Tag Archives: Stephan Taylor

2014:Random thoughts: Fantasy uncertainty – FA Week 3

All these situations are very fluid as you all know.  Between, the remaining FA, trades and the Draft, things can change in an instant, weakness become strengths.   However, at this point, this is how we see it…

WR’s

Who is catching passes in Carolina?   Beats me.  Beats the Panthers.  As of press time today, the biggest FA that has been signed is Jericho Cotchery.  Let that sink in.   Brandon LaFell is in New England.  Steve Smith has been jettisoned and is now in Balitmore.  Ted Ginn, who had a resurgence last year with the team, was left to test the market and landed in Arizona.   Now I am sure there is some sort of contingency plan in Carolina, but legitimate options are getting slim.  How is Jason Avant not on speed dial?  I mean, fantasy implications aside, he is one of the best slot WR’s in the league and could be a great addition and safety blanket for Cam.  Sidney Rice?  Miles Austin?  Trade for DeSean Jackson?

With Miles Austin still on the FA market and set to not return, look for Terrance Williams to have an increased role.  The salary cap is tight in Dallas.  Only WR’s willing to accept the veteran minimum are options here.

The #2 receiver role in Cleveland, KC, NYJ, Pittsburgh, Jacksonville are still very much up in the air.  In Pittsburgh, Markus Wheaton could be the man to replace Emmanuel Sanders.  Mike Brown might be the guy in Jacksonville with Justin Blackmon suspended indefinitely.  Jeremey Kerley is looking like the #2 WR on the Jets with Stephan Hill in the doghouse.  Greg Little and Donnie Avery are not going to cut as #2’s  in Cleveland and KC respectively.  I could easily see all of these teams drafting at least one WR in a deep WR draft.

Where is DeSean Jackson going to end up?  According to ESPN’s Sal Palantonio, “Jackson’s act has worn thing with Chip Kelly”  A big cap number presents an interesting situation in the city of brotherly love.  If I am Carolina, the Jets, KC or Oakland, I am definitely asking about this guy.

Since the draft is so deep at WR this year,  I  could see some of the older veteran WR’s being signed after the draft.   It would be prudent for teams to try and address needs via the draft and fill in the holes afterwards.   This not only financially beneficial, but it keeps the team young and, in most cases, they retain the rookies rights longer.

RB’s

Chris Johnson- He is being paid way more than his production is worth and is on the trade block.  I don’t think anything happens until after the draft.  I know that fantasy players don’t want to hear this, but I think he will be most effective in a time share situation regardless of where he goes.

Latavious Murray – I really can’t believe that McFadden came back to the Raiders.  He took a very modest one year deal.   He has to prove he can stay healthy.   If Murray can impress in training camp, he could secure the #2 RB role in Oakland and be a very valuable handcuff moving forward.  That, however, is a long ways off.

Maurice Jones Drew- MJD wants more money than the market is willing to bare at this point.  I  have read that he wants 3.5 mill. a year.   I still think he can be an effective player.  Like most players at this point in their career, his situation will have a greater bearing on his value than his skill level.

Giants RB situation – Well, this is an interesting mishmash of players.  Rashad Jennings was signed in FA, played well for the Raiders down the stretch last year, but has been nondescript for much of his career. The Giants still have David Wilson  who is coming off of neck surgery his value and career is up in the air. They also resigned Peyton Hillis. Picking up another RB in the draft would not surprise me at all.   Training camp will be needed to sort this mess out.

Jags back up? – This situation really surprised me.  I did not see Toby Gerhart going there.  As of now Jordan Toddman and Denard Robinson are the top backups.   I cant see the Jags going to the season with such shallow depth.  keep and eye here for opportunity.

Muddled in Phily? – McCoy, the newly traded for Sproles, Chris Polk and Bryce Brown combine for a muddled situation in Phily.  McCoy is one of the best players in the league, but i can see Sproles cutting into some of McCoy’s touches. The back up situation is anyones guess at this point.  If McCoy was to go down, his back up, at this point, is non-defined.  McCoy is still the man, but with four quality backs, his touches could be curtailed.  Good news for McCoy’s career and bad news for fantasy owners.

Back ups in Chicago and in Minnesota – Both teams have top-level starters and both teams have let their back-ups go.  These are handcuff situations to monitor.  Dynasty leagues wise, I would pay attention to what both do in the draft here.

Stefan Taylor Vs Jonathan Dwyer – Who is the power back that replaces Rashard Mendenhall who retired this off season?  These are the two candidates.  Keep taps on this situation throughout the offseason as the winner could garner 10-15 touches once the season picks up.

