managed by mattb47
QBs: Jake Delhomme*, Drew Brees*, Jon Kitna
Starters Delhomme and Brees were solid producers in 2005. A new team and an injured shoulder make Brees a concern. He’s surrounded by talent but a questionable O-Line could mean punishment and a recurrence of the shoulder injury. Delhomme is a good lead-man for this team. Wonderful WRs and a respectable corps of TE makes Delhomme a cinch for top-ten status. Kitna could very well be a savior for Matt if Brees goes down. He’s surrounded by what appears on paper to be a dream-team of WR. Unfortunately they’ve never produced up to par. If Harrington was indeed the problem Kitna could be a huge sleeper this season.
RBs: Steven Jackson*, LaMont Jordan*, Fred Taylor, Greg Jones, Mike Bell, Ryan Moats
Both Jackson and Jordan have questions heading into the season. Jackson’s arise from the injury to his QB, Bulger, and the uncertainty of a new offensive philosophy in St. Louis. Allegedly the Rams are going to focus more on the run, and this is good news to Jackson owners. A consensus top-ten RB that could threaten the top five if it all falls into place for the Rams. Jordan is coming off of his first 1,000 yard season and is a sexy pick from Oaktown, but new QB Brooks hasn’t exactly made opposing defenses scared, and with a career QB rating under 80, he’s not going to draw a lot of attention away from the running game. Jordan owners could be in for a disappointing season. “Fragile” Fred Taylor and Greg Jones are mired in what looks to be RBBC in Jax, but Mike Bell is getting press as the current starter in the Denver RB machine. If Bell continues to impress he may become a bona fide starter in a system that has produced some great numbers in years past.
Overall: B+ (with potential)
WR: Chris Chambers*, Roy Williams*, Andre Johnson*, Isaac Bruce*, Mark Clayton, Samie Parker
Chambers, Williams, Johnson and Bruce all have the potential to make this a pretty good WR corps. All have pretty big question marks as well, however, Chambers is a perennial stud with a new QB whose resume boasts some amazing numbers, but whose knee suffered one of the most catastrophic injuries we’ve seen this side of Carson Palmer. Williams has never lacked potential, and with Kitna’s aging but (allegedly) still-potent arm and Mike Martz’ offensive schemes he may blossom into that top-tier WR we’ve been waiting for in this his third season. Johnson is a talented WR on a team with no offensive line. Allegedly they’re better this year but that’s been the allegation for the last two years as well. Johnson had a 1,000-yard season in 2004 and if the improvements to the O-Line are as advertised he may get back there this year (but don’t hold your breath). Sir Isaac has all the talent in the world but his aging legs betrayed him last year as he missed five games. With his age and a new philosophy gearing more toward the run Bruce’s numbers are certain to decline. Mark Clayton may have a QB to get him the ball but his hamstring issues make him a huge concern. He could emerge as a decent #4 WR by mid-season if they clear up. Samie Parker is the #2 WR on a team with an aging QB, but is still a decent value as a backup.
TE: Vernon Davis*, Zach Hilton*, Tony Scheffler
Despite Vernon Davis’ high draft he’s not the #1 TE in a less-than-average offense. Eric Johnson has really gelled with Alex Smith (not impressive so far) and Davis may not live up to whatever hype was surrounding him on Draft Day. Zach Hilton is an intriguing TE. We all know Brees likes to use his TE, but remember that Hilton only really took over the starting job when Ernie Conwell went down with a knee injury last year. If Conwell isn’t back to 100% Hilton could see a lot of playing time and could move up higher than his mid-teen ranking. Counting on Hilton for too much is like counting on another Hilton we all know to remain celibate. Tony Scheffler is not worthy of fantasy consideration on a team that does not utilize the TE and a QB who is mid-level at best.
K: Shayne Graham
Graham figures to be a top-tier kicker again this season. The injury to Palmer may actually mean more work for Graham as drives may stall out where they were going in for scores last season.
DEF: Indianapolis Colts
The Colts figure to be a solid defense this season. A favorable schedule and solid returning starters should keep the Colts in the top five of fantasy defenses.
Final analysis – I graded Matt’s QBs, RBs and WRs in the “B” range, but all three have the potential to rise to the next level. I’m confident giving this team a B rating but I would not be surprised to see Team Matt rise to the top-tier of the league. This is not a team to be taken lightly.
How 'bout them Huskers!