Monthly Archives: July 2011

The Raaaiders!

I personally hope this year is a great year for Jason Campbell. Hopefully all the adversity he has been through will be worth him being a rockstar at QB this year for Oakland. I’m not a Raiders fan, but the NFL seems right when Oakland is in the mix of things. They have some of the best fans. I digress…last year Campbell showed some promise. After taking over as starting QB from Bruce Gradkowski, Campbell played 13 games. The Stats: 2387 passing yards, and 8 ints. The major downside: He was sacked 33 times. Sadly (and I say this as a Redskins lover) my man Jason is used to it. His entire career has consisted of no protection and many times smacking into the turf. Oakland didn’t have a single draft in the first round. However, in the 2nd round the Raiders did address a huge need on the Oline and drafted Center-Stefen Wisniewski out of Penn State. He is expected to be a starter and to be great. In fact, Wisniewski was rated one of the top O linemen in the draft. Good for him-and better for Jason.

Al Davis has always loved fast speedy receivers. He actually has two of the fastest WRs in the NFL. Unfortunately, neither are names Jerry Rice or Tim Brown. Darrius Heyward-Bey and Louis Murphy underperformed for the Raiders all season long. Blame could go the erratic coaching decisions at QB or the effective running game, but I tend the think that the WR s are just not that good. Murphy had 41 receptions, 609 yards, and 2 TDs/ Heyward-Bey had just 26 receptions, 366 yards, and 1 TD. These are your starters, Al Davis? Folks, all I can say is stay away. There is one bright spot in the WR corp in Oakland: Jacoby Ford, who was a surprised many in the Fantasy Football world. In his rookie season, Ford had 7 total TDs: 2 receiving, 2 rushing, and 3 in the return game, including a 101 yard kickoff return. I like Ford as a sleeper this season, who kind of reminds me of DeSean Jackson in Philly. I don’t think that he’s worthy of a Fantasy draft pick, but keep your on him when you look at the Waiver Wire. I do think that the Raiders have one of the best TEs in the AFC in Zach Miller. Miller led all Raider receivers with 60 catches, 608 yards, and 5 TDs. He’s a big target who gets open a lot, especially in the red zone. If you can’t get your hands on Gates or Findlay, Z. Miller can be a good choice for any Fantasy team.
Oakland had a very good year last season defensively. They were ranked 10th overall, and 5th against the run. The front seven will remain pretty much the same this season, with Richard Seymour, Tommy Kelly, and Kamerion Wimbley all returning. However, the secondary has gotten a face lift, with the departure of Nnamdi Asomugha, and the arrival of CB Stanford Routt (who’s that). The secondary was the weak link last year, ranking 16th against the pass, so they may be even more vulnerable with the loss of Asomugha. The Raiders do generate a good number of sacks so they may be worth a look come draft time. Their return game is set with Jacoby Ford returning kicks. Punt returns will be shared by Johnny Lee Higgins and Nick Miller. At kicker, Sebastian Janikowski is one of the leagues best and most consistent, but the question will be if he will have enough kicking opportunities. The Raiders Defense/Special Teams should be able to generate some points for your Fantasy team. In the end, that’s all anyone cares about.

Darren McFadden was finally healthy for most of an NFL season and look what happened in 2010. He lived up to the hype and ran the ball well. In his 3rd year in the league McFadden rushed for 1157 yards and had 7 rushing TDs. He’s great out the backfield. Jason could use all the weapons he can get! Finally avoiding the label of just another Okland draft bust, McFadden has pulled it together. Maybe all he needed was a change at QB…
The other RB, Michael Bush had a solid season as well 655 yards, and 8 TDs. The run is what’s needed in Oakland to keep decision making pressure off of Jason Campbell.

