Image courtesy of Icon SMI

 

The price is going to be right for McNabb. His ADP according to Mock Draft Central is 103, which puts him as the seventh pick in the ninth round of 12-team fantasy drafts. He is the 14th QB coming off the board. I actually have him as the 11th QB (click to see my ranking), which would make him a starter, but he clearly has some risk associated with him.

 

He made the obvious switch from the Eagles to the Redskins. While Mike Shanahan’s concurrent arrival helps, there is still something to be said about switching teams after eleven years with an organization. Even if the transition is flawless, there are other factors that could jeopardize your fantasy team.

 

McNabb will turn 34 this year. While that isn’t nearly as old as the QB the Vikings are waiting on, it’s still an age where you feel the bumps and bruises a little more. If we were talking about an Iron Man like Favre or Peyton Manning, I wouldn’t stress it as much, but this is a guy who has missed multiple games in five of the past eight seasons. Washington tied for 4th in the league with 46 sacks allowed last year. They addressed their line adding rookie LT Trent Williams, but it is still cause for concern.

 

As are his lack of playmakers. His top wideout Santana Moss is a major downgrade from the Eagles’ DeSean Jackson. Devin Thomas (40 career receptions), Malcom Kelly (28 career receptions), and Terrence Austin (rookie) have to prove they can excel at this level. Tight Ends Chris Cooley and Fred Davis both have ability, but how often will they both be running routes at the same time. Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson, and Willie Parker aren’t making anybody envision Brian Westbrook.  McNabb has dealt with inferior talent before, but he at least had Westbrook to lean on.

 

McNabb also isn’t the runner he once was. He hasn’t topped 250 rushing yards in a season since 2003. He has only had 4+ rushing TDs twice in his career, the last one being in 2002. McNabb only has two years of 3600+ passing yards and has thrown 26+ TDs just once, back in 2004 when he had Terrell Owens.

 

So do you trust him as your starting fantasy football QB? Personally I do not. I would rather address the position early and get someone that I rank in the top 8 or so. If you do take McNabb, I urge you to add a high-end backup QB. One that you could envision becoming your full-time starter. Just in case.

 

What do you think of Donovan McNabb?

The Redskins made a big splash by adding Donovan McNabb in the offseason. After a couple years of actually having some weapons in the passing game, McNabb takes a major step back with Washington’s offering. He always seems to find a way to make it work, so expect the Skins’ offense to improve.

 

Fantasy Playoffs Schedule:  Moderate
They open up the fantasy playoffs against Tampa Bay at home in Week 14. They then go on the road to face Dallas and Jacksonville.

 

Five Star Fantasy Options
None

 

Four Star Fantasy Options
Donovan McNabb – Normally I would give him a five star rating, but he does have an injury history, and he has the aforementioned drop-off in talent at WR. Perhaps his best options are TEs Chris Cooley and Fred Davis.

 

Three Star Fantasy Options
Clinton Portis – The Redskins brought in competition in the form of Larry Johnson and Willie Parker. McNabb’s presence should open things up for the ground game. If he can stay healthy, Portis brings the most to the table.

 

Santana Moss – Moss isn’t the player he once was, but he hasn’t had a QB the caliber of McNabb, perhaps ever. He is notoriously inconsistent, but he should have some big games still left in him. Brian Orakpo should pile up the sacks.

 

Chris Cooley – The Skins have a good problem having two talented TEs. Mike Shanahan is gifted enough to figure out a way to get both Cooley and Davis involved in the passing game.

 

Redskins Defense/Special Teams – The Redskins will need Albert Haynesworth to make nice with the team to remain a decent fantasy defense. Highlights include the Rams (Week 3), Lions (Week 8), and the Bucs (Week 14).

 

Two Star Fantasy Options
Larry Johnson – If Portis were to go down or finally hits the wall from the extensive use in his career, LJ would be the one to step in and carry the load. I think he still has some football left in him. It’s just a matter of how many  opportunities he’ll get.

 

Devin Thomas – He hasn’t lived up to his expectations yet, but McNabb should help. He is not afraid to rely on young receivers. Thomas has good size (6’2″, 215) and speed. He just has to put it all together.

