Tag Archives: Three and out

Saints&Ingram

12 Aug

Ingram to be “heavily involved”: Mark Ingram is already making an impression at Saints training camp. In fact, Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune tweeted that the rookie will be very much involved in the offense right out of the gate. Ingram figures to see plenty of early-down work for coach Sean Payton, and I also think he’ll be the favorite for goal-line carries, which just adds to his draft value. While the backfield is a bit crowded with Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles in the mix, Ingram still has middle-round value as a No. 2 or 3 fantasy runner. He will no doubt be the first player taken in many dynasty leagues.
Edwards signs with the Niners: Braylon Edwards hasn’t exactly been a reliable fantasy wide receiver and, in fact, has been mediocre at best outside of his breakout season of 2007. Edwards isn’t likely to re-gain his once elite status with the 49ers – he’ll be more of a No. 4 fantasy option in most formats. But what does his signing mean for Michael Crabtree? Crabtree will miss his third straight preseason with a foot injury, and it’s hard not to think the addition of Edwards could be tied to that situation. Despite his potential, it’s tough to take a chance on Crabtree as anything more than a late-round, risk-reward selection.
McFadden to miss two weeks: Vittorio Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Darren McFadden is out two weeks with a fractured orbital bone in his eye. The ailment won’t endanger his status for Week 1, but it is a reminder of McFadden’s frequent injury history. Barring a setback, I still see him as a middle- to late first-round choice. After all, he has an intimate knowledge of coach Hue Jackson’s system and has major statistical potential as the team’s offensive centerpiece. If you do land Run DMC, though, it’s a good idea to grab Michael Bush in the middle to late rounds as insurance.

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Jets’stock rising with Burress

2 Aug

The Jets sign Plaxico Burress: Don’t look now, but the Jets now have two former Steelers playing prominent roles in their offense. The team re-signed Santonio Holmes earlier in this free-agent frenzy, and now Plaxico Burress will be wearing green after signing a one-year deal with the team. This is a perfect landing spot from a fantasy perspective, as Burress will no doubt be the favorite to replace Braylon Edwards in the pass attack. Considering that he hasn’t played in a football game since 2008, however, fantasy leaguers should expect Burress to have some rust out of the gate. But based on his skills and the favorable situation he enters in the Big Apple, I’d take a chance on the veteran in the middle-to-late rounds as a borderline No. 3 or No. 4 fantasy wideout.
Marion Barber in the Windy City: A former fantasy star in Dallas, Barber has seen his value fall over the last two years. Now in Chicago, I don’t see him suddenly re-emerging into a viable option — especially with Matt Forte ahead of him on the depth chart. Barber, who has averaged 3.8 yards per carry since 2009, could have some late-round appeal if he earns a goal-line role or emerges as Forte’s backup as a potential handcuff, but his days as a prominent fantasy player are clearly over. With Barber in the mix, Chester Taylor could be released.
Sims-Walker lands with the Rams: Remember when Mike Sims-Walker was a potential fantasy sleeper in Jacksonville? Well, he’s back on the radar after signing a one-year deal with St. Louis. With no true No. 1 wide receiver in the mix and Josh McDaniels calling the offensive shots, Sims-Walker will have a chance to produce solid totals. Remember, Brandon Lloyd came out of nowhere last season to become the top-scoring fantasy wideout under McDaniels. I’m not saying Sims-Walker will follow in his footsteps — he needs to be more consistent and stay out of the trainer’s room — but he’s clearly someone to target in the middle-to-late rounds.

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A sleeper,Tebow looks?

27 Jul

This is NFL news
Let the Tebow madness begin: The Denver Post is reporting that the Broncos have put Kyle Orton on the trade block, in part to open the door for Tim Tebow to be their starting quarterback in 2011. If that’s the case, then the Florida product’s fantasy appeal is going to rise … and fast. In his three starts at the end of last season, Tebow scored more fantasy points than any player in the entire league. What makes him so valuable is his skills as a runner. In those three late-season starts, Tebow rushed for a combined 199 yards and three touchdowns. If you project his yardage totals over a full season, he would have recorded 1,061 yards on the ground. That’s not to say that you should draft Tebow as your No. 1 fantasy quarterback, but grabbing him in the middle to late rounds as a No. 2 and potential sleeper candidate could turn into a very beneficial move.
Watch out for Mario Manningham: Last season, Manningham quietly finished in the top 20 in fantasy points among wide receivers on NFL.com. A big part of that success came in the absence of Steve Smith, who missed a total of seven games with an injured knee that ultimately required a microfracture procedure. Smith, a free agent, continues to recover from the operation and could start the 2011 campaign on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list. According to the New York Daily News, Smith could be forced to sign a one-year deal with the G-Men (or elsewhere) due to his questionable status. Regardless, Manningham is in a position to see plenty of targets in the Giants offense and warrants middle-round attention. He could be a nice draft value.
Will Marques Colston hold out?: In a recent column in the New Orleans Times-Picayune, beat writer Jeff Duncan suggests wide receiver Marques Colston could hold out of training camp. The veteran wideout is in the final year of his contract, but he’s also coming off multiple knee surgeries — including a microfracture procedure. So while being in a contract year would make Colston more attractive (barring a holdout), the fact that he’s gone under the knife so often is a cause for concern. In fact, a worst-case scenario could turn Colston into a bust and make Robert Meachem a potential sleeper. Overall, I’d avoid picking Colston as more than a No. 2 fantasy option in drafts.