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Carolina

What’s to come of the run game in Carolina…Clearly another question to be answered in the ever anticipated free agency show that is going to happen any day now.  DeAngelo Williams has put in solid work in Carolina, leading the “Double Trouble” running attack in Carolina. Last year, due to injury, Williams didn’t have much effect.  He managed 361 rushing yards and 1 TD.  The back half of “Double Trouble”, Jonathan Stewart had 770 rushing yards and 2 TDs.  And Stewart has made it clear he wants DeAngelo to remain his teammate: “Oh, yeah,” Stewart said when Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer asked him if he wanted Williams back. “So once they get this deal done I’m pretty sure the organization would like to keep the duo going.  I mean, if it’s not broke, why fix it?”  All talks point toward the end “Double Trouble”…I’m sure we will know something before August  If  Williams does depart, Mike Goodson could be a decent replacement.  He made the most of his opportunities last season, averaging 4.5 yards per carry and 3 TDs leading the team.  Goodson could surprise some folks this upcoming season.

The QB situation in Carolina is really not clear.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know they drafted Cam Newton with the number pick.  But they drafted Jimmy Clausen last year as their QB of the future.  So, we now have some questions that need to be answered:  Who’s gonna start?  Have the Panthers given up on Clausen?  It’s good thing to have two young QBs at your disposal.  But Newton is young and inexperienced.  He played one year of Division I football, in a non-pro offense.  Clausen was pulverized last season.  He was sacked 33 times in 13 games.  He threw for 1558 yards, 3 TDs and 9 INTs.  There’s too much uncertainty at the Carolina QB position.  Don’t draft any Panther signal callers.

  Here’s ANOTHER free agency question that will be answered:  What will happen to Steve Smith.  Word on the street is that Smith (going into his 10th NFL season at 32 years old) is looking to be a part of a winning team.  The Panthers on the other hand really need a vet receiver to help rookie Cam Newton.  The Panthers acquired Jeremy Shockey in March.  Shockey who si now with his 3rd NFL team can bring the wisdom Newton needs in a big play Tight End…though Shockey can be a bit emotionally unstable in my opinion.  With Steve Smith leading all receivers with 554 yards and 2 TDs…clearly there is no Panther to draft this year on Fantasy Football Draft Day

Don’t draft the Carolina Panthers Defense/Special Teams.  Not because they are bad.  They aren’t that bad actually.  Don’t draft them because they don’t generate points and they won’t shut any teams out.  Last year, the Panthers were ranked 18th overall, and 11th against the run.  But the whole season, they generated  Defensive/Special Teams TD.  The one defensive standout that the Panthers have is Charles Johnson, who led the team with 12 sacks.  So, if you are in a IDP league, take a stab at him, but other than that, stay away from the Panthers Defensive.


Mile High

If the Broncos don’t keep AND start Kyle Orton, they deserve to have another miserable season.  I understand that Tim Tebow is the future, but he is not the best option that Denver has at QB.  Orton has proven that he can be a starter in the NFL.  He proved it in Chicago and last year in the Mile High state.  In 13 games, Orton threw for 3653 yards and 20 TDs, AND he did it with some “just OK” receivers(Brandon Lloyd, DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE).  Tebow showed some promise last season.  He had 11 total TDs(6 rushing), but he has yet to show that he’s an NFL QB.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m rooting for Tebow.  He was one of the best college football players ever.  But it’s a different world in the big boy league.  He still has a lot to learn.  Maybe the Broncos know what they are doing b giving him on the job training.  My take is, if Orton is the starter, draft him and play him as you see fit.  But if Tebow is taking the snaps, run far far away.  There’s no need to mention Brady Quinn.  He’s a non factor!

Von Miller-the Denver Broncos have been waiting for you!  Last year the Broncos were ranked LAST IN THE LEAGUE for total Defense.  The Broncos allowed an astounding 29.4 average points per game.  Wonder how?  Well with just 10 ints and 23 sacks, there was an air assault in the Mile High City!  A jaw dropping 390.8 average yards per game proves that Denver is where all QBs came to get their stats up last season.  But it doesn’t stop there.  The Broncos also allowed an average of 154.6 rushing yards per game too. Let me just say this: While Denver has made upgrades to the Defense during this years NFL Draft, it’s still not enough to draft the Broncos Defense when you do your Fantasy Football draft.

