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Posted on: July 10, 2008 1:51 pm
 

32 NFL Team Outlooks---How does your team rank

This has been a very BIG PROJECT for us.  Over the last several days we took a look at the outlook of all 32 NFL Teams. These outlooks are very thought out, informative for both the fan of football and also for you fantasy football buffs too.

Look for your team of choice (Teams are in reverse alphabetical order) and give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...  We look forward to hearing from you all!!!



2008 Team Outlook: Washington

As per Ben Standig, The Joe Gibbs era, part two, ended shortly after the Redskins scrambled late to reach the playoffs before bowing out in the wildcard round. While the team made the post season twice in four years under Gibbs, there were more downs then ups -- from questionable personnel decisions to system changes to baffling in-game moves, with the Sean Taylor tragedy looming largest of all. On the field, the Redskins have enough top flight starting talent to make a serious run in the playoffs, but their lack of depth and consistent plan from the top has made it hard to overcome injuries and other in-season developments that effect all NFL teams.

First-time head coach Jim Zorn was elevated to the top spot in a roundabout way and he, along with the Redskins' front office, will be on the hot seat early on as they try and turn QB Jason Campbell into a West Coast Offense type passer. The strong armed Campbell showed promise last season, his first full year as a starter, but the fourth-year player will be asked to learn yet another system. Unfair as it may be to say, the Redskins' season will hinge on Campbell's development as a short passer and quick decision maker under the new regime.

RB Clinton Portis put in a full season in 2007 and delivered throughout for the Redskins. He is expected to have an even larger role this year with Ladell Betts and Rock Cartwright (who was a force as a kick returner) backing him up. The Redskins' running game will also benefit from the expected return of G Randy Thomas and T Jon Jansen, both of whom missed much of last season with injuries. They rejoin a veteran but aging line, anchored by Pro Bowl T Chris Samuels. The Redskins' wide receivers were among the least productive in the NFL and the team drafted big targets Devin Thomas and Malcom Kelly in the second round to play along side the quick, but diminutive, duo of Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El. Rookie TE Fred Davis out of USC was a surprise pick, but his presence will allow Chris Cooley to turn into the Redskins' version of Dallas Clark as they line the veteran TE in different formations. K Shaun Suisham was a revelation for the Redskins after years of poor kickers, hitting on 29-of-35 field goal attempts.

Solid but not spectacular, the Redskins' defense under then defensive coordinator Gregg Williams carried the the team for much of the season, but Williams has taken his blitz schemes to Jacksonville. How the Redskins adjust to new DC Greg Blache and deal with some late season injuries that could carryover into this campaign are the main questions heading into training camp.

DE Andre Carter stepped up with 11 sacks, but the Redskins have few other pass rushing options and need more push in the middle from DT Cornelius Griffin. MLB London Fletcher was a rare free agent signing that paid immediate dividends for the Redskins, providing them with a sure fire tackler and emotional leader. Second-year LB Rocky McIntosh made the leap last year from neophyte to playmaker before he was cut down with a knee injury in Week 15. He is expected to be ready for training camp, which is key because the Redskins have little depth behind him besides fellow outside backer Marcus Washington.

That is not the case with CB Carlos Rogers, who suffered a more severe knee injury last year that is likely to linger into the start of the season. The Redskins have solid starting options in the form of veteran CB's Shawn Springs and Fred Smoot (who was strong down the stretch last year) and S LaRon Landry (who was a heat-seeking missile throughout his rookie campaign). Reed Doughty (who took over for Taylor) was a surprise find last year and added another physical presence in the secondary. Lack of depth will show in nickel and dime coverages.

In what was a very, very quiet off-season for this normally free-spending franchise - not one significant free agent was added - they hope that a full draft class will help fill in those gaps, especially at receiver. Little was done to address needs along both sides of the line, but the Redskins hope to get continued growth from younger players like DT 's Anthony Montgomery and Kedric Golston (along with offensive linemen Stephon Heyer and third round pick Chad Rinehart).

Considering the Redskins claimed they liked the progress of the team under Gibbs, it seemed odd that they ultimately turned to someone outside the organization to be the head coach and Zorn will learn how to be the head man in the highly competitive NFC East. Add it all up and an 8-8 record for the Burgundy and Gold seems like the high water mark. With enough breaks, the Redskins could ride the wave and make back-to-back playoff appearances, but their first-year coach and second-year starting QB will need to keep their heads above water.

QB Jason Campbell, WAS (QB - #13) - Gamble (high risk)

As a first year starter, QB Jason Campbell flashed his rocket arm and showed poise in the pocket , enough to make the Redskins faithful believe in him as their long-term solution. However, the fourth-year QB will be asked to learn his third new offensive system, one that in many ways seems like trying to fit the proverbial square peg into a round hole.

Campbell's strengths lie in the power of his right arm and his near flawless accuracy down the field. He was best on mid-to-deep passes and stood tall in the pocket even with a weakened offensive line in front of him. Only the Redskins' conservative play calling and fourth quarter miscues kept his numbers - 12 touchdowns and 2,700 yards in 13 games - in check. While Campbell still needs to improve on his end-of-game decision making - he threw several of his 11 interceptions in crunch time - his biggest weakness was in the short to intermediate passing attack. His long and slow delivery are not those of a prototypical west coast offense type passer, making the philosophical switch a risky one for the Redskins. New head coach Jim Zorn has helped the development of other quarterbacks and how quickly he gets Campbell up to speed will likely determine the Redskins' fate.

Though backup Todd Collins played at a near Pro Bowl level down the stretch when Campbell went down with a dislocated knee cap - an injury is expected to be fully recovered from - there is no quarterback controversy in Washington. The uncertainty of how Campbell will react and progress in the new system makes him a high risk-high reward fantasy play.

RB Ladell Betts, WAS (RB - #48) - Fantasy Handcuff

Coming off his first career 1,000 yard season in 2006 (on the strength of a robust 4.7 yards per carry average) a lot was expected out of Betts last season, but he rarely got into a rhythm and fell back into his role as backup to Clinton Portis.

The 5-11, 225 lb running back has the size to be a physical runner and soft hands to be a threat in the passing game, but he lacks the speed to be a home run threat. Betts remains one of the top backup options in the league and if Portis goes down with an injury, he immediately becomes a starting RB fantasy option. However, he cannot be viewed as anything more than a backup or deep bye week option for now.

RB Clinton Portis, WAS (RB - #8) - Stud (low risk)

Clinton Portis was a Joe Gibbs favorite and rebounded from injuries to be one of the top fantasy backs in 2007. Early indications are that he could have an even bigger role under new head coach Jim Zorn, making Portis a strong option in 2008.

After missing half the '06 season with injuries, Portis managed to play in all 16 games last season and slashed his way to 11 touchdowns and over 1,600 total yards. Though inconsistent overall - strong at the start and the end of the season, but averaged over four yards per carry only once in a seven game stretch in the middle - Portis produced in all facets of the offense, including a career-high 47 receptions. Reports are that he has been an active participant in the Redskins' off-season workouts (which should help his conditioning and production throughout the year, as will a healthy offensive line, which the Redskins lacked last season).

While top backup Ladell Betts remains on the roster, Portis is poised to be the every down back the Redskins envisioned him to be when they acquired him from the Broncos. Injuries have been an issue at times so make sure you have Betts as a handcuff, but otherwise Portis should be a favorite of his fantasy owners as well.

WR Santana Moss, WAS (WR - #31) - Sleeper (undervalued)

Injuries threatened to derail yet another season for Santana Moss, but the speedy wide receiver flashed his big play ability throughout the second half of the season. That late season burst and his past production gives the Redskins and fantasy owners reasons to be optimistic about Moss this season.

With the Redskins in the hunt for a playoff berth, Moss picked up his game at the right time and hauled in 15 receptions for 261 yards and two scores during the final three weeks of the regular season. He still has the speed to beat most corners deep and despite his 5-10 frame, Moss is a willing option in the middle of the field. The Redskins added two tall rookie receivers that will help draw attention away from Moss and he will likely double his paltry three touchdowns overall last season. While he is at the back end of the WR2 options, there is upside with Moss in the 6th-7th rounds if you miss out on safer choices in the early rounds of the draft.

WR Antwaan Randle El, WAS (WR - #52) - Quality Backup

Randle El has not lived up to the lucrative contract and play-maker hype that followed when he signed with the Redskins in 2006, either as a receiver or punt returner. With the Redskins drafting two receivers early in the NFL draft, this could be his last chance to lay claim to a starting slot with the burgundy and gold.

The quick and shifty Randle El started '07 with 100-yard receiving days in two of his first four games, but he leveled off the rest of the way and did not score his first touchdown until Week 16. With the Redskins switching to the West Coast offense, Randle El is expected to line up in the slot, a role that Bobby Engram had great success with in Seattle last year. His learning curve may be slowed by off-season arthroscopic knee surgery, though he is expected to be ready for training camp.

The Redskins drafted two big targets in Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly, but Randle El will likely remain a starter and should still find a lot of playing time when the team uses multiple receiver sets. Randle El could be an asset in the right matchups in PPR leagues, but his lack of scores and yards limits his upside. While the new offense offers promise and he adds value for leagues that count return yards, Randle El is little more than a low-end WR3 or backup in most leagues.

WR Devin Thomas, WAS (WR - #47) - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)

Thomas was projected to be a mid-to-late first round pick in most mock drafts, but he slid to the second round where the Redskins grabbed him with the 34th pick. For those in keeper leagues, the Michigan State product is someone you will want to grab as well.

The Redskins were looking for tall receiving targets (a major hole in their arsenal under Joe Gibbs) and they think the 6-2 Thomas and fellow second-round pick Malcolm Kelly will fill the bill. Along with his size, Thomas has speed to work down the field and should be a sneaky red-zone target this season. Thomas had limited collegiate experience, but with a solid training camp, he could sneak up fantasy draft boards if the Redskins view him as a an every down starter. He likely will start off in three-receiver sets, so for now consider Thomas a bye-week filler and late round flyer; he could be the Redskins' top wide receiver in short order.

TE Chris Cooley, WAS (TE - #5) - Stud (low risk)

Chris Cooley has been one of the most consistent TE options over the last three years and with a new passing attack in place, he could crack the top tier this season.

The sure-handed Cooley found the end zone early and often last season, scoring half of his eight touchdowns over the first five games and piled up most of his 786 yards down the stretch. Cooley will likely line up all over the field in head coach Jim Zorn's system as the Redskins look to maximize Cooley's speed and deft route running. He and QB Jason Campbell have a good down field connection, but Campbell's inconsistencies in the short passing game hurt Cooley's overall numbers

Put Mark Cooley down for at least 68 receptions, 750 yards and eight touchdowns. If Campbell makes the leap this year, Cooley's numbers should make a big leap as well.


NFL Insider -- 2008 Team Outlook: Todays Team is : Tennessee Titans 
submitted by TheDean1  2 hours ago
Over the next several days we will take a look at the outlook of the 32 NFL Teams. They will be informative for both the fan of football and also some have information for you fantasy football buffs too. Give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...



2008 Team Outlook: Tennessee

As per Vin Sadicario, The Tennessee Titans do not have many good fantasy options for the upcoming 2008 season. It could be argued that the Titans have no skill position players that deserve to be starters on fantasy teams this season. The Titans offense is led by starting quarterback Vince Young. Young took a step backwards last season which impacted the entire Titans offense. If Young is able to vastly improve his numbers this season, a number of Titans can be fantasy sleepers. The Titans backfield is a crowded situation with LenDale White, Chris Henry, and Chris Johnson all likely to receive a portion of the teams carries. Unless the situation is settled during training camp and the preseason, which is unlikely, then all three of the Titans running backs will struggle to make significant fantasy impacts in 2008. The Titans wide receiver situation is also a mess heading into the 2008 season. The Titans hope that they can get decent production out of Justin Gage, Justin McCareins, Brandon Jones, and Roydell Williams. The Titans need at least two of these receivers to step up and have career years if Vince Young is to be successful. The most likely members of the Titans receiving corps to make fantasy impacts this season are Justin Gage and Brandon Jones. The Titans offense is rounded out by newly acquired tight end Alge Crumpler. The Titans hope that Crumpler can provide Vince Young with a good red zone target this season. He could be a top ten tight end if everything breaks right for him this season.

QB Vince Young, TEN (QB - #21) - Bye Week Fill-in

Vince Young enters the 2008 season as the Tennessee Titans starting quarterback. Vince Young took a step backwards last season, dropping his total touchdowns from 19 in 2006 to only 12 in 2007. Young also threw 17 interceptions in 15 games. Young will need to rebound if he hopes to be relevant in fantasy leagues this season. The Titans did nothing to significantly bolster their wide receivers in the off-season, leaving Vince Young with Justin McCareins, Justin Gage, and Roydell Williams as his top three receivers. Young's receivers will need to step up this season if Young is to have a bounce back season. Fantasy owners should not consider Vince Young a fantasy starter, but could be a good bye week fill-in.

RB Chris Henry, TEN (RB - #62) - Deep-league Only

Chris Henry enters the 2008 season as the Tennessee Titans backup running back, but could be overtaken by rookie Chris Johnson before the season begins. Henry was disappointing as a rookie in the Titans backfield, leading to the Titans spending a first round draft pick on Chris Johnson. If Henry does not come to training camp in great shape, he could be passed on the depth chart by Johnson before the season starts. Even if Henry holds onto his backup job in Tennessee, he will not receive enough touches to make him relevant in fantasy leagues this season. Henry should only be drafted in deep leagues.

RB LenDale White, TEN (RB - #33) - Quality Backup

LenDale White enters the 2008 season as the Tennessee Titans starting running back, but will face competition for his job from Chris Henry and rookie Chris Johnson. The Titans selected Chris Johnson in the first round of the draft, showing little confidence in White's ability to carry the full load in Tennessee. White rushed for more than 1100 yards last season and added seven touchdowns, but is unlikely to reach those numbers again this season while sharing carries with Chris Henry and Chris Johnson. The crowded backfield in Tennessee makes LenDale White no more than a quality backup in fantasy leagues this season.

WR Justin Gage, TEN (WR - #66) - Sleeper (undervalued)

Justin Gage enters the season atop the Tennessee Titans depth chart at wide receiver. Gage is coming off his best season as a pro, catching 55 passes for 750 yards and two touchdowns in 2007. Gage should continue to start in Tennessee, but could be held back by Vince Young's slow development. While Gage could put up decent yardage numbers again, touchdown catches will be hard to come by in Tennessee. Fantasy owners should look at Gage as someone who could make a big leap if Vince Young is able to take a big step forward this season.

WR Brandon Jones, TEN (WR - #75) - Sleeper (undervalued)

Brandon Jones enters the 2008 season with an opportunity to win a starting spot on the Tennessee Titans. Jones caught 21 passes for 248 yards and two touchdowns last season in nine games for the Titans. Jones was on his way to career high numbers before injuries derailed his 2007 season and if he can stay healthy and win a starting spot this season, Jones could surprise and become a decent fantasy option. Fantasy owners should monitor the receivers situation in Tennessee throughout the preseason and if Jones wins a starting spot, it would be worth using a late round pick on him in fantasy drafts.

WR Justin McCareins, TEN (WR - #123) - Deep-league Only

After four disappointing seasons with the New York Jets, Justin McCareins returns to Tennessee where he enjoyed the best years of his career. McCareins has a good chance to return to the Titans' starting lineup this season due to the weakness of the Titans wide receivers. While McCareins may start, he is not in a good position to make an impact in fantasy leagues this season. McCareins caught seven touchdowns in his four year stint with the Jets and is unlikely to make a big enough improvement to be worth drafting in most leagues. Only consider drafting McCareins in the deepest of leagues.

TE Alge Crumpler, TEN (TE - #15) - Quality Backup

Alge Crumpler enters the 2008 season as the Tennessee Titans starting tight end. Crumpler experienced a major decrease in his numbers in 2007, but this was likely due to the quarterback situation in Atlanta, rather than a decrease in his ability. The Titans will look to Crumpler to revive their terrible red zone offense as he did with Michael Vick in Atlanta earlier in his career. While Crumpler should improve on his numbers from last season, he will not get back to the level he was once at in Atlanta. Crumpler should be a top 15 tight end this season with the potential to reach the top ten.





NFL Insider -- 2008 Team Outlook: Todays Team is : Tampa Bay Bucs 
submitted by TheDean1  22 hours ago
Over the next several days we will take a look at the outlook of the 32 NFL Teams. They will be informative for both the fan of football and also some have information for you fantasy football buffs too. Give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...



2008 Team Outlook: Tampa Bay

As per George Bissell, Tampa Bay is a club that consists of mainly aging veterans on offense over the age of 30, with a young offensive line, and a strong defense that carried them to a surprising regular season championship in the NFC South. The main additions for the Buccaneers this offseason are RB Warrick Dunn, WR Antonio Bryant, TE Ben Troupe, S Eugene Wilson, as well as adding CB Aqib Talib in the 1st round of the NFL Draft and snagging WR Dexter Jackson in the 2nd round, The age of the core group on offense is a major concern for fantasy owners, but the solid bet on offense for Tampa Bay in 2008 will be RB Earnest Graham who broke out last season when he took over the starting job after injuries decimated the clubs other options at the position. QB Jeff Garcia is in a contract year, so that should provide plenty of incentive to perform in 2008. Wide receiver Joey Galloway remains a solid option, while the other receivers (including Michael Clayton, Ike Hilliard, Dexter Jackson, and Antonio Bryant) have little value fantasy wise next season. The biggest keys for Tampa Bay to repeat as Division Champions in 2008 will be the health and consistent play of Jeff Garcia and Earnest Graham on offense, as well as the defense continuing to force turnovers and stall opponents' offenses. If Tampa Bay can stay healthy, they have the veteran experience to repeat as well as give fantasy owners plenty of bang for their buck in 2008.

QB Jeff Garcia, TB (QB - #22) - Over the Hill (decreased production)

Jeff Garcia is in the final year of his contract and at age 38, you have to figure that this is Garcia's last season as a starting QB in the NFL. Garcia still has the legs to avoid the pressure, but a lack of talent at the skill positions around him limits Garcia's fantasy value. Earnest Graham is an excellent receiver out of the backfield, but other than Joey Galloway, no other Bucs receiver is going to scare opposing defenses in 2008. Garcia will be motivated to earn a new contract from Tampa Bay, so I would expect him to put up respectable numbers from a fantasy perspective which will make him worth drafting late as a quality back-up or as a bye week fill-in. Don't be surprised if Garcia's age, combined with poor protection (or even the Bucs' alternatives at the position) catch up to him at some point in 2008. Gruden has been known to flip-flop his starting QB, so don't rule out a takeover by Luke McCown or Brian Griese.

RB Warrick Dunn, TB (RB - #58) - Over the Hill (decreased production)

Warrick Dunn was released by the Atlanta Falcons after a disappointing 2007 season in which he rushed for just 720 yards and 4 TD's as the starting running back. Dunn is now 33 and at his age (combined with a lengthy injury history), his durability is questionable. Tampa Bay signed the 11 year veteran on March 10th to be a back-up to starter Earnest Graham, as well as serve as an effective third down/change of pace type back. Dunn spent his first 5 seasons in the NFL in Tampa Bay and will be familiar with their offensive schemes -- which will be a bonus in 2008. Dunn is worth drafting as a handcuff to Earnest Graham in deeper leagues, but he will have similar fantasy value to a guy like Kevin Faulk -- where he will get occasional carries and catch a couple of passes per game (giving him some value, but just not enough to be worthy of a spot on most fantasy rosters). I would expect Dunn to rush for around 300 yards and score 1 TD, plus about 25-30 catches for 300 yards and 1 TD. Dunn is a nice backup in deeper leagues, but isn't worth selecting until the later rounds of 08 fantasy drafts.

RB Earnest Graham, TB (RB - #16) - Solid/Safe Pick

Following injuries to starters Cadillac Williams and Michael Pittman, Earnest Graham was thrust into the starting role for Tampa Bay in Week 6 and went on to start 10 of the season's final 11 games. Graham was excellent and was a wavier wire wonder for many fantasy owners in the second half of last season. Graham ended the season with 898 yards and 10 TD's on just 222 carries, also showing great skill as a receiver catching 49 passes for 324 yards. With no apparent challengers for the starting job entering training camp, Graham should put up solid numbers again in 2008 -- making him a late #1 or solid #2 fantasy option at running back worthy of a selection as high as the second round of fantasy drafts in 2008. I would expect Graham to be the focal point of the Buccaneers' offense in 2008, in which he should top 1,200 yards and 12 TD's as well as catch over 50 passes for 500 yards and a couple of TD's (giving him added value in a league that gives points per reception).

RB Carnell Williams, TB (RB - #68) - Gamble (high risk)

Stay as far away from this guy as possible on draft day, because you might pull a muscle yourself if you reach for him any higher than the last couple rounds. Williams is obviously a very talented running back (nobody doubts that), but his constant injuries have decimated his fantasy value from a 1st round stud to a late round back-up in just two seasons. Williams had an excellent rookie season (1,178 yards and 6 TD's), but was plagued by injuries in his second year in which he recorded pedestrian numbers (798 yards and 1 TD). Williams injured his back in the pre-season, then missed the final three games of the season with a foot injury. This past season Williams ran for 208 yards and 3 TD in four games before suffering a torn right patella tendon on September 30th versus Carolina. Until Williams shows that he can stay healthy, he has minimal fantasy value even as a backup to Earnest Graham. I wouldn't recommend drafting "Cadillac" until very late (if at all) in any league in 2008.

WR Michael Clayton, TB (WR - #102) - Deep-league Only

Clayton burst onto the fantasy scene as a rookie in 2004, catching 80 passes for 1,193 yards and 7 TD's. Since then Clayton has been all but forgotten by Tampa Bay, having been targeted just 160 times since his rookie season in which he was targeted 120 times. Due to drops (as well as a lack of opportunities), Clayton has become a fantasy afterthought in recent years -- catching just 22 passes for 301 yards last season and he only has 1 TD in the past three seasons. Clayton enters the season as the #2 wide receiver on the Bucs' depth chart, meaning that he should see plenty of balls thrown his way in 2008; now will that translate into respectable fantasy numbers? In my opinion, no. Clayton has incredible size and athleticism at 6 foot 4, 215 pounds, but unless he starts getting more involved in Tampa Bays' offense then he's not worth drafting. Clayton is worth watching on your leagues' wavier wire and is worth picking up if he gets off to a hot start in 2008.

WR Joey Galloway, TB (WR - #37) - Over the Hill (decreased production)

Galloway continues to amaze fantasy owners with his consistency over the past couple of years despite his age. Galloway will be 37 entering the 2008 season and while I won't say he's going to be a bust, I believe we won't see 57 catches for 1,014 yards and 6 TD's like we did last season. Galloway is still the favorite target of QB Jeff Garcia and still the undisputed #1 wide out on the Buccaneers squad, making him a solid fantasy pick as a #3 or a solid #4 fantasy wide out next season.

WR Ike Hilliard, TB (WR - #57) - Quality Backup

Hilliard enters his 12th season in the NFL at age 32 as the Buccaneers' #3 wide receiver. Hilliard had a renaissance season last year in which he caught 62 passes for 722 yards and 1 TD for Tampa Bay. Hilliard is old, but he is a very reliable target for Jeff Garcia (who is no spring chicken either). Hilliard (as well as fellow veteran Joey Galloway) have been the pillars supporting Tampa's passing game the past few seasons, so I wouldn't expect that to change in 2008. Hilliard is worth drafting in the later rounds as a quality backup to your starting receivers because you know he's going to give you at least 50 catches for 700 yards with a couple scores in 2008. Hilliard may not be the flashiest name, but the results will speak for themselves when you get a steal in the later rounds by drafting Ike.

TE Alex Smith, TB (TE - #22) - Bye Week Fill-in

Alex Smith had a nice year last year in which he caught 32 passes for 385 yards and 3 TD's before spraining his ankle in Week 6, which hampered him for the remainder of the season. Free agent acquisition Ben Troupe from Tennessee will push Smith for the starting job and could steal some catches next season -- which will only hurt Smith's fantasy value. Troupe has always under-performed in Tennessee, so maybe a change of scenery is all he needs. Troupe is a decent sleeper at the position in 2008, while Alex Smith is nothing more than a bye week fill-in if he holds onto the job because he doesn't have as much upside as Troupe. Neither Smith or Troupe are worth drafting, but you should keep an eye on the situation in Tampa Bay next season.




NFL Insider -- 2008 Team Outlook: Todays Team is : St. Louis Rams 
submitted by TheDean1  22 hours ago
Over the next several days we will take a look at the outlook of the 32 NFL Teams. They will be informative for both the fan of football and also some have information for you fantasy football buffs too. Give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...

2008 Team Outlook: St. Louis

As per Shawn Larabee, The Rams opened 2007 with extreme optimism. They entered the season boasting a dangerous vertical passing game, improving young defense, and one of the league's most dynamic running backs. They were also competing in a division that was looked at as being up for grabs. The future seemed bright. Then disaster hit. They lost their franchise left tackle to injury on opening day and never seemed to recover. Without a suitable replacement for Orlando Pace, the Rams' O-line was a mess and continued to be plagued by injuries and inconsistent play all season long. QB Marc Bulger was routinely battered and bruised thanks to poor pass protection and he rarely looked comfortable when dropping back to throw. Constantly under pressure, Rams QB's accounted for a league worst 28 interceptions. Poor offensive line play also seemed to factor into Stephen Jackson's disappointing and injury-shortened season. With the passing game hobbled, Rams opponents were able to stack the box and focus on stopping Jackson (who only managed 83.5 yards per game -- well off the fifth place mark of 95.5 he had posted in '06).

Despite their offensive struggles, the Rams' defense showed considerable promise. They have a lot of young talent and showed their commitment to continuing their progress by drafting Chris Long with their first pick in the '08 draft. Coupled with Adam Carriker and supported by linebacker Will Witherspoon and O.J. Otogwe in the secondary, St. Louis looks to have the right pieces in place to field a truly imposing defense.

Their success in '08 will hinge, once again, on the offensive line. Orlando Pace is expected to be back to full health by the start of the season and will be playing beside former Titan, Jacob Bell - who should be a significant upgrade over last year's starter, Mark Setterstrom. With an improved and healthy O-line, the Rams could be a completely different team in '08.

