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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.


Image courtesy of Icon SM

 

After last season’s playoff success in which he piled up 263 yards and 2 TDs in wins over Cincinnati and San Diego, Shonn Greene began climbing up draft boards in the minds of fantasy owners. Then the Jets signed LaDainian Tomlinson rather than bringing Thomas Jones back. That only strengthened the case for fantasy owners. While LT may still have a little left in the tank, it seems like he’s closer to E than Jones is.

 

While I like the second-year back out of Iowa, I am not as high on Greene as most are. Mock Draft Central has an ADP of 14 for Greene, which seems a bit high. Personally I don’t even have him that high among RBs (click to see my RB rankings) let alone all players.

 

He is going ahead of guys like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Randy Moss, Reggie Wayne, Cedric Benson, and Ryan Grant. I can see passing on the QBs since there are plenty of good options later in the draft, but an unproven RB over Moss and Wayne, who you can basically pencil in for 1000+ yards and 10 TDs? I don’t see how you do that based on a handful of games. Even guys like Grant and Benson, that have proved they can contribute for a full season without getting hurt, seem like wiser decisions to me.

 

The Jets do have an excellent offensive line and play smash mouth football, but don’t expect them to be as run heavy this year. Mark Sanchez is older and wiser. Plus, the Jets brought in Santonio Holmes to help the Jets have a more balanced offensive attack.

 

Taking a guy 14th overall in a fantasy draft that has just two career TDs is risky, especially when he caught as many passes during the regular season as you did. It’s not like I would expect him to improve dramatically in the pass-receiving department. Even in his one breakout year of college he caught just eight passes.

 

LaDainian Tomlinson will catch the ball out of the backfield, and with 138 career rushing TDs look for LT to get the call at the stripe. So basically you’re looking at a yardage machine that won’t get many receiving yards and is unlikely to crack double-digit TDs. That doesn’t sound like a top 15 pick to me.

 

Prediction:  1280 total yards (1180 rushing), 6 TDs, 12 catches

 

What do you expect from Shonn Greene?

 

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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.

Thomas Jones running
Image courtesy of Icon SMI

Thomas Jones is coming off an unbelievable year in which he ran for 1312 yards with 13 TDs, and added 36 receptions for 207 yards and 2 TDs.  Though he’s in great shape, he will turn 31 this year, which has typically been the beginning of the end for RBs.  He has carried a pretty heavy workload the past four seasons, which didn’t go unnoticed by the Jets as they drafted Shonn Greene from Iowa.  Also in the mix will be Leon Washington, who was electric (5.9 yards per carry) when he had the football last year.  Washington had 9 TDs (6 rushing, 2 receiving, 1 Kick Return).  I suspect Jones will have one more year to be the lead dog, but will be pushed out next year.  If the Jets struggle they could start planning for the future with more Greene for the Green & White.

The Jets have a pretty tough schedule playing in the AFC East along with tilts with Houston, Tennessee, Jacksonville, and Carolina.  Their fantasy playoff schedule consists of games against Tampa Bay, Atlanta, and Indianapolis, which shouldn’t prove too difficult.  It’s just a matter if he’s getting the bulk of the carries still when those games roll around.  My expectations have lowered of Jones, but he always seems to prove people wrong.  I’ll take my chances and figure him for 900 total yards and 6 TDs.

shonn-greene
Image courtesy of Icon SMI

I continue my NFL Draft Previe with a look at Iowa RB Shonn Greene.  Shonn came out of nowhere after not playing in 2007 for academic reason and having 69 carries in 2005 & 2006.  He had 1850 yards and 20 TDs on 307 carries (6.0 ypg), and ran for over 100 yards every game this season and scored in all but one.  He was a beast down the stretch with 14 TDs in his last six games, including three in the Outback Bowl win over South Carolina.  

Greene is a thick back, measuring in at 5’11″, 235 Lbs.  His forty time at the Combine left plenty to be desired at 4.62, but he lowered it to 4.50 at his Pro Day.  He is pretty much a one-dimensional RB as he caught just eight passes last year.  He is capable of breaking tackles and is one of the better power runners in the draft.  He has good patience allowing the holes to develop.  I’m not sure he’s electric enough to be an every down back, but he should be good in short-yardage situations.

Here’s a look at where some of the experts have him pegged:
Scott Wright’s Draft Countdown:  92nd best prospect, 6th RB

WalterFootball.com:  #98 to the Cincinnati Bengals

Consensus Draft Services:  #98 to the Cincinnati Bengals

The Football Expert:  #68 to the Seattle Seahawks

War Room Report:  71st best prospect, 7th RB


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