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This week’s topic:
Which rookie’s fantasy stock fell the furthest due to the draft?
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My response:
While his long-term value may be solid, the immediate value of Ryan Mallett took a big time hit. Unless Tom Brady decides to stay home to spend time with Gisele, which would be as understandable as it is unlikely, Mallett isn’t seeing the field for years.
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Brady will turn 34 in August, so the waiting won’t last forever, but it will seem like an eternity for those who use a dynasty league pick on him. In redraft leagues you can forget about calling his name.
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There were a number of franchises looking for a quarterback in the draft. Miami, Seattle, and Arizona still don’t have their QB situation figured out. Mallett could have been a starter in a number of locations, but he gets clipboard duty in New England. It could be the best thing for his career, but that does little for fantasy owners.


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This week’s topic:
Which rookie’s fantasy stock jumped the most based on the team/system which drafted him?
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My response:
I would have to say that Daniel Thomas walked away from the draft in very good shape considering he was the 62nd player selected. Ronnie Brown and/or Ricky Williams will not be back next year, meaning Thomas has a chance to get a healthy share of carries right out of the gate.
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At 6’0″, 230 pounds Thomas has the size to carry the load. He ran for 1585 yards and 19 touchdowns at Kansas State and has enough speed and quickness to be effective at the next level.
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An added bonus is the Dolphins’ first round pick. Guard Mike Pouncey was taken to solidify their offensive line and improve the ability to run the football. Miami is one of teams most committed to running the football so Thomas should get ample opportunities.
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Honorable mention goes to Roy Helu, who was drafted with the 105th pick by the Redskins. Mike Shanahan keeps him out of the top slot.


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This week’s topic:
What non-top 20 quarterback do you project to finish in the top 15?

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My response:
I was high on Kevin Kolb last year. Oops. Assuming that he gets dealt this year, I think he has a good chance to put up big numbers. He’s a bright kid and a football junkie. He just needs the chance.
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The early indication that his break is going to come with the Arizona Cardinals. What’s not to like about that destination?
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The Cardinals ground game is ineffective last year, thanks to yet another Beanie Wells injury. They added Ryan Williams in the draft. Throw in Tim Hightower and the Cardinals could finally have a more balanced attack. If not, Kolb will be forced to throw more. Either way, it spells success for Kolb, especially with a defense that ranked 30th with 27.1 points allowed per game.
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I like the Patrick Peterson pick, but they are still a long way off from shutting down teams. They are going to have to put points on the board to win, which means opening up the passing game. With one of the elite receivers in the game, Larry Fitzgerald, at his disposal, Kolb could do big things in 2011.
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Even if he lands in Seattle, he can still flourish in Pete Carroll’s system.

 


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This week’s topic:
Would you rather have LeGarrette Blount or Shonn Greene in redraft leagues?
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My response:
LeGarrette Blount was one of the major surprises last year when he ran for 1007 yards and six touchdowns. Perhaps more impressive was his 5.0 yards per carry. I was surprised that the Bucs didn’t add a speedy back to compliment Blount in the 2011 NFL Draft. Perhaps that is a sign that they are confident in their ability to re-sign Cadillac Williams. Blount could yield some carries to potential touchdown vulture Allen Bradford, but it appears Blount’s run as the lead back is safe.
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Greene, meanwhile will also take over as the lead back. At least that’s what is supposed to happen. Isn’t what we thought when Thomas Jones left town? LaDainian Tomlinson will be brought in to backup Shonn Greene. Meanwhile LT outperformed him in every category. More attemps, more yards, better yards per carry, more touchdowns, more receptions, more recieving yards, more touches per fumble. You get the point.
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LT will be back next year, and I do believe his role will be minimized. That said, I think Joe McKnight will cut into both Greene and LT’s production. LT will take the bigger hit, but both Greene and LT will probably come off the board a little sooner than they should.

It’s a close call, but I like Blount a little better for 2011 fantasy drafts.


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This week’s topic
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The one player whose fantasy value is most stronglycorrelated to the system he plays in (affecting him either positively or negatively).

