Your Fantasy Football Study Guide
• I love Kevin Kolb in Arizona. Health is his only downside. His lifetime QB Rating is 73.2, but around 81.4 in games in which he played significant snaps. Arizona’s QB rating in 2010? 60.5. Everyone should benefit from this move. Larry Fitzgerald will improve upon his down stats from 2010 (90 catches, 1,137 yards, 6 TDs). The running game will improve with defenses needing to respect the passing game. And I really like the signing of Todd Heap. Always consistent and productive when healthy and Kolb has a positive history throwing to the TE.
• Darren Sproles to New Orleans is intriguing. It once again muddies up the RB situation, but isn’t that always the case in N.O.? Whether by design or necessity, there simply has not been a workhorse back in the last several seasons. No running back for the Saints has received more than 172 carries in a season since 2006. The upside for Sproles is in the passing game. From 2007-2010, the N.O. running backs average 121 receptions a season. The main asset that Darren provides that Reggie Bush did not is durability (only missed 2 games in 5 seasons). If Sproles can average the five catches a game that Bush did in his career and even minimal rushing yardage, he will be quite serviceable in PPR leagues. By my calculations, an average game would be about 5 catches for 45 yards, 8-9 carries for 35 yards, and half a TD. 16 PPG in a PPR league. Not too bad and will definitely be moving up in my rankings.
• Speaking of Reggie Bush, it’s hard to get too excited. I always viewed Bush as a WR (who you could use at RB) who also got some rushing stats. It’s hard to imagine him being used nearly as extensively in the passing game in Miami, not to mention his lingering health concerns. Don’t chase past glory.
• Speaking of chasing past glory, I feel like Chad Ochocinco still has some football left in him. I’m by no means predicting a monster year, but Chad may surprise some people. Let’s compare Ochocinco’s situation to that of Randy Moss when Moss arrived in New England. Moss had 42 catches for 553 and 3 TDs in the season before he came to N.E.; Ochocinco had 67-831+4 TDs. In the three seasons prior to that down season, Moss averaged 76-1,175+13 and Ochocinco averaged 73-1,009+7. In his first season with Tom Brady tossing him the rock, Randy had 98 catches for 1493 yards and 23 TDs. Obviously, Chad does not possess near the big play ability that Randy Moss exhibited in that remarkable season, but there is certainly a lot of room for upside. Chad will be thrilled to escape the constant losing in Cincinnati and highly motivated to perform.
• Roy Williams reuniting with Mike Martz has some people excited. I just don’t see it. Roy has one good season. In 2006 he finished with 82 catches for 1,310 yards and 7 TDs. For the rest of his career, he averages 46-649+6. He is nothing more than a glorified tight end who qualifies at WR. Pass.
• Sticking with the over-hyped wide receiver theme, let’s briefly mention Mike Sims-Walker and Plaxico Burress. Sims-Walker is one of the most wildly inconsistent WRs in the league. By my calculations, he has performed well in 12 of his last 29 games. In 2010, all 4 of his acceptable games were on the road. In 2009, 6 of his 8 good games were at home. If you can figure out if Sims-Walker’s big performances will be at home or away this season, he might be usable for about six games. With Burress, there is simply no way I can envision him getting his game legs at any time this season. He might be good for a few jump balls in the end zone, but nothing more. Pass on both.
• Does anyone else think the Carolina Panthers are gearing up to copy the New England Patriot’s success of last season? Keeping DeAngelo Williams in order to maintain a stable of RBs. A sure-handed Steve Smith in the mold of Wes Welker. Adding Greg Olsen and Jeremy Shockey to simulate the dynamic tight end duo of Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski. Expecting Cam Newton to duplicate the performance of Tom Brady is incomprehensible, but the Panthers have certainly provided a nice supporting cast.