Tag:Donte Stallworth
Posted on: March 3, 2008 4:27 pm


Busy day as it pertains to free agency. Busy weekend, too. Obviously, our rankings have changed a little bit.

As I've been doing all offseason long, here's a look at why who has gone where in our Fantasy Football Player Rankings. You can find the positional rankings here: http://cbs.sportsline.com/fantasy/f
and the top 200 here: http://www.sportsline.com/fantasy/f

Michael Turner picks Atlanta as his new home. Actually, Atlanta picked him, and it sounds like no one else out there chased after Turner like the Falcons. He'll be a minimum 15-carry-per-game guy with some receptions, which puts him in a good class as far as Fantasy RBs go. However, he'll also be on a team with a weak offense and a bad offensive line (as of now). We nailed him as a low-end No. 2/top-end No. 3 Fantasy RB at the start of the offseason; that's exactly where he is now. His signing also knocked Warrick Dunn way down the Fantasy rank lists. I did not think Atlanta was a serious suitor for Turner.

Donte Stallworth, welcome back to Fantasy relevance.
Stallworth signed a long-term deal with the Browns and should fit in as their No. 2 receiver opposite Braylon Edwards. That's actually a better spot for him than third banana with the Patriots. Cleveland should fling the ball plenty, and Stallworth will end up doing better in single coverage with the Browns than with the Pats, where he hardly got a look. He'll be a low-end No. 2/top-end No. 3 Fantasy WR. By the way, this is very good news for Derek Anderson. Both Stallworth and Anderson climbed in our rankings.

Bernard Berrian gets to be a No. 1. The Vikings overpaid for Berrian, but they're not going to be ripped off entirely. Berrian has excellent speed and deep-ball skills and will absolutely help Minnesota set up a passing identity. He'll be around a low-end No. 2 Fantasy WR. Tarvaris Jackson got a nudge up in the rankings. Berrian's presence will also partially offset the "eight-in-the-box" factor Adrian Peterson was not hoping to deal with.

Javon Walker's release (temporarily?) stings him. The Broncos' cut of Walker was bad news for his Fantasy value as the one-time No. 1 WR is now 40th at the position in our rankings. The good news? There's room to move up. The better news? Walker reportedly has many suitors. If he signs quickly and for a nice amount guaranteed, it will mean that someone out there believes he can still be a difference maker. If it's with the right team, he could return to being a low-end No. 2 Fantasy WR. Philadelphia would be an outstanding landing spot.

Alge Crumpler's signing in Tennessee should buy him at least one more year of Fantasy relevance. He has 700-yard potential, but with the cavalcade of mediocre receivers out there, he could go either way of that mark. My guess is that he barely tops it with five touchdowns, making him a low-end No. 1/top-end No. 2 Fantasy TE. He will help Vince Young's numbers, but not enough to put Young past Matt Schaub or David Garrard.

Niners WRs can't crack the top 50. Isaac Bruce finds a new home with his old offensive coordinator, and he slides. Arnaz Battle slides as a domino effect of Bruce signing with the Niners. And the worst part is that even if Shaun Hill is named the starting QB, these receivers aren't expected to post big numbers. Darrell Jackson holds steady, by the way. Also, if it was 2001, the Niners would have an outstanding WR corps.

Kicker movement: With Stallworth going to Cleveland and the Browns' offensive expectation on the rise, Phil Dawson is now a "two-dollar kicker." That's a nice name for a kicker who won't be a waiver wire add-n-drop. It also puts him in the top five. ... Josh Brown in St. Louis is also nice. He should have a strong year kicking indoors at least nine times a season. ... Rob Bironas is up a smidge, as is Ryan Longwell thanks to their teams' recent additions.

Minor changes for the better. Thomas Jones is up thanks to Alan Faneca coming to the Jets. Now the left side of that O-line rivals Minnesota's left side. D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Faneca and Nick Mangold should be a tough trio to stop, and Jones will benefit from that ... well, so long as he's alone in the Jets' backfield ... Josh McCown's signing with Miami locks him in as a desperation No. 2 Fantasy QB. That put him on the Fantasy QB map. ... Billy Volek cracks the top 40 by virtue of his re-signing with the Chargers. He might be in play as a No. 2 Fantasy QB for the start of the season depending on Philip Rivers' rehab from a torn ACL. ... Darius Walker gets a nudge up with Turner not signing in Houston.  ... Drew Bennett cracks the top 80 with Isaac Bruce heading out of St. Loo. ... Other UPs: Visanthe Shiancoe, Jeff King. ... The Eagles, Niners and Browns DSTs made some nice changes and are now decent sleepers.

Minor changes for the worse. Jesse Chatman has fallen as he's still without a team. Same thing for Jason Elam. Same thing for David Patten. Same thing for Eric Johnson. ... The Titans DST is bleeding D-linemen, so they're falling a little, especially with other DSTs moving up.

What do these free-agent signings tell us about what teams are looking at come draft-time? Quite a bit, actually.

For instance, the Falcons' signing of Michael Turner takes them out of the Darren McFadden sweepstakes. That combined with Chris Redman re-signing makes it look like Matt Ryan will be their guy at No. 3 overall.

