Archive for category Bills

Wednesday Stampede

Short post this morning as it’s just a bit quite. This is what happens as we shift into season mode – aside from cuts and some injuries, not much going on. Next week the Blurb will me more strategy than info as we also shift into season mode.

Also a reminder that The Thundering Blurb Fantasy Football Podcast airs live tonight on BlogTalkRadio.com at 9pm EST/6pm PST. You can get on the air by calling (718) 506-1722.

On to the news -
Cleveland Browns
Derek Anderson’s concussion was termed mild and he should be ready for week 1 – so don’t worry about Edwards, Winslow and the rest of the Cleveland offense. We’ll see a lot of Brady Quinn over the next few preseason games and the Browns will be able to judge – at least in part – what Quinn might mean for their future. If he plays well enough, you’ll hear some murmurs about him starting but the Browns could challenge for the AFC North title, so it won’t happen. Kick Returner Joshua Cribbs has a high ankle sprain and that’s a worse piece of news. That can linger and will upset the Cleveland Special Teams, and their value, if he isn’t 100%.

Buffalo Bills
Trent Edwards was injured during Tuesday’s practice – a deep quad contusion according to HC Dick Jauron. Like with Anderson, this will probably keep Edwards out of a preseason game or two but is unlikely to affect his Week 1 status. There have been a few people who have wondered whether or not JP Losman might be a better fit (again) but the question has been answered already and barring a big injury, the Bills will start Edwards.

Arizona Cardinals
Rookie Tim Hightower has moved to the #2 spot on the depth chart in Arizona. Not surprising given how awful JJ Arrington and the departed Marcel Shipp have been the last two years. He won’t eat into Edge’s value much although he might get some short yardage looks. He’s Edge’s handcuff if you follow that strategy and is a good person to have on your Dynasty bench, Edge or not. Another rookie not faring as well would be WR Early Doucet. Doucet was back in practice Tuesday after a hamstring injury knocked him out for a while. He needs a big couple of preseason games to pass Steve Breaston for the #3 spot on the Cards. A few rookies have exploded on rosters this preseason, so he could do it – but as always I warn against counting on rookies – especially rookie WRs – for much.

Cincinnati Bengals
So Chris Henry is back after Marvin Lewis said ‘never again’ – which can’t make him (Lewis) all that happy. Before you get all excited, Henry is serving a suspension for the first 4 games. Some are reading it into Chad Johnson’s injury (so much that he dropped about 4 rounds in the Fantasy Sportswriters Assoc Draft last night) but I read it more as concern that the rookie they have won’t be able to step up if Johnson and Houshmandzedah have problems. That sounds like the same but it isn’t – I don’t know that either Housh or Ocho Cinco are hurt badly so much as the rookies have been unspectacular in camp, although each has had a good preseason game.

Miami Dolphins
This is probably just encouragement, but according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel HC Tony Sparano has not ruled out rookie Chad Henne being named the starter. I don’t know I buy that but it could mean Pennington is having issues picking up the offense. It could also just be Sparano’s way of saying ‘Nice job, rookie’ as Henne has impressed during Trainging Camp. It would suck if – in the unlikely event Henne was the starter Week 1 – Pennington moved teams only to get stuck as a back-up again. Let me be clear though – I don’t think that will happen. The team is reportedly also looking for a 4th round pick for John Beck.

Yeah – good luck with that.

Chicago Bears
Running Back Kevin Jones gets some preseason action on Thursday against the 49rs. He’s fighting to back-up Matt Forte but Jones could get significant carries by the middle of the season – he’s got ability, it’s his health that seems to get in the way. Forte is still a rookie and will burn out at some point as most do. Expect the Bears to keep him fresh with Jones if Jones is available. Forte is still the guy to grab first, if you find him at a godo value.

San Diego Chargers
In other brief news, Antonio Gates is cleared to practice and might be looking good for Week 1. You probably won’t see him in the next two preseason games – if a healthy LT isn’t playing, why risk a healing Gates? – but assuming he isn’t set-back in practice, he could start Week 1, which is both good for your Fantasy Team and the Chargers’ chances at starting strong, something they need to do in the AFC this year.

