Archive for July 31, 2010

Is C.J. Spiller Overvalued?

by Ryan Lester of

I think C.J. Spiller is so full of talent that it oozes out of his pores. The kid is going to be the real deal. I just think people should lower their expectations for him in his first year. In keeper leagues, by all means he should be flying off the draft boards, but in standard leagues, he’s going a bit early for my tastes.

According to Mock Draft Central, Spiller has an ADP of 59, 27th among running backs. I have him a few slots down on the RB rankings (click to see my 2010 RB rankings), but there are players going after Spiller that I would absolutely prefer over the rookie.

For example, proven RBs like Ricky Williams, Ronnie Brown, and Marion Barber, and Clinton Portis are higher on my list. Spiller is also going before Jason Witten, Hines Ward, Tony Gonzalez, Brent Celek, among others.

So why would I wait on drafting Spiller so early? For starters he’s in a terrible offense. Buffalo ranked 28th in points last year with a mere 16.1 per game. They were 30th in passing yards per game at 157.2. The Bills ranked 16th with 116.7 rushing yards per game, and therein lies the problem. Read more

Draft Day Sleeper: Is Alex Smith Worth The Risk?

Alex Smith, the first overall draft pick in 2005, can only have his career categorized as a disappointment.  Only twice has he thrown for over 2,000 yards in a season.  He’s never thrown for more then 18 TD in a season, though that did come last year in just 11 appearances.

In fact, last season was the first time he had thrown more TDs then INTs in his career (18/12).  While, to this point he has been a bust, could it be that he has finally turned the corner?

Smith missed all of 2008 with a broken bone in his shoulder and failed to win the starting job in training camp last year.  However, with Shaun Hill struggling in Week 7, Smith was put in and led the 49ers back from a 21-0 deficit, never looking back.

He finished the year completing 60.5% of his passes, tied for seventeenth in the league.  That’s pretty good for a “bust”, huh?  While it’s certainly not great, it’s not too shabby.  He also had 2,350 yards and, as already stated, the best TD/INT ratio of his career.

A lot has to do with the talent around him, as the 49ers actually have a group that could generate some points.  It starts in the backfield with Frank Gore, who is one of the better running backs in the game with over 1,000 yards a season each of the past four seasons.  If all he did was help take pressure off the passing game, it would be enough, but he does more.  He is a threat to catch 50 or more passes out of the backfield, providing one heck of a safety valve. Read more

Top 60 Wide Receivers For 2010: Take Two

Terrell Owens’ signing with the Cincinnati Bengals isn’t the only thing that has impacted our wide receiver rankings.  How about Wes Welker, who may be healthy for Week 1?  The word that Donald Driver had surgery on both knees?  Let’s take a look at how things currently shape up:

  1. Andre Johnson – Houston Texans
  2. Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals
  3. Reggie Wayne – Indianapolis Colts
  4. Randy Moss – New England Patriots
  5. Calvin Johnson – Detroit Lions
  6. Miles Austin – Dallas Cowboys
  7. Roddy White – Atlanta Falcons
  8. Brandon Marshall – Miami Dolphins
  9. DeSean Jackson – Philadelphia Eagles
  10. Marques Colston – New Orleans Saints Read more

Who Should Be The #2 Wide Receiver On Your Draft Board?

Earlier in the week we discussed Andre Johnson and where he fits into the first round of fantasy drafts (click here to view).  He’s the clear-cut number one receiver, but who should be number two on draft boards?  There are a few players to chose from, so let’s take a look:

Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals
He has consistently shown just how talented he is.  He’s had 96 or more catches in four of the past five seasons (the only time he fell short was in 2006, when he played 13 games).  He’s a virtual lock to eclipse 1,000 yards, though he did take a significant step back last season (1,431 yards in ’08 vs. 1,092 in ’09).

The reduction in yards was easily offset by the TDs.  He set a career high with 13 and has at least 10 in each of the past three seasons and four of the last five.

However, there are some huge red flags.  Matt Leinart will be taking over the QB job from Kurt Warner.  Exactly what we get from him is really anyone’s guess.  He started one game in 2009 (Week 12) and Fitzgerald had just four catches for 34 yards and 0 TD.  Obviously, the two will have more time to gel, working together in the preseason, but it is worth noting. Read more

Can Knowshon Moreno Be A RB1 In 2010?

Knowshon Moreno currently has an ADP of 32.50 according to Mock Draft Central, the 18th running back off the board.  I have him ranked significantly higher then that, at #8 in my Top 40 Running back rankings (click here to view).

Why do I rank him so much higher then everyone else?  Let’s take a look at my thought process.

