Monday, August 9, 2010

Howdy/Fantasy Talk

Howdy guys, I'm Kyle and was invited by Ming to share a few posts on this most prestigious blog. Looking forward to contributing.

So after cracking open the first beer of the football season (if you count the preseason, that is) I got the usual head-rush of fantasy football. We all love it, we all hate the disappointment that comes when Maurice Jones-Drew costs you six points by kneeling on the one-yard line....or maybe that was just me. Anyway, fantasy football is almost as big a part of the excitement as the game itself, and I've put together a quick list of three players you need to draft in the next few weeks.

Ryan Grant, RB Green Bay - Green Bay's biggest liability last year was their offensive line and to their staff's credit they addressed that mightily in the offseason by drafting Bryan Bulaga out of Iowa and Marshall Newhouse from TCU, two lineman who, in addition to signed free agents Nick McDonald (G) and Chris Campbell (OT), look to solidify what was a porous guard line that gave up the most sacks in the NFL. What this means for fantasy owners is that not only will the Packers' running fame be more protected (and let's not forget that Ryan Grant still had a 1,200-yard season), but that with the proclivity of a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers you have to expect teams to adopt a more pass-oriented defense scheme in preparation for a trip to Lambeau. That one-two punch should give Grant plenty of touches in a variety of situations and while I'm not ready to pull the trigger and make him a starter in most situations he'd be a great No. 2 or flex option.

Beanie Wells, RB Arizona - Paul Allen called Wells a potential starter on his KFAN show Friday, and while I'm not buying it Wells does deserve a look as another fallback option at RB. With Kurt Warner's departure Arizona's passing game should wane as Matt Leinart adjusts to his newfound franchise representation, and that means more touches for the ground guys. Carries are mostly going to be split between Tim Hightower and Wells, but don't think the Arizona coaching staff is overlooking Wells' numbers from last season: 4.5 YPC with 7 TDs. Make him a 250-carry kind of guy and those numbers mean big fantasy points.

Jermichael Finley, TE Green Bay - Yes, another Packer. The mojo of Brett Favre is going to hate me but with a guy like Finley you can't go wrong. The aforementioned O-Line addressing of the Packer coaching staff means more protection for QB Aaron Rodgers, and that's going to equate to more catches to every one of his passers, including one guy that came on late in the season - Jermichael Finley. He didn't start for the first half of the season so his impressive stats (55-676-5) are essentially half-season numbers which, combined with another year to adjust to the speed of the NFL should mean Finley could, potentially, be an NFC Pro Bowler TE. Another quick factoid - he missed three games in November due to a knee issue but still ranked 4th in red zone targets in the league.

A short list, yes, but I'll have something else up later in the week. Again, looking forward to contributing here at TSF.