Sunday, August 16, 2009
Some step up; others slide down
You haven't heard me sing the praises of a Raiders WR in a long time; but after watching the Cowboys-Raiders game on Thursday night, it's hard not to notice what Chaz Schilens is doing. In a word: "everything." The guy caught every ball thrown his way and, more important, JaMarcus Russell targeted him early and often. Schilens is no Larry Fitzgerald, but he has decent speed, good route-running skills and great hands. He's is what we in the bidness call a "sleeper," and you'd be wise to target him late in your draft as a solid benchwarmer and bye-week sub, with potential for much more. Let someone else waste his pick on butter-fingered rookie Darrius Heyward-Bey.
Denver rookie Knowshon Moreno incurred a mild MCL sprain in the preseason opener on Friday night, and is expected to miss at least the next two presesason games. Keep an eye on this one, and how Correll Buckhalter and LaMont Jordan fare in his absence. Moreno will still be the workhorse in this offense, but it's possible he won't be at full speed come Week 1.
Dwayne Bowe, still fighting his way out of head coach Josh McDaniels' doghouse, had an impressive preseason debut, hauling in five passes for 70 yards against the Texans. Don't move him down in your rankings because of this lingering spat. He'll be back in the starting lineup when it counts.
Willie Parker is back at practice after suffering through back spasms. With Rashard Mendenhall failing to impress for the second consecutive offseason (remember his fumblitis issues last year?), Fast Willie is severely undervalued in most fantasy circles. Don't let him slide too far before you jump on him. He's still The Man in Pittsburgh, and no one is stepping up as a likely poacher of his TD carries.
Those looking to snare Garrett Hartley in the last round because you'd love to own the kicker in the Saints' high-powered offense, listen up: The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that he's facing a four-game suspension. Don't know why yet, but that news will surely come out soon. Add on top of that that he's been struggling with his kicks this offseason, and red flags should be popping up everywhere. The Saints just brought in John Carney for "insurance;" but after the outstanding season Carney had for the Giants in '08, don't be surprised if he's the team's kicker throughout 2009.