Fantasy News and Reaction (07/25/12)

Ryan Williams is going to have the Arizona backfield to himself for the start of camp. Beanie Wells is on the active/PUP list and this should allow Williams to take over the RB1 job. I loved Williams coming out of college last year, but I apparently jinxed him when I drafted him with the #6 rookie pick. Patellar tendon injuries aren’t anything to gloss over and there is a history of recurring ruptures or ruptures on the other knee. Patellar tendons don’t just rupture due to stress, twisting like ACL’s and MCL’s, there is usually an inherent weakness in the tendon and if there is a weakness in one, there’s probably weakness in the other (see: Williams, Caddilac). I’m pretty much a doctor, so you should just believe everything I just said (or you can just research PT injuries). I’m still holding out hope though, Williams at 90% is still 10% better than Beanie. Wells says he’ll be ready for camp… I’d say the same thing if I were him, but he’s not touching my roster. Not even if there is a FIRE.

ESPN says that David Wilson needs to work on his pass protection. Well, ok. It’s not necessarily news that a rookie running back needs to improve his pass protection skills, but it gives us a reason to talk about one of the more exciting rookie running backs not named Trent Richardson.  If you want to get hyped about your rookie draft, do yourself a favor and check out some of Wilson’s highlight videos on youtube. But while you are thinking about that, think about this.. MIND BLOWN. Welcome to my team, Mr. Wilson! Seriously though, Wilson is probably my favorite RB prospect this year after TRich (I know, heresy to you Martin lovers).  Brandon Jacobs is out of town (and almost out of work) and someone has to pick up those touches. You also have the ever present busted wheels that belong to Ahmad Bradshaw. There are three pillars in the fantasy value kingdom: Talent, Opportunity and Situation. Wilson is immensely talented (he was actually better than Ryan Williams at VTech), will have every opportunity to prove himself in NYG and you couldn’t ask for a better situation: NYG running backs always put up fantasy points.

Roy Helu– The Washington Post reported that coaches in Washington, “Still have some questions” about Mr. Helu. This shouldn’t matter to you, because A) Washington has no idea what they are doing and B) MIKE SHANAHAN. You own Redskins’ RB’s at your own peril, even though Helu has a ton of talent. I really liked Helu coming out of Nebraska, but I’d like to see him with another coach or a new team. Another frustrating fantasy backfield is still being sorted out, Stevan Ridley appears to be in the lead for most of the carries (via Adam Caplan). Ridley has a bit of upside, especially if he takes over BJGE’s role in the offense. I’ve decided to never try and predict what the Hoodie is going to do. Ridley is being drafted at 117 overall and is the 41st RB off the board in dynasty leagues right now, ahead of guys like Kendall Hunter and Mikel Leshoure, but after Peyton Hillis, Rashard Mendenhall and Jacquizz Rogers. If you are competing now, you need to pick him up a little earlier. If your window is further away, the ADP sounds about right.

Early reports on Wednesday were positive in regard to Mike Wallace and his contract extension, but things have changed quickly. Pittsburgh has stopped talks and is waiting for Wallace to cave and sign his one year tender. Wallace might sit out for a while to prove a point, but it would be really surprising if he wasn’t playing week one. I know that Antonio Brown has been getting a lot of love in fantasy circles for his breakout performance, but don’t get it twisted, Wallace is the man in PIT. Haley drew up some pretty pass heavy schemes when he was OC in Arizona and that isn’t going to change, especially with Isaac Redman at RB. You might be able to buy Wallace at a slight discount right now amid contract worries, the new OC and the emergence of  Antonio Brown. If anything, Brown helps Wallace and makes it harder to double team him. If you are especially worried about a Wallace holdout, Emmanuel Sanders will be a good insurance policy.

Speaking of insurance policies, I hope the Cardinals took one out on Kevin Kolb’s contract. Based solely on salary, Kevin Kolb has to start this year in Arizona, but that’s probably the only reason he should start.  The Cardinals have spent too much money to just sit him on the bench to start the season. Even if they want Skelton to takeover, they’ll put Kolb on the field week 1 and wait for him to falter (which he will) and put in Skelton. Willie McGinest was on the TV today saying that his friends on the Cardinals would prefer to see Skelton at the helm. I don’t know if that means anything, but if true, I have something in common with Larry Fitzgerald and Co. I’m strangely entertained by the whole SkeleKolb saga. If I had to own one of them, I’d roster Skelton. He’s cheaper and has about the same odds of finding fantasy relevance.

Somewhere over Dwayne Bowe… KC GM Scott Pioli thinks he’ll have no issue signing Bowe to the 1 year tender. Pioli might have inside information from his Watergate style bugging operation at the Chiefs’ facility, or it could be the fact that Bowe has zero leverage. Bowe will sign the tender, have as big of a season as the KC quarterback can facilitate (cross your fingers for Stanzi) and then he’ll move on to another team. This is a good time to make a move on Jon Baldwin.

Kevin Walter is expected to lose snaps this year according to the Houston Chronicle. That’s not much of a surprise and Walter has never been a fantasy producer. This should open the door for OTA standout Lestar Jean. DeVier Posey and Keshawn Martin will try to state their cases during camp.

Ladarius Green (SD, TE) had put on a few pounds. He’ll have to keep packing on the pounds to fill out his 6’6” frame. Ladarius is a nice dynasty pickup/developmental prospect and is (hopefully) the eventual replacement for Antonio Gates.

Another TE prospect, Dwayne Allen (IND, TE) signed a 4 year contract with the Colts. Coby Fleener obviously has rapport with golden boy Andrew Luck, but Allen is the superior run and pass blocker and will see some time. He’s an intriguing prospect to monitor. Fleener also signed a contract on Wednesday, he’s definitely the best (and most valuable) TE in the draft class. He should hook up early and often with Andrew Luck.

Per Kent Babb at the KC Star, Ricky Stanzi was the Chiefs’ best quarterback during OTA’s. Didn’t someone just talk about this guy yesterday? Oh ya, that was me. Those of you in 32 team leagues or 12-16 team start 2 QB leagues should take notice. Quarterbacks are gold in leagues of that size and Stanzi could possibly find himself in a starting role at some point this year. He’ll have Bowe, Baldwin, Moeaki, Charles and Hillis to throw to. Not bad.

Mike Sims-Walker’s workout with the titans was, “not so good” according to Chris Mortensen. Big surprise.

Delone Carter has been given the ok from team docs after having offseason thumb surgery. Carter isn’t anything special at this point and did little to the Colts, or fantasy owners, last year. He’ll only have value if injuries hit INDY.

-TDG

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