Jerious Norwood has a couple of things going for him. Warrick Dunn is getting up there in age for a running back, and Michael “Ookie” Vick won’t be there to take away rushing yardage. With Joey Harrington at the helm, the Falcons will have to run a more traditional offense that will feature more rushing by the running backs. I think Norwood is going to be the guy that benefits the most.Last year Norwood rushed for 633 yards at a ridiculous 6.4 yards per carry. That’s a Tecmo Football yards per carry. He also had 102 yards receiving, which means he was good for 52.5 total yards per game last year. Unfortunately he only reached paydirt twice (on 78 & 69 yard runs).

Looking at his last month of work doesn’t really show he’s ready for a breakout season. He had a 107 yard game, a 32 yards game, he missed a game, had a 20 yard game, and a 63 yard game. To say he was inconsistent is an understatement. It’s going to take a leap of faith to carry Norwood as your 3rd or 4th receiver knowing that Warrick Dunn has ran for at least 1100 yards the past three years.

I think Norwood will be more involved in the passing game this year. With Harrington behind Center, they are going to need to dump some balls off. Plus, getting a burner like Norwood in space is just a good idea. I wouldn’t count on a lot of TDs from Norwood, but he should put up some good yardage numbers.

 

Prediction: 1200 total yards, 5 TDs

Previous Spotlights
D.J. Hackett
Chris Brown
J.P. Losman
Vincent Jackson

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On to fantasy football talk. First of all, I am so happy that Larry Johnson, my Numero Uno Keeper has reached a deal with the Chiefs. I, along with other LJ owners, can breath a collective sigh of relief. Alright, enough small talk. Let’s talk about Vincent Jackson.

Vincent Jackson is a big target. He’s listed at 6’5″ and 241 lbs. He’s entering his third year, which is a magical number for receivers. He caught 27 passes last year, which isn’t great, but he took 6 of them to the house. That’s should get you attention.What really should get your attention though is how he finished the season. In his last four games he caught 14 (52% of his total) passes for 286 yards (63%), and 3 TDs (50%). That’s a mighty fine way to finish the year.

If you extrapolate Jackson’s numbers from his last four games you get 56 catches for 1144 yards and 12 TDs. With all the attention LT and Gates get I think he’ll come pretty close to those numbers.

 

Prediction: 64 receptions, 1100 yards, 9 TDs

Not that it means much, but he scored a TD in San Diego’s second preseason game.

Previous Spotlights
D.J. Hackett
Chris Brown
J.P. Losman

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When you think J.P. Losman, admit it…you think Lossman or Loserman. He’s been the butt of jokes the last couple of years. I wouldn’t dream of picking Losman as the starting QB of my fantasy team, but believe it or not, he made great strides in his second year as starting QB. His first year as a starter he completed 49.6% of his passes. That is dreadful. Last year he completed 62.5%. He passed for 1340 yards in 9 games (8 starts – 167.5 per start) in 2005. He improved to 3051 (190.69 per start) in 2006. His TD-INT ratio improved from 8-8 to 19-4. His passer rating improved 20 points.

I believe he’s going to be called on even more in 2007 as they will be using a rookie running back. As I’ve mentioned before, I like to look at how a guy ended the year to predict how he’ll do. He had almost as many TDs in December (9) as he had the other months (10). He averaged 208.8 yards/month. The other months he averaged 182.45 yards/month. If you extrapolate his December numbers you get 3341 yards, 29 TDs and 19 INTs. I don’t think he’ll get quite that many TDs or INTs, however I do think he’ll be an adequate backup in most leagues.

Prediction: 3400 yards, 24 TDs, 16 INTs

Previous Spotlights
D.J. Hackett
Chris Brown

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Travis Henry has moved on to Denver’s greener pastures. LenDale White is a fat sweat who isn’t motivated. Chris Henry will get a chance to show something in the preseason. Rookies RBs typically struggle picking up blitzes. Although he was limited to 41 carries last year, I feel Chris Brown will lead the Titans in rushing this year.

I don’t suggest taking him early at all. In fact, I think he should be your 5th RB. If you are in smaller leagues, maybe you just want to keep an eye on him on the the waiver wire. He has produced in the past (1214 total yards, 6 TDs in 11 games in ’04 & 1178 total yards & 7 TDs in 15 games in ’05), and given the opportunity, he’ll do so again.

You can’t really guestimate numbers based on last year, but he should come close to repeating his 2005 stats. He’ll have to have big plays to score TDs though because Henry and White will likely work the red zone.

Warning: The bust factor is high on this pick.

Prediction: 1000 total yards, 5 TDs

Previous Spotlights
D.J. Hackett

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Last year I predicted and tracked players that I thought would be surprises or disappointments. I was moderately succesful. I did well with Reggie Brown, Philip Rivers, Mark Clayton, and Chester Taylor in the surprise department. In the disappointment compartment is where I really made my reputation. I successfully predicted a disappointing year for Trent Green, Tiki Barber, Santana Moss, Sinsinnati’s Defense, and to some extent Jason Witten.

First up is D.J. Hackett. It is his fourth year in the league and his 3rd year he’ll get playing time. He played in 13 games in 2005 catching 28 passes for 400 yards and 2 touchdowns. Last year he played in 15 games and catch 45 passes for 610 yards and 4 TDs. Darrell Jackson is taking his drops down the Pacific Coast to San Francisco meaning D.J. is likely going to be a starter.

One of the ways I like to judge players is how they finished. Let’s take a look at his December numbers. D.J. caught 20 passes (44% of his receptions) in December for 304 yards (50%) and 2 TDs (50%). in five games. That’s an average of 4 passes for 61 yards and 0.4 TDs. If you project that out to 16 games you get 64 passes, 976 yards, and 6 TDs. Obviously those numbers aren’t worthy of a #2 WR on a fantasy team, but they wouldn’t be too bad for a 4th WR (possibly 3rd in deep leagues). I think D.J. does a little better than my extrapolation though.

Plus, on MNF he was the best at catching fish at the fish market in Seattle.

Prediction: 80 receptions, 1100 yards, 8 TDs

Agree? Disagree? Let me know your thoughts. Thanks for reading.

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