Monthly Archives: July 2011

The Titans

If I have to really breakdown why drafting Chris Johnson is a must, then let me also be the first to welcome you to the exciting world of Fantasy Football!  Consistently for the past 3 seasons, Johnson has been over 1,200 rushing yards and 10 TDs.  But that’s not even the story.  In 2009 (just his 2nd year in the league) Johnson rushed for over 2000 yards, earning him the nickname “CJ2K”.  The real (and basically only) Fantasy Football STUD from the Tennessee Titans is Chris Johnson.   Johnson is typically WHO YOU DRAFT if you get the #1 pick on Fantasy Football Draft Day.  The Titans will continue to base their offense around him going into the 2011-2012.  Trust me if it’s your turn to draft and his name is on the board-DRAFT HIM.  Nuff said.

The Titans are a running team and always has been.  They made an attempt last season to go vertical in the air but The Randy Moss Experiment was a BIG FAIL and though when he played he was effective, Kenny Britt was injured and played hurt much of last year.  Also Britt doesn’t play nice off the field resulting with brushes with the law.  He played in only 12 games last season, but finished with an impressive 9 TDs, though he only managed 775 receiving yards.  Besides Britt, there’s Nate Washington(NO), Justin Gage(NO), Jared Cook(NO WAY), and TE Bo Scaife (MAYBE) who will try to stretch the field for the Titans.  But with Kerry Collins retired, Vince Young in limbo, Chris Johnson ready to hold out, a new QB, AND a new Head Coach?  I would stay far away from any Titan receiver when draft time comes around.  It’s too many unanswered questions.

Congratulations to Kerry Collins as he announced his retirement for the National Football League on 7/7/2011.  Collins ended with 16 year long career with 40,441 yards and 206 TDs.  Most recently the Titans were the last team he started in which he has 1823 passing yards, 14 TDs before losing his starting job to Vince Young.  Vince Young and the Titans have had one rocky relationship to say the least.  Before the latest of meltdowns between VY and the Titans, Young had 1225 yards, 10 tds, 3 ints, and 13 sacks.  The relationship between Young and former coach Jeff Fisher blew up for the final time at the end of the season.  So bad that Titans owner…… announced that the organization would part ways with Vince Young.  However, the organization also parted ways with Fisher.  “Some reports” say the maybe there is a shot that the Titans will give Young another shot now that Fisher is gone …I say don’t count on it….
All this is a very lovely welcoming for new QB draft pick Jake Locker.  I’m sure the Titans thought that Collins would hang around and mentor their new prospect but no such luck. Free Agency (whenever that is) will be where the Titans find some relief at QB…not much by way of analysis there either.

Overall, the Titans’ D wasn’t that bad.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t that good either.  They were middle of the road, actually, change that.  They were bad.  That won’t win you many games or get you many Fantasy points though.  The Titans’ D was ranked 26th overall,  29th against the pass, and 20th against the run.  The Titans did have a couple of standouts.  Jason Babin recorded 13 sacks.  Michael Griffith led the team with 4 INTs.  Even Courtland “Punching Bag” Finnegan scored a Def TD off an INT. Tennessee did draft 6 Defensive players this year, including OLB Akeem Ayers from UCLA, so they are looking to upgrade defensively.  Special Teams they have Pro Bowler Marc Mariani, who took back a punt return and a kick return to the house last season.  When you are looking for a D when your Fantasy draft comes around, you could do worse, but there are my other options that you could look at.  As far as kickers go, Rob Bironas is still one of the league’s most consistent.  The question is, will he have many opportunities to be in scoring position?  He is worth a draft pick though.

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The A

Matt Ryan (Matty Ice is what they call him) has proven to be a good dependable QB for the Falcons.  Coming into the league in 2008 to a team that was surrounded by controversy, Ryan has been poised and shown terrific leadership.  He has made steady improvements year after year and has now become a great Fantasy option.  I drafted him as one of my QBs last year and quickly traded him away for Carson Palmer(BIG MISTAKE).  While Palmer threw INT after INT, Matty was throwing TD after TD to his WRs.  Last season, Ryan passed for 3705 yards, 28 TDs and just 9 INTs.  Those are very good numbers.  He established a good rapport with Roddy White, but now he has Julio Jones who will make an immediate impact and help Ryan reach for Fantasy super stardom.  Right now, Ryan is in that second tier of Fantasy QBs, but with a year under his belt and new weapons, he is a must start every week.  Draft him with no hesitation.

