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In My Opinion (Fantasy Football Edition) Part 2
Last week we talked about players who should perform better than their draft status. This week, we will look at players that will be taken earlier than they should, and therefore will not perform better than their draft status.

Matt Hasselbeck is rated as a top-10 fantasy quarterback in most national publications. Frankly, I don't see it. Hasselbeck has an injury history, a top flight running back who appears to be healthy and has no top-flight receivers. While I don't think Hasselback is a bust, I think there are better options around the time Hasselbeck will be picked. These include: Ben Roethlisberger, Donovan McNabb, Vince Young, and in leagues that do not penalize for interceptions, John Kitna.

At the running back position, someone will take Clinton Portis in the early to mid-second round. Don't let that be you! Portis is already having injury problems in camp, has a great backup in Ladell Betts, and Washington's best offensive lineman Chris Samuels is hurt. Better options for fantasy players include: Cedric Benson, Ronnie Brown, Willis McGahee and Marshawn Lynch.

At the wide receiver position Braylon Edwards is seen as a future star. He has the physical tools to be a top-10 receiver. Most national publications have Edwards ranked somewhere between 15-22. I think this is too high. While Edwards has great talent, he has either Charlie Frye or Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman throwing to him. That doesn't excite me. Plus, Edwards isn't the top target in Cleveland's offense. That distinction will go to Kellen Winslow II. Finally, the Browns got big back Jamal Lewis who should get most of the work around the goal-line. While I believe Edwards is a future star, the uncertainty at quarterback has me thinking that it may be next season when Edwards has the breakout season. I believe there are better options around the time Edwards will be selected such as: Reggie Brown, Santonio Holmes, Donald Driver and Calvin Johnson.

Posted by Kyle Fisher at 8/2/2007 8:30:00 AM
Comments (2)

NFL Notes
I wouldnít concern myself too much with Frank Gore breaking his hand. In fact, one might even construe it as good news, as heís now less likely to suffer a serious injury during training camp. Heíll be able to stay in shape and should enter the season with fresh legs. Heís a playbook junkie, so heíll know the new system, and the less preseason work, the better when it comes to running backs. LaDainian Tomlinson didnít have one carry in the fake games last year.

Brandon Jackson has gotten off to a slow start in early camp work, but Vernand Morencyís recent knee injury that will sideline him for two weeks highlights his biggest weakness Ė durability. This is a guy who has never carried the ball 100 times in a season, and Jackson is familiar with the zone-blocking scheme (he played under the same system in college), so his pass-protection problems will improve in time. Heís clearly the one to be targeting in fantasy leagues, and with Green Bayís defense on the upswing, thereís a decent amount of potential if given the opportunity.

Itís easy to forget, but Daunte Culpepper has averaged 7.7 YPA during his career. Sure, Randy Moss had a big part in that, but 7.7 is seriously good. That said, there are rumblings that it will take one more full year before his knee is truly recovered, leaving his availability for Week 1 in question. Judging by the fact he turned down the Jaguarsí three-year proposal to sign a one-year deal with Oakland, maybe heís more confident in his knee than I am.

Everyone knows to never draft a kicker before the final round (and yet it still happens all the time, even in so-called ďexpertsĒ leagues), but itís not because having the best kicker isnít a decent advantage Ė in fact, it is. Itís just that the position is the most unpredictable of all. Adam Vinatieri wonít get you many long field goals, but in that offense and with that accuracy, Iím OK with someone bidding $2 on him.

Maybe more than any other position, when to draft fantasy defenses largely depends on scoring format. Last year my selection of the Bears in round six went from looking like a reach to looking like a steal by seasonís end. But then again, we use yardage allowed as an additional scoring method, something the majority of leagues do not. Still, the Bears (and Ravens) were likely a lot more valuable last year than where they were drafted in almost every league. However, no team has ever been this dominant for three straight seasons, so history suggests a drop off is likely. But with Tarvaris Jackson, Brett Favre and Jon Kitna in the division, turnovers should come aplenty. Iím on board with aggressively bidding or drafting Chicago, Baltimore and maybe even San Diego, but if not, then make sure you roster at least a couple of defenses with later round picks. Like quarterbacks, defenses are the other best position to utilize matchups week-to-week.

If you donít get Antonio Gates this year, then you shouldnít be looking to address the tight end position until at least rounds 7-8.

Wherever Willie Parker is selected in your draft, itíll be considered a steal by the end of the season. Expect him to be much more active in the passing game with Bruce Arians opening things up, while continuing to get the majority of goal line looks. Heís approaching top-5 territory.

Posted by Dalton Del Don at 8/1/2007 10:51:00 AM
Comments (0)

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