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My response:
My initial thought was Deion Branch. After all he was a quality receiver for the Patriots, struggled in Seattle, and was a quality receiver when he returned to New England.  While he certainly fits the bill, injuries also played a role in his Seattle regression.
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After further consideration I came to Brandon Marshall.
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Marshall is a physical specimen at 6’4″, 230 pounds. He flourished in Denver posting three consecutive 100 catch seasons. It didn’t matter if it was Jay Cutler or Kyle Orton under center. Marshall was a force in Denver. His antics led to his departure, and one could argue that he couldn’t have found many worse landing spots.
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Marshall still caught over six passes per game for the Dolphins, but only managed to score three touchdowns. He didn’t catch is second touchdown reception until Week 14. While he reached the 1000 yard mark for the fourth straight year, it’s only because he averaged 101.7 yards per game over the past three weeks. In his first 11 games, Marshall averaged 64.5 ypg.
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All indications are that the Dolphins will be looking for a new quarterback, which will make it Marshall’s fourth in four years. They also have major question marks at running back. The state of the Broncos offense is in complete disarray. Time will tell what their system will like like next year. While the move to Miami may have increased the value of Marshall’s bank account, it took a hard hit on his fantasy value.

 


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This week’s topic
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What top 15 wide receiver do you feel is poised for a fall?
Click here for the full article.

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My response:
I’m sorry, but I’m not a believer in Brandon Lloyd next year. He was one of the best stories in the league last year when he caught 77 passes for a league-high 1448 yards and 11 touchdowns.  Josh McDaniels is gone and John Fox isn’t going to be nearly as pass happy. He already started to show signs of slowing last year. He averaged 68.6 yards in Denver’s last seven games last year after posting a 107.6 average through the first nine games. Lloyd totaled 2370 yards and 15 touchdowns in his first seven seasons so I have every right to be a skeptic.
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Another factor is Demaryius Thomas’ eventual return. While he’ll likely miss the first half of the year, he should be in the mix for targets down the stretch. Eddie Royal and Eric Decker will also compete for looks. Plus, let’s not forget Fox’s penchant for running the football. The Panthers, even when they were struggling, were always one of the top running teams in the league. Knowshon Moreno should get plenty of looks.
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There just seems to be too many factors that aren’t in Lloyd’s favor. I hope he proves me wrong because I’d love to see that Cinderella story continue, but in terms of being a fantasy stud WR I think his carriage turns back into a pumpkin in 2011.


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This week’s topic
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Do you prefer Dez Bryant or Kenny Britt this year? Why?

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My response:
This is a tough one. Both receivers are extremely capable. Both come with some baggage. Things had been quiet in Britt’s camp though, while Dez Bryant just can’t seem to make a right decision. Britt seems to have Dez trumped in the maturity department. That was until he got arrested after trying to elude police. Bryant’s incidents aren’t nearly on the level as this one.
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So that makes Bryant a slam dunk? It certainly helps. Plus, Britt has major quarterback concerns heading into this year. We know Vince Young won’t be throwing him the football, but who will? While that is an uncertainty, we know that Dez will be catching passes from Tony Romo. Even if Tennessee walks away from the 2011 NFL Draft with Blaine Gabbert or Cam Newton, which is unlikely, or adds a veteran quarterback via a trade or free agency, Bryant will still be operating with a superior quarterback.
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So now Bryant is the obvious choice? Not so fast. Dez has to share with Jason Witten, Miles Austin, the running game, and possibly Roy WIlliams. Britt has to share with Chris Johnson and average-at-best receivers. Of course, that allows Britt to be double-teamed.
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Is your head spinning? Mine is too. Britt pretty much scored in every game he played, but only topped 50 yards in five games. Bryant topped 50 yards seven times, but four of those totals were 50 or better.
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Britt is in his third season and Bryant is in his second. It’s close, but I’ll give Bryant the slight edge based on Britt’s recent arrest, though both are high risk/high reward options.


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This week’s topic
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What non-top 35 wide receiver do you project to finish in the top 25?
Click here for the full article.

