Tuesday - Apr 23, 2019

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Around The Horn

Fanatics, it’s time to examine each team and the questions that loom for the upcoming 2013 season. Who can help you next year? Forgive me as I don’t spend nearly as much time on defensive players. They really don’t score for me because I play non-Individual Defensive Player (IDP) leagues. We have some guys here in the tank that can give you the scoop on defensive guys. That subject is not my forte and I have little interest in taking on a whole new game. Since I started playing the game more than 20 years ago, and writing now for six years, I have come to appreciate the defensive team as a unit. I will cover team defense in another edition.

I skipped a few team’s draft picks this year on purpose. Hope these questions and observations help you decide who’s name you call on the day of your draft. I really enjoy this time of year. Keep your eye on position battles. I’m going to update some key battles as they relate to what is here in this article.

Arizona Cardinals

This team has way too many question marks to have effective fantasy players. Do we really know who the quarterback is next year? I think the
Kevin Kolb

/
John Skelton

experiment is over. Look for the Cardinals to find another lackluster signal caller.

Chris ‘
Beanie’ Wells
was
the only back with enough upside to talk about, but he’s been cut. I wouldn’t think that
Larry Fitzgerald

could help you unless you know that he has someone to get it to him, and right now he doesn’t. Steer clear and pay attention to free agent quarterback market. In all honesty, I let
Larry Fitzgerald

slide to the end of Round 5 in a 12-team league before I take a chance on him.
Rashard Mendenhall

will likely be the feature back and has some value if he can shake the injury bug.

I have zero interest in anything on this squad other than the defense in late rounds next season.
UPDATE:
Carson Palmer

gives
Larry Fitzgerald

hope again. This may be the best move the Cardinals have made since signing Kurt Warner. Who knows? Maybe they have another playoff run left? Let’s talk about the very best defensive back in the draft, the honey badger, Tyrann Mathieu. He’s seriously a play maker. I am rooting that he keeps his head on straight.
Patrick Peterson

is scary enough all by himself. Running back draft pick
Stepfan Taylor

has some appeal here, but he’s buried on the depth chart.

Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons need some additional help protecting
Matt Ryan

.
Julio Jones

,
Roddy White

and the ageless wonder (
Tony Gonzalez

) are as good as it gets. I see the Falcons looking for the heir apparent to Gonzalez.
Michael Turner

is gone. Newly signed
Steven Jackson

will shoulder the load this upcoming year with
Jacquizz Rodgers

. Rodgers has a little value as a flex player in the mid-to-late rounds next year. Jackson may be set up for a career year in the red zone.


Roddy White

surprised this season and has great upside in points per reception (PPR) leagues.
Julio Jones

is the most explosive and is the next big thing in Atlanta. Jones is an elite Top 5 receiver and White a solid wr2.

Drew Davis and Harry Douglas are both serviceable receivers should there be an injury to either of the premier receivers. Their names should not be called on draft day.


Baltimore Ravens





Anquan Boldin

and
Jacoby Jones

were nice complements to home run hitter
Torrey Smith

. Bolden signed a deal with the San Francisco 9ers and leaves Baltimore looking for another No. 2, which I suspect is Jones.
Tandon Doss

looked like a decent fourth option. He now moves up the depth chart.

The big offseason question was
Joe Flacco

’s contract, which has been resolved.
Bernard Pierce

has cemented a role in next year’s plan. He has the look of the third down, and change-of-pace back. The Ravens will be without the services of
Ray Lewis

, who retired a champion.

There’s no glaring need on this team other than to replace linebacker Dannell Ellerbe. I just think they may look for a big play wide receiver. Tight ends
Dennis Pitta

and
Ed Dickson

will be heavily involved in the offensive game plan. It’s also time to invest in another cornerback. Ed Reed’s move will reveal itself soon enough. I suspect the Ravens wanted to retain him.
Elvis Dumervil

is a beast for any team, but landing here is a great blessing. Landing safety Matt Elam to replace Reed is a start.

Buffalo Bills


C.J. Spiller

really looked great last year. I see him commanding the lion’s share of the carries next season. The biggest need is a complement to Stevie Johnson.

The Bills have done very little defensively to stay in games. Quarterback
Ryan Fitzpatrick
is
not the future? It’s been decided. I think he’s plenty smart and has adequate arm strength but forces way too many passes into coverage. Turns out he was let go and that leaves Tarvaris Jackson to this point. Does any quarterback in the draft any sense here? The Bills will franchise tag safety Jarius Byrd more than likely. I see a glaring need for an offensive lineman as well.


Fred Jackson

’s value will take a big hit come draft day and you just might be able to get him in the seventh or eighth round. He could be a potential steal.
Donald Jones

has gone via free agency to the New England Patriots and that leaves much to be desired in the receiving and passing game.

Drafting E.J. Manuel is a real reach and this team looks awful dismal to me.

Manuel probably doesn’t help early on. I think the fact that the Bills were forced to take Manuel in the first round doesn’t necessarily mean that he was the best player on the board. The Jets were going to select before the Bills in round two and this had a lot to do with the reach. I’m not sure Manuel would have been the pick for the Jets anyhow but the Bills weren’t gambling that he would be there. They were sold.

What are they going to do? Start Jackson?

Ahhh, they will run the ball. I’d say Spiller, Johnson and look out for rookie wide receivers
Robert Woods

and Da’Rick Rodgers. The latter has something special and should have been drafted. It doesn’t bode well for receivers that we aren’t sure who will be under center though. Use Caution.

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