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Building The Perfect NFL Player: Running Back

Published: June 30, 2009

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By Ryan of The Sportmeisters

During one of our recent Happy Hour podcasts, a guest mentioned in the chat about having a coach that was a combination of task master and players coach. Well, that got me to thinking, what about putting together the perfect NFL player? Over the next two weeks, I’m going to break down every NFL position (QB, RB, WR, TE, OL, DL, LB, CB, S) and, taking current NFL Rosters only, will build the perfect NFL player. Today’s look will be at building the perfect Running Back.

Head: Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings

Peterson’s stats could fill in for almost any part of this list, but it’s the vision he possesses that is his greatest quality. In college at the University of Oklahoma, Peterson used that vision to amass three straight 1,000 yard rushing seasons, and was notable for some long runs, including a career-long 84-yard scamper his freshman season, and a 53-yard touchdown run while a junior. Despite injuries, he has a knack for finding the holes set by his line and getting through it quickly, all while looking at the next level. That has contributed to a 5.6 yard per carry average as a rookie, and a 4.8 yard-per-carry average the following season. As a rookie, he had six games where he rushed for at least 20 yards on a carry, including three rushes of over fifty yards. He built on that during his sophomore campaign, with 12 games with a carry of over 20 yards. His speed does contribute to getting him the distance, but it’s his ability to see the second level with the Linebackers and Secondary, and have them looking silly by the time he gets past them.

Hands: LaDanian Tomlinson, San Diego Chargers

Another back whose body parts could fill in anywhere on this list, the NFL single season rushing touchdown leader has perfect hands that you always want touching the rock. As a threat in the backfield and as a receiving option, Tomlinson gives opponents fits thanks to his durability. Teams now regularly look for Running Backs who can contribute in both aspects, and that is a testament to the style of back Tomlinson is. While as a runner, he’s hit 1,000 yards every season, he’s also caught the ball at least fifty times a season, culminating in a career high 100 catches in the 2003 season, another NFL record. He also became the second player in NFL history to record 1,800 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in a season (2006), which he shares with retired NFL Superstar Tiki Barber. It’s not just the ability to catch that makes him such a threat, but when Tomlinson has the ball, he doesn’t let go. Five of his seasons have seen him with three or fewer fumbles, including zero fumbles in 2007. Tomlinson is a mold unlike any other, but his hands help give him that dual threat capability.

Body: Brandon Jacobs, New York Giants

An NFL team is best when it has two different backs. A shifty, small, speed guy, and a big bruising back. What happens when the big bruising back is also a speedy guy? You get Brandon Jacobs. The “Earth” in the New York Giants “Earth, Wind, and Fire” rushing attack, the 6’4’’, 264 pound bruiser also runs the 40 in a respectable 4.5, giving him an extra addition. He started as the second banana, the bruiser to Tiki Barber’s speed in New York, before taking over the bulk of the duties in 2006. Since then, he’s only powered himself forward to two straight 1,000 yard seasons. That’s partly thanks to a five yard per carry rushing average each year, mainly because it takes two or three guys to knock him down, which usually allows Jacobs to hit the second level before teams pile on top of him. His size and his power helped earn him the nickname “The Juggernaut” and the perfect NFL body to punish defenses with.

Legs: Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans

They say speed kills, and Chris Johnson kills teams with his speed, which is why his legs are perfect in building an NFL player. Fourth in the nation with a 10.66 100m in college, Johnson epitomizes the speed NFL teams love to have complement the bruiser back (see above). At the NFL combine, Johnson ran a blazing 4.24 in the 40 yard dash, which stands today as the fastest ever for a running back. He parlayed that speed into a first round pick with the Tennessee Titans, and is still running hard. In his rookie campaign, Johnson rushed for 1,228 yards, including four games in which he had a carry over twenty yards. His 81.9 yards per game was tops among all rookies in 2008. With the speed Johnson carries, he’ll be keeping defenses in his dust for years to come.

Intangibles: Marion Barber, Dallas Cowboys

Any of the running backs mentioned above would meet this need, but Barber stands out among them all. Despite being platooned in a running back by committee in Dallas, where he has yet to reach 1,000 yards in a season, Barber epitomizes a running back mantra in getting the “extra yard”. He holds the NFL record with seven broken tackles in one play, and led the NFL with 28 broken tackles during the 2008 season. When it comes to needing one yard, any of the players we’ve spoken about can get that yard, but few get the one yard, and then some, like Marion the Barbarian.

There are a number of running backs, all who fit different needs. Whether it’s a speed guy, a power back, someone with great hands, or a “Wildcat” option, finding the perfect running back requires a combination of a lot of different techniques. From Brandon Jacobs’s body to Chris Johnson’s speed, Adrian Peterson’s vision to LaDanian Tomlinson’s hands, put together by the determination of Marion Barber, this is a running back that will win games for any team.