Close your eyes and imagine getting to choose from an elite arsenal of weapons before going into battle.   Weapons that will ensure you crush you opponent.   This is what it’s like to be QB Matt Ryan on game day.  Matty Ice will have his usual reliable wide out Roddy White who finished his 6th NFL season with 1389 receiving yard and 10 TDs has established his playmaking ability with 381 yacs while often double teamed.  If for some reason Matt can’t get Roddy the ball (and trust me it isn’t often), he has another receiving option in 14 year superstar veteran TE Tony Gonzalez.  Last year Gonzalez caught the rock for 656 yards and 6TDs.  This year though? Oh this year, ATL got Matt one of the most exciting weapons in the draft: JULIO JONES!  Every NFL fan was secretly hoping Jones would magically fall to their team on Draft Day.  The Falcons had none of that! They traded up (albeit too much) and got their man!  At Alabama, Jones established himself as a physical receiver.  He had an impressive combine with crazy vertical jumps and a 4.39 40!  He’s going to be exciting to watch!

The main playmaker on the Falcon Def is Jonathan Abraham.  Last year with 13 sacks.  The team had a total of 29 sacks and 22 ints which is great for getting Fantasy Football points out of a defense.  The PROBLEM is that secondary.  Last year the Falcons went 13-3 with that secondary, forcing the team to get into a lot of shootouts.  Well if its a shootout you want, its a shoot out you will get playing Atlanta because that secondary will allow you to score.  I’d pick up the Falcon Def when a starting DEF has a bye week.

There is no question that the Falcons can pass the ball all over the field with Ryan, White, and the newly acquired Jones.  But make no mistake:  that’s a running team in the ATL.  Ever since Michael “The Burner” Turner came to the Falcons, he hasn’t stopped running, and last year was no different.  Last season, he rushed for 1371, 12 TDs and 4.1 yards per carry.  He was third in rushing, behind Arian Foster and Jamaal Charles, and tied for third for rushing TDs with Adrian Peterson.  Turner is a Fantasy STUD.  If I have one concern about Turner, it his TD production week to week.  He has a tendency of scoring multiple TDs in one game, but none in others.  For example, in 16 games played last season, he went scoreless in 8 of them.  That’s bad news when you count on TD production from your main RB.  Even with this annoyance, I maintain that Turner is a must start every week.  I do also think that if you draft Turner, you may want to keep an eye on rookie Jacquizz Rodgers from Oregon State, who can make an impact in his first year with the Falcons.  But for now, The Burner is the man in ATL.


The Houston Texans

What Fantasy Footballer doesn’t love Matt Schaub?  Maybe one who’s a fan of the Colts, Jags, or Titans–but that’s about it.  It’s obvious the man knows how to move the football.  For the second season in a row, he has over 4,000 passing yards (last season he had 4,370) and over 25 TDs (finishing last season with 32).  In terms of Fantasy Football, Schaub is right up there with Brees, Brady, P. Manning, Vick–He’s going to get you the numbers and he’s a every week starter.  Now the reason you don’t draft him before a Brees, Brady, Manning is because of his 32 sacks, 12 ints, and 9 fumbles.  Regardless of the mistakes, Schaub will get you the points to cover them up.  A top-tier QB Fantasy Football draft pick.

If I could describe the 2010 Texans Defense in just one word, that word would have to be ATROCIOUS!  Specifically the SECONDARY.  They couldn’t cover anybody.  I think my grandmother even scored on them.  Now, I do have to say that the offense did their job keeping the Texans in games.  Even the run defense did a decent job, ranking 13th in the league.  But against the pass, they were ranked dead last.  The secondary gave up an average of 267.5 yards through the air, with a total of 4280 yards.  The also gave up 33 passing TDs and managed a paltry 13 INTs.  They did garner a shutout against the Titans, but that was no big feat since they had so many QB problems, but other than that, the least amount of points they gave up was 17 against an anemic Jags offense.  The Texans gave up an average of 26.7 points per game.  ATROCIOUS!  The Texans did address their defensive needs through this years draft.  6 of their 8 picks were defensive including 3 defensive backs.  They also hired goofball Wade Phillips as the new Defensive Coordinator.  As GOOFY as Wade is, he is a decent defensive coach, and should be able to handle the pressure since he’s not running the whole show.  There is even talk about them going hard after Nnamdi Asomugha, but until that Magical, Mystical, Majestical day happens, STAY AWAY!

