- The Season's Over -

ETB’s NFL Prediction-O-Rama

August 14, 2007

Don’t Question Me

ETB’s First Annual Fantasy Football Extravaganza kicked off with a bang Sunday evening as we held our blogger’s draft, a gripping 1 1/2 hours of seasoned fantasy vets making it difficult on their fellow combatants. With the first rounds of fantasy drafts officially in the books, fantasy football hype and hoopla is in full swing. So in the spirit of fantasy football draft season, Brian and I have put our balls on the line with some bold predictions about the coming season.

The following are our official thoughts about which individuals and teams will bring home the hardware this season. We’ve also got some intriguing over/under projections for those of you who feel the need to make it interesting (*Donaghy*, ahem). And unlike most of the prognosticators showing their faces this time of year, we will be revisiting these predictions at the end of the season. As always, feel free to let us know your picks for any or all of the categories.

Individual Awards:

Offensive Rookie of the Year:
Andrew: Brandon Jackson, RB, Green Bay Packers
Brian: Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions

Defensive Rookie of the Year:
Andrew: Anthony Spencer, Linebacker/Defensive End, Dallas Cowboys
Brian: Paul Posluszny, Linebacker, Buffalo Bills

WR Bust of the Year:
Andrew: Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints
Brian: Randy Moss, New England Patriots

WR Surprise of the Year:
Andrew: Vincent Jackson, San Diego Chargers/Kevin Curtis, Philadelphia Eagles
Brian: Drew Bennett, St. Louis Rams

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3 CommentsPosted by Andrew Thell and Brian Spencer on Aug. 14, 2007 at 10:12am in ETB Articles, NFL, NFL Fantasy News

10 Darts at the NFL Board

August 13, 2007

Drunk-Driver Murderer

- In his debut column for Yahoo! Sports, Michael Silver piques our interest for his future work in relating two especially good stories that haven’t gotten much press. First, he points out that St. Louis Rams pass-rush specialist Leonard Little may not have a conscience. After already killing someone while driving under the influence, the big man was caught drinking and driving again… but escaped further sentencing after evidence was proven “inadmissible under Missouri law because of the unreliability of portable equipment” used to measure his blood-alcohol level at the time of arrest. For the record, it was nearly double the state’s legal limit. Classy guy.

On a lighter note, Silver fleshes out the story that broke last week about New Orleans Saints linebacker Scott Fujita getting injured during a team trip to a Mississippi water park. Apparently, Fujita has a history of “owning” waterslides. Click here for more on both stories. Nice work, Mr. Silver–but are you really comfortable with that bio photo?

- We’ve caught a little flack for failing to rank New York Jets running back Thomas Jones in our Top 30 Running Backs Rankings (found here and here). It’s not that we forgot about him–it’s more that we unanimously want nothing to do with the Jets offense. That Jones is already missing time can’t be a good sign.

- The Ghosts of Wayne Fontes (a participant fodder in this year’s ETB Fantasy Football Invitational) discusses the strategy of handcuffing top running backs with their backups. More specifically, the Ghosts think it’s “stupid.”

- An excerpt from Tennessean writer Jim Wyatt’s account of Pacman Jones’ debut with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling: “Jones made a few comments during an in-ring interview before taking off his sweatshirt and showing off his tattooed body.” ETB could not confirm that a full three paragraphs further describing Jones’ tattooed body were cut before publication. Word is, though, that the phrase “rippling musculature and sinew” was used three times.

- Once upon a time there was an all-world professional sports prospect named Drew Henson. Eschewing football for a more lucrative baseball career, Henson left the starting QB job at the University of Michigan to sign with the New York Yankees. Well, that didn’t work out too well, so he turned back to football. With the Dallas Cowboys, Henson… flopped. Now, in an attempt to resurrect his once promising career, Henson is with the Minnesota Vikings, battling for a third-string job (behind Tarvaris Jackson and Brooks Bollinger, no less) with somebody named Tyler Thigpen from Coastal Carolina. The sad thing is, it looks like Henson won’t even beat out Thigpen.