Building the Perfect NFL Player: Quarterback

Published: June 29, 2009

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By Ryan of The Sportmeisters

During one of our recent Happy Hour podcasts, a guest mentioned in the chat about having a coach that was a combination of task master and players coach. Well, that got me to thinking, what about putting together the perfect NFL player?

Over the next two weeks, I’m going to break down every NFL position (QB, RB, WR, TE, OL, DL, LB, CB, S) and, taking current NFL Rosters only, will build the perfect NFL player. Today’s look will be at building the perfect Quarterback.


Head: Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts

No Quarterback in the NFL is smarter than Peyton Manning, period. Holding a current regular season of 117-59, he has completed at least 62 percent of his passes in every year, with the exception of his rookie season.

Known best for running the Colts no-huddle offense, he frequently will have a formation selected, only to walk up to the line of scrimmage before selecting a play, based on the defense presented to him.

He dissects defenses better than any other current NFL Quarterback to the tune of just over a career two to one touchdown to interception ratio. His 94.7 passer rating is the highest among all current NFL QB’s, and second in NFL history. Simply put, Peyton Manning has a quarterback’s mind that stands alone.


Arm: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

In the pass-happy world of the NFL, no arm has more behind it than Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints. Since his breakout 2004 season, Brees hasn’t thrown for fewer than 3,000 yards in a season, including 2008’s 5,069 yards, the second-highest seasonal output in the NFL.

In 2006, he had a streak of five straight 300-yard passing games, tied for second in the NFL, and also holds the NFL single-season record for passes completed with 440 in 2007. Since joining the New Orleans Saints in 2006, Brees has shattered the mold of a pocket passer quarterback, and should continue that trend over the next few years.


Body: Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

He takes a licking and keeps on ticking. At a mere 6’5″ tall, and 241 pounds, Big Ben can stand up to most linebackers trying to take him on. Even with his rough 2006-2007 season due to his motorcycle injury, Roethlisberger did more than most, still playing in 15 games despite multiple injuries he was trying to recover from.

Now fully recovered, he was won his second Super Bowl ring, playing with a style he even admits as reckless, while taking plenty of hits. Since 2004, Roethlisberger has been sacked 192 times, most of them while still trying to make a play. He doesn’t throw the ball away when the rush is on.

Instead, most highlights of Big Ben can be seen when avoiding a blocking breakdown, whether its spinning around in the backfield for more time (ala John Elway), or tucking the ball and daring the defenders to take him down. Whatever the case, Roethlisberger’s frame is a model of a quarterback who can take a hit, and dish a few out himself.


Legs: Vince Young, Tennessee Titans

Let’s keep in mind, all we’re using is his legs, which are easily the quickest in the NFL since Michael Vick and Donovan McNabb. As a college QB at the University of Texas, Young twice rushed for more than 1,000 yards, and came two yards shy of doing it three straight years. Overall, his 3,127 yards were the most in UT history, and his 37 touchdowns is tied for number one among Quarterbacks.

In his first two years in the NFL, the numbers weren’t as high, but teams still respected his rushing ability, gaining 947 yards and 10 touchdowns, including a 6.7 yards per carry average his rookie season. While he played minimally in 2008, with the rise of the spread formation and the Wildcat, having quick feet like Vince Young’s is optimal for a winning quarterback.


Intangibles: Tom Brady, New England Patriots

Is it really any question? After getting passed over 198 times in the 2000 NFL Draft, Brady has done everything, from winning Super Bowls (36, 38, and 39), to setting records (50 touchdowns in 2007). He has a career record of 101-27, including a record 21 game winning streak. He has never lost in overtime, and has led the Patriots to 28 game winning drives.

His ten straight playoff victories is an NFL best. He wins with studs on the roster (Randy Moss, Wes Welker in 2007, Deion Branch 2003-2005), or in 2006, when he had a no-named receiving corps. Despite injuries, including a sports hernia in 2006, and knee problems in 2007 and 2008, Brady is one of the most respected and feared QB in the game today.


A quarterback needs strength, speed, and skill. A solid mind, strong arm, quick feet, big body, and the “extra” touch make up winners that we talk about forever. Pieces from Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, and Vince Young together make up the perfect quarterback.

Fantasy Football Preseason Rankings

Published: June 20, 2009

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By Derek of The Sportmeisters

Hello Football Fans! It’s June and that means OTA’s and minicamps are all but over and actual training camp is around the corner. Preseason games start on August 13th and boy, I cannot wait. Now, what I am here to discuss today are my preseason, pre-training camp Fantasy rankings for the Quarterbacks. Obviously, my rankings are likely to change, but here are my first projections of the year.


1. Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints – Projection: 400 Completions 615 Attempts 4800 Yards 32 TD 16 INT


He doesn’t have the fanfare of Brady or Manning, but Brees seems to be the most consistent fantasy QB the past three years. He threw for over 5,000 yards last year and almost broke the record.

