Tag:NFL Draft
Posted on: April 28, 2008 2:46 pm

NFL Draft overview

The NFL Draft is over, and I like the new format. It made the first round quicker and the second day more interesting with Round 3.

Here's an overall assessment of how I thought each team did based on the impact for Fantasy leagues in 2008. We're just looking at skill players here.

Feel free to share your thoughts.

Arizona: Taking WR Early Doucet in the third round will give the Cardinals a replacement for Bryant Johnson. You're not going to draft him in most leagues, but he could be a valuable waiver wire guy if Larry Fitzgerald or Anquan Boldin get hurt. RB Tim Hightower is not going to replace Edgerrin James. He's more of a special teams player.

Atlanta: I'm not thrilled with Matt Ryan going to the Falcons. I would have preferred him in Baltimore. But he will be the face of the franchise down the road. This year, consider Ryan a low-end Fantasy option, and Chris Redman will likely still start the season. Harry Douglas will compete with Michael Jenkins and Laurent Robinson for playing time opposite Roddy White, but don't plan on drafting Douglas in Fantasy leagues. RB Thomas Brown and TE Keith Zinger are backups with no Fantasy value.

Baltimore: The Ravens miss on Ryan but take Joe Flacco instead at No. 18. I don't like this pick at all. I think Flacco could be good down the road, but with their aging defense, the Ravens are saying we're going to live with Kyle Boller. That's not a good thing. Consider Flacco a notch below Ryan this year in Fantasy leagues. Ray Rice also was an interesting choice. Rice will steal some carries from Willis McGahee, but I don't see Rice doing much to help your Fantasy team. WR Marcus Smith and WR Justin Harper will compete for the No. 3 spot behind Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton, but neither is worth drafting in Fantasy leagues. And RB Patrick Allen is a backup.

Buffalo: I love the Bills taking James Hardy in the second round. Finally, a tall receiver to play opposite Lee Evans. Hardy is going to make Evans and QB Trent Edwards better in 2008, and you should draft Hardy as a No. 4 Fantasy option. TE Derek Fine could find playing time behind Robert Royal, and RB Xavier Omon and WR Steve Johnson are just backups.

Carolina: Dave Richard loves Jonathan Stewart so much that I'm starting to see the light. If he wins the starting job, he will be like Stephen Davis was for the Panthers back in the day, and that was pretty good. Stewart appears to be the starter, which means you'll want to draft him as a No. 3 Fantasy option with A LOT of upside. TE Gary Barnidge could find playing time, but don't draft him in any leagues.

Chicago: The Bears made some subtle picks that could be good in 2008. RB Matt Forte will push Cedric Benson for the starting spot, and if that happens you'll want Forte as a No. 3 Fantasy option, making Benson someone to avoid until the later rounds. WR Earl Bennett could end up being the No. 1 option since Marty Booker is terrible. TE Kellen Davis won't have a role on offense, and WR Marcus Monk is a backup.

Cincinnati: The Bengals loaded up at wide receiver in case Chad Johnson bolts. Drafting Jerome Simpson in Round 2 and Andre Caldwell in Round 3 will give them a replacement for Chris Henry and a possible second starter if Johnson is traded. TE Matt Sherry is a backup, and don't expect much from WR Mario Urrutia.

Cleveland: With now picks in the first three rounds, they couldn't do much. So don't count on TE Martin Rucker or WR Paul Hubbard to have any Fantasy impact in 2008.

Dallas: The Cowboys passed on Rashard Mendenhall to take Felix Jones, which shows how much interest they had in the former Arkansas back. Jones will complement Marion Barber and could be a nice sleeper in Fantasy leagues. You can also expect Tashard Choice to see some time as well, but don't draft him in any leagues in 2008. TE Martellus Bennett might be a deep sleeper if he gets playing time as the No. 2 option behind Jason Witten.