QB’s

Cleveland – After missing out on Matt Schaub, the Browns seems destine to be drafting a QB early.  Brian Hoyer is the only legitimate QB on the roster.  He played well for the few games he was in last year, but is coming off of a torn ACL.   I could really see them brining in another vet at some point to help fortify a questionable position.

Jacksonville – Believe it or not, there are several scenarios where the Jaguars don’t draft a QB in the first round.  Chad Henne is not a world beater, we know this. The Jaguars brass knows this and will not reach for a QB when the team still has needs all over the place.  Henne is adequate enough for the WR’s of Jacksonville to be draftable at this point in the offseason.

-Ron

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Preseason Week 1: Arizona at Green Bay

Arizona

QB Carson Palmer’s strange odyssey through the NFL opened a new chapter with an efficient and effective debut for the Cardinals.  I would champion Palmer as a sneaky top 12 fantasy QB this year, but for his health and playing behind a traditionally awful Arizona O- Line.  Toss in new coach Bruce Arians who loves to throw deep and gets his QB hit a ton (last year in Indy his scheme was at least partly responsible for rookie QB Andrew Luck taking the most hits in the league) and I just can’t get too excited about Palmer.   He has the weapons, and the arm strength, and the experience – but he doesn’t have the Oline, a safe scheme, or a young body – and playing San Fran, Seattle, and St Louis for over  1/3 of his schedule is bound to get him hurt…if not killed.

The Cardinals started RB Alfonso Smith in this one while RB Rashard Mendenhall and RB Ryan Williams sat with injuries.   There was nothing to like about Smith’s performance and nothing to like about the lack of the 2 guys ahead of him who sat out.  Mendenhall should be back for the next preseason game, but Ryan Williams looks like he may be headed down a similar career path as former Cards RB Beanie Wells – who is a FA with no interest from teams this season due to his chronic injuries.

Rookie RB Stephan Taylor got a massive 20 carry workload (64 yards total) in this one.  Over such a sample size of course he had ups and downs – and my evaluation of him is that way as well – he seems to have good vision, makes solid cuts and above average choices – but he seems to lack some fluidity and speed.  Often times he got where he was going, but it looked like it was painful to develop – against NFL starters I’m not sure he would have even the limited success he did here.

Green Bay

WR James Jones and TE Jermichael Finely have been two players I’ve always been down on because of inconsistent play.  And I’m not talking about inconsistent fantasy production- that can be dependent on a lot of things – I’m talking about dropping the football.   Jones caught a 50 yarder in this one, and was targeted on a bad throw in the endzone,  on the 1st play when the Packers were inside the 10.  So with WR Jordy Nelson out with injury, and Randal Cobb expected to be battling his biceps injury most of the season, Jones will see his stock continue to trend up.   If he can hang on to the ball he could be as a high as a WR 2 on your fantasy team in 2013.  You’ll want to draft him like he’s a WR3 however and hope for that upside.

Finley has been said to be having an excellent camp, and Rodgers looked for him early in the 1st drive on a nice 7 yard quick timing route.  But, just when I start believing even a little in him Finley drops a TD pass from Rodgers on the Packers 2nd play inside the 5 yard line.  I don’t think Finely ever gets it together and becomes a fantasy dominant TE, ever since he burst on to the scene he’s regressed season after season – I’m starting to think players like Jared Cook have a chance to pass him this season.  It’s just tough to like a guy with stone hands.

If you feel uneasy about the Broncos potential RB mess – welcome to Green Bay 2013.   They  started this one with RB James Starks who is said to be on the roster bubble this year.  Starks ran hard (12 carries for 38 yards), but he did get stuffed at the goaline, and running hard in Green Bay has these past few years meant modest production at best.

RB Jonathan Frankin was next up, the “other” rookie RB that Green Bay drafted.  Franklin looked like an all around RB – threw a nice block in pass protection on LB Darryl Washington, caught 2 passes for 12 yards, and ran ok without much results (6 carries for 14 yards) he had all of his carries behind the 2nd unit OL.

RB Alex Green the “other” veteran said to be on the roster bubble was next.  I like Green – but I admit he’s probably going to be a roster causality.   It wasn’t a good sign for him when in his 1st series they gave him the ball once on a shotgun draw which had no blocking, and then he didn’t get another carry for over a quarter (Franklin rotated back in during this time).  He mostly encountered no blocking with the 3rd and 4th stringers – and it will be tough for him to move up the depth chart.

RB Ed Lacy and RB Dujan Harris who might both be the real starting candidates for this team did not play.   When they get added to the mix you’ll be looking at a true 5 man competition – for a job where the RB might be better than the OL.