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Moving Up, Moving Down – Week 2

By: — September 13, 2011 @ 2:50 pm


Moving Up

Cam Newton, Panthers
As debuts go, you couldn’t have asked for more. In the “stating the obvious” category, we give you Cam Newton. Facing a group of Cardinals cornerbacks that can charitably be called up-and-coming, Newton went gangbusters, throwing for 422 yards (the most ever by a quarterback in their first start) and a pair of touchdowns while chipping in 18 yards and another score on the ground. His 36.9 fantasy points were third most among quarterbacks in Week 1, so the question is: Is he the next coming of Michael Vick or a one week flash in the pan? We’d settle for something in the middle, and that figures to be a whole lot more than was predicted during the preseason.

Matthew Stafford, Lions
I’m not putting him here because I was surprised by his 305-yard, three-touchdown performance against the Buccaneers. That wasn’t surprising. I’m putting him here because I don’t want a torrent of comments about why he’s not Moving Up. Frankly, I had him as a low-end starter, but maybe he’s more of a mid-tier starter. Health is always a concern, however.

Chad Henne, Dolphins
New Dolphins offensive coordinator Brian Daboll promised to open up the offense, and that’s what he did on Monday night. Henne completed 30 of 49 passes for a career-high 416 yards. He also chipped in two passing touchdowns and a score on the ground. By the end of the game, he had chalked up an impressive 40.6 fantasy points, the second most of any quarterback in Week 1.

Mark Sanchez, Jets
Sure, the Cowboys secondary was chewed up, forcing them to play their fourth and fifth best cornerbacks for large chunks of the game. Sure, Sanchez had a stretch where he looked a tad short of awful. But he looked different in Week 1. And, no, I can’t put my finger on exactly what it was. The Cowboys came after him hard, but Sanchez stood in there, completing 26 of 44 passes for 333 yards and a pair of touchdowns with one pick. Maybe, just maybe, he is ready to take a step forward and provide the Jets with a more consistent passing attack. He’s not a fantasy starter yet, but I’m moving him up to mid-tier backup based on his Week 1 performance.

Moving Down

Donovan McNabb, Vikings
The optimists said McNabb’s one-and-done showing in Washington had more to do with Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan than McNabb’s own performance. The pessimists said Shanahan knows quarterbacks and if he was giving up on McNabb one year after having used a second-round pick to acquire him, then he must be done. His Week 1 performance showed that the probability of McNabb having a renaissance season in 2011 for the Vikings is very low. He threw for a career-low 39 yards (with just two total yards in the second half) during Minnesota’s 24-17 loss to the Chargers. Not that second-half adjustments were needed, but I guess they really worked. To the scrap heap with McNabb, my friends.

Running Backs

Moving Up

James Starks, Green Bay
Let’s see…Starks is bigger than Ryan Grant, he’s stronger and he’s faster. Sure, he has some hiccups in pass protection, but only one of the two sacks that he was on the field for was his fault. By the end of the Packers’ Week 1 game against the Saints, Starks had chalked up 12 carries (to only nine for Grant), gaining 57 yards and impressively battling his way to the end zone on a touchdown run. Plus, Starks was on the field far more than Grant and, simply put, he is the more talented runner. I will eat crow if he isn’t starting by midseason.

Ben Tate, Texans
With Arian Foster out of the lineup with a hamstring injury, the Texans were forced to use backups during their key divisional matchup in Week 1 against the Colts. Although Houston announced that veteran Derrick Ward would replace Foster in the starting lineup, it wasn’t hard to predict that Tate would get the majority of the work considering his strong preseason play. Sure enough, he ran it often and ran it well, piling up 121 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. He is worthy of a start as long as Foster remains out, and he could be a solid flex option even when Foster returns.

