Archive for category San Francisco

More cuts on Black Tuesday

More cut updates – remember Saturday is the big day and lots of platyers will drop. I have high hopes that Blurb faves Steve Johnson (BUF), Joey LaRocque (CHI) and Josh Johnson (TB) will be on the squads on opening day.

49ers
DT Joe Cohen, TE Cooper Wallace, S Lewis Baker, QB Kyle Wright, G John Booker
Bills DB Kennard Cox, WR C.J. Hawthorne, P D.J. Fitzpatrick, DE Shaun Nua
Bucs WR Paris Warren, LB Antoine Cash, S Donte Nicholson

Added players from earlier:
Texans –
OL Scott Jackson (foot) onto IR

More should be coming – and Saturday could be brutal. Again, props to jeter23 over at the footballguys.com message board whose list thread is pinned at top and has been where I am going to make sure I miss nobody.

Other notes of notes -

Cincinnati Bengals
According to HC Marvin Lewis, Jerome Simpson could open the season as the Begnal’s #3 WR. that’s a huge turn of events from earlier this preseason, when Simpson was struggling. How much this will pay off will depend on two things – the health of the Dynamic Duo (Housh and CJ) and if Ben Utecht puts up numbers like we expect/hope at TE. Late pick at best.

Arizona Cardinals
Regardless of ESPN, Chris Mortenson and John Clayton, HC Whisenhunt says he won’t decide until post-Thursday’s game as the starter. I am not a big fan of this situation and frankly, don’t know who will end up any week as the starter. Leinart better look nails this week though, or Mort will be right and Whisenhunt – and myself – will be eating crow.

Green Bay Packers
HC Mike McCarthy is talking about decresing Grant’s carries over the season, I assume to integrate Brandon Jackson into the game mroe. It doesn’t kill Grant’s value, but it will lessen the chances he ends the season in the top 10.

Denver Broncos
Brandon Marshall is in NY to protest his suspension – hoping to knock a game off the total 2-3 game time. This has a big impact on rookie Eddie Royal. Royal will be a starter during the time Marshall being suspended and will put up good numbers during that time, so every game counts. He should be ok throughout the year BUT he needs some time to lock that #2
spot up – he’s a borderline 3/4 now and will probably be no more than that.

That’s it for now – we’re back at 6:30am PST/9:30am EST for the morning post and remember the Thundering Blurb Fantasy Football Podcast is back tomorrow night at 6pm PST/9pm EST.

Also, tonight we rebooted the BlogTalkRadio fantasy draft and actually got through it with minimal pain – I’ll talk a little about it tomorrow here or on the show.

Have a good night.

Thursday Morning Stampede

You can tell we’re getting to the end of camp and towards proper football when the news deluge becomes a trickle as it has the last few days.

Answers we are still waiting on:

  • Will Steven Jackson report? Owners in many drafts are banking on him not holding out but with conflicting reports about whether the sides are even talking, it makes me nervous. The longer this goes on without significant movement, the riskier a top 5 (maybe even 10) pick becomes.
  • Will Jason Peters report? I will say it again – an offensive tackle is just as integral to a good running game as anyone else involved. Peters is the best o-lineman in Buffalo and it’s bad enough he was holding out, but now the team is racked by injury. The value of Marshawn Lynch and that whole offense could hinge on Peters coming back to the fold but like Jackson, no real progress has been made.
  • How bad is the 49r QB situation? It looks pretty grim and what does that mean for Gore? Keep in mind that Gore has put up good numbers in awful offenses before. How much will Martz control the overall offense vs HC Mike Nolan? Does it matter who wins the job with that group?
  • Can Tarvaris Jackson progress? It probably won’t matter to Peterson that much, but should to the rest of the team. The Vikes are very close to Super Bowl status. If Jackson can take a significant leap forward, utilize Berrian and Rice to their potential and give Peterson even more room than the O-line does on a play-by-play basis – I would tap them as heading to Tampa Bay.
  • Will McFadden live up to the hype? People are still kicking themselves for undervaluing Peterson last year and so McFadden has occasionally gone way too early in drafts this year. Peterson was/is a freak and was in a much better situation O-line-wise than McFadden is. we;ve seen soem good play but what does it mean so early? It’d be nice to have been blown away but I am not yet. I still want to know what he can do, an answer I will only get during the season.
  • What effect will Favre have on the Jets? Here’s an answer we’ll get a glimpse at this weekend when he makes his preseason debut, but from a fantasy perspective there are some questions that will take a few regular season games to answer. Will he open up the offense give Thomas Jones room to run? Will Cotchery and Coles see their numbers go up? Will he be Favre from 2007 or 20006? A lot of owners – myself included – are betting heavy that he has increased the value of this team.
  • Who is catching balls in Seattle/Jacksonville/Carolina? You could throw in a few other teams but these three will have more value than most of the others you could name. Steve Smith is suspended for two games – will it affect his season overall? Can DJ Hackett stay healthy or is it already too late? Who will fill in as the #2 across from Burleson in the injury decimated Seattle WR corp? Or Jacksonville? As we find these things out, some Hail Mary picks at the end of drafts could have huge value.

