Ask Papa Weimer: Week 8

Here you go folks, a couple bright emails sent in from readers and answered by me… Just like that.

David from the Midwest writes, “I need to pick up some receivers but I can’t seem to grasp which one or two I should grab. How would you rank the following Galloway, Bryant, Avery, Morgan, and Walker. Give reasons for how you ranked them. I like Galloway,but Gruden has said Bryant will continue to start. Avery, Walker, and Morgan intrigue me. Let me know.”

Boy, Avery, Morgan, and Walker all kind of interest me too – and for much different reasons. Morgan probably is the biggest sure thing for numbers as he’s supposed to continue his starting ways for the season and Martz seems to love him and you know Mikey is going to throw the rock – but Galloway and Bryant are both good receivers that have proven legit options over the time of their careers. Tough call really. I would rank them like this… Galloway, Morgan, Bryant, Avery, Walker – but they are all very close in this ranking. The space that seperates 1-5 isn’t all that much. Galloway is old and has been injured a lot, plus there’s a chance he doesn’t even start when he gets back (which I think is crazy) – still, he’s shown his upside, and he’s one fast receiver even as old as he is. Morgan is very young and has just one decent game in his career, but I like him. Bryant was certainly a nice PPR option a few times, he was a top pick, but also a guy that’s warn out his welcome numerous times – but he has been the most productive this season. Then you have Walker – shooit, all the talent in the world but he’s been a head case has a tough team to play receiver for, and he faces Baltimore this week. Avery is lightning and has been getting open a few times a game, and Dallas hasn’t shown anything. Maybe I’d drop Galloway down, but it’s hard because he’s so proven. Tough call man – good luck in your choice.

Red Red Ryan writes, “Okay, I’ve paid my homage to the powers that be. I found an old set of Ninja Turtles and have them all looking up to a Mike Shannahan coaching football card. Warren Moon got a fan-mail from me recently, responded with a “thank you, this and that, this and that” and as for Shannon Sharp, I stopped by a farm recently and fed some horses grass. That should do it eh? That being said, who should I start this week? Brandon Jacobs or DeAngelo Williams? Oh, wait, Addai’s out, I’ll start them both… Ouch. Okay, who would you start at QB? Big Ben or Jake Delhomey? Thanks for the advice, I’ll need the good ju-ju this week.

Red Red Ryan – you probably still need to dye your hair, but you’ve done well young student. I’m going to keep this short, because I don’t think I can compete with your actual question/statement. You are quite the fantasy enthusiast, and while Big Ben will have to throw against the Giants, so will Jake against the Cardinals. I don’t see the Panthers running around well at home this week, but Jake should have nice numbers. With his full compliment of receivers, I like him the best this week. Good luck!

Ten For Tuesday

Okay, it’s late tuesday and I want to get a few guys out there for you to either think about, get right now, or let someone else dabble with – here they go, more than 10, but I’ve never heard anyone argue that I’m giving you too much for your buck…

Think about…

Javon Walker: This guy has had lots of good games in the past, has a lot of talent, and if he can stay healthy he has a good opportunity with defenses paying a lot of attention to the run game. He looks to be getting it together mentally. 

Mewelde Moore: I’m still not convinced that Moore is going to be a sure thing, and Willie might be back soon, but there is no doubt that Pittsburgh likes to run the ball and I’ve always seen Moore as a back that can do solid work. He’s no sure thing, but if you need help – go for it. 

Vishante Shiancoe: I like this guy. He plays for a team that doesn’t do a lot of work through the air, but he’s had a few good games and there’s a decent chance he’s better than the TE you have right now. He’s always been talented. 

Harry Douglas: This kid just gets open. He’s a great compliment to Roddy White. I don’t know if he’ll be consistent enough, but if he’s on your keeper league waiver wire I think you’ll be very happy you grabbed him. 