 

Fred Davis – Davis stepped in when Cooley went down and ran with his opportunity. He had 41 catches for 464 yards and 6 TDs in the Skins last ten games. The Skins can’t ignore that kind of production, especially with a sub par receiving corps.

 

One Star Fantasy Options
Willie Parker – If he can stay healthy, he should be able to produce in spots for the Skins. That won’t help your fantasy team go. Unless he can earn the #2 RB gig, he’s not a viable fantasy option.

 

Malcom Kelly – Kelly is a 6’4″ receiver that has failed to score a TD in 21 games. That should change with McNabb, but don’t expect him to transform into a stud.

 

Click here for additional 2010 NFL Team Previews.

Buffalo News is reporting that Redskins’ WR Santana Moss received HGH from Dr. Anthony Galea, who has been charged with a number of crimes, including distributing HGH to professional athletes. No charges are expected to be filed against Moss, but he may not escape the wrath of Roger Goodell and the NFL.

 

With Donovan McNabb at the helm, Moss figured to improve on the 70 catch, 902 yard, 3 TD season he had a year ago. If he were to receive a four-game suspension, his value would certainly take a hit.

 

In other HGH news, disgraced Tour de France winner Floyd Landis claimed that Lance Armstrong used PEDs.

USA FOOTBALL NFL SUPER BOWLXLIII
Hines Ward is an ageless wonder.  After failing to record a 1000 yard season since 2004, the 33 year old caught 81 passes for 1043 yards and 7 TDs in his 11th season.  Not only did he go for 1000+ yards, he played a full season for the first time since 2004.  The question is will he continue to roll, or is this the time for the vet to begin to decline.  If you’re thinking he won’t be as motivated after winning another Super Bowl, you couldn’t be more far from the truth.  He is an absolute gamer that can probably tolerate as much pain as anybody in the league.  As long as he can stay off the shelf, he should have another solid year.  Ward is going in the seventh round of fantasy drafts.  He makes a decent WR3.  I’m expecting him to catch 80 passes for 950 yards and 5 TDs. 

Santana Moss pointing
Santana Moss is a guy I hate to own and I hate to play.  He is very inconsistent (seven games with fewer than 50 yards) and he tends to miss or be hampered in a couple of games a year.  His name helps him get selected a bit earlier than he should.  He’s going in the seventh round of fantasy drafts on average.  He’s only had two standout seasons (2006 & 2005) in his eight years.  He’ll finish will solid numbers, but you could get burned a couple of times if you start him.  I’d take him as a WR3, but I’d prefer to have him as a WR4.  He should be good for 70 catches, 950 yards, and 5 TDs.

Donald Driver TD
Donald Driver is another one that continues to turn out solid seasons.  He had 74 catches for 1012 yards and 5 TDs.  It was his fifth consecutive 1000+ yard season.  He hasn’t been the top threat the past couple of years, but Greg Jennings emergence hasn’t left Driver without fantasy relevance.  Don’t expect the huge games from Driver.  He had just two 100+ yard games last year, but he had nine games with 60+ yards.  Aaron Rodgers had a great “rookie” year for the Packers, and he should be even better without the distractions that dominated their camp last year.  He should be a great value as he’s being taken in the 8th round of most fantasy drafts.  He should be able to catch 80 passes for 1000 yards and 6 TDs.

Images courtesy of Icons SMI

Washington was a tale of two halves last year starting 6-2 and finishing 2-6.  Not the most promising recipe for an 8-8 season.  The good news is they have some nice pieces in place. Jason Campbell is in a contract year, which is usually a nice motivator. Clinton Portis had an amazing season, but he wore down near the end.  They simply went to the well too often with CP.  After 342 carries, I expect Portis to be somewhat of a disappointment next year.  Ladell Betts has to get more touches.  He’ll be 30 next year so now is the time to start grooming another back.  Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El were solid.  Ideally Randle El would be the third WR and either Devin Thomas or Malcolm Kelly would earn a starting gig, altough neither did much to impress in their rookie seasons.  A player that did impress was Chris Cooley.  He led the Skins with 83 receptions.  He could stand to reach paydirt more frequently, but fantasy owners had to like what he brought to the table.  The O-Line is aging rapidly, but there likely isn’t room to add help via free agency.  The Skins will just have to address the need via the draft.  That’s probably the best way to do it anyway, assuming you’re patient.
 