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Rice could return to stardom

24 Jul

Ray Rice on the rise in 2011: In 2009, Rice emerged into one of the most valuable running backs in fantasy football. He finished fourth in points (246.10) at his position and led countless owners to a championship. He saw his fantasy value drop a bit last season, however, scoring 32.5 fewer points while also being far less reliable — in fact, almost 30 percent of all his fantasy points came in just two games. But with the expected release of Willis McGahee, Rice’s stock could be back on the rise. The Baltimore Sun reports the team needs to save cap space, and cutting ties with McGahee is one way to help that cause. That means more work for Rice, especially near the goal line, and more value as a first-round option. If McGahee is released and the Raven’s don’t add another back, Jalen Parmele would be the front runner to become Rice’s main handcuff.
Hasselbeck could be a Titan: One of the more prominent free-agent quarterbacks on the market this summer is Matt Hasselbeck, and where he lands will help determine the value of several players. The most popular choice for his next destination might be Tennessee, where the Titans could use a veteran signal-caller to start and mentor rookie Jake Locker. In fact, Jim Wyatt of the Nashville Tennessean seems convinced that Hasselbeck will be wearing a Titans uniform in 2011. Wyatt also suggests that if Hasselbeck doesn’t land with the team, Donovan McNabb would be another option. Either way, fantasy owners should welcome the addition of either of these quarterbacks — someone has to throw the ball to troublesome (but talented) receiver Kenny Britt and super sleeper Jared Cook. It would also be nice to have some semblance of a pass attack to keep defenses from stacking the box to stop Chris Johnson. Let’s just hope CJ2K’s expected holdout doesn’t last too long…
Will Sidney Rice be a bust?: Clearly, Rice will be one of the most coveted wide receivers on the free-agent market once player movement is allowed. But is he a lock to make a major impact, both on the field and in fantasy land? Remember, Rice has had knee issues in the past and also missed most of the 2010 campaign while recovering from hip surgery. While he will be back at 100 percent this season and possesses a ton of upside, Rice has only had one truly productive season at the NFL level — that came in 2009 with Brett Favre under center. In 20 career games in which Favre wasn’t with the Vikings or didn’t play the majority of the team’s snaps, Rice has averaged 2.9 receptions for 37 yards. Those are ugly numbers. So if Rice stays with the Vikings and has Christian Ponder throwing him the football, he becomes an instant bust candidate. But if he winds up with the Bears and is catching passes from Jay Cutler, for example, Rice will be a much more attractive choice.

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Fitzgerald’s stock rising?

22 Jul

Cards looking at Kolb: With the NFL lockout apparently close to an end, rumors about player movement are picking up. One of the biggest involves a deal that would send QB Kevin Kolb to the Cardinals in exchange for CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, according to a report XTRA 910 Phoenix. The move would clearly make Kolb more draftable in fantasy land, albeit as a No. 2 quarterback and potential matchup-based starter. But the big winner in the deal would be Larry Fitzgerald. The stud wideout posted nice reception and yardage totals last season despite playing with less-than-desirable quarterbacks, but had just six touchdowns. With a young, talented signal-caller like Kolb, Fitzgerald would once again be a top-five wideout in drafts.

Stewart wants Williams back: During a recent interview with the Charlotte Observer, Jonathan Stewart stated his desire to have DeAngelo Williams back with the Panthers. Of course, fantasy owners would disagree with that opinion. Stewart would be worth as much as a second-round selection if he landed the top spot on the depth chart under new coach Ron Rivera. But if Williams remains with the team and a committee situation continued, Stewart’s value would take a hit. Clearly, this is one of the numerous situations that owners must monitor in the weeks to come.

Rice unlikely to re-sign with Vikes?: During his appearance on “NFL Total Access,” Sports Illustrated’s Peter King said he’d be “surprised” if the Vikings re-signed Sidney Rice. One of the better wideouts on the free-agent market, Rice is likely to gain interest from a number of teams. And with the prospect of rookie Christian Ponder opening the season as the Vikings’ No. 1 quarterback, shedding the purple and yellow could be a positive move from a fantasy perspective. If Rice lands with the Bears, for example, he would almost certainly become the top option for Jay Cutler. That’s clearly a more attractive scenario than being on the receiving end of Ponder’s passes during what would be a transition year for the Vikings. Stay tuned.

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