Tag:Julius Jones
Posted on: May 2, 2008 5:23 pm
 

Draft days

It's been busy here at the office. Next week, I have two feature stories due for our annual Fantasy magazine; one is written, the other is an easy write. It's chasing down people to get quotes for the stories that's the tough part, but hopefully next week rolls by without incident.

I spent part of my week this week, however, drafting. Yes, in April (technically it was April). Krause Publications held their annual expert's draft, which I got to be a part of. I always look forward to this draft because it features Fantasy luminaries (is that really a good word to describe us?) such as Greg Ambrosius, Adam Caplan, John Hansen and former co-worker, Michael Fabiano. In fact, all of us are in the same division! No doubt, it's going to be a tough league.

I can't divulge the complete results, only my results. I picked 4th in the odd rounds, 9th in the even rounds. We start 3 WRs and a FLEX on top of 2 RBs, 1 QB, 1 TE, etc. There are points per reception; the rest of the scoring is how you'd expect it. Here are the notables ...

ROUND 1: Brian Westbrook. Pretty standard after LaDainian Tomlinson, Adrian Peterson and Steven Jackson went off the board. And NOT in that order.

ROUND 2: Larry Fitzgerald. While the running backs weren't entirely thin, I didn't want to lose out on getting TWO good WRs. Fitzgerald's potential for 100 receptions played a big role. Maurice Jones-Drew was also a consideration.

ROUND 3: Wes Welker.
Really wanted Marques Colston here. Steve Smith, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Braylon Edwards went right before my pick. I passed on Torry Holt.

ROUND 4: Derek Anderson. Running backs were still plentiful, so I was able to pass on them and pick one up in a few picks.

ROUND 5: Julius Jones. Loved getting him here. I expect him to go a full round higher in drafts come August. AND, he was the only RB drafted in the round, so the talent pool that I was staring at heading into this pick was still there for the most part for my next pick.

ROUND 6: Kevin Smith. Big risk-reward pick here, but I figure the Lions will put him in at some point as their starter. I know Tatum Bell can't do it. I picked him over Travis Henry -- big, big risk there. I would have preferred Jonathan Stewart here, but he went earlier in the round.

ROUND 7: Todd Heap. Risk-reward, but doing it with a TE in a Cam Cameron offense. Lock it up.

ROUND 8: Santana Moss. Another player I expect to post a nice season. I may be a former Miami Hurricane like Moss, and I like Moss a lot on a personal level, but I've always been able to pass on him in drafts before, figuring that he'd underperform. In Round 8, I cannot pass him up. I hope he goes off for 1,200 yards.

ROUND 9: Vikings DST. HUGE pick there that will either pay off in spades or flub like a party boat filled with ... nevermind. I secretly hoped this would start a DST run, but I was wayyy off (keep in mind, I did draft with guys who know that DSTs are more plentiful than Britney Spears paparazzi shots).

ROUND 10: Bryant Johnson. Lots of upside playing in Mike Martz's offense. Has the size to be a No. 1. Not much competition for him there. Niners will be behind a lot. Not bad for Round 10.

ROUND 11: Jake Delhomme. A guy everyone reading this should target to be their backup QB in 2008.

ROUND 12: Leon Washington. Another guy I'm stealing. Not only will he see 8-to-10 carries a game, but he'll be a gem if something happens to Thomas Jones. That O-line in New York should be much better this year.

ROUND 13: T.J. Duckett. Backing up Julius Jones, with some upside as a touchdown hog.

ROUND 14: Darren Sproles. Just in case ...

ROUND 15: Lorenzo Booker. Backing up Brian Westbrook.

ROUND 16: Nate Kaeding. The necessary evil of Fantasy Football -- placekickers. My goal is to draft ALL of my kickers with my final pick in every single draft I do between now and when I die.

You may comment on my team and draft strategy below. Would love to hear from you.
Posted on: March 11, 2008 4:16 pm
Edited on: March 11, 2008 5:14 pm
 

Mock Update, Rankings Update

Our SECOND Fantasy mock draft of the offseason is several rounds deep and full of surprises. Just goes to show you that even an expert draft has a few curveballs. If you'd like to follow it, you may do so here: www.sportsline.com/nfl/fantasy/stor
y/10688830


Going over my picks ...