I’ll be back later with any news that shows up plus a few things that we definitely know coming to the end of Training Camp.

Cowboys Camp and the news update

Hey folks,

Just returned from lovely Oxnard, California and Dallas Cowboy Training Camp. It was a short practice, as the ‘boys needed to both get into makeup for another edition of Hard Knocks and then head to San Diego for their Saturday night tilt with the Chargers.

And while one of those things is certainly true, the other probably is as well if you’ve seen HBO’s series yet.

In all seriousness though, the team looked loose and ready. Adam Jones (the man formerly known as Pacman) is still lining up against TO whenever he can, even when it’s a no contact drill. I think – and it’s early – but I think he finally gets what it takes to succeed in the league.

Anyway, I will be trying to get out at least once more in the last two practices next week, so we’ll see if there are any nuggets to pass along.

On to the news -
Philadelphia Eagles
Big news out of Philly and comforting too, for those of you who are already Westbrook owners. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News , the Eagles have signed Westbrook not so much to an extension as it is a reworking of his current contract with more money and years. Here’s what they say about the details, none of which is concerned:

Neither France nor the Eagles would disclose the terms of the deal, but a source close to the situation said there is $13 million in new money. The source said that $13 million in the first two seasons is guaranteed and that Westbrook will make $21 million over the next three seasons. The source said that there are escalators based on playoff appearances and individual performance that could increase Westbrook’s salary to $24 million.

All that means really is Westy is happy – and a happy Westy is a productive fantasy Westy, if he also remains a helthy Westy.

Great news for the Eagles though and while we may not see much of him tonight against Pittsburgh, you will see Lorenzo Booker and see if the hype I and Cecil have been building around his involvement start to pan out.

San Francisco 49rs
According to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat , Alex Smith is running out of time and ‘may be too intelligent for his own good and isn’t exactly a fast learner.’ I have no idea how you can be too smart BUT not a quick learner, but point has been made. Smith has not run away with this job. Matt Barrows over at the 49rs blog at the Sac Bee says not too read too much into O’Sullivan’s start though as HC Mike Nolan has said it’s just a case of having not seen O’Sullivan play in a game before, whereas he knows what Smith and Hill do durign a game.

Not a ringing endorsement though. I still say the wide receivers will be ok plays, but the QB spot is way to risky for me in Fantasy leagues.

Tampa Bay Bucaneers
Well, here’s some insult to injury. Apparently a deal the Packers rejected from the Bucs involved Chris Simms. Is it me, or is Simms jst snakebit? Somebody fly him to Dallas, quick.

Denver Broncos
With Brandon Marshall on the pine for 2-3 weeks, Eddie Royal will line up opposite Darrell Jackson for the first few games. Whereas the depth chart made it look like Jackson was slipping behind the rookie yesterday, he has merely moved into Marshall’s posotion for the time being. They should both shift backwards when Marshall comes back, but if Jackson stumbles out of the gate and Royal continues to impress, the rookie could pull a Dwayne Bowe and end up as the #2.

New York Jets
It’s not all roses with the Jets, according to an article in Newsday. Here’s what they say:

One player said the locker room is hardly unanimous about the move to get Favre, telling Newsday that a significant portion of the team was not in favor of giving up on Chad Pennington. The players loyal to Pennington were upset to see the team simply toss him overboard after he’d given so much to the team during his time with the Jets.

It is, of course, more about Pennington than Favre and I think they will warm to it. But as has been pointed out by others, Laveraneus Coles was a big Chad guy and allegedly left the hotel in Cleveland when he heard the news. Yes, he came back, but let’s face it – he wasn’t happy.

Is this a warning sign for Fantasy Owners? I’m not sure – Coles is a professional and isn’t stupid. Favre can do things Chad couldn’t. But I understand the loyalty – I just doubt it will blind him to what Favre can bring to the table.

Hopefully he can react like Kellen Clemens who, when asked how he felt to go from QB battle to instant back-up, had this to say:

“What can I say? Now I’m backing up a future Hall of Famer,” Clemens said. “I’ll be able to further my education.”

Smart kid, that Clemens.

More later, maybe some thoughts on the Pitt/Philly game.

Wednesday Morning Stampede

So FAVREWATCH 2008 is far from over, but we knew that would be the case.

All that and some running back news below for the Morning Stampede…

Green Bay Packers
As was reported yesterday, Favre is probably close to being traded and soon. Both the Jets and Bucs are allegedly interested – the Tampa Tribune says Favre will be a Buc be days end, with Brian Griese heading to Wisconsin to back up Aaron Rodgers (which as I wrote last night, only made sense). Not so fast says Jay Glazer of FoxSports – the NY Jets have offered a much better trade package. Apparently, Favre currently prefers the Bucs, though he is talking to the Jets, and supposedly feels that the Packers are asking too much from the Bucs just because they are a NFC team.

