To say Josh McDaniels has taken an unconventional approach with the Broncos would be an understatement. In successive years he has shipped out one of the most physically gifted QBs (Jay Cutler) and WRs (Brandon Marshall). He has also staked his reputation on Tim Tebow, who has varying opinions as to how well his game will translate to the next level. There are some fantasy options, but it’s a far cry from the glory days with Shanahan. At least at this point.

 

Fantasy Playoffs Schedule:   Moderately Difficult
The Broncos take on the Cardinals, who have consistency issues on defense, in Arizona, the Raiders in Oakland, and the Texans at home. In years past, this may have been a breeze, but Oakland’s defense is improved and the Texans could have one of the better units in the league with all of their young talent.

 

Five Star Fantasy Options
None

 

Four Star Fantasy Options
Knowshon Moreno – Knowshon failed to top 100 yards in any game last year, but he did manage two multiple TD games. He also added 28 catches for 213 yards and a pair of scores. It wasn’t an overwhelming rookie season, but he did manage 1160 total yards and 9 total TDs. He should have a more prominent role in the offense this year.

 


Three Star Fantasy Options
Broncos Defense/Special Teams – The Broncos have some nice match-ups starting with a pair of games against the Chiefs and Raiders. They also take on the Jags, Seahawks, and Rams. Plus, one of their tilts with the Chargers is in Week 17, which renders it meaningless in most fantasy circles.

 

Two Star Fantasy Options
Kyle Orton – I have him as a two star, but that’s really give or take a star. First he has to hold off Brady Quinn. Then he has to play well enough to pick up some wins. If the team struggles I don’t see a long leash for Orton. They will want to see what they have in Quinn. I don’t think Tebow will take too many snaps as the primary QB. He’ll likely get some time running the Wildcat offense.

 

Correll Buckhalter – Buckhalter will take on more of a secondary role with the Broncos given his age and injury history. He still has something to offer, but Moreno is clearly the more explosive back.

 

Demaryius Thomas, Eddie Royal, and Jabar Gaffney – I can see all of these guys havin 50-60 catches, but nobody will stand out from the crowd consistently. Their aggregate numbers will be OK, but will be hard to rely on week-to-week.

 

One Star Fantasy Options
Brady Quinn – Quinn should see the playing field at some point. Depending on how he plays, he can shoot up the ranks. Orton is steady with limited upside. Quinn offers more physically. It just a matter of whether he gets the opportunity and if he’s mentally prepared.

 

Brandon Stokley and Eric Decker – I’m not as high on this pair of WRs, but they could factor in the mix at times as well.

 

Daniel Graham – He’s more or a blocking TE than anything else, but could see some looks in the red zone now that Brandon Marshall and Tony Scheffler are gone.

 

Click here for additional 2010 NFL Team Previews.

A couple of big name NFL players have new homes. LaDainian Tomlinson left sunny San Diego for the Big Apple as he signed on to backup Shonn Greene of the New York Jets. I thought he would be a good fit with the Vikings, where he could justify to himself that he’s backing up an elite running back. Clearly LT knows where he’s at in his career. Otherwise he could not have accepted being second fiddle to a back with Greene’s credentials. 

Personally I think he misjudged the ability of the Jets. They made a great run last year, but I think will be hard-pressed to return to the playoffs in 2010. You can basically pencil in New England, Indianapolis, and San Diego. Baltimore, Pittsburgh (depending on Big Ben’s availability), Cincinnati, Houston, and Tennessee will be challenging the Jets for the remaining playoff spots. Assuming Brett Favre returns, I think the Vikings are in a better position to win it all. LT will likely have a bigger role with the Jets. Perhaps that swayed his decision.  

LT’s fantasy value clearly takes a hit. Barring injury, he won’t get as many touches in New York. Shonn Greene’s value shouldn’t change. He was getting the touches down the stretch when Thomas Jones was still with the team. Personally, I think Jones is better than LT at this stage of their careers.

