How much better does everyone feel now that they actually get to see actual games, and actual players playing, rather than just talking about their fantasy value all the time?? I know I feel a lot more confident in my ability to evaluate players with my own eyes then I do reading some so called “expert” speak of their stats and sheer numbers. You can choose to read my weekly observations and let them go in one ear and out the other, or you can take them to heart, I would choose the latter.
The most important skill in being a GREAT fantasy manager is SEPARATING FANTASY FROM REALITY. Being able to take a step back and evaluate on field success, and then figure out how that applies to a certain player’s value. Don’t be the guy who reads magazines and drafts from a consensus list. You need to gain as much informations as possible, through numbers and stats of course, but more importantly, by watching a game and APPLYING YOUR FOOTBALL KNOWLEDGE.
For example there are many myths out there about players, I am going to dispel a few of them right now:
I have not seen many quarterbacks who come out of the draft and have so many doubters but at the same time have so many people who believe those doubters are way off base. When I watch him play I think of a couple things. First off, he is a system quarterback. What I mean by that is he is basically robotic, not necessarily a bad thing but not a great thing either. I felt like early in games sometime at Notre Dame that not only the plays were scripted but where he was throwing the ball was predetermined before the snap as well. If he is going to take the next step in the right direction toward a successful career, he will have to display more of an individual playmaking ability. He WILL NOT fail at the NFL level, I will argue that all day, but he will not be going to any Pro Bowls anytime soon either. He had two impressive plays in my eyes during his preseason debut; one was a throw down the middle of the field out of the shotgun that showed that arm strength is overrated, and that timing and accuracy is what counts. The second one was his first touchdown pass of the game where he avoided the rush, side-stepped and threw a dart to the sideline in the endzone for a touchdown. Brady Quinn needs to be pushed and the more pressure that is on him, the better. He will step up and win the Cleveland QB job very quickly, and I expect the Browns to return back to respectability in 2008 because of Brady. So if you are asking yourself whether or not he will be a bust or an elite NFL QB, I’ll save you the suspense, he will be neither.
To anybody out there who might have forgotten, Larry Fitzgerald was one the greatest college wide receivers in NCAA History. And in my opinion showed a certain skill set that makes me say without much reserve that he is the best college WR to ever take the field. In 2005 he had 103 catches for 1409 yards and 10 TDs folks. The reason is that he possesses the best body control and jumping ability in the NFL today. He has a phenomenal set of hands, runs very crisps routes and although he is no Steve Smith after the catch, his speed is adequate enough to create some big plays. When I see a jump ball in the air, like the one Matt Leinart threw to Larry on Saturday, I almost can mark it down as a big gainer, no DB in football can out jump him. I will never forget the catch he had vs Texas A&M while he was playing at Pittsburgh where he literally had two defensive backs play him man as soon as the ball was snapped, and the the safety from the other side of the field came over to help, creating triple coverage. Larry didn’t jump at all, he simply waited until the last possible second and leaned his body backwards and caught the ball over his shoulder. It was like he was watching the ball the whole time in the air while he was facing straight ahead and running by the first two defenders playing him man up. I realized at that moment he was a very special talent. He might not catch 103 passes again like he did in 2005, he probably won’t even catch 95, but 90 is very attainable, and if that happens, watch out boys. This guy is a top 3 talented wide out in the NFL, and he will prove it once again this season.
Last season he caught the league by surprise by making plays that seemed impossible for a person of his size. Some people are wondering if he will be able to have a repeat top 10 fantasy performance or if last season he just caught lighting in a bottle. Well once again, if you believe he will be a bust this year, your football knowledge might be lacking. I could care less about his size, let me say that first and foremost. His size has nothing to do with his fantasy value. Secondly, this is the NFL and more importantly this is football. You do not catch lightning in a bottle for 14 games. Thirdly, everyone thinks this committee he is in with Fred Taylor is going to hurt him, wrong again. This actually helps him. He is fresh and extremely explosive when he enters the game, and he will sustain that through the entire season as long as Fred Taylor is around. MJD is one the biggest homerun hitters in the NFL today, and at anytime during a game he could have a play that is worth 10+ fantasy points, you cannot say that about many players in the league. Especially guys like Edgerrin James, Rudi Johnson, Thomas Jones, Shaun Alexander, Joseph Addai and more. I am not saying he will end the year with more fantasy points then these guys, but I am saying he will return to the top 12 fantasy RBs, lock that up. When you look even closer at the RB situation in Jacksonville, from week 5 and beyond in 2006, Fred Taylor touched the football 123 times, MJD touched it 232 times. Not many people realize that. If you’re in a point per reception league and you get this guy in the second round, you should throw a party for yourself after the draft is held. If you’re in a standard league like I am, don’t worry one bit about his fantasy numbers, he is an explosive bowling ball running back, as he proved last night when he bounced off three Tampa Bay defenders after making a catch. He still kept his balance after the hit and proceeded to rumble for about a 40 yard gain. Forget his critics, because in this case they are about to look as smart about Jones-Drew in 2007 as they did in 2006.
Charles Grant, defensive end for the New Orleans Saints looked very impressive in his last two preseason games. His motor is already running like its the playoffs. I will see him live at Arrowhead Stadium this upcoming thursday.
Anquan Boldin still has a great arm. He launched it about 65 yards on the first play of the game vs the Texans saturday.
Daunte Culpepper is not for real. Don’t be fooled by his performance Saturday, he looked almost uncoordinated. I am not buying it.
If you think Drew Brees won’t easily surpass 4,000 passing yards again this season, your fooling yourself. He looks in mid-season form.
The Chargers new away jerseys are really sweet. Inside analysis for you there.
I will start making a bold prediction about upcoming events on a weekly basis. You will be surprised with the accuracy of these comments, you might want to write these down because they are definitely something you will want to remember.
In standard leagues, Reggie Bush will be talked about as a top 3 fantasy draft pick in 2008 Fantasy Football drafts across the nation.