He also had 11 games with two or more touchdowns. While he probably won’t throw for 5,000 yards again, he has reached 4,400 in each of his three seasons in New Orleans, so that’s basically a lock. Brees should go in the first round of most drafts.


2. Peyton Manning – Indianapolis Colts – Projection: 350 Completions 540 Attempts 4200 Yards 30 TD 13 INT 2 Rushing TD


There isn’t any player in fantasy football more consistent year after year then Peyton Manning. He consistently throws for 4,000+ yards and 27+ touchdowns. He had a down year last season (4002 Yards 27 TD 12 INT) and still won the NFL MVP. With a full off season to prepare and a healthy knee and O-Line, I fully expect Peyton to get back to his 2006 numbers (4397 Yards 31 TD 9 INT). He will go in the first two rounds.


3. Tom Brady – New England Patriots – Projection: 360 Completions 555 Attempts 4275 Yards 31 TD 13 INT 1 Rushing TD


Nobody expected Brady to get injured within the first 10 minutes of the first game of the year last season, but it happened. When it happened, you knew that any team that drafted him was finished because they probably didn’t draft a backup.

However, this is a new year and Brady appears to be back and ready to go. You can draft him with confidence, remembering his 50 TD season from 2007. He will probably go anywhere between round one and three.


4. Philip Rivers – San Diego Chargers – Projection: 320 Completions 500 Attempts 4000 Yards 30 TD 14 INT 1 Rushing TD


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I LOVE BEING RIGHT! I was the biggest Philip Rivers supporter last year, so much that I convinced Ryan to draft him in round three in one draft and Ryan drafted him in another. Boy, was I right about him.

He became the focal point of the offense and threw for 4,009 yards and a league-high 34 touchdowns to only 11 interceptions. I don’t expect much drop off this year, so expect much of the same from Rivers. He will go within the first four rounds.


5. Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers – Projection: 345 Completions 550 Attempts 3955 Yards 28 TD 15 INT 3 Rushing TD


Rodgers proved that GM Ted Thompson made the right choice and that he was ready to take over in Green Bay. He threw for over 4,000 yards and had 28 touchdowns plus four rushing touchdowns. Rodgers has a multitude of weapons and should put up the same type of numbers. Expect him to go within the first four rounds.


6. Kurt Warner – Arizona Cardinals – Projection: 350 Completions 550 Attempts 4350 Yards 29 TD 17 INT


Who says you can’t teach on old dog new tricks? Warner is 37 years old but comes off a monster season in which he threw for 4,583 yards and 30 touchdowns in leading Arizona to the Super Bowl.

With Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt calling the plays this year, expect a little more running, but not much of a drop off in Warner’s numbers. He won’t be a first round pick, but I could see him going anywhere between round two and round six.


7. Tony Romo – Dallas Cowboys – Projection: 320 Completions 495 Attempts 3985 Yards 27 TD 17 INT 1 Rushing TD


Romo was considered a bust for much of the 2008 season. He missed three games with an injury and only threw for 3,448 yards and 26 touchdowns. Now, he has lost Terrell Owens, but still has a plethora of weapons around him with WR Roy Williams and TE Jason Witten as his main targets. Romo is still a No. 1 fantasy QB and should go between rounds three and six.


8. Donovan McNabb – Philadelphia Eagles – Projection: 325 Completions 535 Attempts 3800 Yards 23 TD 12 INT 2 Rushing TD


This should be the year that McNabb finally rises to fantasy greatness. He has the weapons in WR DeSean Jackson, WR Jeremy Maclin, RB Brian Westbrook, and WR Kevin Curtis. As long as he can stay healthy, I expect this to be his best statistical year. He should come off the board between rounds four and six.


9. Jay Cutler – Chicago Bears – Projection: 335 Completions 525 Attempts 3875 Yards 24 TD 17 INT 1 Rushing TD


After the tumultuous off season that resulted in his trade to Chicago, Cutler looks to put up the same type of numbers that made him a number one fantasy QB last year. He is still a No. 1 QB, but his numbers will take a bit of a dip in the new run first Bears offense. Look for him to put up good numbers and come off the board between rounds five and seven.


10. Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons – Projection: 290 Completions 475 Attempts 3750 Yards 24 TD 14 INT


Ryan did much better than expected in his rookie season and all signs point to an even better sophomore campaign. The Falcons acquired TE Tony Gonzalez and that can only help. He threw for 3,440 yards with 16 touchdowns last year, but I expect they will let him throw a little more this year. Expect 22+ touchdowns and for Ryan to be taken off the board between rounds five and seven.


11. Carson Palmer – Cincinnati Bengals – Projection: 320 Completions 500 Attempts 3800 Yards 23 TD 15 INT


Here is my comeback player of the year candidate. Palmer is coming off of an injury-filled lost season, but all signs appear to be good as he is reportedly back to 100 percent and ready to regain his elite status. The Bengals lost WR TJ Houshmandzadeh, but added Laveranues Coles to replace him. If Palmer is truly healthy, expect him to be a No. 1 fantasy QB and you could steal him in the middle rounds.


