Is it a surprise to wake up in the morning and discover that another NFL player has been busted for a DUI? I can still remember the Marshawn Lynch incident when he hit a Canadian girl downtown with his car near the Chippewa district (the party zone) here in Buffalo. It goes without saying that the perplexing thing is that if I (like most of you reading this) figured out a way to get home from college or a night of drinking safely without endangering the lives of others, why canít professional athletes paid millions of dollars do the same?
So what will become of these transgressions? It was timely and made me look good that the Lynch incident happened immediately after I discussed Robert Turbin as a sleeper pick in last weekís column. The Lynch incident could be moot since in the days after the event, it seems there are holes in the evidence that could lead to the charges being dropped. That being said, it wouldnít be surprising to see Roger Goodell levy a suspension given his dictator-like stranglehold on the NFL. Iíll predict the case ends up getting dropped and Lynch gets a two-game suspension anyway. I was already avoiding Lynch, as I think the Seahawks will air it out more this season and there are a few other red flags with him. His 4.2 YPC last season was not exactly elite and while heís been durable, his bruising style of running will eventually lead to some type of injury. Heís not overly used in the passing game (28 catches last season) and heís never had more than five rushes of over 20 yards in a season, ever. Itís easy to say he wonít hit 12 rushing TDs again, so in short, I think someone else will be willing to gamble on him much earlier than I will.
Help me out with any scenario where you could imagine yourself laying hands on your mother. Any. Please. With the details surrounding the Dez Bryant arrest coming to light, itís inconceivable to most how any of this could happen. Of course, if youíre supporting your family and have money, itís a pretty different situation than most of us face. Itís not surprising his mother didnít want to press charges (she is still his mom) and Iím not sure how he gets off of this charge without something. It might be community service, who knows? But without someone perjuring themselves, heís going to get something. That means heís going to get something from the commissionerís office as well. Itís too bad, as all the reports coming out of Dallas were more than favorable about Bryant as far as his physical condition and understanding of the offense. If you go back and watch any of the Dallas games last season, too many times after a missed pass in his direction, QB Tony Romo was hand-gesturing that Bryant ran the wrong way on a route. If the understanding of the offense was in a better place and he was in the top shape of his life, I could see top-10 WR status for him. However, Iíd guess heís going to get a three-to-four game suspension out of this, which obviously will significantly hurt his value.
This all finally leads me to Kenny Britt. What a talent. What potential at 23-years-old. 271 total receiving yards and three touchdowns in two games last season. When you dismiss the reports about the character of a person, keep Britt in mind.
Quick update on Trent Richardson - yes the man-crush is in full effect - he was reported by many to be one of the best character guys *ever* when interviewed before the draft.
Getting back to Britt, heís been arrested now eight times, but as my colleague Mario Puig pointed out to me on Twitter, not all of them stuck (which can happen if you have money in this country) so itís hard to figure out how hard Roger Goodell will come down on him. Given that this happened at Fort Campbell, Iím guessing itís going to be tough to get this arrest dropped. Britt has been critical of Goodell in the past, so it wouldnít shock me to see a very harsh suspension Ė up to the full season Ė come down on him. Realistically, Iíd bank on him getting a six-to-eight game suspension based on his past transgressions, coupled with Goodell being the commissioner. Before you think thatís too harsh, the NFL has been getting nothing but bad publicity over the last week and this is arguably the major sport that hands out the biggest suspensions/fines. Also, every team in the NFL received a memo on this kind of behavior, so no harsh suspension should be a surprise for anyone. When Britt is suspended, look for both Kendall Wright and Damian Williams to get an uptick in value. Wright will be the trendier pick after being the 20th selection in this yearís draft, but Williams (ADP 274) isnít exactly a scrub. Williams did most of his damage over the second half of the season and recorded six games of 60-plus receiving yards. He also had an eight-catch game in Week 15, demonstrating that Matt Hasselbeck (or Jake Locker) wonít be afraid to target him.
Now, onto some more uplifting news. If I had to pick between Ryan Williams or Beanie Wells, itís an easy call for me to take Williams. Throw in the difference in ADP (33 vs. 107) and that answer is even more obvious. In these days of daily arrest stories, itís always refreshing to hear stories of a player practicing too hard and who is at the teamís facility more than anyone. When considering the choice between Williams or Mikel Leshoure, itís an interesting dilemma. You have two 2011 second round picks who were both sleepers before they each incurred a season-ending injury during training camp. Iíd bank on the Detroit offense to have more upside than Arizona, but it would appear that Williams has the clearer path to playing time. Jahvid Best, Kevin Smith and Beanie Wells all have their share of injury risk so both Williams and Leshoure could secure the lionís share of carries in their respective backfields. Iím going with a slight lean towards Williams here, especially given Leshoureís two-game suspension for his offseason arrest.
In PPR formats, donít overlook Pierre Thomas. Darren Sproles is an obvious target, given his production last season, but Thomas isnít too far behind. Thomas hauled in 50 catches last season, which was good for sixth among running backs. While he only had double-digit carries once last season, his 5.1 YPC mark was eighth best among running backs. Meanwhile, teammate Mark Ingram only had a 3.9 YPC mark and is coming off knee surgery. The Saints used Ingram more heavily last season, but with Drew Brees likely having more responsibility in play-calling, that could change.
Do you have any comments on all of the arrests or anything else football? Hit up the comments orÖcall in to our SiriusXM fantasy sports show on Sirius 87, XM 210 on Wednesdays and Fridays from 11-2 EST, where yours truly will be co-hosting going forward.