Friday, August 15, 2008

Fantasy Football: The cure for Blog Hibernation

Same picture from last year's blog hibernation. Go ahead, look it up. I dare you.

Yes, it's been a while. Yes, we've sucked at keeping this blog updated with the intra-web shenanigans that all of our seven readers have come to expect. Overall things have been slow, and for Padres fans the dog days of summer baseball have been less than inspiring, to say the least.

However, there is a light at the end of the summer sports tunnel (for those of us who are non into the Olympics): football season. So in an attempt to get back in the swing of things, PHN presents a small 2008 preview. A few observations:

We're all sick of Brett Favre. Jericho Cotchery and Thomas Jones won't be.

All the talk has been about Brett Favre's legacy and the quarterback controversy with Aaron Rodgers. However, what most concerns fantasy owners is what kind of impact he'll have on the stat sheet. While Brett himself should be considered only a high-end fantasy backup, his mere presence does raise the value of several other Jets players. Receiver Jericho Cotchery (Philip Rivers' main target from college days) should be able to put up Greg Jennings-type numbers, if not better. He's a polished route runner with toughness and agility. Draft him as your #3 WR and watch him put up stats worthy of a #2.

Order your green "Walls of Jericho" shirt at

The passing game should also open things up for RB Thomas Jones, who was hampered by the inept quarterbacking of such luminaries as Chad Pennington and Kellen Clemens in '07. The signing of Pro Bowl center Alan Faneca should help Jones to a 1,200+, 10 TD season. If he's there in round 3, pull the trigger.

Don't forget about the Bills

Yes, quarterback Trent Edwards is unproven and most likely a fringe NFL starter. And yes WR Lee Evans is on track to become the latest disappointing Wisconsin Badger (we're looking at YOU, Ron Dayne and Michael Bennett). But there's talent on this squad that's going to produce and help many fantasy owners that recognize this.

RB Marshawn Lynch got hyphy on the gridiron in 2007 to the tune of 1,115 yards on 280 carries with seven touchdowns in 13 games. Many expect those totals to increase, including Peter King who predicts Lynch will be second in the league in rushing yards this year, even ahead of fantasy darling Adrian Peterson. If you pass this guy in the first round for injury risks and/or aging backs like Clinton Portis, Jamal Lewis and Frank Gore, by week six you'll regret it.

How can you pass on a guy that claims to have a "Beast Mode" ?

Another uber-sleeper on this team is WR James Hardy, a rookie out of Inidana University. He should move up the depth chart quickly, eventually surpassing perennial disappointment Josh Reed. Hardy is quite a physical specimen, reminiscent of a young T.O. He should get a lot of red zone looks at the very least, and his presence will help take pressure of Evans, who's slight build and lack of physicality make it difficult for him to beat double teams consistently.

This year's Sleeper Beauty at QB could be Jason Campbell

It happens every season at every position, a guy slips under the radar during the draft and ends up putting numbers worthy of a guy you'd pick in the top 3 rounds (see: Derek Anderson from last year). Bottom line, this guy has talent, and also talent around him. The main thing that worked against him was Joe Gibbs' conservative offensive philosophy. New head coach Jim Zorn is a former quarterback himself, and is sure to bring a more versatile and effective offensive passing attack. JC threw for 2,700 yards, with 12 TDs and 11 INTs in 2007, numbers not really worthy of an every week fantasy starter. However, Washington returns with passing weapons such as Chris Cooley, Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle-El. And in addition, USC's pass-catching tight end phenom Fred Davis was taken on draft day, as well as lanky red zone target Malcolm Kelly out of Oklahoma. This team has all the talent to be a formidable passing team, so take Campbell as your backup and shove it in all of the other owners' faces when he starts leading your team to fantasy glory.

Doug Williams reincarnated? Maybe. Well, probably not. Draft him anyways, though.

So that's it, hopefully as things settle down in the Bay for yours truly, there'll be more mayhem and excitement in our little sports-nut enclave. That is all.


words words words said...

Your Chad Pennington-bashing shall not stand! Chad is actually (like I suspect Trent Edwards will be) a good NFL quarterback while being a terrible fantasy football quarterback. They should have an award for this and call it the Troy Aikman Trophy.

I was going to retain Favre this year until he left the Pack. Now he's destined to end his career going 8-8 and throwing as many interceptions as TDs. I would bump Cotchery and Jones up a bit though, because interceptions don't count against them.

I can't wait for someone to pay $70 for Adrian Petersen in my leage only to watch him crumple to the turf in Week 3. I'm putting Chester Taylor on my sleeper list.

Dave H said...

First off, thanks for reading.

You're probably right, Trent Edwards has about the same traits as Pennington. But it's hard to imagine that his arm is weaker than CP's popcorn-throwing limp noodle.

Good move on bumping those guys up. In one of my leagues, I just got pick #9, so I'll probably target Lynch there unless someone else falls, and then maybe Braylon Edwards in round 2.

Spending your whole bank on Peterson this year is dumb, I think. Like you said, he's an injury waiting to happen, and also you don't get the week to week consistency you get out of an LT or a Westbrook.

Good luck in your season, and take Campbell instead of Favre!

Garney said...

I made my final draft pick James Hardy. Thanks for the tip.