Last season was the best season in Brandon Lloyd’s 8 years in the NFL.  Passed around from team to team (San Francisco to Washington from Washington to Chicago and then from Chicago to Denver), it’s been a long road for Brandon Lloyd.  However, last year, Lloyd was awesome with 1448 receiving yards and 11 TDs.  I’m sure very few actually drafted him last year.  More than times than not, he made some Fantasy Footballers look a Waiver Wire Guru…I hate to say this, but I’m not a believer that he will be this great again.  Going into his 9th year in the league, with yet ANOTHER QB who happens to also be an experiment….I just don’t know about this one…I’d say, don’t draft him, but maybe keep your eye on that Waiver Wire again.  The success of any Bronco WR will come down to the success of Tim Tebow and that remains to be seen…

I don’t like any Bronco RBs!!!  Especially, Knowshon Moreno.  Nothing personal, but he’s just never been a consistent Fantasy player.  I guess he had a decent rookie season with a little over 900 rushing yards and 9 total TDs.  But last year, when you wanna see improvement, he moved backwards.  He had some injury problems, so he only played in 13 games.  But he only managed 779 yards and 8 total TDs.  I guess you can give the argument that the Broncos had to the throw the ball to try to win games.  But to win games, you need a good defense and a good running game, which the Broncos had neither.  Moreno is the best option at RB for Denver due to them having Correll Buckhalter, Lawrence Maroney, and LenDale White backing him up.  All of these guys are NFL washouts and Fantasy busts.  Denver will try their hand at free agency once the lockout is lifted, since they didn’t address RB needs in the draft.  So for now, do yourself a favor and stay away from all Broncos RBs.  I’m just saving you some heartache.


The Arrowheads are Chief!

Dwayne Bowe really showed what he can do last year.  Since coming into the league in 2007, Bowe has shown the potential of being a break out receiver, but has performed far below  expectations.  He was actually very close to being benched because of ineffective play, even though he is clearly their best receiver.  Bowe answered his critics with a HUGE year:  72 catches, 1162 yards, and 15 TDs!  He developed a great rapport with Matt Cassel.  Bowe went from being a situation starter to a must start week to week in Fantasy.  I look for him to have continued success on the field, especially with the drafting of Jonathan Baldwin out of Pitt.  Baldwin has big play ability and will be a perfect complement to Bowe.  He should also be a good presence in the red zone offense as well, along with 2nd year TE Tony Moeaki, who had a decent rookie season with 47 receptions, 556 yards, and 3 TDs.  Bowe is a top 20 WR who should be drafted around the 3rd or 4th round.  However, Baldwin and Moeaki should be drafted, but definitely in the later rounds.  KC has put together a HIGH POWERED offense.

I am one of the few in the world that actually like Jim Zorn.  Call me crazy (and I know you will), but I actually enjoyed him here in Washington (minus all the embarrassing losses and press conferences). I always hoped that while he was a bust in DC, that he would go on and have success else where.  Whelp…in Baltimore, things didn’t go so well with Flacco.  So JZ lost that job.  Now he is in KC and his project is Matt Cassel.  This will be Cassel’s 3rd season with the Chiefs.  His first in 2009 was awful! Last year, Cassel’s play improved dramatically.  He ended last season with 3116 yards, and 27 TDs.  Cassel reduced his turnovers with 7 ints and 3 fumbles.  He needs to still make quicker decisions and that will help improve half of the 26 sacks from last season.  Hopefully Jim Zorn will improve the play of Cassel this season.  He will be great for when your star has a bye week.

