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The Longest Yard

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Welcome to a June edition of the Brew Crew Corner. Today’s theme is the longest yard. The longest yard I’m referring to are players struggling to just get on the field due to arrest or injuries. They are struggling to get any yards for that matter.

 

It’s only June but there has been so many headlines this off season that it seems like a reality show in itself. Entertaining us until training camp comes along. So there seems to be almost a weekly story coming out of players making bone head moves, which cost some to lose their roster spot while causing others to lose their freedom. It’s so comical that they can even feature an NFL edition of Judge Judy. So much has happened since the end of last season and we haven’t even begun training camp and preseason games when we start to here about the real injuries.

 

How does this affect the fantasy aspect? Pretty much it changes your whole strategy all together.

 

First for owners of Keeper or Dynasty leagues, if your guy is dropped, cut or suspended, that is a hole you need to fill. Those who drafted

Travis Henry last year because he was suppose to fit so well into the Broncos system now find themselves in limbo hoping he signs with a team he can get playing time on. It is frustrating for owners when a guy on their roster is home waiting on a phone call or worse suspended for games during the season.

 

For re-draft leagues, it means the talent pool gets smaller. Even if you had no intentions of drafting

Chris Henry or

Cedric Benson, the owner in your league who would have taken him so you could grab the guy you wanted will now take someone else. This also screws up your value as you expected someone to over pay for one of these knuckleheads.

 

Let’s look at some of the headlines and the affect it has on your draft strategy.

 

ARREST AND INJURIES:

 

Raiders WR Jovan Walker Found Unconscious-

This is story is still developing at the time of this article being written.

Walker was never one of my guys. I’ve never owned him in any league or had in high on any of my draft boards ever. After one decent season in 2006 where owners drafted him pretty high. He had an injured 2007 where he produced 287 yds and 0 TDs. Those numbers would have caused most owners to drop him down to the bottom of their cheatsheets in 2008 but after his release from

Denver, he signed a ridiculous contract to be the #1 WR in

Oakland. With not many receiving options on the Raiders,

Walker’s value rose. Now owners must see how this shakes out because he may not be ready for training camp and he may even miss some time due to the orbital fracture. They may be other injuries to consider. He showed up out of shape in May so we also have to see how in shape he will be when he returns.

Take a late round fly at best on him until you know more.

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Buffalo RB Marshawn Lynch Hit and Run

– This is another story that is still undecided but should be resolved soon. The facts are Lynchs’ SUV was part of a Hit and run late one night. Lynch failed to come forward leaving this mess to get worse. Last year he produced well in his rookie season producing 1115 yds and 7 TDs. He had one of the toughest run schedules and missed some time due to injuries. Owners were looking for him to have a bigger year in 2008 as he is going in the first and second rounds of mock drafts. This situation now creates a lot of uncertainty as we do not know the extent of the charges he will face or if he faces any discipline from the league. Judging from what

Adam Jones and

Chris Henry have received, if Lynch is convicted, he will face a hefty suspension.

Stay clear of this situation until you know the outcome, let someone else deal with the headache of drafting him.

 

Bears RB Cedric Benson Waived

– Benson has been a disappointment since he has been in the league. He was a top five draft pick that has produced little return. In 3 seasons he’s failed to rush more than 678 yds and he’s only scored 10 TDs in that span. Owners as well as the Bears organization have been burned badly by this first round bust. Still entering the 2008, he was a starter on a team with a poor passing game. They drafted

Matt Forte and then Benson gets arrested for a DUI while boating. The team stuck by him and then less than a month later, he’s arrested for another DUI. Many joke that it was a good thing he didn’t have his pilot license. Benson now faces legal discipline as well as maybe even a league discipline.

Dominic Rhodes was suspended last year for 4 games for a DUI, let’s see what Benson gets. It will take a desperate team to take a chance on him, but someone will if they are hit with injuries.

Don’t even think of drafting this guy, leave him on the Waiver Wire and see of he amounts to anything. I doubt it.

 

Broncos Release RB Travis Henry-

Henry has been given an ample amount of chance in this league and I think his luck has run out, Surprising enough his release is due to his injury and work ethic rather then an arrest. Henry produced in 2006 with 1211 yds and 7 TDs. This lead to his signing in

Denver where many felt Shanahan would make him a stud in his system. He was drafted at the end of the first round or beginning of the second last year. Injuries lead to a disappointing year where he ran for just 691 yds and 4 TDs. He injured his hamstring and later was released.

Unless he signs with a team that needs a RB badly, he’s not worth anything more than a late round flyer.

 

Bengals Cut WR Chris Henry-

Despite a possible

Chad Johnson hold out, the Bengals decided to get rid of Henry after his latest brush in with the law.

