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Offseason Low Down

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Postby skibrett15 » Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:01 am

True very true. And I don't think you're going to find anyone who wants Brad Johnson in a dynasty. Better off just riding him this year if you think he's even worth that. Everyone knows he's 38. He's not a guy whose age is going to slip someone. Guy is basically untradable in a dynasty.
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Offseason Low Down: Rookie Rankings

Postby The Lung » Tue May 02, 2006 10:54 am

Gregg Rosenthal ranks the rookies.

The Kiper household is not a happy place this week. Mel is depressed, counting the months until he’s relevant again. Is there any other way to explain the fact he gave no teams an A or A- on his annual report card? Fantasy leaguers need not suffer from Post Draft Depression Syndrome. We’re one step closer to actual football. Plus we have actual news to discuss.

Less than ten rookies should be drafted this season in 12-team re-draft fantasy leagues: Vernon Davis and the top five running backs are certainties. For today, we’re more interested in what rookies will have the best careers, not the best 2006 season.

We ranked the top 24 offensive rookies (two rounds) for dynasty leagues. Rounds three and four are coming soon. Dynasty leagues are a type of keeper league where teams keep their players indefinitely. Basically, this is our projection of who we think will be the best players over the long haul. Let us know what you think.

1.01. Reggie Bush, Saints RB

When Reggie Bush walked into Emeril’s in New Orleans Saturday night, the entire place stood and applauded. In a city that Bob Dylan and Phil Mickelson visited for the weekend, Bush was the biggest star. He’s walking, smiling hope.

The word savior is thrown loosely with high draft picks, but it truly applies with Bush. He can keep football in New Orleans. Texans owner Bob McNair was worried about the P.R. problems that Bush’s legal issues would cause. There is no need to worry about that in the Nola. It just means Bush is qualified to run for public office.

On the field, Bush will be paired with Deuce McAllister like he was with LenDale White in college. McAllister’s value plummets dramatically, but his contract should keep him a Saint for at least two more seasons. Look for roughly 12-15 carries from Bush with 4-5 catches a game to start his career. His touches could increase later in his career, but expect Brian Westbrook-like numbers as a rookie. He’s still the safest bet to have a long and productive career.

1.02 Laurence Maroney, Patriots RB

Maroney will backup Corey Dillon as a rookie, but Dillon’s contract makes him easy to cut after 2006. Maroney has perhaps had the best combination of size and speed in this draft. He has a physical presence, but is slippery busting through the line. We highly recommend this Youtube creation, setting some of Maroney’s best runs to the Last of the Mohicans soundtrack. Skip a little over halfway and Maroney breaks a 93-yarder where it looks like Maroney presses the turbo button. Look for multiple productive seasons as New England’s primary back.

1.03 Joseph Addai, Colts RB

Like NFL teams, we aim for high ceilings at the top of drafts. What’s higher than the starting running back of the Indianapolis Colts? Addai is versatile enough to catch 50 passes a year and talented enough to start over Dominic Rhodes in week one of 2006. He’s a better bet this season than Maroney. His injury history is a concern, but he should be productive and consistent in the best offense in football for years to come.

1.04 DeAngelo Williams, Panthers RB

Young running backs are impossible to obtain in dynasty leagues. That’s why Williams gets the slight edge over Vernon Davis and the top quarterbacks. He will have to split time with DeShaun Foster to start his career, but the Panthers are a run-first team. Foster still hasn’t earned the coaching staff’s trust. We believe in Williams’ versatile talents over the long run.

1.05 Vernon Davis, 49ers TE

Now comes the hard part. The top three quarterbacks are impossible to separate because Leinart and Cutler landed in QB heaven. Since history says one or two of the top quarterbacks will be busts, we’ll take a sure thing in Davis. He probably won’t be worth starting in fantasy leagues as a rookie, but it’s only a matter of time.

1.06 Matt Leinart, Cardinals QB

My gut says Jay Cutler will have the best career because of Mike Shanahan. My gut tells me Vince Young is a sure thing because he is going to run for 500 yards a season. My head tells me that Dennis Green’s Vikings finished in the top nine in passing touchdowns for seven straight years with five different quarterbacks. Green coached Kurt Warner and Josh McCown to the top of the league in passing yards.

Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin are the best young wideout tandem in football. Matt Leinart doesn’t have great arm strength, but it’s better than Kurt Warner’s. This is a system based on smarts. Leinart was lucky to fall to the tenth pick.

1.07 Vince Young, Titans QB

Can the Titans coach him up? Will Jeff Fisher be around to see Young develop anyway? Young certainly isn’t as raw as Steve McNair coming out of college. Young is the safest fantasy pick because his running skills should guarantee top 15 fantasy QB status once he starts playing. It just may take a season or two to crack the lineup.

1.08 Jay Cutler, Broncos QB

Our first draft of these rankings had Cutler first among the quarterbacks. The three players are very difficult to separate. Cutler, like Leinart, landed in quarterback heaven. If Mike Shanahan can make Jake Plummer a ball control quarterback, he can groom Cutler into a franchise quarterback. The comparisons to John Elway are inevitable, but Cutler may be more similar Plummer. They both can make all the throws and often force the ball into coverage. Cutler has good speed for his size and goofy hair.

Maybe it’s the fact he was scarfing down quesadillas while Matt Leinart was hiding from the camera, but Cutler is the most likable quarterback of the trio. We want to rank him first. But he’s biggest boom or bust unknown of these three. With Shanahan around, he has a chance for Canton. But he could also be Tommy Maddox.