Cadillac Williams, Rams
Steven Jackson suffered a strained quadriceps on his first play of the year, a 47-yard touchdown run against the Eagles, and was finished for the day after testing the injury on one more play. It is unknown if Jackson will miss any time, and although he has a history of playing through injuries, the Rams may be more willing to have him sit out a game or two now that they have a proven backup. Williams played well against the Eagles, carrying the ball 19 times for 91 yards and catching five passes for 49 yards. He is starter worthy if SJax is out of the lineup.

Moving Down

Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks
One play can make a day and one thundering touchdown run in the playoffs can make a player an RB2. Before the next regular season starts, at least. Lynch was getting far more love than he deserved in fantasy drafts this year, with some predicting a breakout season for the former Bills first-round pick. However, there was no basis for ranking Lynch higher than an RB3, and even that was giving him more credit than he deserves. Tarvaris Jackson is starting at quarterback, there are issues along the offensive line, the top wide receiver is injury-prone and, most importantly, Lynch isn’t that good and he wasn’t very good in 2010. Against the 49ers in Week 1, he ran it 13 times for 33 yards, averaging 2.5 yards per carry, which is slightly worse than his 3.6 yards per carry in 2010 and his 3.8 average in 2009. Yards per carry—use it. It means something. In this case: Plodder.

Ryan Grant, Packers
At the conclusion of the preseason, the Packers announced that Grant would open as the starter but that they planned to rotate him with James Stark. Turns out rotate meant Grant would play one-third of the time with Starks playing the rest. That’s not good news for Grant owners. He’s a borderline starter in deeper leagues but should be on the bench in standard 10- and 12-team leagues.

Wide Receivers

Moving Up

Smith: A WR2 moving forward.

Steve Smith, Panthers
A combination of his age and the Panthers’ entering the season with rookie Cam Newton at quarterback had Smith’s preseason rankings at an all-time low. Looks like most of us were wrong on both counts. Newton played well and Smith was the Panthers’ biggest beneficiary, catching eight passes for 176 yards and a pair of touchdowns, good enough for 29.8 fantasy points. Not bad for a guy who hit double fantasy points just twice in 2010. Smith deserves to be considered a WR2 for the balance of 2011.

Devery Henderson, Saints
Henderson is coming off a solid Week 1 performance with six receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown, and Marques Colston is expected to miss four to six weeks with a broken collarbone. Production plus opportunity equals success. Alright, that hasn’t always been the case with Henderson; but with Lance Moore missing Week 1 with a groin injury and remaining a question mark for Week 2, the Saints may have no choice but to start Henderson and Robert Meachem. If that happens, Henderson is worthy of a spot in your starting lineup.

Randall Cobb, Packers
Two catches for 35 yards and a touchdown shouldn’t get you a spot in Moving Up, but all you had to do was watch the game to know that this guy is special. Just reading the box scores isn’t going to carry you to too many fantasy football championships. Cobb remains a backup wide receiver in all formats but he is dynasty-league gold. Mark it down.

Jacoby Jones, Texans
If it seems like Jones is a perennial tease, that’s because he is. In Week 1, however, he showcased his playmaking ability, taking a punt return 79 yards for a touchdown. He also chipped in three receptions for 43 yards in the Texans’ blowout win over the Colts. Here’s the case for Jones: Kevin Walter could be out for the year, Jones caught all of his targets, and he would have had more looks had the Texans not run away with it early.

Doug Baldwin, Seahawks
I saw a smallish-looking player on the field for the Seahawks on Sunday and my first thought was, he must have played for head coach Pete Carroll at USC. But he was actually a rookie from Stanford who played for 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh. Go figure. He led the Seahawks in targets with six, catching four passes for 83 yards, including a 55-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown that pulled the Seahawks close to the 49ers. Baldwin is a slot receiver all the way, so Sidney Rice’s absence likely doesn’t impact him. He’s probably fighting with Golden Tate for playing time (and Tate wasn’t that great, catching one of five targets for eight yards, although it was for a touchdown). For deep, deep leagues only (really deep—got it).

