Welcome to the "Original" Dynasty Rankings Fantasy Football Blog

This blog was born out of a Dynasty Rankings thread originally begun in October, 2006 at the Footballguys.com message boards. The rankings in that thread and the ensuing wall-to-wall discussion of player values and dynasty league strategy took on a life of its own at over 275 pages and 700,000 page views. The result is what you see in the sidebar under "Updated Positional Rankings": a comprehensive ranking of dynasty league fantasy football players by position on a tiered, weighted scale. In the tradition of the original footballguys.com Dynasty Rankings thread, intelligent debate is welcome and encouraged.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Catching up on Player Notes: Playoffs Week 1

All news blurbs from Rotoworld.com:

Cedric Benson had the cast removed from his broken left ankle Monday. He plans to begin running in March.
Benson promises to return at 100% next season and downplayed rumors he began the 2007 season out of shape. He says the Bears would be "wasting their time" by bringing in competition at tailback. "I feel it's established," Benson said. "I don't feel like I need to prove anything. I just got sidelined."
Ummm, Cedric....you might want to check with your boss on that whole proven vs. established thing:

Bears GM Jerry Angelo confirmed Thursday that Cedric Benson will have to compete to be the team's starting running back in 2008.
"I'd like to think he could still be a feature back, but there's going to be competition," said Angelo, who indicated he'll use the draft to find a new back. Benson thinks he's proved himself, but no sane person would agree.
This news jives with what I wrote about Benson back in late November:

What's in store for him next year? We're talking about the same franchise that wasted their Super Bowl window insisting that Rex Grossman was not an unmitigated disaster at QB, so you can't put anything past them. But common sense says they can't go into next season with Cedric Benson as their workhorse RB. They have to bring in somebody at least as insurance to split carries. Once that insurance policy gets in there, it won't take long to shove shabby Benson to the sidelines where he belongs.
Cedric Benson is delusional. He makes Ricky Williams look as sober as George Will. Unfortunately, he doesn't share Ricky's football talent as he runs at age 24 like Shaun Alexander at age 30. His value is currently in a ditch so he's a hard sell, but if you can find a true believer, by all means, sell that plodding head case.

As I'm sure you know if you've ever seen him fold like a lawn chair the moment there's a pass rush, Rex Grossman is simply odious. The Bears, however, continue to operate under the illusion that Grossman might have a future as a starter in this league despite being physically and mentally frightened of defensive pressure.

Bears GM Jerry Angelo reiterated on Thursday the team's intentions to bring back impending free agent Rex Grossman for the 2008 season. Angelo wants Rex back to compete to start. "It's got to be competition," Angelo said. "I don't see us right now doing anything. Somebody's got to be first in line, obviously but that will be determined in the offseason." Grossman is likely to get another chance to prove himself on a short-term deal.
You can't put anything past the obstinate Bears, but there's very little chance Rex Grossman is behind center for the 2008 opener. If they can't swing a deal for a stable veteran like Donovan McNabb or Chad Pennington, they'll upturn every rock and stone in the league to find an improvement at quarterback.

Do the Bears really believe Devin Hester can replace Bernard Berrian if he leaves via free agency? Not surprisingly, this may in fact be something that the Bears do believe:

The Chicago Sun Times believes Bernard Berrian, Lance Briggs, and Brendon Ayanbadejo are "nearly certain" to leave the Bears in free agency.
The Bears may not deem Berrian worthy of the franchise tag due to Devin Hester's emergence as a receiver. Ayanbadejo could look for somewhere he can play more defense. Briggs might price himself out of Chicago's range.

Bears coach Lovie Smith believes Devin Hester "can become a No. 1 receiver in the league."
Hester seemed to improve his routes on a weekly basis after moving from cornerback to receiver in 2007. If the Bears truly feel Hester can start, they may not retain Muhsin Muhammad. It would still be tough for Hester to stay on the field every down on offense while also returning punts and kicks.
I became officially intrigued by Devin Hester's offensive potential when the Bears began to target him frequently over the last month of the season, but they're crazy if they see him as a #1 WR instead of a raw playmaker. Berrian could see a major increase in production if he leaves the Bears' land of misfit QBs for a team with a legit passing offense. Keep in mind, however, that the majority of wide receivers struggle mightily in their first season with a new team. . . . Superhumans like Randy Moss and T.O. excluded. Just ask Darrell Jackson or Peerless Price.

Keyshawn and Parcells = Peaches and Herb? Keyshawn's agent says they could be reunited:

The Miami Herald is reporting that Keyshawn Johnson has not ruled out the possibility of a comeback with the Dolphins and close friend, Bill Parcells.
He would take on a mentoring role for the Dolphins young wide receivers if he decided to leave ESPN, but consider this a longshot to happen. He was possibly the slowest receiver in the league when he retired last year, and it will take a lot to lure him away from his studio analyst role.
Not gonna happen. Even on the slim chance Keyshawn does return, I know I don't have to tell you that he has no fantasy value as the slowest wide receiver in the league.