Denver: The Broncos needed help at WR and took a chance on Eddie Royal in the second round. If Brandon Marshall's arm is bad from the cut, Royal will pay immediate dividends. Otherwise, don't expect much from Royal, but he's someone to watch on the waiver wire. I like Denver trying to help QB Jay Cutler with some weapons. RB Ryan Torain could play a role since it's the Broncos.

Detroit: The Lions might have gotten the best rookie for Fantasy play when it comes to RB Kevin Smith. I'd rather see Rashard Mendenhall with the Lions, but Smith will compete with Tatum Bell for the starting spot. Smith could be a No. 3 Fantasy RB with upside. WR Kenneth Moore is not worth drafting in Fantasy leagues. Mike Martz is gone, so extra receivers behind Roy Williams, Calvin Johnson and Shaun McDonald won't matter much.

Green Bay: The Packers made some nice moves that will pay dividends down the road but not much in Fantasy leagues in 2008. WR Jordy Nelson will likely compete with James Jones for the No. 3 role, but he'll still be behind Greg Jennings and Donald Driver. QB Brian Brohm also will sit behind Aaron Rodgers this year. And TE Jermichael Finley will replace Bubba Franks, but he's No. 2 behind Donald Lee. None of these players should be drafted in 2008, but in keeper leagues, they have some extended Fantasy value.

Houston: The Texans are obviously sold on Kevin Walter and Andre Davis because they didn't draft another wide receiver. They did, however, draft RB Steve Slaton, which could mean bad things for Ahman Green. Look for Green to remain the starter, but Slaton should be drafted as a No. 4 Fantasy RB with upside. We know Green is injury prone, so Slaton could play at any moment.

Indianapolis: The Colts made some subtle moves that are interesting. TE Jacob Tamme and even TE Tom Santi could see playing time as replacements for Ben Utecht, but they won't have much Fantasy value. But RB Mike Hart could be a great, late Fantasy addition as a backup to Joseph Addai. With Kenton Keith's recent arrest, Tony Dungy might not have much patience. If Hart is No. 2, then draft him with a late-round Fantasy pick. And the Colts did draft WR Pierre Garcon in the sixth round, but that they didn't take a WR earlier means Marvin Harrison is probably healthy and ready to go in 2008.

Jacksonville: The Jags addressed most of their offensive needs this offseason, so the draft was spent on defense. RB Chauncey Washington will be a backup and has no Fantasy value.

Kansas City: The Chiefs made solid draft picks, but no one who will help your Fantasy value in 2008 unless there are injuries. RB Jamaal Charles is a solid player, but he will sit behind Larry Johnson and potentially Kolby Smith. The same goes for RB DaJuan Morgan. TE Brad Cottam is a blocker but has good hands. And WR William Franklin and Kevin Robinson will compete for playing time, but you're not drafting secondary receivers for the Chiefs in your Fantasy league.

Miami: The Dolphins did little to help your Fantasy team in 2008. QB Chad Henne may start, but he's not a good Fantasy option right now. And RB Jalen Parmele and RB Lex Hilliard aren't playing over Ronnie Brown or Ricky Williams any time soon. The Dolphins did make two trades over the weekend, getting TE Anthony Fasano from Dallas and giving up RB Lorenzo Booker. Fasano should be a TE sleeper.

Minnesota: I like the Vikings taking QB John David Booty. He could eventually start but not this year. WR Jaymar Johnson is a backup and has no Fantasy value in 2008.

New England: The Pats start thinking about the future with QB Kevin O'Connell, but he's obviously not playing in 2008. And WR Matt Slater has special teams written all over him. Don't draft either of these players.

New Orleans: The Saints did nothing to help your Fantasy team. They should have traded for TE Jeremy Shockey. Instead, they took WR Adrian Arrington late, but he's playing special teams.

New York Giants: I like what the Giants did by taking WR Mario Manningham, and he will compete with Steve Smith and Sinorice Moss for the No. 3 spot. You can spend a late-round pick on Manningham, and he may be productive. QB Andre Woodson is just a backup.