In other news, the Broncos acquired Brady Quinn from the Browns for Peyton Hillis and some draft picks. Hillis is not a fantasy option in Cleveland. It appears his brief run two years ago will just be a blip on his fantasy radar. The real piece in this deal is Quinn. I’m not sure he could have found a better home. While Jay Cutler had to deal with John Elway comparisons, Quinn doesn’t come with the same expectations. The bar is set much lower. Besides, he’ll be happy to escape Cleveland where he was looked at as a hometown hero prior to his stint with the Browns.

It’s hard to say if you can count on Quinn this year. He’ll at least have the opportunity to beat out Kyle Orton. If he wins the starting gig, his value will be tied to the whereabouts of Brandon Marshall. If Marshall is dealt, his options could be limited. Thankfully you don’t have to make any decision on Quinn right now.

Big names have new homes, but nothing for fantasy players to get excited about.

Brady Quinn Placed on IR

22 December 2009

Brady Quinn’s tumultuous season has ended because of a foot injury he suffered in last week’s shootout win over the Chiefs. If you were using Quinn, who had just two good games this year, as your second QB in 2-QB leagues, you likely aren’t in the championship game. If by chance you are, feel free to pick up Derek Anderson because if you were relying on Quinn there couldn’t have been anything else out there.

Everyone else, just chalk this up to another miserable Browns season. Hopefully for their fans, Mike Holmgren will do better.

Luke McCown, Tampa Bay – If McCown can win the starting gig in Tampa Bay he could put up decent numbers.  He has a couple of nice targets in Antonio Bryant and Kellen Winslow, Jr.  Unfortunately he doesn’t have any easy matchups during the bye weeks.  He faces New Orleans in Weeks 11 & 16, although it would be pretty ballsy to use him in the fantasy Super Bowl.  He could possibly be used with Matt Cassel as the Chiefs face Baltimore in Week 11.

Chad Pennington, Miami Dolphins – Pennington could lose even more time to the Wildcat with the addition of Pat White.  Plus, Chad Henne could be breathing down his neck.  After an easy 2008 schedule, the Dolphins have a much more daunting task in ’09.  His best matchup is Week 7 vs. New Orleans.  Kyle Orton, Matt Hasselbeck, and David Garrard are on bye that week.

Shaun Hill, San Francisco 49ers – If Hill can hold off Alex Smith, he could have a solid year with Rookie Michael Crabree and Frank Gore.  Maybe this is the year Vernon Davis finally breaks out.  The Niners play Arizona in Week 1 & 14, St. Louis in Week 4, and Detroit in Week 16.  It would also take cojones to roll with Hill in the fantasy Super Bowl.  In Week 4 though, he could be used to spell Matt Ryan, Donovan McNabb, or Kurt Warner who are on bye. 

Jason Campbell, Washington Redskins – I give him credit for not pulling a Cutler and crying that his team wanted to trade him.  However, his team still wanted to trade him.  Not exactly the ringing endorsement I want for one of my fantasy QBs.  He has weapons in Santana Moss and Chris Cooley.  He has some decent matchups.  St. Louis and Detroit in Weeks 1 & 2, Kansas City in Week 6, Denver in Week 10, and New Orleans in Week 13.  He could fill in for Peyton or Romo in Week 6 or Eli or Schaub in Week 10.

Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens – I like the way he plays, but his thin arsenal took a hit when Derrick Mason retired.  If Todd Heap and L.J. Smith can stay healthy and Mark Clayton can step up, maybe he’ll be  a serviceable backup.  He faces Cleveland in Weeks 3 & 10, Cincy in Weeks 5 & 9, Denver in Week 8, and Detroit in Week 14.  He could fill in for Cutler, Rodgers, Brees, or Philips in Week 5 or Eli or Schaub in Week 10.  I don’t trust the Week 9 bye QBs to be #1 fantasy QBs.

