Fantasy Football

Moss, Manning looking for revivals Kevin Payne
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Observations from around the league as training camps gear up ...

What do you think of Randy Moss? He is not going to end up on any of my teams, and I'll likely be the person least interested in him at every draft. I have a few problems with taking Moss, who did not play a single NFL snap last season. First, he'll be 35.5 years old once the season starts, which means he's well past his prime. Moreover, the 49ers are strictly a run-first team, which limits the upside any receiver in that offense. Last season, Michael Crabtree (the team's best wide-receiver option) led the team with 874 receiving yards, and you have to go back to the 2003 season to find a 1,000-yard receiver (Terrell Owens with Jeff Garcia) for the 49ers. When we last saw him in 2010, Moss appeared to be a shell of his former self, and with an ADP of 133, I'm going to pass. ...

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What's up with the stockpiling of running backs in the NFL? I discussed this topic on the RotoWire SiriusXM fantasy channel (Sirius 210, XM 87) last Friday with my co-host Chris Liss. San Francisco comes to mind (Frank Gore, Brandon Jacobs, Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James), but it's not the only team. Supposedly, Steve Slaton has resurrected his career in Miami, where the Dolphins already have Reggie Bush, Daniel Thomas and rookie Lamar Miller. It's not surprising that Miami is rumored to be in the market for Mike Wallace, given the team's lack of wide-receiver talent. A trade between the two teams makes sense given the reports that Rashard Mendenhall isn't making cuts, a huge step in recovering from a knee injury. Back to the stockpiling of running backs. Liss also observed that other than wasting draft picks on running backs, the DeAngelo Williams scenario of giving a player a $43 million contract ($21 million guaranteed) is just as big of a mistake, given that he only had 171 touches last season. And now Mike Tolbert is in that Carolina mix as well, so a huge uptick in touches or production is unlikely. While there are of course some outliers - Adrian Peterson, LaDainian Tomlinson - using a high pick or spending a lot of money on a running back is typically a bad idea for a franchise. ...

With positive reports coming out of Denver on Peyton Manning, don't expect his ADP of 73 to last very long. I find it interesting that fantasy owners appear to be either on his bandwagon or totally avoiding him, given his neck issues. It appears that he still has the ability to be a top-5 quarterback, and while John Fox has historically been a run-heavy coach, part of getting Manning to Denver was giving him the keys to the offense. Fox has also never had a quarterback of Manning's caliber, unless you want to make a case for Jake Delhomme, which I doubt will happen. Given his injury history - missing at least five games in each of his first two seasons - Demaryius Thomas seems to be going at an appropriate ADP of 65, while Eric Decker appears to be poised to return a profit at 101, especially in PPR formats. I can also get behind a strategy of drafting both Manning and Thomas, given the potential ceilings of both and how much their fantasy value is tied together. ...

Andre Johnson was a player I was heavily targeting, but his latest groin tweak will have me backing off some. After his injury concerns the last two seasons (missing 12 games total), it's easy to forget that he posted back-to-back seasons of 100-plus catches and 1,550-plus receiving yards. Yet, he's likely past his prime at age 31 and has never had double-digit receiving touchdowns. He was in a position to turn a profit for fantasy owners with an ADP of 30, but this latest injury concern has me thinking otherwise.

I answered a question recently about how to draft a kicker in a league where field goals made are:

10-19 yards = 1 point
20-29 yards = 2 points
30-39 yards = 3 points
40-49 yards = 4 points
50+ yards = 5 points

Conversely, the league penalizes misses:

10-19 yards miss = -5 points
20-29 yards miss = -4 points
30-39 yards miss = -3 points
40-49 yards miss = -2 points
50+ yards miss = -1 point

I thought this was an interesting format, and without actually crunching all the numbers, I'd guess this makes kickers more valuable and bumps them up in value considering where they're normally drafted. This question led me to think there are probably a bunch of different fantasy football formats out there that people play outside of standard and PPR leagues. Do you play in a league that's different than most, using unique rules or stats? I'd love to hear about it. The "craziest" league I play in is my hometown league, where it's a full point PPR format. What makes it a little different is that it's 24 teams and we carry full rosters starting a QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, Flex, D and K. There's also five bench spots, so third- and fourth-string running backs are drafted as well as fourth- and fifth-string wide receivers. Owners draft team quarterbacks rather than individual quarterbacks since there are so many teams involved. Considering that rule, I consider a team like the Jets a nice sleeper. Money-wise, it's a nice format considering the low-risk/high-reward potential. ...


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I have a hard time feeling bad for Dwayne Bowe, considering he wants a long-term deal and turned down a one-year deal worth a little less than $9.5 million. In this day and age of injuries, I don't blame the Chiefs for being money conscious, and I have to wonder how much the presence of Jon Baldwin is affecting the lack of a long-term offer. Baldwin has already been turning heads at training camp and has the physical tools to be a legit No. 1 wide receiver. If Bowe's holdout carries into the regular season, Baldwin could pay huge dividends as a No. 2 wide receiver or flex option for fantasy owners. ...

The Titans quarterback competition should be interesting to follow in the upcoming weeks. It would appear that Matt Hasselbeck has the upper hand as the veteran, an overrated aspect of any job competition. The Titans would be wise to explore the trade market for Hasselbeck, since Jake Locker is the future. An early season injury to another team's quarterback could help make a potential trade partner obvious and give Locker a shot. While it was an extremely small sample size, Locker had an 8.2 YPA and 4:0 TD:Int ratio last season and will provide fantasy owners with extra points by rushing more than the average quarterback.

Follow @KCPayne26 on Twitter and listen to the RotoWire SiriusXM fantasy sports show on Sirius 87/XM 210 on Wednesdays and Fridays from 11-2 EST.

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Tagged: Broncos, Titans, Chiefs, Dolphins, 49ers, Panthers, Steelers, Texans, Peyton Manning, Randy Moss, Demaryius Thomas, Jon Baldwin, Jake Locker, Daniel Thomas

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