Going into the draft, the Chiefs had many defensive needs.  Not to say that they were terrible last year.  Quite the contrary.  They had the 14th ranked D in the NFL last year, mainly from standout play from LB Tamba Hali and S Eric Berry, who both made it to the Pro Bowl.  Hali was second in the NFL in sacks with 15. Berry, who is going into his 2nd year, has already proven that he is going to be a special player.  He had 92 total tackles, 2 sacks, and 4 INTs, 1 which was returned for a TD.  But as mentioned, they have holes to fill, especially with the sudden retirement of Mike Vrabel.  There were also rumblings that Hali wanted to see what other teams were interested in him, but the Chiefs slapped the Franchise tag on him.  They did draft 5 Defensive players to help with the improvements for this year.  On Special Teams, Dexter McCluster splashed onto the scene in his first game with a TD punt return.  He is fast and explosive.  Ryan Succop wasn’t too consistent in the kicking game, but the Chiefs will put points on the board and there will be plenty of opportunities for Succop to kick the ball through the uprights.  This is a DEF/Special Teams that should be drafted when it comes time to pick a Defense.  You should do so with confidence.

The run is back in Kansas City!  Last year Jamaal Charles took his rushing to new levels.  He had 1647 rushing yards!  In December of 2010 Charles signed a five-year, $32.5 million deal that includes $13 million in guaranteed money.  He was invited to the 2011 Pro Bowl, a first for the RB.  The eye brow raiser for Fantasy Footballers? His TD production.  In a score only league, 5 TDs is not going to cut it.  Give some thought to that.  Their other RB of note is Thomas Jones.  Jones, in his first season as a Chief from the NY Jets, rushed a respectable 896 yards with 6 TDs.
These guys make a nice 1,2 combo. Todd Haley has gone on record often speaking highly of Thomas Jones and how great he thinks Jones is for Charles and the entire organization.  I suspect they will keep him around.


The Bucs

To say Mike Williams is getting off to a decent start in Tampa Bay is an understatement.  I’m sure they are smiling ear to ear about the decision to draft Williams in the 4th round of the 2010 draft.  Williams led all rookies with 65 receptions for 964 yards and 11 touchdowns.  His 11 touchdowns marked a new Buccaneers franchise record for most receiving touchdowns in a single season. That’s how you come in and make an impression!  Williams will continue to be the go to #1 receiver this year in Tampa, making him a receiver to draft this year.  Tampa is an exciting, young up and coming team in the league.  The other rookie WR from last year, Arrelious Benn will still play a role in the offense, as the Bucs will look to him to step up production.  Keep an eye on him as the season picks up…he may make a difference.  The only other receiver worth mentioning in the realm of Fantasy Football is veteran TE Kellen Winslow.  Winslow had a productive season with 730 yards, and 5tds–certainly not top tier among all NFL Tight Ends, but not bad.  The Bucks did add TE Luke Stocker in the4th round…he will have to work his way into the offense…

I like Cadillac’s, but I know from personal experience that they break down.  I like Graham crackers, but if you apply enough pressure, they crumble.  That goes double when it comes to the Bucs running game.  Lucky for them, they can confidently place the ball in the hands of LeGarrette Blount.  This kid is a MONSTER!  Blount came in the league with a HUGE chip on his shoulder pads following his tumultuous final year in college.  He started off his rookie season in Tennessee but landed softly in Tampa.  The Bucs used him sparingly in the beginning of last season, but he forced his way into the starting lineup in week 8 with his break away speed and counter punch mentality.  In 13 games played, he managed 1007 rushing yards, a 5 yard per carry average, and 6 TDs.  In his last 4 games, he had 408 rushing yards, with a 6.1 yard per carry average.  I know that the Bucs will use both Cadillac Williams and Earnest Graham for a change of pace, but Blount is the man.  I think he should garner a 3rd or 4th round draft pick, though I’m sure there are some who will draft him too early.  Regardless of how early he goes in your draft, this guy will produce for you.

