Week 1 Add/Drop

Adds for the Week:

1 – Brandon Jackson – RB – Green Bay – Starter Ryan Grant will miss at least one week with an ankle injury.  Jackson is the only other true running back on the Packers’ roster, he’ll be backed up this week by a fullback so Jackson should receive 99% of the carries, barring a free agent signing that is entirely possible.  Jackson may only be a stop gap but the potential for a long term starter is there if he produces.  Remember he was a second round pick a few years ago, has never really gotten a chance to carry the ball and Green Bay does not really seem to be in love with Ryan Grant.

2 – Mark Clayton – WR – St. Louis – Targeted 16 times by rookie quarterback Sam Bradford, the late addition to the Rams appears to already be Bradford’s favorite target. St. Louis figures to be behind often and may be forced to pass frequently.

3 – Fred Taylor – RB – New England – Appears to have taken the #1 back role in New England.  Granted Maroney was inactive with an injury week one but Maroney is in danger of falling even further out of favor in New England as the former first round pick seems to have a hard time staying on the field.  New England will use all their backs but Taylor figures to get the majority.

4 – Nate Washington – WR – Tennessee – May not be available in all leagues, had three catches and a touchdown week 1 for the Titans, while being targeted 4 times.  2nd year man Kenny Britt apprears to have fallen into the doghouse a bit.

5 – Matt Hasselbeck – QB – Seattle – Dont be in a rush to scoop him up thinking he’ll solve your problems but he looked efficient in week 1 while throwing two touchdown passes.   A convincing win over San Francisco suggest maybe this Seattle team is better than advertised.

Drops of the Week:

– Dont be in too big of a hurry to give up on too many of these guys. They figure to still get their fantasy touches but it has to be a little unsettling seeing the lack of touches they received in week 1.

1- Donald Brown RB – Indianapolis – Did not receive one carry and only had one pass reception for the Colts in their week 1 loss the the Texas.  As I stated earlier, dont be in too big of a hurry to give up on Brown, he’ll get his touches but a disturbing week one stat total.  Keep in mind that the Colts only ran the ball a total of ten times in week 1.

2 – Jonathan Stewart – RB – Carolina – Another guy you cannot give up on yet but saw a troubling number of touches.  Stewart at least carried the football but it was a dissappointing 5 carries for 12 yards.   If the Panthers are going to win football games this year it is going to be because of their backfield tandem of DeAngelo Williams and Stewart.

3 – Correll Buckhalter – RB – Denver – We were not quite sure how the Denver backfield would shake out but it sure appears that Knowshon Moreno is the surefire #1 back in Denver.  Buckhalter’s fumber doesnt help his cause.

4 – Chris Chambers/Dwayne Bowe – WR – Kansas City – Not worth dropping at this point but it has to be alarming that each ended up with only one catch.  The passing game needs to be better in Kansas City for them to win football games.

5 – Devin Hester – WR – Chicago – Dont be so quick to let him go but the fact that he was targeted only one time in Mike Martz’s pass happy offense is not a good sign.  He did have a 17 yard catch in that only target.

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Saints 14 Vikings 9

Aside from my fantasy projections, you’ll find out that I am also a huge Vikings fan and will be blogging about Vikings-related issues on here from time to time.  That being said, I am not as beat up about this loss to the Saints as a lot of the media and some other Vikings’ fans seem to be. 

Look at it this way:  We are playing the defending Super Bowl Champions who without a doubt have a top-3 passing attack in the NFL with three healthy corners, who when at full strength, one is a starter and the other two seem to have fallen to #4 and #5 on the depth chart. Sidney Rice did not play, obviously.  Brett Favre has only participated in a handful of snaps all preseason, so the timing isn’t there.

Despite all these issues, we held the Saints to 14 points.  We did not get blown out.  Coming into the game I told myself, ‘I can handle a loss, just not a blowout’ and thats exactly what happened. Yes, I am disappointed but its not something to worry too much about.  Give Brett and his receivers another week or two to get on the same page before we hit the panic button.

Remember last year, we started the season with the Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions.  Offensively, we certainly didn’t light the world on fire in those games either.  We just got lucky and faced two of the worst teams in the league to start the season and could afford to not be firing on all cylinders.  This year, we don’t have that luxury.

3 Positives from Week 1

  1. The Running Game – Peterson looked good running the football.  He ran hard and we had success early.
  2. Pass Protection – I look at this as a positive, this was a HUGE worry of mine coming into this game.  No, the Saints didn’t send the house on blitz packages often but we were able to limit the number of hits on #4.  When McKinnie left with the finger injury, Favre didn’t look comfortable in the pocket but understandably so. 
  3. EJ Henderson – Think back to last December when we were all wondering if EJ would ever play again.  Not only did he play, he played very well and it will be interesting to hear how he feels today.

3 Issues From Week 1

  1. WR – A) Its clear this group has not worked together very much this offseason, this needs to be addressed B) Where was Greg Camarillo? C) Why did we target Percy Harvin so infrequently? D) Bernard Berrian needs to step up with Sidney Rice out. I would assume they’ll re-sign Javon Walker this week now that we dont have to fully guarantee his salary.  That way we can release him when Sindey comes back without owing him all kinds of money.
  2. Offensive Line Depth – I’ve said this from day one, losing Artis Hicks to the Redskins hurts more than most realize.  One of our worst nightmares occurred last night when Bryant McKinnie left the game temporarily.  We were forced to slide Phil Loadholt to LT and Ryan Cook came in and filled in at RT.  An offensive line like that is clearly not in our best interests.
  3. Return Game – The Saints were able to keep Percy Harvin in check on kickoffs, once by touchback and twice by good coverage. Percy is a dynamic playmaker but our KR squad needs to sharpen up. As for the punt return game, I wouldnt be against finding someone else who can handle these duties. Normally I consider any type of a return a bonus because at least the returner caught the ball and our offense will be able to move the football but Berrian put one on the ground.