12. Matt Schaub – Houston Texans – Projection: 315 Completions 475 Attempts 3750 Yards 23 TD 15 INT 1 Rushing TD


The knock on Schaub is that he is injury prone. He has played in only 11 games in each of his two seasons in Houston, which means he has missed a total of 10 games. However, he showed signs of a No. 1 fantasy QB when he was on the field last year, throwing for over 3,000 yards and 15 touchdowns. If he can stay healthy, he is a No. 1 fantasy QB again, but his injury history will leave him on the board until the middle rounds.


13. Matt Hasselbeck – Seattle Seahawks – Projection: 290 Completions 480 Attempts 3550 Yards 23 TD 15 INT


Here is another guy who lost 2008 to injuries, as he was limited to just seven games. He appears to be healthy again, but he is 33 now and has a history with injuries. He will be a high-risk reward pick this year, especially with the addition of WR TJ Houshmandzadeh. His injury history will leave him until the middle to late rounds and he could end up being a super sleeper.


14. Matt Cassel – Kansas City Chiefs – Projection: 310 Completions 490 Attempts 3600 Yards 19 TD 16 INT 3 Rushing TD


Cassel performed well after replacing Tom Brady in New England, but it will take more than that to convince me that he is ready to be a fantasy stud. He is now in Kansas City and has a few weapons, but doesn’t have the greatest O-Line and will spend a lot of time on his back.

Many people are sold on him and will jump too high to draft him. I say let them, but if he falls into round eight and you need a backup, go ahead and grab him, unless you need a different position.


15. Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers – Projection: 290 Completions 475 Attempts 3350 Yards 19 TD 15 INT 2 Rushing TD


Big Ben was a huge bust last year, compared to his 2007 season, throwing 15 fewer touchdowns and four more interceptions. He did, however, throw for 200 more yards and rushed for two touchdowns. With all the weapons around him, he could be a nice middle round steal.


There are my first projections for fantasy football. The QB position is very important to your fantasy team, so choose wisely. Any questions or concerns, email me at

NFL Fantasy Update: 2009 Rookie Fantasy Value

Published: April 27, 2009

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by Derek of The Sportmeisters


What a weekend for football. The NFL Draft finally came and went, and what a draft it was. Being the Fantasy Guru of the Sportmeisters, I thought I would take this opportunity to talk about the fantasy implications of some of the 2009 Rookies.

Obviously, you aren’t going to be reaching in the first three rounds for one of these guys, but there are definitely some players worth a look in the middle to later rounds. Let’s take a look at who those guys might be.


WR – Michael Crabtree – San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers stole Crabtree at pick 10 after the Rams, Chiefs, Seahawks, Bengals, Raiders, and Jaguars (all teams that need a WR) passed on him. He was regarded as the draft’s biggest playmaker and that is a good thing for fantasy.

The 49ers already have a great running game with RB Frank Gore, plus they have WR Isaac Bruce and TE Vernon Davis (who is primed for a breakout season) as playmakers in the offense.

The big question that affects Crabtree’s value is the QB situation. However, I think that Alex Smith is healthy and he should beat out Shaun Hill and Damon Huard and revert back to his 2006 form when he threw 16 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, his career best.

If Smith can be the QB that everyone thinks he can, then Crabtree will be a steal in the middle rounds and could be the guy you choose to keep if you play in a keeper league.

Projection: 55 Receptions, 900 yards, six TDs


WR – Jeremy Maclin – Philadelphia Eagles

This is the guy that I think will have the best season of all the rookies. Maclin was the guy to pick after Crabtree was off the board and was said to be just as much of a playmaker as Crabtree. He steps right into a great situation for a rookie.

He has an elite QB in Donovan McNabb, and an elite RB in Brian Westbrook, not to mention second year WR DeSean Jackson and WR Kevin Curtis. With Jackson and Maclin on the field at the same time, the Eagles will have an explosive passing game that could hit the deep play at any time.

Maclin could also have value as a returner if the Eagles choose to use him there. This is another guy you may want to look at as a keeper for the future.

Projection: 66 Receptions, 975 yards, six TDs


RB – Knowshon Moreno – Denver Broncos

The Broncos have a plethora of running backs on their roster and you never know who will step into the limelight. However, they wouldn’t have drafted Moreno in the first round without expecting to utilize him in the offense. He will be competing for playing time, but has enough potential to be a good No. 2 fantasy RB.

He will be utilized in the passing game as well, which gives him added value. The RB position is usually picked in the middle rounds, so I can see him being drafted here.

