Fantasy impact of the Sidney Rice news

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre celebrates after throwing a 45-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Sidney Rice during the fourth quarter of their NFC Divisional Playoff against the Dallas Cowboys at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis on January 17, 2010. The Vikings won 34-3. UPI/Brian Kersey

In case you haven’t heard, Sidney Rice will be out until midseason after undergoing hip surgery. Obviously, this is a big loss for the Vikings, but what about the fantasy implications?

Let’s start with Rice himself. He’s going to miss the first half of the season and that assumes his recovery goes to plan. Rice is no more than a late-round pick. Stash him on your roster if you have the space and hope that he makes it back for the stretch run.

This news theoretically bumps up Harvin’s stock a bit, but with his migraine issues, there’s no guarantee he’s going to play 16 games either. He’s been going 6.10 over the last week, and while I’d rather have Santana Moss at this point, Harvin is not a bad pick in the 6th or the 7th. But don’t draft him unless you have a high tolerance for week-to-week uncertainty. That’s just how it’s going to be with Harvin, at least for this year.

Bernard Berrian seemingly gets the biggest bump of all the Viking players, and a 29 years old, he has plenty of football left to play. But Berrian is not Rice, so don’t expect anything more than fantasy WR3-type numbers. He’s currently going in the 14th, but I’d start to think about him in the 10th. And remember, he could be pushed back to the bench midseason if Rice comes back.

I’d also bump up Visanthe Shiancoe a bit more. I already liked him as a mid- to late-round sleeper after he posted TE5-type numbers over the last half of the ’09 season. Favre loves to throw to his tight end, especially around the goal line, and with Rice out, he’ll lean on Shiancoe even more.

As for Favre himself, this will probably hurt his numbers. He has a tendency to throw the ball up for grabs, and Rice excelled at using his length and leaping ability to go up and snag the ball out of the air. I’d expect fewer yards, fewer TDs and more picks. That’s just the nature of the beast.

The last guy to consider is Adrian Peterson. With Rice out, the defense will be able to crowd the box a bit more, but he’ll likely get more carries with the Vikings taking a more conservative approach offensively. His ypc will probably dip a bit, but more carries could offset this. I would still draft him in the top 4.

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Fantasy Football Q&A: Preseason

Fantasy football drafts are starting to ramp up, and we’re here to answer your questions about who to keep, which players to target and anything else that might be troubling you.

Fire away.

Is Bradshaw passing Jacobs on the depth chart?

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 06:  Brandon Jacobs #27 and Ahmad Bradshaw #44 of the New York Giants celebrate after Jacobs scored a 74 yard touchdown reception in the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at Giants Stadium on December 6, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Giants beat writer Mike Garafolo of the The Star-Ledger seems to think so

RB Ahmad Bradshaw (yes, I put him in the starter category because he’s taking all of the first reps with the starters, it seems) continues to look like his rookie self. He went off left edge and moved well, changing direction a few times. RB Brandon Jacobs looked pretty good tonight as well.

Here are the stats from last season:

Jacobs – 224 rushes, 835 yards, 5 TD; 18-184-1
Bradshaw – 163 rushes, 778 yards, 7 TD; 21-201-0

Bradshaw averaged more than a yard more per carry and only finished 40 yards behind Jacobs in total yards despite 58 fewer touches.

How you feel about this situation depends on how you feel about Jacobs’ knees. If he’s healthy, he’ll almost certainly get enough first and second down work and goal line carries to keep Bradshaw from being a bona fide fantasy RB2.

But here we are, about a month away from the season and Bradshaw appears to be pressing Jacobs for the starting job. This could be a coaching ploy to motivate Jacbos (whom Garafolo also said looked good), it could be a way to reduce Jacobs’ workload in the preseason since he’s coming off of knee surgery, or it could be an actual change to the Giants depth chart. For what it’s worth, Tom Coughlin says that the press is “too hung up on that stuff.” (Spoken like a man who doesn’t have a fantasy football draft to prepare for.)

Considering Jacobs is going a full two rounds earlier than Bradshaw (who is a nice value in the 9th), the latter would appear to be a better value given his upside. Regardless, fantasy owners who draft Jacobs in the 6th or the 7th should definitely grab Bradshaw in the 8th as insurance.

