Saturday, August 30

Rudi Gets Dropped and No One's Chanting

The Bengals just got a whole lot lighter, and probably faster, after releasing their former starting running back Rudi Johnson Saturday. The bald bowling ball of a back whose playing weight is supposedly 225 pounds has been plagued by injuries as of late and Cincinnati finally said they'd rather go with quantity and quality in Chris Perry and Kenny Watson rather than a lack of both in Johnson. I've been saying for a while that Chris Perry is the guy to have in Cincy regardless of what happened to Rudi, and now that Johnson has been cut that has never been more true. They're saying that Perry and Watson will be in a timeshare, but Chris Perry is the young, former first round pick who fits the mold of running back that Marvin Lewis loves, a strong, powerful, downhill guy. Perry's been starting in the preseason anyway. He'll be the every game starter, and I think can be counted on for 15-20 touches a game. Watson will get most of the receptions and most likely play on passing downs, but Perry definitely deserves to be snagged in the middle rounds of your last-weekend-before drafts.
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Introducing the FFWWH Stat Boy and the First Ever ''Stat Boy Saturday''

Here at FF Writers With Hair, we have a new member on staff; a member who does what he does better than anyone in the business. What does he do? He's our honorary nerd. Zach Fein of Fein Sports. A contributor with as much stat muscle as anyone in the business. You may not understand what he's says and use it for you fantasy leagues, but if you're in the mood to be baffled and confused, then boy does he have you covered. Because life is one big spreadsheet. This Saturday, the stat boy has devised some fancy rating gizmo to help all you late drafters out there with some tips drawn from what the calculator spit out. Check out the links for brain hurting analysis of how the ratings work. A few days ago (ed note: this is what this dude does in his free time) I devised a group of ratings systems to rank each position (sorry—no kickers) as well as every team’s offense and defense as a whole. Both ranking sets were based on averages (per each attempt, carry, or reception; and each play from scrimmage, respectively), so players like Maurice Jones-Drew and Marion Barber III were ahead of LaDainian Tomlinson, and Donald Lee and Nate Burleson were ahead of Torry Holt and Chad Johnson. Here are a couple of notes from each of the positions: The Quarterbacks - If you were to wait on a quarterback for your fantasy team this year, pairing up a safe option like David Garrard with a high-risk, high-reward player (McNabb, Schaub, Bulger, etc.) might even be a better choice than taking a Palmer/Big Ben/Anderson type in rounds five or six, considering you can take both the risky and safe quarterbacks five rounds later. - Derek Anderson is not worth a fourth- or fifth-round pick, where he is currently going in drafts. If you look at last year, he had only 24 touchdowns and 18 interceptions in 15 games if you exclude the one game against Cincinnati where almost every player had outrageous stats. And in his final seven games last year, Anderson averaged only 222 yards per game, with nine touchdowns and ten interceptions. Kurt Warner, for instance, had 21 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in his final eight games last year. - According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Kurt Warner will be named the starter in Arizona. - Jeff Garcia is an underrated fantasy quarterback, in that you know he will put up 12 points in any one week, but he’s still not a top-15 fantasy QB. The Running Backs - If Adrian Peterson tore his ACL, Chester Taylor would be a top-15 running back. And if Chester Taylor tore his ACL, Peterson might be the No. 1 overall pick. - If Kenny Watson were the only back in Cincinnati, he’d be a top-20 running back. And so would Kevin Jones, if he could stay healthy and were the only back in Chicago. - If Maurice Morris were the only running back in Seattle, he’d be a top-25 running back. See, I can do this forever. - Maurice Jones-Drew will be a top-seven running back once he ever gets 200 carries. Mark it down. - Despite Edgerrin James’ low ranking, I still think he is a top-20 running back this year. Hey, he finished in the top-10 last year. The Wide Receivers/Tight Ends - With Bobby Engram and Deion Branch out for the first couple of games this year, Nate Burleson will finish in the top 20 wide receivers this year. - If you extrapolate his final eight games to a full season, Justin Gage would have finished as the No. 25 wide receiver last year. I like him as a sleeper this year. - Donald Lee could be a good value pick in the 13th or 14th round this year, what with Aaron Rodgers at the helm—and we all know young and inexperienced quarterbacks like to throw to their tight end.
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Friday, August 29