Projection: 875 yards rushing, eight TDs, 45 Receptions, 350 receiving yards, two TDs


RB – Donald Brown – Indianapolis Colts

Anyone remember Joseph Addai’s rookie season? Well, Brown is a lot like Addai. Brown has outstanding speed and elusiveness and fits the Colts’ running game perfectly. With Addai having injury issues recently, that could open the door for Brown to have a great year.

Even if Addai stays healthy, Brown will get carries. He will have to compete with second year RB Mike Hart, but they wouldn’t have drafted him in the first round just to sit him on the bench. I could see using a middle round pick on him and getting good No. 2 RB numbers.

Projection: 1000 yards rushing, eight TDs, 45 receptions, 350 receiving yards, two TDs


RB – Chris Wells – Arizona Cardinals

Beanie Wells will be taking over for Edgerrin James after he is released later this week. He is going to be splitting carries with RB Tim Hightower, but it should be an equal split. Wells has a very physical style of running and mixes that with the perfect balance of speed.

With Ken Whisenhunt calling the plays this year, the Cardinals’ running game will be featured more, so Wells could be a middle round pick that produces like a first round stud.

Projection: 800 yards rushing, nine TDs, 25 receptions, 200 receiving yards, one TD


RB – LeSean McCoy – Philadelphia Eagles

Just call this guy Brian Westbrook Junior. He is quick, elusive, and has great hands. He should have a decent amount of value coming out as Westbrook’s backup, especially with Westbrook’s injury history.

I could see him going in the middle rounds and producing Westbrook-like numbers, but that is a bit of a gamble because it all depends on if Westbrook stays healthy, because you know that Eagles offense runs through Brian Westbrook, for now.

Projection: 600 yards rushing, five TDs, 40 receptions, 400 receiving yards, two TDs


WR – Percy Harvin – Minnesota Vikings

Harvin has the chance to be the next Devin Hester. However, that may not lead to fantasy glory. He is an intriguing pick due to his explosiveness and his playmaking ability as a return man, but he is still a rookie and I wouldn’t jump too high for him.

We don’t know who will be the QB yet, either Sage Rosenfels or Tarvaris Jackson, but we do know that he will be playing with RB Adrian Peterson and RB Chester Taylor, as well as WR Bernard Berrian. They have a good offense, and Harvin can only help expand it.

They are already talking about Harvin in the wildcat offense and I could definitely see some reverse plays going Harvin’s way. As I said, he is intriguing, but I wouldn’t jump too high, especially with his injury history.

Projection: 40 receptions, 650 yards, four TDs, 350 rushing yards, three TDs


QB – Mark Sanchez – New York Jets

This pick may be reaching a bit, but that’s why it’s a late round pick. Sanchez will have the chance to be the starter, but will battle with Kellen Clemens. He is expected to win the job and, if he does, could have fantasy value with the players around him.

He would step into an offense that has RB Thomas Jones, RB Leon Washington, WR Jerricho Cotchery, and TE Dustin Keller. Rookie QB’s usually aren’t great fantasy players, with the exception of Matt Ryan; however, I could see using a late pick and possibly nabbing your super sleeper/keeper of the draft.

Projection: 3,000 yards passing, 18 TDs, 18 INTs, two rushing TDs


WR – Darrius Heyward-Bey – Oakland Raiders

While he definitely wasn’t worth the No. 7 pick in the draft, he will be worth a late round look as a fantasy WR. He has the speed to get away from defenders and has a strong-armed QB in JaMarcus Russell, so that’s a positive.

They also have a strong running game with RB’s Darren McFadden, Justin Fargas, and Michael Bush. They don’t really have a No. 1 WR in Oakland, so Heyward-Bey has the chance to jump right in and take the job. He could definitely be worth a late round flier.

Projection: 35 receptions, 600 yards, three TDs


WR – Hakeem Nicks – New York Giants

The Giants got the WR that they needed and everyone seems to love this pick. With no real No. 1 WR on the roster, Nicks has the opportunity to be that guy. If he plays as well as everyone predicts, he could be a steal in the later rounds.

The reason I have him so low is the possibility that he may not blossom until his second or third year. I wouldn’t use a pick higher than round 11 on him, by 12 or later sounds about right for now, but let’s see what happens after OTA’s.

Projection: 60 receptions, 575 yards, four TDs


TE – Brandon Pettigrew – Detroit Lions

This was a highly disputed pick, especially by my partner, Sportmeister Ryan, but I like it. Pettigrew is the perfect combination that a TE should be. He doesn’t have the speed needed to stretch the defense like a Jeremy Shockey or an Antonio Gates, but he can catch the ball just as well.

Not to mention that he could be one of the best blocking tight ends in the NFL in just his rookie season. The fact that he is such a good blocker will cut into his fantasy value, and he definitely shouldn’t be your first TE chosen, but he would be in my Top 15 and could be a late round steal.

