Rashard Mendenhall owners got a bit of bad news when Pittsburgh Coach Mike Tomlin named Isaac Redman as the short-yardage back. While it isn’t an ideal situation, I wouldn’t write off Mendenhall as a legitimate WR1.

 

In fact, some of the other RBs that have similar ADPs like DeAngelo Williams, Pierre Thomas, LeSean McCoy, Beanie Wells and Shonn Greene could also find themselves yielding the goal line touches as well.

 

Mendenhall had 1108 yards on 242 carries for a solid 4.6 yards per carry. He also added 25 catches for 261 yards and a score. I believe it’s that versatility that will keep him on the field inside the five. Maybe he loses a few one-yard plunges from Redman, but it shouldn’t be enough to drastically sway your opinion about Mendenhall.

 

It’s not like Mendenhall struggled inside the five last year as six of his rushing touchdowns came from four or fewer yards, with the seventh coming from seven yards out. His lone TD reception was from eight yards out. That’s eight TDs inside the ten yard line in the 13 games he started.

 

Redman may have the size (6’0″, 230 lbs), but he’ll have to prove he can handle the punishment around the goal line. You may want to lower your expectations for Mendenhall, but this news doesn’t budge him out of the #9 ranking I give him (click to see my 2010 RB rankings).

 

Also check out:
Week 1 QB Rankings
Week 1 RB Rankings
Week 1 WR Rankings
Week 1 TE Rankings
Week 1 K Rankings
Week 1 DEF Rankings
Week 1 IDP Rankings

 

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Mark Clayton never quite made the splash everybody was expecting him to in Baltimore. Things did not look good when Baltimore acquired Anquan Boldin. Then the acquisition of T.J. Houshmandzadeh sealed his fate. Obviously going from a playoff team to a 1-15 team is not good for your chances of winning, but will the move be good for his fantasy value?

 

I’m in the camp that thinks it will. For starters he doesn’t have much competition in St. Louis. Laurent Robinson, Danny Amendola, Mardy Gilyard, and Brandon Gibson aren’t exactly the who’s who of NFL wideouts. My guess is Clayton will eventually force start opposite of Robinson and Amendola to the slot.

 

Clayton won’t have a lot of time to build a rapport with Sam Bradford, but it shouldn’t take long for the two former Sooners to get on the same page. You won’t want to use him the first couple of weeks as he gets used to the system, and potentially will be matched up with Nnamdi Asomugha in Week 2. After he gets by Washington in Week 3, it should be smooth sailing for a few weeks (Seattle, Detroit, San Diego, Tampa Bay).

 

Clayton represents a low risk, but he could end up paying dividends. If you have question marks at WR, it wouldn’t hurt to give Clayton a shot.

 

You can also check out my Week 1 Rankings:
Week 1 QB Rankings
Week 1 RB Rankings
Week 1 WR Rankings
Week 1 TE Rankings
Week 1 K Rankings
Week 1 DEF Rankings
Week 1 IDP Rankings

Written by Eric Stashin of www.rotoprofessor.com

 

 

When Glen Coffee suddenly retired, it looked like the 49ers would be left with little behind star running back Frank Gore.  Less then three weeks later, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

 

Not only did they bring Brian Westbrook into the mix, but sixth round pick Anthony Dixon has emerged from obscurity.  While a lot of his impressive preseason statistics came against marginal NFL players, at best, it still is hard to overlook.

 

He led the NFL with 300 rushing yards (Michael Bennett was second with 236). He led the NFL with four rushing touchdowns.

 

Then again, he had 20 more carries then any other running back, at 74.  When you have that big of a lead in carries, it’s easy to out rush the competition by such a great margin.

 

Despite coach Mike Singleton telling Comcast Sports Net California that, “When you have a guy like that, there’s going to be a role”, it’s impossible to think the role is going to be anything too special at this point.

 

With the options that the team has in front of him, it’s going to take a lot for Dixon to get regular touches.  Granted, Westbrook certainly is an injury risk, but even if he were the primary understudy to Gore would you expect him to develop into usability?

 

Gore has played in 14 or more games each of the past four years, only once having less then 1,100 yards during that span (1,036 in 2008).  He’s a workhorse, and should remain to be the main man in San Francisco.

 

Coffee, as the primary backup to Gore in 2009, got just 83 carries for 226 yards and a touchdown (plus 11 catches for 76 yards).