On Defense the Skins will need Jason Taylor to restructure his contract.  If he’s unwilling, he’s gonzo.  Demetric Evans is one of the key Free Agents on Defense, and he’ll likely be re-signed.  The same goes with Kedric Golston, Reed Doughty and Anthony Montgomery.  I actually don’t see Washington as a big player this offseason for a change.  They’re going to have to address needs on D via the draft as well.

Besides the eight teams who’ve had byes, we’re 1/4 of the way through the season.  Here’s a look at the biggest surprises at QB, RB, and WR through the first four weeks.

QB
Jay Cutler
– There are plenty to chose from (Philip Rivers, Kurt Warner, and Aaron Rodgers for example), but Cutler is blowing the field away with 1275 yards, 9 TDs, and 4 INTs.  His 300 yard, 2 TD performace without Brandon Marshall set the tone for the season, and he hasn’t let up.  He should keep on rolling next week at home vs. Tampa Bay.  He’s averaging 307 yards and 3 TDs at home so far.  Tampa has been vulnerable on the road allowing 343 yards and 3 TDs to Drew Brees in Week 1 and 268 yards and 2 TDs to Kyle Orton in Week 3.

RB 
Michael Turner - We knew he had big-play ability as a backup to LaDainian Tomlinson, but we didn’t know how he’d do as the Leading Man.  Well, so far so good for Burner Turner.  He has 422 yards and 5 TDs through four games.  He’s like the tale of two RBs though as he exploited two bad teams (220 yards, 2 TDs vs. Detroit & 104 yards and 3 TDs vs. KC).  When he faces better teams (42 yards vs. Tampa & 56 vs. Carolina) he hasn’t had as much success.  He could enjoy success again next week as he faces Green Bay, who gave up a combined 174 yards to Earnest Graham and Warrick Dunn last week, 218 yards to Marion Barber III and Felix Jones the week prior, and 103 yards to Adrian Peterson in Week 1.

WR
Santana Moss
- Sure, he finished the 2007 season strong with 261 yards and 2 TD in his final three games, but who would have predicted 421 yards and 3 TDs after four games?  Especially when you consider that’s more than half the yardage he produce in each of the past two seasons.  If you watched Washington in Week 1, you’d be even more surprised.   Unfortunately for Moss, I don’t see a repeat performance this week vs. Philly, who has held three teams below 200 yards passing already.  Even if you include the game vs. Dallas, they are only allowing 196.3 passing yards per game this year.

The Redskins head into the year with a new Coach (Jim Zorn) and a new Offense so their may be some growing pains initially. Jason Taylor has been added to the mix as well as a bevy of new weapons on Offense for Jason Campbell.

Their ground attack should be solid again.  They have a nice offensive line anchored by Chris Samuels and Jon Jansen.  Clinton Portis is one of the steadier Running Backs in the league and  Ladell Betts is one of the better backup RBs.  In the air Jason Campbell has a pair of speedy veterans in Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El.  The Skins also drafted highly touted Rookie Widouts Devin Thomas (6’2″ out of Michigan State) and Malcolm Kelly (6’4″ out of Oklahoma).  Talk about lighting a fire underneath your starters.  They Skins did the same at Tight End adding USC Rookie Fred Davis to position they were already strong at with Chris Coooley.  If my math doesn’t fail me that’s six solid options at WR and TE.  That’s the way to offset the transition to a new offense.

Defensively they are going to miss Sean Taylor this year.  His tragic death shocked his teammates and gave them something to rally around.  Now that they are more removed from it and the emotions aren’t as raw, they will miss his production.  LaRon Landry is a star in the making, but Taylor will still be missed.  Jason Taylor will be asked to provide and emotional spark as well as heavy pressure on the QB.  Taylor and Andre Carter should be a formidable duo up front.  The Linebacking corps is headed up by London Fletcher, who led the team with 128 tackles last year.  I don’t feel like they are in the better half of the defenses in the league.