Marc Bulger, St. Louis Rams – I have moved on from think Bulger can do anything.  Still, he may get drafted in some leagues.  He faced Detroit in Week 8 and New Orleans in Week 10 so he could fill in for Palmer, Cassel, Brady, or Big Ben in Week 8 or Eli or Schaub in Week 10.

Kerry Collins, Tennessee Titans – Not much of an option, but he’s a starting QB for what that’s worth.  Arizona in Week 12 and St. Louis in Week 14.  Odds are you won’t use him.

JaMarcus Russell, Oakland Raiders – He’s a Raider so I would avoid him, but if you must he faces the Chiefs in Week 2 & 10 (Eli or Schaub), Denver in Weeks 3 & 15, Cincy in Week 11, and Cleveland in Week 16.

Daunte Culpepper, Detroit Lions – He is throwing it to Calvin Johnson so he’s at least worth a mention.  Will likely cede the starting gig to Matthew Stafford at some point.  The face the Saints in Week 1, St. Louis in Week 8 (Palmer, Cassel, Brady, Big Ben), Cleveland in Week 11, Cincy in Week 13, and Arizona in Week 15.

Brady Quinn/Derek Anderson, Cleveland Browns – I wouldn’t touch Quinn or DA, but if you must they face Denver in Week 2, Cincy in Week 4 (Matt Ryan, McNabb, Warner) & 12, Detroit in Week 11, and Kansas City in Week 15.

Mark Sanchez, New York Jets – I wouldn’t trust Sanchez either, but if you must they face New Orleans in Week 4 (Ryan, McNabb, Warner).  They have a pretty tough schedule.

The Browns were almost everyone’s darling last year before returning to hard times.  The good news is they have some pieces in place.  Brady Quinn looked good at QB before getting hurt.  Derek Anderson is a capable QB, but they may look to move him.  Jamal Lewis took a step back and will turn 30 this year.  Jerome Harrison made some plays, but he can’t handle a full load.  The Brwons will likely look to pick up a back in the draft.  Braylon Edwards needs to work on his drops.  He has the ability, and if he can fix that problem he’ll likely be one of the best fantasy values next year.  Donte Stallworth did not pay off for the Browns next year.  They need to bring in a WR via the draft or free agency to challenge for the starter spot.  Even if Stallworth is able to perform, they’ll still need a solid third WR.  Kellen Winslow is solid at TE, but he too had an off year.  It’s a pretty common theme for this team unless your name is D’Qwell Jackson.

Speaking of Defense, their top free agent priority is LB Andra Davis.  He was second on the team with 90 tackles.  Safeties Sean Jones and Mike Adams are also top priorities. 

KFFL Free Agent Tracker:

QB Ken DorseyNew player news! UFA (Cut) Cleveland Browns Free Agent
QB Bruce GradkowskiNew player news! UFA (Cut) Cleveland Browns Free Agent
RB Jason Wright UFA Cleveland Browns Free Agent
TE Darnell Dinkins UFA Cleveland Browns Free Agent
PK Jason RedaNew player news! UFA (Cut) Cleveland Browns Free Agent
P Mike DragosavichNew player news! UFA (Cut) Cleveland Browns Free Agent
OG Seth McKinney UFA Cleveland Browns Free Agent
OT Eric YoungNew player news! UFA (Cut) Cleveland Browns Free Agent
DL Louis Leonard ERFA Cleveland Browns Free Agent
LB Andra Davis UFA Cleveland Browns Free Agent
LB Willie McGinest UFA Cleveland Browns Free Agent
LB Antwan PeekNew player news! UFA (Cut) Cleveland Browns Free Agent
CB Terry CousinNew player news! UFA (Cut) Cleveland Browns Free Agent
CB Travis Daniels UFA Cleveland Browns Free Agent
CB Daven Holly UFA Cleveland Browns Free Agent
SS Steve Cargile Signed Cleveland Browns New York Giants
SS Sean Jones UFA Cleveland Browns Free Agent
FS Mike Adams UFA Cleveland Browns Free Agent

Cleveland fans were clamoring for Brady Quinn, and he didn’t disappoint in his first career start at home against Denver. He developed a nice rapport with Kellen Winslow, which is important because a young QB needs a reliable target. Look at Roddy White for Matt Ryan as an example. He wasn’t able to get Braylon Edwards to snap out of his funk, but Brady Quinn isn’t a Miracle Worker. So what should you expect from him going forward?

