Two things happened this past weekend that prompted this week long NFL celebration.
First, the Red Sox decided to take the weekend off. Getting about 6 hits during the course of 30 innings over two games against the Yankees. They can still recover and save their season, but there doesn’t seem to be much fight with this particular team. They rolled over and I have a hard time getting behind a team that sleep walks through the biggest series of the season (so far).
Second, both my fantasy leagues emailed me invitations. That just got my juices flowing.
In order to get my thoughts in order (yes, this is an entirely selfish project), I’m going to run down the positions. I have to. Putting things in writing helps my puny brain work better. I blame the years of pot and alcohol abuse.
Let’s begin with the most critical player. At least in my opinion. My thinking is there is a major dropoff between the best quarterbacks and the rest. There’s a difference of 5-10 points a week.
Most people tend to think running backs are the most important, but there are a ton of solid backs out there now. Of course all of this depends on where you are drafting. If you’re 1, 2 or 3 you’ll probably go with a running back with your first pick. But you get into the middle of the pack, wouldn’t it make more sense to grab a top notch QB?
I say yes.
Off we go. Here are thoughts on the quarterbacks.
CREAM OF THE CROP
Drew Brees: Incredible 2008 and is getting a healthy Bush and Colson back. Expect more big numbers.
Kurt Warner: New offensive coordinator, but still has Fitzgerald, Boldin and Breaston to throw to. He’ll be a top 5 QB as long as he stays healthy.
Tony Romo: Will he flourish now that the TO circus has moved out of town? I would bet yes and that he and Roy Williams make some noise strictly on the field.
Aaron Rodgers: I’m expecting a HUGE year from him.
Peyton Manning: No Tony Dungy. New offensive system. Below average 2008 season. Is he’s declining or is the change just what he needs to reinvigorate his career? I’m leaning towards that first option.
Phillip Rivers: Puts up decent numbers and seems to be getting better each year.
Ben Roethlisberger: Old reliable even if he’s not usually spectacular. Can throw in some really shitty games during the season, though, so keep that in mind.
Matt Ryan: All signs point to Atlanta having a huge dropoff, but he’s got Tony Gonzalez to throw to now and he’s got the rookie year behind him. Sophomore slump or spectacular follow up?
Donovan McNabb: Like Big Ben, he can throw some stinkers out there in a given week, but he (and the Eagles) seem to have a huge chip on their shoulders heading into the season.
Matt Schaub: If he can stay healthy. He can’t and he won’t so make sure you draft his backup.
THE LAST RESORTS
Jason Campbell: Will this be the year he puts it together? I doubt it, too.
Jake Delhomme: How will he bounce back from that playoff debacle?
Joe Flacco: Not convinced.
David Gerrard: Really?
Matt Hasselbeck: Supposedly healthy and has that dude from the Bengals who’s name I can never spell to throw to now.
Kyle Orton: In Denver with Marshall, Royal and McDaniel’s system to work with. I think he’s going to have a spectacular season and I hope I’m the only one. I want to steal him in the eighth round or something.
Chad Pennington: Quietly had a very solid 2008.
Kerry Collins: Another one I would take in the mid to late rounds. The Titans should be good again this year and Collins makes very few mistakes.
THE QUESTION MARKS
Tom Brady: Fully recovered? No McDaniels around. All I know for sure is someone will take him way too early in my draft and screw things up for everyone else.
Matt Cassel: In KC now and does have Dwayne Bowe to throw to, but can he duplicate last season’s numbers?
Jay Cutler: New system and who, exactly, is he going to throw to in Chicago?
Trent Edwards: Will having TO make him better? I don’t think so, but stranger things have happened.
Eli Manning: Hundred millionaire (really?) who has nobody but rookies to throw to. Pick up a Giant’s tight end or running back if you can, because they’ll be getting plenty of opportunities.
Cleveland QBs: Do we even know who the starter is, yet? Brady Quinn or Derek Anderson? I’m staying away from both.
Minnesota QBs: All signs point to Rosenfels, but Jackson’s still in the conversation.
The Rookies: Sanchez seems to have a better all around team surrounding him, but will Stafford air things out in Detroit? Remember: bad team doesn’t mean bad numbers.
Carson Palmer: Nobody is still sure what happened to him last season and he’s talking a good game so far this summer. That said, he’s lost his prime target and, let’s face it, he’s only had one good season.
San Fran QBs: Shaun Hill or Alex Smith. I actually think whoever starts could have a very good year. Just make a decision already.
THE WILD CARDS
Michael Vick: Wouldn’t be a total waste to pick him up in the last round or two, right?
Vince Young: Is he healthy? By that I mean physically and mentally.
JaMarcus Russell: I don’t know. Every year someone breaks out and shocks the system. Could Russell be that guy?
So there you go. Both my leagues have 10 teams, so I should be able to bag at least a decent starter. I would prefer a great starter, so I may use my first rounder on Brees or Rodgers rather than being stuck with Schaub or Cutler.
That’s just me, though.
Today’s distraction: How to lose your job via Facebook. I love idiots like this. Makes me laugh and feel good about myself in one fell swoop.