ROUND 2: Earnest Graham

I was hoping for either Marshawn Lynch, Ryan Grant or Willis McGahee here -- any of those three would be fabulous second-round picks, but Graham was a no-brainer for me. As many of you know, I've just finished a study on him and Ryan Grant (the article is forthcoming) and how they stack up on their teams, in Fantasy Football and overall in the history of undrafted running backs. I learned a lot about Graham, and I'm probably going to target him as my No. 2 RB in several leagues this year. The only hole I found in his game was his efforts at Raymond James Stadium. Otherwise, he's about as solid as you'll get with a middle-to-late second-round pick. Darren McFadden crossed my mind, but he's going to either be a Jet or a Raider, and I don't love him in either spot. Reggie Bush is a gimmicky-type player who I'm trying to avoid, and Brandon Jacobs, as good of a player as he is, isn't a lock for 16 weeks, which means I would have to spend another pick on Ahmad Bradshaw later on. Graham is in the same mold as Jacobs without the wear-and-tear, or the overwhelming need to handcuff him.

ROUND 3: Andre Johnson

I love Johnson for 2008, especially since he's spending much of the offseason refining his game and not rehabbing injuries. I really, really wanted Larry Fitzgerald (who might end up being a top-three WR before this offseason is through), but it looks like if you don't pick in the top 30 overall, you don't get him. It was a close call between Johnson and Marques Colston, but I've picked Colston in this spot before and felt that Johnson would give me just as good production. Maybe Johnson is a smidge more injury prone. If this were a for-keeps league, I might have gone Colston. Dang it, now I have drafter's remorse. And it's MARCH. I have some problems.

ROUND 4: Wes Welker

In the past, I'd grab my third running back here, but with the 2008 draft class of RBs deep, and plenty of decent runners left on the board, my philosophy is changing. Welker fell into my lap here, picked behind the likes of Brandon Marshall and Edgerrin James. Plaxico Burress was the only other name I was considering, and when I thought about how he played while hurt last year, I didn't think twice.

POSSIBLE WR-HEAVY DRAFT STRATEGY RECOMMENDATION COMING?


If there's one thing I've caught on to, it's that there are going to be a LOT of "GOOD" running backs to pick from this year. About six will be drafted, and I'd guess another 15-to-20 are already in the NFL. By good, I mean No. 3-type runners. That said, I think the right focus in 2008 is to spend your top two picks on RBs, then raid wide receivers until the talent pool gets shallow. Then, raid the running backs and platoon at quarterback, likely with whomever slips to Round 8 or 9.



The rankings have been updated. As I've been doing all offseason long, here's a look at why who has gone where. You can find the positional rankings here: http://cbs.sportsline.com/fantasy/f
ootball/rankings
and the top 200 here: http://www.sportsline.com/fantasy/f
ootball/rankings/top200
. If you like this feature, or have a suggestion on how to improve it, please leave a comment below or email me at: dmfantasyfootball@cbs.com.

Shaun Alexander's slide continues. With Julius Jones signing in Seattle, the writing appears to be on the wall that Alexander's days there are over. Without question, his days as an every-down back in Seattle are over. Why else would Jones have signed otherwise? We're expecting Jones to start with Maurice Morris and T.J. Duckett aiding him along the way. Jones should post his best numbers in two seasons and should make the jump to low-end No. 2/top-end No. 3 Fantasy RB before this offseason ends.

Minor stuff: Adjustments/corrections made for Torry Holt and Ron Dayne. ... D.J. Hackett slides since he's not going to be in a big role next season.



TOP FIVE PLACES I WANT SHAUN ALEXANDER TO LAND IN NEXT YEAR ... FOR FANTASY PURPOSES:

1. Detroit
2. Houston
3. Chicago
4. Carolina
5. Dallas

Posted on: March 6, 2008 2:02 pm
 

Latest Mock Is Live, Rankings Updated

So we started our SECOND Fantasy mock draft of the offseason late yesterday afternoon. We're through half of the first round. If you'd like to follow it, you may do so here: www.sportsline.com/nfl/fantasy/stor
y/10688830


Here's the first round thus far:

1. LT
2. Westbrook (Surprise!)
3. Adrian Peterson
4. Steven Jackson
5. Addai

So that left me to pick at 6. After ruling out Tom Brady (hard to expect him to repeat 51 touchdowns, strong QBs are plentiful), I was down to Larry Johnson and Frank Gore. Here's how I battled it out in my head ...