1.09 LenDale White, Titans RB

Ranking White this low could look terrible in two years. He’s made to score and the Titans have a history of pounding the football. But offensive coordinator Norm Chow likes splitting carries and White has looked like a turd the last three months. It wouldn’t shock anyone if White was out of the league in three years.

1.10 Chad Jackson, Patriots WR

It was a poor wide receiver to class to begin with. Then the top two players got selected by teams who limit 1,000-yard seasons. Because of his speed and pro body, Jackson has the greatest upside to become a perennial Pro Bowler. The Patriots should remain a pass first time throughout Tom Brady’s prime.

1.11 Tavaris Jackson, Vikings QB

It didn’t take long for coach Brad Childress to compare Jackson to Donovan McNabb. He has all the tools and is known as an intelligent player. Childress sounded insanely confident that Jackson will be a productive starter some day. With only Brad Johnson in front of him and a great offensive coach behind him, Jackson is the sleeper of this entire class.

1.12 Santonio Holmes, Steelers WR

We see a big drop-off in potential around this pick. Playing across from Hines Ward on the run-first Steelers limits Holmes’ upside. His skills (route running, speed, hands) should translate into a solid No. 2 option, but not a game breaker.

Round Two

2.01 Jerious Norwood, Falcons RB

Atlanta has been the top running team in football the last two seasons. Their Denver-style attack coaxed back-to-back career years out of an aging Warrick Dunn. Norwood is a similar player to Dunn, but he needs to improve his hands. The Falcons tried to dump T.J. Duckett this weekend and have soured on the big back. Norwood will have a major role sooner than later, but could be destined to remain in a committee situation.

2.02 Tony Sheffler, Broncos TE

Sheffler is very raw, but the Broncos selected him in the second round to be their future starter. Mike Shanahan has a great history squeezing production out of the tight end position and only Stephen Alexander and Wesley Duke are on the roster. Think 2007-2008.

2.03 Brian Calhoun, Lions RB

If not for Kevin Jones’ presence, Calhoun would be ranked higher. Calhoun has an ability to break big plays and was a first day draft pick into a Mike Martz offense. He could end up splitting carries with Jones, but will probably need an injury to become a fantasy starter anytime in the next three years.

2.04 Kellen Clemens, Jets QB

The Jets moved up to draft their quarterback of the future in round two. He has all physical tools and intangibles to succeed. Look for Clemens to challenge for the starting job in 2007.

2.05 Sinorice Moss, Giants WR

Moss was another player who landed in a great spot on draft day. He’s a nice match for Eli Manning’s big arm. Coach Tom Coughlin knows how to utilize deep speed and the Giants can play Moss as a No. 3 receiver right away. If he develops, he’ll start opposite Plaxico Burress when Amani Toomer moves on.

2.06 Maurice Stovall, Bucs WR

Jon Gruden makes wine out of receiver water. Stoval is a physical player who can eventually replace Joey Galloway across from Michael Clayton. It was a perfect landing spot for the heady Notre Dame grad.

2.07 Joe Klopfenstein, Rams TE

We were ready to rank Klop as draftable this season when the Rams selected him to be their future starter. Then they drafted USC TE Dominique Byrd in the third round. While it’s possible the two players will cancel each other out, we like Klopfenstein’s chances of stepping up as a Chris Cooley-like option in 2007. Byrd’s work ethic issues could be a problem.

2.08 Travis Wilson, Browns WR

One of the most underrated receivers in this class, Wilson found an ideal landing spot in Cleveland. It will take at least a year, but it’s easy to envision Wilson starting opposite Braylon Edwards in 2008.

2.09 Brodie Croyle, Chiefs QB

Croyle would be ranked much higher if he was joining the Dick Vermeil Chiefs two years ago. We wonder, however, what type of team Kansas City will be when Croyle is ready to start. Most of the offensive line will be gone. Herm Edwards will be the coach. The wide receiver corps remains shaky and Tony Gonzalez is nearing 30.

2.10 Brandon Marshall, Broncos WR

There is great talent at the top of this rookie class, but ultimately it’s thin at receiver and running back. That’s why a project like Marshall makes it into our top two rounds. Built like T.O., Marshall will have time to develop in Denver. He has exception raw tools and could be groomed to start opposite Javon Walker.

2.11 Derek Hagan, Dolphins WR

Miami is looking like a good system for wideouts over the next few years. Hagan, a physical receiver with decent hands, can fill in their No. 3 receiver hole right away and eventually replace Marty Booker.

2.12 Leonard Pope, Cardinals TE

We are tired of using the word, but it’s important to draft upside at tight end. It’s too easy to find a decent option like Erron Kinney or Jermaine Wiggins to invest a high pick at tight end unless he has a chance to be great. Playing tight end in a Dennis Green offense gives Pope that chance. He’s already the most talented tight end on the roster.


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Offseason Lowdown: Post-Draft Stock Report

Postby The Lung » Tue May 16, 2006 8:16 am



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Re: Offseason Lowdown: Post-Draft Stock Report

Postby onnestabe » Tue May 16, 2006 8:33 am

The Lung wrote:Offseason Lowdown: Post-Draft Stock Report

He says a lot of stuff in this one that I agree with (Matt Jones becoming #1 receiver in JAX, Ron Dayne will be the feature back in DEN, Jerious Norwood making an impact in ATL, etc.), but it is unclear if he has spoken to teams or if it is just his gut feeling.
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