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Who will be next year's...

Postby Kareighuis » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:58 am

Everyone will be looking at the rookies this year. Who do you think has been in the NFL for a while, either shuffling from team to team or collecting splinters, but will suddenly produce in 2011?

...Miles Austin, or Brandon Lloyd?
Despite not starting a single game in his first three years, Austin got 1320 yards and 11 TDs in 2009. In 2010, Dez Bryant's emergence and Kitna's ascension to be the starting QB limited Austin's production, though he did manage over 1000 yards. Lloyd bounced around 3 other teams over the years before joining Denver in 2009. While he only played 2 games and started 1 that year, he blew up in 2010 with 1448 yards and 11 TDs.

...Ryan Grant?
Grant chilled on the Giants' practice squad before joining the Pack. He quickly seized a starting role and collected two 1200+ yard season before a season-ending injury in 2010.

...Ryan Fitzpatrick?
Fitz was a backup for StL and Cincy before a Palmer injury thrust him into the starting lineup for 12 games in 2008. He parlayed his better-than-expected performance (he was often derided as an Ivy league QB during that time) into a chance to start with Buffalo. His starting experience in Buffalo (8 in 09 and 13 in 2010) prorates into 3276 yards, 23.6 TDs and 17.5 Ints over 16 games. Put another way, his 2010 prorated performance (accounting for Gailey's arrival as coach in 2010) would give him 3690 yards passing, 28.29 TDs and 18.45 Ints.

My perspective?

Austin/Lloyd- Jordy Nelson has spent years on the bench, learning the system (like Aaron Rodgers). James Jones reportedly lost the coaching staff's confidence and is a FA, assuming the team's RFA tender doesn't stick. Donald Driver clearly lost a step and is appropriately viewed a team's WR3 at best. With his own SB performance, Jones' likely departure and Driver heading to the sunset, Jordy Nelson could find himself the #2 WR in a prolific offense.

Grant- Simply put, I have no clue. But, I see a number of options.

Tashard Choice has shown he can produce and is blocked by a logjam. Barber could likely be gone, while Felix Jones is working to lose some of the weight he packed on last season to decrease his chance to get injured again. At worst, Choice will likely be an RB2 and possible goal-line back in a prolific offense.

Another option is Michael Bush, who would be an unrestricted FA under the previous CBA. If the new one holds to the previous CBA's rules on this issue, as expect, Bush could easily join a team desperately needing a primary back. A shallow draft for such RBs could escalate the demand for him.

With Portis getting cut, Keiland Williams is an injury to the brittle Torain from starting. Though he lacks between-the-tackles power, his pass-catching and shiftiness fit Shananhan's system well.

Le'Ron McClain is another FA and has made noise about wanting to carry the ball. He's shown he can produce, compiling 900 yards and 10 TDs in 2008.

Kevin Smith is a FA and most likely won't be retained. A devastating injury in 2009 shortened that season and severely reduced his output in 2010. Makes people forget his 976 yards (and 4.1 ypc) and 10 TDs on a bad Lions team as a rookie.

Fitzpatrick- Alot of teams needing QB help are considering rookies. Veteran options include Marc Bulger (reportedly, he needed a year off after the beating he got behind a weak Rams o-line). He's frequently mentioned as a target for Arizona, where'd he'd get Larry Fitz but little else. Rex Grossman may end up starting in Shanahan's offense if McNabb moves on.

What do you think?
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Re: Who will be next year's...

Postby u_fig_eater » Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:21 pm

So these are basically deep sleepers right? I agree about Nelson. McClain too, if he can find a good situation. Only guys I can come up with are Montario Hardesty and Mike Williams (SEA).
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Re: Who will be next year's...

Postby Kareighuis » Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:11 pm

u_fig_eater wrote:So these are basically deep sleepers right? I agree about Nelson. McClain too, if he can find a good situation. Only guys I can come up with are Montario Hardesty and Mike Williams (SEA).

In a way. When searching for sleepers, I use different criteria, like Bench-Riding Sleepers (sounds like a better thread title).

I am interested in Hardesty, and not interested in MWill, but I'm willing to bet their ADP will be above what I was targeting.
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Re: Who will be next year's...

Postby thriftyrocker » Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:32 pm

The closest thing to Lloyd is Jason Hill. Bounced around the league. Ended up in Jax with almost no competition. Signed a 2 yr extension. Has 4.3 40 speed. SF used him all wrong.