The running game in Houston is to be respected.  That’s due to one fast man: Arian Foster.  Last year (due to the injury of Ben Tate) Foster ran for 1616 yards and 16 TDs. Pleasantly surprising Texans fans and fantasy owners alike, he ran for an average of 101 yards a game.  The high-powered offense of the Texans will be on point.  They have made upgrades to the defense.  So hopefully the Texans won’t have to have a shoot out with teams every week, further opening their run game.  Foster is worth the draft pick.  The Texans will drive the ball and someone needs to hit that goal line–I think Foster will still be the man.  If there is a question about  Derrick Ward-forget about it! He’s really a non-factor with 315 yards and 1 TD

The Texans have a great offense.  They have a good QB, and a great running game, whoever ends up running the ball, and they have the best WR in the NFL:  Andre Johnson.  I had the good fortune of drafting Johnson with my first pick (I think drafting a receiver first is the best Fantasy draft strategy, but that will be addressed in another post).  Johnson was plagued last year with nagging injuries which caused him to miss three games, but he still was dominant with 1216 yards receiving and 8 TDs.  He even received the Michael Westbrook Award for beating  down Courtland “Big Red” Finnegan in the heat of battle(did you notice my Five Heartbeats reference).  There is one knock against Johnson.  For a receiver with his gifts and gridiron prowess, you would like to see him get into the end zone more often.  In his 8 year career, he’s never reached pay dirt double-digit times.  However, that could be due to an effective running game.  Even though he’s never led the league in TDs, he’s still a must have and a must start, because he’s the BEST.  Johnson does have some pretty decent receiving partners surrounding him.  Kevin Walter is a slightly above average wideout lined up on the other side.  Jacoby Jones also filled in nicely when Johnson was out.  Jones is also a decent return man.  Lastly TE Owen Daniels can stretch the field, but he’s had his own injury problems, missing some time last season.  His backup Joel Dreesen, who’s a big receiving target, filled in nicely for Daniels.  I do think that Daniels is a good option to draft for your TE spot, but keep your eye on Dreesen as well.  This season, I do anticipate a lot of passing, especially with a suspect defense, so draft the Texan receivers, but with the exception of Johnson, don’t draft them too early.  That can kill a Fantasy team.


The Cards

In case you were wondering: The main Fantasy Football superstar of the Arizona Cardinals is STILL Larry Fitzgerald. Even with a dismal signal caller on offense, Fitzgerald still got his 1137 receiving yards and 6TDs. A less talented receiver would have been sent to waivers. Fitzgerald has proven regardless of the QB in Arizona, he is worth a draft pick for sure! Team mate Steve Breaston is who “some” thought (including Breaston himself) would fill the role of the traded Anquain Bolden. Because he is so NOT Anquain Bolden (plus Kurt Warner was not throwing the ball), Breaston had 718 receiving yards and 1 TD for the 2010-2011 season. While Breaston may be a pretty good poet, so far he’s not proven he’s ready for the Superstar Receiver title. With the unsure QB situation I would say the clear draftable WR in Arizona is only Larry Fitzgerald.

There could be a crowded backfield this year in AZ. Or at least it will be some competition for the starting spot. Last season, the running game was woeful, but that could have been because of the horrible QB play. Tim Hightower led the team in rushing with 736 yards and 5 TDs. Hightower was considered a big part of the one two punch that the Cards were supposed to have, along with Chris Beanie Wells. But with him being a restricted free agent, Hightower could be out of there. Speaking of Wells, can this guy stay healthy? He missed 3 games last year to injury, and only had 397 yards, and 1 TD. With this weak play, it could make way for rookie Ryan Williams, who was drafted in the 2nd round from Virginia Tech. Williams can actually make his way into the starting line-up, but he needs to work on his pass protection. Something that Wells still struggles with. I would stay away from the AZ RBs till its clear who is going to be running the rock.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt has a knack for the offensive side of the ball. One would think that spending a little time in Pittsburgh would have given him a better grip on the defensive side of the ball, but NOPE! No such luck. Coach Whisey brought Joey Porter and Clark Haggans (all of them being former Super Bowl winning Pittsburgh Steelers). Porter and Haggans each got 5 sacks on the season, but that’s about all that came from the defense. Losing so many games last season earned the Cardinals a GEM of a draft pick in Patrick Peterson. Peterson has the ability to play the role of the league’s next shut down corner or hybrid safety! Either way with Rogers-Cromartie, Adrian Wilson, and Peterson in the secondary-it should be a significantly more difficult to score on the Cardinals this season.  From a Fantasy Football perspective, am still not suggesting that you draft this Def…They still need a lot of work.