Another Reason To Let Adrian Peterson Drop. Bryant McKinnie Suspended For First Four Games

Bryant McKinnie's year just got worse. The ex-love boater who's had a 2008 filled with crime and court cases now has received punishment from Sheriff Goodell, a four week suspension to open the season. The penalty stems from a February incident in which McKinnie apparently got into a fight with a Miami nightclub worker. What happened, McKinnie wasn't accepted by the bouncer? What security guard turns down a 6'8'', 335 man down at the door? Whatever the case, the Vikings offensive line that just got 6 feet 8 inches shorter and 335 pounds lighter takes a huge hit here. So will Adrian Peterson. Over and over again. Teams can't lose their best offensive lineman and starting left tackle and expect to compete at the same high level. The injury prone Peterson was already being overrated going into this season and this news lowers his value even more. Four McKinnie-less weeks, including games against Green Bay, Indianapolis, and Tennessee no less, does not bode well for the Vikings running back. Don't expect the offensive tackle to get back into the swing of things right when he gets back in week 5 either. If you weren't taking LDT, SJax, Westbrook, and maybe even Addai, before Peterson already, you better start now. The passing game is also drastically affected by this. Rotoworld insightfully notes that "with guard Artis Hicks now on his blind side, Tarvaris Jackson could struggle to stay upright in the first four weeks." While it was news to me that Tarvaris Jackson had one side where he could see clearly in the first place, the point remains. Jackson will not have as much time in the pocket and the receivers will suffer. Avoid any members of this passing offense early in drafts.
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I'm Famous. The First Linkage Of My Career

Hey all 12 readers out there who haven't come to FF Writers With Hair via Fanhouse, go to Fanhouse via FF Writers With Hair and check me out. I got the opportunity to spend some time in the House and as you'll see, (Bulger, Hassleback, Westbrook, LJ, McGahee, Colston, Boldin) I trashed the guest room and cleaned up. Although I may be biased. I also stole from the kitchen on my way out (Justin Fargas in the 10th). So go scope out the fun content over there if you're not one of the 95% of readers who didn't come from over there through the link. They just had a remodel. Plus most of the writers have hair. Have a joyous time.
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Monday, August 25

No One Has The Guts To Say It But... Larry Fitzgerald Will Be A Bust

Over the course of the rest of this preseason, Tosten Burks will be making bold statements that all the other wimpy, bald experts are too afraid to make. These aren't bold because they're random and crazy; they're bold because no one else is standing up and spouting them. Ok, ok, first off let me define bust. Bust (bst) n. A player who performs at a level that is equal to that of a player taken at least two rounds lower. So let me get myself straight, I don't think Fitz will put up 300 and 2. There's a lot of different busts every year, some are minor, some are major. Larry Fitzgerald will be a minor bust. Let us take a look a look at some facts. Fact #1 - Larry Fitzgerald had 3 of his 5 best receiving performances in weeks that Anquan Boldin did not play in due to injury. Fact #2 - Anquan Boldin is not injured anymore. Fact #3 - Anquan Boldin only had on less touchdown than Larry Fitzgerald last season. In 4 less games. Fact #4 - Seven of Fitzgerald's 10 TD's came in a total of 5 games agaist the Rams, Lions, Bengals, and Saints. That's 4 of the worst pass defenses in the league. All Fitz does is pick on bad teams. Fact #5 - The Cardinals don't play the Lions, or the Bengals, or the Saints this year. Fact #6 - Fitzgerald will be drafted in the second or third round of your fantasy drafts. Fact #7 - Fitzgerald will put up numbers of a fith or sixth rounder.
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