2010 Fantasy Football Preview: RBs

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 07: Pierre Thomas #23 of the New Orleans Saints dives into the endzone for a touchdown in the third quarter against the Indianapolis Colts during Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

All 2010 Fantasy Football Articles | 2010 Position Rankings

Generally speaking, the running back position is the backbone of any good fantasy football team. But more and more, leagues have tried to de-emphasize the position by changing lineup requirements (i.e. one RB and a flex instead of two RB) or adding a point per reception, which increases the important of workhorse WRs and TEs.

Looking at the list of consensus early round running backs, one thing is clear — there aren’t many so-called ‘studs’ this season. Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice and Maurice Jones-Drew are no-brainers, but after that there’s a drop off to a couple of would-be studs (Steven Jackson and Frank Gore) and an even bigger drop off to a deep tier of backs.

So it’s a good year to think about drafting a stud WR in the middle- to late-first round instead of taking the first of a big batch of very similar prospects. For example — in a PPR league, what are the chances that Pierre Thomas (ADP: 3.07) will outscore Michael Turner (1.09)? If both players stay healthy, I think the chances are pretty good. So therein lies the question: If you’re drafting 1.07, why take Turner when you are likely to have a shot at a similar back in the second or third round?

Here’s the answer — you don’t. I could see jumping on Gore/Jackson at 1.05/1.06, but after that, I’d much rather have Andre Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald (or even Randy Moss, Reggie Wayne or Miles Austin) than the top guy in the next group of RBs.

Look at it this way: Would you rather have Michael Turner and Brandon Marshall or Andre Johnson and Jamaal Charles? I’d rather have the latter.

In fact, this might be the year where I finally do the unthinkable and go WR-WR-WR in the first three rounds, gobbling up three of the top 12 or 13 wideouts and draft a couple of underrated RBs like Chris Wells (4.03), Cedric Benson (4.06), Matt Forte (4.10) or Joseph Addai (5.05) in the 4th and 5th rounds. Of course, you’d only want to pull this trick if your league allows you to start three wideouts.

With that in mind, here are a few backs who could be had in the third round or later that would make a nice addition to a lineup stacked with 2-3 stud wideouts. Who knows, maybe they’ll even outscore Michael Turner…

(Note: All ADP data is from Antsports for mocks drafting in July for a 12-team PPR league.)

Pierre Thomas (3.07)
Thomas was RB16 last year despite scoring just one fantasy point in the first two games due to a knee injury. That’s been his issue — staying healthy. But when he’s playing, he’s productive. And with Mike Bell gone, Thomas figures to get all of the goal line work. Even with Reggie Bush stealing catches, Thomas is very active in the passing game. If he stays healthy, he has a great shot to finish in the Top 10, and he has a couple of nice matchups in Week 14 and Week 16, during the fantasy playoffs.

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Fantasy Football News & Notes (6/16)

Jerome Harrison is currently working behind Montario Hardesty during OTAs. Obviously, this is a big blow to those fantasy owners hoping to find a solid RB2 in the third or fourth round in the form of Harrison. This looks like it’s shaping up to be a timeshare. Keep an eye on the competition as training camp wears on. Harrison was outstanding late last season and could be a steal if he wins back the job.

Felix Jones is looking better in the passing game. Jones is unlikely to get enough carries in the running game to become a true fantasy RB1, especially with Marion Barber vulturing goal line carries. But if he can become a regular fixture in the passing game, he could do some serious damage in PPR leagues.

Dustin Keller primed for a big year? The Jets have added some wrinkles in order to utilize Keller’s talents and Rex Ryan has said that Keller is likely to have more TDs than last season (2). He is a solid TE option for those owners who elect to wait on the position and play Tight End By Committee (TEBC).

Domenik Hixon is out for the season with a knee injury. This is a big blow to the Giants’ receiving corps, which will have to lean on Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks even more this season. Move both players up a couple of spots on your cheatsheet.

Will Eddie Royal bounce back this year?
He seems like a prime candidate since Brandon Marshall left town leaving Royal as the best and most proven receiver on the roster. Last year was a disaster, but Royal showed what he can do in his rookie season.

Vincent Jackson prepared to sit out until Week 11. This is bad news for his owners and for Phillip Rivers, but it could be good news for Antonio Gates and Malcom Floyd, who reportedly looks great in workouts.

Cowboys looking to get the ball to Witten in the red zone.
He went for 94-1030 last year, but only caught two TD after averaging 5.5 the previous two seasons. If the Cowboys are serious about calling his number more in the red zone, it may mean Witten once again cracks the Top 5 in standard leagues.


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