Move over Brett, it’s time for fantasy football

It’s been quite an offseason.

Brett Favre, and … oh wait, that was about it.

Months of his will-he-or-won’t-he retirement stare down with the Packers ended with him being dealt unceremoniously to the New York Jets. Nearly all major media outlets covered every inch of the story, and still got half of the breaking stories wrong.

Thankfully the storylines of the offseason and training camp went beyond the Broadway Brett thing. Chad Johnson’s trade demands; Steve Smith punching out a teammate; Anquan Boldin’s trade demands. And that’s just the wide receivers.

Anyway, we’re just a week away from opening night in the NFL, so let’s get this thing started with my five biggest questions heading into the season.

By the way, some drafts have already started. But seriously if you’re league has its draft more than a week before the season begins you get what you get. And unfortunately you miss my preview.

I’m sure you’re mortified.

1. What’s up with Peyton Manning?

* The Colts quarterback and perenniel top-15 pick hasn’t played in a preseason game and just began practicing after undergoing offseason knee surgery. So what should fantasy owners do with him? Put faith on his history of never missing a game and take him with the 12th pick? … or put stock in the rumors he may need another surgery and pass him altogether? I’m leaning toward letting him slide with that second pick and seeing if I can get him in the third round. That plan won’t work if you have pick 5-10; Manning won’t skip out of the top-25. But if you have, for example, the third or fourth pick, it could happen. Maybe. Manning was at camp for the first time Tuesday and reports were that he looked great. But then Wednesday news came out Colts starting center Jeff Saturday is out 6-8 weeks. What does that mean? I don’t know, but I’d rather have Tony Romo or Drew Brees at this point.

2. How should I treat Brandon Marshall/Steve Smith?

* Both of the wideouts are out for the first two games (Marshall is appealing to get his three-game suspension dropped to two), leaving fantasy owners to wonder what to do with both of them. First, take away the fact they’ll miss two games and figure out where you’d draft them. I’m high on both. Marshall, who caught a league-high 57 passes in the second half of last season, will make the leap this season, while Smith will rebound with Jake Delhomme back behind center. Second, do nothing. That’s right, nothing. Who cares if they miss a couple of games at the beginning of the season. The amount of healthy wide receivers will never be as stacked in weeks 1 and 2, so plug in your No. 3 guy for a couple of weeks and then sit back and reap the rewards. If you stick to that plan, you’ll likely get one of these guys since most people are downgrading both because of the suspensions.

3. Where can I find this year’s Marques Colston/Dwayne Bowe?

* Finding a Colston has become part of fantasy football lexicon. Definition: Take a flyer late in the draft on a rookie wide receiver and watch him blow up, like Colston did two years ago with New Orleans. Last year it was Dwayne Bowe, who caught 70 balls for nearly 1,000 yards and five TDs. This year, I have two candidates. My strongest is Eddie Royal. With Marshall at the No. 1 spot and Brandon Stokley entrenched as the No. 3, the Broncos second-round pick has apparently beat out Keary Colbert and Darrell Jackson for the No. 2 role on the team. Denver straight up cut Samie Parker due to Royal’s strong play. He’s not huge (5-foot-10, 182 pounds), but he’s got speed and his hands have been exceptional during camp. Throw in the fact Marshall could miss the first three games and Royal could have a fast start and a great season. My second guy is Josh Morgan. The 49ers wideout is big (6-0, 219) and has made strides at camp. San Francisco brought in a re-tread (Isaac Bruce) and an unknown (Bryant Johnson) to be its wide receivers, so Morgan could get a lot of playing time. Remember Mike Martz is San Francisco’s offensive coordinator now, so Morgan could have a huge year … if J.T. O’Sullivan can get him the ball.

