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  • Brandon 9:50 am on September 18, 2009 Permalink
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    Hits & Misses – Week 2: Vikings ready to pillage 

    Now that week one is in the record books, we’re starting to get a better idea of how the teams will look this season. It’s obvious that Adrian Peterson is the best running back in the league and he’s being rewarded for his spectacular play in week one with a Detroit Lions defense that was complete owned by the Saints last week. While you would think that that would earn him a spot on the Hit list this week, I had to leave him off for reasons mentioned in my week one post. However, that does not prevent me from including his quarterback, who starts off this edition of the Hits & Misses… (More …)

    • John 10:04 am on September 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Should I pick up and start Correll Buckhalter or start Cadillac Williams?

      • Brandon 11:52 am on September 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        I guess it depends on who you need to drop to get Buckhalter. Don’t drop Cadillac for him though! You’re probably safe just starting Cadillac this week if you don’t want to shake up your roster too much.

    • e-roc 11:03 am on September 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      @brandon – with TJ suffering from the injury bug, do I start Laverneus Coles or Steve Smith (NYG)?

      @John – I vote for Buckhalter w/his matchup vs. the hapless Brownies.

      • Brandon 11:54 am on September 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Hey e-roc, if Housh plays, then I think you still want to go with him this week. It seems that Coles hasn’t been fully integrated into the Bengals offense yet and any Giants receiver is always a wild card (although Smith looked good in week one.) If Housh doesn’t play, go with Smith.

        • e-roc 4:36 pm on September 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply

          Thanks Brandon. Sounds like he’s going to still play, but who knows for how long (or how well!).

    • Brandon 11:53 am on September 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I guess Mark Schlereth was right…I’ll be darned!

  • Brandon 3:00 pm on August 20, 2009 Permalink
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    2009 Running Back Handcuff Index 

    As everyone knows, football is a brutal game and injuries are very common. You may draft an awesome duo of running backs for your fantasy football team, only to have one of them knocked out for the season in week two and if you didn’t have their backup (or were slow on the waiver wire,) you’re screwed. As I did last year, I’ve written up the Running Back Handcuff Index, listing all the starting running backs in the league, along with their primary backup(s). Also, I’ve included how important it is to draft their backup as a handcuff (if you need to draft them at all.) I’ve listed them in groups ranging in level of importance (Very High to Very Low), so you know how important it is to draft them as an insurance policy, so here you go…

    Very High

    Philadelphia Eagles

    Starter: Brian Westbrook
    Handcuff: LeSean McCoy
    Concern(s): Injury / Committee
    Notes: Westbrook has never been Mr. Durable to begin with, but he’s getting up there in age and has a very talented rookie in McCoy waiting for his shot. I’d say this is a mandatory hand-cuff, but you might not be able to get McCoy without giving up one of your early picks as someone else will surely draft him with the hopes of trading him to you or of Westbrook going down.

    Buffalo Bills

    Starter: Marshawn Lynch
    Handcuff: Fred Jackson
    Concern(s): Suspension / Ineffectiveness
    Notes: Lynch is suspended for the first three games of the season, so naturally you would like his hand-cuff on your team so it’s easy to fill the void. However, Jackson looked good in limited playing time last season and could be picked up by another team if you’re not careful in your draft.

    (More …)

  • Brandon 11:12 pm on July 30, 2009 Permalink
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    Running back rankings for 2009 

    Following my wide receiver rankings, here is the list for running backs. Keep in mind that this is primarily for non-PPR leagues, but I’ve mentioned in my comments the tailbacks that will be valued higher in leagues that award points for receptions.

    You can check out the rest of our positional cheat sheets here.

    1. Adrian Peterson, MIN – Unless you’re in a PPR league, A-Pete is top dog and Favre should distract defenses a bit and open more holes.
    2. Michael Turner, ATL – As with Peterson, he is spectacular as long as you’re not in a PPR league, and he’s only slightly less than spectacular then.
    3. DeAngelo Williams, CAR – Jonathan Stewart continues to show durability issues, meaning plenty of carries again this year for D-Williams!
    4. Matt Forte, CHI – I’m digging Forte this season with Cutler in town.
    5. Maurice Jones-Drew, JAX – Finally mini-me becomes the feature back…I expect it to pay some dividends
    6. Steven Jackson, STL – UPGRADE! The Rams offense scares me…and S-Jax has trouble staying healthy. He is a beast though.
    7. LaDainian Tomlinson, SD – He didn’t go from the best in the league to Average Joe over night. Expect LT to surprise the quick-to-be-haters this year.
    8. Frank Gore, SF – Taking a leadership role on the team, hopefully it equates to some leader-like stats.
    9. Brian Westbrook, PHI – He’s never played a full 16 game season and there are already injury worries. He’s a monster when he plays (especially in PPR leagues), but he’ll be 30 in a few weeks and this could be the year he starts slowing down, LT-style.
    10. Ryan Grant, GB – UPGRADE! As long as he stays healthy, Grant should put up decent numbers.
    11. Brandon Jacobs, NYG – He’s a beast when not injured, just hope he can stay on his two feet the whole season.
    12. Chris Johnson, TEN – He hasn’t been impressing this preseason, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt at this point.
    13. (More …)

    • Matt 8:31 am on July 31, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I’m with you at least 90% on this list, nice work. My only significant point of contention is MJD at #4. I think Peterson, MJD and Turner are pretty much interchangeable in the top tier.