Week 1 Player of the Game – Adrian Peterson

Week 1 Needs to Step Up – Brett Favre

Week 2 Preview – I would think the Vikings will work on getting the Favre and his receivers on the same page this week during practice. I also expect them to make at least one roster move, adding Javon Walker seems like a possibility and I would love to see them add an offensive tackle who can serve as the Artis Hicks-play-any-position-and-do-a-good-job-guy.

Next up are the Miami Dolphins.  A game that is without a doubt winable but we have a few things we need to sharpen up.  You know Benny Sapp will be spilling his guts to the Dolphins coaching staff (hopefully Camarillo will do the same).  Brandon Marshall will need to be contained and if we do what we normally do against the run, Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams should be a non-factor.  They may get their yards but overall I think we shut down their run and make Chad Henne beat us. Something I dont think he is capable of doing.

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Week 1 Running Back Rankings

1 – Chris Johnson – Will be facing a better than your average Oakland Raiders defense but Johnson’s speed and versatility make him our top choice.

2 – Adrian Peterson – Peterson vows to take care of the football in 2010 and he gets to start the season against the team who ended his in 2009, one game shy of the Super Bowl.  By the way, Peterson had three fumbles that game.  He’s thinking payback on National TV to start the 2010 season.

3 – Ray Rice –  I am very high on Ray Rice this year for not only PPR leagues but for TD and yardage leagues as he’ll get plenty of touches in that Baltimore offense.  Yes, they added weapons in Anquan Boldin, TJ Houshmanzadeh, Donte Stallworth and a couple young tight ends but Flacco is young and not established in the league, I think they will be somewhat conservative, especially early in the year and pound Ray Rice at the defense.

4 – Maurice Jones-Drew – The number three running backs in most leagues, he falls to fouth in my rankings mostly in part to the lack of supporting cast in Jacksonville.  Defenses will stack the box to try to stop MJD.  Will they be successful? Who knows, MJD is good enough to still beat 8 in the box.

5 – Steven Jackson – Jackson is the lone playmaker on this Rams offense.  Teams will undoubtedly gameplan to stop Jackson.  This week, he’ll face a Cardinals defense who has been depleated by free agency in 2009 losing both Antrel Rolle and Karlos Dansby.

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Week 1 QB Rankings

 

1 – Drew Brees – Brees is already my top fantasy quarterback but when you add the fact that he will be facing a depleted Minnesota secondary, on National TV, on a night when the Saints hoist their Super Bowl banner, Brees will be in for a big night. Not to mention Minnesota historically is great versus the run.  Saints may have to throw to win.

2 – Aaron Rodgers – Rodgers offers a bit of a duel threat at quarterback but I think he gets more press as a running quarterback then he deserves. His 5 rushing TD’s from 2009 wont be repeated although he’ll still does offer value as a runner.

3 – Peyton Manning – Manning is as steady as they come and one thing he has always done is tear up his own division.  Houston enters the 2010 campaign without their best CB from a year ago in Dunta Robinson who is now with the Falcons.  Rookie 1st round pick Kareem Jackson may be tested early.

4- Phillip Rivers – Facing a weak Kansas City defense Rivers should have his way with the Chiefs.  My only concern is the loss of Vincent Jackson, however Malcolm Floyd, Legadu Nannee and Antonio Gates should be able to pick of the slack for the Chargers.

5- Tom Brady – Faces a tough Cincinnati Bengals’ secondary this week but with a re-tooled offensive line and an already less-than-stellar run game, the Patriots may have to turn to the air to win this early season matchup of two potential playoff teams.

6 – Matt Schaub – Led the league in passing yards in 2009 and we expect him to put up similar numbers in 2010.  His top target Andre Johnson is back and looks as good as ever and tight end Owen Daniels looks to be recovered from a knee injury that ended his 2009 season early.

7 – Tony Romo – The Cowboys gave their QB a new weapon to work with in Dez Bryant. Romo is coming off a solid 2009 season and the Cowboys look to build off their success from a year ago.  Romo looks to be a solid play this week versus a divisional rival Redskins.

8 – Brett Favre – The Minnesota offense is a huge unknown at this point.  Injuries and absences have prevented this unit from working together for much of the preseason. Not to mention the offensive line had a hard time protecting the passer throughout the preseason.  Despite the question marks, Favre is a good play this week.  This NFC Championship game rematch could be a shootout.

9 – Jay Cutler – Another unknown, the Bears offense did not look in-sync this preseason but word from Chicago is that they were not showing ‘too much’.  Traditionally a passing offense, Mike Martz’s offense relies on protecting the passer.  If the Bears can find a way to do that, Cutler should be able to expose a very young and inexperienced Detroit secondary.

9 – Eli Manning – Manning has a nice host of weapons to work with and a solid offensive line that will keep him upright.  A decline in the rushing attack last year will continue into this year if you ask me.  Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw will take a backseat to the new young stars on that offense in Steve Smith, Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham.

10 – Carson Palmer – Provided with a couple new weapons in Terrell Owens and rookies Jermaine Gresham and Jordan Shipley to go along with Chad Ochocinco, Palmer gets to put them to work against a young and inexperienced Patriots’ secondary.

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