- The “when will he be traded?” saga of Trent Green dragged on unnecessarily long all summer–all parties involved knew that eventually he’d end up in Miami. It seems Dolphins fans are eager for a return on that Green “investment,” as they’ve already booed him off the field. Lighten up, ‘Fins fans: at least you don’t have to worry about Joey or Daunte anymore.

- By the time you read this, it may be official already: the Kansas City Chiefs and unhappy running back Larry Johnson appear to be close on finalizing a contract extension. Barring a significant injury to LJ, this moves rookie Kolby Smith way down the Fantasy Sleepers list.

- Madden 2008, the video game you won’t stop playing for the next 6 or 7 months, will play sporadically the following 2 months, then deem worthless when the 2009 edition hits the shelves. Here’s a detailed review of this year’s version. Boom! Thwap! Favre!

- The Arizona Cardinals’ season is already off to a smashing start.

- It seems that it took two staff writers for The Denver Post to put together this very well-written piece about Gerard Warren. Favorite sentence: “Warren is a tackle who can penetrate the backfield.” Poetic, to the last…

No CommentsPosted by Brian Spencer on Aug. 13, 2007 at 10:19pm in NFL

McHale’s Timberwolves: Worst Offseason?

August 13, 2007

Fruity

Poor Kevin McHale just can’t escape condemnation, even when he finally makes the move everyone’s been clamoring for the past three years. With the NBA flying under the radar at the moment as baseball heads into the home stretch and football gets ready to kick off, David Aldridge for The Philly Inquirer checked in yesterday by ranking each team’s offseason.

Aldridge has the Houston Rockets at the top for acquisitions of Luis Scola, Mike James, and Steve Francis (amongst others), and the Timberwolves dead last for what he says bungling the megatrade with Boston. We don’t necessarily agree with him, mind you; click here to find out what he had to say about your team. Here’s just three excerpts:

8. Seattle. Added: guard Delonte West; forwards Kevin Durant, Jeff Green and Wally Szczerbiak; center Kurt Thomas. Lost: guard Ray Allen; forward Rashard Lewis.

It’s bleak now, and will be for a while for new coach P.J. Carlesimo. But Durant and Green are worth blowing up a team for. The Sonics would have rated higher, but we weren’t crazy about giving up that big trade exception (sent to Phoenix) so soon.

16. Los Angeles Lakers. Added: guards Derek Fisher and Javaris Crittenton. Lost: guard Smush Parker.

We can’t imagine that Kobe Bryant is happy about the Lakers’ failing to land Kevin Garnett, Rashard Lewis, Ray Allen, et al, but he’s clammed up – for now. Fisher should stabilize things at the point, and keeping Luke Walton was smart. The bleeding may have stopped.

30. Minnesota. Added: guard Sebastian Telfair; forwards Corey Brewer, Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green and Juwan Howard; and center Theo Ratliff. Lost: guards Mike James and Troy Hudson; forward Kevin Garnett.

It’s not that the Wolves traded Garnett; it was time. But how did they not get the guy they really wanted – Rajon Rondo – from Boston? Rajon Rondo was a deal-breaker for one of the league’s top five players? It’s another example of how brain-dead this franchise has been for a decade.

Whether or not McHale botched the deal, at least the team unloaded him and realized it’s time to rebuild from the bottom up. There’s no way we’d rank the Cleveland Cavaliers–who’ve made zero offseason moves thus far, including resigning restricted free agents Anderson Varejao and Sasha Pavlovic–ahead of the ‘Wolves. Or the Sacramento Kings, for that matter, for spending their lottery pick on a stiff (Spencer Hawes) and $18 million on a vagabond veteran with exactly one decent season on his resume in nine years (Mikki Moore). And does Steve Francis still constitute an addition at this point?