The closest thing to Austin is Jerome Simpson. Languished on the bench for forever. Team wanted him to take the next step but never felt comfortable he had. Turns out Palmer liked throwing to him more than the big paycheck divas. Considering he already mini-broke-out he already costs a premium but if you think he's top 20 not top 50, still worth getting.

Grant emerged because he was the only decent guy in an elite situation. BJGE had a similar rise last year. I think Choice could fit that, but obviously it's a pro-Felix timeshare as long as Felix is healthy. I like the MBush choice too depending on where he goes. Two guys I'd add are Rashad Jennings and Bernard Scott.

The closest thing to Fitzpatrick is Josh Johnson. If SF makes a move for him, he'd be in a QB-friendly offense just like Gailey/Fitzpatrick. Another backup QB a lot of people are buying/selling is Flynn. Actually mildly interested in where Tarvaris ends up, like a WCO-friendly team like Philly as a backup to Vick (not that I'd pay anything for him). Volek might have some Shaun Hill-value as a stopgap in Carolina.
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Re: Who will be next year's...

Postby Kareighuis » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:37 am

Good call on Hill. However, using the same logic, he had a great opportunity in SF to at least be the team's WR2, after Crabtree joined the team, and even WR1 before he was drafted.

In his favor, MSW doesn't seem likely to return and Jacksonville does have a history of making small-school players productive. Speaking of Jax's possession WRs, Jarrett Dillard is another one to consider. However, Garrard is still the QB.

Like Jordy Nelson and James Jones, Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell have been battling since being drafted in 2008. Simpson performed so badly in practices that he nearly got cut. I'm more interested in Caldwell, who will either get a weak-armed Palmer or an inexperienced QB. Either way, his possession skills make him my favorite.

I don't believe I'm as high on his 2011 prospects as you. I'd be curious your reasoning about Jennings and Scott. I'm guessing Jennings on the belief he'll get 20% or so of the carries and be the handcuff to MJD on a top-5 rushing offense. No clue about Scott- some think he'll be Benson's successor, while the Cincy FO doesn't seem as confident in his bellcow skills.

Like all your QB proposals, Tarvaris moreso from a dynasty perspective. Should he join Philly, he'd be guaranteed, what, 2 starts a year in relief of Vick, and possibly be groomed if Kolb gets shipped.
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Re: Who will be next year's...

Postby thriftyrocker » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:48 am

I think Jennings is one of the best backup RBs in the NFL. I think MJD is a risky player now with the meniscus surgery. His value is handcuff value, but I'd prefer him from a talent standpoint to other high quality backups like Gerhart and Snelling, as well.

I expect Benson to be back in Cincy. But at this point I think Scott is a better RB. I don't think Scott is a long term solution either. Grant was just good enough to convince GB not to draft another guy. Scott might be that good. A 2 year window in a great situation is worth something.

FWIW, Jason Hill went to Washington State not a small school. As I glossed over, I think SF didn't really give him an opportunity to succeed. They used him wrong. He's Mike Wallace not Hines Ward. Even with just 11 catches, the fact that he had a 22+ ypc in Jax last year and the fact they signed him to a 2 yr extension makes me think maybe Jax found a role for him. And that's a role that Dillard and Thomas can't really do. On a team that doesn't throw much like Jax, give me the big play WR not the PPR guys.

Simpson had 12 receptions in Week 17. His possession WR skills are just fine. I didn't really consider Austin to have any possession WR skills until he just eviscerated KC in his breakout game 2 years ago. He's high risk high reward, but so was Austin.
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Re: Who will be next year's...

Postby Kareighuis » Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:13 am

thriftyrocker wrote:FWIW, Jason Hill went to Washington State not a small school. As I glossed over, I think SF didn't really give him an opportunity to succeed. They used him wrong. He's Mike Wallace not Hines Ward. Even with just 11 catches, the fact that he had a 22+ ypc in Jax last year and the fact they signed him to a 2 yr extension makes me think maybe Jax found a role for him. And that's a role that Dillard and Thomas can't really do. On a team that doesn't throw much like Jax, give me the big play WR not the PPR guys.