Naturally he’s going to have some inconsistent play. All Rookies do, which is in essence what he is. I expect him to struggle next week as he goes to Buffalo, who has allowed just 7 passing TDs this year. He’ll be playing a good pass D on the road where weather could become a factor. The cards don’t seem to be stacked in his favor.

Moving forward he faces a Houston in Week 12. The Texans are 28th in the league with 15 TD passes allowed. Quinn should make a nice play that weekend. Then the road gets rougher as he faces Indianapolis (191.0 yards per game, 2 passing TDS), Tennessee (194.4 ypg, 5 TDs), and Philadelphia (190.4 ypg, 12 TDs) in Weeks 13-15. In Week 16, which is the Fantasy Super Bowl in most leagues, he gets Cincinnati. Despite their record they have allowed just 193.7 ypg and 13 TDs this year. They are a decent matchup, but are you really going to risk your fantasy glory on a guy who’s making his seventh career start? If you happen to play the whole season out, he gets Pittsburgh in Week 17. Pittsburgh is tops in the league with 171.1 ypg and have allowed just 9 TDs.
With one good matchup remaining and a finish against five teams allowing 200 ypg or fewer, Brady doesn’t appear to be the answer for fantasy teams. What he will provide is a glimpse into 2009. You can watch to see how he responds to this tough schedule. If he holds his own, perhaps he’ll be next year’s Jay Cutler or Philip Rivers.

Ahead of the Curve

2 October 2008


Written by Lisa Danhof

Fair Warning: I’m not clairvoyant. I don’t even play one on TV. That said, it really doesn’t take a crystal ball to anticipate some changes for your team. So, with a bit of deductive reasoning, logic, and historical evaluation you can finally stop reacting and start anticipating. For once you won’t be sniped at the waiver wire, but actually be ahead of the curve.

1.  QB Brady Quinn, Cleveland Browns 18.6% owned
If your Offense scores only 46 points in four games, you are really struggling. Additionally, the Browns are only averaging 211 total yards of offense in each of the first four games. When a team is struggling this bad what do Coaches do? Bench the Quarterback and start the backup. In this case, Quinn might start sooner than we think because of Anderson’s obvious struggles, coupled with the overall lack of offensive success. If a QB struggles but the team is doing decent, he’ll get a longer leash. Unfortunately for Anderson and fortunately for Quinn, that’s not the case here. At all. Additionally, to add fuel to the fire, Quinn started taking more reps with the first team this week according to ESPN.com.

2.  RB Brandon Jackson, Green Bay Packers – 29.4% owned
To say the Green Bay Packers are nicked up is like calling the Titanic a mishap. Specifically the key injuries to Ryan Grant – hamstring, and Aaron Rodgers – shoulder. Here’s one of those situations that doesn’t really need my crystal ball. If your shoulder is sore, what are you going to do?? Throw the ball, which aggravates your injury more, or hand the ball off and let your running backs do the work? So look for the Packers to up their number of running plays. Also, Grant’s hamstring has been labeled as “balky”. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of that word before, but you get the context. Also, this has been an injury that has been nagging him since training camp this summer – a tough injury for a running back. It’s the combination of those two injuries and the fact that he’s averaging over 5 yards per carry that make Brandon Jackson a solid pick-up.