4 CommentsPosted by Brian Spencer on Aug. 13, 2007 at 10:06pm in NBA

Fantasy Football Pariahs: 10 Players to Avoid on Draft Day

August 12, 2007

Portis' days as an elite fantasy back are numberedWhen preparing for a fantasy football draft you always need to generate two categories: players to gun for and players to avoid. This article highlights ten players we at ETB are avoiding like the plague this draft season.

Everybody has their own way of keeping track of these two groups, but one popular way is to generate a cheat sheet of all the players you could potentially draft in descending order of fantasy value, highlight the players you expect to break out or exceed typical expectations in green, and highlight players you expect to regress, get injured or perform poorly in red.

If you decide to use such a system, here are ten fantasy albatrosses you’ll want to get that red highlighter out for. Caveat emptor.

Brian’s Five to Avoid:

Clinton Portis, RB, Washington Redskins: Dr. James Andrews is perhaps the greatest villain in fantasy football. When a player pays the good doctor a visit, it means he’s hurting, that the high-paid team physicians are at their wit’s end, and/or that major surgery could be on the way. It’s an especially bad sign when an already dinged-up player like Portis–who missed the second half of the 2006 season and is still recovering from his knee injury–feels compelled to visit him before the preseason is even halfway over.

The good news for Portis is that Andrews’ prognosis was that the ‘Skins medical staff was doing their job correctly and treating his injuries as well as they could. Fine. But there’s no question that kernels of doubt are starting to pop in Portis’ head. Running backs have a short shelf life in the NFL, especially when it comes to fantasy impact, and when a player falls off, they fall off fast. Nothing against the six-year veteran, but we can’t see him making it through the season injury-free… or as the starter. We all saw what his backup, Ladell Betts, is capable of when given the opportunity. To be fair, all things being equal, Portis is still the better back.

Joe Gibbs likes to run his backs into the ground; with a still-inexperienced quarterback behind center, that offensive philosophy isn’t about to change this year. Incredibly enough, Portis is still being taken, on average, in the middle of the second round in Yahoo! drafts. C’mon, you want to actually win your league this year–you can do better than that. At a minimum, Portis will be platooning with Betts all year long; at worst, he succumbs to injuries early on and becomes a waiver afterthought. No thanks.

Randy Moss, WR, New England Patriots: Don’t measure Moss’ long-term prospects to fit into New England’s offensive scheme on any performances in the first few weeks. Bill Belichick may be an asshole, but he’s no dummy: Brady will very likely be asked to target Moss perhaps more than he normally would as the season kicks off. We fully expect Mr. Tempermental to haul in a few bombs and score a touchdown or two in the first week against the Jets. A happy Randy Moss is an engaged Randy Moss who at least cares about his own stats, if not the team’s record.

What’ll be interesting to see, however, is how he reacts when a, say, Troy Brown has more passes thrown his way two or three weeks in a row. When Moss mentally packs it in, forget it–he’s done. Tom Brady is known for spreading the ball around–it’s a big part of why he and the team’s offense are consistently successful–and that will in all likelihood not change just because Moss is in the mix.

On average, Moss is coming off the draft board in the middle of the third round, ahead of guys like Roy Williams (!), Marques Colston, Anquan Boldin, and Donald Driver. Don’t be foolish man–let someone else deal with the Moss Headache all season of trying to decide whether to start him, bench him, trade him, or cut him. Of course, it’s not impossible to think he could regain at least some of his dominating 1998 – 2003 form, so if he’s sliding and you need a wideout, by all means take the gamble.

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6 CommentsPosted by Andrew Thell and Brian Spencer on Aug. 12, 2007 at 11:10pm in ETB Articles, NFL, NFL Fantasy News

T.W.I.etB. Notes: Around the NFL

August 10, 2007

I'd rather just hold the clipboard, coach

Romeo Crennel Confirms Importance of Preseason: The Cleveland Browns must be wishing, oh how they wish, that they didn’t actually have to play the game with a quarterback behind center. Can’t they just hike the ball directly to a robotic JUGS Machine? Sure, the machine could break down or the ball might get stuck in the gears, but surely the odds of a completion would be better than a pass from Derek Anderson, Charlie Frye, or rookie Brady Quinn. Or maybe they could hike it directly to Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow.