QB Marc Bulger, STL (QB - #14) - Quality Backup

2007 was a season to forget for Marc Bulger (and most people in the St. Louis Rams organization). He missed four games due to injury and simply was not sharp for most of the season. Thanks to a drastic decline in TD:INT ratio, completion percentage and QB rating, Bulger will likely be looked at as nothing better than a second string fantasy QB, but he could still be a pleasant surprise to owners who draft him late. He still has plenty of weapons at his disposal and better O-line play this year could make a huge difference in his play -- provided his confidence isn't completely shattered by the disappointments of last year.

RB Steven Jackson, STL (RB - #4) - Stud (low risk)

Jackson didn't quite live up to the lofty expectations he faced in 2007. His rushing yards and attempts dipped somewhat, while his opportunities as a receiver almost dropped off entirely. He caught only 38 balls in '07 after posting an explosive 90 catch season in '06 and just didn't have the ball in his hands often enough to warrant his top billing as a fantasy superstar. Expect that to change in 2008. With Al Saunders as the new offensive coordinator, Jackson should again become the focal point of the St. Louis attack. Remember that Saunders spearheaded the Kansas City offense that made superstars of Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson and during his last stint in St. Louis in 2000, he orchestrated an offense that saw Marshall Faulk record almost 2,200 total yards and 26 TDs in only 14 games. We can safely predict that Jackson will surpass the paltry 5 rushing TDs he managed in 2007.

RB Brian Leonard, STL (RB - #74) - Fantasy Handcuff

Stephen Jackson owners will want some protection this season and while Brian Leonard is a great all-around back who did a serviceable job filling in for Jackson last season, he may not remain the #2 option in St. Louis. Rams coaches would like to have Leonard on the field more often, but as a fullback this year (which might mean that backup tail duties will fall to sophomore Antonio Pittman). Keep an eye on developments over the spring and summer to see who gets the majority of time spelling Jackson. While Leonard seems like the safer option for goal-line carries in the absence of Jackson, the coaching staff may have plans to use Pittman as tailback with Leonard lead-blocking.

WR Donnie Avery, STL (WR - #80) - Deep-league Only

"Rough," "unrefined," "project," "one-dimensional"... all terms that have been used by scouts to characterize Donnie Avery -- the Rams' second round pick in the 2008 draft. Avery possesses great speed and will, ideally, work out of the slot as a third receiver in a similar capacity to Kevin Curtis pre-2007. He'll also likely contribute some as a returner, though he'll probably have to earn the coaches' trust before they put the ball in his hands on any sort of regular basis. Avery exhibited some game-breaking tools in college, so consider him worth watching but draftable only in deep leagues until he proves he can handle playing at the pro level.

WR Drew Bennett, STL (WR - #69) - Bye Week Fill-in

Most fantasy owners will discount this guy and they're probably right to do so. Bennett has only one solid season to his credit and it stands out starkly against 6 seasons of very mediocre stats. Still he showed with the Titans in 2004 (80 catches, 1,242 yards and 11 TDs) that he can be a viable and productive #1 option at wideout. Since then, he has played in more of a peripheral role, but will be asked to step up this season to fill the shoes of Isaac Bruce. Don't expect a repeat of 2004, but Bennett's numbers this season could be a pleasant surprise.

WR Torry Holt, STL (WR - #14) - Solid/Safe Pick

Since his rookie season 10 years ago, Torry Holt has been the measure of consistency. During his illustrious career with the Rams he has averaged almost 90 catches, over 1,300 receiving yards and almost 8 TDs per season. Even with the offensive downturn of '07, he still managed 93 catches for 1,189 yards and a respectable 7 TDs. At almost 32 years of age, he's shown few signs of slowing down and can still put up Pro-Bowl caliber numbers. If Marc Bulger stays healthy and the O-line improves from last season (an almost certainty, given their absolutely abysmal play in 2007), then Holt's numbers should rise which will make him a great value selection in fantasy drafts.

TE Randy McMichael, STL (TE - #21) - Sleeper (undervalued)

After basically being the primary option in Miami for the better part of his five years as a Dolphin, it was thought that McMichael would thrive in an offense where he wasn't the only weapon. This wasn't the case in his first year with the Rams. Problems with QB protection meant that he was asked to stay in and block more than he ever was with the Dolphins and, as a result, he recorded the fewest receptions since his rookie season. Blocking was never his strong point and the Rams would love to make better use of him in their passing game. Look for McMichael to rebound in 2008 as the offense finds more creative ways to get him involved.



   
NFL Insider -- 2008 Team Outlook: Todays Team is : Seattle Seahawks 
submitted by TheDean1  22 hours ago
Over the next several days we will take a look at the outlook of the 32 NFL Teams. They will be informative for both the fan of football and also some have information for you fantasy football buffs too. Give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...

2008 Team Outlook: Seattle

As per Shawn Larabee, Seattle was, once again, the lone winning team in their division last season (and one of only 6 winning teams in the NFC). They have been the top of the class of the NFC West for the past four seasons and there's no reason to think that their divisional dominance will come to an end in 2008. Part of their consistency can be attributed to a steady core of long-time Seahawks, accented by free-agent acquisitions who have been able to match or even surpass the positional expectations of the departed players they were brought in to replace. When Grant Wistrom left after '06, Patrick Kerney more than picked up the slack. In 2007, Ken Hamlin's presence in the secondary was ably replaced by the free agent signings of Deion Grant and Brian Russell. Thus far, only LG Steve Hutchinson has proved irreplaceable and his departure marked the beginning of Shaun Alexander's demise. After a 2005 season in which they were third in the league in rushing yardage, the Hutchinson-less Seahawks plummeted to 14th in 2006 and a dismal 20th in 2007, while Alexander missed a total of 9 games over the two year span. In 2008, the charge of replacing the injury-plagued Alexander will fall to a combination of Maurice Morris (Alexander's long-time handcuff) and Julius Jones (who was signed from the Cowboys as an unrestricted free agent this off-season). T.J. Duckett will also factor into the mix, likely either as a goal-line and short yardage option or possibly as a converted fullback.

The passing game should continue to thrive with Hasselbeck at the helm and a mixture of youth and experience in the receiving corps. Meanwhile, Seattle's defense has quietly become the envy of the league and features Pro Bowl players Patrick Kerney, Julian Peterson, Lofa Tatupu and Marcus Trufant. This is a well-rounded team that should continue to produce good fantasy players in 2008.

QB Matt Hasselbeck, SEA (QB - #8) - Solid/Safe Pick

After posting career bests in passing touchdowns, passing attempts, and passing yardage in 2007, Matt Hasselbeck looks like a legitimate top-flight fantasy quarterback. Some of his success in 2008 will hinge on the outcome of Bobby Engram's contract dispute and on Deion Branch's health, but he should benefit from the additional backfield options the Seahawks have brought in over the off-season. A solid running game will only help Hasselbeck's numbers as safeties will be forced to fill the box and anxious corners will be likelier to bite on play-action. As one of the most consistent and reliable pivots in the league, Hasselbeck should be drafted with confidence.

RB Julius Jones, SEA (RB - #26) - Solid/Safe Pick

With a crowded Seattle backfield and given Jones' injury history, he should be considered more of a Solid than a Safe pick. He's expected to get the bulk of the carries this season, but will certainly lose some to Maurice Morris(whose six years of experience in Mike Holmgren's offense shouldn't be overlooked). There is also T.J. Duckett to contend with when it comes to goal-line carries, so there's no guarantee Jones' status as the #1 back will necessarily make him a top fantasy producer. After factoring in the time-share and Jones' inability to stay healthy, fantasy owners in a typical 10-12 team league should consider drafting him as a second or even third option at the RB position.

RB Maurice Morris, SEA (RB - #41) - Fantasy Handcuff

Morris could be a forgotten commodity in upcoming fantasy drafts. He's spent so long hiding in Shaun Alexander's shadow that most people outside of the Pacific Northwest don't know about him. Though he's liable to be in a time-share with Julius Jones, he thrived as a backup and sometime replacement for the previous supposed starter, Alexander. While Julius Jones will likely garner the most fantasy attention, Morris is worth picking up with a mid or late-round draft pick, not just as insurance for Jones owners, but also due to the possibility that Morris might win the starting RB gig outright. He's displayed the skills in the past, has improved steadily in his time with the Seahawks and has much more experience in this offense than either Jones or Duckett.

WR Deion Branch, SEA (WR - #23) - Gamble (high risk)

In spite of all the hype -- and there's a lot of it -- Deion Branch really hasn't done much to earn top billing as a fantasy wideout. In six NFL seasons he has only played the full 16-game schedule once and he's never scored more than 5 TD's or recorded a 1,000 yard receiving campaign. And don't take his current injury concerns too lightly; Branch is recovering from an ACL tear. Barring a miracle, he's liable to miss at least the first few games and likely the whole first half of the season if he's placed on the PUP list. With no guarantee he'll be able to play at all in 2008, fantasy owners would be advised to look elsewhere for receiving help.

WR Nate Burleson, SEA (WR - #53) - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)

With Deion Branch out for the foreseeable future, Nate Burleson looks to inherit a starting WR position opposite Bobby Engram. Burleson has twice caught 9 TD's in a season and has been dangerous not only as a receiver, but also as a returner. Burleson's last stint as a first stringer came in 2004 while he was with Minnesota and if he can hold on to his starting gig for a complete season in Seattle, he should easily surpass his previous career highs of 68 catches and 1006 yards receiving. Logan Payne, rookie Jordan Kent, or even Courtney Taylor could step up and fill-in if Burleson falters, so he'll need to stay sharp throughout pre-season.

WR Bobby Engram, SEA (WR - #33) - Solid/Safe Pick

Engram has come a long way. After 11 NFL seasons (6 with Seattle) he suddenly leaped into fantasy consciousness by posting 94 catches for 1,147 yards. This year, he assumes the role as Matt Hasselbeck's primary target thanks not only to his breakout 2007 season, but also to Deion Branch's ACL tear. Engram is currently hounding Seattle management over his contract, though, as a 35-year old with only one 1,000-yard season under his belt, he doesn't look to have much pull. Assuming he re-joins the team in time for training camp, Engram should be a steady fantasy producer in 2008.

TE John Carlson, SEA (TE - #35) - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)

Jon Carlson was the second tight end chosen in the 2008 draft, but he has a better chance of starting this year than the Jets' first round choice, Justin Keller. While it's no guarantee he'll win the job, Carlson makes more sense (and has more fantasy potential) than his competitors, Will Heller or Jeb Putzier -- either of whom could be cut before the season starts. Carlson was a multi-sport star and a four-year starter at tight end for Notre Dame. He has great hands and is athletic enough to take advantage of linebackers and safeties in coverage. Definitely a player to watch.



   
NFL Insider -- 2008 Team Outlook: Todays Team is : San Francisco 49ers 
submitted by TheDean1  22 hours ago
Over the next several days we will take a look at the outlook of the 32 NFL Teams. They will be informative for both the fan of football and also some have information for you fantasy football buffs too. Give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...

2008 Team Outlook: San Francisco

A fifth consecutive losing season. Last in total offense. In the lower tier in total defense (25th in yardage, 20th in points). Last in third down percentage. 30th of the 32 teams in takeaways vs. giveaways. Tied for the league lead in sacks surrendered. Second to last in defensive interceptions...

As per Shawn Larabee, Unfortunately, the list goes on. As a team, there were very few positives for the 49ers last season and very few signs that this will make for a better fantasy football environment in 2008. Though the team has some young talent, they just don't yet have the personnel to compete against some of the star-ridden lineups of today's NFL. San Francisco remains in rebuilding mode this year and still has a way to go. They did draft smartly this off-season and made a much-needed coaching change, bringing in Mike Martz as their offensive coordinator. They were busy, once again, in free-agency, signing Isaac Bruce, Bryant Johnson, DeShaun Foster, Justin Smith and Dontarrious Thomas -- some of the biggest names available in this year's free-agent crop. Strangely, though, they have done very little to address their offensive line problems. The only significant addition was to select Chilo Rachal, a guard from USC, in the second round of the draft. They also went against most people's predictions by keeping Alex Smith, and have surprised many by failing to bring in new competition at QB. The battle for the starting job this season will be between Smith and 3rd year man Shaun Hill -- a virtual unknown who, nevertheless, played well in relief of Smith in 2007.

As hard as it it for older football fans to accept, a culture of losing has developed in San Francisco and it might take some time to right the ship. The playoffs are likely out of reach. At this point, the goal of achieving a winning record will provide more than enough challenge for this franchise.

QB Alex Smith, SF (QB - #24) - Gamble (high risk)

3 years in and Alex Smith is showing all the hallmarks of the first overall draft bust. Poor play, injuries, and strife with the coaching staff led to speculation that Smith might not be back in a 49ers uniform in 2008. Compounding Smith's problems is the fact that backup Shaun Hill did such an impressive job filling in when Smith was injured last season. Hill was re-signed to a 3-year contract and, while it looks like Smith will play out his contract, the recent rumor out of San Francisco is that the QB competition is "wide open." While Smith seems to be the safer, more skilled pick to run the 49er offense, it's worth noting that new offensive coordinator Mike Martz has no qualms about working with unheralded QB's and could chose to make Hill into one of his "projects."

RB De'shaun Foster, SF (RB - #57) - Fantasy Handcuff

With the DeAngelo Williams/Jonathan Stewart timeshare now underway in Carolina, Foster was cut loose into the waters of free agency and wound up as a 49er. Never an effective starter for the Panthers, Foster will serve as a solid plan B behind Frank Gore in San Francisco. Though Michael Robinson has shown considerable promise in the role, Foster is the more proven commodity and should get the first look. New offensive coordinator Mike Martz likes to make use of every weapon in his arsenal, so Foster should see some field time even with a healthy Gore. But his value will sky rocket should Gore go down again with an injury.

RB Frank Gore, SF (RB - #6) - Stud (low risk)

Gore fought off the pain of a lingering high ankle sprain and the ineptness of his 49er offensive teammates to cobble together a decent season in 2007. Though it was a large step back from his breakout in 2006, there were some hopeful signs in his ability to craft something out of nothing - specifically, through the passing game. Mike Martz has already stated that he would like the offense to center around his high profile RB, so it would be no surprise to see Gore even more involved as a receiver. While Gore is definitely worth an early selection in fantasy drafts, owners would breathe a collective sigh of relief if they could count on him notching 30 or more carries in at least one game this season -- something he failed to do in all of 2007.

WR Arnaz Battle, SF (WR - #48) - Bye Week Fill-in

There are all kinds of theories about wide receiver production in fantasy circles. Some say third-year players begin to hit their stride, others say it happens in year four... but there are very few examples to suggest that a player will suddenly put it all together in his sixth NFL season. Which is not to say Battle is doomed. Though he may not earn one of the two starting WR spots, he could still find productivity working out of the slot. Over the last decade, Mike Martz has worked with some of the best slot receivers in football. Battle's skill-set compares favorably with that of Ricky Proehl, Kevin Curtis, Mike Furrey, and Shaun McDonald. He may just find his niche in Martz's offense as a #3 receiver.

WR Isaac Bruce, SF (WR - #60) - Over the Hill (decreased production)

The wide receiver situation in San Francisco is one fantasy owners will want to steer clear of, if they can. By way of infusing new blood into the receiving corps, the 49ers brought in a 35 year-old veteran. Isaac Bruce still runs great routes and has excellent hands, but he's not the dynamic playmaker this team so badly needs. It's been 5 long years since the 49ers had a 1,000 yard receiver ( Terrell Owens in 2003) and, even as the likely starting flanker, Bruce is a long shot to surpass 1,000 yards with this offense. He's worth a later round selection as insurance behind more reliable receivers, but don't bank on him as a fantasy #1 or #2.

WR Bryant Johnson, SF (WR - #71) - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)

While Arnaz Battle has more experience with this offense, Johnson seems like the better choice to open the season at split end. He's big, he's athletic and - get this Darrell Jackson fans - he can catch the football. Bryant looks like a decent fit opposite Isaac Bruce and could be a legitimate scoring threat if the 49ers can ever make it to the opposing team's red zone. Johnson and Bruce were the best options in a down year for free-agent wideouts. Call me a sceptic, but their presence won't be enough to turn around the passing game in San Francisco. Still, if you roll the dice with Johnson at the end of your draft, you might be pleasantly surprised.

TE Vernon Davis, SF (TE - #11) - Solid/Safe Pick

Everyone knows that Davis is insanely athletic. Whether he eventually lives up to his billing as the next Antonio Gates/Tony Gonzalez might be largely dependent on how his coaches see fit to use him. Some critics -- including, at one point, head coach Mike Nolan - felt that Davis was used too sparingly last season. But, one has to wonder what part he will play in Mike Martz's wide receiver-friendly, tight end-deficient offense. It's hard to imagine talent like Davis' going to waste, but this isn't yet a situation where we should expect him to make his move into the upper echelon of NFL tight ends.



   
NFL Insider -- 2008 Team Outlook: Todays Team is : San Diego Chargers 
submitted by TheDean1  23 hours ago
Over the next several days we will take a look at the outlook of the 32 NFL Teams. They will be informative for both the fan of football and also some have information for you fantasy football buffs too. Give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...

2008 Team Outlook: San Diego

As per Jeb Gorham, LaDainian Tomlinson had another league leading season and Phillip Rivers was impressive with 21 TDs and just over 3,000 yards, but San Diego's 11-5 season in 2007 still ended in disappointment with their 21-12 loss to New England in the AFC Championship game. In the off-season San Diego Lost Michael Turner to Atlanta and released Lorenzo Neal. These two collaborated to spell and open lanes for LT respectively. This season Andrew Pinnock, who previously backed up Neal, will spell LT and the team will look to their 3rd round pick, Jacob Hester to play a hard-nosed FB. The question that most fantasy owners and fans in general are asking, is what will it take for San Diego to have a breakout season and make it to the Super Bowl? Rivers once again has a star cast surrounding him. It remains to be seen if LT, Gates, Chambers and Jackson can work with Rivers to bring SD up to the level they are capable of on paper.

The AFC West should once again be an easy target for San Diego's high powered offense that picks apart defenses on the ground and through their air attack. The SD Defense is not shabby either. With both offensive and defensive guns blazing, San Diego is a force to be reckoned with. SD faces New England in Week 6, Pittsburgh in Week 11 and Indianapolis in Week 12, but the remainder of their schedule appears fairly tame.

As far as I am concerned, the guys to watch in San Diego are Phillip Rivers, Chris Chambers and Vincent Jackson. Rivers and his receiving core are going to be key to the team's success. Defensive opponents have had years to study Tomlinson and RBs can only have so many new tricks. I am not saying that LT will have a poor season, but just being honest. Rivers has some great experience now and should continue to grow into his role this season. I expect a lot out of Rivers this season and if he lives up to his abilities and capitalizes upon his supporting cast of characters, San Diego will be solid and maybe even great.

QB Philip Rivers, SD (QB - #19) - Solid/Safe Pick

Philip Rivers had a good season in 2007. Last year's campaign was not quite his 2006 season, but close. Rivers' ACL reconstruction went well and he says he is completely ready for camp. Rivers will need to really focus on utilizing his resources effectively and avoid the interceptions this year. Rivers is a solid QB for fantasy teams this season, but I also think that he is undervalued. This will be his 3rd season in the lead role and he should be working more into his comfort zone. His offense has been consistently solid with little turnover and when working efficiently, has sparks of greatest. I would anticipate Rivers having a 3,500 yard plus season with increased TD production with Chambers, Jackson and Gates as targets.

RB Jacob Hester, SD - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)

I am going to go out on a limb and pick Jacob Hester as a guy who could prove a few things if given the chance. Hester, a 3rd round pick, will most likely fill the shoes of Lorenzo Neal (released) and maybe even aid Andrew Pinnock (handcuff) in spelling Tomlinson. Michael Turner flew off to Atlanta, so Tomlinson will need someone to back him up. Hester and Pinnock will battle for this role, although Hester (at this stage) seems to fit the FB role that was vacated. Neal would get a bone every now and again, so look for the same with Hester. The workload placed on Hester so far has been extensive. He is being tested and seems up to the task.

RB Ladainian Tomlinson, SD (RB - #1) - Stud (low risk)

What can I say, Tomlinson is a fantasy stud. I will reiterate this despite the MCL injury that sidelined him in the playoffs. LT's knee is reported to be healing well and he said himself that he is already at 90% and he did not even require surgery. In 2006 he rushed for 1,815 yards and averaged 113.4 yards per game for 28 touchdowns and last season rushed 1,474 yards at 92.1 yards per game for 15 TDs. Tomlinson will once again take a leadership role in terms of his ability to take it to the opponent. Rivers will bring more experience this season and the air attack should open up the running game and the converse. Tomlinson will capitalize on his opportunities and there will be many. Ladainian's equally impressive receiving and occasional throwing abilities just make him hard to pass up as your fantasy draft's #1 spot once again. If you take Adrian Peterson instead, you probably will not lose out, but how can you pass on LT?

WR Chris Chambers, SD (WR - #29) - Solid/Safe Pick

Chris Chambers has only had one 1,000 plus yard receiving seasons in his career, but he is consistent in the right situations and with his first full season in SD should be effective. Chambers is the veteran of this group of wide outs that also includes Vincent Jackson. These two could be dangerous if Rivers is on target. I would say Chambers is a safe pick as a number 2-3 receiver as he will gain yardage, but sometimes struggles with the TDs.

WR Craig Davis, SD (WR - #111) - Gamble (high risk)

Craig Davis caught 20 passes last season and had an alright college career at LSU, but nothing special. Davis is the unknown on this San Diego receiving squad. Chambers brings veteran qualities, Jackson brings size and natural ability, but what does Davis offer? He is 6'2" and 207 lbs, a big target, but it remains to be seen what else he will contribute. Davis is a gamble. He could be a great fill in for Eric Davis, who has battled a toe injury, or could be a bust as other SD receivers have shown.

WR Vincent Jackson, SD (WR - #41) - Quality Backup

Vincent Jackson did not have the breakout season that I hoped he would have in 2007. Jackson converted only 3 TDs for 600 plus yards. Jackson has natural ability and is a huge target for any quarterback. He should be utilized more effectively by Rivers this season. Hopefully the coaching staff has instilled this in Rivers and he is able to get the ball to Jackson and his other receivers. I saw Jackson in college and he was a presence. A big, skilled receiver like this will find his place and get in his groove.

TE Antonio Gates, SD (TE - #1) - Stud (low risk)

Antonio Gates is the Ladainian Tomlinson of TEs. These two guys have a monopoly on number one picks for their positions. Who would not want both of these players leading the charge on their fantasy roster? Gates again closed in on the 1,000 yard, 10 TD season that seems to be his average. Count on Gates as you normally would. He is an athletic, dependable TE who will score you points. If Rivers and the offense continue to gel, the weapons that San Diego covets will each play their roles accordingly and show what they are capable of achieving.



   
NFL Insider -- 2008 Team Outlook: Todays Team is : Pittsburgh Steelers 
submitted by TheDean1  23 hours ago
Over the next several days we will take a look at the outlook of the 32 NFL Teams. They will be informative for both the fan of football and also some have information for you fantasy football buffs too. Give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...

2008 Team Outlook: Pittsburgh

As per Vin Sadicario, The Pittsburgh Steelers enter the 2008 season boasting a number of good fantasy options at every offensive position. The Steelers offense is led by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger who is coming off his best season in the league. While his passing yards decreased, Roethlisberger increased his total touchdowns from 20 in 2006 to a whopping 34 in 2007. Roethlisberger also also cut his interceptions from 23 to 11 while completing 65 percent of his pass attempts. Roethlisberger should have another excellent season in 2008, making him a top ten fantasy option again. In the backfield the Steelers look like they will turn to a running back by committee in 2008. Willie Parker is the established starter, but the Steelers spent a first round draft pick on Rashard Mendenhall and he should immediately steal carries from Parker. The splitting of carries between Parker and Mendenhall will be a nightmare for fantasy owners, and the committee will likely keep each back from being top 15 fantasy running backs this season. The Steelers receivers are led by Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes who should both be top 25 fantasy wide receivers this season. Holmes is coming off a season in which he racked up 942 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in 13 games. Ward was steady last season, catching 71 passes for 732 yards and seven touchdowns in only 13 games. The Steelers offense is rounded out by tight end Heath Miller. Miller set career highs in receptions, yards, and touchdowns in 2007 and should continue to produce as the Steelers' starting tight end.

QB Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (QB - #4) - Stud (low risk)

Ben Roethlisberger enters the 2008 season as a top ten fantasy quarterback. Roethlisberger is coming off his best season in which he threw for 3154 yards, 32 touchdowns, and only 11 interceptions in 15 starts. Big Ben also added two rushing touchdowns to push his total to 34 touchdowns. This was by far Roethlisberger's best season and he should continue to produce at a high level for years to come. The Steelers added another weapon to the offense with the drafting of Rashard Mendenhall and this should only work to Roethlisberger's benefit. Fantasy owners should not hesitate to draft Ben Roethlisberger as their starting quarterback this season.

RB Rashard Mendenhall, PIT (RB - #40) - Quality Backup

Rashard Mendenhall enters the 2008 season as the Pittsburgh Steelers' backup running back, but should receive nearly half of the Steelers' work out of the backfield. While Mendenhall will probably not receive as many carries as Willie Parker to start the season, his receiving skills and short yardage ability will lead to Mendenhall receiving a near even split of total touches. Fantasy owners in point per reception leagues will want to upgrade Mendenhall as he is likely to get the majority of the third down work for the Steelers. Mendenhall will be a quality backup for fantasy teams and would vault into the top 15 if Willie Parker would go down with an injury.

RB Willie Parker, PIT (RB - #28) - Bust (overvalued)

Willie Parker enters the 2008 season likely in a running back by committee in Pittsburgh. Parker is coming off a disappointing season in which he did manage to rush for more than 1300 yards, but was only able to find the endzone twice (making him fringe fantasy starter). Parker's fantasy status took another major hit with the drafting of Rashard Mendenhall in the first round by the Steelers. While Parker will probably keep his starting spot, Mendenhall could get a near even split of the carries in Pittsburgh, including the goal line work. These factors, plus Parker's name recognition will probably make him overvalued on draft day.

WR Santonio Holmes, PIT (WR - #17) - Solid/Safe Pick

Santonio Holmes enters the 2008 season poised for a breakout season in the Steelers offense. Holmes caught a career high 52 passes for 942 yards and eight touchdowns in only 13 games in 2007. Holmes should continue his rise to the top 15 fantasy wide receivers if he can stay healthy in 2008. Blessed with tremendous talent and ability, Holmes is ready to make the leap into the upper echelon of fantasy receivers. With Hines Ward on the downside of his career, Santonio Holmes will need to step up and become Ben Roethlisberger's main weapon in 2008. These factors will lead to Holmes being a top 15 wide receiver in 2008.