4. Who will be this year’s surprise teams?

* Every year teams come out of nowhere and have great seasons, which usually means strong fantasy seasons for its players. There’s examples every year: Cleveland and Green Bay a year ago. This year I see Carolina bouncing back to have a nice year. They lost Jake Delhomme early in the season last year and their season was destroyed. But with Delhomme back under center, expect the Panthers to win 10 games. Besides Delhomme, look for DeAngelo Williams, Steve Smith and Carolina’s defense to have great seasons. Everybody else’s favorite is the Jets, but I like Tennessee to win the AFC South. Look for Vince Young’s numbers to get a small boost, but guys like LenDale White (who should finally score double-digit TDs), Alge Crumpler (look for him to catch 75 balls for 800 yards and 8 TDs) and, my favorite, rookie running back Chris Johnson, who was the fastest back in the 2008 draft. Look for Johnson to break some long TD runs and catch 50 balls, making him a poor man’s Brian Westbrook.

5. Speaking of the Jets, how about that Favre guy?

* Word out of Jets camp is that Favre won’t play in tonight’s preseason finale, which likely means they’re comfortable with where he’s at in learning the system. Favre was worried about changing to such a drastically different offense in New York, but it seems he’s getting the jist of it. As for his fantasy impact, look for him to fling the ball around the Meadowlands. In Green Bay, even when he had a running game (i.e. last season with Ryan Grant), Favre still threw a lot of passes (535 in ‘07), so expect more of the same. I see him throwing for slightly less yards (look for 4,000) and TDs (26), but more interceptions (20). Since Jets quarterbacks only threw for a total of 3,330 yards last season, that means bump up the numbers for Jets wideouts Jerricho Cotchery and Laveraneus Coles, especially Cotchery, who could go for 1,250 yards and quadruple his TD production. As for Thomas Jones, downgrade him a bit. Many owners have been high on Jones, and that’s fine, but remember he scored only 1 TD last season and he turned 30 on Aug. 19.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Lakewood High School.
Refs blown call means Lakewood football game will restart in 3rd quarter

The Cougars dispute an incorrectly spotted ball by officials on a penalty-riddled play in the 3rd quarter. The game will resume from that point in Week 10.

Arlington junior quarterback Leyton Martin throws a short pass during the second quarter of the season opener against Kamiak on Friday, Sep. 1, 2023, at Arlington High School in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
3 games to watch in Week 4 of the prep football season

An in-depth look at the best games the area has to offer, plus a full schedule of the local action in Week 4.

Monroe junior quarterback Blake Springer looks for an open receiver on Friday, Nov. 4, 2022 in Monroe, Washington. (Katie Webber / The Herald)
Week 4 prep football leaderboard

A look at the area’s top passers, rushers and receivers through three weeks of the season.

Prep roundup for Wednesday, Sept. 20

Prep roundup for Wednesday, Sept. 20: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for Sept. 11-17

The Athlete of the Week nominees for Sept. 11-17. Voting closes at… Continue reading

Stanwood's Michael Mascotti relays the next play to his teammates during football practice on Monday, Aug. 29, 2022 in Stanwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Game picks for Week 3 of the prep football season

Find out which teams the experts and readers pick to win in Week 4.

Marysville Pilchuck’s Kenai Sinaphet bruises the defense on a run against Marysville Getchell during the Berry Bowl on Friday, Sept. 15, 2023, at Quil Ceda Stadium in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Associated Press high school football poll for Week 4

Marysville Pilcuck joins the top 10 in Class 3A; Lake Stevens remains No. 1 in 4A.

AquaSox pitcher Reid VanScoter delivers a pitch during a game against the Vancouver Canadians on Thursday, June 8, 2023, at Funko Field in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Community roundup: AquaSox’s VanScoter, Scott honored by NWL

Plus, GP grad Matt King is named to USA Swimming’s national team, Daniel Arias is waived by the Cardinals and more.

Minnesota Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson is shown during batting practice before a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox, Saturday, May 18, 2013, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
County Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2023 bio: Rick Anderson

The 1975 Mariner graduate spent 16 seasons as an MLB pitching coach with the Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers.

Most Read