Projection: 40 receptions, 400 yards, six TDs


QB – Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions

You would think that the No. 1 pick in the draft would be higher. Not necessarily. Stafford isn’t guaranteed, nor is he expected, to start this year and even if he does, he won’t have the Matt Ryan effect on his team. The only reason he is on this list is for keeper leagues. If you can grab him in the last few rounds and stash him away, you may have a 2010 steal on your hands.

Projection: 1000 yards passing, nine TDs, nine INTs, one rushing TD


WR – Brian Robiskie – Cleveland Browns

This could be the ultimate rookie sleeper of this year’s draft. Depending on the QB situation and whether or not they decide to keep Braylon Edwards and on Donte’ Stallworth’s legal situation. If everything goes down the way we expect it to (Edwards gets traded, Stallworth is wrapped up in legal trouble) then Robiskie gets thrust into a starting role.

He is a great route runner and has phenomenal hands. I could see him landing in the later rounds and being a super sleeper. Watch and see what happens with him.

Projection: 55 receptions, 800 yards, six TDs


RB – Glen Coffee – San Francisco 49ers

Here’s an intriguing sleeper pick. Coffee has been compared to Shaun Alexander, with his size and speed and the fact that 49ers don’t have a true backup for Frank Gore. I could see him as a touchdown vulture his rookie year, due to the fact that Gore will get most of the carries, which is why he isn’t a middle round pick.

However, he has the speed to break a few big runs for touchdowns. Watch OTA’s carefully to see where to put him on your draft board.

Projection: 450 yards rushing, six TDs, 15 receptions, 150 yards, one TD


WR – Juaquin Iglesias – Chicago Bears

This pick is largely due to the fact that Jay Cutler is the QB and not Kyle Orton. Iglesias should end up the No. 2 or third WR on the Bears and could have a Wes Welker type effect on the field, as he is fearless over the middle according to the report.

With Devin Hester on the outside as the deep threat and Greg Olsen at TE, Iglesias could be just as big a sleeper as Robiskie. Watch this situation carefully.

Projection: 40 receptions, 550 yards, four TDs


There are my predictions for the 2009 rookie class of the NFL in the fantasy world. Any questions or concerns, email me at

Sportmeister’s NFL Draft Previews: Denver Broncos

Published: April 25, 2009

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By Ryan of The Sportmeisters

The Broncos have been the soap opera of the off-season.

From firing long-time coach Mike Shanahan to the Jay Cutler tirade, Denver has kept the NFL interesting. Now that the draft is here, it’s time for first-year coach Josh McDaniels to really step up. They were able to grab another first-rounder in the draft, and while many expect them to grab a quarterback of the future, the Broncos need defensive help in the worst way. With Kyle Orton the incumbent starter, Denver might be better off fixing the defensive priorities first, and giving Orton a shot, or looking for a QB in 2010.

Denver Broncos Draft Picks:

Round 1, Pick 12 (12)

Round 1, Pick 18 (18)

Round 2, Pick 16 (48)

Round 3, Pick 15 (79)

Round 3, Pick 20 (84)

Round 4, Pick 14 (114)

Round 5, Pick 13 (149)

Round 6, Pick 12 (185)

Round 7, Pick 16 (225)

Round 7, Pick 26 (235)

Team Need 1: Defensive End

With two number one picks, many expect Denver to use the first one to fill the quarterback need if it’s still there.

Denver is switching to the 3-4, and needs to load up on defensive bodies first and foremost. None of the options the Broncos currently have can command double teams and give linebackers the opportunities to make the plays. That is why Denver needs to focus on a DE with one of their first picks. The best options are going to be Tyson Jackson, Robert Ayers, and Everette Brown, who will switch to LB most likely and play a flex role. At 12 and 18, one of those players should be available, giving Denver the chance to grab a quarterback that they so desperately want, but not ignore the pressing need here.

Team Need 2: Linebacker

Theoretically, if I was running the Broncos, I would use both my first round picks on a DE and an LB, but it’s highly unlikely that will occur.

Instead, Denver is probably going to wait until the second round to snatch a linebacker. With the 3-4 defense, they are going to need someone who can rush the pass from the outside opposite Elvis Dumervil, or they could look at a punishing tackler inside. Considering the great dropoff in talent with ILBs, if Denver cannot look to grab James Laurinaitis, they should wait until the later rounds to grab a project. This should force Denver to look at an OLB, and grab someone like Paul Kruger or Clint Sintim. With a load of picks, Denver should grab a lot of potential contributors to the 3-4.

Team Need 3: Running Back

As The Fantasy Guru Derek states, Mike Shanahan hates your fantasy football team.

Well, Shanahan is gone, but he leaves a gamut of running backs that are not a franchise player. Of Correll Buckhalter, J.J. Arrington, Ryan Torain and Selving Young, it’s a who’s who of nobodies. Denver has a lot of picks, and could look to the later rounds at a Glen Coffee, Rashard Jennings, James Davis, among others. They shouldn’t waste a first-rounder, but should definitely fill this need to help Orton out.

