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NFC East Player Analysis

New York Football Giants

QB Kurt Warner – Signed to keep the seat warm until the heir apparent is ready to take the throne. The good news: he’s got talent and great receivers. The bad news: he looks past his prime & has a terrible line in front of him. I expect his numbers will be average and he’ll finish the season holding a clipboard.

QB Eli Manning – Payton was not good his rookie year…don’t expect much of a difference here. He seems to have all the tools to build a great career and I think he’ll justify what the Giants gave up. I’d even give him a fighting chance this year if the line could block but it’s hard to throw the ball from your back. In a keeper league, this is an interesting pick but don’t look for much this year.

RB Tiki Barber – A solid choice between his rushing & receiving. I think he may be on the way down. This offense will be going through a QB transmission or two this year so I’d shy away, especially if the fumbling continues, Coughlin won’t put up with that.

RB – Ron Dayne – There’s talk of putting the Thunder back into Thunder & Lightning with a new coach & a fresh start. Nice. Dayne has actually looked good in the early pre-season games. Intruiging last round possibility here.

WR Amani Toomer – Amani’s a nice 2nd fantasy receiver BUT beware the QB situation. He could see declining numbers if Warner doesn’t catch on and the rookie is in.

WR Ike Hilliard – When healthy, he’s a good 3rd receiver for your team but he isn’t always healthy & the Giants offense will be transitioning quarterbacks. Unless he’s a bargain, I’d pass.

WR Tim Carter – He’s rising and may be ready next year to pair with Eli Manning…not worth much this year.

TE Jeremy Shockey – When healthy, he’s a monster but he’s missed significant playing time over his 2 years in the NFL. The QB situation is a bit tenuous so don’t overreach & take Shockey too high on the name alone.

K Bill Gramatica ???? -Let me cut to the chase…Stay clear of the Giants Special Teams.

 

Dallas Cowboys

QB Vinny Testaverde – Let me see if I have this straight, 40something Vinny Testaverde is going to lead the Cowboys to the promised land? I think not. What was once good insurance for Quicy Carter, is now suddenly the starter. Dallas’ first pre-season game says it all – no points. This may be a team worth avoiding on draft day.

QB Drew Henson – It looks like Chad Hutchinson will go and the Cowboys will develop their weak hitting quarterback who indirectly lead to the A-Rod trade. No Fantasy value yet. Though with the aged Vinny T now the starter, who knows.

RB Eddie George – By the numbers, he looks like Troy Hambrick. Their numbers last year were eerily close. So either George will respond with a big year or will continue to slip. Go Big. I think this will be one of the biggest moves in the off season.

RB Julius Jones – The rookie from Va. Tech will share time with George but I’d expect that the vet will get the mail and Jones will spot him.

WRs Keyshawn Johnson – Throw him the damn ball. The Tuna knows him and wanted him so that’s a big plus. Keyshawn had his best years and numbers in NY playing for the Tuna. Just don’t look for huge numbers from a Quincy Carter led Parcells team but Johnson is solid…say a 3rd receiver for your team.

WR Terry Glenn – Another guy who excels with Parcells. It’s hard to say he’s much more than a 3rd receiver to consider.

WR Antonio Bryant – He’s one of the best #3 receivers in the NFL but that doesn’t translate in Fantasy value…unless Keyshawn or Glenn go down.

TE Jason Witten – Sleeper alert!! If you have to take a TE, keep Whitten in mind. His role was expanding at the end of last year and the Tuna loves keeping the tight end option active for defenses to think about.

K -Billy Cundiff – Average. I think the Cowboys will move the ball better this year and get him more chances but he shouldn’t be near the top of your list and isn’t a great bet as your starting Fantasy kicker.

 

Philadelphia Eagles

QB Donovan McNabb – Should remain in the elite group of QB’s…probably about #5 on most boards. There’s a lot to like as McNabb has a lot of talent to work with and finally has a real wide out with Terrell Owens’ arrival.