That’s all for now – remember the show tonight. Among other things, we’ll be talking some Offesnive lines to watch and some to avoid, talking about the BloTalkRadio Fantasy Football Podcaster league draft I will be doing at the same time and the fact that I am a mere 30 odd hours from Vegas.

Good times.
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Feel free to send questions – or betting advice – to thunderingblurb@gmail.com or comment below.

FRIDAY! Fantasy News and Notes

Another week in the books and another week closer to the kickoff of season!

Here’s some early Friday news:

Miami Dolphins
There could be a full on RBBC in Miami – HC Tony Sparano is waffling on whether Ronnie Brown or Ricky Williams will be his ‘bell cow’ and is thinking about maybe splitting carries significantly over the course of the season. I took Williams in the middle of a couple of drafts so far and will continue to target him as a #3/4 with upside. Brown is a very good back and can come back effective from his injury, but Sparano like Williams’ energy coming off the bench and in general. So Brown may be losing some ground and becomes less and less a safe fantasy pick.

New Orleans Saints
Jeremy Shockey will likely miss Saturday’s game against the Texans and while I am high on Shockey, this is what you get with him. He’s ‘lights out’ when he is healthy – which is a tough thing to predict. He still will serve a significant role in this offense, but remember that Bush, Meachem, Patten and even Billy Miller are there to pick up the slack if he isn’t 100%. Take him with the understanding that you need to have a decent and consistent back-up to him on your roster.

Buffalo Bills
Trent Edwards solidified his position as the Bills’ #1 QB last night with a solid performance of 9/14, 104 yds and 2 TDs. Lee Evans got involved with 3 catches for 55 yards and TE Robert Royal caught 2 passes, both for TDs. Sleeper TE? We’ll have to watch that one play out more. Rookie James Hardy was a non-factor tonight so balance out that first game with last night and we’re back to square one in guessing his impact with the team.

But back to Edwards – a few places I had heard questions as to whether JP Losman should be getting more consideration and I have to say, why? We know what he can do, it isn’t that spectacular and Edwards is really only in his second full year of starting. He’s have growing pains for sure, but should be solid. Just goes to show, the most popular guy in town is often the back-up QB. Edwards, by the way, should be one of the last guys you look at for a Qb on yoru fantasy roster. He’s got a long way to go to be a relevant fantasy player.

Philadelphia Eagles
Reggie Brown injured himself again and should have a MRI today. I have been – well not a big fan is the best way to put it – and this isn’t helping. I never felt McNabb looked his way for most of last season, he gets hurt to much and rookie DeSean Jackson is playing too good to be denied. I’m not saying Jackson will star tas the #1 or anything – just that Brown continues to be a bad idea for your Fantasy team this season. Jackson, by the way, isn’t just having good games when it comes to the big things – kick returns and receptions. he does a bunch of little thing well – like throwing a key block on Tony Hunt’s long TD. Now, Jackson did fumble on a punt return. But he’s a rookie, so buyer beware anyway, He will make those mistakes.

Don’t read into Tony Hunt’s big performance last night. He did it against a pretty weak 3rd string group of Carolina players in the last quarter. Hunt may still not make this team.

Carolina Panthers
On the other side of the field, rookie Jonathan Stewart finally saw the field and… well unspectacular should cover it. 4 carries for 3 yards is pretty unspectacular. The field conditions were sloppy, he wasn’t behind the top O-line and he’s way behind after having missed so much time with this injury. I still think he might grab the #1 late this season, but as I said on The Drive Block last night, DeAngelo Williams is probably the guy to grab right now if you want coverage at least early.

Jake Delhomme continues to look ok, but not great. 9/14, 54 yds and a pick are also unspectacular. Again, field conditions and rain didn’t help but he’s not where we hoped he would be at this point. He wide reciever situation is very unsettled: Steve Smith out for 2 games, DJ Hackett continually unhealthy, Dwayne Jarrett not producing. You’ve got Muhsin Muhammad and a bunch of random guys you won’t hear a lot about goign forward.

It does not instill confidence in Delhomme right now.