WR Hines Ward, PIT (WR - #22) - Solid/Safe Pick

Hines Ward enters the 2008 season as the Steelers' number two wide receiver. Ward is a good candidate for a bounce back year in 2008 after only playing in 13 games in 2007 while fighting through a number of nagging issues. A fully healthy Hines Ward will benefit from opposing defenses keying in on stopping Santonio Holmes while Ward sees more single coverage on the opposite side of the field. Ward still has enough left in the tank to be a productive number two wide receiver in fantasy leagues and could be undervalued in fantasy drafts based on his age and last season's injury issues.

WR Nate Washington, PIT (WR - #67) - Deep-league Only

Nate Washington enters the 2008 season as the Pittsburgh Steelers number three wide receiver, but could be pushed for his job by rookie Limas Sweed. Washington finished the 2007 season with 29 catches for 450 yards and five touchdowns, down from his 200 numbers. Washington will have to get off to a quick start in training camp to hold onto his third wide receiver position, as he could be pushed by rookie Limas Sweed. Even if Washington holds onto his spot, it is unlikely that he will make any fantasy impact this season. Fantasy owners should only consider drafting Washington in deeper leagues as a backup.

TE Heath Miller, PIT (TE - #9) - Solid/Safe Pick

Heath Miller enters the 2008 season as a top ten fantasy tight end. Miller is coming off his best season as a pro, catching 47 passes for 566 yards and seven touchdowns. Miller is Ben Roethlisberger's go to receiver in the red zone and should continue to be targeted in the endzone this coming season. While Miller may not ever approach the receptions or receiving yards of higher ranked tight ends, he is a good bet to rank in the top five in touchdown catches for tight ends. Fantasy owners should count on Heath Miller being one of the ten best fantasy tight ends again this season.




NFL Insider -- 2008 Team Outlook: Todays Team is : Philadelphia Eagles 
submitted by TheDean1  24 hours ago
Over the next several days we will take a look at the outlook of the 32 NFL Teams. They will be informative for both the fan of football and also some have information for you fantasy football buffs too. Give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...

2008 Team Outlook: Philadelphia

As per Ben Standig, The only NFC East team not to reach the playoffs in 2007: the Philadelphia Eagles. With what appears to be a healthier Donovan McNabb and a key defensive acquisition, do not count on that happening in 2008.

Much will depend on the status of Donovan McNabb. At times last year he played like a shadow of his former Pro Bowl self and though he looks to be stronger heading into this season, he will need to find his old form in order for the Eagles to soar this season. The Eagles felt concerned enough to draft Kevin Kolb last season, but there is no QB controversy. Then again, this is Philly so give it time.

One spot where there is no controversy is at running back where the dynamic Brian Westbrook picked up the slack and provided non-stop offense all season. The same could not be said at wide receiver where Reggie Brown was ordinary, though Kevin Curtis proved to be a solid acquisition. Rookie DeSean Jackson should help provide speed on the outside while a healthy L.J. Smith will make the TE spot a threat once again. T Jon Runyan and G Shawn Andrews lead a solid offensive line, though depth is a concern.

The big news on defense was the addition of former Patriots Asante Samuel, one of the top corners in the league. His presence on the outside, along with fellow CB Sheldon Brown, will allow the Eagles to blitz more often. Of course, they got plenty of pass rushing from DE Trent Cole, who dropped opposing signal callers 12.5 times, while DT Mike Patterson clogged up the middle and he will get help in the middle in the form of top pick DT Trevor Laws.

A healthier McNabb and an improved secondary make the Eagles a serious wild card contender. Factor in the last place schedule the veteran-laden roster will be playing against and seeing the Eagles soar to a division title is not out of the question.

QB Donovan McNabb, PHI (QB - #9) - Solid/Safe Pick

As the straw that stirs the drink for the entire Eagles squad, Donovan McNabb was sipping from the cup of mediocrity much of last season, but he should be ready for one more Pro Bowl type season.

Still dealing with the lingering effects of his knee injuries, McNabb was the textbook definition of hot and cold in 2007. He finished with a respectable 19 touchdowns, but 11 came in only three games. McNabb threw for 3,324 yards, but not enough on a weekly basis to make up for the lack of scores through the air or the ground (first time since his rookie season that he did not score a rushing touchdown).

Still, McNabb is a gamer and with another offseason to strengthen his knee, he should prove to be a more consistent threat overall. He should get L.J. Smith back for a full season and the Eagles added a speed threat in rookie WR DeSean Jackson. Take a chance on him in the fourth round, but grab a strong backup just in case.

RB Correll Buckhalter, PHI (RB - #60) - Deep-league Only

Buckhalter is the backup to Brian Westbrook, but his lack of big play ability and the threat for playing time from other young RB's on the roster make his position as fantasy handcuff tenuous.

He made the most of his career-low 62 carries by averaging 5.0 yards per attempt and scoring four touchdowns. However, those are no enough touches to warrant even a start in desperation and the Eagles would likely go with a RBBC if Westbrook went down. They acquired Lorenzo Booker to compete with bruiser Tony Hunt and slasher Ryan Moats for the remaining running back slots.

Westbrook owners should grab Buckhalter with a late round pick. Nobody else should.

RB Brian Westbrook, PHI (RB - #3) - Stud (low risk)

Fantasy owners, repeat after me: Despite the constant fear of injury, I will not let that dissuade me from taking Brian Westbrook this season. Period.

Outside of LaDainian Tomlinson, there is a not a more complete fantasy running back than the versatile Westbrook, who racked up a career-high 1,333 yards on the ground, caught 90 passes out of the backfield and scored 12 touchdowns.

You want more? 4.8 yards per carry. Six 100-yard games on the ground and one through the air. Over 100 yards from scrimmage 11 times. Even his "lows" are not shabby; twice he had "only" 92 total yards and scored at least one touchdown in those games.

Westbrook is a major factor in every conceivable type of league, end of story. OK you say, what about those pesky injuries? While a weekly member of the NFL injury report, Westbrook has played in 15 games in each of the last two seasons, so even that aspect is less of a factor for the 28-year old (he turns 29 in September). Plus, we have that new mantra to utter on draft day. Repeat after me...

WR Reggie Brown, PHI (WR - #38) - Bye Week Fill-in

Like Kevin Curtis, Reggie Brown opened 2007 with a painfully slow start. Unlike his fellow starter, Brown never quite got on track and turned into a scourge of fantasy owners everywhere.

Following what was perceived as a breakout season in 2006 with eight touchdowns, Brown crossed the goal line only four times and two of those scores came in the potentially inconsequential weeks 15 and 16 (hard to believe many owners would have trusted him in those crucial playoff weeks regardless). His yards per catch average plummeted -- from a stellar 17.7 to a pedestrian 12.8 -- and likely caused the Eagles to draft game-breaker DeSean Jackson in the second round.

Brown is a solid NFL receiver and should remain a starter with the Eagles, thus giving him some value for fantasy owners as a spot starter. He should also benefit from a healthy Donovan McNabb, but any expectations about him being a WR2 should be checked at the door.

WR Kevin Curtis, PHI (WR - #19) - Sleeper (undervalued)

Quiz time - Which NFC wide receiver was second to Terrell Owens in yards and receptions? For all those that said Plaxico Burress, back of the line. The answer is Kevin Curtis. Yes, the Eagles' Kevin Curtis.

A surprising statistical nugget indeed, but Curtis finished the year with 77 grabs for 1,110 and six touchdowns. Perhaps the all-or-nothing vibe set early in the season -- only 81yards receiving total the first two weeks followed by a stellar 11 catches for 221 yards and three touchdowns in Week 3 -- camouflaged what ultimately was a consistent season. Curtis caught at least three passes in the final 11 games, grabbing at least five passes in eight of the contests, giving him further value in PPR leagues.

Factor in the loss of Donovan McNabb for portions of the season and Curtis' numbers look even better. The lack of scores limits his overall value to low-end WR2, but do not be surprised to see him match his overall numbers yet again.

WR DeSean Jackson, PHI (WR - #100) - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)

The former Cal Bears standout went from a listed height of 6-0 and a sure first round prior to his final collegiate season to a measured 5-9 and late second-round slider to the Eagles. The size revelation and his uneven '07 season may have spooked NFL teams, but his 4.3 40-time is more than legit.

Jackson may lack the height to be a number one receiver for an NFL team, but his explosiveness should make him a serious threat in time. He is not likely to threaten Kevin Curtis or Reggie Brown for a starting role, but he could supplant Jason Avant as the third receiver.

Do not let the drop fool you - Jackson is a receiver to watch and makes for a very interesting late round pick in keeper leagues.

TE L.J. Smith, PHI (TE - #19) - Sleeper (undervalued)

Injuries curtailed Smith's '07 season and should knock him down draft boards, but he could be a (mild) sleeper if he plays a full season. Never a top tier option, Smith put up over 600 receiving yards in his last two full seasons and is a favorite of Donovan McNabb's around the red zone. Smith also benefits from the Eagles lacking a top tier wide receiver and a game plan that typically spreads out the targets. Do not count on Smith to be a full time starter, but he is a strong backup and bye week option with a chance to be more.




   
NFL Insider -- 2008 Team Outlook: Todays Team is : Oakland Raiders 
submitted by TheDean1  24 hours ago
Over the next several days we will take a look at the outlook of the 32 NFL Teams. They will be informative for both the fan of football and also some have information for you fantasy football buffs too. Give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...

2008 Team Outlook: Oakland

As per Shawn Larabee, Over the last decade, the Raiders have averaged a head coaching change every 2 years. Does this mean that Lane Kiffin will soon be the youngest head coach ever to be fired by his team? The numbers are certainly against him.

While his team showed hints of improvement last year, they still finished last in the AFC West for the fourth consecutive season. Their offense, behind a constantly rotating QB carousel and a sieve-like O-line, was putrid; their defense riddled with holes and their special teams nothing short of abysmal. But, in Kiffin's defense, the deck has been stacked against him from the beginning. He inherited a team that was on the verge of complete collapse and nothing short of a full scale overhaul is likely to salvage a winner from the rubble.

If last season can be seen as the start of the rebuilding process, then what the Raiders need next is some stability – both from the coaching staff and in terms of personnel. 2008 isn't likely to be the year the Raiders suddenly turn things around, but all the building blocks are there to suggest that Oakland could be a force to be reckoned with a few years from now – provided the fiery Al Davis can leave well enough alone. Oakland boasts a wonder kind head coach, 2007's top draft choice at QB, this year's most hyped collegiate athlete at RB and a marked absence of the disgruntled egos and icons that have been such a plague to the organization over the last half-decade. Warren Sapp is now retired, Jerry Porter's a Jaguar and…while, the sting of the Randy Moss fiasco won't soon leave the Raider Nation, there is a palpable sense of optimism for 2008 with so many new faces and so much young talent now in Oakland.

Optimism, at this point, might not translate into a winning record. The offensive line is still one of the worst units in the league and the defense is only marginally improved from last year's squad. But, there are some skill players on the team who can be difference makers and could provide surprise value in upcoming fantasy drafts.

QB JaMarcus Russell, OAK (QB - #31) - Deep-league Only

Russell didn't exactly set the league on fire in his rookie season. He was roundly criticized by Raiders fans and the media for holding out until mid-season and managed an uninspiring 373 passing yards and a dismal 55.9 passer rating when he finally saw action in 4 of the team's final games. Russell did have a vaguely successful outing to close out the season against San Diego, throwing for 224 yards and a touchdown – though the bulk of his yards came while he was working against the second unit. He also fumbled twice and threw a pick in that game. The young LSU product will look at 2008 as a fresh start. He opens the season as the team's undisputed #1 QB and will be working with some excellent new athletes on offense. Too bad the offensive line is essentially the same unit that finished 22nd in sacks allowed last season. Without protection, Russell's ceiling will be extremely limited.

RB Justin Fargas, OAK (RB - #49) - Sleeper (undervalued)

If there's a fantasy lesson to be learned from last season, it's to handcuff your running back selections. Just like in 2007, the Raiders are likely to spread the ball around in the backfield and it might be uncertain from week to week who will be the starter. At this early juncture, the best bets seem to be Fargas and McFadden. Fargas has proven he can excel as a starter on this team, as shown by his four 100-yard rushing games last season. His one-cut-and-go style lends itself to Oakland's zone blocking scheme and his five years of NFL experience will probably factor heavily in his favor as he looks to open the season as the starter. Nevertheless, the Raiders would be happy to employ a platoon scenario and any of Darren McFadden, Michael Bush or even LaMont Jordan (if he's still on the roster by then) could severely cut into his playing time.

RB Darren McFadden, OAK (RB - #17) - Bust (overvalued)

He's their first round draft choice and expectations will be high, but don't be so quick to buy into the hype of his being the next LaDanian Tomlinson or Adrian Peterson. Unlike either Tomlinson or Peterson, McFadden isn't guaranteed to be the number one guy in the backfield. Chances are, he'll share carries with Fargas and might be used more as a receiving threat or decoy while Fargas handles the bulk of the running back duties. McFadden drips with potential, so he is extremely valuable in keeper leagues, but some have suggested that he's not yet NFL-ready. He may have a relatively quiet rookie season.

WR Drew Carter, OAK (WR - #70) - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)

Carter is the kind of speedy, downfield threat who could play a valuable (if somewhat limited role) on this Raiders offense. He was a successful situational receiver with Carolina last season and has the chance to put up even better numbers as the sometime beneficiary of Jamarcus Russell's deep passing. His career highlights are minimal (an 8-catch, 144-yard game in '06; a 5-catch, 132-yard outing in '07), but he does have the chance to see more field time this season, playing behind a gimpy Javon Walker. As the third receiver on a team that might be playing a lot of catch-up ball, he could be fairly involved and is worth keeping an eye on.

WR Ronald Curry, OAK (WR - #50) - Bye Week Fill-in

On several occasions, Curry has shown flashes of greatness, but he's never quite broken through as a star. In 2006, he finished the season strong, averaging 8 catches and 84 yards over his last 4 games. He then opened 2007 with a brilliant 10 catch, 133-yard performance only to sputter out by posting mediocre numbers for the rest of the season. A number 2 receiving option (who could find himself as a number 1, given Walker's health concerns), Curry is probably worth late round fantasy consideration in standard leagues. One thing is certain: having a steady presence at QB this season can only help his performance.

WR Javon Walker, OAK (WR - #36) - Gamble (high risk)

The Raiders drove a dump truck full of money ($55 million over 6 years) up to Javon Walker's door to lure him away from Denver and now he's got to prove that he's healthy enough to make the investment worthwhile. If his knee holds up, he could be a great fit for this offense and the kind of deep threat Jamarcus Russell wouldn't mind leaning on. Walker has considerable upside, but injury concerns are not the only risk fantasy owners need to consider. Last season the Raiders didn't have a receiver go over 55 catches, 720 yards or 6 TDs, and even Randy Moss was a bust on this team two years ago. Buyer beware.

TE Zach Miller, OAK (TE - #17) - Sleeper (undervalued)

Miller posted a solid rookie campaign in 2007. Most promising was his seeming chemistry with this year's incumbent starting QB, Jamarcus Russell. In the final game against San Diego, Russell targeted Miller for 8 of his 23 completions and showed a great degree of faith in his rookie teammate. With Oakland's pass-protection woes still largely unaddressed, Miller could be a valuable dump-off option for Russell when he's facing pressure. Though he lacks the speed and athleticism of some of the other top players at his position, Miller's solid hands and route-running ability might allow him to develop into a top ten fantasy tight end, sooner rather than later.




NFL Insider -- 2008 Team Outlook: Todays Team is : New York Jets 
submitted by TheDean1  25 hours ago
Over the next several days we will take a look at the outlook of the 32 NFL Teams. They will be informative for both the fan of football and also some have information for you fantasy football buffs too. Give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...

2008 Team Outlook: New York Jets

As per Chris Weeks, Going into the 2007 season expectations were high in New York. In 2006 new head coach Eric Mangini led the Jets to a 10 and 6 record after going an abysmal 4 and 12 in 2005. Much to the dismay of Jet fans, the Man-genius couldn't deliver and the Jets once again finished the 2007 season 4 and 12. Amazingly enough finishing 4 and 12 would only netted the Jets the 6th pick in the 2008 draft.

New York used their 6th overall selection to fill a much needed gap in the defensive line. Their selection of Ohio State's defensive end Vernon Gholston had the Jets fans jumping for joy. Gholston is an extremely talented athlete with arguably the most upside of anyone in the draft. The biggest question around Vernon will be his lack of consistency. If he can perform at a high level on a consistent basis the Jets will have the pass rusher they so lacked in 2007. The Jets followed this pick by making a surprise move late in the first round. They jumped up from the 6th pick in the second round to take the Packers' first round selection, 30th overall.

With this selection the Jets made one of the biggest surprise moves of the draft. The decision to take Purdue tight end Dustin Keller sent Jets fans reeling in pain. Once again the Jets make a move that just doesn't make sense. I hope Mangini knows something about this young man that I don't. The season is going to be long enough as it is for Jets fans. They don't need to hear from the media all season how this pick didn't pan out.

The good news for Jets fans could be as simple as past trends. Since 2003, years ending with an odd number have meant that the Jets have finished the seasons with horrible records. On the flip side, years ending with an even number means the Jets have had very good records. If the trend holds true, New York fans will be jumping for joy in January watching their Jets make a run at the championship.

QB Kellen Clemens, NYJ (QB - #25) - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)

There is little doubt in anyone's mind that Clemens has the tools to be a quarterback in the NFL. When compared to Pennington, Clemens' arm looks like Favre's being compared to a 12 year old. The big question with Clemens is weather he has the on field presence to lead the offense. 2008 will be Kellen's third year in the NFL. If he is ever going to be a great quarterback, this is the year to prove it. To begin the season I wouldn't select Clemens as my starting fantasy quarterback. I would however grab him as my backup. There's loads of potential here and if things go well in New York, there's little reason to believe he won't finish the season as a top 12 fantasy quarterback.

RB Thomas Jones, NYJ (RB - #24) - Solid/Safe Pick

Jones accounted for 310 of the 446 rushing attempts made by the Jets in 2007. That's more than three times the carries made by backup Leon Washington. That's great news for fantasy owners looking for offenses still using a single back approach. The bad news is this story would be Jones' lack of touchdowns. Thomas found the end zone one time, while Washing hit pay dirt three times. Heck, Clemens and Pennington found the end zone once each last year. If Jones is going to make a fantasy impact, he has to score more touchdowns. This has to happen this season for the Jets to be successful. Expect Jones to bounce back this year.

RB Leon Washington, NYJ (RB - #53) - Fantasy Handcuff

If you're thinking of drafting Thomas Jones, then you need to seriously consider drafting Washington. If Jones gets injured and is forced to miss a game or two, Washington will be the Jets' primary back. If there is anything I've learned over the years, it's that you can't have too many running backs. In 2006 when Leon was a rookie he carried the lion's share of the load and led the team in rushing yards. Then in 2007 Washington scored half of New York's rushing touchdowns while only getting 71 of the 446 team rushing attempts. Leon will fill in nicely for Thomas should something happen and from a fantasy perspective, owners will see similar production from Washington.

WR Laveranues Coles, NYJ (WR - #39) - Solid/Safe Pick

Last season's performance was Coles' worst year statistically since his rookie season. In part that was due to injury, which caused him to miss 4 games. The good news for Coles owners was that when he did play, he was the most productive receiver on the team. Laveranues pulled down a team leading 6 touchdowns in those 12 games, but due to a lack of consistency fantasy owners may have found it hard to start him. This season (if Coles can stay healthy) there's no reason to believe he won't once again lead the team in receiving yards and touchdowns. A healthy Coles will not only mean more production for the Jets, but more consistency for fantasy owners. When the dust settles on this season Coles will be a top 15 receiver once again.

WR Jerricho Cotchery, NYJ (WR - #35) - Bye Week Fill-in

Statistically Cotchery was the Jets' best receiver last season. He led the team in receptions with 82 and yards with 1,130. He also led the team in average yards per reception, for anyone with 10+ receptions, at 13.8. In August (during our draft) had I known his numbers would be this good, I would have drafted him. That is, until we see he only pulled down a meager two touchdown receptions. While the yards are nice, it's typically the touchdowns which make or break your fantasy season. Unless the Jets go nuts this season on offense, I wouldn't expect Jerricho to pull down a lot of touchdowns. New York likes to spread the ball around and with Coles on the opposite side of the field (who is more likely to get the first look), Cotchery won't have a lot of opportunities in the red zone. If I have an opportunity to draft Cotchery in the later rounds as a bye week filler I'll jump on the opportunity. Unless something happens to Coles or the offense go nuts, he's just not a fantasy starter.

WR Brad Smith, NYJ (WR - #87) - Deep-league Only

Being a Jets fan I have to say I love Brad Smith. Every time I see his number in the huddle I have to wonder what will happen next. Will he line up under center, in the backfield or simply take his position in the slot? You never know what Mangini has in store when Smith steps on the field. That's why I love Smith. He causes defenses to have to think a little more when he's in the game. If that helps the Jets offense get a critical first down, then so be it. From a fantasy perspective, however, Brad just isn't worth a roster spot. He doesn't play every down and with just 32 receptions for 325 yards his production (if you can call it that), he is not consistent enough to make a bye week filler.

TE Chris Baker, NYJ (TE - #28) - Bye Week Fill-in

After the Jets moved up to take Dustin Keller late in the first round, Chris had to be wondering about his future with the organization. If the Jets were pleased with his performance then why move up and take a tight end? I realize Keller is supposed to be a possession tight end, but I thought Baker's 41 receptions for 409 yards and 3 touchdowns in 2007 were adequate. I know Gates, Gonzalez, Winslow and Shockey all had better years, but that's expected of those guys and I don't think Keller is cut from the same cloth as these guys. Until we see how things pan out in preseason with Baker and Keller, I would advise against drafting either of them. This could turn into a split down position which would be a nightmare to try and manage for a fantasy owner.




   
NFL Insider -- 2008 Team Outlook: Todays Team is : New York Giants 
submitted by TheDean1  25 hours ago
Over the next several days we will take a look at the outlook of the 32 NFL Teams. They will be informative for both the fan of football and also some have information for you fantasy football buffs too. Give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...

2008 Team Outlook: New York Giants

As per Daniel Kalles, The New York Giants had a wild season last year ending with a victory in the Super Bowl over the 18-0 New England Patriots. Before the season started, no one would have predicted the Giants winning the Super Bowl; even as the playoffs were about to begin, no one was picking the wild card Giants for the Super Bowl, but they went into Tampa Bay, Dallas and freezing cold Green Bay and then finally ended a Cinderella season by upsetting the heavy favorite Patriots. The Giants play in what may be the toughest division in football, the NFC east, where last year 3 teams made it to the playoffs and the 4th (the Philadelphia Eagles) were 8-8 and just missed the playoffs. It will be very tough for the Giants to repeat their improbable run to the championship, but if they can continue to play well on the road (7-1 during the regular season and 3-0 during the playoffs) they will be right in the thick of things.

The New York Giants are definitely one of the NFL teams that will have many players worthy of being on anyone's fantasy team. The Giants' offense gained the 16th most yards per game last year (331.4) and scored the 14th most points per game last year (23.3), but where they really excelled was running the ball -- rushing for an average of 134 yards per game (4th in the league) and leading the NFL in sacks with 53 (an average of 3.3 per game). The Giants' running game is led by powerhouse Brandon Jacobs (1009 yards and 6 rushing and 2 receiving), who is backed up by the faster Ahmad Bradshaw. The Giants' passing games has plenty of weapons for QB Eli Manning to throw to including Plaxico Burress (career high 12 TD) and always consistent TE Jeremy Shockey along with 2007 2nd round pick Steve Smith, who came along strong in the Super Bowl run. All these players are guys you want to make an effort to get on your team.

QB Eli Manning, NYG (QB - #15) - Solid/Safe Pick

Unfortunately for 2007 fantasy owners of Eli Manning, he waited till the playoffs to really show his best form. Over his last 3 seasons Eli Manning has put up basically the same numbers -- 3000+ passing yards, 23-24 TD passes -- while his interceptions have gone up each year to a career high of 20 last season. All that changed during the playoffs last year when he finished 854 yards passing, 6 TD passes against 1 interception over a 4 game span ending with the upset victory of the New England Patriots. If Eli Manning brings that confidence and that kind of play to the 2008 season, then he should be considered a top 15 QB. He is worthy of a look as a starting QB on your fantasy team.

RB Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG (RB - #34) - Fantasy Handcuff

Bradshaw was a 7th round pick by the Giants in 2007 and he didn't come along till late in the season, when the Giants' running backs were decimated with injuries. He didn't get his first carry until week 12 and scored his only touchdown of the season in week 16 on an 88 yard run against the Buffalo Bills. In the playoffs they used him more often and he proved to be a very good change of pace to the pounding of Brandon Jacobs. With Jacobs suffering from a list of injuries last season, taking Bradshaw as his handcuff is a must.

RB Brandon Jacobs, NYG (RB - #22) - Solid/Safe Pick

Jacobs' first season as a starter was a bit of a rollercoaster, having some very productive weeks only to be followed by sitting out for a few weeks with various injuries. When Jacobs was healthy he was highly productive, rushing for 1009 yards and 6 rushing (he also had 2 receiving TDs) touchdowns in only 11 games. The other issue Jacobs will deal with is the promising play of Ahmad Bradshaw at the end of last season and into the playoffs. If Bradshaw is able to keep that up, he will definitely cut into Jacobs' carries. Nonetheless, if Jacobs is healthy he will get a heavy dose of carries because he is a monster near the goal line. He will go anywhere from the 12th pick on.

WR Plaxico Burress, NYG (WR - #10) - Stud (low risk)

Plax played the entire 2007 season with a combination of injuries (not being able to practice most weeks), yet he didn't miss a game and put up a career high in touchdowns with 12. He had 70 catches and 1025 yards to go along with his TDs. While he was able to make it through the entire season, he put up more then half his numbers in the first 6 weeks (30 catches for 507 yards and 8 touchdowns). The effects of his various injuries began to take a tole on him and he wasn't able to be as big a playmaker as he was at the start of the season. With a full off season to rest up and heal and Eli Manning passing the ball to him, Plax should have no problem being a top 12 wide receiver.