QB Koy Detmer or Jeff Blake – With A.J. Feeley gone, these guys can fight it out for seat warmer and clipboard holder.

RB Brian Westbrook – Competition or controversy? Duce Staley is gone and the 3 headed monster is now a 2 headed monster. Both Westbrook and Buckhalter have the talent to get carries and that’s not good in a Fantasy world. Look for Westbrook to get more carries & receptions, Buckhalter to get the short yardage and more touchdowns. Both will be valuable but may be a risk as a #1 RB for you.

RB Correll Buckhalter – I hate RBBC situations. There’s probably enough “O” to go around between Westbrook and Buckhalter but that “by committee” will hold down the Fantasy value. Either is a solid pick but look for a RB who’s not sharing first.

WR Terrell Owens – Has all the tools and some of the brains. Moves across country to the City of Brotherly Love to join a team who can’t get passed the NFC Title game. Is he the difference? Just, maybe. If T.O. accepts the fact that there are a lot of play makers here and he’s not “the” man. His numbers will be great…he’s probably in the top 5 on every receiver draft board. Will McNabb adjust to having a talented receiver?

WR Todd Pinkston – Where have you gone, James Thrash? The only (and I mean only) reason to consider this pick is that T.O. will be drawing lots of attention and Pinkston may have room to operate.

WR Freddie Mitchell – May make starter…a training camp decision. Same as Pinkston, hard to bank on meaningful numbers.

TE – L.J. Smith – A rising star and rising option. If you play in a TE League, consider Smith with T.O. drawing attention and defenses needing to stop the run, L.J. may find himself in greener pastures more frequently.

TE – Chad Lewis – Continued decline yielding to L.J. Smith.

K Fred Akers – Maybe the best kicker in the NFL – Pick him. His team will give him lots of chances to score and he rarely misses. Simply a no brainer.

Washington Redskins

QB Mark Brunell – Oh for a crystal ball. Brunell gets a fresh start with a great coach (Gibbs), great running back (Portis), and great receiver (Coles). His salary alone will likely get him the starter’s job but Ramsey is capable and the owner is growing impatient to win at any cost. Back to that crystal ball. I see a solid year with Brunnell’s numbers in the pack of average QB’s.

QB Patrick Ramsey – May be the best QB on the team but Brunnell will likely get the start due to salary alone. Even if he does play, he’s an average Fantasy QB so I’d watch training camp and see what develops. Ramsey hasn’t looked good up to this point, even being outplayed by Tim Hasselbeck….mmmmm, Elisabeth….

RB Clinton Portis – One of the best backs in the league…essentially a stud. Gibbs will want to establish a running game behind a solid, although not exciting, offensive line. The concern, Ladell Betts is a good (bigger) back also and may get those carries at the goal line. Portis is also on a new team learning a new system, and he’s really not a league veteran. Spent much of last season on the sideline not playing on “game time decision” days.

RB Radell Betts – Betts is expected to be the primary backup to Portis, but he’s been injured most of the pre-season. If that continues he might get dropped even lower on the depth chart.

WR Laveranues Coles – Best receiver on the team. Great hands, tough blocker, leader. He wants it this year, before the Ben rebuilding project begins. Definitely a #1 fantasy receiver.

WR Rod Gardner – Some people think he’s better than Ward, they are dead wrong! Look at the facts(stats). Just got done reading the book Moneyball [HIGHLY recommend it – All about general managers of baseball and trades] Someone will overpay for Burress – let them, he’s a solid #2.

WR James Thrash – Great effort, solid worker, sometimes tries to do too much. Slash Jr, as he touches the ball in many different positions.

TE Walter Rasby – The Skins never throw to the TE, just ignore this position.

John Hall – Hall is only going to be as good as the Washington offense.  If they can put things together quickly, then Hall will be the beneficiary.  If not, then Hall will be just another ordinary kicker. 

Good luck this season!

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