson continues to still pay dividends. He’s a solid RB2 currently but I still view him as a RB3. David Nelson didn’t get half the targets that I expected.
In Cincinnati, Andy Dalton continues to look like a rookie with upside. Not a great line this week but one of those interceptions really wasn’t his fault in my eyes but he is starting to get happy feet. A.J. Green catches anything in his area and needs to be used more in the intermediate passing game.
We had a Jared Cook sighting in Tennessee but I hope you didn’t blink. It was an exciting 8 seconds.
Detroit is for real this year but they aren’t making it look easy. Jahvid Best looks like Reggie Bush and that’s not a good thing.
In Big D, Tony Romo is doing his best Brett Favre impression but doesn’t have the ring or charisma to weather the storm for long. I was flamed last year in saying that I felt Romo had a year or two left and could be done if he didn’t produce. If they can’t get the ship turned around quickly, he could be pulled before the end of the year.
Bad news for Danny Amendola as he is out for the year. The Rams’ wide receiver corps. is a mess.
In Kansas City, coach Todd Haley continues to display his fuzzy side, this time getting into a shouting match with Matt Cassel. I think it’s safe to put him on the hot-seat watch. You don’t have to be players’ coach to be respected, but if you’re not, you had better have a winning record to get any buy off.
In Chicago, Roy Williams has finally been replaced by Johnny Knox, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at his stats. The Bears are just extremely pedestrian in the receiver department. Stay away from all except running back Matt Forte’ and, in an emergency, Jay Cutler. You can bet that the Bears want Greg Olsen back.
Matt Sanchez is very underwhelming. If he’s your QB1, you’re in a lot of trouble. Heck, you’re in a lot of trouble if he’s your QB2.
Marques Colston is back now from his collar bone injury but I just don’t believe he’s anything more than a WR3 going forward, at least until he proves otherwise.
I was just on Sirius/XM’s fantasy drive and Mark Ingram was the topic. Ingram is hard to characterize or define at this point in his career but I don’t think you should be selling low on him. He’s in a time-share situation with Pierre Thomas in a high-powered offense, much like Ryan Grant, James Starks, Green-Ellis and Joseph Addai. Running back touches just aren’t consistent enough in these offenses to produce a RB1.
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