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My response:
I think that Danario Alexander, at 6’5″, 220 could be in for a very big year for the Rams in 2011. He has the size and explosiveness to make a big leap in his second season. Sam Bradford turned in one of the most prolific rookie seasons in NFL history and is not a strong candidate for a sophomore slump. With Josh McDaniels on board to guide the offense, the Rams could return to the days of “The Greatest Show on Turf”.
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There should be plenty of opportunities for Alexander to shine. Even if the Rams select a receiver early in the 2011 NFL Draft, he won’t likely be ready to make an immediate impact. The Rams will try to resign Mark Clayton, but he will be more of a possession receiver should they sign him. Alexander figures to be the deep threat. Danny Amendola will work out of the slot.
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Alexander showed some glimpses of what he is capable of last year. In Week 6 he caught four passes for 72 yards against the Chargers. In Week 12 he caught four passes for 95 yards against the Broncos. In Week 15 he caught six passes for 99 yards against the 49ers. He did this despite going unsigned until just before the season began. With an offseason of work with Bradford, the dividends could be bountiful. Obviously he will have to work on his consistency and be able to stay healthy, but I am optimistic. You may draft Alexander as a WR4 or WR5, but he could end up producing like a WR2 on good weeks and a WR3 overall.


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This week’s topic
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What player did you have good vibes for last offseason that fell short of your expectations…yet you remain high on.
Click here to see the full article.

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My response:
Beanie Wells ran for 793 yards as a rookie at a 4.5 yards per carry clip along with seven touchdowns. He added 12 catches for 143 yards. He split carries with Tim Hightower, who ran for 598 yards and caught 63 passes for 428 yards. 2010 was supposed to be the year that Beanie took over as the lead back and Tim Hightower handled third down duties.
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Flash forward to 2010 and you have Beanie Wells carrying the rock 116 times to Tim Hightower’s 153. Wells ran for 397 yards while Hightower ran for 736. Beanie averaged just 3.4 ypc while Hightower averaged 4.8. Basically 2010 was a disaster for Beanie Wells. That could be said for the whole Cardinals organization though.
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Despite his lackluster performance I’m still willing to give Beanie another shot. He’ll be just 23 when (if) the season starts. It will just be his third year in the league and with just 292 career carries, he’s still getting his feet wet. I expect the Cardinals to provide more stability at quarterback, which should open things up for Beanie and the running game. He’s got too good a blend of quickness and size not to improve. That is, if he can avoid the injuries that have haunted him for years.
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This time around I am going to be more cautions with Beanie. Instead of a top 15 projection, I’ll probably look for him to be a top 25 back. It’s put up or shut up time for Beanie. If he fails to deliver this year, I’ll be so over him. However, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt one more time.

 


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This week’s topic:
Would you rather have Tampa Bay’s Mike Williams or Philadelphia’s Jeremy Maclin in a redraft league for next year?
Click here to see the full article.

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My response:
Another tough choice. I like both Mike Williams and Jeremy Maclin, as I’m sure the majority of fantasy football players do. What’s not to love? Mike Williams was a beast as a rookie catching 65 passes for 964 yards and 11 touchdowns. He scored four touchdowns in the final three weeks of the season. He was only held without a score in six games last year. If you want a downside, it’s that Williams never had a monster game. He only topped 100 yards once, back in Week 8 against a bad Cardinals team. He also was held below 80 yards in eleven games last year.
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Jeremy Maclin was held below 80 yards in 12 games, but he did have some bigger games. He had two 120+ yard games, as well as three multiple touchdown games. Their numbers are virtually identical. Maclin caught 70 passes for 964 yards and ten touchdowns. Maclin’s big games made him less consistent. He was held without a touchdown in nine games.
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They both have pros. Maclin has to share looks with DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy, and Brent Celek. He also has a quarterback (Michael Vick) that piles up a ton of yards and touchdowns on the ground. Quite simply, there are more mouths to feed in Philly. That said, at least at this point, if their starting quarterback were to go down, the Eagles are in a much better spot with Kevin Kolb waiting in the wings.
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I don’t think you can go wrong either way. It’s really just a preference thing. Despite Mike Williams being an Orangeman like myself, I’m going to have to go with Jeremy Maclin. He has a longer track record with two solid seasons under his belt. Williams set the bar much higher in his rookie year than Maclin did, but he has to prove that he can come back and do it again.


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