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Muddy Waters

Finding Clarity in Crowded Backfields, QB Battles and Other Murky Pictures

Do not attempt to adjust your computer screen; there is not a problem with your reception. The hazy static you are experiencing is none other than the dulling impact on your brain from the misinformation, mixed statements and general clandestine coach-speak coming from your team’s front office.

Now the main purpose of my article is not to hit every nail on the head, but rather to offer hard insight based on serious statistics and straight talk, bypassing grade-school caliber girl gossip from the world of football. I will not waste your time by spouting off about soap opera style baby mama drama or locker room dysfunction coupled with megalomaniac coaches and their foot fetishes. I promise not to take up your time focusing on the trials and tribulations of specific teams or use this as a soapbox to glorify mine. This is all about making your fantasy team better, so come September you can start posting your league standings and smack-laden “power rankings” on your Facebook page or office fridge to remind your friends what pathetic losers they are.

QB Picture

Quarterback is one position you do not want to whiff. This does not mean go Tom Brady in the second round. I’m simply talking about leadership, Jack. Here is where I see certain scenarios playing out in a series of quarterback quandaries from around the league.

Ready to Roll

This group of playmakers, despite last year’s bungles, have been gaining their coaches trust and making strides in organized team activities and mini-camps to impress teammates and media folks alike. I’m not going to even entertain the idea of Kyle Orton beating out Tony Romo, so just stop it. Draft these individuals in the late rounds with confidence.

Robert Griffin III – In case you live under a rock, well … just don’t be tempted to draft him above Round 7.

Christian Ponder – Coach Leslie Frazier has just handed him the keys, and his backup is Joe Webb.

Brandon Weeden – Already lauded as the next Roger Staubach, Colt McCoy’s weak mobility was the clincher.

Proceed with Caution

These are rookies or aging stars from yesteryear that could carry more risk than reward. These guys could be good backups on your fantasy squad for the first six weeks.

Matt Flynn – Kevin Kolb references aside, Pete Carroll favors a zone blocking run game (see Tarvaris Jackson).

Matt Hasselbeck   – He is almost 37 years old and averaged 196 yards per game after the bye last season.

Stay Clear

You want no part in these drama-inducing headaches, unless you are a TMZ reporter.

Mark Sanchez/Tim Tebow – This will make for great TV, but a migraine for fantasy owners.

Kevin Kolb/John Skelton – Will boil down to whoever Larry Fitzgerald likes best. He is the Arizona Cardinals.

Any Team in Florida – Josh Freeman could have value, but don’t bet the farm on it.

Running Back by Committee

It seems to be where the league is going. Why put all your eggs in one basket when you can have three mediocre backs with equal skill and equal carries? I still miss the days of the bruising one-man wrecking crew barreling out of the backfield as if a swarm of bees were giving chase. With Roger Goodell rendering pro-football into a powder-puff game, this trend will only continue. So now I will focus on the running back committees that are in need of serious explanation.

Ready to Roll

BenJarvis Green-Ellis – Cincinnati gave big money to gain his services, and he is going to be the goal line back.

James Starks – With Ryan Grant gone, expect more yards and touchdowns with cameos from John Kuhn.

Darren SprolesMark Ingram’s knee is crackin’ out again, and Pierre Thomas is getting old.

Proceed with Caution

LeGarrette Blount – A highly touted supposed “Top 5 back” last preseason; who knew he couldn’t catch?

Chris ‘Beanie’ Wells – Never was that impressive, Ryan Williams is faster and will finish the season as the starter.

Reggie BushDaniel Thomas should come into his own this year, and Bush has more value on realty TV.

Stay Clear

DeAngelo Williams/Jonathan Stewart – Coach Juan Rivera is oozing jealousy trying to clone the Houston Texans’ run game.

Shonn Greene – Forget Tim Tebow, was Greene ever reliable without competition?

Any Indianapolis Colt or Washington Redskin – Do you really need an explanation?

Wide Receiver

Last, I will focus on one of the more infuriating positions in the fantasy football world. I still have moments where I fall to my knees, clinch my fist and scream “BOWE!!!!!” into an infinite sky of despair a la Captain Kirk from the Wrath of Khan. Then people stare at me because I am goofy like that and my wife walks away pretending she doesn’t know me. That goose egg in the playoffs killed me, Dwayne!

Ready to Roll

Dez BryantBrilliant at OTA’s, Laurent Robinson is gone, and owner Jerry Jones wants this kid to be No. 1.

Victor Cruz – Like I said before, the guy who thinks Hakeem Nicks is better also still favors tighty-whiteys.

Denarius Moore – Showed great chemistry with Carson Palmer; the Oakland Raiders need his deep-game to win.

Proceed with Caution

Santana Moss/Pierre Garcon – Moss has found his BFF in Robert Griffin III, but if Garcon doesn’t drop balls, his speed and fade routes could garner some looks.

Wes Welker/Brandon Lloyd – Add journeyman Jabar Gaffney and there are too many mouths to feed, even for Tom Brady.

Demaryius Thomas/Eric Decker – Don’t think this will translate into Reggie Wayne/Austin Collie.

Stay Clear

Michael Floyd/Robert Meachem/ Vincent Brown

Michael Crabtree/Mario Manningham/Randy Moss

Kenny Britt/ Nate Washington/Kendall Wright

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