Marty Booker: Books is getting a little long in the tooth, sure, but Bears opponents go after the run hard, and if Hester is out for a while I think Booker could benefit from Kyle Orton’s air attack. Launch. Still, he’s no sure thing to be a great option. 

Brandon Lloyd: Almost a sure thing to be healthy coming off a bye, and the Bears loved him in the preseason and he played well in the beginning of the year. I’m just saying. People seem to forget about guys that didn’t do great last week. 

Kevin Faulk: He might get picked up less than Green Ellis, but I think he’s the better bet to get more fantasy points – but we’ll see – neither is a great pick up. 

Go Get Them…

Josh Morgan: I liked him early, I liked him just before the season, I like him now that he’s starting. The 49ers need to throw less to win, Mike Martz doesn’t see it that way, that’s good for Morgan owners – go get him. 

Ryan Torrain: I think this is the last week you can possibly get him for free – stash him, thank me later. 

Deuce McAllister: For two to four weeks I like the big cat. Pierre Thomas too, but I’ll take Deuce over Thomas. 


Leave Them Alone…

Tyler Thigpen: There’s a reason the Chiefs are trying out Boomer, Steve Young, and Warren Moon on Wednesday…

Martellus Bennett: TE playing behind Jason Witten – no thanks. 

Ben-Jarvis Green Ellis: I don’t know, I’m putting him down just because someone has to run the ball for the Pats while Matt Cassel is at the helm. Still, Lamont will likely come back soon and chances are Green Ellis won’t be a decent option, I even think Sammy is solid, so this would only be a last resort pickup. I’d pass on him if you have another option. Like Deuce.

Super Sleepers: Fantasy Football 2008

Sleeper: A player that is either very young and or expectations are relatively low – for the most part this “unheard of” doesn’t get drafted in the first 10 rounds of fantasy drafts and is, more often than not, undrafted.

That’s right, all those sleeper articles led by Marshawn Lynch, Darren McFadden, Calvin Johnson, Earnest Graham and Thomas Jones are just flat out ridiculous. Sure, they may be undervalued now, but they are by no means sleeper – they were either good last year, are great rookie players, or were good prior to last season. My wifey (that’s right) even knows who McFadden and Calvin are – that should be deal breaker number one seeing if a player makes “sleeper” lists. Josh Morgan? No clue who that is – sign him up! Here they are, enjoy. The numbers in parenthesis are projections for the season.

Rookie Sleepers

1. Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans (140 carries 800 rush yards, 45 catches 450 receiving, 8TDs): In a PPR league this kid is a lock to put up startable stats week in and week out. He’s the fastest guy on the field every single time he steps on the turf. When I say a guy is a sleeper it means he has the chance to be startable for at least half of the season and he usually gets picked after Round 10. Chris has the upside of a starting running back – that’s my kind of sleeper.

2. Steve Slaton, RB, Houston Texans (130 carries 600 rush yards, 30 catches 280 receiving, 4 TDs): For lack of a better option in Houston, Steve could end up getting about 15 touches a game. He’s already the scarriest and most dynamic rusher on the team, now he just has to get over the rookie jitters and the urge to bounce outside. Slaton was dominant two seasons ago in college, and believe me, he still has that ability. I’m not as high on him as I am on Chris, but Slaton’s small stature shouldn’t keep you from taking a chance on him. He has the makings of a good one cut runner.

3. Ryan Torain, RB, Denver Broncos (155 carries 750 yards, 7TDs): You know Selvin Young is going to fumble once or twice and Splinter is going to lose his marbles. That’s about when Ryan will be coming off of the injured list and stepping right into a nice little time share. Torain’s style reminds me of Ryan Grant and he could be a great option for a Denver attack that hasn’t had a tough runner in some time. He will likely miss the first 4-6 games but remember, Ryan Grant only started 10 games and what kind of impact did he have last season?

