This is the section where you ask me the questions. I may be old and I may be stingy, but you can bet your balls that my fantasy advice will steer you in the right direction. With some new pills and a nice little workout regimen that includes a couple of hours a day with my new fiancé I’m feeling better than ever before. HA! Let the games begin… You know the program, grip it and rip it, ask it and I’ll answer it – send your questions via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and this old fart will respond as soon as possible. Pre-Season games start this Sunday, so indeed, the season is beginning.
JJ from Cincinnati says, “Hey Papa, it’s nice to see you’re back in the game this year, and I can’t wait to get your answers. It begins and ends with my Bengals, and I’m just wondering, do they have a chance to put up big offensive numbers this season? Which rookie receiver do you like the most and is Rudi worth rounding up?”
JJ – I’m actually liking the Bengals value in early mocks and pre-season drafts. Chad Johnson seems to be slipping to Round 3 in almost every situation, which I think is a great value for a guy like him, even if he isn’t all that consistent. The same goes for TJ, he’s slipping to Round 3 as well. In a league where passing is beginning to rule the world (two back offenses and tough defensive rules) TJ and Chad in Round 3 are great deals. Carson Palmer has really slipped despite having a solid season in an overall down year for the Bengals. Cincinnati will have to throw a lot, because regardless of their rookie and free agent selections, they won’t be a dominant defensive force – you can bet on that. Carson is a 4000 yard 28-30 touchdown guy this year, and right now he’s going in the 5th or 6th round. I like his upside, and think he’s one of the best signal callers in the game. The Bengals aren’t the offensive force that people think they are – but they do get in scoring position a lot. I think they will put up nice numbers overall, but they’ll struggle to outscore opponents at a playoff positioning tilt. They have a chance though, no doubt about that. As for Rudi, I’m not sold on this guy yet. Last year he ran a lot like Shaunna Alexander and that’s just tough for me to stomach. He gained some weight, and that’s a good sign, if, and only if he didn’t gain too much. He’s a risk, but in Round 5 or 6 he might be worth it. Remember, he did put up 1300+ yards and 12 touchdowns in 3 straight season, and it’s not like he’s 30 yet. Good luck!
Piccadilly Circus in Pullman says, “I’ve got three quickies for you; do your best! 1- Does Ronnie Brown really fall to the 4th or 5th round as a nice 3rd running back, or is he going to knockout expectations? 2- Is it just me or are quarterbacks getting picked earlier than ever this year? 3- I’m looking for a running back that I can plunder after round 3 that just might shock the world with a brilliant season… got one for me?
Let me start by saying, how did you get a name like that? It must be a nickname, but even so, you’ve got some explaining to do. For your 3 deep thinkers, I have 3 quick answers. Ronnie Brown is a great get in Round 4 or 5 – he will indeed crush expectations. Ricky Williams is back, and he looks good, but Ronnie will get just about 20 touches in Miami and I love his chances to do well. He’s had a long time to recover from his Week 7 knee injury and he’ll pick it up quickly. Quarterbacks are screaming off draft boards everywhere, and if you put your ear to big ocean shell you can hear thousands of fantasy owners’ seasons flushing down the toilet. Don’t be that guy Piccadilly! Break the mold – RB, WR, RB, WR, RB, WR! 6 rounds – 6 steals! For your sneak attack in Round 3-6, I have two guys that fit the mold. Mike Turner and Reggie Bush. I love Mike’s game, and he’ll be perfect in Atlanta. The Falcons will be better and more balanced offensive this season, and Turner will do more damage than experts are predicting. He could batter defenses in the NFC South to the tune of a 1300 yard 12 TD season. He’s a beast. Reggie Bush is my sneaky runner of 2008. He’s better than people give him credit for, and now in his 3rd season he’ll start to show it. He’s not your normal back, but it’s very possible that he produces numbers similar to Brian Westbrook’s averages, and look at the history, that ain’t bad!
Jeremiah the Bull in San Francisco says, “I have to choose between Frank Gore, Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Smith, Reggie Bush, and Ronnie Brown in my 2 man keeper league. I’m thinking Frank and Reggie, but I’m willing to be tricked into taking Larry instead of a runner – feel free to sway me! I’m thinking twice because we can start only 2 RBs and 3 WRs.”
Just the Bull? Not the Bullfrog? Well, you are still alright with me. I can see your thinking with two solid backs, but I’m glad you through in the starting options, because Larry Fitz, in a league in which you start 3 WRs and only 2 RBs, is a great option to have – especially in the keeper format. I would take Fitz for sure, because he’s going to be a star and a #1 target as long as he’s on the field, and his hands and size are so great that he’s a consistent red-zone threat. Now if the Cards could only realize that Kurt Warner gives fantasy owners all the love they can handle, and Leinart is just a Heisman winner. Anyway, that leaves you with Gore or Reggie, and even though Mike Martz is an evil running game killer, I think Frank is great enough in the receiving game to make him a Marshall Faulk type guy. Gore is fast and powerful and he can reel in the ball. San Francisco sure can’t throw the ball, but I would hold onto your hometown runner – he’s the only think that team has going for them. Larry Fitz and Frank Gore – stick with those two studs.
Billy in Alaska says, “I’m in a pretty expensive keeper league and I have the choice of keeping my college pick from last season (Jonathan Stewart) and losing my 10th round pick in the re-draft or just keeping the pick. I think Stewart is worth it – what do you think? We keep 2 guys every season, if that helps…”
Billy – keep Stewart, he’s a stud in the making and he’s definitely worth a 5th or 6th round pick, so losing a 10th is a great deal. You may not keep him around next season (depending on your keepers) but in the re-draft this year you could grab DeAngelo Williams in the 7th or 8th round and then you’d have a sure thing starting running back with upside regardless of who wins the job. I like Stewart a lot, think he’s the best running back in the ’08 draft, but Williams has solid upside as well, so make sure you grab him. Getting a sure thing starter with an 8th and a 10th is a great deal, so don’t pass it up!