Derek Anderson, Max Hall, John Skelton, Richard Bartel. Do any of these QBs make you excited? I didn’t think so. We all know about Anderson and his ineptitude as a signal caller. He “dazzled” us last year with 2065 passing yards, 7 TDs, and 10 INTs in 12 games. Don’t get me wrong: He has the “intangibles”. He looks good on paper as far as the things that are important at a combine and he even looks good in a uniform. He just isn’t a starting NFL QB. Hall played 6 games and managed just under 400 yards passing, 1 TD, and 6 INTs. Maybe the Cardinals best QB is John Skelton. Skelton had 660 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs in 5 games. He’s got a future, but only as a back-up, just like Bartel. Don’t draft any of these guys, not even for a bye week. If you listen closely, Larry Fitzgerald is somewhere crying. Arizona needs this lock out to end quickly, so they can get somebody in free agency.


The Jags

2734 passing yards, 23 TDs, 15 Ints, 11 fumbles, and 33 sacks: Thanks for coming to the party David Garrard, it’s been a real roller coaster ride!  The Jags have their sights set on the future and his name is Blane Gabbert.  While the party is not COMPLETELY over for Garrard, we all know its time for him to close his bar tab.  In an interview with the National Football Post’s Dan Pompei, Del Rio stated, “In a perfect world, I’d like to see him not have to play this year in terms of having time to develop. That doesn’t mean I would keep him on the bench if I thought he was the best option to win. Ideally he’s able to get that time to develop and really learn the game at this level. I’d love to see Garrard have a nice season, lead us into a playoff position, and then see if we can get hot. Things don’t always happen the way you have them planned though.”
Gabbert, the 10th overall pick in the 1st round of the NFL Draft is not expected to arrive and save the day season 1 in the league. It really remains to be seen what Gabbert can do in the league.  But I showed you what his head coach has to say.

Raise you hand if you can name the starting WRs for the Jags…My hands are down and tied behind my back!  Going into last season, the only receiver that most people had an inkling about was Mike Sim-Walker. In the past,  Sims-Walker had shown flashes that he can be a decent wide out for the Jags, but he was far from an elite receiver.  He reached mediocre heights in last season’s campaign with 7 TDs and 562 yards receiving.  He kept claiming that he was a #1 receiver, but he never proved it.  This year he will have another chance to show and prove…more than likely it will be with another team however.  The surprise WR for the Jags was Mike Thomas, who led them with 820 receiving yards.  Thomas made that Hail Mary catch off that prayer of a pass by Garrard to beat the Houston Texans at the last second.  Fantasy “experts” everywhere were calling Thomas a MUST HAVE for he rest of he season, a SLEEPER…Well Thomas slept the res of the season with just 4 TDs.  STAY AWAY FROM ALL JAGS’ RECEIVERS in your Fantasy Football draft.  The real surprise last season turned out to be TE Marcedes Lewis.  He crash landed into Fantasy Football superstardom with 700 receiving yards and 10 TDs.  he finally showed that he could be that go to guy that Jacksonville drafted in 2008.  Still, I would like to see more before recommending him as a consistent every week starter.  In previous seasons, he had a total of 7 TDs.  While I do think Lewis is worth a draft pick, just don’t go there too early.  He has only had 1 breakout season and that QB situation is shaky.  This will make a huge difference on the outcome of play for Lewis as well as the  Jags’ WRs.

He’s the host of a two-hour radio show on Sirius <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sirius_XM_Radio> XM satellite radio titled Runnin’ With MJD  which focuses on fantasy football talk and strategy.  If you know like I know you BETTER draft Maurice Jones Drew!  He has not disappointed Fantasy Football owners yet. Last year the NFL Alumni Association named MJD Running Back of the Year. He earned the title with a beyond impressive 1324 rushing yards.  The lil hiccup is that he only scored 5 TDs (sorry all you score only league players).  Jones-Drew is the real Fantasy Football deal.  He starts himself every Sunday.  Now that’s confidence!  He will still go 2-3 overall on most draft board…get ready to rack up the points.

