Thursday, August 27, 2009

Red flags for Pierre

Big news out of the Big Easy: Saints Head Coach Sean Payton has suggested that RB Mike Bell will get plenty of carries this season and could be the team's primary goal-line back, according to Pro Football Talk.

If this is true -- and I have no reason to believe it's not -- Pierre Thomas' value will plunge. Now priced as a 3rd-round pick, this should cost him at least a round and possibly more. In my mind (and rankings), I had expected Thomas to be the primary workhorse of the Saints' running game, getting the majority of the rushing scores, while the injury-plaqued Reggie Bush serves a more complementary role as a receiver and occassional runner.

I'd like to get a better handle on this than one, perhaps off-handed statement by Payton, which was as follows: "If you ask me what his strengths are I'd say Mike Bell is an upright runner who stays the course. He's pretty physical when he hits the hole. I think he has pretty good acceleration. He can lower his pads. Those are some of the things if you are paying attention to practice and watching us, you can see it in the goal line. Those are some of his strengths."

Unfortunately, we're unlikely to get much clarity in the remaining preseason tilts since all three backs are nursing injuries of various severity. So for now, I'm dropping Thomas in my rankings, and putting him on my personal do-not-draft list, alongside Bush. The only thing worse than the two-back committee is a three-headed RBBC!

Anquan Boldin will miss Friday's preseason game after straining his hamstring Tuesday. The injury is considered minor, but you should make sure your fellow owners are well aware of the "concern." Q is an excellent value in the 3rd or 4th rounds, where he's been hovering, and anything you can do to push him down further is good for you. A healthy Boldin (teamed with a healthy Kurt Warner) can anchor any fantasy WR corps.

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