New York Jets: The Jets needed a tight end, and Dustin Keller is a good one. He could start right away and should be considered a solid sleeper in all leagues. QB Erik Ainge is worth taking in deep keeper leagues, and WR Marcus Henry is a special teams player at best. The Jets not getting Darren McFadden means Thomas Jones remains a great Fantasy option in 2008.

Oakland: If you play Fantasy Football, you wanted to see Darren McFadden with the Jets. Now with Oakland, there is a cluster of running backs with Justin Fargas, Michael Bush and Dominic Rhodes (LaMont Jordan will be released). McFadden is a No. 3 Fantasy option at best. Fargas will definitely get carries and limit how good McFadden will be in 2008. WR Arman Shields and WR Chaz Schilens have minimal Fantasy value.

Philadelphia: The Eagles got the receiver they needed in DeSean Jackson, who is small but adds another weapon to Donovan McNabb's arsenal. Consider Jackson a No. 4 Fantasy option with upside. The Eagles also added RB Lorenzo Booker in a trade, and he could have value in leagues where receptions count.

Pittsburgh: The Steelers complicated many Fantasy leagues by taking RB Rashard Mendenhall in the first round. Willie Parker will remain the starter, but look for Mendenhall to fill the Jerome Bettis role and play on short-yardage situations. Parker won't be getting many touchdowns, but Mendenhall won't get many yards. Look for Parker to be a low-end No. 2 Fantasy options, and Mendenhall is a low-end No. 3 on his own. WR Limas Sweed will make Ben Roethlisberger better, and he will take away some catches from Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes.

St. Louis: The Rams needed a WR with Isaac Bruce gone, and they took plenty of them in Donnie Avery, Justin King and Keenan Burton. Whoever wins a starting job, and they will compete with Drew Bennett and Reche Caldwell opposite Torry Holt, could have significant Fantasy value. Keep an eye on what develops, but Avery will have the best chance to succeed. If you have Marc Bulger, you like this draft because he was getting some help.

San Diego: The Chargers took RB Marcus Thomas in the fifth round, and he could be the new backup to LaDainian Tomlinson if Darren Sproles doesn't pan out now that Michael Turner is gone. Look for Thomas to compete for the job, and if he wins it, spend a late-round pick on him or handcuff him to Tomlinson.

San Francisco: The 49ers did little to help your Fantasy team. They took WR Josh Morgan in the sixth round, and he will be a backup and special teams player. Ignore him in all Fantasy leagues.

Seattle: It was interesting that the Seahawks passed on wide receivers in this draft, meaning they really like Bobby Engram, Nate Burleson and Ben Obomanu. They needed a tight end, so consider John Carlson a decent sleeper in all leagues. RB Justin Forsett has minimal Fantasy value.

Tampa Bay: Michigan fans might not like WR Dexter Jackson (he's from Appalachian State), but he could play a role for the Bucs. If he's given extended playing time, which is likely since Tampa Bay has a weak receiving corps, consider him a late-round draft pick in most Fantasy leagues. QB Josh Johnson gives Tampa Bay 45 quarterbacks on the roster. Ignore him in all leagues along with RB Cory Boyd.

Tennessee: The Titans need help at wide receiver. So what do they do? They wait until Round 4 to take Lavelle Hawkins, who will make little impact in 2008 and doesn't help Vince Young much. TE Craig Stevens also won't do much in 2008 with Alge Crumpler around. As for RB Chris Johnson, he's a good player who did well at the Combine. But he will play behind LenDale White, who also saw his value nose dive with this pick. This draft made RB Chris Henry an afterthought.

Washington: The Redskins made sure QB Jason Campbell was happy by adding WR Devin Thomas, WR Malcolm Kelly and TE Fred Davis with their first three picks. Thomas and Kelly should be considered decent Fantasy reserves, and Davis is a deep sleeper in 2008 since he will be playing behind Chris Cooley. Washington added QB Colt Brennan, but he isn't expected to play in 2008.