Good call on the ypc thing. His 22.5 was tied with DJax and 4th overall- even accounting for Stallworth's 2 receptions for 82 yards. Compare to Hill's 11 receptions for 248 yards with Jax to his 4 year total with SF: 40 receptions for 413 yards, a 10.325 avg. He ran a 4.32 in the 07 combine. Mike Mayock commented that, "You don't get carried away with the 4.32," Mayock said. "You put the tape back on from his junior year and his senior year and you say, 'Does he run 4.3 on the football field with shoulder pads and a helmet on? ... What I see on film from Jason Hill is a guy who runs in the 4.45-4.5 range on the football field."

thriftyrocker wrote:Simpson had 12 receptions in Week 17. His possession WR skills are just fine. I didn't really consider Austin to have any possession WR skills until he just eviscerated KC in his breakout game 2 years ago. He's high risk high reward, but so was Austin.

Simpson is definitely high-risk/high-reward. I'm curious what leads you to say his possession skills are fine. From what I know, Cincy drafted him and Caldwell to supplant TJ and Ocho. Based on their talents, Caldwell would be the possession guy, Simpson would strike the defense downfield.
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Re: Who will be next year's...

Postby thriftyrocker » Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:54 pm

Kareighuis wrote:
thriftyrocker wrote:Simpson had 12 receptions in Week 17. His possession WR skills are just fine. I didn't really consider Austin to have any possession WR skills until he just eviscerated KC in his breakout game 2 years ago. He's high risk high reward, but so was Austin.

Simpson is definitely high-risk/high-reward. I'm curious what leads you to say his possession skills are fine.


The fact he had a 12 reception game and several other decent once. He's not a possession receiver in the sense that TJ Housh was, but he can be a #1 WR and get 80 receptions if he hits.

Kareighuis wrote:From what I know, Cincy drafted him and Caldwell to supplant TJ and Ocho. Based on their talents, Caldwell would be the possession guy, Simpson would strike the defense downfield.


Nothing's ever that cut and dry. They drafted 2 guys hoping one would be a starter. Caldwell's actually faster and took Chris Henry's role (RIP) as a deep threat when he got his leg injury his last season. Cincy has since drafted 2 possession guys to try and cater more towards Palmer's reduced downfield accuracy (Shipley and Gresham).

Recent Marvin Lewis quote
http://www.cincyjungle.com/2011/3/24/2069971/marvin-lewis-jerome-simpson-has-a-chance-to-be-the-bengals-number-one
MarvinLewis wrote:"When Chad got hurt, Jerome became the No. 1 receiver. How many (games) did Chad play before he became the No. 1 receiver? I think Jerome will be fine. We'll see where we are."
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Re: Who will be next year's...

Postby u_fig_eater » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:30 pm

Victor Cruz could be this year's Miles Austin.
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Re: Who will be next year's...

Postby FatFoot » Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:11 pm

He's going to have to develop some consistency to do that. He does look good, and he does seem like he could be meaningful. He is more "out of nowhere" than say, AJ Green.

Guys that might fall under the Austin/Lloyd "out of nowhere" zone...
Victor Cruz
Eric Decker
Doug Baldwin
Denarius Moore
Torrey Smith
Greg Little

I'm actually wondering if it could be Greg Little. Or maybe next year. McCoy isn't horrible. If there's something there, it could get interesting. Since my home team can't get it's management act together, I'm basically a fan of the underdog... which is the only reason I don't hate the Lions this year. :)

The Ryan Grant equivalent is not as easy, because so many teams are so heavy on the time-share, and it looks like it will only get worse over the next few years...

Ryan Matthews looks to maybe be the guy who people thought he might be at draft time. But that's more like a comeback story than a "who the heck is this guy" situation. And it's more of the expectation level you would have from a Julio Jones or an AJ Green.

Looking down the list of RBs, I don't see anyone who has that Sudden Ryan Grant possibility, apart from Sproles, who isn't going to quite be "that" except in PPR, and MAYBE Jackie Battle, as the injury that gave him his chance, has given him his chance. Otherwise, right now we're all waiting on injuries and suspensions to give backups that chance.

For QB, Fitzpatrick was a good call. I would have never bet he would be in the top 10, or that he'd be ahead of Rivers, Schaub, Ben Roflcopter, Ryan and Romo. Cam Newton may be "the guy," as yes, everyone knew who he was, but NO WAY did anyone think he would be a consistent fantasy performer. What I wonder about with him, is how he'll age. But right now, only Brady and Rodgers are ahead of him.
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