You could almost say the same thing about Oakland when they re-signed Justin Fargas, but they could still take McFadden. They probably won't take Sedrick Ellis or Glenn Dorsey, however, thanks to their re-signing of DL Tommy Kelly.

But if McFadden makes it to the Jets, he could really dominate behind that O-line (and Thomas Jones would suffer).

The Rams look like a buyer of a wide receiver at the top of Round 2. My guess is that they're crossing their fingers that Limas Sweed is still out there. If Tennessee signs D.J. Hackett and the Bears sign someone to play WR, they might get their wish. Minnesota is out now that they signed Berrian. They won't trade out of the No. 2 overall spot where they're guaranteed someone named Long (the club cut DE James Hall last week, opening the door for Chris Long, perhaps).
Posted on: March 3, 2008 4:26 pm
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Posted on: February 25, 2008 3:02 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2008 3:55 pm

McFadden, rankings changes and an upcoming story

If there wasn't enough hype surrounding Darren McFadden, you can add to it the number 4.33 (or 4.27, depending where you read). That was McFadden's 40-yard-dash time at the combine.

How fast is that? It probably took you longer to read the above sentences than it did for McFadden to run 2/5ths of a football field. That's pretty fast.

McFadden has already been flying off of Fantasy mock draft boards. In two drafts I participated in, he was taken within the first 25 picks (including 17th overall by CBS video host Jason Horowitz). And in a 14-team, three-LEAGUE Fantasy SPORT draft (they pick baseball, football and basketball players), fellow Senior Fantasy Writer David Gonos took McFadden in the fourth round.

So already, people are expecting huge things from him. Nevermind the fact that we don't know where he'll be playing, what kind of an offense he'll be playing in, what kind of passing game will complement him and what kind of offensive linemen are blocking for him.

Gotta love the hype that media and highlights can inject into a player. And I'm not saying it's not completely warranted; McFadden is clearly talented and is very fast with great field vision. But there are still some issues -- like the obvious ones listed above -- that need answering before we put McFadden ahead of Fantasy gems like Marion Barber, Brandon Jacobs, Ronnie Brown, Laurence Maroney and maybe even Shaun Alexander.

Part of the reason for the hype is Adrian Peterson's amazing rookie year. A lot of people are calling McFadden "the next AD." They do have a point -- Peterson has been on the radar since his freshman year at Oklahoma, as has McFadden at Arkansas. If anything, McFadden does not have the injury history that Peterson had when he entered the NFL. That makes him more appealing.

But I would be remiss not to think back TWO years ago when a young collegiate dominator was an assumed Fantasy legend without lacing up a cleat. That was when Reggie Bush was taken second overall by the Saints. Just like McFadden this year, Bush was a pre-draft top-24 pick (and back then it was assumed he'd be a Houston Texan with the No. 1 overall choice). How did he work out as a rookie? As a second-year RB?

All I am saying is give McFadden a chance. Let's see where he gets drafted before we make him a No. 2 Fantasy RB with No. 1 upside. The only team picking in the top 10 where I'd be completely comfortable with McFadden going and being a top-25 pick is Atlanta. Every other team has someone there to split reps with.

Our rankings have changed again. You can find the positional rankings here: cbs.sportsline.com/fantasy/football
and the top 200 here: www.sportsline.com/fantasy/football

Here's what's changed:

Cadillac Williams slides. The Bucs have spoken to DeShaun Foster about signing with them, a clear indication that they're not very confident that Williams will be ready to play in 2008 (there's talk that his torn patella injury is career-threatening). I have a personal interest in Williams; I got to know him when I did his draft diary on NFL.com back in 2004. I'm rooting for him to come back. He's a really good guy with some awful luck when it comes to injuries. Anyway, his value is down on the news.

Donte Stallworth gets cut ... and rises?! The Patriots didn't exercise their option on Stallworth, so it's off to a new team for the speedster with the chronic hamstring. That's a good thing because he won't be playing in Randy Moss' (or Wes Welker's) shadow anymore. Stallworth has the stuff to be a No. 1 receiver for an NFL team and a No. 3 Fantasy WR, if not a little bit higher. Tennessee is a perfect fit for Stallworth, who played collegiately at the Univ. of Tennessee.

Tight end movement. Antonio Gates will have toe surgery and Kellen Winslow had a fourth operation on his microfracture-repaired right knee (scar tissue removal, not a huge procedure). Both of them are iffy for the start of training camp (I believe Winslow is on the NFI list already). Both players remain at 2 and 3, respectively, on our positional list, but they dipped a smidge in the Top 200.

We also failed to consider Todd Heap's potential in Cam Cameron's offense. That's why he's up.

I'm starting work this week on an in-depth story on "out-of-nowhere" running backs and whether or not they can achieve sustained success. The idea behind it is to get an idea on whether or not Ryan Grant and Earnest Graham are going to be good Fantasy picks in 2008. With that in mind, I'll give five stars to anyone who posts in the message board if they can name another running back NOT named Willie Parker or Priest Holmes who was NOT drafted and had several strong Fantasy seasons.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com