WR Steve Smith, NYG (WR - #89) - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)

The Giants were hoping that Steve Smith would be able to come in and be another weapon for Eli Manning last season, but he injured his shoulder in week 2 and didn't really play until week 15. A very good sign of possible things to come is that when the playoffs came around, Eli Manning showed great confidence in his rookie receiver and went to him during many key moments -- totaling 14 catches for 152 yards. Smith is not a speed burner who will make many big plays, but he has great hands and might be able to step into veteran Amani Toomer's shoes as Eli Manning's safety net. With all the weapons the Giants have, it will be hard for Smith to put up big numbers, but he might be worth a flyer in the late rounds.

WR Amani Toomer, NYG (WR - #45) - Bye Week Fill-in

After missing half the 2006 season, many people thought Toomer's career was done. Well Toomer showed that he still has some play left in him, playing in all 16 games and catching 59 balls for 760 yards and 3 touchdowns last season. Then he did one better, catching 21 balls for 280 yards and 3 touchdowns in the 4 playoff games. Problem is that Toomer turns 34 when the season starts and with 2007 2nd round pick Steve Smith coming along at the end of year, there's a good chance that Toomer will take a step back to give some of the young players a chance. Look for Toomer somewhere late in the draft.

TE Jeremy Shockey, NYG (TE - #10) - Solid/Safe Pick

Shockey has been a top 10 TE since he came into the league with both his size and speed for a player at his position. Some, including Shockey himself, believe the Giants don't go to their highly talented TE often enough. There has been major speculation during the off season that the Giants were making efforts to trade the disgruntled TE due to his sometimes poor attitude and the potential of 2007 5th round pick TE Kevin Boss. As long as Shockey is in the Giants' lineup (playing with Eli Manning and the rest of the offense), he will put up solid fantasy numbers and is worthy of being a top 10 TE.



   
NFL Insider -- 2008 Team Outlook: Todays Team is : New Orleans Saints 
submitted by TheDean1  25 hours ago
Over the next several days we will take a look at the outlook of the 32 NFL Teams. They will be informative for both the fan of football and also some have information for you fantasy football buffs too. Give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...

2008 Team Outlook: New Orleans

As per Vin Sadicario, Coming off a disappointing season, the New Orleans Saints return a high powered offense in their hopes of returning to their success of 2006. The Saints' offense is led by Drew Brees, who is coming off a very good fantasy season. Brees set the NFL record for completions in a season on his way to 4428 yards passing, with 28 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. Brees may see a slight decline in his numbers this season, but still makes for a good fantasy quarterback. The Saints' rushing attack is led by Reggie Bush, Deuce McAllister, and Aaron Stecker. The big question for the Saints backfield is whether or not Reggie Bush can stay healthy and carry the load for the Saints. If Deuce McAllister can get himself into football shape this spring, he has the chance to cut into Reggie Bush's carry total. Either way, look for the Saints to limit Reggie Bush's carries in an attempt to keep him healthy. The Saints receivers are led by star Marques Colston. Colston is one of the league's brightest young stars and should put up numbers similar to his spectacular 2007 season. Devery Henderson and David Patten need to step up to take pressure and double teams off Colston this season. Rounding out the Saints offense is tight end Eric Johnson. Johnson has been a disappointment in his time with the Saints, but could be a sleeper in the Saints' high powered offense this season. The New Orleans Saints have many good fantasy options this season.

QB Drew Brees, NO (QB - #6) - Stud (low risk)

Drew Brees is coming off a season in which he set career highs in attempts, completions, yards, touchdowns, and interceptions. Brees should continue to put up good numbers in a pass happy offense in 2008. While Brees may have a slight decline in numbers this season, he is still a safe pick to finish the year in the top 10 quarterbacks. Brees has significant talent around him and will be helped by getting a healthy Reggie Bush back for the start of the 2008 season. There are no injury concerns or other major questions surrounding Drew Brees, making him a safe pick in upcoming fantasy drafts.

RB Reggie Bush, NO (RB - #11) - Gamble (high risk)

Reggie Bush enters the 2008 season looking to rebound from a poor 2007 campaign. Bush was disappointing in 2007, putting up just under 1000 total yards and six touchdowns in a season that was cut short by an injury. While Bush has the talent to succeed, his injury concerns and inability to carry the full load for the Saints makes him a high risk/high reward pick in 2008. Bush has added value in point per reception leagues and should be upgraded significantly in these leagues. If Bush can stay healthy, he should see a major improvement over his 2007 numbers.

RB Deuce McAllister, NO (RB - #66) - Fantasy Handcuff

Deuce McAllister enters the 2008 season hoping to be fully recovered from a torn ACL suffered during the 2007 season. If McAllister can prove that he is healthy in training camp, he will enter the season as the Saints' main backup running back and will steal carries from Reggie Bush. If he is truly healthy, he may split carries pretty evenly with Bush; while Bush will get the majority of the receiving work out of the backfield. If McAllister is not cut before the season starts, fantasy owners will want to handcuff McAllister to Reggie Bush in the later rounds of fantasy drafts.

WR Marques Colston, NO (WR - #8) - Stud (low risk)

Marques Colston enters the 2008 season coming off a remarkable second season in which he caught 98 passes for 1202 yards and 11 touchdowns despite playing through a number of nagging injuries. Since entering the league in 2006 as a seventh round pick, Colston has put together two excellent seasons, putting him in the top 10 fantasy wide receivers entering the 2008 season. Fantasy owners can expect at least 85 catches for 1150 yards and 8 touchdowns from Colston this year, with the potential to eclipse last season's spectacular numbers in the Saints' high powered offense.

WR Devery Henderson, NO (WR - #83) - Deep-league Only

Devery Henderson enters the 2008 season looking to hold onto a starting spot on the Saints. Henderson will probably start the season as the Saints' number three wide receiver, but could eventually lose this spot to second year player Robert Meachem. Even if Henderson holds onto his number three receiver spot, not much can be expected from Henderson. Henderson caught 20 passes for 409 yards and three touchdowns last season, and fantasy owners can expect similar numbers from the Saints' deep threat this season. Fantasy owners should only consider drafting Henderson in very deep leagues.

WR David Patten, NO (WR - #55) - Bye Week Fill-in

David Patten enters the 2008 season as the Saints' number two wide receiver. Patten finished the 2007 season with 54 catches for 792 yards and three touchdowns, his best numbers since the 2004 season. If Patten stays healthy he will remain in the Saints starting lineup and can be a good bye fill-in for fantasy teams. If the Saints throw the ball as much as they did last season, there will be big games in store for Patten; however his inconsistency will keep him from being a starter for fantasy teams. Patten will be available later in fantasy drafts and will provide good depth for fantasy teams.

TE Eric Johnson, NO (TE - #27) - Bye Week Fill-in

Eric Johnson will enter the 2008 season as the Saints' starting tight end, however he will not be a quality starter for fantasy teams this season. Eric Johnson finished the 2007 season with 48 catches for 378 yards and two touchdowns in 14 games in his first season with the Saints. While the Saints throw the ball as much as any team in the league, Eric Johnson's lack of targets keeps him from being a fantasy starter. While Johnson will never return to his 2004 form with the 49ers, he can still be an effective backup for fantasy teams in need of a bye week fill-in.



   
NFL Insider -- 2008 Team Outlook: Todays Team is : New England Patriots 
submitted by TheDean1  25 hours ago
Over the next several days we will take a look at the outlook of the 32 NFL Teams. They will be informative for both the fan of football and also some have information for you fantasy football buffs too. Give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...

2008 Team Outlook: New England

As per Daniel Kalles, In 2007 the Patriots set many team and player records -- including most points scored in a season (589), most TD passes by QB Tom Brady (50), most TD receptions in a season by WR Randy Moss (23), and also having the league leader in receptions, Wes Welker (112). The Pats also went undefeated until losing to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl, becoming only the third team to finish 18-1. While no one should expect the Patriots to go 16-0 in the regular season again, there is no reason to think that New England's offense won't put up huge numbers once again. The Patriots are definitely one team full of fantasy studs, with the likes of Tom Brady, Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Laurence Maroney and Ben Watson to choose from. All these players will be top level fantasy players once again this year and you will want to do your best to have some of them on your team, just make sure to not draft them higher then they should go based on last season's performances. The Patriots' offense is a well oiled machine and they will be hungry again coming off of the disappointment of last season's Super Bowl defeat, but you still can't expect them to replicate last season's numbers. Please keep in mind that on any given week, no one knows what the Patriots will do and how they will beat you (since they can beat you in so many ways). Not withstanding, draft the players and enjoy the big numbers they will put up.

QB Tom Brady, NE (QB - #1) - Stud (low risk)

Unless you have been living on the moon the past year you would know that Tom Brady had one of the best seasons ever for a QB. He set career highs in completions, QB ratings, yards, yards per attempt, TD passes (NFL record 50 TD passes) and a season low of interceptions of 8. For years Brady was able to put up solid numbers with only a decent receiving corps. It was amazing to see what he was able to do after the Pats acquired 3 top notch WR's like Randy Moss, Wes Welker and Dante Stallworth. Even if Brady takes a little step back this year, he has too many weapons not to put up numbers that make him a top 2 fantasy QB.

RB Laurence Maroney, NE (RB - #23) - Solid/Safe Pick

Maroney has put up solid numbers his first 2 years in New England after being their first round choice in 2006. Problem is he hasn't been fully healthy in either season and with the way the Patriots run their offense, he doesn't get enough opportunities to be a #1 fantasy RB. Maroney only had 20 or more carries once and only had more then 80 yards 3 times (all 3 of them he went over 100 yards). If you take into account that he rarely plays on 3rd down because he isn't great at catching the balls, look at Maroney as more of a #2 fantasy back starting at the middle of the 2nd round.

RB Sammy Morris, NE (RB - #64) - Fantasy Handcuff

Sammy Morris was on his way to setting career highs in all categories before he went down with a season ending injury after week 6. Over the first 6 weeks of the season the Pats were basically splitting carries between Morris and Maroney. Morris had at least 10 carries and averaged 64 yards per game before his injury. Morris will never be a starting fantasy back, especially with how the Patriots run their offense and the fact that they have Maroney. If you are planning on drafting Maroney, then you need to make sure you draft Morris as his handcuff; so pay attention on draft day and don't let someone else steal him from you.

WR Jabar Gaffney, NE (WR - #68) - Deep-league Only

Jabar Gaffney is a nice player to have on your NFL team, but he just isn't fantasy worthy (especially while he plays for the Patriots). The Pats are known to spread the offense around and with the likes of Moss, Maroney, Welker, Watson, there just aren't enough balls to make Gaffney a consistent fantasy performer. While being a 3rd, 4th or 5th option on offense, he was still able to set a career high in TDs with 5. Unless a combination of Moss, Welker and Watson go down, Gaffney just won't be very useful this season.

WR Randy Moss, NE (WR - #1) - Stud (low risk)

In 2007 Randy Moss was back to his pre- Oakland Raiders days, catching 98 balls for 1493 yards and an NFL record for touchdown receptions in a season with 23. While you can't expect him to catch 23 TDs again, there is no reason to believe he won't be the best fantasy WR again this season. Last season Moss broke 100 yards receiving 100 times, he scored at least 1 TD in all but 3 games last year, and only had less then 5 catches on 5 occasions. As long as Tom Brady is throwing the ball to Randy Moss, we should always expect big things from the 2 of them. Get Moss early if you can.

WR Wes Welker, NE (WR - #18) - Solid/Safe Pick

For years Troy Brown was Tom Brady's go to guy (especially on the underneath routes). Well now he has a younger and faster guy to play that role, Wes Welker. Last season -- his first in New England and his first as a full time starter -- he set career highs in all categories including being tied for the league lead in receptions with 112. Welker should have many more big years ahead of him working with Tom Brady and the rest of the Pats offense. Welker should be one of the top 20 receivers taken (especially if you're in leagues that count point per receptions).

TE Ben Watson, NE (TE - #12) - Solid/Safe Pick

Big things were expected of Ben Watson in 2007 before the Patriots acquired Moss, Welker and Stallworth -- not to mention him missing 4 games due to injury. Other then his 6 touchdowns (career high), his numbers were down across the board. Watson is a big, fast TE with tons of skill who (if he stays healthy this year) should see a return to solid production. While he won't ever be the #1 or #2 target as long as Moss and Welker are on the team, he has all the ability to be a solid producer from the TE position. If Watson can play all 16 games this year he should finish the season in the top 12 of TE.




   
NFL Insider -- 2008 Team Outlook: Todays Team is : Minnesota Vikings 
submitted by TheDean1  26 hours ago
Over the next several days we will take a look at the outlook of the 32 NFL Teams. They will be informative for both the fan of football and also some have information for you fantasy football buffs too. Give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...

2008 Team Outlook: Minnesota

As per Vin Sadicario, The Minnesota Vikings enter the 2008 season with higher expectations than they had in 2007. The two headed rushing attack of Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor should once again be one of the league's top duos. While Tarvaris Jackson struggled last season, the addition of wide receiver Bernard Berrian should help upgrade the Vikings' aerial attack. If Jackson struggles early in the season, the Vikings could be tempted into pushing newly acquired backup Gus Frerotte into the starting lineup. Frerotte would probably be a better fantasy option than Jackson and would also upgrade the Vikings receivers' fantasy outlooks. While Jackson and the passing game may struggle, the Vikings' rush attack will not. Adrian Peterson should be one of the top two picks in almost all fantasy leagues and could improve on his astonishing rookie season. The receiver position of the Vikings was upgraded with the addition of Bernard Berrian, but the Vikings need another wide receiver to step up if they want to be successful through the air. The Vikings hope that second year receiver Sidney Rice will be their breakout player this season. Rice showed flashes last season, but will have to be more consistent for the Vikings to become a complete offense. Rounding out the Vikings' offense is tight end Vishante Shiancoe. Shiancoe struggled to make an impact in his first season with the Vikings and cannot be counted on to make a large enough improvement this season to warrant a starting spot on fantasy teams.

QB Tarvaris Jackson, MIN (QB - #27) - Deep-league Only

Tarvaris Jackson enters his second season as the Minnesota Vikings' starting quarterback. Jackson struggled with injuries and benchings during the 2007 season and will probably not be much more than a decent backup option or bye-week fill in for fantasy teams this season. The Vikings will once again rely heavily on the run this season and Jackson could even be replaced by Gus Frerotte if he were to get off to a bad start. Fantasy owners will want to stay away from Jackson as a backup in shallow leagues, but he could be a decent option as a backup in deeper fantasy leagues.

RB Adrian Peterson, MIN (RB - #2) - Stud (low risk)

Adrian Peterson enters the 2008 season as a consensus top two pick in fantasy leagues. Peterson entered the league in 2007 and immediately made a major impact, rushing for more than 1300 yards and 12 touchdowns in 13 games in his rookie season. Peterson should be able to top those numbers this season for the Vikings, making him worthy of a top two selection in all fantasy leagues. Peterson should put up more than 1500 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns this season for fantasy teams. Fantasy owners should make sure they handcuff Chester Taylor to Peterson in all leagues, as Peterson is somewhat of an injury risk.

RB Chester Taylor, MIN (RB - #42) - Fantasy Handcuff

Chester Taylor enters the 2008 season as the backup to Adrian Peterson in Minnesota. Taylor is one of the league's best backup running backs and could fill in for Peterson if he were to go down with an injury. Fantasy owners who draft Adrian Peterson should make sure to handcuff him with Chester Taylor in the mid-to-later rounds. While Taylor stole some carries from Peterson in 2007, his workload should decrease if Peterson is able to stay healthy throughout 2008. Assuming that Peterson is healthy, Taylor should not have major value in fantasy leagues.

WR Bernard Berrian, MIN (WR - #32) - Quality Backup

Newly acquired Bernard Berrian enters the 2008 season as the Minnesota Vikings' new number one wide receiver. While Berrian will be the Vikings' top receiver this season, he is not much more than a number two or three wide receiver for fantasy teams. Berrian has tremendous talent, but will not be able to live up to his potential in the Vikings' mediocre passing offense. Berrian caught 71 passes for 950 yards and five touchdowns in 2007 for the Bears and will probably put up similar numbers in Minnesota. Berrian should be a solid (yet unspectacular) pick for fantasy teams this season.

WR Sidney Rice, MIN (WR - #62) - Quality Backup

Following an inconsistent rookie season, Sidney Rice enters 2008 with a chance to start for the Minnesota Vikings. Rice has tremendous ability and could develop into a very good wide receiver; however, he will be held back in the Vikings offense this season if Tarvaris Jackson continues to struggle. Rice showed flashes of his ability last season, but also had games in which he was almost non existent. If the Vikings turn to Gus Frerotte (or Tarvaris Jackson makes a tremendous leap forward this season), Sidney Rice could become a nice sleeper for fantasy teams. Look to grab Rice in the later rounds of your fantasy draft and hope for the best.

WR Bobby Wade, MIN (WR - #99) - Bust (overvalued)

Bobby Wade enters the 2008 season as a starter for the Vikings, but could face competition in his attempt to keep his job. Wade caught a team high 54 passes for 654 yards and three touchdowns in 2007, but should struggle to put up the same numbers in 2008 with the addition of Bernard Berrian to the Vikings. With Berrian and Sidney Rice likely ahead of Wade on the depth chart, there simply will not be enough balls to go around in Minnesota, making Wade a poor option for fantasy teams. Fantasy owners should stay away from Bobby Wade on draft day.

TE Vishante Shiancoe, MIN (TE - #30) - Deep-league Only

Vishante Shiancoe enters the 2008 season as the Minnesota Vikings' starting tight end, but should not be much of a factor in fantasy leagues. The Vikings gave Shiancoe a large contract before the 2007 season, but he caught only 27 passes for 323 yards and one touchdown in his first season for the Vikings. Shiancoe should put up similar numbers this season, making him a backup option in larger leagues. Shiancoe will not have a major impact for the Vikings or fantasy teams this season. Fantasy owners should stay away from Shiancoe unless desperate for a backup tight end in the last round or two of drafts.




   
NFL Insider -- 2008 Team Outlook: Todays Team is : Miami Dolphins 
submitted by TheDean1  26 hours ago
Over the next several days we will take a look at the outlook of the 32 NFL Teams. They will be informative for both the fan of football and also some have information for you fantasy football buffs too. Give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...

2008 Team Outlook: Miami

As per Chris Weeks, While many Miami fans and the folks who run the team might say this is not a rebuilding year for the Dolphins, I have to disagree. When building a team (or in this case rebuilding), teams start by putting together solid offensive and defensive lines and that's exactly what the Dolphins did in the 2008 draft. With the first overall pick they didn't select the best overall player. They went with the guy they felt could anchor an offensive line. With two of their next three selections they drafted defensive ends to anchor the defensive line. In all, the Dolphins drafted 6 linemen in an effort to build a solid foundation for years to come. With their remaining three selections they picked up Chad Henne and two late round running backs. I like the Henne move if for nothing else than because he has a working relationship with first round selection Jake Long. As many of you know, the two played together at Michigan.

From a fantasy perspective, I'm not sure how much production we'll get from Dolphins players this season. With a young line and possibly a rookie quarterback starting at some point this season, it's quite possible the only viable fantasy player in a Dolphins uniform this season will be Ronnie Brown. When the dust settles on the 2008 season, I wouldn't be surprised to see Miami with another top 5 draft pick in 2009. If you're a Dolphins fan, don't complain too much. Bill is using these picks to build a solid young team for years to come.

QB John Beck, MIA (QB - #30) - Gamble (high risk)

For the time being, it appears Beck will be the starting quarterback in Miami this season. I say for the time being because I don't believe Beck is the quarterback of the future in Miami and once the team is out of playoff contention Henne will be starting. That (of course) assumes Henne doesn't win the job in pre-season. Either way, Beck holds little fantasy value as neither a starter nor backup. At best he's a third string fantasy quarterback and if you're going that deep at QB, you may as well draft the backup to your primary gunslinger. However, if you plan to use a QBBC, Beck may be of some use during the early part of the season. Check his matchups vs your other quarterbacks and in the right scenario, he could be the best play.

RB Ronnie Brown, MIA (RB - #19) - Solid/Safe Pick

In early November of 2007 Brown underwent surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Brown left the game after twisting his knee in the third quarter of the Dolphins' 49-28 loss to the Patriots. Up to that point in the season, Brown's performance was the lone bright spot for the winless fins. Had Brown finished the game, he would have likely hit 100 yards for the 5th consecutive week and had he found the end zone, that would have been 4 of the last 5 games with a touchdown. On a team that had little going for themselves, Brown was a diamond in the rough. As we've all seen in the past, a torn ACL takes at least a full year to rehab. This means best case scenario we'll see a semi productive Brown mid-to-late in the 2008 season (if he's able to be productive at all).

RB Patrick Cobbs, MIA - Deep-league Only

When Brown went down week 7, the running back position was up for grabs. Up to that point in the season the primary backup had been Jesse Chatman, but many felt the new vacant starting roll was up for grabs. As the season moved on we saw Chatman become the starter with Williams, Gado and Cobbs filling in the gaps. This season, Miami's backfield is not as cluttered. Backing up Brown this season will be Cobbs, Williams and the rookie Parmele. Ricky will probably get himself into trouble and the rookie won't see much playing time. This leaves us with Cobbs as the primary back, at least for now. With just 15 carries for 47 yards in his short NFL career, I find it hard to believe he will carry the load alone or that Miami won't pick someone up before the season starts. Unless of course they feel confident that Brown's rehab has progressed enough for him to start. Either way, Cobbs won't see a lot of carries and it's unlikely he'll have much of a fantasy impact.

WR Ted Ginn, MIA (WR - #51) - Gamble (high risk)

When Ginn was drafted in 2007 analysts thought his best asset would be returning kicks. In college Ginn was electric on special teams. If he could bring this electricity to the NFL, the Dolphins would have a sure fire weapon on their hands. As a receiver, however, many felt he lacked the discipline to play at the top level. In college his routes were sloppy and while that may have been all right in college, it wouldn't fly in the NFL. As if turned out, fellow Dolphins receiver Chris Chambers sat out the first six weeks and then was traded to San Diego. That left an opening for Ginn opposite Marty Booker. As the season progressed, so did Ginn and in the season finale he pulled down 7 receptions -- one for a touchdown. The 2008 off season brought some interesting changes to Miami. They cut veteran quarterback Trent Green and fellow receiver Marty Booker. It will be interesting to see how Ginn handles being the #1 receiver. I don't know if he's ready for that roll yet, but there's really no other option. Beck, Henne or who ever is under center will have to throw the ball to someone. If you're looking for a guy that could surprise us this season, Ginn is a good candidate.

WR Derek Hagan, MIA (WR - #92) - Deep-league Only

The 2008 season will be Hagan's third year in the NFL. We all know it takes receivers about two years to mature in the NFL. Come year three they either shine or fizzle. For Derek, this season could make or break his NFL career. As luck would have it, he is on a very young team. This could be as much of an advantage as a disadvantage. Being on a young team means that the expectation levels are not as high. On the flip side, the number of opportunities to shine may be few and far between. As the Dolphins' third receiver, Hagan will likely find it difficult to shine. If his career numbers (50 receptions for just under 600 yards) are any indication of what we should expect in 2008, then don't waste your time drafting him.

WR Ernest Wilford, MIA (WR - #73) - Gamble (high risk)

Wilford led the Jags in receptions with 45 last season. While not a deep threat, Ernest is a great possession guy and will fill the second receiver slot well. Wilford's skill set compliments that of Ginn nicely. In addition, Wilford brings some veteran leadership to a relatively young Dolphin receiving corp. If the quarterback of the week can get the time in the pocket to progress though his receivers, Wilford will be a fine addition to any fantasy team. As the veteran in the offense, it wouldn't surprise me to see these young quarterbacks look to him in many long yardage situations. By year's end Wilford could easily hit 1,000 yards and 6 touchdowns.

TE Anthony Fasano, MIA (TE - #20) - Bye Week Fill-in

Fasano and linebacker Akin Ayodele came to Miami in a trade from the Cowboys for a fourth round draft pick. Fasano is expected to compete with David Martin for the starting position. In his first two seasons Fasano has 28 receptions for 269 yards and a touchdown. While I do like Fasano and I think he has some potential, I don't think this is the right time to take that chance. That is of course unless you have an extra roster spot you can't fill with a backup running back or third receiver. Baring some miracle, it doesn't look as though fantasy owners will find much value from the tight end position in Miami this season.




   
NFL Insider -- 2008 Team Outlook: Todays Team is : Kansas City Chiefs 
submitted by TheDean1  27 hours ago
Over the next several days we will take a look at the outlook of the 32 NFL Teams. They will be informative for both the fan of football and also some have information for you fantasy football buffs too. Give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...

2008 Team Outlook: Kansas City

As per Chris Weeks, Ask around and anyone who knows football will tell you the Chiefs had one of the best, if not the best, draft in 2008. They began the draft with 13 picks and finished the day with 12 new team members. Entering the draft, Kansas City's biggest gaps were the defensive and offensive lines. With two first round picks and a little luck ,the Chiefs should have been able to fill these gaps with some very talented rookies.

With their first pick, 5th overall, the Chiefs addressed one of these gaps. They selected LSU's defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey (one of the most talented athletes entering this draft). Dorsey will help fill the shoes vacated by NFL sack leader Jared Allen, who was traded to the Vikings this off season. The Chiefs used their second pick, 15th overall, (from the Vikings Allen trade and a draft day trade with Detroit) to select one of the most coveted offensive linemen in the draft Virginia's Branden Albert. For most of his college career, Albert lined up at guard (which should cause some concern for Chiefs fans, seeing as he will likely be asked to play tackle this season). The adjustment will take some time, but Albert's size and athleticism will help him make the adjustment.

From a fantasy perspective, these moves were great news. The Chiefs' offense was horrible last year and their lack of success started with the offensive line. Their inability to successfully run the ball allowed defenses to concentrate on the pass. However, even with these talented new rookies, I don't expect the Chiefs' offensive players to play a huge roll for fantasy owners this season. Young teams, almost a quarter of their roster could be rookies, need time to mature and develop.