After a long night of debating which QB is the least bad (and a bottle of Aspirin), head coach Crennel has decided the “fairest” way to determine the “winner” of starting the team’s first exhibition game on Saturday is by a coin flip. “I think that (a flip of the coin) is the fairest way to those guys because no one knows who is going to start ahead of time,” Crennel said. No one knows how potential fantasy studs Edwards and Winslow are actually going to get the ball during the regular season, either. Also no word from Commissioner Roger Goodall’s office on Crennel’s proposal to decide NFL games by coin toss.

RB Kevin Jones May Not Suit Up Until Week 7: It’s not official yet, but according to Lions beat writer Tom Kowalski, the talented tailback formerly known as the starter in Detroit will not begin the regular season on the Lions’ active roster. Jones was on his way to bouncing back in 2006 from a disappointing sophomore season before succumbing to the dreaded Lisfranc fracture in December. For the year, he finished with 689 yards rushing (3.8/carry), 61 receptions for 520 yards, 8 touchdowns, and was a solid #2 back for your fantasy squad when healthy. With Tatum Bell now in the fold (as well as Tico Duckett lurking in the background for possible goal line carries), the Lions have no reason to rush KJ back onto the field ahead of schedule.

What does this mean for fantasy prospects in Detroit’s backfield? The team may not be great (or even respectable), but there’s no question the Lions could field one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL this season. If you’ve already drafted and Bell is somehow still on waivers, scoop him up now. He’ll be the starter for at least half the season–possibly longer–and will be catching balls out of the backfield and seeing a lot of draw plays (his specialty) that could yield big gains. For those yet to draft, he’s a great pick in the 8th – 10th round… maybe even a little higher, depending on how the draft is shaking out. You don’t want to invest too heavily as it’s still very possible he isn’t a starter during the fantasy playoffs. The company line out of Detroit is still that Jones is “the guy” when healthy.

As for Jones, don’t reach for him. Maybe, don’t even draft him except to fill out your DL spot. There’s a good chance that a frustrated owner will get sick of “wasting” a roster space and drop him by Week 2 or 3, so you might be able to get him on the cheap and stash him away just in case he comes back like a bat out of hell.

Pacman Jones Just a Normal, Everyday “Risk Taker”: The man just can’t help himself, even when he’s trying to unsmudgeon his name and set the record straight. In a round of promos and interviews surrounding his debut on Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (better known as “Wrastlin’ fer Rednecks”), the rainmaker asserted that you “don’t know me. Nobody knows me… misunderstood. Nobody knows who I am. A player, a gamebreaker, a risk taker, a man.”

Talking by a wrestling ring installed next to his Nashville home, Jones went on to defend his latest athletic endeavor, and disputed his arrest record.

I haven’t been arrested six times. I’ve only been arrested twice. I’ve been accused and people have put warrants out on me numerous other times, but as of today I’m on no probation, I haven’t been charged with anything, so I’m just keeping my head up and make sure I’m doing everything to make sure I’m all right with myself.”

“I don’t know what you all want me to do. Just sit in the house and be miserable all day? I can’t do that. I have to keep my spirits up high. I have a whole family to take care of.”

The only thing for certain is that Jones’ wrestling career is bound to end in glory, and that the former first-round pick has a bright future ahead of him in the NFL.

Rudi the Workhorse

Joey Harrington to Make Falcons’ Fans Cringe: At approximately 7:10pm this evening, the former third-overall pick will take the field as Atlanta’s new starting quarterback. He’ll likely complete a few of his first pass attempts… and then starting throwing the ball into the turf, gunning it over his receiver’s hands, making poor decisions on any routes longer than 15 yards, and slapping the ear holes on his helmet in disgust.