Moving Down

Chad Ochocinco, Patriots
It’s hard to score many fantasy points when you are never on the field. On a day when quarterback Tom Brady threw for a ridiculous 517 yards, Ochocinco caught a single pass for 14 yards. While game plans change from week to week, the Patriots would be foolhardy to reduce the number of two-tight-end sets they use; that would take either Rob Gronkowski or Aaron Hernandez off the field. A further hurdle for Ochocinco is that Wes Welker and Deion Branch are entrenched as the team’s top two wide receivers. Did I mention that Matt Slater is getting the work as the team’s deep threat? That leaves #85 with the scraps.

Danny Amendola, Rams
After catching 85 passes a year ago, Amendola shaped up as a great option in PPR leagues in 2011 with new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels expected to bring a more high-powered offense to St. Louis. Unfortunately, Amendola suffered a dislocated elbow during the Rams’ Week 1 loss to the Eagles and he will be out for at least the next few weeks.

James Jones, Packers
It’s not so much his Week 1 production (one target, one reception, one yard), it’s the performance of the Packers’ other wide receivers that should be cause for concern for James Jones owners. With a nagging knee injury, his poor performance is easily explained away. Unfortunately for Jones, Donald Driver looks rejuvenated (four receptions for 41yards), Jordy Nelson looks established as the team’s top backup (six for 77 and a score), and Randall Cobbs looks like a future superstar (two for 35 and a touchdown to go along with a kickoff return touchdown and punt return that he was so close to turning into another score). The final nail in the coffin is that, as expected, the Packers used tight end Jermichael Finley in their four-receiver formations. That means Jones is going to have to surpass Driver and Nelson on the depth chart to get any meaningful playing time. I won’t be shocked if he doesn’t dress in Week 2.

Kevin Walter, Texans
He’s out at least 10 weeks with a shoulder injury. He was a borderline backup fantasy WR at best, so this news sinks any value he had.

Tight Ends

Moving Up

Ed Dickson, Ravens
Ah, now I see why the Ravens dumped Todd Heap early in training camp. This Dickson guy has got game. He made a great catch in the end zone for a touchdown and tossed in four more receptions, finishing Week 1 with 59 receiving yards and 11.9 fantasy points. With only two proven wide receivers on the roster, one of which is highly inconsistent, Dickson figures to get plenty of looks in the Ravens offense. And if Week 1 is any indication (and it should be when the Ravens score 35 points on the Steelers’ defense), the Ravens will have a top-10 offense in 2011. Dickson could be a low-end TE1 by season’s end.

Scott Chandler, Bills
He caught one pass last season. That reception was the only one of his four-year career. One of those years, he was out of the league altogether. So what did Chandler do in Week 1 against the Chiefs? How about catch five balls for 63 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Not one. Two. The Bills likely would have settled for two touchdowns for the year considering the pathetic play of their tight ends during the 2010 season, another in a long line of non-existent production from the position. The Bills won’t put up 41 points every week, and maybe they won’t reach that again in 2011, but Chandler moves up into TE2 category based on his Week 1 performance.

Moving Down

Lance Kendricks, Rams
Kendricks had what appeared to be a solid preseason, scoring on three touchdown catches, but he also dropped a number of passes. He continued that disturbing trend this week against the Eagles, catching one of five targets but dropping two easy catches, one of which likely would have resulted in a six-yard touchdown. Kendricks was getting some love as a potential low-end fantasy starter, but his suspect hands mean he’s going to be fighting off Michael Hoomanawanui when he returns from a calf injury.

Tuesday Morning Buzz – Week 1

By: — @ 1:28 pm
Filed under: Player Analysis

Welcome to the Tuesday Morning Buzz! Each week I’ll give you a quick analysis on each of the week’s games.. This week was my wife’s birthday (Happy Birthday Christina!), so I was unfortunately unable to catch the football wrecking crew known as the Buffalo Bills in their rout of last year’s AFC West Champion Chiefs.