 

An impressive preseason is nice, but Dixon just isn’t likely to make an impact in 2010.  Don’t bother getting caught up in any attention he may be receiving.  There are much better options that should be available to you.

 

Keep an eye on him, just in case, but there certainly is no reason to be making a move right now.

 

What are your thoughts of Dixon?  Is there any chance he develops into a usable option in 2010?  Why or why not?

 

Make sure to check out Rotoprofessor’s 2010 rankings:

 

 

You can also check out my Week 1 Rankings:
Week 1 QB Rankings
Week 1 RB Rankings
Week 1 WR Rankings
Week 1 TE Rankings
Week 1 K Rankings
Week 1 DEF Rankings
Week 1 IDP Rankings

Written by Eric Stashin of www.rotoprofessor.com

 

 

Kyle Orton could have been considered a 2009 surprise, posting solid numbers after being acquired from the Bears in the trade sending Jay Cutler out of Denver.  Having only spent one year as a starter prior to the trade, it was hard to imagine what we were going to see, but he certainly delivered.

 

Orton completed over 62 percent of his passes, going for 3,802 yards (11th in the league) and 21 TD.  Additionally, he only threw 12 INT, ninth fewest among QB with at least 300 attempts.

 

The problem, as we enter 2010, is wondering where the production on the outside will come from with Brandon Marshall now calling Miami home.  Nearly one-third of the yards Orton threw for went to Marshall, nearly half the TDs.

 

Not only that, but Tony Sheffler, who could have emerged as a big-time go to target at TE, is now in Detroit, just adding to the lack of receiving threats.

 

Demaryious Thomas, drafted to replace Marshall, has been hampered by a foot injury, and no one really knows what to expect from him.

 

That leaves a number of question marks surrounding what’s left.  Can Eddie Royal rediscover his rookie form?  Can Jabar Gaffney, who showed signs last season, emerge as a number one WR?  Can Brandon Lloyd, a perpetual disappointment, provide any type of offense?

 

Knowshown Moreno, if healthy, could emerge as the biggest threat coming out of the backfield, but that’s not going to provide Orton with many downfield opportunities.  If their leading receiver turns out to be a running back, just how can we expect him to accumulate a ton of numbers?

 

The best example of a RB who turned in a monster receiving season is Reggie Bush in 2006 and 2007.  In 2006 he had 88 catches for just 742 yards (8.4 yards/reception).  In 2007, it was 73 catches for 417 yards (5.7 yards/reception).  That’s not a lot of bang for your competions.

 

While Orton showed he had potential last season, the loss of Marshall is going to have a major effect on him.  He’s a low-end QB2 in my mind, and better suited to be a reserve in two-quarterback formats.

 

What are your thoughts?  Am I being too harsh on Orton and the Broncos receiving corps?  Can he turn out to be fantasy viable?

 

Make sure to check out Rotoprofessor’s 2010 rankings:

 

 

You can also check out my Week 1 Rankings:
Week 1 QB Rankings
Week 1 RB Rankings
Week 1 WR Rankings
Week 1 TE Rankings
Week 1 K Rankings
Week 1 DEF Rankings
Week 1 IDP Rankings


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Many figured that Donald Brown would replace Joseph Addai at some point last year the way Addai replaced Dominic Rhodes many years ago. Brown’s injuries prevented that from even being an option. He set a season high with 14 carries in Week Three, but didn’t reach double-digits again until Week 16 when the Colts basically called it a season.

 

To say it was a disappointing season for Brown would be a major understatement. He was expected to cut into Joseph Addai’s production, and only managed 450 total yards (289 rushing) and 3 TDs. That’s not to say he can’t have a mulligan. In fact, I expect a much better 2010 from Donald Brown.

 

Addai had the lion’s share of the carries last year, but did it at a 3.8 ypc clip. With a 3.5 ypc in 2008, and a 4.1 ypc in 2007, Addai clearly isn’t a gamebreaker. Meanwhile Donald Brown has the ability to take on the distance at any time. Addai is also not a workhorse back. His high game last year was 79 rushing yards. He only topped 70 one other time., meaning Brown could see a lot more work in the ground game.

 

Where Addai has a clear edge is in pass protection and short yardage situations. While Brown has good enough size (5’10″, 210) to get the tough yards if needed, failing to pick up the blitz will keep Brown from topping 100 carries in 2010.