QB Brodie Croyle, KC (QB - #28) - Bye Week Fill-in

2008 will be Brodie's third season in the NFL. Last year he played in 9 games, completing 127 of 224 pass attempts for 1227 yards with 6 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. These are not great fantasy numbers and defiantly not what fantasy owners are looking for from a starting quarterback. However, the Chiefs did a lot to address last year's weaknesses this off season. With their revamped offensive line, the running game should be more successful and (in turn) the passing game should be better. Still, I wouldn't expect great things from Croyle, but he could become an excellent backup option.

RB Larry Johnson, KC (RB - #7) - Stud (low risk)

Before suffering what ended up becoming a season ending foot injury, Johnson carried the ball 158 times for just 559 yards and 3 touchdowns over an 8 game span. Typically Johnson starts out the season slow and he finishes strong. Last year we didn't have a chance to see his final numbers due to this injury. In some ways, this is good news because Larry's foot has had plenty of time to heal and he is well rested. On the flip side, had his numbers continued down the path they started, he would have had his worst season since becoming a full time starter in 2005. While he would have eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark, the lack of touchdowns would have severely hurt his fantasy value. Taking into account his 2005 and 2006 performances and how well he finished off those years, I'd be willing to bet his 2008 numbers will once again make him one of fantasy football's top 5 running backs.

RB Kolby Smith, KC (RB - #59) - Fantasy Handcuff

When the 2007 season began, Smith held little fantasy value to anyone other than LJ's owners. Unless something happened to LJ, Kolby would see limited action. As luck would have it (bad or good depending on whom you are I guess), LJ suffered a season ending foot injury in the Green Bay game and Kolby became the starting back. Over the next 8 weeks Smith would carry the ball 112 times for 407 yards with 2 touchdowns. His average yards per carry were one tenth better than LJ's in the first 8 games. So what does that mean from a fantasy perspective? It's simple: the guy is now a viable backup that every owner should consider drafting.

WR Dwayne Bowe, KC (WR - #27) - Solid/Safe Pick

From a fantasy perspective, rookie wide receivers tend to be a big risk. In the later rounds of your draft (when you're ready to take a chance on a player), it's not a bad idea to try out one of these rookies. Last year Bowe was one of those guys many owners took a chance on. In week 4 against the Chargers, Dwayne showed us why he could be a top tier receiver as he pulled in 8 receptions for 164 yards and a touchdown. For the most part his performance last season was consistent with an occasional bright spot. When the season ended, his numbers looked pretty good: 70 receptions for 995 yards and 5 touchdowns are very solid for a veteran (let alone a rookie). This season I expect to see very similar numbers from Bowe. With the improvements in the offensive line, Croyle should have no problem finding a wide open Bowe this season.

WR Devard Darling, KC (WR - #90) - Deep-league Only

Darling was drafted by the Ravens in the third round of the 2004 draft. This spring Devard signed a three year deal to come play for the Chiefs. Over his 4 year career Darling has 20 receptions for 331 yards and 3 touchdowns. If Darling is going to make a name for himself in the NFL, this will be his chance to do so. We expect to see Darling and Webb battling it out to be the Chiefs' #2 receiver. However, even if Darling does win the position, it is unlikely he will play a big enough roll in the offense to provide much fantasy value. The Chiefs like to run the ball and throw to Gonzalez. That doesn't leave much opportunity for guys like Darling and Webb.

WR Jeff Webb, KC (WR - #103) - Deep-league Only

This will be Webb's third season in the NFL. In his rookie year he played in 10 games, making just 3 receptions for 23 yards. Last year he had 28 receptions for 313 yards and he caught his first touchdown as a professional in week 17 against the Jets. From a fantasy perspective, Webb has little to offer. Right now Webb is third on the depth chart on a team that likes to run the ball or throw to the tight end. For his career, he's averaging just 10 yards per reception. Baring injury to Bowe or Darling, fantasy owners will find little-to-no use for Webb on their roster.

TE Tony Gonzalez, KC (TE - #4) - Stud (low risk)

Once again Tony led the Chiefs in receptions last year. When the season came to a close, he had pulled down 99 receptions for 1,172 yards and 5 touchdowns. Once again showing fantasy owners why he is one of the league's elite tight ends. At the beginning of last season some analysts thought Gonzalez had peaked. I guess they were wrong. Maybe this season we'll see a decline in production? While I agree that some time soon his production has to decline, I wouldn't want to be the owner that didn't draft him because I thought this was the year. Unless we hear some horrible news about his health, there's no reason for us not to believe Tony will finish the 2008 season as one of the top 3 fantasy tight ends.




   
NFL Insider -- 2008 Team Outlook: Todays Team is : Jacksonville Jaguars 
submitted by TheDean1  27 hours ago
Over the next several days we will take a look at the outlook of the 32 NFL Teams. They will be informative for both the fan of football and also some have information for you fantasy football buffs too. Give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...

2008 Team Outlook: Jacksonville

As per Daniel Kalles, When Head Coach Jack Del Rio cut starting QB Byron Leftwich right before the season, no one knew how the 2007 season would turn out for the Jaguars. After having an up and down 2006 season starting 10 games, QB David Garrard stepped into the starting role and without having to look over his shoulder he led the Jags to an 11-5 record. Once again the Jags' offense was backed by the 2nd best rushing attack in the league in Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew, which helped Garrard be as effective as he was. The Jags realized that Garrard would need some help at the WR position to keep defenses from stacking the line of scrimmage, so they went out and signed WR Jerry Porter (formerly of the Oakland Raiders) and traded for former first round pick Troy Williamson. With the help of these 2 receivers and the slow emergence of Reggie Williams (who scored 10 TD's last year) -- not to mention the improved play of TE Mercedes Lewis -- Garrard will have more weapons to choose from.

To go with the improved play on offense, is the Jags' defense that ranked 12th in overall yards given up a game and 10th in points allowed per game at 19 per game. In the playoffs the Jags went into Pittsburgh and upset the Steelers and then lost a hard fought battle to the Patriots. Even though the Jags took big steps last year and look to be even better this year, they just don't have all that much in the way of help for fantasy teams. The Jags are a running team and they use a 2 back rotation which is always a fantasy killer and until we know exactly how well the new WR's will mesh with Garrard, staying away from the Jags come draft day might be a good idea.

QB David Garrard, JAX (QB - #10) - Quality Backup

Last season was a huge step forward for David Garrard in his first full season as the main man, leading his team to an 11-5 record and the 2nd round of the playoffs. While only starting 12 games (he missed some time due to injury) Garrard passed for over 2500 yards and 18 TD's while only throwing 3 interceptions. The additions of Porter and Williamson should help open the offense and take some pressure off of Garrard and the running game. The problem is Garrard only averaged 209 yards passing and 1.5 touchdowns per game, and with the style of offense the Jags use, his stats won't improve that much. Garrard is better suited as a fantasy back up.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew, JAX (RB - #15) - Solid/Safe Pick

Jones-Drew came onto the scene making big play after big play in his rookie season 2 years ago when he rushed for 941 and scored 13 TD's, adding another 436 yards on 46 catches with another 2 touchdowns. Last year MJD's numbers took a bit of a drop as teams around the league took notice of him and knew what to expect. Even still he rushed for 768 yards and 9 touchdowns while splitting carries with Fred Taylor. While there is no reason to believe MJD won't put up solid numbers once again, the fact that he is splitting carries with Taylor means he won't be a number 1 fantasy RB. If you draft MJD, do everything you can to get Taylor as his handcuff.

RB Fred Taylor, JAX (RB - #38) - Solid/Safe Pick

After battling the injury tag for so many seasons, Fred Taylor has played in at least 14 games in 5 out of the last 6 seasons. Even with the emergence of 2nd year back Maurice Jones-Drew, Taylor was able to rush for 1,202 yards and 5 touchdowns. The Jags have been one of the many teams to prove that a 2 back system is very important because it keeps both running backs fresh and keeps the defense off balance by changing them up. The problem with 2 back systems is that they are a fantasy killer, it's impossible to know each week which one will have the big game. While Taylor might not be #1 fantasy RB he, along with MJD are both solid RB2. If you draft Taylor do everything you can to get MJD as his handcuff.

WR Jerry Porter, JAX (WR - #30) - Quality Backup

The Jags brought Jerry Porter over from Oakland in hopes that he can become the big play receiver they have so desired since Jimmy Smith was in his prime. The Jags haven't had a 1,000 yard receiver other then Jimmy Smith since the 2001 season. Porter has come close to 1,000 yards twice in his career, but has failed to live up to his potential dealing with injuries and a poor attitude. Hopefully getting away from Oakland will give him a new start, where can be the #1 target and the big play receiver everyone always thought he would be. Look for Porter to be a solid #3 fantasy WR, with the possibility of moving up if he can stay focused and healthy.

WR Reggie Williams, JAX (WR - #46) - Quality Backup

After being a labeled a first round bust for the first 3 years of his career, Reggie Williams finally came through last year with some big plays, scoring 10 TD's (more then he had scored in his first 3 years put together). To go along with his career high 10 TD's he also had a career high in yards (629) and yards per catch (16.6). It seems like Williams and new starting QB David Garrard meshed well last year and whenever Garrard needed a big TD, Williams was his guy. So even though the Jags brought in 2 new WR's to compete with him, all he has to do is continue to catch TD's and he will continue to be a usable fantasy player.

WR Troy Williamson, JAX (WR - #91) - Deep-league Only

Williamson has been a complete bust over his first 3 seasons of his career since being drafted in the first round by the Minnesota Vikings in 2005. He has yet to catch more then 37 balls or gain more then 455 yards or even catch more then 2 TD's in any season. Williamson has yet to maximize his abilities, with lapses in concentration leading to many dropped balls that with the lack of consistent play from his QB's have led to his dreadful stats. The fact is that the Jags' offense is focused around the running game and so there are only so many chances a WR will get. With Porter, Williams and TE Mercedes Lewis, to go along with the other WR the Jags have, don't spend a draft pick on Williamson.

TE Marcedes Lewis, JAX (TE - #26) - Quality Backup

Lewis was drafted in the first round by the Jags in 2006, but he has come along slowly and failing to live up to his potential. At UCLA, Lewis was known as a big playmaker, usually being too big and too fast for most to cover him. In the NFL it hasn't be so easy for him, but he did take some strides in his 2nd season by more than tripling most of his numbers. If he can make similar strides in his 3rd season, he might just become what Jacksonville had hoped for and a solid fantasy starter. TheJags run the perfect offense for a TE to flourish, so don't forget about Lewis come draft day; he might be ready to become a full time fantasy starter.




   
NFL Insider -- 2008 Team Outlook: Todays Team is : Indianapolis Colts 
submitted by TheDean1  27 hours ago
Over the next several days we will take a look at the outlook of the 32 NFL Teams. They will be informative for both the fan of football and also some have information for you fantasy football buffs too. Give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...

2008 Team Outlook: Indianapolis

As per Vin Sadicario, The Indianapolis Colts enter the 2008 season with fantasy stars throughout their offense. The Colts offense is led by perennial all pro quarterback Peyton Manning. Manning has thrown for more than 4000 yards in eight of his nine seasons in the league and should do so again this season, making him a top ten fantasy quarterback and early second round pick in most fantasy drafts. Manning is surrounded by tremendous talent, led by running back Joseph Addai. Addai rushed for more than 1000 yards in 2007 and totaled an impressive 15 touchdowns, making him an excellent pick in the top five in upcoming fantasy drafts. Addai does not have the question marks surrounding him as other running backs do, making him one of the safest picks in the mid first round of fantasy drafts. The Colts boast an impressive set of wide receivers led by Reggie Wayne, Marvin Harrison, and second year player Anthony Gonzalez. Reggie Wayne is the main weapon for Peyton Manning this season and should have another stellar season, making him a top 3 wide receiver in all fantasy leagues. While Marvin Harrison may be on the decline, Anthony Gonzalez is on the rise and could step into the starting lineup in 2009. The Colts' offense is rounded out by star tight end Dallas Clark. Clark totaled 11 touchdowns and should put up similar numbers in 2008.

QB Peyton Manning, IND (QB - #2) - Stud (low risk)

Peyton Manning enters the 2008 season as the Indianapolis Colts' starting quarterback. Manning is coming off a typical season for him, throwing for more than 4000 yards and 31 touchdowns. Manning could be even better this season with the emergence of Anthony Gonzalez as a very good third wide receiver. Manning has tremendous weapons surrounding him and should have 4000 yards passing for the ninth time in his ten year career. Fantasy owners will have to scoop Manning up early in fantasy drafts if they hope to have him lead their fantasy team this season as Manning will be a top three quarterback again in 2008.

RB Joseph Addai, IND (RB - #5) - Stud (low risk)

Joesph Addai enters the 2008 season as the Indianapolis Colts' starting running back. Addai rushed for more than 100 yards and totaled 15 touchdowns in 15 games in 2007, despite ending the season poorly. Addai is a safe pick in the top five of fantasy drafts due to playing in the Colts' high powered offense. Addai is a safe bet for close to 1100 rushing yards, 350 receiving yards and between ten and fifteen touchdowns -- making him a top five running back in 2008. Addai does not have someone stealing carries from him and unless he were to suffer an injury, Addai will produce as a top five fantasy back this season.

RB Mike Hart, IND (RB - #83) - Fantasy Handcuff

Mike Hart enters the 2008 season in a battle to win the Indianapolis Colts' backup running back job. Mike Hart will have to hold off recently signed Dominic Rhodes to be Joseph Addai's primary backup this season. Whichever running back wins the backup spot will have to be considered a must have for all Addai owners in 2008. If Addai were to go down with an injury, his backup would be in a good position to put up great numbers in the Colts' high powered offense. Fantasy owners (specifically Joseph Addai owners) will need to monitor this situation closely throughout the preseason to be able to draft Addai's handcuff for the upcoming season.

WR Anthony Gonzalez, IND (WR - #42) - Sleeper (undervalued)

Anthony Gonzalez enters the 2008 season as the Indianapolis Colts' number three wide receiver. Gonzalez was very inconsistent in 2007, catching 37 passes for 576 and three touchdowns. Gonzalez had a number of excellent games, but disappeared in other games. Anthony Gonzalez will need to be more consistent in 2008 as the Colts will look to him more if Marvin Harrison continues to struggle with injuries. The Colts are looking for Gonzalez to step up and be a major contributor this season, making him a decent sleeper candidate for 2008 fantasy leagues. If Harrison were to be unable to play at some point during the 2008 season, Gonzalez could be a major contributor to fantasy teams.

WR Marvin Harrison, IND (WR - #25) - Bust (overvalued)

Marvin Harrison enters the 2008 season with question marks surrounding him. Harrison is coming off by far his worst season, playing in only five games due to a knee injury, catching 20 passes for 247 yards and one touchdown. The other question involving Marvin Harrison is his possible involvement in a shootout outside a bar that he owns. If Harrison was indeed involved somehow, he could face a trial or even suspension by the NFL that could put his playing status into question. If Harrison is cleared to play in 2008, he still needs to prove that he is healthy and can still produce at a high level. Harrison's big name and past performance will probably lead to him being overvalued in fantasy drafts this season.

WR Reggie Wayne, IND (WR - #2) - Stud (low risk)

After years of years of playing in the shadow of Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne has become Peyton Manning's go to wide receiver. Reggie Wayne finished the 2007 season with a remarkable 104 catches for 1510 yards and ten touchdowns, putting him in the top five fantasy wide receivers for the 2007 season. Wayne averaged more than 94 yards per game in 2007 and should put up similar numbers in 2008. Because he plays in the high scoring Colts offense and does not have any injury concerns surrounding him, Reggie Wayne is one of the safest picks in fantasy drafts this season. Fantasy owners should target Reggie Wayne around the middle of the second round in fantasy drafts.

TE Dallas Clark, IND (TE - #7) - Solid/Safe Pick

Dallas Clark enters the 2008 season as the Indianapolis Colts' starting tight end and a top ten fantasy tight end. Clark put together an impressive 2007 season, catching 58 passes for 616 yards and 11 touchdowns while playing in 15 games. Clark stepped up in the absence of Marvin Harrison and excelled in becoming one of Peyton Manning's main go to receivers in the red zone. Manning has tremendous trust in Clark and they should continue to produce together for years to come. Fantasy owners should look to draft Dallas Clark as a top ten tight end in all fantasy leagues this season.




   
NFL Insider -- 2008 Team Outlook: Todays Team is : Houston Texans 
submitted by TheDean1  28 hours ago
Over the next several days we will take a look at the outlook of the 32 NFL Teams. They will be informative for both the fan of football and also some have information for you fantasy football buffs too. Give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...

2008 Team Outlook: Houston

As per Chris Weeks, The Texans play in one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL. With the Colts, Jags and Titans in the same division the Texans have to be on top of their game every week. There's no easy game for Houston. Unlike the AFC east with Dolphins and Jets or the AFC west with Oakland and Kansas City, the Texans have to come ready to play each and every week if they plan to make the post season. The Texans' first step to the post season came draft day when they moved down from the 18th overall selection to the 26th where they picked up offensive tackle Duane Brown out of Virginia Tech.

The plan is to have Brown protect Schaubs' blind side while providing the flexibility to pull and provide downfield run block support. Being a former tight end, the hope is that Brown has the athletic ability to develop into a top tier offensive tackle. By trading down in the first round the Texans were able to pick up an additional third round pick from the Ravens. With this additional selection they picked up Steve Slaton, a running back out of West Virginia. Many believe Slaton is too small to make it in the NFL. However, his quickness does enable him to get around the outside and if he is able to successfully turn the corner on a consistent basis he'll provide for a nice change of pace back. With Ahman Green and Chris Brown in the backfield, the Texans need a speedster like Slaton.

From a fantasy perspective, I would expect much of the same from the Texans' starters this season. With little change in personnel there's little reason to believe otherwise. The only hope is that this season the starters can stay healthy for once and with that, maybe they'll see a little more success. Also, if they can establish a consistent running game, numbers for Schaub and company should improve in the passing game.

QB Matt Schaub, HOU (QB - #17) - Quality Backup

Last year was Schaub's first season as a full time starting quarterback. Prior to last year he was the backup to Michael Vick in Atlanta. When given the opportunity to play in Atlanta, Schaub seemed to have what it takes to be a field general. To start the 2007 season things looked great for Matt. In his first 4 games he threw for at least 225 yards a game with a total of 5 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Over the next six games his performance was less than desirable and in week 13 against the Titans he suffered what turned out to be a season ending dislocated left shoulder injury. As the Texans head into 2008, the hope once again it to keep everyone healthy. If they can establish a running game, Schaub's numbers should be pretty good by year end. If you're looking for a good QBBC candidate, Matt would be a great selection. If things pan out, he could be a quality fantasy starter; until he shows some consistency, QBBC may be the best option for anyone thinking of selecting Matt.

RB Chris Brown, HOU (RB - #36) - Bye Week Fill-in

Brown is a free agent signing made by the Texans in an attempt to add depth to their backfield. Since losing Domanick Williams, the Texans backfield has been in disarray. Houston has struggled year to year to find someone with a pulse that can play for more than a couple of weeks without getting injured. I'm not so sure signing Ahman Green and Chris Brown is going to break that trend for the Texans but they can hope. As is the case with Green, Brown has not played a full season in a couple of years. Last year he missed 4 games with an ankle injury and in 2006 he played in just 5 games after losing the starting job to Travis Henry. Brown has all the tools to become one of the league's premier backs. In 2003 he showed off his talent rushing for 1,067 yards in just 11 games. If Brown is going to resurrect his career, this is the time to do it. All he needs to do is stay healthy and run with a purpose. While we have Brown listed as the backup, it's likely the Texans will start the season with a RBBC until one of these guys gets hurt. If I had to select between the two I'd take Brown.

RB Ahman Green, HOU (RB - #31) - Bye Week Fill-in

Green came to the Texans in the 2007 off season with the hopes he could be the Texans featured back. After appearing in just 6 of their first 9 games he was placed on injured reserve due to a left knee injury. Since the MVP type season he had in 2003, Green has struggled. The good news for Texans fans would be that in 2004 he played in 15 games rushing for 1,100 yards and in 2006 he played in 14 games rushing for just under 1,100 yards. The bad news is that he played in just 5 games in 2005 rushing for 255 yards and he appeared in just 6 games last year rushing for 260 yards. Maybe on even numbered years he plays well and on odd numbered years he plays injured? As a fantasy owner I would count on it. Green has bad knees and no matter how you spin it, that's not good news for a running back.

WR Andre' Davis, HOU (WR - #56) - Deep-league Only

Davis' primary roll for the Texans is on special teams. Unless you're in a league that awards you for special teams plays, Davis will be of little use. The bulk of Davis' production last season came when Andre Johnson was out with a sprained knee. Setting aside those 7 games, Andre averaged just over one reception a game. It's just not worth tying up a roster spot hoping the he turns his career around. Take your chances on a younger player -- one of the rookie receivers or running backs -- in hopes that he becomes the dark horse of this year's draft.

WR Andre Johnson, HOU (WR - #6) - Stud (low risk)

Johnson is another prime example of some of the bad luck Houston fans suffered through last season. Andre began the year with two monster games against Kansas City and Carolina. Unfortunately, during the Carolina game he suffered a knee sprain which would end up keeping him out of the Texans' next seven games. During his absence Houston would post a 2-5 record. Before the injury and after his return the Texans would post a 6-3 record. There's little doubt in my mind that Johnson's presence on the field changes opposing teams' defensive strategy. Andre has been one of the league's premier receivers since coming into the league in 2003. If he can stay healthy this season there is little reason to believe he won't return to form and finish off the 2008 season as one of the league's top 5 receivers.

WR Kevin Walter, HOU (WR - #43) - Bye Week Fill-in

Walter was the direct beneficiary of Johnson's absence on the field last season. In the 7 games Walter played that Johnson missed, Kevin made 41 of his 65 receptions for 528 of his 800 yards. This means he had just 24 receptions for 272 yards when Johnson was on the field. It only makes sense that with Johnson out of the game Walter would get more looks. The problem is from a fantasy perspective Walter's play is too inconsistent to be of much use. Unless something changes this season I wouldn't expect great things from Walter. Johnson is too good and he is getting all the attention from the Texans signal callers.

TE Owen Daniels, HOU (TE - #13) - Solid/Safe Pick

Before last season began a buddy of mine asked what I thought of Daniels. I told him given the right offense he could be one of the better tight ends in the league. I told him once you're past the perennial favorites, Owens should be first on your list. If he asked me what I thought this year I'd tell him the same thing again. Unfortunately for him this season everyone knows about Daniels. The good thing about Daniels is his consistency. No matter who is on the field he gets you three or four catches a game. From the tight end that's about all you can ask for, an opportunity to make something happen. You hope he's getting quality looks in the red zone, but if not at least he's getting some attention. If you have to take a tight end, Daniels should be on your list. I don't see any reason to believe he won't finish the 2008 season as one of fantasy football's top 10 tight ends.




   
NFL Insider -- 2008 Team Outlook: Todays Team is : Green Bay Packers 
submitted by TheDean1  44 hours ago
Over the next several days we will take a look at the outlook of the 32 NFL Teams. They will be informative for both the fan of football and also some have information for you fantasy football buffs too. Give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...

2008 Team Outlook: Green Bay

As per Joel Welser, And so begins life without Brett Favre. The Green Bay Packers drafted Brian Brohm in the second round and Matt Flynn in the seventh round to shore up the quarterback concerns, but this will be Aaron Rodgers' team. Rodgers has not had much time to play over the last three years, but he has been learning behind one of the best to ever play the game. Rodgers completed 20 of 28 passes last year. Most of that action was in week 13 in Dallas, when Rodgers threw the only touchdown pass of his career.

If Rodgers is ever going to be a successful NFL quarterback, it might as well be now. He has plenty of targets to throw to with Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, James Jones and rookie Jordy Nelson manning the wide receiver spots. Driver had 82 catches for over 1,000 yards, but it was Jennings who caught 12 touchdown passes. Without Favre, the passes could be spread out a little differently this year and there could be less passes reaching those targets. That is good news for running back Ryan Grant. The former Notre Dame star had a great second half of the season in 2007 and will be asked to carry the offense if the passing game struggles.

The Green Bay defense is not very flashy, but they only gave up 18.2 points per game during the 2007 campaign. With corners Charles Woodson and Al Harris returning, the Packers' defense is in very good hands and will create plenty of turnovers. The sack numbers are not very high and the team will need Cullen Jenkins to compliment fellow defensive end Aaron Kampman better this year.

QB Aaron Rodgers, GB (QB - #20) - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)

It is not easy to replace a legend and pretty much whatever Aaron Rodgers does will not be good enough...at least for now. Rodgers has only thrown 59 passes during his three year career and he should be ready to give it a go after learning behind one of the best to ever play the position. But how will the fantasy numbers go? With a handful of wide receivers to help, most notably Donald Driver and Greg Jennings, it should not be too bad for Rodgers. But he certainly is not a proven NFL quarterback and the Packers are not sold on him being the future of the franchise and drafted both Brian Brohm and Matt Flynn in the 2008 NFL Draft. At best, Rodgers is a big risk for fantasy owners, but that risk could come with a big reward.

RB Ryan Grant, GB (RB - #14) - Quality Backup

Few players had as productive of a second half of the season as running back Ryan Grant. After rushing for a grand total of 27 yards through the first seven weeks of the season, the Notre Dame product finished with 956 yards on the season and six 100 yard efforts. He even scored at least one touchdown during each of the last six games of the regular season and started off the playoffs with a 201 yard, three touchdown effort against Seattle. That success has led to Grant sitting out part of the preseason while his contract is sorted out. That should not have much effect on his play, but it would be nice if he was participating in camp.

RB Vernand Morency, GB (RB - #87) - Deep-league Only

Once Ryan Grant established himself as the go-to back for the Green Bay Packers, Vernand Morency's fantasy stock dropped extremely quickly. With Brandon Jackson and DeShawn Wynn battling for the back-up spot, Morency could quickly find himself way down the depth chart. Jackson probably has the most potential of the group (behind Grant) and that means sooner or later Morency will be relegated to the bench. Where Morency has a leg up on Jackson and Wynn is in the receiving department. Normally that is good enough for some fantasy points, but there are questions at the quarterback position that skill might not be enough to earn him the back-up job. At best, Morency is a handcuff for Grant.

WR Donald Driver, GB (WR - #28) - Over the Hill (decreased production)

Donald Driver is not losing any of his receptions to the younger Greg Jennings, but he sure has taken away a majority of Driver's trips to the endzone. Driver caught a team high 82 passes for 1,048 yards, but he only had two touchdown catches last year. It is Jennings who will make the big plays, not Driver and that really hurts Driver's value in fantasy leagues. Even if he can manage another 1,000 yard campaign, Jennings is a better option thanks to his 12 touchdowns. However, now it all depends on new quarterback Aaron Rodgers. If the passing game falters, Driver will feel the effect and so will his fantasy owners.