Saints – Packers

Football’s glorious return finally arrived Thursday night as New Orleans faced off against the Packers in an NFC showdown. Have you noticed how the NFC games are always showdowns? Rare is the telecast that promotes a “showdown” in the AFC North. In the NFC, though, the only thing more numerous than the use of “showdown” in promotions was the amount of stickers on Kid Rock’s piano during the opening performance. I’d give KR a 4.5/10 for his performance, but the “Back to football” presentation overall was almost enough to draw tears.

Jennings got the Packer party started.

First let me say, I think I have a man-crush on Greg Jennings. He just has the right attitude and demeanor be an absolute beast at wide receiver. Jennings scored early on Patrick Robinson and set in motion a fireworks show of a football game as offenses on both sides made good defenses look bad.

On the topic of physical freak pass catchers, how about the tight ends in this game? Jimmy Graham and Jermichael Finley both looked outstanding. It took a while for Graham to get involved, but I’m still a firm believer that he was one of the best values in this year’s draft. As far as running backs, look for Starks and Ingram to be the most valuable RBs from these teams, though expect low value as long as the current timeshares continue.

How about the slippery field shenanigans at Lambeau? To this end, Chris Collinsworth proved why he makes the big bucks. Collinsworth on the Saints’ slipping: “The Saints have to stay on their feet!” Where is the “$%^# Chris Collinsworth Says” blog? Anyway, I counted eight slips in the first half after Collinsworth’s magical comment. There were likely another four before that. Twelve men falling while trying to catch a pass or defend it in one half is unacceptable.


Joe Flacco is my QB due to a dreaded Peyton Manning pick I was nearly forced to make. I almost traded for Matt Schaub after the Manning news came out, but I decided to stick to my guns after I traded Arian Foster for Greg Jennings before week one of last year. Don’t take too much away from this concerning the Steelers, they should bounce back. Also don’t take too much away from this regarding the Raven’s D, they’re still getting old. Seven turnovers won’t happen again this year for them. However, do feel good about the rest of the season for the Ravens O, which came out looking like it should have looked last year.

Bills – Chiefs

I don’t know what sorts of breakdowns the Chiefs had, but I do think they are a middle-of-the-pack team. It seems to me that everyone forgot how good the Bills were last year, including the Kansas City Chiefs. Fitzpatrick and Steve Johnson are among last year’s hottest waiver-wire pickups and should be owned in all leagues this year.

Eagles – Rams

The Eagles did what they were expected to do. Particularly LeSean McCoy proved he was worth the pick. On the Rams side of the ball, Steven Jackson a la Steven Jackson went out in a blaze of glory with two touches for 50 yards and a TD. In his place, Cadillac Williams proved there is still some tread on the tires despite being nearly totaled a few years back. Sam Bradford disappointed, but I think he will bounce back and still finish nice this year.

Falcons – Bears

The Bears did their best Falcons impression and came out hot to start the game. That offensive show, in conjunction with their stout D, put the Falcons in a hole they couldn’t climb out of. They say they called deep passes which were covered up, but I still don’t have faith that this offense is all of a sudden going to be a downfield offense. Watch for Julio Jones to repeat this stat line (5 catches, 71 yards) often this year.

Browns – Bengals

To hear those from Ohio tell it, the Browns are overhyped every year and disappoint every year. I think the rest of the nation understands that the Browns are going to be terrible every year and holds no expectations otherwise. Look, Colt McCoy is a good quarterback, but he’s a long way away from being relevant in football and he’s exponentially farther from being worthwhile in fantasy. My general policy is to avoid anyone playing home games in Ohio.