The Jets are between a rock and a hard place on their QB situation:

Kellen Clemens had the seventh-lowest QB rating in the NFL since 2000.
The names "above" him on the list aren't pretty: Akili Smith, Andrew Walter, Ryan Leaf, Kordell Stewart, Kyle Orton, and Joey Harrington. The Jets can't feel comfortable with Clemens as their incumbent for 2007.
But can they really afford to turn down a good offer for Chad Pennington if an interested suitor comes calling? The Jets benched Pennington for a reason: his limitations don't mesh well with their personnel. They have a putrid running game and a porous defense, so "ultimate game manager" isn't the description they should be looking for in a starting QB. Clemens' poor play to close out the season is certainly worrisome, but there's legit potential there with the arm strength and athletic ability. Improved line play and an established running game would go a long way towards helping Clemens growth as a QB. I think the smart move for the Jets is do deal Pennington and bring in a vet to back up Clemens for one season before re-evaluating at the end of '08.

Hope for John Beck? The 'Phins new GM liked him coming out of college:

New Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland says that while scouting for Dallas prior to last year's draft, he "absolutely" formed a high opinion of John Beck.
This could be a positive for Beck, although what he put on tape as a rookie will likely be more scrutinized by Ireland than Beck's performance at BYU. Beck probably won't be any higher than No. 2 on the depth chart in 2008.
I think Dolphins will look to bring in competition for Beck, but he's clearly in better standing with Ireland than he was with Cam Cameron. Ultimately, he's a dynasty roster albatross going into 2008 as a 27-year-old virtual rookie on a rotten team with little in the way of receiving weapons. Sell or look elsewhere for your high upside corner-of-the-roster QB stash.

Leinart to remain Cards' QB in '08 despite Warner's 27 touchdowns:

Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt made it clear after Sunday's season finale that Matt Leinart remains his likely starting QB in 2008.
"I don't believe in a player losing his job because of an injury, which is what happened with Matt," Whisenhunt said. Kurt Warner threw 27 TD passes, completed 62.3% of his throws, and is probably a top 15 quarterback in the league, but Leinart is the future for a young ballclub. It would likely take a terrible offseason for Leinart to not be starting in Week 1 of 2008.
Here is my take from the footballguys thread on the Warner conundrum, i.e. how Leinart's presence as the franchise QB affects Warner's dynasty value :

Warner is 37-years-old and Leinart is the purported starter, thus Warner's window for value may already be closed after Week 17 of this year.

However, we know that Warner can be a fantasy difference maker whenever he's in the lineup. He threw almost 30 TDs this season in about 12 and a half games. I believe Matt Leinart will bounce back, but if he struggles in the pre-season it's going to be worth having Kurt Warner on your roster. When I rank players I ask myself whether I would rather have that player over any of the guys ranked below him. With Warner's upside, there's nobody below him that I would rather have on my roster going into next season.

Cardinals backfield could see major changes in 2008:

The Cardinals are expected to add a more explosive running back with tackle breaking ability this offseason.
J.J. Arrington is fast, but doesn't shed many tackles. The Cards will likely bring Edgerrin James back, but it sounds like they want him to be part of a committee in 200. Arrington will be competing just to make the club.
Bad news for J.J. Arrington whom coach Ken Whisenhunt likes, but whom he also sees as ultimately a 3rd down back as opposed to a link from Edgerrin James to the future.

Bad news for Edge as well? He's likely to be splitting carries if he survives the off-season:

The Arizona Republic writes that it's "questionable" how Edgerrin James fits into Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt's scheme.
James lost work to Marcel Shipp and J.J. Arrington in 2007 and indicated after Sunday's season finale that he wasn't happy about it. "He got some carries, but we never got quite into the flow we thought we were going to," Whisenhunt said. It wouldn't be a surprise to see the Cardinals add a power runner in the offseason and make James into a committee back next year.
Would they dial up free agent Michael Turner just two seasons removed from throwing a fortune at Edge? If not, they'll likely seek Edge's predecessor early in this year's draft. The time to move Edge was early in the 2007 season. You may be stuck with that sinking ship if he's still on your roster.

I've thought for some time that there's been quite a bit of posturing from the Eagles camp on Donovan McNabb, but it's looking more and more like the Eagles aren't in a position to deal him for at least one more season:

The Philadelphia Daily News believes there's a 95% percent chance that the Eagles will go forward with Donovan McNabb next season.
Eagles Coach Andy Reid added that Donovan McNabb's ACL injury has made him a better pocket passer. According to Reid, now McNabb has his mobility back to go with improved passing ability. There may be some posturing on the part of the Eagles, but the only scenario where McNabb is likely to get dealt is if a club like Minnesota, Chicago, or Baltimore were desperate enough to blow their doors off in an offer.
I wrote that blurb when I was filling in on Rotoworld's news coverage the other day, and I really do believe it's going to take a desperate franchise with an overwhelming offer for the Eagles to move McNabb this off-season. He's going to be much improved in 2008---another year removed from ACL surgery--- and the Eagles could take a considerable leap forward with a more effective red zone offense next year. I don't see him going anywhere, so I would advise putting your Kevin Kolb plans on hold until 2009. I should also add that McNabb is a great "buy low" right now if you're in a situation where your starting QB is an inconsistent youngster.

I think that's enough for tonight...

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