Johnson's pros: Is the Kansas City offense ... runs the ball often, catches the ball, works at the goal line, will get a lot of work, but not 350 touches over a season ...

Johnson's cons: Coming off a foot injury that was misdiagnosed/misunderstood ... O-line still a mess ... QB is still a mess ...

Gore's pros: Is a huge chunk of the San Fran offense ... should be back on for a ton of work after getting lost in the shuffle somehow in 2007 ... gets goal-line carries, receptions ...

Gore's cons: DeShaun Foster just signed, he might take some reps ... health always an issue with him ...  QB is a mess ... O-line is still iffy ...

But what sold me on Gore: Mike Martz. Because I expect Martz to lean on Gore in his play calling instead of what he did in Detroit, I figure Gore will have a big year yardagewise. Touchdowns should factor in, too.

LJ's foot also scared me off. I need to know if it's a Lisfranc or not (everyone's mum on the injury). We may never know.

I'll continue to share my thoughts on my picks throughout this mock draft, and I promise to take at least one rookie running back.



The rankings have been updated. As I've been doing all offseason long, here's a look at why who has gone where. You can find the positional rankings here: http://cbs.sportsline.com/fantasy/f
ootball/rankings
and the top 200 here: http://www.sportsline.com/fantasy/f
ootball/rankings/top200
. If you like this feature, or have a suggestion on how to improve it, please leave a comment below or email me at: dmfantasyfootball@cbs.com.

T.J. Duckett goes to Seattle. When everyone I know heard this news, the first thing they asked was 'What does this mean for Shaun Alexander?' I use this analogy: Let's say your boss hired a person to help you do YOUR primary job. Assuming it's not a secretary or a college intern, chances are it means that you're not getting the job done to your boss' satisfaction. Apply that to Alexander's stature in Seattle and you have an idea of what it means. Granted, everyone in the Seattle-area papers are saying that Duckett was someone the club wanted last offseason, too, and that Alexander will still start. That's all well and good, but I'm telling you right now that he's either going to lose or has lost his goal-line job, and that's a killer since Alexander isn't a speedster anymore. Alexander is a solid No. 3 Fantasy RB (that's right -- you're BENCHING him if you start two running backs in your league); Duckett's value is up since he'll see some work in 2008, and that also affects Maurice Morris, who will likely lose some carries with Duckett around.

Javon Walker signs with Raiders. Potentially explosive risk/reward player here. If he's healthy (he passed the Raiders' physical), Walker has a shot to be a stat machine. JaMarcus Russell, as unpolished as he may be, has an absolute cannon for an arm, and Walker is a good deep-ball receiver. And the Raiders aren't expected to be in many tight, close, low-scoring games. Wouldn't surprise me if they're playing from behind a lot next year. That means lots of passing, especially with Russell at QB, and that should be good for Walker. The only addition that could make Walker even more dangerous is if the Raiders draft Darren McFadden. But his knee is a HUGE "IF." We've got him ranked as a low-end No. 3 Fantasy WR, and we have him tabbed as a potential sleeper for '08.

By the way, Russell and McFadden on the same team? Wow, Oakland would have the potential to be really, really good. If they had any semblance of a secure coaching structure in place, I'm sure they would consider taking him at No. 4. But since they don't, I expect them to pass on "DMC."

Tidbits: Marty Booker is a HUGE Fantasy winner thanks to his signing in Chicago. He has a shot at 60-to-80 receptions with a low average and maybe six touchdowns. A week ago, he wasn't ranked! Now he's 53rd among Fantasy WRs. ... Julius Jones appears headed for backupsville, which hurts his Fantasy value. Still has upside, though. ... Aaron Stecker stays in New Orleans, buried on their RB depth chart. Not good. ... Also not good for Pierre Thomas. ... Tatum Bell and Mewelde Moore creep into the top 70 RBs. ...

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com