4. Eddie Royal, WR, Denver Broncos (55 catches 850 yards 6 TDs): First of all, I love Jay Cutler’s game. Second of all, Royal is already a starter in Splinter’s master plan, and he’ll stay with the #1 unit even after Marshall gets back. Royal has a lot of explosive potential and it looks like he’s going to get his fair share of chances. He’s basically not getting picked right now, but with Cutler and Marshall and Scheffler and a running game to worry about, Royal might just find himself with room to run and that’s a good thing for Fantasy owners.

5. Dustin Keller, TE, New York Jets (40 catches, 420 yards, 5 TDs): I’m basically relying on Brett to make a relationship with the young speedster out of Purdue. Honestly, Keller is much more of a receiver than a TE, but that’s great for Fantasy Football. Keller is a big match-up problem for most teams, and the fact that the Jets grabbed him early makes me think that they want him to get the ball. Coles and Cotchery will leave him all by himself with a safety to beat, and with his speed that’s very possible.

6. Josh Morgan, WR, San Francisco 49ers (70 catches, 840 yards, 4 TDs or look at Shaun McDonald’s numbers last season): I know they are just pre-season stats, but 4 catches for 68 yards, then 5 catches for 114 yards and a TD, he’s a possible super Mike Martz unknown 3rd receiver – c’mon, he has to be on sleeper lists, right? Not yet, but he is now. Take this guy in the last round, watch every other owner in your league look at you like you’re a moron, and then manage to start him and beat other teams with his production. Its a fun game I call “Told you so, Bitches!”. Play it with the people you are closest to, it’s a blast. Mike Furrey and Shaun McDonald – did you think they’d be fantasy relevant? Exactly.

Non-Rookie Sleepers

1. Justin Gage, WR, Tennessee Titans (67 catches 900 yards, 5 TDs) : I don’t know if I fully believe it, but apparently Vince Young is more accurate than ever. If Justin can improve on his 750 yards and two touchdowns he might just be fantasy worthy. I think Young will be a little better throwing the ball, and right now Gage is the only sure-thing receiver in the starting line-up. That’s worth a very late pick right there.

2. Devin Hester, WR, CHicago Bears (60 catches, 900 yards, 11 TDs): Call me a Hester fan, hell, make me the president of his fan club, I don’t care, the guy is electric with the ball in his hands. He sees the game at a high speed, and he can take angles and make cuts that didn’t previously exist. Right now he’s the #1 receiver in Chicago, and while that’s not too much to be excited about, it does mean that he’ll be targeted quite a bit. If Hester gets 10 targets a game I bet he scores double digit touchdowns. He’s getting picked way too late right now. People are calling him a “bust” potentially but that’s some awkward joke, right? I mean, he doesn’t get picked until after the 10th round, even if he has a bad year it’s not like you blew an early pick on him.

3. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers (3,300 yards, 22 TDs): The Packers may have been a little bit stubborn with Brett, but they didn’t get rid of the icon to give the reigns of this team to a guy without the ability to drive the sled. Rodgers has a great arm, a solid offensive line, and one of the best receiving corps in the entire league. Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, James Jones – these guys are studs that do quarterback’s favors. Defenses will be focussed in on Ryan Grant and that rushing attack, and Aaron will get the best of them early.

4. D.J. Hackett, WR, Carolina Panthers (65 catches, 800 yards, 6 TDs): I’ve always liked D.J. I’ve seen him play a lot and I always thought, when he was on the field, he was the best receiver in Seattle. If he stays healthy all season in Carolina he’ll bust those numbers I projected above. I think he’ll get those numbers in 12 healthy contests. He should start the year off with a bang too, he’ll be the #1 in Carolina, a receiving position that always justifies fantasy attention.

5. Steve Breaston, WR, Arizona Cardinals (45 catches, 600 yards, 4 TDs): So, there are many people that like Early Doucett to take Bryant Johnson’s old #3 gig, and a the others seem to like Jeremiah Urban – well I like Breaston. We’ll see how it works out, don’t draft him unless it’s a deep, deep league – but pay attention to this guy and see if he wins the gig. Boldin could be a wild card and Breaston might make it to #2???

