Some random NFL thoughts following the news of the weekend ...
Tight end shake up
So Antonio Gates is considering surgery to repair his dislocated big toe, and Kellen Winslow had minor surgery on his knee and could have surgery on his shoulder. What does this mean for Fantasy owners? First off, keep an eye on what happens with Gates. If he's out for six months, as one report states, he would be slow to start the season. And if Winslow has the shoulder surgery, since the knee reportedly is fine, he could be limited in the offseason as well. So if you were drafting now, the safe bet is to take Jason Witten as the No. 1 tight end off the board. I'd still recommend drafting Gates and Winslow high because their value is too good to pass on in most leagues. If I'm drafting, it's Winslow first, Witten second and Gates third. That's how I like them in 2008.
McFadden is fast
Darren McFadden ran a 4.33 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. Let's just say that's fast. What does this mean for his draft status? Not much because most NFL teams know how good he is from watching him at Arkansas. McFadden will likely be drafted sometime in the first five picks, with Atlanta making the most sense at No. 3 barring a team like Dallas trading up. For Fantasy owners, you should plan on drafting McFadden somewhere in the first three rounds of a standard draft. Depending on where he ends up, he has the chance to be special right away. And if you're the guy who passed on Adrian Peterson hoping to get him one round later, please don't miss on McFadden this year.
The Bears know something we don't
Rex Grossman is back in the fold. What? Have they not watched anything the past two years? I know Grossman led them to a Super Bowl, but he's not a good starting quarterback. The sad thing is he's better than Kyle Orton and Brian Griese, which means the Bears are in bad shape in 2008. They are likely going to lose Bernard Berrian and Lance Briggs as free agents, and Brian Urlacher's back could potentially keep him off the field. Outside of Cedric Benson or whoever starts at running back for the Bears next year, don't plan on drafting many players from the Bears for your Fantasy team.
The Jets and Patriots don't like each other. We know this. Since Eric Mangini left Bill Belichick to coach the Jets, the rivalry has gotten worse. Now the Jets told LB Jonathan Vilma to seek a trade but it can't be with New England. Now part of that is smart because you don't want to give talent to a division rival. But it's also petty. While the feud is childish, it's fun to watch grown men act like kids in the public eye.
I covered Zach Thomas for several years when he played for the Dolphins and I was a newspaper writer. He's a good guy and a solid football player. If he's healthy, and I hope he is following his concussions, he will make an impact with the Cowboys, who signed him to a one-year deal. Thomas is the kind of player you root for because he never let his size or what people said about him stop him from putting together an excellent career. Let's hope that continues for at least one more season.