Denver had a crazy off-season, but is ready to put it behind them and focus on the future. They are stacked with picks, so this is an imperative draft to make Josh McDaniels first season a positive one.

Fantasy Football Update: Tony Gonzalez Trade/Torry Holt and Tra Thomas Signing

Published: April 25, 2009

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by Derek of The Sportmeisters

Just days before the NFL Draft the Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars have made moves that might affect the way they draft. What I am here to discuss today is the fantasy implications of those moves.

The Atlanta Falcons Trade 2010 Second Round Pick To The Kansas City Chiefs For TE Tony Gonzalez

WOW! This trade came out of nowhere. There have been rumors that Gonzalez has been asking for a trade for months now, but nothing was really ever said about it. Well, on Thursday he got his wish. This trade makes Atlanta’s offense an even bigger threat than it already was. Let’s see the guys that are affected by this move.

QB Matt Ryan – Ryan now has another weapon to throw to and, with a full offseason to get accustomed to each other, should develop a good rapport with Gonzalez.

I have yet to do actual rankings for this season’s fantasy draft, but this trade would put Matt Ryan up into my top 12 QBs, whereas, before the trade, he would have been outside my top 15. Ryan could be a nice sleeper to grab in the middle rounds.

RB Michael Turner – Turner was already a Top 10 RB, so this doesn’t really change his first round draft status, but it will help him improve his monster 2008 season by having one of the best blocking TE’s opening more holes or drawing the Safety out of the box, leaving only seven, instead of eight.

WR Roddy White – This is the guy that will move up the most on my draft board. White had a monster 2008 season and has proven himself to be an elite fantasy WR. Look for him to be one of the first WR’s taken in the second or third rounds.

WR Dwayne Bowe – This is the only guy that will be affected in Kansas City. Without Gonzalez, Bowe should see more balls thrown his way, especially with the new pass happy Offensive scheme of new Head Coach Todd Haley. Look for his draft status to rise, putting him in the fifth or sixth rounds.

TE Tony Gonzalez – Gonzalez would have been a top five TE anyway, but now, having a better Offense around him, he moves safely into my top three, behind only Jason Witten and Antonio Gates. Expect his draft status to stay around the sixth or seventh rounds.

The Jacksonville Jaguars Sign T Tra Thomas and WR Torry Holt

These moves look to be good ones for a team that had no real receiving threat last year and had the worst luck with an unhealthy O-Line. Let’s look at the fantasy implications of these moves.

QB David Garrard – Garrard gets a small boost from this, depending on if Holt can return to number ine WR form. He is still around number 15 on my board and this is without doing actual rankings.

Thomas will help keep Garrard off his back (he was sacked 42 times last year) and We will have to wait and see how Holt looks in OTA’s and Training Camp, so as of now, Garrard looks like a middle to late round sleeper/backup.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew – Jones-Drew already got a boost when the Jaguars released RB Fred Taylor and the signings of Thomas and Holt provide another. Thomas helps create holes for a team that was 18th in the NFL in Rushing. Look for MJD to be drafted very early, possibly in the first round.

WR Torry Holt – This all depends on his health. If Holt comes back to form, he could be a top tier fantasy WR. However, if he looks like he did last year, he will be just another bust. Wait and see how he looks in OTA’s and Training Camp before planning on drafting him and as of now, I would say he is a possible middle to late round sleeper.

Those are my thoughts on the latest news in the NFL. If you have any questions or just want to discuss anything about Fantasy Football, feel free to email me at

Seattle Seahawks: The 2009 Draft Preview

Published: April 23, 2009

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By Ryan of The Sportmeisters

There was no better team, at least in the injury department. At one point, it seemed like the entire roster was going to end up on the disabled list. Walter Jones, Matt Hasselbeck, Mike Wahle, and what seemed like every wide receiver missed time at some point. It all added up to a miserable 4-12 2008 campaign, and now, questions have arisen.

Seattle needs to get younger, obviously, but where, is the most important? They need help in a majority of categories, including QB, RB, DB, OL, and LB, and they are going to force themselves to rely on other teams decisions to make theirs.


Seattle Seahawks Draft Picks

Round One, Pick Four (4)

Round Two, Pick Five (37)

Round Three, Pick Four (68)

Round Four, Pick Five (105)

Round Five, Pick One (137)

Round Six, Pick Five (178)

Round Seven, Pick Four (213)

Round Seven, Pick 36 (245)

Round Seven, Pick 38 (247)

Round Seven, Pick 39 (248)


Team Need One: OT

Most pundits think Seattle could go for one of the two quarterbacks, Matt Stafford or Mark Sanchez, as eventual replacements for Hasselbeck.

Hasselbeck is ready to come back and compete, though a back injury doesn’t just go away. However, without a solid offensive line, the quarterback is taking a beating, no matter who is back there.