Chargers – Vikings

Let me start with this: the Chargers are my Super Bowl pick this year and I’ve been taking a lot of flak for it. Well, they looked pretty good Week 1, albeit not in the way you’d think. Somehow, Mike Tolbert scored more points through the air than he scored in his entire 2010 season. Tolbert got the TDs, but Mathews looked better in space and through the line. I’ll always take the talent over the “goal-line” tag. Just like I yelled for Ray Rice over Willis McGahee all last year, including when McGahee was getting all the TDs, I yell for Mathews this year. By the way, they both got 12 carries in this game. In the second quarter, the Chargers finally put one up deep as VJax blew past a defender. He’s racing down the field… Fantasy owners everywhere are on their feet… It’s a touchdown… or, it’s right through his hands and on the turf! Maybe they’re not as potent down the field as the preseason had made it seem. Watch for Jackson and Floyd to tumble down the rankings this week as they combined for 7 points. Buy low if you can.

In other news, Vikings D looked very good. Jared Allen was dominating coverage, pressure, and everything between.

Colts – Texans

I have only two points to make about this game. 1. Wow, Indy is screwed. This will be their worst game of the season, however. See if you can buy up Reggie Wayne. 2. Just like with Mathews over Tolbert, I say Tate over Ward and he proved it in this game. Don’t be too surprised if Foster/Tate becomes a timeshare of sorts.

Titans – Jaguars

MJD did well in this game and Chris Johnson did nothing. I’m expecting both of these guys to be out or limited by Week 5, so if you drafted them you’ve got to play them. I was swayed on Kenny Britt, however. If he can stay unsuspended, Hasselbeck may just be able to make a star out of him.

Lions – Buccaneers

Headline if I were a newspaper editor: “Young exciting teams play boring game.” Yeah, that probably wouldn’t sell. I guess that’s why I’m not an editor for the newspaper… Lots of average scores in this one. Stafford was great, Calvin Johnson was great, Freeman was hurt, Best was good, Mike Williams was good, and LeGarrette Blount was not good. Don’t let any of this info adjust your opinion on any of these guys.

Panthers – Cardinals

Well, it looks like Cam Newton should’ve been number one overall in fantasy too, right? I mean, if he averages that score he’ll have better points than Michael Vick did last year! The Panthers are going to Disney World! Dynasty! Hall of Fame career! Well… perhaps we’d better wait for Week 2 first. Unless you’re really hurt at QB, I’d let somebody else run the risk.

Seahawks – 49ers

Ted Ginn Jr. returned a punt and a kick for TDs to make this close game look like a blowout. As far as I can tell, no one else on this team really did anything other than what you’d expect. If Ginn plays his best this year, my bet is he returns four total TDs. Two have already gone. I wouldn’t waste a waiver pick on him.

Giants – Redskins

Giants are starting to look pretty rough. You don’t want to overemphasize one week, but it doesn’t seem like they can compete for the NFC East title this year. I still think Eli will get it together to be worth starting if you took him late. Oh, and I would pick up Fitzpatrick before I would pick up Grossman.

Cowboys – Jets

Romo and Bryant remind me of Romo and Owens. Romo is the exact same and, as for the diva wide receiver, Dez Bryant may well be even more gifted than TO in his prime. However, Dez doesn’t seem to have mastery of his own body and is often hurt, as eventually happened in this game. The actual injury report states a bruise, but he looked more hampered than that. It’s a shame too, because if there is any wide receiver that can dominate Darrelle Revis, it’s Dez Bryant. When he was healthy, he absolutely owned Revis.

The Cowboys D looked very good for most of this game, and if Shaun Lee (defensive MVP of this game) had been able to get one more yard then they would’ve nearly doubled their D/ST point total and no one would be calling for Romo’s head. Cowboys D could be an excellent pickup or start next week.

One of my favorite parts of TV coverage of NFL games is the obscure, meaningless, hyper-specific stats they use to try and prove points that are false. Try this one on for size: “Mark Sanchez is so clutch in the playoffs, he’s the first quarterback since 2002 to beat Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in consecutive games in the playoffs.” First, Sanchez doesn’t beat quarterbacks. His defense beats quarterback. Second, how many guys have played Manning then Brady consecutively in the playoffs since 2002? Third, 2002 was less than a decade ago. That’s not that impressive. Stats never lie, but never trust a statistician.