Trading Matt Schaub made a lot of sense once upon a time, but that was before Ron Mexico’s sordid dogfighting scandal. Now, a team that already had trouble in the passing game with Vick behind center is stuck with a guy who has proven over and over again that he’s just not NFL starter material. We’re setting the over/under on calls for 2006 seventh-round pick D.J. Shockley to replace Joey to begin Week 4.

Cincinnati’s Season Officially Riding on Rudi Johnson’s Health: Good things rarely come out of contests involving the Lions for either team, and Thursday night’s preseason game was no different for the Cincinnati Bengals. Rookie second-round pick Kenny Irons, who the team had high hopes for and was in line to push Johnson for 5-10 carries as the season wore on, is done for the season after tearing his left ACL.

That leaves oft-injured Chris Henry and Kenny Watson as the backups. Henry has always had the talent to succeed in the NFL, but he’s now entering his fourth season and still hasn’t been able to stay on the field. Johnson will again benefit (or perhaps suffer) from a heavy workload in the backfield, and is a solid #1 back on your fantasy roster if you’re stuck in the second half of the first round on draft day.

Fred Smoot is Smiling Again (Thank God): Go ahead, exhale, breathe a sigh of relief: another misunderstood cornerback is happy again. In comments published in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the former Vikings free-agent bust–now third on the Redskins’ depth chart–said that he suffered from depression while playing for Minnesota because he “wasn’t into it,” but that he’s all better now:

“I just wasn’t into it,” Smoot told the Washington Post of his two years in Minnesota. “I hated the place. I was in a depression, believe that? Smiling Fred Smoot goes through a depression?

“But it happened, man, it happened. I was down, and that’s why I made this happen. I went to [Minnesota's] front office and told them: ‘I don’t want to be there no more. We need to work something out.’ And we made it happen. I got out of there, and now smiling Fred Smoot is back.”

We can’t help but wonder, however, if “productive NFL player Fred Smoot” is back, too, because he hasn’t been around in quite some time.

No CommentsPosted by Brian Spencer on Aug. 10, 2007 at 1:15pm in NFL, NFL Fantasy News

Rebuilding (and Still Winning) a Luxury of Prolonged Success for Detroit Pistons

August 9, 2007

Four rookies will be on the Pistons' bench in 2007

Roster management in the NBA is a funny thing. Most fans don’t care about what their team accomplished last season or the season before it, and they’re generally indifferent about plans to “rebuild the franchise” and lay a foundation for success next season… sometimes longer. Winning now–this game, this division, this conference–is what breeds dedicated fandoms in professional sports. Consistent success fills the seats, empties out memorabilia stands, sells season ticket packages.

Patchwork groups of aging veterans with a low ceiling for accomplishment (Lakers, Heat, Kings)? Gaggles of young, inconsistent players incapable of stringing together much more than 30 wins a season (Hawks, pre-KG Celtics, Grizzlies)? Those teams tend to breed apathy more than inspire piety.

So what, then, is a solid approach to pleasing fans (and making the money that comes with that) by fielding a roster that’s built to compete now, while always keeping an eye on what changes will eventually need to be made to keep the team competitive in the future?

After a second-straight “disappointing” finish to his team’s season, Detroit Pistons GM Joe Dumars found himself faced with calls to break up his core, to rebuild, to go in a new direction before it was too late. He may never admit it, but he must have been tempted to dangle a Rip Hamilton or a Rasheed Wallace as trade bait to see who would bite with what. Maybe he did. In the end, however, Dumars appears to have decided on a less-traveled route to rebuilding a roster that’s showing signs of wear: embracing a youth movement before it becomes a necessity.

The core players who’ve helped drive the Pistons to five straight Conference Finals aren’t ready to drift into obscurity or check into a retirement home just yet. But before the Big Four Core of Billups, Hamilton, Wallace, and Tayshaun Prince are in any danger of being dragged underwater by 25-pound ankle weights of age, Dumars is planning for the future now. For the 2007 season, the Pistons bench will include four rookies, a promising third-year prospect who’s still only 20-years-old himself, and another third-year player who only started coming into his own during the second half of last season.