Henry was charged with misdemeanor assault and criminal damaging in April for allegedly punching an 18-year-old in the face and breaking a car window. This was his fifth arrest since 2005. Although very talented and playing on a team that can throw the rock, he couldn’t keep his nose clean. He sat out 8 games last year after a suspension for his behavior. When he returned he started off with a bang. In week 10 he had 99 yds and in week 11 he had 81 yds and a TD. But after that he was pretty much in affective. He finished the season with just 343 yds and 2 TDs. Some owners drafted him late and stashed him for the whole time he was suspended while others targeted him a few weeks before his return in hopes of having him for a playoff run. The results were disappointing. Henry now finds himself almost uncertain of finding a spot and is suspended indefinitely.

Don’t ever mention his name with your fantasy team again. Nothing more to see, keep it moving.

 

Broncos WR Brandon Marshall Ready For Training

Camp-

Not

every story

comes from a police blotter or a press conference of someone’s release. Sometimes it is a dumb luck story that is so odd you don’t believe the facts when you hear it.

Marshall claims he slipped on a McD’s bag at his home landing on a TV set which resulted in a

cut artery, vein, nerve, two tendons and three muscles in his right arm. He has significant amount of time to recover but this is the type of thing you don’t want from your teams #1 WR.

Marshall had a great season last year where he caught 102 passes for 1325 yds and 7 TDs. He was hot down the stretch where he had 3 of the last 4 games with 100 plus yards.

Javon Walker left for

Oakland leaving the entire work load for

Marshall to handle. The team did add

Keary Colbert and

Darrell Jackson but Marshall should lead this team in receiving. Now we must see if he can be ready for the regular season.

Proceed with caution until you know he’s going to be 100% and he is able to make all the catches. Take him as a WR2.

 

Steelers Release Cedric Wilson-

Player hits girlfriend, player gets arrested, team releases him. Seems to happen every season to someone in the league.

Wilson’s best year was in 2004 where he had 641 yds and 3 TDs.

This is also the last year anyone should have had him on their roster.

 

Buccaneers RB Carnell Williams may participate in

minicamp

Williams

is recovering from patellar tendon surgery. One of the many injuries he’s worked back from during his short career. While many headlines have owners focusing on Earnest Graham

’s contract demands and

Warrick Dunn signing, Williams remains in the mix. Williams has yet to play all 16 games in a season. He’s been out since week 4 of last year but he still has a long way to go before he is healthy. He has potential to be a good RB but we don’t know if his injuries will keep him from every helping your team.

Use a roster spot only if you have faith he will provide some offense. I stay away from players like these personally.

 

FREE AGENCY:

 

Not all players are looking for work because of legal trouble. Some have played poorly or become slowed due to past injuries.

 

Seahawks Cut RB Shaun Alexander

– Since winning the MVP in 2005 after having a monster year, Alexander has been all down hill. He still put up some stats but being drafted in the first round the last two seasons have not provided the return his owners expected. Call it a curse as in the Madden cover or maybe it was the wear and tear of the 2005 season. Or maybe, just maybe the fat check he received made him soft. In any case Alexander has gone from the MVP to needing a J.O.B. What does he have left in the tank? I get the feeling not much since he still hasn’t found a team that wants him. He’s had some work outs so they may have saw with the writing on the wall is which is Alexander is done. He may sign as a back-up but the problem is he wants to get paid like a starter. No one is going to invest that kind of money, not even Al Davis.

Don’t waste a pick on this guy unless he is in an ideal situation. It may take an injury for him to be valuable. Is it strange that Ricky Williams has more value than Alexander right now?

 

Lions Release RB Kevin Jones

– After a productive rookie season where he ran for 1133 yds and 5 Tds. Jones has struggled with injuries and a team struggling to win games. Many felt that he would have a monster season in Mike Martz system. Although he scored 8 TDs, the 581 yds were nothing special. The Lions let him go and drafted another RB,

Kevin Smith. Jones is currently working out for teams and has yet to sign. I found it surprising the Lions signed

Tatum Bell for another year rather then keeping Jones.

 

Treat him like a reserve and pick him up late in the draft if he’s signed or of the WW sometime during the season when he gets some carries. Assuming he makes someone’s roster.

 

Daunte Culpepper,

Koren Robinson, Eddie

Kennison Released

– It was nice while it lasted but these names no longer should appear on your draft boards.

Don’t even bother ranking these guys or any other player no longer serviceable.

 

Now that you’ve digested the long road that was the off season, training camp is arriving with a whole new bag of tricks. Hold outs, injuries, demotion and cuts are still on their way. Make no mistake that you haven’t even begin to prepare yourself for your upcoming drafts. The 2008 season is still unclear. You can enter the middle rounds of a mock draft and find players that usually go higher in drafts falling to the 6th or 7th round. There will even be players available after the 10th round that you will scratch your head about and second guess if you should draft them or not because they are still sitting there on your draft board with 5 to 10 names under them gone.

 

Pay close attention and keep up with everything that is going on, it’s the only way you’ll have a good draft in 2008.

 

Thanks for reading and enjoy your summer!

 

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