I’ll be posting my rankings at the big three (RB, QB, WR) and will probably touch on them during the News Stampede at Noon EST/9am PST. For now, a little light news to start our Friday off.
According to the Baltimore Sun (which, if I recall, has been pushing for McGahee to leave the city all off season) the Ravens are preparing RB Ray Rice to start against the Bengals Sunday. We knew this, I think, and I still say with a rookie QB and an iffy O-line, he’s not the best play. Rice looks like he will be a solid play long term, but don’t get carried away. If he has the most upside of your backups, he might make an ok RB2. But I would rather not have to worry about how he will do in game 1 against 8 men in the box. Also, how much of a factor will McGahee be, if any?
Injured Center Jeff Saturday has decided against surgery (a common theme this NFL off-season, huh?), opting to rehab the torn right knee ligament and hoping to come back sooner than later. Certainly that would be good news for Manning and the Colts. It’s always a risk (see: Merriman, Shawne) but Saturday is an important presence along the offensive line and the sooner he gets back to snapping the ball, the better as far as Manning owners are concerned.
WR Deion Branch practiced in a limited fashion Thursday, though I think he is still a shaky bet to play Sunday. Even if he does, how effective will he be, having missed so much of the off-season? Yes, he’s a vet who knows the playbook, but timing is important for wide receivers and Branch hasn’t played consistently (really, at all) in a long time. Even if he’s in the Seahawk’s lineup, he shouldn’t be in yours. Not this week.
WR Justin McCariens was back at practice yesterday after coming down with flu-like symptoms on Wednesday. He’s about the best bet in the WR core but I still wouldn’t throw him out there. In his favor is a familiarity with the offense from his first stint with the Titans and a veteran presence and experiance. Against him is the lack of any production since he left for the Jets and an overwhelming sense that he is past his prime – whatever THAT was. I still say the best receiving option here will end up being Chris Johnson. I suppose Alge Crumpler may put up some points, but I don’t want to have to count on it week 1.
That’s all for now folks – rankings scattered throughout today.