    • Sean 12:16 pm on July 31, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I think when you do RB rankings, you need to not only note leagues that award points for receptions, but also leagues that award points for kick return yardage and touchdowns. If you did that, players like Sproles, Leon Washington, and Norwood would have to be top 10 considerations.

      And how does Portis not crack your top ten? Zorn’s 2nd year with the offense and nobody to steal goal line carries (Betts having ONE TD last year)?

      • Sean 12:20 pm on July 31, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Forgot to include their catching out of the backfield qualities.

      • Brandon 12:22 pm on July 31, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        My rankings are based on standard league formats, with a special mention for those that reward for PPR. If your league awards points for return yards as well, then by all means, rank the players you mention higher. Maybe with my next round of updates I’ll make a note on those guys…thanks for the suggestion!

      • rick 3:12 pm on August 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        What about jacobs? if he can stay healthy i think he cracks the top then

        • Brandon 9:59 pm on August 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply

          Yeah I like Jacobs a lot this year and there is a great chance that he’ll be in the top 10 by the year’s end. I’d have no problems with him being my RB1, I just like the other guys ahead him a little bit better right now.

        • Trevor 12:59 pm on August 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

          I agree with Jacobs. How come no mention of Gore… is it possibly due to his age/being prone to injury? I’m in a tough spot with my fantasy draft this year having to keep 2 players. I’ve got Brees, Gore and Steve Smith in my debate. This is a ppr league…

        • Brandon 1:34 pm on August 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

          In all honesty, I was just too lazy to comment on every player on the cheat sheets, so I left out some of the guys I feel were slightly boring in terms of current news, etc. It looks like he should be ready to go though when the season begins, so don’t hesitate to make him one of your keepers. He catches the ball a fair amount out of the backfield, so that should help in your league.

    • iamjack 4:27 pm on August 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Why Lynch at 24? You have him behind several guys who are splitting time.

      • Brandon 10:02 pm on August 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        You’re probably right about Lynch and when I do my next update of the list you could see him a bit higher. I’m a little worried that the team will go to Fred Jackson a lot to spell Lynch, since Jackson played very well when given the chance last year.

      • Brandon 1:35 pm on August 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Scratch that whole thought about moving him up the rankings with his three game suspension…that’s 20% of the fantasy season or so.

    • Jeff 11:16 am on August 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Even with so many teams having RB’s by committee, I’m not so sure about MJD, he wasn’t a great producer last year. He might have a few great games, but J-ville has no passing game.

      • Brandon 1:28 pm on August 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Last year the Jacksonville offensive line was in shambles due to injuries (same reason David Garrard struggled), plus Fred Taylor was splitting time with MJD. I expect the O-line to be improved and with no Taylor in the mix, Jones-Drew should be a bigger part of an improved offense. The addition of Torry Holt should boost the reliability of the receiving corps as well.

      • Matt 5:39 pm on August 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        MJD’s a beast of a RB, he’s featured now, and he’s got a coach who loves running the ball. He’s a good receiver and he’s a goal line monster. I think there’s a case to be made for taking him #1 overall. He’s at least in the discussion.

      • Brandon 11:46 am on August 5, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Looks like Yahoo’s Andy Behrens is on the MJD bandwagon, picking him as the #1 overall selection over A-Pete.

    • W Leung 9:33 pm on August 5, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Pierre Thomas is going to have a great year. Bush’s knee is already acting up. I think PT has to be a little higher than 17.

      • Brandon 10:06 am on August 6, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Yeah I’m starting to get worried as well about Bush’s knee issue, even if they’re claiming that it’s nothing to worry about at this point. Even with a healthy Bush, the PT Cruiser will get the bulk of the carries anyways, so he should put up some good numbers. I’ll consider moving him up next time I update the list. Thanks for the input!

    • MJ 1:49 am on August 26, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Great site. Great blog. I have Ryan Grant, Forte & Lynch as possible keepers. Plan to free Lynch because of suspension & Fred factor. Kudos on your analysis.

  • Matt 8:34 am on July 30, 2009 Permalink
    Tags: ladainian tomlinson,   

    LaDainian Tomlinson: "There's not a lo… 

    LaDainian Tomlinson: “There’s not a lot of pressure on me… Now I can just kind of be that sleeper.” Sounds about right.

    • Brandon 11:42 am on July 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I guess his sleeper status will only apply to maybe dropping him a few spots in the first round, as I don’t see him going into round 2…unless you work for Sportsline maybe.

    • Brandon 1:53 pm on July 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      This guy puts LT as the 13th best RB, so I guess that would be late second round, early third round or something. he also puts Brian Westbrook at 14, right behind LT, so maybe he’s smoking something.

  • Matt 11:44 am on July 28, 2009 Permalink
    Tags: , funston, ladainian tomlinson, ,   

    I think Funston is spot-on with his top 5. Sportsline is nuts. Forte at #3? Steven Jackson all the way down at #9?! LT at #17?!?!?!!?

    • Marc 9:44 pm on July 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I like it like this.. AP, Turner, Westbrook, Forte, SJAX, LT

      • Matt 2:31 pm on July 29, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        I can definitely see making an argument for Turner at #2. I mean really, what’s his downside? Westbrook at #3 scares me… as he always does.

      • Brandon 7:08 am on July 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        I’m really liking Matt Forte this year with Cutler behind center in Chicago now, so #4 is probably a pretty good spot for him. I’ll be putting up my first stab at the running back rankings sometime today, so we’ll see if that’s where I have him too.

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