A ballsy move that could backfire? Without question. It’s an interesting gamble, however, that could pay big dividends sooner than some might think.

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No CommentsPosted by Brian Spencer on Aug. 9, 2007 at 9:45am in ETB Articles, NBA

T.W.I.etB. Notes: Around the Leagues

August 6, 2007

Clippers’ Ship GroundedThe last week had been fairly quiet around the NBA, NFL and MLB. After the deadline dealing in baseball was overshadowed by the huge, massive, earth-shattering Garnett-to-Boston trade there was a lull, but in recent days things have picked up. Training camps have also broken in the NFL and there is some very relevant fantasy news brewing there and in the NBA.
Let’s get to it.

Around the NBA:

Elton Brand Goes Down: Yesterday afternoon, ESPN reported that fantasy stud and ETB favorite Elton Brand will undergo surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles’ tendon. Brand will miss at least six months recouping, meaning his season is likely over before it starts. The Clippers are insisting he’ll be ready in January, but that’s pushing the limits of human healing and even if he did make such a dramatic recovery his effectiveness as a hobbled, 6’7″ power forward in the West is questionable. Additionally, the Clips are unlikely to be in a heated battle for playoff positioning, so they won’t rush their franchise player back earlier than would be prudent.

A consensus late-first/early-second round pick, this is big news- especially for those who have him in keeper leagues. What does this do to his draft stock? Clearly it obliterates it, but a wise fantasy owner can profit even when the market tumbles. In a rotisserie league without a DL spot (curse you, Yahoo!), you just can’t draft the guy right now. If you do have a DL spot in a roto league, he’s now a late-round flier. In head-to-head leagues with a DL, he’s a 9th or 10th round selection who could give you a big boost during the fantasy playoffs and, again, a late flier in DL-less leagues for experienced and skillful owners only.

Al ThorntonThe big winners here are the other Clippers big men, specifically Al Thornton, Tim Thomas, and Chris “Caveman” Kaman. The absence of Brand frees up about 10 rebounds, 15-18 shots and 35-39 minutes a game at the PF and C positions. Thornton suddenly becomes an impact rookies that will likely start needs to be drafted in all leagues. He’s a great mid-range jump shooter who is athletic enough to guard opposing SFs and will be quicker than most lumbering PFs. Tim Thomas isn’t that great of a basketball player, but he sure can score and puts up nice 3-pointer numbers from the position. Kaman is in line to average a double-double, and could be asked to score 15+ points a game- likely at the expense of his FG%.

The other winner is Corey Maggette, who will be the focal point of the Clippers’ offense this season. Expect him to do what he does best, scoring 22+ points a game while providing excellent FT% help and a decent FG% for a SG. Maggette also brings some nice peripherals and will probably post around 6 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal should also be in the offing. He’ll also be turning the ball over a ton, so keep that in mind when formulating your team strategy. I like him in th 4th round now, but I’ve always been a bit bullish on the slasher.

The Fonz’Juan Carlos Navarro Traded: The Wiz have finally found a suitor for their debonair Spanish point guard, agreeing in principle to ship him to the Memphis Grizzlies for a 2008 first-round draft pick. Navarro is said to be Pau Gasol’s best friend, and the former teammates should have little problem gelling. This probably means significantly fewer minutes for 2007 first-round pick Mike Conley Jr., which is a shame. Hopefully the move doesn’t stunt his growth in the long term. The Grizz now have four point guards on the roster and this could be a fantasy black hole in the coming season. Don’t invest heavily anywhere. Considered the best PG in Europe by some, it is a nice step from Memphis’ standpoint as they continue to stockpile young talent and assets around Gasol (for the present) and prepare for his eventual departure in the next year or so.