Category: NFL
Posted on: April 27, 2008 12:01 pm

Draft Day 2

Round 3 is over, and let's go over some of the picks as it relates to Fantasy Football.

Likes: Detroit takes RB Kevin Smith, Chicago takes WR Earl Bennett, Arizona takes WR Early Doucet, Houston takes RB Steve Slaton, New England takes QB Kevin O'Connell, Giants take WR Mario Manningham, Cincinnati takes WR Andre Caldwell.

Dislikes: Kansas City takes RB Jamaal Charles, Kansas City takes TE Brad Cottam.

The Lions get a starting RB in Smith, who will compete with Tatum Bell right away. He's big with speed and should be good with the Lions. The Bears needed help at WR, and Bennett can play right away. Doucet will replace Bryant Johnson, making Matt Leinart happy. Slaton could get A LOT of playing time if Ahman Green's injuries continue to happen. The Giants get a potential steal in Manningham, who has some baggage but can also play. He could start in three receiver sets. Caldwell gives the Bengals some nice receiving options with Jerome Simpson in the second round. They now have plenty of options if Chad Johnson remains a baby. And the Patriots start planning for the future with O'Connell.

The Chiefs made good moves, but they took quality players from other teams, who will just sit on their bench. Charles has talent, but he will sit behind Larry Johnson and Kolby Smith. And Cottam is more of a blocker, but I like his potential. He will sit behind Tony Gonzalez. I would have liked to see these guys elsewhere.

Category: NFL
Posted on: April 26, 2008 10:16 pm

End of Draft Day

Wow, what a first day. A lot of nice picks that will help your Fantasy team in 2008.

Let's wrap up Round 2.

Picks I like and dislike from where we left off.

Likes: Washington takes TE Fred Davis and WR Malcolm Kelly, Philadelphia takes WR DeSean Jackson, Pittsburgh takes WR Limas Sweed, Green Bay takes QB Brian Brohm, Miami takes QB Chad Henne, Tampa Bay takes WR Dexter Jackson, Dallas takes TE Martellus Bennett.

Dislikes: Baltimore takes RB Ray Rice.

Washington had a tremendous second round when it comes to skill players, taking WR Devin Thomas along with Davis and Kelly. They are going to be explosive in 2008, and QB Jason Campbell should be giddy. The Eagles needed a WR, and they got a steal in Jackson at No. 49 overall.

Like the Redskins, the Steelers added to their potent offense with RB Rashard Mendenhall in the first round and now Sweed, who will eventually replace Hines Ward. The Packers now have great QB depth with Brohm and Aaron Rodgers. And the Dolphins have a steal in Henne at No. 57.

The Ravens could have taken a receiver in Early Doucet or Andre Caldwell instead of Rice and taken him later. Running back was not a position of need, but wide receiver is. They need to address that spot soon.

Sunday should be fun. Look for more to come ...

Category: NFL
Posted on: April 26, 2008 7:51 pm

Draft day - round 2

Midway through Round 2 ...

Picks I like and dislike as it relates to Fantasy Football picking up where we left off:

Likes: Jets take TE Dustin Keller, Steelers take RB Rashard Mendenhall, Cowboys take Felix Jones, Redskins take WR Devin Thomas, Seahawks take TE John Carlson, Bills take WR James Hardy, Bears take RB Matt Forte, Bengals take WR Jerome Simpson.

Dislikes: Titans take RB Chris Johnson, Rams take WR Donnie Avery, Packers take WR Jordy Nelson.

The Jets and Seahawks filled a need with getting tight ends, and the Jets got a good one. Everyone knew the Cowboys were taking Jones, but the Steelers surprise some with the pick of Mendenhall. This means two things: Willie Parker's leg might not be 100 percent and Najeh Davenport should be uncomfortable coming into training camp. There's something to be said about taking talent, which is what the Steelers did.

The Redskins get a steal in Thomas. He is going to thrive in Washington, as is Hardy in Buffalo. Finally, a big receiver for the Bills. Not thrilled with Forte to Chicago, but he fills a need. Same goes for Simpson, who most people think will be replacing Chad Johnson, but in reality he's just replacing Chris Henry.

