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Spotlight - Brandon Lloyd

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Spotlight - Brandon Lloyd

Postby Flux » Fri Sep 03, 2004 9:09 am

Fanball wrote:Player Spotlight: Brandon Lloyd
By Jason Powell, Associate Editor
September 3, 2004 5:00 AM ET

Kevan Barlow may be the only proven commodity among the 49ers' skill players, but he's not the only Niner that fantasy owners should want to have on their rosters.

Brandon Lloyd is a solid deep sleeper in all scoring formats.

After the 49ers lost starting quarterback Jeff Garcia, running back Garrison Hearst, and wide receivers Terrell Owens and Tai Streets during the offseason, about the only thing thing fantasy owners knew for sure about the team's offense was that Kevan Barlow would open the season as the starting running back.

It was assumed that Tim Rattay would be the starting quarterback, but then he suffered a groin injury that sidelined him during most of the offseason workouts and for the first week of training camp. Just about the time Rattay was scheduled to return to full contact practice, he strained his forearm and was sidelined for another two weeks, leaving fantasy owners to question whether he would still be in one piece on opening day.

The receiving corps was equally unpredictable. Brandon Lloyd showed promise in spot duty last year despite hauling in only 14 receptions. Cedrick Wilson had 35 grabs, but he is still best remembered for failing to run out of bounds while the clock was running down. And rookie Rashaun Woods is even less proven than the Niners' other young receivers.

Aside from Barlow, fantasy owners are probably asking themselves if there is any Niner they should consider adding to their roster either on draft day or as free agency pickups. Some owners will take a chance on Woods simply because he's a first-round pick, while others will lean toward Curtis Conway because of his veteran experience. But at this point, Lloyd is more likely to breakout than any other Niner wideout.

When Woods signed his contract, he was handed Terrell Owens' jersey number and a starting job. He's kept the jersey, but didn't get it very dirty while nursing a pair of hamstring injuries that sidelined him during training camp and caused him to miss two preseason games. Woods returned for the third preseason game against the Vikings, but had already been demoted to second team.

Even when Niners' head coach Dennis Erickson was planning to use Woods as a starting receiver, he pegged Lloyd as the other starter. And while the question of who will play the No. 2 role remains a bigger mystery than why it takes two years to shoot a dozen episodes of "The Sopranos," Lloyd is clearly the top gun in Frisco.

Lloyd has had a quiet preseason thus far. In fact, he's only caught three passes for 20 yards and a touchdown. But it was that one touchdown catch against the Bears that served a shining example of what make makes Lloyd so special.

This wasn't just a routine touchdown grab, Lloyd made an amazing circus catch that would make retired wideout Cris Carter smile. And that catch was no fluke. Lloyd showed his ability to make seemingly impossible grabs last year and all throughout practice.

Don't think for a second that any of this is lost on Rattay and backup signal caller Ken Dorsey. Lloyd has earned the trust of both quarterbacks, and he's the wideout they will look for in key situations, particularly in the red zone. And if either signal caller finds himself being closely pursued by an opposing defensive lineman, he won't think twice about heaving up a prayer in Brandon's direction.

Don't let Lloyd's inexperience stand in the way of selecting him as a deep sleeper on draft day. He spent his pre-NFL days learning from Rams' receivers Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce, and then picked up what he could from the enigmatic Owens last season. He also developed chemistry with Tim Rattay while both were members of the second-team offense last year.

Brandon is currently listed as a top-45 receiver in our rankings, yet I would argue that he has more upside than some of the wideouts ranked just above him.

Unlike Cardinals' receiver Anquan Boldin, Lloyd has a chance to play in all 16 games this season. Brandon doesn't have a list of injuries longer than the legs of Maria Sharapova, as Vikings' wideout Marcus Robinson does. He might actually score more than three touchdowns, which is something no one can say with any confidence about Keyshawn Johnson. And Lloyd is sure to be a regular in his team's starting lineup, which is can't be said about Andre' Davis or any other Browns' receiver.

The Niners' offense is bound to struggle at times as the young skill players experience growing pains, but don't let that discourage you from selecting Lloyd. He's a playmaker and a nice receiver to have on your bench for plug-in and emergency situations. The risk of drafting him late is minimal, and his upside potential is strong, particularly in keeper leagues.

To add to this, last night Lloyd recorded 5 catches for 91 yards and a TD in limited action.
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Postby SuperFly_ffc » Fri Sep 03, 2004 9:17 am

Nice article-
I'm glad I have Lloyd on the bench (at the moment)
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Postby deftdelivery » Fri Sep 03, 2004 9:51 am

Ahh, this makes me smile. Glad to see Lloyd getting some love...I need a WR off my bench to emerge as a decent pick this year
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Postby mikey » Fri Sep 03, 2004 10:14 am

I had Owens last year, and when he went down late in the season with a broken collar bone, I was scurrying for a replacement. The natural place to look was his replacement in SF -- Brandon Lloyd. I didn't end up going with Lloyd, but I did keep an eye on him during the final weeks of last season, and he really does have an ability to make otherwise difficult catches.

There's no mistaking that Barlow is this team's major weapon. Will opposing teams stack the box in an effort to stop him, leaving wideouts in single coverage on the outside? Maybe.

Will the the Niners defense be able to stop opposing offenses or will they fall behind early and often this season, necessitating them to air it out? Again, I don't know for sure.

But I'm willing to bet some combination of this occurs, and those receptions need to go to someone.

I wouldn't expect too much from any 2nd year WR (at least one not named Randy Moss), but I think 850 yards and 5 TD's might be a reasonable expectation for Lloyd.

Maybe more?
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Postby runricky » Fri Sep 03, 2004 10:54 am

Good read...I'm actually thinking of starting him the first week vs atl....not sure yet though he had a td and almost 100 yards in yesterdays preseason game
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Postby proKrastinate » Fri Sep 03, 2004 11:03 am

<niner homer> : im high on brandon lloyd because I like the team. I have him on my work league...but as the #5 WR. THere isn't anyway that I would plan on starting him until he or the niners show that they are gonna be able to run an offense. I agree that someone has to catch the ball, and Brandon Lloyd seems to have the confidence of every quarterback we own, but that doesn't necessarily equate to lots of catches/yards/tds. I would recommend NOT starting him atleast until week 3. If he puts up really nice stats week 1, and then does it again to prove it wasn't a fluke week 2, then I might consider it.
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Postby awb2005 » Fri Sep 03, 2004 11:06 am

I Like Brandon Lloyd. But I'm Not Sold. He is still a sub-par wide-out with a subpar quarterback throwing to him with one offensive weapon. That being Kevan Barlow. Lloyd will probably finish with about 66-880-5. Thats not near good enough for a teams #1 wideout but could be a #3 wideout for soem fantasy teams.
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Postby Mercer Boy » Fri Sep 03, 2004 11:10 am

I definitely wouldn't look for him to pull a Boldin, but having another option at #3 WR is always good. Those guys are as inconsistent as they come...but if Lloyd can get a consistent 60 or 70 yards and a TD once in a while, I'd probably use him.

The article wrote:Brandon doesn't have a list of injuries longer than the legs of Maria Sharapova
8-o :-)
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Postby 9er Fan » Fri Sep 03, 2004 11:10 am

They really went out on a limb with their recommendations:
- Don't be afraid to draft him as a deep sleeper
- Ranked in the top 45 receivers, but has more upside than the guys just above him

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Postby xJoeV55x » Fri Sep 03, 2004 11:21 am

He will be awesome,

Just look at the avatar

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