With Jason Smith and Eugene Monroe, two top five lineman sitting on the board, one of them should fall easily to the Seahawks. This could obviously change as Smith and Monroe go to the Lions and Rams, then it’s highly likely this need will get pushed to the second round, and another offensive need (QB, WR) could become the primary focus for where they are picking.


Team Need Two: RB

Assuming they do get their lineman, the Seahawks will need to find a suitable complement to Julius Jones, who did not prove his everyday worth in 2008.

With T.J. Duckett taking the short game, they need speed. If looking in the second round, Donald Brown from Connecticut or LeSean McCoy could be available. A potential second day look include Shonn Greene from Iowa and Andre Brown from N.C. State.

All of these fit in the same mold as Maurice Morris, who replaced Jones in the lineup before defecting to Detroit. With Jones not a guarantee to be the top tier running back, Seattle should look to pounce on one of these four for some spirited preseason competition.


Team Need Three: CB

The secondary was just plain pathetic in 2008. Marcus Trufants was a shell of himself, and Kelly Jennings and Josh Wilson were exposed game after game.

While this draft isn’t the deepest in the corner back spot, Seattle needs to grab a body that could help depth, and make a few plays. Possible second day names for Seattle to grab include Kevin Barnes from Maryland, Victor Harris from Virginia Tech, or late round fliers include Keenan Lewis and Mike Mickens.

The Seahawks have a level of talent at secondary, but a few extra tools are needed in this toolbox.

Seattle has steadily declined since its Super Bowl run in 2005, and with veterans aging by the day, they need to begin the transition process.

In the NFC West, Seattle has the chance to transition, but still be a competitive team. While the playoffs will be a long shot, in the NFC West, anything is possible.

St. Louis Rams: 2009 Draft Preview

Published: April 23, 2009

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By Ryan of The Sportmeisters

Déjà vu? St. Louis had the second pick in the draft last season, and now seem to be here again. After consistent success in the first half of the decade, the Rams have won a mere five games in the last two years.

That kind of efficiency leads to new faces at the top. The 2009 Rams bring in new GM Billy Devaney and new head coach Steve Spagnuolo. Both have succeeded before, and fully expect to in the infamously horrific NFC West. Although, with a lot of needs to fill, the seeds of success have to be planted in this first draft. With seven picks, the Rams need seven contributors in 2009.

St. Louis Rams Draft Picks:

Round 1, Pick 2 (2)

Round 2, Pick 3 (35)

Round 3, Pick 2 (66)

Round 4, Pick 3 (103)

Round 5, Pick 24 (160)

Round 6, Pick 23 (196)

Round 7, Pick 2 (211)

Team Need 1: OT

Orlando Pace, himself a former No. 1 overall pick for the Rams, has been cut, leaving a huge hole at the left tackle slot. Alex Barron is there right now, but should be moved back to the right side, where he is clearly better. The Rams wanted offensive tackle Jake Long last year, but he went to Miami, so it’s quite obvious they will look to fill this hole first.

With Detroit looking long and heavily at quaterback Matthew Stafford, this allows the Rams to focus their efforts on the top two lineman, Jason Smith, a 6-foot-5, 309 pound tackle from Baylor, or Eugene Monroe from Virginia, also 6-foot-5 and 309 pounds. Monroe is the better run blocker, which is key to St. Louis’s offense, but I think the front office will be thrilled with either one as the new franchise left tackle.

Team Need 2: WR

Much like the offensive line, former cornerstone receiver Torry Holt is no longer with the team. This makes Donnie Avery, a 2008 rookie, the top receiver for the Rams. With Marc Bulger on the downhill side of his career, the Rams need to use their second-round pick on a receiver.

There is a nice glut of receivers towards the end of the first round and into the second round. Percy Harvin’s injury history might scare a team or two, or Kenny Britt might fall into their laps. With a lot of teams in the first round looking at receivers, the Rams might have to make a move, because there is not a whole lot of quality beyond the first handful, and for a team looking to grab a franchise receiver, they cannot afford to sit on this one.

Team Need 3: LB

Spagnuolo loves blitzing. He learned under famed blitz-package defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, and demands a high level of speed and effort from his front seven. It wouldn’t surprise many if the team was taking a close look at Aaron Curry, arguably the top prospect in the draft, but that would force them to look at a lineman later on.

Considering an offensive lineman is the most pressing need, and the Rams do have Will Witherspoon and Chris Draft, who, despite injury concerns, can perform at a high level.

With the injuries, though, they will need a middle linebacker who can help keep Witherspoon at the outside, and give this team some strength and depth. If they wait until the fourth round, they could be looking at Jasper Brinkley or Jason Phillips, two of the top four middle linebackers in the draft. They shouldn’t look to jump for one of these in the third, as both should be waiting later on.

It has been a few years since St. Louis has had some glory moments, but with a new regime, if they can get the right mix of rookies and veterans, a competitive team could easily be fielded. Catch some lightning in a bottle, and this is a team that could surprise a few heads in the NFC West.