As for the dislikes, the Titans take a good running back who will work well with LenDale White, but they passed on some good wide receivers, which is more of a need. Same goes for the Packers and Rams, who let potentially better players go to take reaches on Nelson and Avery, respectively.

Surprise: Brian Brohm and Chad Henne still on the board.

More to come ...


Category: NFL
Posted on: April 26, 2008 5:18 pm

Draft Day

OK, so the draft is in full swing, and now it's time to digest some of the picks.

Are you having fun so far? Most NFL fans are pretty annoyed or elated by now based on what their teams have done.

So, to recap the first 20 picks, here's what I like and don't like so far from a Fantasy perspective.

Likes: Atlanta taking Matt Ryan, Baltimore taking Joe Flacco.

Dislikes: Oakland taking Darren McFadden, Carolina taking Jonathan Stewart, Buffalo passing on a wide receiver, Detroit passing on a running back.

The Falcons get their QB of the future in Ryan, and if he lives up to the hype, he'll be a good fit as the face of the club. Baltimore then settled for who they consider the second-best QB in the draft, and Flacco has plenty of potential but plenty of flaws.

I wish McFadden had fallen to the Jets. He had a much better offensive line there. On the plus side, he'll face poor run defenses in Denver and K.C. four times in 2008. Carolina, Detroit and even Chicago missed on RB Rashard Mendenhall. Stewart might not be able to start the year and is injury prone, so I'm not so fond of his play. The Bills had the perfect chance to take WR Devin Thomas. They really need help opposite Lee Evans.

OK, more to come soon, have fun.

Category: NFL
Posted on: April 25, 2008 4:01 pm

Fantasy NFL Draft

Dave and I will be doing some blogs from this weekend's NFL Draft. Make sure you check it out. We'll also follow up with a video Monday, some commentary during the week and our first Fantasy draft with the rookies actually on their new teams. That will start Monday, and you can see how we all do on the site.

Now, let's play Fantasy Football with the NFL Draft. No linemen or defensive players. Just offensive players based on need. This is all hypothetical, but feel free to send me your picks as well.

Miami: Offensive need - QB, WR, TE. Pick - QB Chad Henne. Let's face it, John Beck isn't going to get it done, and Henne has a big arm and the size Bill Parcells covets. And the Dolphins can get him in the second round on the real draft.

St. Louis: Offensive need - WR, TE. Pick - WR Andre Caldwell. The Rams need speedy receivers, and Caldwell is fast. He's a little small, but he could be a nice replacement for Isaac Bruce.

Atlanta: Offensive need - QB, WR, TE. Pick - QB Brian Brohm. The last time the Falcons took a chance on a Louisville product they got burned. But Brohm's not going back to college.

Oakland: Offensive need - RB, WR. Pick - I don't want to see Darren McFadden with the Raiders because I think he will suffer there. So Oakland gets Chris Johnson of East Carolina. He's fast and will work well with Justin Fargas and Michael Bush.

Kansas City: Offensive need - QB, WR. Pick - Brodie Croyle is b-a-d. They go with John David Booty, who is a winner with a good arm. He starts for the Chiefs in 2009.

Jets: Offensive need - QB, RB, WR, TE. Pick - This is where Darren McFadden lands here and in real life. If that offensive line is for real, McFadden will thrive in a tandem with Thomas Jones.

New England: Offensive need - RB, TE. Pick - Ben Watson gets hurt too often. The Patriots don't have any holes to fill, but they take TE Dustin Keller from Purdue. Just one more target for Tom Brady.

Baltimore: Offensive need - QB, WR. Pick - Matt Ryan is a lock in the real draft and this one.

Cincinnati: Offensive need - WR, TE. Pick - They need someone to replace the whiny 85 so they take WR Jerome Simpson from Coastal Carolina. Hey, you didn't know who Chad Johnson or T.J. Houshmandzadeh was either before they made the NFL.