I think this will clear up by Friday, maybe before, but it continues to be somewhat ugly between the Pack and their once favored son.

Both the Bucs and Jets would be good, not great fits, for Favre and neither is a Super Bowl contender though the Bucs seem closer on the surface. Favre may help them make a run while he merely makes the Jets an 8-8 team with Wild Card aspirations. That’s not a slam on Favre – the Jets are just farther away. But you never know.

Either team would put Favre back on the Fantasy radar and make him – at the very least – a #2 QB.

Chicago Bears
Kevin Jones is definitely healing well and while he might still open the season on the PUP list, he is supposedly running close to full speed. He’s been in pads, though sporting a heavy knee brace. It’s the brace that reminds you he is still coming back from a nagging injury and is a guy who the Bears probably picked up more for later in the season. Jones could be a pick during the last half or third of your draft, but you shouldn’t draft him for anything but bench depth. Matt Forte is still the starter and will be for some time, barring him struggling mightily.

San Francisco 49rs
Frank Gore could have a huge season if he is involved in the pass game the way I (and others) suspect he might, yet I still see him slipping late in the 1st round of drafts. Gore has worked hard to get into better shape, including dropping wieght. With the concerns for just about every running back pick after #3 (Westbrook or Peterson, depending on who you ask), Gore is someone to look at closely and consider for your #1 back.

Most of the 49rs have a long way to go to prove themselves fantasy worthy and Gore could still face 8 man fronts if Martz’s offense struggles. But Gore has faced them before and done well. Dropping the weight and getting into better shape will hopefully keep him healthier and get rid of nagging injuries that have plagued him for his career.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Just when we thought Fast Willie Parker had lost his goal line touches for good with the drafting of Rashard Mendenhall – not so fast. According to HC Mike Tomlin (by way of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ), Parker is once again under consideration for goal line duties. Now, I need to look into this but this may be a sign Mendenhall is struggling a little in camp. I’ll see what I can find out. Parker will get you the yards – but his touchdowns were completely absent last year and it killed his owners. If he can get even a few more goal line touches, it would really help his value to you. I have been, and still do, assume that the rookie Mendenhall will get a ton of short yardage looks, including in the red zone. Parker hasn’t got the size for it and concern still is he might wear down. But he has been effective on occasion and could be again if the offensive line is back on it’s game. That was the biggest problem last year – the Ol-ine struggled as much as he did.

He’s your rock solid RB2 – with a ton of upside if this plays out.

That’s all for now – more later.

More Training Camp Notes – now with 50% less Favre

Let’s get this out of the way:

  • Favre to Jets looks dead (rumor is Favre no likey Gang Green)
  • Favre to Bucs looks possible
  • No Favre at Packers Camp today

Now on to more stuff not Favretastic -

MRIs Around the NFL

Asante Samuel had one – the injury to his hammy looks ‘Mild’. (Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News) Good news for Philly – a ‘push’ for Lito Sheppard. Again, Samuel means better numbers (or more opportunity for Sheppard) but no Samuel means leverage in contract talks.

Deuce McAllister’s was negative – but like I said yesterday, it’s bad that he needs one already. Once again, I invite you to hop on board the Pierre Thomas Train before it leaves the Station!

I think that’s it for MRIs today – maybe we can do another turn tomorrow?

Bears Lock Hester Up
According to the Chicago Sun Times Da Bears have signed kick return monster and unproven wide receiver Devin Hester to a 4 year 30 Million dollar extension, $15 mill of which is guarenteed. Now, as I said the other day, they HAD to make him happy – right now he’s the whole offense. BUT – and this is critical – he has yet to prove that he’s worth the money they just gave him. I mean, on the one hand, he is, as he’s the most dynamic kick returner maybe ever. But on the other, what if he sucks out loud at receiver? Like the last phenomenal kick returner who was mediocre as a pass catcher – Dante Hall?

They had to pay him – but I don’t know this was money well spent. Hester has to put it together as a pass catcher now.

Of course if he does – will he back with his hand out again?

BTW – for Fantasy purposes, let me reiterate that no Bear WR is worth more than a flier, unless you get good points for kick returns in which case, Hester is your man.

Ashlie Lelie Does What he Does Best – Gets Hurt
For those of you hoping Lelie would be the #3 guy in SF and end up with some Sleeper value – the Santa Rosa Press Democrat is reporting that Lelie is Day-to-Day with a left calf sprain. The guy has never been sturdy and with Battle looking to be the guy behind Isaac Bruce and Bryant Johnson, Lelie had a huge hill to climb. Looks like he fell off it.

Every day is a day he loses ground. You want a sleeper, try looking at Jason Hill, who has done some damage in Camps. Of course, rumor has it the 49rs will not be using a lot of 3 WR sets (utilizing Frank Gore and Vernon Davis as targets instead) so looking for a productive #3 wide reciever in San Fran might be a little like spitting in the wind.

That’s all for now – -

Comment below or email at 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.