6. Matt Schaub, QB, Houston Texans (3,500 yards, 20 TDs): This kid is a stud. He had some great performances in 2007, but had a season cut short by some injuries. I like his chances to carve up the AFC South. The Colts don’t really have much of a secondary and he’ll have to throw against the Titans and Jaguars. He still doesn’t have a stud running back to depend on, but Slaton will give him some nice yards on dump down passes, and if Chris Brown can stay relatively healthy he can be a good compliment. As a back-up, Schaub will have some nice starts for fantasy owners.

Fantasy Football: 10 Pre-Season Observations

You can look at the pre-season a couple of different ways. Pure numbers is one way, but that is probably the most misleading way you can view the exhibition season. Just because a 3rd string running back finishes the pre-season with 350 yards and a couple touchdowns doesn’t mean he’s a must have sleeper or even worth a pick. And just because Marc Bulger has a few interceptions doesn’t mean he should go undrafted. Watching one or two games a week is another way to fall in love with guys, but remember, going heads up against a 3rd string defense can make a lot of fantasy nones look like number ones. But, the pre-season shouldn’t be completely ignored. I don’t know what this all means, but here are some observations that could be helpful on draft day.

  1. Josh Morgan – usually you can’t trust rookie receivers, and usually I wouldn’t care about Morgan’s back to back games as the leading receiver in his pre-season games. However, Martz has done this before and I’m on board the Morgan bandwagon. Azahir Hakim. Mike Furrey. Shaun McDonald. Josh Morgan? Maybe. In fact, in my dynasty leagues I already have Morgan locked up. Seasonal formats should at least keep an eye on the young former Hokie.
  2. Brett Favre went 5-6 for about 50 yards and a touchdown against the Redskins. Yes, Brett has a cannon and more than enough weapons in Jet-land.
  3. Speaking of offenses that might flourish under a new leader, how about the Dolphins? Yes, Pennington. The Fins has an improved offensive line, two good running backs, and two young receivers that have great speed (Ted Ginn Jr.) and hands (Derek Hagan). Pennington is accurate and has the confidence of Miami’s brass – I guarantee nothing, but maybe.
  4. Speaking of Dolphins, Ricky Williams anyone? It’s the pre-season, but the bell cow in Miami looks to be and old ex-NFL-er, ex-CFL-er, and ex-Pro Bowl-er. Do you believe? He’s got 15 carries for 74 yards and a score so far this pre-season.
  5. DeAngelo Williams has back to back games with 4+ yards per carry and 2 touchdowns this pre-season. He also has skills.
  6. DeSean Jackson is just a rookie and he’s not a starter in Philly yet, but he is faster than lightning, has McNabb as a quarterback, looked good in pre-season games 1 and 2, and has no real dominant receiving threat in front of him. Could he be the guy?
  7. Brandon Coutu (rookie kicker) should get picked in fantasy leagues. He pumped 5 gield goals against the Bears in the teams’ 2nd pre-season game including 46 and 48 yarders, and an overtime winner. The Hawks can move the ball and play in the NFC West. Remember Mason Crosby?
  8. Kyle Orton and Rex Grossman both look brutal. Word on the street is the Bears might bring Daunte Culpepper or Randall Cunningham in for a tryout. Stay away from this danger – look at their terrible pre-season numbers.
  9. Chris Johnson, a poor man’s Reggie Bush or is Bush a poorman’s Chris Johnson? I’ll tell you this, the game may have gotten faster for Chris but Chris is still faster than the game.
  10. Darren McFadden is going to be good. You heard it, don’t let the “value makers” trick you by saying he’s no better than a 4th round pick. Don’t let them tell you he’s like Reggie Bush because he’s not big. Ha. He runs like a man and he’s going to be really good.