The Skins have a pretty tough schedule hosting New Orleans and Arizona and going to NYG, Dallas and Philly in their first five games.  Throw in the Browns, the Steelers, the Seahawks, and home games against their NFC East mates, and you get a picture of the tough road ahead of them.  I’m afraid that the Skins will hold down the cellar position in their division.  They’ll probably win 6 or 7 games.

Fantasy-wise I really like Clinton Portis and Chris Cooley.  Portis is a guy who gets a bunch of carries, including red zone touches, and receptions.  Cooley has been quite productive the past few years and has a knack for producing TDs.  Some like Santana Moss to have a solid year.  I am not one of those people.  He’s far too inconsistent for my taste.  I don’t recommend the Rookies until they either prove they can contribute on a regular basis or win a starting job.  Jason Campbell is an adequate backup QB, who could be used in your starter’s bye week or given the right matchup.  The same goes for Washington’s Defense.

You’ve seen the Sleepers.  Now it’s time to explore the players who I feel will be disappointments to fantasy football owners.  Here are the Wide Receivers I’d avoid.

Anquan Boldin – Boldin isn’t happy about his contract.  He has also had a hamsting issues thus far.  That’s a recipe for disaster in my book. 

Santana Moss – The Redskins brought in a couple of high-profile rookie WRs in Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly.  I wouldn’t be too keen on that if I were a Santana Moss owner.

Javon Walker – He nearly retired.  Extreme Buyer Beware!

Derrick Mason – There is no way he can match last season numbers.  No way.

Greg Jennings – No way do I see him coming close to matching 2007 production with Aaron Rodgers instead of Brett Favre.

Reggie Williams – He won’t come close to 10 TDs like he had last year.  Look elsewhere.

  
Before I get started I wanted to direct your attention to a great fantasy football contest that one of my friends is co-hosting.  RotoNation and The Big Lead have teamed up for the First Annual Best Fantasy Football Team Name contest.  How do you enter, you ask?  It’s quite simple.  All you have to do is enter your team name using your real e-mail at RotoNation.  Don’t worry your e-mail won’t be available to the public, they just need it to let the winner know about the prizes.  Fabulous prizes, you ask?  Yes, the top five team names will win a complimentary copy of the Draft Analyzyer to prep you for your fantasy draft.  The top vote getter will get to run on guest post on RotoNation.  So get your creative juices flowing.  Let your wit and humor go to work for you.  Bragging rights in your league are just a few keystrokes away!

Serviceable WRs
We’ve profiled the Big Dog WRs, Second Tier WRs, and Third Tier WRs, now it’s time to examine the next wave of wideouts.  These will likely either be your 3rd WR or make up your WR depth. 

Kevin Curtis/Reggie Brown - Curtis was decent last year for the Eagles.  He had a couple of huge games.  I’d like to see DeSean Jackson push for the starting job opposite of Reggie Brown, who should bounce back from his mediocre 780 yard 4 TD season, which would allow Curtis to got to the slot and utilize his speed like Wes Welker.  If that happens, all three could be viable plays.

Laveranues Coles – Coles had a decent season going before the wheels fell off in Week 8.  If he can produce like he did the first seven weeks (460 yards, 6 TDs), he’ll be worth an occasional start.

Joey Galloway – How long can Mr. Galloway keep it up?  Dude will turn 37 in November.  He’s registered three straight 1000+ yards seasons though.  One warning, he was very inconsistent last year. 

Santana Moss – Moss has barely matched his outstanding 2005 numbers when you combine the past two years.  However, he still has big-play ability.  He’s scary to own, and even scarier to start, but he can occasionally almost single-handedly win a matchup for you.

Javon Walker – Who knows how he’ll respond following last year’s lost season and butt-whoopin’ he took in Vegas.  When he’s healthy though, he can produce.  That hasn’t always been easy for him though.

Bernard Berrian – He’s a mystery heading into the year.  He produced in Chicago, but we’ll see how he does in Minnesota.    The Viking certainly have the running game to keep the DBs honest. I’m just leery of T-Jack’s accuracy.

Anthony Gonzalez – Here’s another guy I’d love to see end up on my team.  He gained valuable experience as a rooke, and if Marvin Harrison returns to form, he could be looking at some cupcake matchups.  He could be the poison that defenses pick, which is great news to his fantasy owners.

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