Patriots – Dolphins

I’m going to make this one short as there isn’t a lot to say. Tom Brady (517 yards, 4 TDs) and the Patriots are crazy good. The Dolphins aren’t as bad as we thought they were. Brandon Marshall is a top-5 WR talent and Chad Henne is good enough to make him a top-10 WR this season if they can get on the same page. Welker didn’t have that crazy of a game if you take away his one great reception. A 99-yard TD will make a good fantasy day look absolutely dominant.

Raiders – Broncos

Great player of no direct fantasy consequence: Shane Lechler. Best punter in NFL history. Raiders also have Sebastian Janikowski, my favorite current NFL kicker and maybe one of the best all-time at his position as well. This one seemed like typical Raiders-Broncos football: great talent with no discipline. A total of 25 penalties were committed. The Raiders seem to take pride in stupid fouls. McFadden looked explosive when carrying the ball, but the team is too inconsistent overall to facilitate the great running game that Run DMC could bring. Right now I’m just hoping that McFadden’s neck is okay.

Dave’s Take: Fantasy Football Tips, News & Notes – Week 1

By: — September 9, 2011 @ 10:02 am
Filed under: Player Analysis

1. The big news of the week is that the consecutive games streak of Colts quarterback Peyton Manning will end at 227 due to his lengthy recovery from neck surgery in the spring. While that news was shocking given Manning’s impressive durability, the bigger shock was a pair of reports indicating that Manning may be out for the entire season. The Colts quickly refuted those reports, denying that Manning had recently undergone an additional surgery on his neck. As it turns out, Manning had cervical fusion surgery on his neck Thursday. What isn’t up for debate is that there is no certainty with regards to the amount of time required to recover from damaged nerves so while it is premature to rule Manning out for the season, it does remain a distinct possibility. Manning owners need to make alternate plans with his replacement Kerry Collins a decent option.

Full workload for CJ in Week 1?

2. Running back Chris Johnson ended his holdout last week and will be in the Titans Week 1 starting line-up. The question is whether or not he will get a full workload. Don’t bank on it. With head coach Mike Munchak in his first year, the last thing he wants on his resume is having Johnson get injured from giving him too many carries after having been through a handful of practices. Munchak has said that the Titans “won’t get carried away” in the number of carries Johnson gets so look for him to get no more than 20 touches during their Week 1 game against the Jaguars.

3. With his job clearly on the line in Jacksonville, Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio chose to release presumed opening day starter David Garrard in favor of veteran journeyman Luke McCown. Garrard’s release was met with shock but in essence the move ended up occurring sooner than expected so it shouldn’t have registered as such a big surprise. When the Jaguars used their 1st round pick on Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert, Garrard’s days in Jacksonville were numbered and a poor preseason showing caused Del Rio to cut him loose. An $8-million salary for the current year didn’t help matters and the savings surely will help Del Rio’s case with team owner Wayne Weaver, who has struggled financially given the size of the Jacksonville market.

4. If you’re looking for the fantasy implications of Garrard’s release, it’s pretty simple and can be summed up as bad news for all Jacksonville offensive skill-position players. McCown is a veteran journeyman with seven career starts in seven seasons. Look for him to quickly find himself on the bench behind Gabbert and Gabbert’s insertion into the starting line-up is hardly going to be an elixir for the Jaguars offense. He would be starting on opening day had he had even a decent preseason. With McCown and Gabbert at quarterback, the Jaguars figure to have one of the worst offenses in the league in 2011.

5. Daniel Thomas owners likely breathed a sign of relief when the Dolphins released Larry Johnson since his signing late in the preseason appeared to be an indication that the Dolphins were not prepared to enter the season with Thomas as the top backup behind starter Reggie Bush. With the late breaking news yesterday that Miami had re-signed Johnson, it appears the initial fears of Thomas owners were well-founded with reports of Thomas suffering a slight hamstring injury possibly little more than cover to help shield the rookie from more negative press coverage. Look for Johnson to open the season behind Thomas but with head coach Tony Sparano needing a strong season to save his job, he won’t wait long to move Johnson up the depth chart if Thomas continues to struggle like he did for most of the preseason.