New Orleans: Offensive need - WR, TE. Pick - Eric Johnson isn't going to help them win many game. They take TE Fred Davis from USC.

Buffalo: Offensive need - WR, TE. Pick - WR Devin Thomas. He would be a nice complement to Lee Evans and give Trent Edwards another weapon.

Denver: Offensive need - WR, RB. Pick - The Broncos need to replace Javon Walker, and WR DeSean Jackson gives them a great deep threat.

Carolina: Offensive need - QB, RB. Pick - DeAngelo Williams might be the starter for now, but that won't last long. The Panthers draft Jonathan Stewart from Oregon.

Chicago: Offensive need - RB, QB, WR. Pick - The Bears need a lot of help, but they pair Cedric Benson with another RB from Texas in Jamaal Charles.

Detroit: Offensive need - RB, QB, TE. Pick - The Lions get the second best running back in the draft in Illinois' Rashard Mendenhall.

Arizona: Offensive need - RB, TE. Pick - The Cardinals stay in the state and take RB Ryan Torain from Arizona State. He will eventually take over for Edgerrin James.

Kansas City: Offensive need - WR. Pick - They got their QB, now they get another WR in Malcolm Kelly from Oklahoma.

Houston: Offensive need - RB, WR. Pick - They need a young running back and another WR opposite Andre Johnson. We'll go running back and take Kevin Smith.

Philadelphia: Offensive need - WR, TE. Pick - The Eagles may make a play to get Chad Johnson. If not, they take WR James Hardy from Indiana.

Tampa Bay: Offensive need - WR, TE. Pick - The Bucs surprise their fans by taking TE Brad Cottam from Tennessee. If he ends up like Jason Witten, look out.

Washington: Offensive need - WR, QB. Pick - Jason Campbell has been a disappointment thus far, so the Redskins invest in a project and take Delaware QB Joe Flacco. He's two years away from starting anyway, so they have time to see if Campbell can finally step up.

Dallas: Offensive need - RB, WR. Pick - This is another lock: Arkansas RB Felix Jones.

Pittsburgh: Offensive need - RB, WR. Pick - Michigan RB Mike Hart will give the Steelers an insurance policy in case Willie Parker's leg isn't ready to start the season.

Tennessee: Offensive need - RB, WR. Pick - The Titans need to give Vince Young more weapons, and he gets reunited with his former college teammate in WR Limas Sweed.

Seattle: Offensive need - WR, TE, QB. Pick - The Seahawks are looking to win now, so they need to address some holes in the receiving game. As bad as their wide receiver situation is, tight end is worse. They take Martellus Bennett from Texas A&M.

Jacksonville: Offensive need - WR, TE. Pick - Maybe Marcedes Lewis develops into a quality TE. Or maybe the Jaguars think Michigan State's Kellen Davis is better and take him here.

San Diego: Offensive need - RB, QB. Pick - The Chargers need a running back who can backup LaDainian Tomlinson now that Michael Turner is in Atlanta. They take Ray Rice here from Rutgers since he can catch the ball also.

Dallas: Offensive need - WR. Pick - The Cowboys stay in the SEC after taking a Razorback and go for LSU WR Early Doucet. He will play in the slot between Terrell Owens and Patrick Crayton.

San Francisco: Offensive need - QB, WR. Pick - Alex Smith has been a bust, and Shaun Hill might only be a short-term solution. The 49ers look long-term here and go with a QB in Josh Johnson from San Diego.

Green Bay: Offensive need - QB, TE. Pick - Aaron Rodgers will take over for Brett Favre, but the Packers have a history of taking QBs in every draft when the need is there. They start again with Ricky Santos from New Hampshire.

Giants: Offensive need - WR, TE. Pick - Amani Toomer is old, and the Giants go for a reach with Virginia Tech's Eddie Royal. Between Royal, Steve Smith and Sinorice Moss, one of them need to be good.

Category: NFL
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