WR Greg Jennings, GB (WR - #21) - Solid/Safe Pick

Greg Jennings has had a superb couple of seasons in Green Bay and last year he topped it off with 12 touchdown receptions. Not too shabby for a player who was probably most fantasy owners' third or fourth receiver. Jennings will not last that long in any 2008 fantasy drafts, but there are plenty of questions surrounding the Packers' passing attack. Is Aaron Rodgers the answer and will the entire team even have as many touchdown receptions as Jennings did in 2007? The Packers were not certain of Rodgers' future and drafted two quarterbacks this year. That might not be a good sign for the receivers.

WR James Jones, GB (WR - #65) - Bye Week Fill-in

James Jones was a decent fantasy player last season, catching 47 passes for 676 yards; but as the fourth receiving option on a team that is breaking in a new quarterback, those numbers should not be as high this year. Jones started out strong early in his rookie campaign, but pretty much ran out of gas late in the season. With a year of experience under his belt, the San Jose State product will be a better player, but without Brett Favre to throw him the ball the numbers might not show how much he has improved. Receivers Donald Driver and Greg Jennings and tight end Donald Lee had more receptions than Jones last year and should again this year.

TE Donald Lee, GB (TE - #18) - Quality Backup

There are two ways of looking at Donald Lee's production in the 2008 campaign. The optimist would say that new quarterback Aaron Rodgers is going to struggle throwing the ball and will look to his big 6-4 target more often than Brett Favre did. It makes sense that Rodgers will take the safer pass more often than Favre. However, the argument can also be made that the Packers are simply not going to throw as much and everybody's numbers will suffer. Coming off a career year in which Lee caught 48 passes for 575 yards and six touchdowns, he is hoping for the former, not the latter.




   
NFL Insider -- 2008 Team Outlook: Todays Team is : Detroit Lions 
submitted by TheDean1  44 hours ago
Over the next several days we will take a look at the outlook of the 32 NFL Teams. They will be informative for both the fan of football and also some have information for you fantasy football buffs too. Give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...

2008 Team Outlook: Detroit

As per Joel Welser, The Detroit Lions and new offensive coordinator Jim Colletto hope to force to other teams to respect the run. Maybe former coordinator Mike Martz did not mean it quite as much, but we have heard this before. But last year the safeties stayed back and helped down field against top receivers Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson, which forced quarterback Jon Kitna to throw underneath to Shaun McDonald. McDonald ended up leading the team in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns for that reason.

The plan is to utilize running backs Tatum Bell and Kevin Smith, who the Lions selected with the first pick in the third round. Even if it works, Bell and Smith will likely split carries for a while. Bell was not impressive during his limited playing time last year and (depending on the rookie out of UCF) is risky for the Lions and for fantasy owners. The Lions are trying to address the problems on the offensive line and selected Gosder Cherilus in the first round of the draft. More importantly, the team will use a zone blocking scheme and that will help spark the NFL's second worst rushing attack more than any new personnel.

Even Kitna, who will turn 36 during the season, is slipping down fantasy owners' draft boards. The team will certainly throw a lot, but Kitna threw more interceptions than touchdowns last year and that number might not get any better. On the defensive side of things, the Lions ranked last in points per game and yards per game last season. There are new some faces, but staying away from the Lions' defense is an annual tradition on fantasy draft day and should remain so for the foreseeable future.

QB Jon Kitna, DET (QB - #18) - Over the Hill (decreased production)

Jon Kitna threw for over 4,000 yards last season, but only had 18 touchdowns. That ranked sixth in the NFL in passing yards, but just tied for 15th in touchdown passes. Tying for the most interceptions with 20 does not make fantasy owners too excited about Kitna either. Making matters worse is the fact that new offensive coordinator Jim Colletto wants to run more. That might not happen, but the Lions will at least spend a week or two trying. Kitna, who will turn 36 during the season, should not be a starting quarterback in most fantasy leagues, but he will put up big numbers on occasion.

RB Tatum Bell, DET (RB - #43) - Gamble (high risk)

Tatum Bell has a couple of obstacles standing in the way between him and a decent fantasy year. One is the offense that the Lions have been using lately. New offensive coordinator Jim Colletto wants to run more, but running more does not necessarily mean much to a team that rushed for 80 yards per game last year. Bell had a chance to shine last year, starting the season as the main running back while Kevin Jones was recovering from an injury. When Jones came back, Bell did not see another carry. But the Lions want Bell back and running a zone blocking scheme should make Bell remember his productive days in Denver…but he has to beat out rookie Kevin Smith for the carries.

RB Kevin Smith, DET (RB - #25) - Gamble (high risk)

Kevin Smith is no stranger to flying under the radar. He was not a highly touted recruit coming out of high school and landed at UCF. Smith could be just as big of a surprise this year in Detroit. With Central Florida as a junior last year he gave Barry Sanders' single-season Division I rushing record a scare. He has vision and he is a great runner, but he is not that fast and has a thin frame. Durability could become an issue in the NFL (despite being a workhorse in college), but first he has to surpass Tatum Bell on the Lions' depth chart.

WR Calvin Johnson, DET (WR - #24) - Solid/Safe Pick

Calvin Johnson did not have the greatest debut campaign, but with so many weapons in the Detroit arsenal, garnering 756 yards and four touchdowns is not a bad season. With Roy Williams, Shaun McDonald and Mike Furrey back, there will not be too many more passes to go around in 2008. New offensive coordinator Jim Colletto hopes to run more and that should open up the vertical passing game. If it succeeds it will be good news and bad news for Johnson. If the running game is too successful the Lions will stick with it and pass less. But if it succeeds somewhat, Johnson and Williams will find a lot more open space when the safeties have to move up to stop the run.

WR Shaun McDonald, DET (WR - #49) - Bye Week Fill-in

Shaun McDonald was a nice surprise last year, but -- with offensive coordinator Mike Martz gone -- his numbers will not be as impressive in 2008. McDonald led the team with 79 receptions, 943 yards and six touchdowns…not bad at all for a guy who has to play behind Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson. But new coordinator Jim Colletto wants to run more and use the big threats on the edges to stretch the field. McDonald will still get some catches, which he will have to share with Mike Furrey, but the numbers will be down a lot compared to last year.

WR Roy Williams, DET (WR - #13) - Solid/Safe Pick

In 2007 Roy Williams caught the fewest touchdowns of his career. For a receiver who headed into the season near the top of every fantasy board, five touchdowns and 836 yards is not enough. Calvin Johnson certainly took away some of Williams' receptions, but the Lions' passing game did not go as vertical as the team hoped. Without a running game last year, the opposing safeties consistently doubled Williams. That led to passes underneath to Shaun McDonald and Mike Furrey, who caught 79 and 61 passes respectively. Unless that changes, which new offensive coordinator Jim Colletto hopes for, Williams will not put up much better numbers than he did last year.

TE Michael Gaines, DET (TE - #33) - Deep-league Only

Despite all the passing that goes on in the Lions offense, the tight end rarely garners a lot of attention from the quarterback. That will be the case once again with Michael Gaines. Gaines had his best receiving season last year with Buffalo, catching 25 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns. However, the numbers will not get any better than that this year. With Roy Williams, Calvin Johnson, Shaun McDonald and Mike Furrey on the field, Gaines will be the fifth target for quarterback Jon Kitna…at best. Gaines is not a bad receiver and at 6-3 and 277 pounds is a decent target in the endzone, but the Lions just have too many other weapons available.




   
NFL Insider -- 2008 Team Outlook: Todays Team is : Denver Broncos 
submitted by TheDean1  44 hours ago
Over the next several days we will take a look at the outlook of the 32 NFL Teams. They will be informative for both the fan of football and also some have information for you fantasy football buffs too. Give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...

2008 Team Outlook: Denver

As per Jeb Gorham, I was way off with my prediction for Denver last season. 11-5, what was I thinking? Despite finishing 2nd in the AFC West, Denver had an ugly season. This off-season, Denver gave up an ailing Javon Walker for an equally old (most recently unproductive) Darrell Jackson; but on the flip side, added some experience with Keary Colbert and Sami Parker. These experienced wide outs should help Brandon Marshall have a breakout season. Marshall had 1,325 yards for 7 TDs last season with Cutler having an average season. This year with Ryan Clady at his side, Cutler should get more time to throw. His 14 interceptions last season should be reduced this campaign. Brandon Stokley is also back and proves a threat down the middle, while the quality Denver receivers also includes Tony Scheffler, the big TE. Mike Shanahan has once again stuck to his strategy of pairing veteran and young players, maybe this year it will be the proper mix.

Denver's ground game will be predictable as well. Shanahan is a fan of the RB-by-committee approach and this season we should see plenty of Travis Henry (hamstring), if healthy and Selvin Young with some of rookie 5th round draftee Ryan Torain out of ASU.

My prediction for Denver this season is a bit more conservative than last; 9-7 might be realistic, unless the offense and defense both put it all together.

QB Jay Cutler, DEN (QB - #11) - Solid/Safe Pick

With one full season under his belt throwing 20 TDs and nearly 3,500 yards, Jay Cutler is comfortably a top 15 quarterback. He has a revised set of receivers in Colbert, Marshall, Parker and Stokley. Heck, throw Darrell Jackson in the mix and Cutler's got lots of choices. Jay could break into the top 10 in ranks before too long this season. With Ryan Clady now on one side, Cutler might get more opportunities to demonstrate the strength of his arm. I would take Cutler as a late QB choice who will produce average to above average numbers and possibly shine.

RB Travis Henry, --- - Gamble (high risk)

Travis Henry rushed for under 700 yards in 2007, one of his worst seasons ever. Henry was plagued by his off field extracurricular activities, issues, and injury. To start this season he is already bothered by an early hamstring injury that has kept him behind the pace of the younger Denver RBs: Selvin Young and rookie 5th rounder Ryan Torain. If Henry can stay healthy and keep up with his fresh counterparts, he can be productive in Denver's running back by committee scheme. I see Henry as a fantasy gamble this season as Shanahan likes to give young RBs a taste early if he thinks they have the talent and any Denver RB can be risky with their platoon style.

Travis Henry update: Henry was cut by Mike Shanahan and sent packing from Denver. This opens the door for Selvin Young and Denver's rookie RB, Ryan Torain. Look for these two young backs to shoulder Denver's ground attack with Young taking the majority of the hand offs to start, b ut with Torain's role growing throughout the season.

RB Ryan Torain, DEN (RB - #44) - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)

Ryan Torain is my Denver super sleeper. Shanahan has made comparisons to Davis and Anderson as other 5th - 6th round draft picks who made a huge impact in Denver's ground attack. Torain's playing time will depend upon Henry's ability to remain healthy and Young's consistency. We know that if the running game is not working that Shanahan will make adjustments on the fly, such adjustments could favor Torain.

RB Selvin Young, DEN (RB - #18) - Sleeper (undervalued)

Selvin Young gained 729 yards last season after taking over for the injured Travis Henry. At this stage Young appears to be giving the currently injured Henry a run for his money. Young could emerge as the starter if Henry continues to remain behind pace due to his sore hamstring. Young and Torain will get lots of reps with Henry out and this will feed their consistency in Denver's sometimes complex running scheme. I think Young is a sleeper ranked at #35, I would anticipate him ranked in the top 20 if he breaks into the first string out of camp.

WR Darrell Jackson, DEN (WR - #81) - Over the Hill (decreased production)

Darrell Jackson has been on the move lately. His stint in Seattle was productive until the last few seasons, then there was San Francisco last season where he scored 3 TDs off 46 receptions for 497 yards and now Denver. San Francisco was a rough stop with the state of their offense, believe me, I was counting on Frank Gore for big games that rarely came last season. Jackson is the elder of this Denver wide out squad. He brings experience, but also decreased productivity over the past several years. I feel that Jackson might be over.

WR Brandon Marshall, DEN (WR - #15) - Stud (low risk)

Marshall is the Denver player to own in your fantasy league. This second year receiver is a big target who can cover some ground and bring in a pass. Cutler and Marshall connected for 1,325 yards last season scoring 7 TDs, not too bad for two young players. Marshall is a stud and will continue to be an early and often target for Cutler. With the other supporting wide outs in play, Marshall should have chances to get open when Denver takes to the air. The only potential drawback to Marshall is Denver's trend to grind it out on the ground.

WR Brandon Stokley, DEN (WR - #40) - Quality Backup

Stokley has proven that he is a quality back-up or deep league fantasy option. Stokley's numbers are average at best, but there is the potential for him to have some high scoring games if he is used as a safety outlet for a constantly pressured Cutler. Stokley's slot receiving skills are dependable and he might get many looks in certain scenarios. Stokley's role is that of security blanket and quick pattern receiver, draft him as such.

TE Daniel Graham, DEN (TE - #32) - Over the Hill (decreased production)

Count Daniel Graham as Denver's other offensive elder. Graham has had success, but has struggled with injuries that could be career ending. This season he is looking at competing with Tony Scheffler for the starting TE position. This does not bode well for Graham, as Cutler and Scheffler have synergies that should continue. Scheffler looks to get the starting nod as a top 10 TE.

TE Tony Scheffler, DEN (TE - #8) - Solid/Safe Pick

Scheffler contributed 5 TDs to Denver's cause last season and will look to expand upon his role this year. Look for Cutler and his receiving core, which includes the big man Scheffler, to spread the ball around when give the high sign from Mike Shanahan. Cutler has been learning what he can and cannot get away with in the NFL and should manage his resources better this season. Scheffler, like Stokley, is a safety outlet for Cutler when his other options are taken away. Scheffler has the abilities to standout among TEs and might be worth an early look as far as TEs go in your draft. I expect him to go as a top 6 TE in my league.

Denver can either be a team to watch or a team to ignore. Cutler has streaks of greatness and with some experienced talent around him could be ready for an acceleration in his playing prowess. I like Marshall to standout this year. Cutler should be able to utilize his targets effectively as they are multi-talented. Denver is a big if after watching them struggle in years past, but they have the skills to excel. Sit back and enjoy the ride.



   
NFL Insider -- 2008 Team Outlook: Todays Team is : Dallas Cowboys 
submitted by TheDean1  44 hours ago
Over the next several days we will take a look at the outlook of the 32 NFL Teams. They will be informative for both the fan of football and also some have information for you fantasy football buffs too. Give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...

2008 Team Outlook: Dallas

As per Ben Standig, The Cowboys were among the elite teams last season, scoring at will with Tony Romo running the offense and there is no reason to think that will not happen again. However, despite the superior passing attack with Romo hitting Terrell Owens and Jason Witten early and often, the Cowboys came up short again in the playoffs.

That passing combo -- along with Patrick Crayton -- put the sizzle in a Cowboys attack that took them to the top spot in NFC playoffs and they hope Terry Glenn can return following an injury plagued campaign. Marion Barber provided a rugged presence on the ground and now takes over the starting role in the backfield with first round pick Felix Jones in the mix as well.

Speed rusher DeMarcus Ware and CB Terrence Newman lead a solid defense that should improve with a full year of DT Tank Johnson clogging up the middle. MLB Zach Thomas could provide leadership if he can stay on the field while former Titans CB Pacman Jones has yet to be reinstated by the NFL to even get on the field.

With the potential addition of Jones, who would join fellow suspended player Johnson and noted trash talker Owens on the roster, owner Jerry Jones is playing that oh-so dangerous game of talent vs chemistry. The talent is there to take the NFC crown and a 12-4 record would not be surprising, but adding Pacman to the mix might simply be one combustible move too many. The pressure mounts for head coach Wade Philiips to get the Boys to the Super Bowl, but considering they have not won a single playoff game in a decade, maybe the bar /hype should be lowered just a bit.

QB Tony Romo, DAL (QB - #3) - Stud (low risk)

Now that his dating exploits have become weekly fodder for US Weekly and other tabloids, one almost forgets how stellar Tony Romo was as a fantasy quarterback last season. In his first full season as a starter, Romo was arguably the best QB this side of Tom Brady, tossing 36 touchdowns and throwing for 4,211 yards. He threw multiple touchdown passes in 12 of the opening 13 games (though a dismal one in the final three contests) and led the Cowboys to the top seed in the NFC Playoffs.

While there are concerns about him getting it done in the playoffs, Romo is a near lock to be a fantasy stud once again in '08. With Terrell Owens and Jason Witten, Romo has two targets that are at or near the top at their respective positions. Add in an improving Patrick Crayton, the likely return of Terry Glenn and the versatile Marion Barber in the backfield and Romo should have a a great chance to match his '07 numbers. His off the field options are not so bad either.

RB Marion Barber, DAL (RB - #10) - Solid/Safe Pick

Following two years of being the more productive part of a time share backfield with Julius Jones, Marion Barber will get a chance to show what he can do as a full time starter. Well... almost.

Barber has been the ultimate "backup" for the Cowboys, coming off the bench to rack up 12 total touchdowns and over 1,200 yards from scrimmage. Always churning for the extra yard, Barber has averaged a stellar 4.8 yards per carry in each of the past two seasons and an equally impressive 17.6 yards per reception while hauling in 44 catches.

Now that Jones has moved on, Barbe,( the recipient of a fat new contract) will show us if he can carry the full workload. First round pick Felix Jones will likely work as a change of pace back and could limit Barber's upside and knock his draft rank outside of the top 10 backs. Overall, Barber should handle the rock plenty and have a 1,200-yard season on the ground alone while using his nose for the goal line to score touchdowns many times over.

RB Felix Jones, DAL (RB - #37) - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)

The Cowboys' owner could not resist grabbing this speedy Razorback to take over for the departed Julius Jones, but despite being selected in the first round, Felix Jones is not likely to be more than a deep reserve in fantasy leagues this year. The speedy Jones will add a breakaway element out of the backfield that the Cowboys have been lacking and should contribute on third downs and kickoff returns. With Barber in front of him, Jones' immediate upside is limited and is not worth more than a late round pick as a handcuff or deep keeper option.

WR Patrick Crayton, DAL (WR - #34) - Gamble (high risk)

Patrick Crayton was solid in his role as the deep threat opposite Terrell Owens -- hauling in seven touchdowns -- but he was a tough player to count on for fantasy owners. The 5th year receiver posted career-high numbers across the board with 50 receptions and 697 yards, though his average of 13.9 yards per catch was a three-year low. While explosive at times - he twice scored two touchdowns in a game - he only once went over 75 yards in a game and had more than his share of drops during the season. In the right matchup, Crayton can be a solid WR3 option and the Cowboys have few options behind him, but do not expect Crayton to make a statistical leap.

WR Terry Glenn, DAL - Over the Hill (decreased production)

Following back-to-back 1,000 yards seasons, Terry Glenn essentially missed the entire 2007 campaign with a knee injury, but the Cowboys remain optimistic that the 34-year old can return this season. Historically a burner, the 12-year vet would likely return as a third receiver and may need to turn into a possession receiver as he will likely lack the speed to beat many corners. At this moment Glenn is not worth even a late round pick, but if he can get on the field and produce in pre-season, he could be worth a late round flyer playing in this high-powered offense.

WR Terrell Owens, DAL (WR - #4) - Stud (low risk)

One can argue that Terrell Owens' antics are ultimately detrimental to team chemistry -- many have -- but there should be no argument that "T.O." is a flat out baller. Owens had arguably his best year in 2007, posting career-highs in touchdowns (15) and yards per catch (16.7) as he flew by defensive backs all season. He finished with 81 grabs for 1,355 yards, the eighth 1,000 yard season of his career. At 34, age starts to become an issue and Owens had to deal with nagging injuries last year, but he certainly has more than enough left in the tank to bang out another top notch campaign.

TE Jason Witten, DAL (TE - #2) - Stud (low risk)

After a down campaign in 2006 -- only one touchdown -- Witten rebounded with a dominant season and established himself as one of the premier tight ends in the league. Establishing a rapport with Tony Romo early on, Witten hauled in a career-high 96 receptions for his first 1,000 yard season (1,145) and seven touchdowns. With Terrell Owens the primary focus of defenses on the outside, Witten continually carved out space in the middle of the field and racked up six or more grabs in 10 games. Witten twice posted double digit receptions including an astonishing 15 catches against the Lions and while he is unlikely to reach the same overall heights this season, there may not be a safer TE option on the board.




   
NFL Insider -- 2008 Team Outlook: Todays Team is : Cleveland Browns 
submitted by TheDean1  45 hours ago
Over the next several days we will take a look at the outlook of the 32 NFL Teams. They will be informative for both the fan of football and also some have information for you fantasy football buffs too. Give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...

2008 Team Outlook: Cleveland

As per Joel Welser, Now that the quarterback situation settled itself out, Derek Anderson looks to build on his 3,787 passing yards and 29 touchdowns of a year ago. The Cleveland Browns will look to the air quite a bit and that will boost Anderson's numbers and make him one of the more attractive fantasy quarterbacks. He is also a little risky due to his high amount of interceptions and the fact that if things get bad, Browns fans will be screaming for Brady Quinn.

With Donte' Stallworth joining the team, Anderson will have a whole lot of targets. Braylon Edwards caught 80 passes for 1,289 yards and 16 touchdowns and will once again be the big play threat for Cleveland. Joe Jurevicius is getting up there in age, but he is still a smart receiver who will compliment Edwards quite well. Stallworth is joining his fourth team in as many years, but he has been relatively consistent throughout his career. Tight end Kellen Winslow caught a team high 82 passes last year and will be Anderson's favorite check down target. With the addition of Stallworth, the rest of the receivers might see their numbers decrease a little bit. However, Edwards will still make all the big catches and Winslow will get plenty of opportunities. Stallworth will not tally a large number of receptions, but he is a big play receiver.

After rushing for over 1,300 yards last year, Jamal Lewis hopes to repeat that performance. Heading into the season last year it looked like Lewis would be the main offensive threat, but then Anderson made the passing attack very effective and Lewis was not needed to do as much. However, Lewis did have four of his five 100 yard games during the last six games of the season and if he can stay healthy and strong for the entire season, Lewis will be a great second back on any fantasy team.

The defense is not horrible, but they are not a good fantasy defense. The Browns do not create a lot of turnovers or force a lot of sacks. Only the Bills and the Lions gave up more yards per game than the Browns. The bend but not break defense will work on the field for the most part, but it will not give owners many fantasy points.

QB Derek Anderson, CLE (QB - #5) - Stud (low risk)

Derek Anderson had a superb year last season. The line gave him plenty of time to throw and he took advantage of an under appreciated group of receivers. To make things even better, he now has Donte' Stallworth joining Braylon Edwards, Kellen Winslow and Joe Jurevicius as his receivers. With that group to throw to and a year getting comfortable with the passing game, Anderson could be in for a huge, huge year. But there is the lingering question that neither Anderson, nor the Browns, can keep such a productive offense clicking consistently. When the weather got cold in December, Anderson started to struggle throwing seven touchdowns and eight interceptions in those five games. He also had three of his five under 200 yard passing games during that span.

RB Jamal Lewis, CLE (RB - #20) - Solid/Safe Pick

There were questions about how productive an aging Jamal Lewis would be behind a questionable line in Cleveland. But Lewis, and the line, put those concerns to rest last year when he rushed for 1,304 yards and nine touchdowns and added 30 receptions and a couple more trips to the endzone. Those are not bad numbers for a second fantasy running back, but the Browns could look to the air a little more this year than they did last year. Anderson is now a relatively proven quarterback and the team added Donte' Stallworth to an already decent group of receivers.

RB Jason Wright, CLE (RB - #73) - Fantasy Handcuff

Even if Jamal Lewis were to get hurt, does Jason Wright have the ability to be the team's full-time back? Wright had his best season of his career last year when he rushed for 277 yards on 60 carries and a touchdown. As the Browns figured out last year, he is a decent receiver out of the backfield and caught 24 passes for 233 yards. But even if Wright ended up starting due to an injury to Lewis, the Browns have Jerome Harrison and Lawrence Vickers who would likely help cover the carries. At best, Wright is a handcuff just in case Lewis gets hurt, but that will not even be necessary in most leagues unless there happens to be room on the roster.

WR Braylon Edwards, CLE (WR - #3) - Stud (low risk)

Whoever said wide receivers have a breakout year during their third season in the league has another example to add to their list. Braylon Edwards nearly doubled his touchdown output from his first two seasons in the league and nearly eclipsed the 1,300 yard receiving plateau. He might not reach the endzone 16 times again, but Edwards has proven to be one of the top five fantasy receivers in the NFL. Any fantasy owner who believes the Browns and quarterback Derek Anderson are in for a big year has to have Edwards high on their list of receivers. But Anderson has yet to prove that he is a consistent signal caller at this level and a bad year for him means an average year for Edwards.

WR Joe Jurevicius, CLE (WR - #64) - Bye Week Fill-in

Nobody's numbers will take a hit due to the addition of Donte' Stallworth more than Joe Jurevicius'. In most leagues, the 34-year-old Jurevicius was a bye week fill-in at best last season. A year older and a year slower, the Browns are preparing for life without the savvy veteran and so should fantasy owners. Jurevicius has not caught a touchdown pass since September and through most of the rest of the season quarterback Derek Anderson was putting up great numbers. Those passes were mostly going to Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow. There is potential for the occasional big game, but Edwards, Stallworth and Winslow will be Anderson's first, second and third targets.

WR Donte' Stallworth, CLE (WR - #54) - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)

After moving around to four different teams in as many years, Cleveland Browns fans hope Donte' Stallworth has finally found a home. The former first round selection is a big play receiver and averages over 15 yards per catch on his career. The same can be expected in Cleveland this year. It will be interesting to see how quarterback Derek Anderson adapts to Stallworth's style of play and if the two can find a connection down the field. Stallworth probably will not be a favorite target in the endzone for Anderson, but he should still get to the promise land a few times due to his big play capabilities.

TE Kellen Winslow, CLE (TE - #3) - Solid/Safe Pick

Kellen Winslow has stayed healthy for two straight seasons, so we can put that concern to bed. And in those two years he has led the team in receptions, catching 89 passes in 2006 and 82 in 2007. The touchdown numbers are not as great as a fantasy owner would hope from their 6-4 tight end, but he did go up to five touchdown receptions last year after only three the previous season. Quarterback Derek Anderson will certainly look Winslow's way many times, but the addition of Donte' Stallworth to the receiving corps could take away a few catches here and there.