I’m not going to mention any names when speaking of the Jaguars’ Defense or Special Teams, just for the simple fact that I don’t want to embarrass anyone.  The people who should be embarrassed are the Defensive Coordinator and the Special Teams Coach.  Not one stellar performance to speak of.  They gave up an average of 26.2 points per game. PATHETIC!  No one with 100+ tackles.  No one with over 5 sacks.  No one with more than 4 INTs.  Just one return TD.  I’m DONE.  Stay away!!


The 49ers!

Who is the QB for the SF 49ers? Wideout Michael Crabtree asked that same question. If he doesn’t know, how am I supposed to know. So as I write this, I can only speculate. Last year, Alex Smith started the season and ended the season as the starter. In between we saw Troy Smith and David Carr. Not much else to say about any of the QBs for the Niners. This upcoming season, Smith is claiming the starting position. We’ll see! I just looked at the depth chart and I saw David Carr’s name. Good luck with that. Rookie coach Harbaugh definitely has some decisions to make. I am intrigued by rookie Colin Kapernick out of Nevada. Kaepernick has a strong arm, mobility, accuracy, but has yet to develop that presence in the pocket. I do think that if the rookie can pick up the Harbaugh system, he might find himself in the starting lineup. Like I said, WE’LL SEE, but for now, stay away from all Niners’ signal callers in your Fantasy draft.The Niners’ running game begins and ends with Frank Gore. I personally think that Gore would be considered an elite Fantasy RB, but unfortunately for many Niners’ and Fantasy fans, HE IS NOT. It’s not because he doesn’t have the talent or the ability, or even the desire. He just doesn’t have the durability. Last season, Gore was on his way to a decent season for the SF and Fantasy owners, but once again, he gets hurt. In Gore’s six year career, he’s played the entire season ONCE! Also in his career, he’s had double digit TDs in just one season. How can you count on this guy week in and week out? I’m not saying don’t draft Gore, but you better have some insurance. We have no idea what’s going on at QB, so the Niners are going to run the ball a lot. That’s the main reason why Gore runs down so easily. So draft Gore, but you want to definitely handcuff him to Anthony Dixon, who is a big bruiser with quick feet. The Niners did add some depth in the backfield which can also help keep Gore fresh and upright. If you draft Gore, make sure you have some depth at the RB position on your roster.

NFL Head Coach Rookie Jim Harbaugh will have his hands full his first season in the league.  One area of concern for him, but not fantasy football owners is the wide receiver position.  The most consistent “receiver” is Vernon Davis at TE.  Last year he lead the team with 56 receptions, 914 receiving yards, and 7 TDs.  Just before the 2010 season, Davis was awarded a five-year contract extension for $37 million with $23 million guaranteed, making him the league’s highest paid tight end.  Davis is entering his 6th year in the league (dare I say veteran status?) and will show up as a key component of the San Francisco offense.  Can’t say he doesn’t have the proper monetary incentive to do so.   Back to actual WIDE RECEIVERS, the 49ers have Michael Crabtree.  While last year’s 741 receiving yards and 6 TDs weren’t bad, I’m looking to see more from Crabtrree in 2011.  Yes Josh Morgan and Ted Ginn are on the team but don’t expect them to be viable Fantasy Football options this fall.

The San Francisco Defense has a lot of big names (Patrick Willis, Takeo Spikes, Justin Smith, Nate Clements etc) but for Fantasy Football owners looking for a solid SCORING defense, San Francisco is not really where one wants to look.  Last year the 49er defense got to the QB 44 times (7th in the league) but only scored 1 TD all season long.    A lot of the 49er games were tough to watch (especially for 49er fans I’m sure).   Nothing really that special about Special Teams either.  Ted Ginn Jr was the return man and with over 900 return yards, he did not make a single trip to the house.  Not something you wanna see on StatTracker is all I’m saying.

Here is a question we at He Said She Said Football posed to Mike Patton of The Everyday Man’s Sports Blog (www.theeverydaymanssportsblog.wordpress.com<http://www.theeverydaymanssportsblog.wordpress.com/>) and Sports Blog Movement on Twitter.  Follow him @Sports_R_Me_MP3.

Q: What 49er is the most relevant for Fantasy Footballers this season and why?

A: I think that RB Frank Gore is the most relevant this season in Fantasy Football.  Reason being is that if you look at the past few seasons, he has been the focus of the offense and has scored the most TDs.  Plus, he gets the most touches of anyone on their offensive squad.

We are so close to wrapping up our team by team Fantasy Football analysis…  We hope you’ve got a lot of tips for your Fantasy Football Draft Day.  Up next: the Jags!


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