That’s all for now, more later as we head into the weekend and get another look at who is hot, who is not and who isn’t playing because – it’s preseason and they don’t have to.

Slow Wednesday

Not too much going on this morning (or towards lunch for you Easterners) so this will be a bit brief. Feel free to check out the archives or yesterday’s Top 20 rankings.

So a few of the points to follow today:

Buffalo Bills
Tackle Jason Peters continues his holdout and while the sides have been back and forth occasionally, for the most part there hadn’t been a lot of movement. I have heard a few rumors he is in Orchard Park now and that’s a good sign. I don’t think it’s disastrous for the fantasy value of Marshawn Lynch and Trent Edwards & Co. if this lingers, but I do also remember what happened when Shaun Alexander lost his best lineman in Steve Hutchinson. Let’s hope we don’t have to find out if the biggest factor in that was age.

Carolina Panthers
According to the Rock Hill Herald, rookie running back Jonathan Stewart might play in Thursday’s game against the Eagles. HC John Fox needs to find out if Stewart is healthy enough to carry the rock consistently and if he’s got enough of a grasp on the playbook to be trusted. DeAngelo Williams is having a good enough Training Camp to where the rookie can be eased in a bit.

Denver Broncos
Two important bits here – 1) it was reported that Michael Pittman would move back to tailback from fullback after Ryan Torain busted his elbow. That has not happened. The #2 battle is between Andre Hall (staff favorite from last year) and Anthony Alridge. Hall is a more fully rounded back andI think gets hte job but Alridge is a phenomenally gifted athlete who is explosive and can make things happen. As always, with Denver, the back-ups are just as important (and befuddling) as the starters. 2) TE Tony Sheffler battled foot problems all spring and it was a concern whether or not he would be healthy and effective come Spetember. Worry no more. The big TE has been practicing twice a day in camp with no problems. With Brandon Marshall on the pine for at least 2, likely 3 games, Sheffler will get a ton of looks and can be a threat long for Cutler. The two are close friends as well and remember, it never hurts to be the QB’s buddy!

That’s all for now – more later – also, remember that the Thundering Blurb Fantasy Football show will be on tonight at 9pm EST/6pm PST! Head to the Thundering Blurb home page and tuen in live or download it via ITunes later!

Tuesday Wrap Up

A few notes to end the Tuesday Camps – and remember – The Thundering Blurb goes live at 6pmPST/9pm EST tomorrow!

Jacksonville Jaguars
Reggie Williams hurt himself again today, re-injuring his knee (recently sprained) and being carted off the field. Did I mention enough lately that I dislike Williams and think Mike Walker, John Broussard and almost anyone else in the core. Again, Marcedes Lewis looks good to me as well.

New Orleans Saints
Sedrick Ellis has finally signed and should be in camp. If he can catch up, he can still make an impact off and on during the season and might work as a bye week filler guy on your IDP squad.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Cowboys are still interested in Chris Simms but the Bucs are still asking for too much. Would that change if they acquired Favre. we may soon find out. The Cowboys certainly would be happy to upgrade the #2 slot from Brad Johnson.

Buffalo Bills
JP Losman jammed his right thumb – for those of you who thought he might sneak in and be a fantasy force…. all two of you in the Buffalo/Canada area….

Thats all for now – see you tomorrow!

DON’T SLEEP ON THIS SLEEPER

As I have said on The Audible, the FFReport and wrote here, I am high on Buffalo Bills rookie WR Steve Johnson.

He’s gotten mostly good press in Buffalo for the OTAs (save for allegedly being in Marshawn Lynch’s car during the now infamous hit and run) and the team seems high on him. According to Rotoworld.com, the Bills have already signed him to a multi-year contract. Not bad for a 7th rounder who has many people wondering why he dropped so far.

I’m glad I’m not out on an island anymore on this guy. And I’m telling you Dynasty owners and Bills fans not to sleep on him just because of the 7th round tag. He’s much, much better than that.

Rotoworld posits he might even push presumptive starter and fellwo rookie James Hardy for snaps. Another thing I have said more than once.