He was certainly under whelming in his rookie campaign, rushing for 947 yards and 7 TD (he averaged 3.8 yards per carry).  He also did not rush for over 100 yards in a game.  Then again, he had 20 or more carries in a game just four times.

To compare, he had three games of ten carries or less.  The former first round pick rushed for over 2,700 yards in just two seasons at Georgia, so there is little doubting his ability.  With his rookie season under his ability, the experience alone should allow him to improve his play.

While he did lead the team in carries, the Broncos passed the ball significantly more.  Kyle Orton attempted 541 passes, tied for sixth most in the league.  With their best receiver (Brandon Marshall) shipped to Miami in the offseason, there’s a good chance that Orton sees his attempts decrease, with more touches going to Moreno. Read more

How High Should Andre Johnson Be Drafted?

Andre Johnson is a consensus first round selection, and with good reason.  The numbers he puts up as a wide receiver are impressive, to say the least.

He led the league in yards in 2009 by a healthy margin. While he had 1,569 yards, the second best total was Wes Welker’s 1,348.  In fact, it was his second consecutive 1,500+ yard campaign (he had 1,575 in ’08).

He had 9 TD in ’09, his third straight year of eight or more.  While 9 TDs is his career high, there’s good reason to believe that he can reach double-digits for the first time in his career.

Not to mention, he’s had 100+ catches in three of the past four years (he had 60 catches in just nine games in 2007) for those in PPR leagues.

Oh yeah, he also never fumbles, having just one fumble per year every season since 2004.

He is the best of the best, that’s not what is in question…  The real issue is, just where does he fit into the first round? Read more

Is Matthew Stafford a QB2?

Matt Stafford was the top pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, an honor that brings significant pressure with it.  He was quickly given the starting job (he made 10 starts during his rookie season) for a franchise generally seen as inept.

The numbers, however, show promise:

201 Completions
2,267 Yards
13 Touchdowns
20 Interceptions

The team continues to try and improve the talent surrounding him.  With their second pick in the first round (30th overall) they added Jahvid Best, considered the most explosive running back in the draft.  While there are concerns with concussions, there’s no doubting the talent he brings to the table.

You couple him with a healthy Kevin Smith and you get a running game that can take the pressure off a young QB. Read more

Is Mike Sims-Walker Overvalued?

by Ryan Lester of

If you look at the aggregate numbers Mike Sims-Walker had a good season. He caught 63 passes for 869 yards and 7 TDs. In Weeks 2 through 11 he averaged 86.8 yards per game with 6 TDs in 8 games (he missed Week 5 and had a bye in Week 7). That’s an average of 13.18 fantasy points per game, which justifies his ADP of 18 among WRs (52 overall) according to Mock Draft Central. Who wouldn’t want those numbers?

There is more to the story though. For instance, he finished with an average of 29.2 yards over the last six weeks of the year, scoring just one TD over that stretch. Aside from a Week 15 six catch, 64 yard, TD performance, he was unusable in down the stretch.

He was also a guy to avoid like the plague in road games. His splits are staggering:

Home:  8 games, 44 catches, 637 yards, 6 TDs
Road:  7 games, 19 catches, 232 yards, 1 TD

What are you supposed to do with that? Read more

Should Drew Brees Be A First Round Pick?

Drew Brees is second on our Top 25 Quarterbacks for 2010 (click here to view), and is also the second quarterback coming off the board based on ADP (12.09 according to Mock Draft Central).  Should he be considered a first round selection, however?  Let’s take a look…

He posted a monster season in 2009 despite missing a game, just look at the numbers:

363 Completions
4,388 Yards
34 Touchdowns
11 Interceptions

He was sixth in the league in yards.  He led the league in touchdowns.  He was fourth in completions.  No matter what scoring system your league uses, he was one of the elite.

Brees has had 4,350+ yards and 26+ TD in each of the past four seasons, so he has consistently been good.  The 34 TD tied for his career high (he matched that in 2008).  His career high in yards was 5,069 in 2008. Read more

Top 40 Running Backs For 2010: Take Two

Chris Johnson settling his contract dispute has brought a change atop our rankings.  Of course, that’s not the only thing that’s different.  Let’s take a look at how our rankings currently look:

  1. Chris Johnson – Tennessee Titans
  2. Adrian Peterson – Minnesota Vikings
  3. Maurice Jones-Drew – Jacksonville Jaguars
  4. Ray Rice – Baltimore Ravens
  5. Frank Gore – San Francisco 49ers
  6. Steven Jackson – St. Louis Rams
  7. Michael Turner – Atlanta Falcons
  8. Knowshon Moreno – Denver Broncos
  9. DeAngelo Williams – Carolina Panthers
  10. Ryan Grant – Green Bay Packers Read more