NBA Dollars and Sense: The Boston Herald has done a nice job making some sense of the pressing financial situations of all the team’s around the league. Most notable for me was the news that Al Jefferson wants to sign a contract to stay in Minnesota for the long terms, he wants roughly $10 million a year, and he wants to sign now. In Wolves country, $10 million a year is something to sneeze at. This isn’t exactly how the equation works, I know, but Al is already half as good as Garnett now and will likely surpass him in 3-5 years, making him a nice bargain compared to KG’s $20+ million salary over the next six years. Add in the expiring contract of Theo Ratliff and Minnesota can make a run at any free agent on the market next season or the following year and will have a much easier time re-signing Gerald Green, Randy Foye, Craig Smith, and Ronnie Brewer to extensions in the years to come.

Around the NFL

Chad Being ChadYahoo!’s Poster Boy Set to Explode: Bengals beat writer Kevin Goheen reports that Chad Johnson expects to put up gaudy numbers this year. We’ve already ranked him as our top wide receiver heading into the year, but this news has us downright giddy about Chad’s prospects, “I know it’s stupid to say and it’s not good, some people aren’t going to like it but I’ve set aside money again (for fines), like I did in ’05 and that was a ridiculous year where I had fun . . . I’m having fun again . . .This is a business and you’ve got to understand the business, the ins and outs of it, [but] this will be a year to entertain, not just myself but the fans in Cincinnati and around the world. This is going to be a fun year.” I’m with you Chad.

The Carolina Backfield: DeShaun Foster has been lining up with the first-team offense the last few days, and has been receiving all of the goal line work. ETB favorite DeAngelo Williams got into the scrimmage on the first drive over the weekend and had two chances to score from the 1-yard line, but was stuffed on both occasions. Perhaps it’s time to temper my wild expectations for DeAngelo. If the kid got 20-25 touches every week, he would be an elite fantasy running back. I have no doubt about that. But it appears that Carolina is committed to the ineffective, veteran Foster. Goal line touches are an essential part of consistent fantasy production (See: Barber III, Marion) and if Williams is going to be taken out there in addition to losing carries between the 20s he may not be the elite RB 3 option I pegged him as. I’m not moving him too far down my draft board just yet, but this situation bears monitoring.

The Indianapolis Defense is Your Friend: On Sunday, NFL Network’s Adam Schefter reported that Colts DT Anthony “Booger” McFarland will miss the season with a torn ACL. This comes on the heels of DT Corey Simon being released, and in an offseason where the Colts have lost two significant tacklers in the defensive backfield. The Colts’ D was going to be fantasy friendly either way, but now I’m thinking you want to be sure to start opposing running backs every week. Wide receivers could also feast on this decimated D as the team goes through a significant post-Super Bowl hangover. That’s good news for the Colts’ offensive skill players though: they should be involved in plenty of shootouts and won’t be able to rest their stars with comfortable leads nearly as often. What this offense could do playing from behind for long stretches is downright scary.

The Patriots Receiver Corps: Over the weekend the Boston Herald Reported Donte’ Stallworth, Chad Jackson, and Troy Brown were in all in uniform. Today, Donte’ assumed first-team duties. This figures to be a productive fantasy position on the whole, but production for the specific receivers could be sporadic. While Jackson and Brown are coming off knee surgeries, they look to be ready for the regular season. Add Randy Moss (who needs looks to keep his head in the game), Reche Caldwell and offseason acquisition Wes Welker to the mix and you have the makings of a real headache.

I’m still a believer in Moss’ skills, but when I look at the ADP of Moss and Stallworth I’m starting to thing this is a situation to be avoided on draft day unless they fall into your lap. Tom Brady’s tendency is to spread it around and not fall in love with one go-to guy. Brady threw TDs to 11 different players last season, and nobody on the current roster is a lock for solid, weekly fantasy production- Randy Moss included.

2 CommentsPosted by Andrew Thell on Aug. 6, 2007 at 9:27pm in NBA, NBA Fantasy News, NFL, NFL Fantasy News

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