6. With the Rams in need of a true number one wide receiver, they were quick to sign former Jaguar Mike Sims-Walker early in free agency in the hope he would rebound from a lackluster 2010 season. He had a solid preseason and will open the season in the starting line-up with Brandon Gibson and Danny Amendola, who emerged as one of the league’s top threats out of the slot last year. While Sims-Walker figures to get a shot to re-establish himself with the Rams, it’s worth noting that the team re-signed Mark Clayton, who was on his way to having a career year in St. Louis before suffering a torn patellar tendon in Week 5. During the first four games of 2010, Clayton was the team’s top threat at wide receiver, catching 22 passes for 300 yards and a pair of touchdowns. If Sims-Walker or Gibson struggles, look for Clayton in the Rams starting line-up shortly after he returns from the physically unable to perform list.

7. When Ryan Williams was lost for the season with a knee injury, it was only a matter of time before Arizona replenished their running back depth chart with an established veteran runner. Starter Beanie Wells has a lengthy injury history and top backup LaRod Stephens-Howling lacks the size necessary to handle a heavy workload. The team chose to sign Chester Taylor, who spent the 2010 season in Chicago. The question is – how much does Taylor have left? He was the first player to average less than 2.4 yards per carry on more than 100 carries since the AFL and NFL merged in 1970, gaining just 267 yards and three touchdowns on 112 carries. Look for Stephens-Howling to be Wells’ primary backup with Taylor earning a share of the work if Wells were to suffer an injury.

8. The Chiefs passing attack suffered a big blow with the loss of tight end Tony Moeaki for the year to a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Kansas City was expecting for Moeaki to build on an impressive rookie campaign and was valued for his versatility in lining up as a tight end, in the slot or out of the backfield. Neither Leonard Pope (career highs of 23 receptions, 238 yards and five touchdowns back in 2007) or Jake O’Connell (five receptions in two years) are receiving threats which will allow opposing safeties to double team wide receiver Dwayne Bowe or drop down in the box to shut down Jamaal Charles in the running game. Suffice it to say that head coach Todd Haley will need to get creative to make up for Moeaki’s loss.

Projections & Rankings Update – 9/4

By: — September 5, 2011 @ 12:06 am
Filed under: Forecast

Player Projections, Rankings & Cheatsheets
Change Log – 9/4


Running Backs

Wide Receivers

  • Golden Tate (-25) drops like a rock after completing a dismal preseason. Look for Ben Obomanu to be the third receiver in Seattle.

Tight Ends

  • Tony Moeaki (dropped) is out for the season after tearing his ACL in the Chiefs final preseason game.


  • Garrett Hartley (-13) is out 6-8 weeks with a hip flexor.
  • Dan Bailey (+21) will handle field goals and extra points for the Cowboys. David Buehler will handle kickoffs through the endzone.
  • Matt Prater (+10) was named the starting kicker for the Broncos.

Projections & Rankings Update – 9/1

By: — September 1, 2011 @ 9:25 am
Filed under: Forecast

Player Projections, Rankings & Cheatsheets
Change Log – 9/1


  • Matt Ryan (+1) prefer Ryan over Flacco.
  • John Beck (+3) likely to be opening day starter.
  • Kyle Boller (+20) should win the backup job behind Campbell.

Running Backs

  • Arian Foster (-1) second hamstring tweak of the preseason is a concern.
  • Chris Johnson (-2) holdout will likely get done this week but practice time missed is never good.
  • Reggie Bush (+5) becoming more bullish on Bush. Injury risk keeps him out of the top-20.
  • Ben Tate (+20) the most talented of the Foster backups.

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

  • Chris Cooley (-3) is expected back to practice this week but his knee will likely cause him discomfort all season.
  • Zach Miller (SEA)(+3) on the rise now that John Carlson is out for the year.

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