Very few up and coming NFL QBs have made the Fantasy impact that the Bucs’ Josh Freeman has made.  In just his second year in the league, Freeman went from Fantasy sleeper to “this guy is too hot to bench”.  I have to admit, I had no thought whatsoever about Freeman in the beginning of last season.  In fact, I didn’t think much of the Bucs going into the season.  But they surprised me and a lot of other people.  Last year, my Fantasy team struggled at the QB position.  I started 4 different QBs over the course of the first 12 or 13 Fantasy weeks till I discovered Freeman was available on the Waiver Wire.  I picked him up when the Bucs were fighting for a playoff spot.  Freeman was the main reason why they were in contention.  In the his last 4 games, he threw for 1009 yards, 9 TDs, and 0 INTs.  That 4 game stretch include a 5 TD performance against the Seahawks, which helped me win my league championship.  The thing I really like about Freeman is that he makes very few mistakes.  For the whole season, he only had 6 INTs.  He also had a good overall season performance with 3451 yards and 25 TDs.  I believe that this guy has to be drafted.  If you can’t get your hands on a Rodgers, Brady, Brees, or P Manning, Josh Freeman is a great alternative.

The Bucs spent the majority of their draft picks on the defensive side of the ball.  I would look to this defense to be a contender Sundays.  They ranked a respectable 9th in the league in Defense in the 2010-2011 season with 19 ints, 3 TDs.  With only 26 sacks (fewest in the NFC South), the Bucks needed a better pass rush and this year they drafted help.  I think with the opportunities to create more turnovers, the Bucs are going to make life a little more difficult for Brees, Matty Ice, and rookie Cam Newton


GEAUX Saints!

We are excited to have another talented sports blogger to feature on HE SAID She Said FOOTBALL! 

Damon Jackson is from Atlanta, GA.  You can find his work on  !http://hoops-nation.com/ and http://sswag.blogspot.com/.  Follow him on Twitter: @MrStats11

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STUDS

Drew Brees, QB– You already know I was going here! When drafting a quarterback it’s always important to take on in a high-powered offense. (Colts, Packers, Patriots, etc.) But Drew Brees have had arguably the most potent offense since the beginning of the Sean Payton era. Last season was a surprisingly down year for Brees. Witnessed by his career high 448 attempts, a pedestrian running game and a knee injury hurt him. No, I’m going to blame the Madden Curse for you gamers.

Pierre Thomas, RB– Expect Thomas to have a bounce back season after a high ankle sprain derailed most of his 2010 campaign. Pierre won’t get a lot of carries in a crowded backfield. But he will be a key cog in the passing game, more so with screen passes. Which means a lot of yards, and in some leagues, points for receptions. Even with Ingram and Ivory in the mix, make no mistake that Thomas will have a huge part in this offense.

SLEEPER

Jimmy Graham, TE– Graham fits in the mold of Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez. Former college basketball players transitioning to the gridiron. Although Brees spreads the
ball, Graham will be oft targeted in the red zone. All 5 of his touchdowns were inside the 20. With a bigger role in the offense this season, look for Graham to surpass his numbers in all major categories.

If you are the few who partake in indie leagues (where defensive players are individually drafted) take a look at these players.

STUDS

Jonathan Vilma, LB– Undoubtedly the leader of the Saints defense, is in just about every play. 100 plus combined tackles the past three years and still doesn’t get the recognition. Unlike most Saints players on defense, Vilma was the only consistent from the Super Bowl year. Look for the same production this season with more weapons on the defensive end.

Be Cautious Of- Will Smith, DE– One of four litigants in the StarCaps case, Smith could face a possible 4 games suspension. Drafting him too high would be unwise. But not draft would be as well. A down season in 2010, like the rest of the Saints D. But due to his drop of 13 sacks to 5.5 are partly due to double coverage on Smith. Smith is a sack machine and with rookie Cameron Jordan on the opposite end look for Smith to bounce back in 2011.

SLEEPER

Cameron Jordan, DE– The rookie out of Cal will be looking to have a big season with Smith on the other end drawing double protection. Jordan looks to finally be the solution at LE, something Alex Brown or Charles Grant weren’t. Expect 7 to 8 with Smith in or out of the lineup from the former Golden Bear.

This season you should expect improvement on both sides of the ball this fantasy season for the Saints.  Rookies Mark Ingram and Cameron Jordan give the Saints more weapons on both ends of the ball. These Saints will be marching you into a fantasy football championship game.


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