Friday - Feb 22, 2019

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What Did We Learn?

“Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it.” – George Santayana

Fantasy football is always changing. In 1996, you had to draft runningbacks with your first two draft picks. In 1996, tight ends were a nuisance. In 1996, I drafted Rodney Culver in the second-to-last round of my draft for some runningback depth, unaware that he had died three months earlier. (RIP, Rodney.) In 1996, I was a teenager, using an outdated fantasy football book my mother had bought for me, and there was no internet. Now, fantasy owners have all the information in the world at their fingertips. Back then, if you didn’t watch the games or see highlights on TV, you were stuck with looking at box scores. Now, you can Tivo games, you can watch reruns on NFL Network, you can look at play-by-play online, you can get real-time injury updates, you can find team-by-team trending analysis. Or, you could come to

In this space each week, I’ll look at the past week’s games news and notes, and help you wade through the absolute information overload to get to the real value. Was that breakthrough performance a sign of things to come or merely an effective exploitation of a weak defense? Was that big passing day evidence of an offensive system coming together or the result of a pass defense riddled by injuries?

Will what I just saw translate to something useful next week?

Everyone is talking about the quarterback issue in

Arizona a
nd with good reason. Matt Leinart will take the reins of one of the most potent offenses of the past three years. Or will he? There are questions about his arm strength and decision making. Watching him this preseason, it’s easy to see that the ball floats on him, putting his receivers at considerable risk. Just ask Larry Fitzgerald’s knee. Fitzgerald figures to be one guy directly impacted by Leinart’s inability to play at a high level, especially after catching passes from Kurt Warner for the past few years.

With Warner retired, the plan had been to move forward with Leinart under center. But, Anquan Boldin moved on to purpler pastures. Last week Leinart looked terrible, making poor reads, poorer decisions and worse throws. News broke earlier this week that Derek Anderson will start the often over-emphasized preseason week 3 game. But, I think that is actually good for all Cardinals players.


can make the throws and has no fear about trying to fit the ball into tight spots or going deep even when he shouldn’t. He should also take some pressure off the running game, since he can throw the ball more than 20 yards. His fantasy potential is wide, and I could see him finishing anywhere from top 10 to outside the top 25. The Chris Wells-Tim Hightower running tandem should see more space and fewer defenders as a result. I actually upgrade Wells in the third round and Hightower as a handcuff. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt wants to run the ball, and I think

gives him that ability. Fitzgerald is still a top 10 receiver, but nowhere near a first rounder, and maybe not the second round either.

Other News:

Ryan Grant suffered a concussion a few weeks ago. He also took a hard helmet-to-helmet hit in Thursday’s game against the Colts. He has carried the ball 291 straight times in the regular season without fumbling, but now has fumbled in two straight preseason games, and is a concussion risk. Be mindful of this on draft day.

Joseph Addai suffered a concussion while trying to make a tackle in

’ Thursday night game. He said it’s no big deal, and just felt a little dizzy, but with Addai’s injury history, no injury is “no big deal,” let alone a concussion. Upgrade Donald Brown.

Not sure if you heard, but Brett Favre is back with the Vikings. He played four plays, completing a short pass to Adrian Peterson, handing off twice and getting sacked hard before being pulled. With Sidney Rice out for around eight weeks and Percy Harvin’s unpredictable migraine issue, I’ve downgraded Favre to outside my top 10 quarterbacks, Rice has dropped to a late-round flier, Harvin is a mid-round high-risk/high-reward guy, Peterson remains at No. 2 overall, and Bernard Berrian gets a small bump.

Sam Bradford looked good in his debut, putting up solid numbers and spreading the ball around. Unfortunately, Donnie Avery looked to suffer a pretty significant knee injury. Steven Jackson looked like himself and I have no problem drafting him in the second half of round 1.

Tom Brady looked good, but I have a feeling it was more that the Rams defense is bad. Still, ‘Touchdown Tom’ did nothing to dissuade me from taking him if available in the third round. Wes Welker looked healthy, and continues to put me at ease. Randy Moss looked fine. The Patriots offense figures to be very good once again.

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