Of course, more things happened this weekend than merely the Willis McGahee injury I mentioned last post.
Let’s go over some of them.
Bobby Engram injured his shoulder in the game this weekend, in a way that didn’t give me all that much pause at the time. Turns out it was much worse than it looked – Engram cracked his shoulder and will be out now for somewhere between 6-8 weeks, best case scenario with him returning for week 3. How likely that is certainly is a good question with Engram being 35 and not as spry as he once was. This leaves Burleson at the 1 spot still and a veritable free for all in the 2 spot with Courtney Taylor, Ben Obomanu and Logan Payne. Payne and Taylor have been banged up but nobody has the full edge yet. Keep an eye – one of these guys could have huge upside as the number 2. On the other hand if they all falter, things will be tough on Hasselback and Burleson owners.
First off, reports from the weekend that Daunte Culpepper was signed by the Steelers were mistaken. I suppose one aging and inneffective QB a weekend is the limit for QB signings. Byron Leftwich – he of the release so slow my 3 year old can count to 100 before he gets the pass off – was signed for very little and will open as the #2 behind Big Ben. The minimal cap amount tells you three things, one you already knew – 1) They don’t expect to need him, so neither should you. 2) They can cut him at any time, meaning his long term prospects are almost exactly what they were before Batch went down. 3) That little money reminds you just how little interest there is in this guy. Again, rather than draft him to back up Big Ben, pick up even a marginal starting QB (Trent Edwards, JaMarcus Russell, Matt Leinart) instead.
Tampa Bay Bucaneers
The bucs are still dangling Chris Simms out there and there is interest – but most teams appear to be waiting for him to get cut. Sure, the Bucs could keep him on the roster, but word is that the rift between he and Chuckie Gruden is far too wide – so it wouldn’t stun me if he was outright cut if another team didn’t deal for him. Incidentally, the Cowboys supposedly had scouts at the Tampa Bay game this weekend and may still be in play to trade for him.
New York Jets
As a known Jets fan with a new Favre jersey on the way (NFL.com WHERE IS MY JERSEY?) it should come as a suprise to nobody that I was goaded by my fellow owners in the local league I play, in an attempt to get me to reach for Favre as my QB – it started in round 3 and went until he was picked by someone else in round 10 . As I know you really don’t care a whit for my league, I merely mention it to illustrate this point I have said many times already – Favre’s biggest effect on Fantasy will be for his supporting cast, not himself. It’s not to say Favre will not do well – he might. However, the difference in expectations between what Penningon/Clemens can do with a ball and what The Favre does are pretty significant. Thomas Jones, Cotchery, Coles, Leon Washington – those are the guys who will reap the benefits of success more than Favre himself. I’ll throw out Dustin Keller as well – the kid is just tearing up Training Camp and may get a lot of looks along the sidelines. Favre will be no more than a solid QB2. Any Jets fans (or Favre fans) out there, let them yell – just keep picking value and ignore the taunts.
Steve Smith suffered a concussion in the preseason game this weekend and while it won’t matter longer term (especially since he will miss weeks 1 and 2) he probably won’t play in Thursday’s game against the Eagles. It’s nothing more than that, but at this point we’ll see a lot less of our usual veterans and considering Engram, McGahee and now Smith’s injuries, it’s all the better for most Fantasy Teams. By the way, reports from Panthers camp are that the thought that rookie Johnathan Stewart will easily replace DeAngelo Williams from the starter’s job when he returns from his toe injury might have been premature. First, Stewart has missed a ton of camp and even working every day in rehab and reading playbooks will not replace reps lost in camp and preseason games. Second, Williams has allegedly redoubled his efforts this off-season and is far more dedicated than he has been in the past. Thirdly, HC John Fox loves his vets and doesn’t hand anything over to rookies, as Williams’ Dynasty owners are very aware. The longer Stewart is out and the better Williams can do in camp, the closer to a regular RBBC this will be, so I hope you drafted accordingly.
That’s all for now – back with more later….