NFL Insider -- 2008 Team Outlook: Todays Team is : Cincinnati Bengals 
submitted by TheDean1  45 hours ago
Over the next several days we will take a look at the outlook of the 32 NFL Teams. They will be informative for both the fan of football and also some have information for you fantasy football buffs too. Give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...

2008 Team Outlook: Cincinnati

As per Vin Sadicario, The Cincinnati Bengals enter the 2008 season with numerous fantasy starters on their offensive team. The Bengals' offense is led by quarterback Carson Palmer -- who will once again be a top ten fantasy quarterback in 2008. Palmer put up more than 4100 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2007 and could be even better this season if everything breaks right for him. The Bengals' backfield has three running backs who could make an impact this season. Rudi Johnson enters the season as the Bengals starter, but if he is ineffective could lose his job to either Kenny Watson or Chris Perry. Watson would probably be the choice to take over the full load, but Perry is very good receiving out of the backfield and could be a decent option in point per reception leagues if Johnson were to go down. The strength of the Cincinnati Bengals offense is their two pro bowl wide receivers, Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Provided that Chad Johnson does not sit out the regular season, both wide receivers should finish the year close to the top ten in fantasy leagues. Rounding out the Bengals offense is newly signed tight end Ben Utecht. Utecht has the opportunity to make an impact in fantasy leagues with a breakout season as the Bengals' starting tight end. The Bengals offense should produce multiple fantasy stars this season and fantasy owners should target Carson Palmer, Chad Johnson, and T.J. Houshmandzadeh in the early rounds of fantasy drafts.

QB Carson Palmer, CIN (QB - #7) - Stud (low risk)

Carson Palmer enters the 2008 season as the Bengals starting quarterback. Palmer had a good season in 2007, throwing for more than 4100 yards with 26 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. The Bengals will want Palmer to cut down on his interceptions, but his yardage and touchdown numbers are steadily in the top ten each year. Palmer should put up another season worthy of top ten fantasy status in 2008. The Bengals have surrounded Palmer with excellent offensive talent and fantasy owners should not hesitate to make Carson Palmer their starting quarterback on draft day.

RB Rudi Johnson, CIN (RB - #29) - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)

Rudi Johnson enters the 2008 season as the Bengals starting running back. Johnson is coming off by far his worst season since taking over as the Bengals starting running back in 2003. Johnson rushed for only 497 yards and three touchdowns in 11 games, while averaging a horrendous 2.9 yards per carry. The Bengals did not draft a running back in the draft and are ready to give Johnson another chance to be their feature back this season. There are two possible ways in which Johnson could finish this season. He could be a great fantasy sleeper who returns to his pre 2007 form, or he could be a total bust whose skills have greatly diminished. This makes him a boom or bust pick for 2008.

RB Kenny Watson, CIN (RB - #52) - Bye Week Fill-in

Kenny Watson enters the 2008 season as the Bengals backup running back, but could face competition from a healthy Chris Perry. Watson did a tremendous job filling in for an injured Rudi Johnson in 2007, rushing for 763 yards and seven touchdowns. The Bengals have high hopes for Chris Perry, but Watson's excellent 2007 will make it hard for Perry to overtake Watson as the Bengals backup running back. If Watson holds onto his backup job he could be an excellent fantasy sleeper if Rudi Johnson struggles at the beginning of the 2008 season. Fantasy owners should target Watson in the later rounds of fantasy drafts to serve as a backup and possible sleeper.

WR Doug Gabriel, --- - Deep-league Only

Doug Gabriel enters the 2008 season with a chance to win the Bengals number three wide receiver spot. Gabriel will have to battle with Jerome Simpson, Antonio Chatman, and Andre Caldwell to win that spot, but if he is successful he could put up decent numbers in the pass happy Bengals offense. Gabriel caught 30 passes for 428 yards and three touchdowns with the Raiders last season and will have an opportunity to eclipse those numbers if he wins the third wide receiver job in Cincinnati. Fantasy owners should watch the situation closely and if Gabriel wins the spot, he could be worthy of a late round draft pick.

WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh, CIN (WR - #9) - Stud (low risk)

T.J. Houshmandzadeh enters the 2008 season coming off his best season as a professional. Houshmandzadeh caught a remarkable 112 passes for 1143 yards and twelve touchdowns in 2007. While these numbers may come down a bit in 2008, Houshmandzadeh is still a good bet to finish the season in the top ten fantasy wide receivers. Houshmandzadeh benefits from having Chad Johnson on the opposite side of the field, so fantasy owners should watch Johnson's situation closely this offseason. If Chad Johnson stands firm on his decision to hold out, Houshmandzadeh will need to be downgraded slightly. Once Johnson reports, Houshmandzadeh will be a top ten fantasy wide receiver again.

WR Chad Johnson, CIN (WR - #11) - Stud (low risk)

Chad Johnson's eventful offseason will most likely end with him in the same position as when the offseason started, as the Bengals' go to wide receiver. Johnson has threatened to sit out the entire 2008 season, but is unlikely to give up his salary and actually sit out. Fantasy owners will need to monitor the situation as training camp and the preseason approaches, but the drama surrounding Johnson could make him undervalued on draft day. Putting the drama and threats aside, Chad Johnson consistently puts up great numbers every year. Once Chad Johnson reports to the Bengals, he should be a top ten fantasy wide receiver again.

TE Ben Utecht, CIN (TE - #16) - Quality Backup

Ben Utecht enters the 2008 season as the Bengals' starting tight end in his first year with the team. Utecht was signed from the Colts in the offseason and should make an immediate impact in the Bengals' pass happy offense. With no clear cut number three receiver in Cincinnati, Utecht could become the third receiving option this season for the Bengals. Utecht caught 31 passes for 364 yards and one touchdown as a backup in Indianapolis last season and should easily eclipse those numbers as a starter in Cincinnati this season. Fantasy owners should look at Utecht as an excellent backup or weak starter in deeper leagues.



   
NFL Insider -- 2008 Team Outlook: Todays Team is : Chicago Bears 
submitted by TheDean1  45 hours ago
Over the next several days we will take a look at the outlook of the 32 NFL Teams. They will be informative for both the fan of football and also some have information for you fantasy football buffs too. Give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...

2008 Team Outlook: Chicago

As per Jeb Gorham, What can he say, Chicago general manager Jerry Angelo and other team management made some interesting strategic decisions this offseason. After Chicago's poor showing (7-9-0) in the NFC North last season, things needed to get mixed up, but the question eating away at most fantasy fans this year, did Chicago make the right roster changes to see marked improvement?

The team 1) kept two lackluster QBs in Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton when they could have shopped around, 2) signed their ace kicker Robbie Gould to the highest contract for an NFL kicker, 3) released two big names: strong safety Adam Archuleta and WR Mushin Muhammad, 4) lost several players who could have made significant contributions if provided the right support structure: WR Bernard Berrian went to Minnesota, LB Brendon Ayanbadejo took off to Baltimore, and DT Darwin Walker to Carolina, and 5) added a few wide outs that could make a difference with a supportive and consistent QB: Brandon Lloyd and Marty Booker were acquired from Washington and Miami respectively.

Last year I was optimistic about Chicago's abilities to get the job done as a team. They had just let Thomas Jones go to NY and bet that Rex Grossman could lead the team. This season I am much more pessimistic as Grossman is back and his supporting cast has been whittled away, yet again. In my opinion, to groom an effective and efficient QB, any GM should attempt to keep consistency in the wings, i.e. keep some players around long enough for your team to gel. I am not saying that Booker, Bradley, Hester and Lloyd will not be successful, but simply keeping the situation in Chicago in perspective. If Grossman, or for the sake of argument, Orton, can step up and throw the ball accurately, these guys can for sure catch it. A successful passing game will then open up the ground charge for Benson and Peterson, who have shown sparks of superb play.

I'll watch Chicago closely this season for several reasons: 1) Lovie Smith should never go underestimated, 2) the Chicago Defense with all personnel on board (Urlacher may sit out mandatory mini-camp) 3) Grossman can throw touchdowns as well as interceptions, but what if he threw only touchdowns? and 4) with other surprise performances from Benson, Peterson and the WR core, this Chicago team could be tough even in the NFC North with Greenbay, Detroit and Minnesota.

QB Rex Grossman, CHI (QB - #26) - Gamble (high risk)

After a touchdown and interception laden 2006 with a Super Bowl appearance, Grossman lost his starting job in 2007 to Brian Griese. Grossman took back over in Chicago nearing the end of the season, tossing 7 interceptions and only throwing 4 TDs in 8 games. We know Grossman can air the ball out, but his accuracy is questionable. If Grossman is on his game and can connect with his restructured wide out squad, it might be deja vu in terms of seeing Chicago in the late playoff rounds; but let's hope the interceptions are avoided. I would pick up Grossman in a later round at #2 QB -- if he is there, why not take a gamble.

QB Kyle Orton, CHI (QB - #47) - Deep-league Only

There is one thing that's consistent about our boys in Chicago, they can sure throw interceptions. Orton started in 2005 in Chicago and showed very little. Last season Kyle played 3 games and went about 50/50 touchdowns to interceptions and looks to be a second or possibly third stringer this season. Chicago generally carries 3 QBs on their roster, so look for another face to appear on the radar before the end of camp. Orton would be a handcuff for Grossman and/or deep league only guy if Grossman drops pace again.

RB Cedric Benson, --GONE and - Bust (overvalued) and GONE from Chicago but he'll remain the same where ever he ends up.

Cedric Benson looks to have his first successful full season as the starting RB in Chicago. After taking over when Thomas Jones exited for NY, Benson has not done exceptional work. Benson has been named Lovie's starter, but is facing competition from Adrian Peterson, Garrett Wolfe and especially recently drafted Tulane star Matt Forte for his job. Benson will need a strong camp to emerge as the unquestioned starter Week 1. In 11 games last season, Benson carried 196 times for 674 yards before injury took him out of action. I think that Benson is a safe #2 RB and possibly a #1 if he is on his game. He might be a strategic late round pick.

To think Chicago let Thomas Jones go to give Benson a big chance. Benson is now a bust in my book. He was released by Chicago today after receiving his second alcohol-related offense in a month. Benson might get picked up, but he is a risk.

RB Adrian Peterson, CHI (RB - #39) - Fantasy Handcuff

Although it is slowly appearing that Matt Forte may play second fiddle in Chicago to Cedric Benson, Adrian Peterson (who has experience in many games over his 6 NFL seasons) will continue to battle with both younger RBs. Peterson played in every game last season, even having a 100 plus yard game during week 16. Peterson is a handcuff for any Chicago RB as he can fill into their running scheme well when needed.

WR Marty Booker, CHI (WR - #58) - Solid/Safe Pick

The Chicago wide outs this year will be hit or miss with Grossman or Orton throwing. Not one Chicago receiver caught over 71 receptions or reached 1000 yards last season. The last time Booker had seasons better than this were 2001 and 2002 when he was first with Chicago. Booker's 2007 season in Miami was not the best - with 50 receptions for 556 yards - , but I would expect him to pick things back up with a new team, despite the anticipated QB issues. I would take a gamble and say that Booker will be a solid #2 WR on your roster and will get many looks in order to open the ground game for Benson.

WR Mark Bradley, CHI (WR - #131) - Deep-league Only

Let's put it this way, Mark Bradley has not had that many chances in his 3 years. He has battled the inconsistencies of the Chicago QBs and will now look to prove something this season as the most likely Chicago #3 at wide out. Bradley's a big target and if he gets looks, he will make the most of it. Bradley could work in deep leagues, but will probably be a waiver wire guy for most.

WR Devin Hester, CHI (WR - #98) - Deep-league Only

Hester is back, that means a frightening Chicago special teams on returns. I see Booker, Lloyd and Bradley as the top 3 WRs this season, but Hester and his excellent speed are always a factor. Lovie will use this machine when needed and I sure enjoy watching one of his breaks. Hester could be deep league addition potentially, but as in most fantasy leagues, he remains on the wire.

WR Brandon Lloyd, CHI (WR - #115) - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)

Brandon Lloyd is my Chicago super sleeper. After two consistently average seasons in San Francisco before moving to Washington, Lloyd could be a replacement for Berrian's deep receiving loss. Lloyd's match to the Chicago passing game and abilities in this environment must be tested, but with QBs who can let it loose he could be a wondrous surprise. Keep an eye on Lloyd as his draft status will vary depending on league. I see him going in late rounds or being a waiver pick-up, but someone in your draft might take him earlier than anticipated.

TE Greg Olsen, CHI (TE - #14) - Sleeper (undervalued)

Olsen will most likely be Grossman's drop off safety receiver. This monster of a tight end can and should make a difference in Chicago's passing game. I think he will be used often in the red zone and to buy Chicago's offense short yardage. Olsen only scored twice last season, but I would bet he triples these numbers this season. Olsen will be a sleeper TE who will most likely show as a #1 TE in most leagues. I say give him a shot if you do not pick up one of the top 4 TEs.

There was hype last season among Chicago fans that Rex and the crew would have a solid season. That was far from reality. Chicago struggled with inconsistent leadership at QB and went downhill from there. This season, Chicago looks to reclaim their stake in the competitive NFC North, where Green Bay, Minnesota and Detroit will give them a run for their money. At this early stage and with Chicago's attempt to restructure some roles, I would not count them out, but their QB struggles look to continue.




   
NFL Insider -- 2008 Team Outlook: Todays Team is : Carolina Panthers 
submitted by TheDean1  46 hours ago
Over the next several days we will take a look at the outlook of the 32 NFL Teams. They will be informative for both the fan of football and also some have information for you fantasy football buffs too. Give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...

2008 Team Outlook: Carolina

As per George Bissell, John Fox and GM Marty Hurney have put the pressure to succeed in 2008 on themselves already by trading away Carolina's 1st round pick in 2009 to trade back into the first round of this April's 2008 NFL Draft. They selected mammoth OT Jeff Otah out of Pittsburgh (19th overall) after having taken Oregon RB Jonathan Stewart (13th overall) with their original selection. Fox turned a 1-15 squad around in under two seasons when he took over in 2002 and with all of their moves this offseason, the Panthers seem poised for a breakout season. Carolina invested heavily on offense this offseason after injuries crippled them each of the past two seasons. Gone are veterans RB DeShaun Foster, QB David Carr, OG Mike Wahle, C Justin Hartwig, WR Drew Carter, DT Kris Jenkins, and MLB Dan Morgan. Carolina's biggest moves came during the draft, but they rebuilt their offensive line through free agency by resigning OT's Jordan Gross and Travelle Wharton -- signing guards Milford Brown, Keydrick Vincent, Toniu Fonoti, with sophomore center Ryan Kalil expected to start in 08. Carolina has completely overhauled a majority of their roster with young talent surrounding their strong core players on offense and defense like Steve Smith and Julius Peppers. Jake Delhomme is healthy again and as long as he can stay on the field, the entire offense should have a great year. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart will share the workload with Stewart supplying the power and Williams as the change of pace home run hitter. Steve Smith, D.J. Hackett, and Mushin Muhammad anchor one of the NFC's strongest receiving cores heading into the 2008 season; the Panthers seemed poised for a turnaround in 08, because if not, there will be plenty of changes next season for Carolina.

QB Jake Delhomme, CAR (QB - #16) - Sleeper (undervalued)

Jake Delhomme came out of the gate on fire last season putting up excellent numbers by completing 55 of 86 passes for 624 yards with 8 TD's and just 1 INT in just three games before suffering an elbow injury that Delhomme elected to have season ending surgery on. Fantasy owners have learned over the past couple of years that as Delhomme goes, so does the entire Carolina offense. If Delhomme can stay on the field in 2008, teams will be forced to respect Carolina's formidable receivers, which should in turn open up running lanes for talented young backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. If Carolina can build a strong running game, then more big play opportunities should present themselves for Steve Smith and Delhomme downfield in 2008. If Delhomme comes into training camp healthy, then he is worth drafting in the later rounds as a quality backup with potential to be a big time sleeper candidate that will be starting for plenty of fantasy owners towards the end of the 2008 season. Delhomme's health is a huge gamble, but it is one worth taking if you can draft another solid option earlier in your league's draft.

RB Jonathan Stewart, CAR (RB - #30) - Sleeper (undervalued)

Jonathan Stewart was selected by the Carolina Panthers in the 1st round (13th overall) and is expected to compete with last year's 1st round pick DeAngelo Williams for the starting job in the Panthers backfield. Stewart and Williams will share carries, but Stewart will have much more value because he is a bruising power runner who fits their zone blocking scheme extremely well. Stewart also has the speed to be a playmaker if he can get in the open field as he was in college (where he returned kicks for Oregon). Stewart rushed for 1,722 yards and 11 TD's as a senior at Oregon and should put up at least 1,200 yards and 8 TD's in his rookie season if he can fulfill the expectations Carolina has for him while splitting carries with Williams. I expect Stewart to put up better numbers than DeAngelo Williams and have a greater fantasy value; because of his size and strength he will be Carolina's primary red-zone option in 2008. The only concern fantasy owners should have is if Carolina uses him as their primary kick returner next season because there is always a possibility he could get injured on special teams; if Stewart wins the starting role in training camp this summer, then he is worth drafting as a #2 running back in fantasy drafts in 2008.

RB DeAngelo Williams, CAR (RB - #32) - Solid/Safe Pick

DeAngelo Williams shared the starting job with DeShaun Foster last season and appeared poised to take over the role this season when Foster was released in February; until Carolina drafted RB Jonathan Stewart in the 1st round of the NFL Draft. Carolina will split carries between Williams and Stewart in a running back by committee situation similar to the one they had back in 2003 with Stephen Davis and DeShaun Foster. Coach John Fox recently stated "We may have been one of the first to have the tandem deal way back in '03," Fox said. "It helps to have a change of pace guy. I think a lot of people are starting to do that now and we kind of want to follow suit ourselves." Williams appears to be the change of pace guy with the home run hitting ability and ability to catch out of the backfield that will make him an appealing option fantasy wise in 2008. While Stewart appears to have more fantasy value, Williams is a nice selection if you can get him as a #3 option in the middle rounds. Williams ran for 717 yards and 4 TD's on just 114 carries while averaging 5 yards per carry (which indicates that when he was getting carries, he was running well as a rookie). With more opportunities, Williams would be a low end #1 or a solid #2 option; but with Stewart stealing touchdowns, Williams shouldn't rush for more than 1,000 yards and 4 TD's in 2008.

WR D.J. Hackett, CAR (WR - #44) - Quality Backup

Hackett agreed to a 2 year $3.5 million dollar deal after being guaranteed that he would be the #2 receiver for Carolina. The 6 foot 2 Hackett provides Carolina a perfect compliment as a big target opposite small and speedy Pro Bowl WR Steve Smith. Hackett had an injury plagued 2007 season (playing in just 6 games), but still managed 32 receptions for 384 yards and 6 TD's. Hackett had a big game in the postseason versus the Redskins in which he caught 6 balls for 101 yards and 1 TD. Hackett may not be the playmaker Steve Smith is, but his presence will free up Smith downfield because Hackett and Muhammad are big possession receivers that will stretch the defense over the middle of the field in 2008. If Hackett can avoid the injury woes that have plagued him in the past, he will be a solid middle-to-late round option in 2008 capable of catching 65 passes for 900 yards and 7 TD's.

WR Muhsin Muhammad, CAR (WR - #76) - Quality Backup

Muhammad signed a two year contract with the Carolina Panthers in February shortly after being released by Chicago after just three seasons with the Bears. Muhammad spent his first nine seasons in Carolina and is the franchise all time leader in receptions. Muhammad had his best year in 2004 (the year after Carolina reached the Super Bowl), recording 93 catches for 1,465 yards and 16 TD's. Muhammad's greatest assets are his size and strength, previous connection with QB Jake Delhomme, and (most importantly from a fantasy perspective) the ability to take attention away from All Pro WR Steve Smith. Ever since Muhammad's departure, Carolina has failed to effectively replace him with the likes of Keyshawn Johnson, Drew Carter, and Keary Colbert. At 6 foot 2 and 215 pounds, Muhammad has a unique combination of size and strength and is an excellent possession receiver who will have a big impact in the red-zone for the Panthers. Muhammad gives Carolina a quality #3 receiver who will free up Steve Smith and allow him to be a playmaker again. Muhammad won't put up incredible fantasy numbers, but he should record 50 catches for over 800 yards and score at least 5 TD's in 2008 -- making him a nice option to fill in if you have a bye week or if Muhammad has a nice matchup.

WR Steve Smith, CAR (WR - #7) - Stud (low risk)

Steve Smith started the season on fire with Jake Delhomme under center, catching 16 passes for 281 yards and 4 TD's. In the next 12 games Smith started he caught 71 passes for 721 yards and 3 TD's. Clearly Smith is much more productive with Delhomme under center, making his health in 2008 critical to the success and fantasy value of Steve Smith. Fortunately for Smith, Carolina brought back Muhsin Muhammad, as well as signed D.J. Hackett from Seattle to help take some of the defensive attention away from Steve Smith. If Jake Delhomme can stay on the field, I would expect Smith to continue to put up excellent fantasy numbers again in 2008. Expect Smith to catch over 100 passes for over 1,400 yards and 12 TD's in 2008. Smith should be drafted as a #1 wide receiver worthy of a selection in the 3rd round of all fantasy leagues next season.

TE Jeff King, CAR (TE - #24) - Bye Week Fill-in

Carolina hasn't placed an emphasis on the tight end position since John Fox was the Head Coach, but that seems destined to change after Jeff King's strong showing in 2007 in which he caught 46 passes for 406 yards and 2 TD's. King has the size (at 6 foot 3 253 pounds) to be a target in the red-zone and over the middle of the field, but King's lack of speed and Carolina's other receiving options will limit King's fantasy value to a minimum. Also don't rule out competition for the starting job from Dante Rosario, who had 6 catches for 108 yards and 2 TD's last season. King should put up similar numbers in 2008 as he did last season, but unless he becomes a bigger part of Carolina's passing game with Jake Delhomme at QB, then he's not worth drafting. King has plenty of value as a bye week fill-in and is a possible sleeper at the position in the deepest of fantasy leagues.




   
NFL Insider -- 2008 Team Outlook: Todays Team is : Buffalo Bills 
submitted by TheDean1  2 days ago
Over the next several days we will take a look at the outlook of the 32 NFL Teams. They will be informative for both the fan of football and also some have information for you fantasy football buffs too. Give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...

2008 Team Outlook: Buffalo

As per Joel Welser, The pieces are starting to come together for the Buffalo Bills offense...at least for the fantasy numbers. New offensive coordinator Turk Schonert plans to have a wide open attack and the quarterback situation seems to be settled in favor of Trent Edwards after he split time with J.P. Losman last season. While Edwards will probably not put up great numbers this year, he did show some promise during his rookie campaign and will be a decent back-up quarterback in most fantasy leagues. But with Losman breathing down his neck, selecting Edwards will be a risk.

Fortunately the Bills are doing everything they can to make their quarterback successful. Wide receiver Lee Evans had a disappointing 2007 campaign and he hopes to get back to his 2006 numbers which saw him make 82 catches for 1,292 yards and eight touchdowns. Last year the opposition was on to Evans and doubled him constantly. To address that problem the Bills took James Hardy in the second round of the draft. The 6-5 Hardy will be the big target opposite of Evans that the team desperately needs. That could mean a big season for Evans, as long as the quarterbacks can handle the job. But of course the biggest fantasy player on the team is running back Marshawn Lynch. After rushing for 1,115 yards and seven touchdowns as a rookie, Lynch should be one of the top running backs for fantasy owners this year.

The place where Buffalo might improve the most is on the defensive side of the ball. Besides picking up players like linebacker Kawika Mitchell in free agency, most of the draft was spent on the defensive side of the ball. In the first round the Bills selected Leodis McKelvin and added the aptly named Reggie Corner in the fourth round to help shore up the porous secondary that ranked 29th in the NFL.

QB Trent Edwards, BUF (QB - #23) - Bye Week Fill-in

It seemed like Trent Edwards won more games as a rookie in Buffalo than he did his entire career at Stanford. He began to prove what the Bills thought when they drafted him in the third round...that collegiate wins have nothing to do with success in the NFL. Edwards played in ten games last year, completing 56.1 percent of his passes. The seven touchdowns and eight interceptions is nothing to write home about, but this is his team now and one year of experience should help. At best, Edwards is still a fantasy back-up, but with targets like Lee Evans, Josh Reed and James Hardy, the Bills hope they do not have to depend entirely on running back Marshawn Lynch.

RB Fred Jackson, BUF (RB - #69) - Fantasy Handcuff

When he was around, Fred Jackson did a pretty good job as Marshawn Lynch's back-up. In 58 carries, he rushed for 300 yards and also caught 22 passes for 190 yards. Obviously he is not going to put up numbers worthy of selection as long as Lynch is healthy, but Jackson is certainly necessary as a handcuff for Lynch. Jackson, who set a United Indoor Football League record in 2005 with 1,770 yards and 53 touchdowns, even had a 115 yard effort against Miami in December and had 151 total yards in Washington the prior week. If Lynch gets hurt, even for a week or two, you will want to have Jackson ready to go.

RB Marshawn Lynch, BUF (RB - #9) - Stud (low risk)

If Goodall lets him play, and with the questions surrounding the passing game, Marshawn Lynch could have to carry this offense...again. After rushing for 1,115 yards and seven touchdowns as a rookie, everybody expects bigger things from the California product this year. If Trent Edwards and J.P. Losman struggle in the passing game, it will be up to Lynch to eat up some clock and get a few first downs. The defense is good enough to win games for the Bills, so depending on the run (which they do more than most teams), it is not a horrible option if the Bills have no other choice. Lynch will get plenty of opportunities and should be in the top ten running backs on everybody's draft board.

WR Lee Evans, BUF (WR - #20) - Solid/Safe Pick

After a disappointing 2007 campaign, Lee Evans is hoping to put up numbers like he did in 2006. Last year he only caught 55 passes for 849 yards and five touchdowns. That was upsetting to fantasy owners who expected another 82 catches for 1,292 yards and eight touchdowns from the former Wisconsin Badger. But the problem was that Buffalo had no other legitimate target opposite of Evans. Thus, the defense keyed in on him. Now the Bills hope second round draft choice James Hardy will fill that void. The questions at quarterback did not help either, but Trent Edwards will be given every opportunity to turn this into his team. With the new offensive coordinator Turk Schonert bringing a more wide-open attack, Evans might have a huge year.