3.  WR Miles Austin , Dallas Cowboys– 9.4% owned
This is probably my biggest stretch of this list, but there are a couple of key factors that I couldn’t overlook when I decided to add him to the list. The first is that he’s in his third year in the league. That third year traditionally is where a Wide Receiver really starts to find his groove and has his breakout year, and Austin is almost textbook in this case. Second, he seems to be gaining the confidence of Tony Romo, as he has had multiple receptions in each of the last three games. He caught two touchdown passes last game and one the game before and is averaging a gaudy 24.1 yards per catch. He is the solid number three receiver on a high scoring offense who could at some point threaten to bump Patrick Crayton from the number two spot, or at least take away several of Crayton’s touchdowns. I see Austin as a player you can pick up now and play when the matchup is good (like against the Rams in week seven) and who also may have some big upside down the road.

Cleveland Browns Preview

31 August 2008

The Browns were the surprise team last year.  Now that they can’t sneak up on anybody, I’m interested to see how they will do.

Offensivley they were one of the best units last year.  Derek Anderson was an unbelievable find racking up nearly 3800 yards and 29 TDs.  He suffered a concussion this preseason, which hopefully won’t carry with him into the seasons.  If it does, Brady Quinn will be waiting in the wings.  From what he’s shown this preseason, he needs a little more time learning the position.  At Running Back Jamal Lewis had a surprising year as well.  He tallied over 1550 total yards and 11 TDs.  He was particularly effective down the stretch.  At Wide Receiver the Browns added Donte Stallworth to compliment Braylon Edwards.  At Tight End Kellen Winslow is one of the game’s best. Their Offensive Line is great, anchored by second-year Left Tackle Joe Thomas.   They are even well-stocked in their return game with Joshua Cribbs.

Defense is, and will continue to be, their weekness.  They did add Shaun Rogers, which should help.  LB D’Qwell Jackson (101 Tackles) and FS Sean Jones (96 Tackles, 5 INTs) are their biggest playmakers.  They had a few guys with 4 or 5 Sacks, but nobody who put real pressure on the Defense.  Hopefully Rogers can either provide that pressure or draw enough attention that somebody else will be able to.

I think they will be decent this year, but I don’t see a playoff berth in their cards.  The AFC is just too loaded.  8 or 9 Wins is what I expect.

Fantasy-wise the Browns are stacked.  I’m not a huge DA guy, but he did produce monster numbers at QB.  I cant’ justify taking him early, so he’d only make it to my team if he fell into my lap.  Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow are beasts in their respective positions.  Jamal Lewis should be productive again, and as long as he seems to be associated with a decline like the Edge, he’ll be a great value.  Donte Stallworth is worth snagging as a 4th or 5th WR.  Phil Dawson is a solid Kicker.  I wouldn’t reach for him, but if he’s there on your last pick, he’s worthy of a roster spot.

Week 1
Colt Brennan (WAS) – 9/10, 123 passing yards, 2 TDs
Marcus Mason (WAS) – 18 carries, 98 yards & 16 carries for 80 yards
Calvin Johnson (DET) – 4 catches, 78 yards
Brett Ratliff (NYJ) – 14/20, 252 yards, 2 TDs
David Clowney (NYJ) – 4 catches, 163 yards, 2 TDs
Martin Rucker (CLE) – 5 catches, 70 yards
LaMont Jordan (NE) – 19 carries, 76 yards, TD
Robert Meachem (NO) – 4 catches, 129 yards
Garrett Wolfe (CHI) – 9 carries, 64 yards, 1 catch, 25 yard
DeSean Jackson (PHI) – 5 catches, 51 yards
Seneca Wallace (SEA) – 15/20, 165 yards, 3 TDs
Louis Rankin (OAK) – 8 carries, 91 yards
Josh Morgan (SF) – 4 catches, 68 yards
Billy McMullen (WAS) – 6 catches, 55 yards
Jared Lorenzen (INDY) – 12/23, 117 yards, 2 TDs
Decori Birmingham (CAR) – 17 carries, 70 yards
Jacob Tamme (INDY) – 5 catches, 57 yards
Roddy White (ATL) – 5 catches, 47 yards, 1 TD
Michael Bennett (TB) – 19 carries, 74 yards, TD, 4 catches, 16 yards
Quinton Ganther (TENN) – 8 carries, 115 yards, 2 TDs
Chris Johnson (TENN) – 6 carries, 77 yards, TD
Dane Looker (STL) – 4 catches, 73 yards
David Anderson (HOU) – 6 catches, 67 yards
Jacob Hester (SD) – 13 carries, 49 yards, 2 TDs
Miles Austin (DAL) – 5 catches, 64 yards