Along with the other Draftguys, I was able to attend some private workouts for players like Steve who were prepping for Drafts and Pro Days and like them, I came away impressed.

Great balance, ball control, leaping and clutch ability don’t even tell the whole story. His timed speed is meh but he plays much quicker than he times.

I also think back to last winter, when Johnson’s teammate, Kentucky quarterback Andre Johnson, was starting his Draft freefall. As the Senior Bowl was taking place, a few murmurs surfaced that maybe Woodson was benefiting from phenomenal wide reciever play, rather than visa versa.

Now, there are a ton of reasons Andre Woodson collapsed. I think Martz’s offense was too much for him (Mike Martz was the QB coach on Woodson’s side during Senior Bowl week). It certainly put that big, slow delivery into perspective. But I think there is some validity to the notion that a good reciever core might have made him look better than he was.

If that’s the case – and I’m not saying it toally is, but I think there is something to it – you can’t overlook what Johnson is capable of.

I’m not saying he’s a surefire starter this season. But I think in the next few years, you might get a glimpse of something better than a 7th round pick.

Keep an eye on him – I know I will.

Questions, comments and concerns can also be sent to ThunderingBlurb@gmail.com….

A few notes of the Day

Just got back in from watching several pro players training with Travelle Gaines at Elite Athletics in Westlake Village, CA. I know I’m not in great shape, but watching these guys work made me think I have to hit the gym again, soon. It was also great to see veterans like Lorenzo Booker, Billy Miller (who owns the joint) as well as rookies like Bruce Davis, working their tails off. Lots of effort goes into the off-season, believe you me.

More from those guys in the next week or so.

A few notes -

SF WR SITUATION STILL CLOUDY
The thought has been – and this is most discussed in Fantasy Football Circles – that with Mad Mike Martz on the job is San Fran, every WR in the area might get some good numbers. The debate has been who will get more catches – venerable Isaac Bruce or upstart Bryant Johnson. Arnaz Battle has been a whisper as someone who might have a Shaun McDonald/Mike Furrey-esque explosion under Martz. Well, now Matt Barrows has reported on his Sacremento Bee blog that the team might not be featuring a 3rd WR, as Marrtz has in the past. This could significantly alter Battle’s possible value and as someone in the middle of a Fantasy Football auction right now, has knocked down on my list of values. Keep watching, and I’ll keep you informed.

IS IT THAT TIME OF THE YEAR AGAIN? AKA THE GUARENTEE GAME
Every year someone has to make some kind of guarentee regarding how good their team will be and as we near training camps, we’ll see more of it – this week’s entry is from Donte Whitner, DB for the Buffalo Bills. I hate guarentees, they always come back to bite you in the rear end. But look at the Bills – they added not 1 but 2 good WRs in James Hardy and Steve Johnson (I’m telling you, Johnson will be a 7th round success story) to pull pressure off of Lee Evans. Added Leodis McKelvin to work with Whitner. Are saying they will involve Marshawn Lynch in the pass game more. The AFC East is open for business – the Jets are struggling, Miami is a disaster – the only sure thing is the Pats and if everything clicks, I’ll go on record as saying the Bills might give them two very hard games.

A wild card birth is not out of the question at all.

SAINTS AND COLSTON TALKING AHEAD OF TIME
With all the drama at the WR position this off-season – Ocho Cinco, Terry Glenn, Houshmandzedah, Engram – it’s nice to see a franchise and a player do something ahead of time. The New Orleans Times-Picayune (what is a Picayune?) reports that the Saints and top WR Marques Colston are talking about an extension. Colston (as well as Guard Jahri Evans) are already talking about extensions with the club. Of course, after they sign extensions, he might up and complain about them a year later when WR X gets paid 3x as much. But I think actually it’s as much about appreciating these guys and what they do as the money. And it’s smart to lock up your team’s dominant WR and a solid guard while you can. Make them feel appreciated. Keep them happy.

Always good policy.

I’ll be back later to keep YOU happy (see what I did there?) with another update tonight.

Please feel free to email questions or comments to thunderingblurb@gmail.com. I have a few emails already – if I get enough I’ll add them in a post for all to see.