WR James Hardy, BUF (WR - #82) - Deep-league Only

If everything goes as planned, James Hardy will have a great freshman campaign. But that is a big if. Buffalo hopes Hardy will become a big receiving threat and free up Evans. If the opposition cannot double Evans, the passing game could flourish as long as quarterback Trent Edwards can improve on his freshman campaign. In the meantime, Hardy will be open while opposing defenses key in on Evans. That could lead to some big games for the 6-5 Hardy. The Indiana product dominated the Big Ten last year, catching 79 passes for 1,125 yards and 16 touchdowns. It might take some time, but Hardy certainly has the potential to be a big-time receiver in Buffalo.

WR Josh Reed, BUF (WR - #74) - Deep-league Only

Josh Reed had a decent year in 2007 opposite of Lee Evans, catching 51 passes for 578 yards. But the problem was that he is not the big receiver that Buffalo needed to free up Evans. With the addition of 6-5 James Hardy, the team's second round selection in the NFL Draft, Reed will not be expected to do as much. However, it might take some time for Hardy to adjust to life in the role opposite of Evans. Either way, Reed will still play a role in the passing game, but sooner or later he will be the third option for quarterback Trent Edwards. And on a team that has some questions surrounding their passing game, the third option on Buffalo does not deserve much fantasy attention.

TE Robert Royal, BUF (TE - #29) - Deep-league Only

Without fellow tight end Michael Gaines, who is now with the Lions, Robert Royal could be in for a decent year. Last season he caught 25 passes for 248 yards and three touchdowns. Courtney Anderson, who joins the Bills from Oakland, will certainly take some of the 25 catches that went to Gaines last year, but young quarterback Trent Edwards might look for his familiar 6-4 target in Royal more often, especially in the redzone. Even with a stable of decent receivers in Buffalo, Royal is a big target who should find himself in the endzone at least a few times this year.




   
NFL Insider -- 2008 Team Outlook: Todays Team is : Baltimore Ravens 
submitted by TheDean1  2 days ago
Over the next several days we will take a look at the outlook of the 32 NFL Teams. They will be informative for both the fan of football and also some have information for you fantasy football buffs too. Give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...

2008 Team Outlook: Baltimore

As per Ben Standig, The Ravens went from a 13-3 record and the second seed in the AFC in 2006 to a 5-11 collapse last season; Perhaps they were still smarting from that home playoff loss to the Colts in '06 or maybe this veteran club went from experienced to old overnight. Either way, Brian Billick was fired and rookie head coach John Harbaugh was hired to jump start the franchise and specifically, their perennial suspect offense.

Nowhere did the Ravens look older last year then at quarterback, where the now retired Steve McNair struggled to help move the chains. Left with the often ridiculed Kyle Boller and the unproven Troy Smith, the Ravens pulled the trigger and took QB Joe Flacco in the first round. Flacco is a highly touted prospect, but it seems unlikely that the rookie will be ready to help this group right away and the Flacco era may be delayed further if future Hall-of-Fame left tackle Jonathan Ogden decides to retire following an injury plagued season.

Willis McGahee was the big acquisition a year ago and he delivered as advertised. The 1,200 yard back gets help carrying the rock in the form of second-round pick Ray Rice, who should take over for the departed Musa Smith. The Ravens should continue to rely heavily on the ground game, though they will get a boost with the return of a healthy TE Todd Heap. Derrick Mason is a solid option, but they need Mark Clayton or Demetrius Williams to provide the down field threat that was sorely lacking a season ago.

Defense has been the name of the game for some time with the Ravens and they continue to make big plays, led by S Ed Reed and LB's Terrell Suggs, Bart Scott and Ray Lewis (who had 120 tackles despite being slowed by nagging injuries last season). Yet the 12-year veteran, who is looking for a new contract, in many ways epitomizes the uncertainty of the franchise's direction: can they make another run to the playoffs or is it time to look to the future?

With a last place schedule to work with, the Ravens have a chance to return to their winning ways. However, it is hard to imagine them making the playoffs with Boller at the helm. When that experiment ends, it's Flacco time, but that also means no playoffs this year.

QB Kyle Boller, BAL (QB - #32) - Deep-league Only

The sudden off-season retirement by Steve McNair left Kyle Boller atop the Ravens' depth chart, but the inconsistent quarterback will be challenged to stay there for long by a former Heisman Trophy winner and a first round pick.

Boller, who was the starter in the Ravens' near upset of then undefeated Patriots in Week 13, passed for 1,743 yards and nine touchdowns in eight overall starts. Though he completed a career-best 61 percent of his passes, Boller was still more of an erratic thrower than competent passer and finished with 10 interceptions.

While he is expected to start the season opener, Boller's fantasy role in deep leagues should be nothing more than that of a backup -- a role he could find himself in before long with Troy Smith and rookie Joe Flacco looking over his shoulder.

QB Joe Flacco, BAL (QB - #33) - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)

The jump from the University of Delaware to the NFL is a big one, but the Ravens felt strong enough about the strong arm of QB Joe Flacco that they selected him with the 18th pick in the first round of the 2008 draft. In addition to making a major leap in competition, Flacco will need to adjust to playing under center after playing primarily in the shotgun with the Blue Hens, but early indications are that he is progressing in that area.

With only the maddening Kyle Boller and second-year player Troy Smith ahead of him, Flacco will likely see time in the starting lineup at some point this year despite what is expected to be a steep learning curve. However, barring a training camp shocker, Flacco's fantasy value is likely to be no more than that of keeper league hopeful or bye week filler; skip him until the final rounds.

RB Willis McGahee, BAL (RB - #12) - Stud (low risk)

One of the most talked about acquisitions a season ago following a trade from the Buffalo Bills, Willis McGahee lived up to the hype with the best all-around season of his career. McGahee's totals on the ground -- 1,207 yards and seven touchdowns in 15 starts --were in line with his previous seasons, though he averaged a career-best 4.1 yards per carry.

His numbers are even more impressive considering he received little help from the passing game and ran behind a Jonathan Ogden-less offensive line most of the season. But his biggest improvement came in the passing game as he hauled in 43 passes, far outpacing his previous high of 28 with the Bills.

The Ravens drafted Ray Rice as a backup and possible third down back, but he is unlikely to steal any goal line carries. Conditioning may be the biggest concern with McGahee as a rib injury in Week 15 ended his season and at times he seemed to wear down as the games went along. . Regardless, McGahee should fall somewhere between the late first and mid-second round in most fantasy leagues.

RB Ray Rice, BAL (RB - #56) - Fantasy Handcuff

The Ravens drafted for value with the selection of running back Ray Rice in the second round and the former Rutgers star is expected to be the primary backup for Willis McGahee. Rice was a big-time producer for the Scarlet Knights, using his 4.4 speed to break long runs while able to churn out those tough yards inside despite his 5-9 frame. His role initially may be that of third down back and with Musa Smith heading to the Jets, Rice should have little competition for playing time. Not much of a keeper league option unless McGahee has a serious injury, but Rice is the handcuff McGahee owners will want to grab.

WR Mark Clayton, BAL (WR - #78) - Gamble (high risk)

Yet another victim of the Ravens' quarterbacking woes a season ago, Mark Clayton's play slipped in 2007 and his role is uncertain heading into training camp this year. Much was expected of the former Oklahoma Sooner coming off a 67-939 season, but instead Clayton was one of the biggest fantasy flops last season, catching only 48 passes for a paltry 531 yards and nary a touchdown.

Demetrius Williams (another Ravens receiver coming off a disappointing year) could eat into his time, but if the Ravens run more multiple receiver sets as expected, Clayton should still have a significant role in the offense. However, his steep decline in production mixed with the a potential merry-go-round at quarterback makes Clayton no more than a late round flyer.

WR Derrick Mason, BAL (WR - #26) - Solid/Safe Pick

Coming off a sub par 2006 campaign, Derrick Mason hauled in a career-high 103 receptions for five touchdowns and 1,087 yards, his sixth 1,000-yard season in the past seven years. Mason was a PPR league machine early on with 44 grabs in the first five games and he had at least four catches in all but one of his 16 starts. However, Mason is a possession receiver at this point in his career as he averaged a career-low 10.6 yards per catch and did not have a 100-yard receiving game on the season. The lack of scoring production combined with the uncertainty at the quarterback position limits any true upside for Mason, but he remains a steady option -- especially in PPR leagues.

TE Todd Heap, BAL (TE - #6) - Solid/Safe Pick

On the heels of an injury-plagued 2007 campaign, Todd Heap is likely to slide down draft boards; but there are reasons to believe that he will finish at or near his previous Pro Bowl level totals. Heap, who in 2006 caught 68 passes, is expected to be healthy for training camp after a torn hamstring and other ailments limited him to 23 receptions and one touchdown in six games last season. The addition of offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, who worked with Antonio Gates when he had the same role with the Chargers, should also open up the passing game and the Ravens will look to align Heap in different spots along the line.

The injury history and QB uncertainty drops Heap outside of the top five fantasy tight ends, but do not let him slide much beyond that.



   
NFL Insider -- 2008 Team Outlook: Todays Team is : Atlanta Falcons 
submitted by TheDean1  2 days ago
Over the next several days we will take a look at the outlook of the 32 NFL Teams. They will be informative for both the fan of football and also some have information for you fantasy football buffs too. Give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...

2008 Team Outlook: Atlanta

As per George Bissell, Atlanta cleaned house after a rough 2007 season that included a number of very public off-field incidents that included Michael Vick's arrest, as well as the sudden resignation of Head Coach Bobby Petrino (which became a major distraction for the team, as the Falcons ended the season in last place of the NFC South with a 4-12 record). Atlanta's first move was bringing the New England Patriots' Director of College Scouting Thomas Dimitroff to be their new GM. Dimitroff proceeded to hire Jacksonville Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith to be the Falcons' new Head Coach. The rebuilding process began with the trade of CB DeAngelo Hall (who had become a major disruption for the Falcons) to Oakland and the release of several high profile veterans that included TE Algae Crumpler, RB Warrick Dunn, QB Byron Leftwich, and DT Rod Coleman. Dimitroff made several key moves through free agency that included resigning QB Chris Redman, as well as bringing in RB Michael Turner (widely regarded as the top free agent RB available), as well as TE Ben Hartsock, and longtime Denver kicker Jason Elam. Dimitroff and Mike Smith turned to the draft to fill their biggest need on offense with the drafting of Boston College QB Matt Ryan (3rd overall). Atlanta is in a state of rebuilding, with Chris Redman remaining the starting QB for now while Matt Ryan develops. Michael Turner will be relied on to carry Atlanta's offense in 2008 -- which is great news for fantasy owners and greatly increases Turner's value as well. The keys for Atlanta fantasy-wise in 2008 will be: Can Chris Redman or Matt Ryan be effective in the starting role, will Roddy White be able to maintain the same level of success as he did last season if a rookie's throwing him the ball, and will Michael Turner be effective in a full time role? If the answer is yes to all three questions, then there is a lot for fantasy owners to look forward to in Atlanta.

QB Chris Redman, ATL (QB - #29) - Gamble (high risk)

Chris Redman was resigned after beating the competition for the starting job late last season in Atlanta; how long Redman will remain the starter remains to be seen, however, after the drafting of Boston College QB Matt Ryan with the #3 overall pick in the NFL Draft. Redman finished the 2007 season strong, completing 89 of 149 passes for 1,079 yards and 10 TD's with 5 interceptions. The highlight of Redman's season came in the season finale against Seattle in which he threw for 251 yards and 4 TD's. Redman is an extremely high risk to take on draft day because his days as a starter will be numbered if Atlanta struggles early in 2008; the fans will be calling for Matt Ryan very soon. However, Redman is a risk worth taking in the later rounds of your league's draft as a backup because he also has the potential to put up quality fantasy numbers as he showed at times last season. Redman has a strong running-game anchored by hard-nosed Michael Turner and a number of quality receivers in Roddy White, Laurent Robinson, and Michael Jenkins. If Redman can hold onto the starting job in 2008, it will be for one reason: because he's playing too well to bench him; much like Derek Anderson last season, Redman has the potential to be a big time sleeper in 2008.

QB Matt Ryan, ATL (QB - #49) - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)

Chris Redman may hold onto the starting job, but Matt Ryan is the future in Atlanta. Ryan signed a 6 year $72 million deal prior to Atlanta's mini-camp and enters training camp listed behind Redman and Joey Harrington on the Falcons' depth chart, but he may not remain there for long if Redman falters early in the 2007 season. Ryan is a long term investment worth drafting in keeper leagues, but in standard leagues he's not worth anything more than a late round flier who could put up solid numbers if he finds his way onto the field for the Falcons in 2008.

RB Jerious Norwood, ATL (RB - #46) - Fantasy Handcuff

Jerious Norwood has the skills to be an NFL starting RB as his numbers over the past two seasons suggest (1,246 yards and 3 TD's on just 202 carries, averaging an incredible 6.2 yards per carry), but just hasn't had the opportunity to show he can be the full time starter in Atlanta. Norwood appeared poised to step into the starting role following the release of aging veteran Warrick Dunn this offseason, only to be pushed back again this time behind Michael Turner (who signed as a free agent). Drafting Norwood is a high risk if you are drafting him as a #3 RB on your fantasy team in 2008 because the number of carries he receives will be limited, thus limiting his fantasy value; making drafting him as a handcuff to Michael Turner a much smarter alternative. Consider Norwood a top fantasy handcuff in 2008 with the upside and potential to be a solid #3 fantasy RB if his role in the offense expands. Norwood is worth considering in the middle rounds of fantasy drafts in all leagues in '08.

RB Michael Turner, ATL (RB - #13) - Solid/Safe Pick

Atlanta's new offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey plans to utilize the 5 foot 10, 237 pound Turner much like he did Jerome Bettis in the early 90's according to reports in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Turner's physical interior running style is very similar to that of Bettis, and a modern day comparison would be the Cowboys' Marion Barber; the major difference between them and Turner is that Turner has the speed to turn a small gain into a 60 yard TD if he turns the corner with his speed (Turner scored TD's of 83, 74, and 73 yards with San Diego). In his six seasons with the Chargers serving as the backup to perennial Pro Bowler LaDainian Tomlinson, Turner rushed for 1,257 yards and 6 TD's on just 228 carries -- averaging 5.5 yards per carry over that stretch. For years fantasy owners have drafted Turner high as a backup and now he finally has a starting role of his own with the Falcons after signing a 6 year deal this offseason as a free agent. Turner will be expected to handle a majority of the workload in the Atlanta backfield and with his size and strength, there's little to suggest that he won't succeed when given at least 15-20 carries per game plus goal-line touches. Turner may lose some carries here or there to Jerious Norwood, but with a rookie QB in Matt Ryan under center, Turner will be the focal point of the Falcons' offense in 2008. Turner is a solid #2 fantasy option heading into 2008 with the potential to put up excellent numbers in Atlanta.

WR Michael Jenkins, ATL (WR - #63) - Deep-league Only

Jenkins remains one of the most disappointing fantasy wide receivers in recent memory who appears to have unlimited potential, but just can't put it together. Jenkins recorded 53 catches for 532 yards and 4 TD's in 2007, but his TD total dropped from 7 in 2006 to just 4 this past season. Jenkins just isn't worth any more than a late round pick on draft day because he's most likely going to open the season as Atlanta's #3 wide receiver, with Roddy White and Laurent Robinson stealing too many looks for Jenkins to have any fantasy value in 2008. Jenkins does seem to find the end-zone often, making him an appealing bye-week fill in if he has a nice matchup. Jenkins is a guy to watch on your league's wavier wire, but until he shows some consistency he won't be selected in too many fantasy drafts.

WR Laurent Robinson, ATL (WR - #86) - Deep-league Only

Robinson opened the Falcons' mini-camp as the starting receiver opposite Roddy White, however there's no guarantee that Robinson will hold onto the job until Week 1. Robinson started 6 games as a rookie out of Illinois State last season, catching 37 passes for 437 yards and 1 TD. Robinson has excellent size at 6 foot 2, with the ability to give opposing secondaries matchup nightmares as a slot receiver. Robinson will benefit greatly with Roddy White, drawing a majority of the defensive attention and should put up solid numbers for Atlanta in 2008. I would expect around 50 catches for 800 yards and 4 TD's from the sophomore wide-out in 2008; making him worthy of a selection in the later rounds of fantasy drafts in 2008 as a super sleeper in deeper leagues.

WR Roddy White, ATL (WR - #16) - Solid/Safe Pick

Roddy White was just about the only Falcon worth owning last season and didn't get nearly enough recognition from fantasy owners even though he put up excellent numbers (83 catches for 1,202 yards and 6 TD's) considering the uncertainty surrounding the QB position in Atlanta. White will most likely begin the season with Chris Redman as his QB, but it may not be long before Matt Ryan steps into the starting role in Atlanta, making White even more valuable in keeper leagues in 2008. Roddy White got by last season with the likes of Redman, Harrington, and Leftwich; so owners shouldn't be concerned about who's throwing him the ball because White is a safe bet to continue to put up solid fantasy numbers. White is worth drafting as a solid #2 wide receiver who will catch at least 80 passes for 1,200 yards and 6-8 TD's in 2008.

TE Ben Hartsock, ATL - Deep-league Only

Atlanta signed former Titan Ben Hartsock this offseason to replace former Pro Bowl TE Algae Crumpler who was released after last season. Hartsock has greater value as a blocker and will have minimal (if any) fantasy value in 2008 and should be avoided unless you are in an extremely deep league. Hartsock has just 24 catches for 247 yards in his career with 12 catches for 138 yards last season in Tennessee. Hartsock will also face competition from Martrez Milner (a rookie last season who caught 9 passes for 50 yards before suffering a high ankle sprain that ended his season). Milner may play a larger role in the passing game for Atlanta, but unless he takes over the starting job in training camp, he isn't worth considering drafting (even in the deepest of leagues).




   
NFL Insider -- 2008 Team Outlook: Todays Team is : Arizona Cardinals 
submitted by TheDean1  2 days ago
Over the next several days we will take a look at the outlook of the 32 NFL Teams. They will be informative for both the fan of football and also some have information for you fantasy football buffs too. Give us your feedback by leaving your comments. Thank you and have a great season...

2008 Team Outlook: Arizona

As per George Bissell: Since the arrival of the dynamic duo of Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin to the Valley of the Sun, Arizona has had one of the NFL's most dynamic passing attacks in the NFL. The arrival of RB Edgerrin James and the drafting of QB Matt Leinart in the 1st round of the 2006 NFL Draft were expected to give Arizona a much needed running game and solidify the quarterback position for the future. To this point (almost two years later), Arizona has yet to accomplish either objective primarily due to a terrible offensive line that has failed to improve year after year; stalling the running game and failing to protect Matt Leinart, who has taken a beating and ending each of the past two seasons on injured reserve. The biggest questions heading into the 2008 season for Arizona are whether Matt Leinart can develop into the QB they envisioned when he was taken with the 11th pick overall in the 06 NFL Draft? Will Edgerrin James be able to carry the bulk of the carries in the Cardinals' backfield? Will Anquan Boldin's contract situation distract the club over the course of the season and will the offensive line be able to protect Leinart and open up running lanes in 2008? 1st year Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt's offense clicked under Kurt Warner in 2007 and I expect that success to carry over into 2008 with Matt Leinart under center. Despite the huge question marks on offense, Fitzgerald and Boldin remain studs who should have monster fantasy seasons in 2008. On defense, Arizona filled a glaring need with 1st round pick Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (14th overall) out of Tennessee State. Rodgers-Cromartie will start alongside Antrel Rolle who has developed into an outstanding playmaker, recorded 5 interceptions and scoring 3 TD's in 2007. Arizona may give plenty of yards and points, but their ability to force turnovers has made them a strong fantasy defense in 2008 worthy of a selection in 2008 fantasy drafts.

QB Matt Leinart, ARI (QB - #12) - Sleeper (undervalued)

Leinart missed most of the 2007 season after breaking his collarbone in Week 5, finishing his sophomore season 60-112 for 647 yards and 2 TD's with 4 interceptions. Despite his struggles that forced Ken Whisenhunt to bench him at one point in favor of Kurt Warner last season, Leinart enters the 2008 season with the starting job according to Arizona's 2nd year Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt. Arizona's offense is consistently one of the NFL's most explosive with Pro Bowl WR's Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. In his absence, Kurt Warner excelled throwing for 3,417 yards and 27 TD's. Leinart will have the job heading into training camp, but Arizona's main additions this offseason through free agency and the draft were on defense; the loss of #3 WR Bryant Johnson to San Francisco via free agency places even more importance on Fitzgerald, and Boldin remaining healthy, which is just about the only thing the dynamic duo has failed to do. Fantasy owners would like to believe that Leinart will put up the numbers Kurt Warner did last season for Arizona, but Leinart's injury woes and benching have stalled his development and his health issues may continue in 2008 because the Cardinals have done little to shore up their woes along the offensive line (which is consistently one of the NFL's worst). If Leinart continues to take constant abuse, I wouldn't be surprised to see him end the year on IR for the third straight season. Until Matt Leinart shows that he can succeed in Ken Whisenhunt's system, he's no better than a #2 fantasy QB with potential to be a big time sleeper if he plays up to the level of talent surrounding him in Arizona's offense.

RB Tim Hightower, ARI (RB - #63) - Fantasy Handcuff

JJ Arrington and Marcel Shipp have done little to distinguish themselves in their tenures in Arizona, so Ken Whisenhunt is looking to infuse some youth into the runningback position with the drafting of Tim Hightower in the 5th round of the 2008 NFL Draft. Whisenhunt stated on AzCentral.com "It would be nice to have a guy who could give us that home run ability at the (RB) position like we've seen a lot of young backs do recently." Which makes it a surprise is that they drafted a slower, more powerful back in Hightower who won't outrun many NFL defenders with his 4.6 forty yard dash time. Hightower is a complete back with the ability to block and catch and at 6 feet, 224 pounds, the ability to run downhill and break tackles. Edgerrin James will hold onto the starting job in 2008, but I would expect Hightower to be given his fair share of carries as the Cardinals try to limit James' workload in order to keep him healthy. Hightower is a nice handcuff for Edgerrin James worth acquiring if James goes down at any point next season, but (until that happens) no runningback in Arizona has much fantasy value other than James.

RB Edgerrin James, ARI (RB - #27) - Bust (overvalued)

Edgerrin James finished his second season in Arizona with 1,222 yards and 7 TD's on 324 carries, also catching 24 passes for 204 yards. James started out the season strong in 2007 scoring 4 of his 7 touchdowns in the season's first 6 games before slowing down; Edge posted his 5th straight season of over 1,000 yards and 6 TD's and has only missed one game due to injury in the past 4 seasons. James posted just 4 carries of 20 yards or more and had just 3 100 yard games last season and his skills and speed appear to be deteriorating. Edgerrin James is now entering his 10th season in the NFL and Coach Ken Whisenhunt recently stated on AzCentral.com that current backups JJ Arrington and Marcel Shipp are contenders to take some of the load off of James next season. Arizona also drafted RB Tim Hightower out of Richmond in the 5th round, who figures to get some carries in 2008. The bottom line is that James just isn't a playmaker, but his consistent performance over the last six years makes him a sure bet to rush for at least 1,000 yards and 5 TD's. I'm expecting Edgerrin James to remain a solid fantasy performer, but he's no more than a #3 RB in 2008.

WR Anquan Boldin, ARI (WR - #12) - Solid/Safe Pick

In 12 games this past season, Anquan Boldin caught 71 passes for 853 yards and a career high 9 TD's in 2007. Boldin's receptions and yards were down in 07, but his TD total remained the same. Despite speculation that he had requested a trade this past offseason, Boldin addressed the issue at the team's mini-camp denying that he ever requested a trade according to AzCentral.com. Boldin was plagued by hip and toe injuries for most of the 2007 season but still put up solid numbers, making him worthy of a selection as a #2 WR in 2008 fantasy drafts. Boldin has been a model of consistency for fantasy wideouts since his rookie season. If Boldin can remain healthy throughout the entire 2008 season, he should record at least 80 receptions for 1,100 yards and 10 TD's.

WR Early Doucet, ARI (WR - #85) - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)

Early Doucet, the Cardinals' 3rd round draft pick (81st overall), is expected to compete for the #3 WR position in Arizona with Jerheme Urban in training camp. If Doucet wins the job, he is a nice sleeper candidate for 2008 because he will be filling in a spot in one of the league's most explosive offenses in Arizona vacated by Bryant Johnson (who left to division rival San Francisco this past offseason). Johnson had a decent season in 2007 with 46 catches for 528 yards and 2 TD's, filling in periodically for Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald (who have struggled with injuries in the past). If Doucet wins the job, he is a sleeper candidate with the opportunity in Arizona to turn in over 50 catches for 700 yards and 3 TD's. Early Doucet, out of LSU, is worth considering in the middle to later rounds of 2008 fantasy drafts.

WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI (WR - #5) - Stud (low risk)

Two time Pro Bowl WR Larry Fitzgerald finalized a 4 year $40 million contract extension on March 22nd following another impressive season in which he hauled in 100 passes for 1,409 yards and 10 TD's. Fitzgerald started off the 2007 season sluggishly with Matt Leinart under center, but caught fire once Kurt Warner took over the job when Leinart broke his collarbone in Week 5. Fitzgerald is the #1 target in one of the NFL's most explosive offenses with the physical skills and ability to warrant being one of the first wide receivers drafted in 2008 fantasy drafts. Fitzgerald should eclipse 95 catches and 10 TD's if he can get on the same page with 3rd year QB Matt Leinart.

TE Leonard Pope, ARI (TE - #25) - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)

Leonard Pope finally took over the starting job in his sophomore season last year finishing with 23 catches for 238 yards and 5 TD's. Pope finally was able to translate his physical skills at 6 foot 8, 258 pounds into results on the field, catching fire in the second half of the season that included a two week stretch in which he caught 8 passes for 87 yards and 3 TD's. Pope started 11 games before breaking his ankle in Week 14 versus the Seattle Seahawks. Pope is a huge redzone target who will be a TD vulture in 2008, stealing scores from the Cardinals' prominent wide receivers, but significantly improving his fantasy value at the same time. Pope is a sleeper candidate at the tight end position and is worthy of a selection in the final rounds of 2008 fantasy drafts.


I hope this is very useful to you all in one way or another.  Best of luck this season...
Posted on: May 16, 2008 3:22 pm
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