 

The Colts understand that you need at least two good backs to make a playoff run. They will want to ensure that Addai has space in the tank for the playoffs. I simply can’t imagine that Brown won’t get at least ten touches a game. If he does, he has the ability to serve as a decent flex start. If Addai were to miss any games with an injury, Brown could put up top 15 numbers. Addai suffered a concussion in the Colts’ third preseason game. He is expected to be ready for the season opener, but only time will tell. If he gets his bell rung during the season, Brown could step in and get a few spot starts.

 

Donald Brown is one of the best handcuffs and represents a good value with an ADP of 103 (41st overall RB) according to Mock Draft Central. I actually have him slightly higher (click to see my RB rankings). He has a ton of upside for a ninth round pick and makes a solid RB4.

 

What are your thoughts on Donald Brown?


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With each passing day the likelihood that Vincent Jackson will play a down for the Chargers this season worsens. Even with their new rookie RB Ryan Mathews figuring to provide more balance on offense, this is still Philip Rivers team, meaning they will be throwing the football early and often.

 

Antonio Gates will likely lead the Chargers in targets, but Floyd will be counted on to use his big frame (6’5″, 225 lbs) similar to the way Vincent Jackson did.

 

Floyd showed big play potential last year catching 45 passes for 776 yards (17.2 yards per catch). His career ypc is 16.5. He’ll have to improve on his one TD though. However, with Vincent Jackson (6’5″, 230) out of the mix, Floyd will be more likely to get them. Legedu Naanee (6/2″, 220) just doesn’t have the size Floyd does.

 

Assuming V-Jax doesn’t play for the Chargers Floyd could be a steal in fantasy drafts. His current Mock Draft Central ADP is 69th (25th WR). It’s a little bit of a risk going with a somewhat unknown commodity, but sometimes you need to take risks to win. In all likelihood you can get the number one WR on a pass-first team as a WR3. What’s not to like about that scenario?

 

What are your thoughts on Malcom Floyd? Would you want him as your WR3?

Written by Eric Stashin of www.rotoprofessor.com

 

 

Michael Crabtree sits atop many people’s 2010 breakout candidate lists, and with good reason.  Despite not yet playing in a preseason game due to a neck strain (though he has returned to practice) and playing in just 11 games in his rookie campaign due to a holdout, there is no doubting his talent.

 

Last season he had 48 receptions for 625 yards and 2 TD, only twice having as few as three receptions (and never having more then six).  He was consistent, and that came despite questionable quarterback play and no preseason to get a rapport with his teammates.

 

While he has missed time during camp this year, he already has worked with Alex Smith.  The two know each other and now just need to get their timing back on track.  It doesn’t take four preseason games to do that.

 

The team has also improved the talent on the offensive side of the ball.  Added are Ted Ginn, Jr. and Brian Westbrook, not to mention Vernon Davis’ 2009 breakout.  Throw in a healthy Frank Gore, and the 49ers actually produce matchup issues for opposing defenses.

 

We’ve discussed Smith as a potential sleeper in the past (click here to view), and the former first overall pick is finally showing signs of living up to his draft position.  In three preseason games he has gone 21-37, completing nearly 57% of his passes.  All he needs to do is distribute the ball around the field and put his teammates in position to make plays.

 

At 6′1″, 214 lbs., Crabtree is a big target with the potential to make big plays.  No receiver had more then 22 catches of 20+ yards last season.  Despite his limited playing time and receptions, he had 10, the same number as Anquan Boldin.  Just imagine what he has the potential to do now that he is fully immersed in the offense?

 

The sky is truly the limit, and as a WR2, he is a great get.  He currently has an ADP of 43.3 according to Mock Draft Central, the fourteenth receiver coming off the board.  While that’s slightly higher then I have him (16th on the most recent rankings, which you can view by clicking here), he is still a terrific pick.  By year’s end, he has the opportunity to emerge as a WR1 in all formats.

 

What are your thoughts on Crabtree?  Do you think he’ll live up to the hype?  Or do you expect him to be a fantasy bust?

 

Make sure to check out Rotoprofessor’s 2010 rankings:

 

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Written by Eric Stashin of www.rotoprofessor.com

 


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LeSean McCoy showed enough in his rookie campaign to allow the Philadelphia Eagles to let oft injured veteran running back Brian Westbrook walk in the offseason.  Selected in the second round of the 2009 draft, McCoy now has a chance to put his skills on full display.

