Tuesday, July 01, 2008 - Don’t Sleep On These Busts...
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Don’t Sleep On These Busts...
http://www.commishkit.com/articles2.htm (Click on top right icon - Fantasy Gods 2008)
It's only July, but it's never too early to talk fantasy football. So put down that Corona, kick that girl from last night's pool party out of your bed and get your head back in the fantasy game. I know you're a bit out of shape, so in the spirit of summer - a time for flimsy dresses and bad decisions - I'll try to keep it short and sexy. Here are my predictions for 2008's sleepers and busts…
Big-name busts can ruin your entire fantasy season. There's nothing worse than a hyped-up first rounder who can't get the job done. One of last year's biggest busts, Reggie Bush, has spent the off-season cuddling with another sizable bust - the one belonging to girlfriend Kim Kardashian. In honor of The Bush and The Tush, I give you my potential busts of 2008…
QB: Derek Anderson - Browns
Anderson's breakout 2007 campaign earned him a spot in the Pro Bowl, but I've got some doubts about the Browns signal caller. He threw for 29 touchdowns and ran for 3 more, but his completion percentage (56%) and 19 interceptions are troubling. With one year under his belt - and a revamped receiving corps featuring Donte' Stallworth, Braylon Edwards, Kellen Winslow and Joe Jurevicius - Anderson might settle down and improve his accuracy. On the other hand, he might get too comfortable and become even more careless with the ball. Worst case scenario? Anderson starts off poorly and gets yanked for the always lurking - and quite capable - Brady Quinn.
Other potentially comBUSTible QBs: Matt Hasselbeck, Eli Manning, Donovan McNabb.
WR: Marvin Harrison - Colts
Harrison's knee injury caused him to miss 12 games last year and even when he returned he wasn't the Marvin Harrison of old. His name and legacy may tempt owners to draft him early, but the 35-year-old is no longer a 1 WR and shouldn't be drafted as such. To add insult to injury, (pardon the pun), early in June, the Indianapolis Star reported that Harrison could start this season on the Physically Unable to Perform list until he gets full medical clearance. Fantasy owners should be wary of Harrison's off-the-field distractions, as well. There was a shooting outside his car-wash/garage last April and, though Harrison claims he wasn't involved, police have matched the bullet casings from the crime to his gun.
Other potentially comBUSTible WRs: Javon Walker, Lee Evans, Hines Ward.
RB: Jamal Lewis - Browns
At first glance, Lewis's numbers from last season are impressive. He rushed for 1,304 yards, averaged 4.4 yards per carry, scored 9 TDs rushing and 2 receiving. However, a closer look reveals that the bulk of Lewis's stats came in five games in which he ran for over 100 yards. In eight of last year's 16 games, Lewis couldn't break the 65-yard mark. He had 4 touchdowns in Week 9 against Seattle alone, which means he had just 5 rushing TDs for the rest of the season. When it comes to fantasy football, a top running back needs to be, first and foremost, consistent. The guy's got heart and fight, but I'll be surprised if he can bring it week after week in '08.
Other potentially comBUSTible RBs: Edgerrin James, Ronnie Brown, Laurence Maroney.
TE: Jeremy Shockey - Giants
A pre-season deal that trades Shockey away from the Giants seems likely at this point. Last year's Super Bowl Champs won it all without him and their team-first approach doesn't mesh with Shockey's me-first attitude. Besides, second year man Kevin Boss is ready to fill the shoes Shockey seems all too happy to give up in New York. While the four-time Pro Bowler still has the skills to play, last year's injury and all the drama off the field have significantly lowered his value in the Giants offense. Also of note? Shockey and I share the exact same birthday, right down to the year - August 18, 1980. (Guess that explains my considerable bust potential as well…)
Other potentially comBUSTible TEs: Ben Watson, Vernon Davis, Todd Heap.
Sleepers - whether they're complete unknowns or just guys who greatly exceed expectations - are the secrets to fantasy success. One of my favorite sleepers last year was Tony Romo. The Cowboys cutie made some mistakes late in the 2006 season, but 2007 owners who took a chance on him as a 1 QB were highly rewarded. In honor of Romo and the beautiful blonde he sleeps with, I give you my potential sleepers of 2008…
QB: Aaron Rodgers - Green Bay Packers
Truth be told, no one outside Packers camp knows much of anything about Aaron Rodgers. Talk about a real sleeper candidate! The heir to King Favre's throne has inherited a nasty crew of offensive weapons including WRs Greg Jennings and Donald Driver, TE Donald Lee and last year's late-season stud Ryan Grant. Like Tony Romo, Rodgers has had plenty of time to watch and learn, a luxury most NFL QBs these days don't get. Owners can expect a few turnovers early on, but if he can stay healthy, I think Rodgers will make the most of an opportunity he's been waiting three long years to get. If you're feelin' lucky, the reward might be worth the risk…and isn't that what sleepers are all about?
Other QBs you shouldn't SLEEP on: Jake Delhomme, Jay Cutler.
WR: Santonio Holmes - Steelers
Even if you don't believe in the "third-year breakout" theory, you should believe in Santonio Holmes. In just 13 games last year, Holmes scored nine touchdowns and had 942 yards on 52 receptions (his 18.1 yards per reception were a league best). Teammate Hines Ward, who's coming back from off-season knee surgery, is entering his 11th NFL season. His yardage totals have declined or plateaued every year since 2002 and I think he'll eventually become the number two wideout behind Holmes. If Big Ben stays healthy, fantasy owners might get a steal drafting a number two receiver who puts up stats like a number one. Ya feel me, Holmes?
Other WRs you shouldn't SLEEP on: Anthony Gonzalez, Dwayne Bowe, DJ Hackett, Devin Hester.
RB: Matt Forte - Bears
Now that the Bears have let go of Cedric Benson, the starting position is wide open for Matt Forte. In his last eight games at Tulane, he averaged a ridiculous 202.3 yards per game on the ground and scored 23 rushing touchdowns on the year. The versatile Forte also caught 32 passes for 282 yards and prides himself on his pass blocking skills. Rex - will he be Sexy Rexy or Train Rex? - Grossman is still under center in Chicago, so once again the Bears will be all about running the ball. The "other" Adrian Peterson will steal some carries, but Bears brass are counting on a breakout season from Forte, who should benefit from a shored up offensive line that will include the team's top draft pick, Vanderbilt standout Chris Williams.
Other RBs you shouldn't SLEEP on: Ahmad Bradshaw, Ryan Grant, Pierre Thomas, Michael Turner.
TE: Greg Olsen - Bears
With last year's top offensive targets, Bernard Berrian and Muhsin Muhammad, out of the picture, Olsen should play a much bigger role in Chicago. The 6'5", 250 pounder was the first tight end drafted last year and while his freshman campaign was a bit disappointing, early reviews out of this year's camp are glowing. Olsen will have to battle fellow tight end Desmond Clark for looks, but in an anemic offense with few other options, they'll both get plenty. Expect Olsen to grow into a Shockey-esque player - minus the attitude and the eagle tattoo.
Other TEs you shouldn't SLEEP on: Chris Cooley, Anthony Fasano, Owen Daniels.