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Payne's Perspective: Where to draft the likes of Manning, Moss and Johnson?

Kevin Payne

Kevin Payne

Kevin has worked for Rotowire just under a decade and has covered basketball, baseball and football. A glutton for punishment, he roots for his hometown Bills, Sabres and the New York Yankees. He hosts the RotoWire SiriusXM show every Wednesday and Friday and you can follow him on Twitter @KCPayne26.

This week, Iím going to take a look around the league with some general observations and some ADP talk, as well.



What do you think of Randy Moss? He is not going to end up on any of my teams and Iíll likely be the person least interested in him at every draft that I participate in. I have a few problems with taking Moss, who did not play a single NFL snap last season. First, heíll be 35.5 years old once the season starts, which means heís well past his prime. Moreover, the 49ers are strictly a run-first team, which limits the amount of upside any receiver has in that offense. Last season, Michael Crabtree (who I think is the teamís best wide receiver option) led the team with 874 receiving yards and youíd have to go back to the 2003 season to find a 1,000-yard receiver (Terrell Owens with Jeff Garcia) on the 49ers. When we last saw him in 2010, Moss appeared to be a shell of his former self and with an ADP of 133, Iím going to pass.



Whatís up with the stockpiling of running backs in the NFL? Iím now co-hosting our Rotowire show on the SiriusXM fantasy channel (Sirius 210, XM 87) and this is a topic Chris Liss and I briefly discussed on Fridayís show. Iíve talked in the past about San Francisco (Frank Gore, Brandon Jacobs, Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James) but theyíre not the only team. Supposedly, Steve Slaton has resurrected his career in Miami, where they already have Reggie Bush, Daniel Thomas and rookie Lamar Miller. Itís not surprising that Miami is rumored to be in the market for Mike Wallace, given the team's lack of talent at wide receiver. A trade between the two teams makes sense given the reports that Rashard Mendenhall isnít making cuts, a huge step in recovering from a knee injury. Back to the stockpiling of running backs, Liss also made the observation that other than wasting draft picks on running backs, the DeAngelo Williams scenario of giving a player a $43 million contract ($21 million guaranteed) is just as big of a mistake, given that he only had 171 touches last season. And now Mike Tolbert is in that Carolina mix as well, so a huge uptick in touches or production is unlikely. While there are some outliers -- Adrian Peterson, LaDainian Tomlinson -- using a high pick or spending a lot of money on a running back is typically a bad idea for a franchise.



With glowing reports coming out of Denver on Peyton Manning, donít expect his ADP of 73 to last very long. I find it interesting that fantasy owners appear to be either on his bandwagon or totally avoiding him, given his neck issues. It appears that he still has the ability to be a top-5 quarterback and while John Fox has historically been a heavy run guy, part of getting Manning to Denver, was giving him the keys to the offense. Fox has also never had a quarterback of Manningís caliber, unless you want to make a case for Jake Delhomme, which I doubt will happen. Given his injury history Ė missing at least five games in each of his first two seasons Ė Demaryius Thomas seems to be going at an appropriate ADP of 65, while Eric Decker appears to be poised to return a profit at 101, especially in PPR formats. I can also get behind a strategy of drafting both Manning and Thomas, given the potential ceilings of both and how much their fantasy value is tied together.

Andre Johnson was a player I was heavily targeting, but his latest groin tweak will have me backing off some. After his injury concerns over the past two seasons (missing 12 games total), itís easy to forget that he posted back-to-back seasons of 100-plus catches and 1,550-plus receiving yards. Yet, heís likely past his prime at age 31 and has never had double-digit receiving touchdowns. He was in a position to turn a profit for fantasy owners with an ADP of 30, but this latest injury concern has me thinking otherwise.


I answered a question this past week about how to draft a kicker in a league where field goals made are:



10-19 yards = 1 point
20-29 yards = 2 points
30-39 yards = 3 points
40-49 yards = 4 points
50+ yards = 5 points



Conversely, the league penalizes misses:
10-19 yards miss = -5 points
20-29 yards miss = -4 points
30-39 yards miss = -3 points
40-49 yards miss = -2 points
50+ yards miss = -1 point



I thought this was an interesting format and without actually crunching all the numbers, Iíd guess this makes kickers more valuable and bumps them up in value considering where theyíre normally taken in drafts. This question led me to think there are probably a bunch of different fantasy football formats out there that people play outside of standard and PPR leagues. Do you play in a league thatís different than most, using unique rules or stats? Iíd love to hear about it. The ďcraziestĒ league I play in is my hometown league, where itís a full point PPR format. What makes it a little different is that itís 24 teams and we carry full rosters starting a QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, Flex, D and K. Thereís also five bench spots, so third and fourth string running backs are drafted as well as fourth and fifth string wide receivers. Teams donít draft individual quarterbacks, but team quarterbacks since there are so many teams involved. Considering that rule, I consider a team like the Jets a nice sleeper. Money-wise, itís a nice format considering the low-risk/high-reward potential.



I have a hard time feeling bad for Dwayne Bowe, considering that he wants a long-term deal and turned down a one-year deal worth a little under $9.5 million. In this day and age of injuries, I donít blame the Chiefs for being money conscious and I have to wonder how much the presence of Jon Baldwin is affecting the lack of a long-term offer. Baldwin has already been turning heads at training camp and has the physical tools to be a legit No. 1 wide receiver. If Boweís holdout carries over into the regular season, Baldwin could pay huge dividends as a No. 2 wide receiver or flex option for fantasy owners.



The Titans quarterback competition should be interesting to follow in the upcoming weeks. It would appear that Matt Hasselbeck has the upper hand as the veteran, an overrated aspect of any job competition. The Titans would be wise to explore the trade market for Hasselbeck, since Jake Locker is the future. An early season injury to another teamís quarterback could help make a potential trade partner obvious and give Locker a shot. While it was an extremely small sample size, Locker had an 8.2 YPA and 4:0 TD:Int ratio last season and will provide fantasy owners with extra points by rushing more than the average quarterback.

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.