Time for fantasy rubber match

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Well, as far as my fantasy football picks go since I’ve been at L’Observateur, I’m one-for-two. If I helped you draft Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall and Calvin Johnson last season, I’m happy for you. If I helped you draft Vernon Davis and Willie Parker two years ago…not so much.

So we’re tied, 1-1. Here’s the rubber match.


Tom Brady/Randy Moss — Master of the obvious, right? Won’t say much here, aside from this: don’t overthink things. These guys hooked up for over 20 touchdowns two years ago. Brady threw 50 overall. Brady’s back. Whatever it costs you to take a chance on one, it’s probably worth it.

Ronnie Brown — Before ripping up his knee two years ago, Brown was 2007’s top fantasy running back. Last year, he returned to modest success. But Miami is building a monster offensive line anchored by last year’s top draft pick, Jake Long. Brown is a powerful rusher and an accomplished receiver. He’ll be the man down at the goalline. And while he may not be the coach, this is a Bill Parcells built team — they’re going to run it, and he’s their most talented rusher. Expect big things.

Maurice Jones-Drew — Drew is a top three running back in the league talent wise — he’s the guy you want after Adrian Peterson is off the board. There’s no Fred Taylor to steal carries, and even if someone else steps up as a compliment, I promise you that they’re no Fred Taylor. Drew is going to be a monster.

DeSean Jackson — A rookie entering a notoriously complex offense that’s not been especially stat-friendly to any wideout (aside from Terrell Owens)? Pfft. Jackson had no problem in his first year with the Eagles. He’s a stick of dynamite, and he’s going to be even better this season. Expect a ton of big plays.

Terrell Owens/Lee Evans/Trent Edwards — I’m intrigued by Buffalo’s no-huddle offense — it could be a nightmare defensively for teams to have to match up with Owens and Evans without being able to truly set up defensively. And the money pick here is Edwards: Here’s a guy that has no competition for the quarterback job, yet throws to two of the NFL’s very elite wide receivers. And he’s Trent Edwards: you can get him late. For all we know, he’s the next Kurt Warner.

Chad Ochocinco — He was playing with an injured shoulder last season. He was money in the bank each year before. He’s a top talent that you can nail down as your second of third receiver.

Percy Harvin — I usually treat rookie wide receivers like the plague, but with Harvin I’ll make an exception. He’s an incredible athlete with such a unique skill set — while many may look at his unconventional gifts as a deterrent to fitting into an NFL offense in his first season, I don’t agree. The Vikings are going to use him on screens, reverses, in the Wildcat, returning kicks, as a tailback…not to mention on a few “bombs away” passes downfield. My bet is that Harvin, not Michael Crabtree, is the rookie receiver that makes a difference this season. Honorable mention goes to Hakeem Nicks, who will play for a Giants team desperately in need of a top target.

Knowshon Moreno — Another rookie here. Lets review what Denver has done this offseason — yes, they bring in a new head coach in Josh McDaniels who is known for his high octane passing offense in New England. But he spends his first draft pick on a tailback, this despite the fact that Denver may have fielded the league’s worst defense a year ago (and yes, I say this having watched the New Orleans Saints for 16 games. Denver was worse. I promise you). He also traded his star quarterback, who incidentally is being replaced by Kyle “game manager” Orton. Something tells me Moreno is going to get all the touches he can handle. He’s a talented pass catcher too — I get a Matt Forte vibe from him.

Robert Meachem — The buzz around Saints camp is that the light appears to be coming on for the third-year receiver. Then he dropped a goose egg in the Black and Gold scrimmage this past weekend. I’m not deterred…if he’s starting to “get things”, Drew Brees can make a lot of use of a guy with his size and speed.

Others I like: Greg Olsen (Cutler needs a top target, and he’s finally the starting tight end in Chicago), Ray Rice (he may well displace McGahee), Dallas Clark (I think last year’s production is the norm with Marvin Harrison jettisoned) Pierre Thomas (If Reggie’s knee becomes problematic — knock on wood — Thomas is a league-stealer), Anquan Boldin (while everyone’s still thinking about how amazing that Fitzgerald guy is, this dude was even more productive before getting injured), Felix Jones (really, really talented, and more dynamic than Marion Barber) and Ahmad Bradshaw (Derrick Ward is gone in NY, and someone’s splitting the pie up with Brandon Jacobs).

Stay away from: Steven Jackson (Never healthy), Brian Westbrook (the decline started last season, and he’s always dinged), LaDainian Tomlinson (ditto, you’ll bust yourself out by waiting for runners over 30 to suddenly bounce back), Joseph Addai (Donald Brown is going to eat into his workload at the very least), Kurt Warner (new offensive coordinator, and way past the breaking point for older quarterbacks), and Lance Moore (Barring another Marques Colston injury, Moore won’t start for you).