Week 2
Trent Edwards
(BUF) – 9/11, 104 yards, 2 TDs
Robert Royal (BUF) – 2 catches, 20 yards, 2 TDs
Tony Hunt (PHI) – 5 carries, 79 yards, TD
DeSean Jackson (PHI) – 7 catches, 71 yards
Adimchinobi Echemandu (OAK) – 3 carries, 77 yards
Lavelle Hawkins (TENN) – 2 catches, 70 yards, TD
Brett Ratliff (NYJ) – 13/19, 148 yards
Rock Cartwright (WAS) – 6 carries, 90 yards
David Clowney (NYJ) – 4 catches, 59 yards
Chad Henne (MIA) – 17/26, 133 yards
Todd Bouman (JAX) – 9/13, 126 yards, TD
Ricky Williams (MIA) – 10 carries, 43 yards, TD
Ted Ginn, Jr. (MIA) – 4 catches, 58 yards
Ryan Hoag (JAX) – 3 catches, 71 yards
Ray Rice (BAL) – 8 carries, 77 yards, TD
Martin Nance (MINN) – 3 catches, 74 yards, TD
Michael Turner (ATL) – 4 carries, 113 yards
Jacob Tamme (INDY) – 3 catches, 57 yards
Larry Johnson (KC) – 14 carries, 61 yards
Tim Castille (ARI) – 4 catches, 45 yards, TD
Jacob Hester (SD) – 12 carries, 59 yards
Antonio Pittman (STL) – 9 carries, 67 yards
Randy McMichael (STL) – 3 catches, 54 yards
Matt Schaub (HOU) – 14/16, 187 yards, 2 TDs
Drew Brees (NO) – 12/17, 147 yards, 2 TDs
Kevin Walter (HOU) – 6 catches, 100 yards, TD
David Anderson (HOU) – 3 catches, 61 yards
Lance Moore (STL) – 3 catches, 65 yards
Brad Johnson (DAL) – 9/12, 114 yards, TD
Jay Cutler (DEN) – 16/20, 178 yards, TD
Brandon Marshall (DEN) – 6 catches, 59 yards, TD
Eddie Royal (DEN) – 2 catches, 67 yards
Josh Morgan (SF) – 5 catches, 114 yards, TD
Justin Forsett (SEA) – 15 carries, 136 yards, TD
Jordan Kent (SEA) – 4 catches, 50 yards
Kellen Davis (CHI) – 3 catches, 55 yards, TD
Ryan Fitzpatrick (CIN) – 11/14, 111 yards, TD
John Standeford (DET) – 4 catches, 85 yards
Calvin Johnson (DET) – 3 catches, 76 yards, TD
Jerome Simpson (CIN) – 5 catches, 114 yards
Ken Dorsey (CLE) – 9/11, 143 yards, TD
Brady Quinn (CLE) – 7/12, 124 yards, TD
Eli Manning (NYG) – 4/7, 52 yards, 2 TDs
Danny Ware (NYG) – 10 carries, 97 yards
Domenik Dixon (NYG) – 4 catches, 63 yards, 2 TDs
Syndric Steptoe (CLE) – 3 catches, 80 yards, TD


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