 

The question is, how good do you think he will be?  In abbreviated appearances (only 4 starts despite appearing in all 16 games) last season he managed to rush for 637 yards and 4 TD.  He averaged 4.1 yards per carry, a more then respectable number.

 

As has always been the Eagles nature, he was a great option in the passing game.  He had 40 receptions for 308 yards, showing the same type of ability as Westbrook did.  In their offense that uses a lot of screens, Westbrook accumulated as many as 90 catches in a season and was always a threat.

 

With Kevin Kolb manning the quarterback position, it’s quite possible that the focus on using the running backs increases.  Despite the ability Kolb showed last season, there’s a big difference starting week after week, as opposed to starting just one or two games (you can click here for my full thoughts on him).

 

He could easily feel the pressure.  The Eagles could easily script the plays in order to protect him, limiting the risks he’s forced to take.  That means more screens, more check downs to his running back or tight end.  That means more opportunities for McCoy to excel.

 

The offensive line, however, will need to hold up to allow him to run rampant.  The last time they stepped on the field, they allowed four sacks to the Dallas Cowboys, including a pair from DeMarcus Ware. continue reading »

Written by Eric Stashin of www.rotoprofessor.com

 


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Miles Austin may have opened the 2009 season third on the Cowboys depth chart, but he finished among the elite receivers in the game.  The real question is, can he repeat his success or is he a threat for a major regression?

 

Before we can talk about the future, let’s look at the past.  Austin didn’t start the Cowboys’ first four games, picking up just five catches for 81 yards.  In fact, in Week 3, he failed to catch a pass against the Carolina Panthers.

 

When Roy Williams suffered an injury, Williams slid into the lineup against the Chiefs on October 11 and never really looked back.  He exploded for 10 catches, 250 yards and 2 TD.  He followed that up two weeks later against the Falcons, catching six passes for 171 yards and 2 TD.

 

He finished with 81 catches for 1,320 yards and 11 TD.  Among the successes:

 

  • The yards were third in the NFL (first in the NFC)
  • He was tied for fourth in TD among receivers, behind the leaders with 13 (Vernon Davis, Larry Fitzgerald & Randy Moss)
  • He was second in the league in receptions of 20 or more yards with 21 (Andre Johnson had 22)
  • He was third in the league in receptions of 40 or more yards with 8 (DeSean Jackson led the league with 10)

continue reading »


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Kevin Kolb is the ninth QB (71st overall) going off the board in fantasy drafts according to Mock Draft Central. I’m pretty much on board with his rank (click to see my 2010 QB rankings), but I’m not sure if I’d have the guts to pull the trigger on him.

 

Not when you can get much better value with Brett Favre (10, 77), Eli Manning (11, 86), Matt Ryan (12, 87), Joe Flacco (13, 91), Donovan McNabb (14, 103), or Carson Palmer (15, 108). Sure Kevin Kolb could blow up this year, but he also comes with plenty of risk.

 

Aside from two impressive starts in Week 2 & 3 in which he ripped the Saints (391 yards, 2 TDs) and Chiefs (327 yards, 2 TDs),  Kolb is for the most part the great unknown. He is highly regarded for his accuracy, but he has to prove that he can remain accurate all season long against heavy pressure.

 

Kolb does have a ton of weapons at his disposal. Perhaps that is why everybody is so high on him. DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are a solid 1-2 receiving punch. LeSean McCoy is very capable at catching the ball out of the backfield. Brent Celek is one of the top options at tight end.

 

That said, Kolb has big shoes to fill following Donovan McNabb’s departure, especially when they will square off twice this season. Philadelphia is not an easy place to play, so if he struggles things could get ugly in a hurry. With Michael Vick waiting in the wings, the Philly fans could start calling for a change. While that won’t necessarily cause Andy Reid to make a change, it would make for a tense situation. Not exactly how you want your first year’s starters season to go.

 

That, of course, is the pessimistic viewpoint. Some Eagles fans have grown tired of McNabb and are thirsty for change. This is a young team, so why not have a young QB try to lead them to the promise land?

 

If you are going to roll the dice and use Kolb as your number one fantasy QB, make sure you get a capable backup. It’s not that I expect him to fail, but there is that risk. Plus, his fantasy playoffs schedule (@DAL, @NYG, vs. MIN) is brutal.

 

Would you trust Kevin Kolb as your starting fantasy QB?


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