Believe it or not, I wrote this on Saturday. That means my Rhodes and Slaton picks look pretty good right now, while the Crumpler pick looks pretty bad. There you go.
Indianapolis – Dominic Rhodes, RB – Not just a critical handcuff for Joseph Addai, but he should be a pass-catching specialist out of the backfield so keep an eye on him in PPR leagues. He also may vulture some TD carries.
Tennessee – Alge Crumpler, TE – He used to be a top-notch fantasy TE in Atlanta, but Crumpler imploded the past two seasons. Now that he’s on a new team, with a new QB that needs an outlet receiver to throw to, Crumpler could be set for a rebound.
Jacksonville – Marcedes Lewis, TE – The Jaguars need to throw the ball at some point, don’t they? All their wide receivers stink, are injured or are facing jail time for cocaine possession, so that leaves Lewis as the primary red zone target.
Houston – Steve Slaton, RB – Chris Brown is on the IR, Marcel Shipp was just cut, Ahman Green is…Ahman Green. That leaves Slaton as the next best option at RB.
Denver – Andre Hall, RB – Selvin Young is getting the press as the starter, but these are the Broncos, so the starter could be anybody. Even a guy that’s not on the roster right now. It could be a guy who’s washing dishes or a minor league baseball player. It’s the Broncos! Who knows?!! Hall has played well this preseason and had two solid games (89+ yards and a TD) in row last year.
Oakland – Andrew Walter, QB – Sorry Al, I’m not buying into the JaMarcus Russell hype. I think the odds that he gets hurt and misses at least one start are about 50/50 and there’s also a chance that the Raiders will get frustrated with Russell and just bench him. Russell was the #1 overall draft pick last season and the Raiders found ways to use three other QBs who weren’t named JaMarcus Russell. All of a sudden things have changed that much?
San Diego – Jacob Hester, FB – The Chargers still have the image of LaDanian Tomlinson sitting on the sidelines during the AFC Championship Game burned in their minds and while LT is healthy again, he’s averaged 337 carries per season. For seven seasons. Do you think the Chargers might want to reduce his workload a little? Do you think Hester (who’s taller and heavier than LT) could force his way in from the 2 yard line behind that great San Diego line? If you think the answer to both those questions is “yes”, then keep an eye on Hester.
Kansas City – Jackie Battle, RB – Everybody is focused on Kolby Smith as Larry Johnson’s backup, but don’t be so sure. Battle is a big, big guy (6’2”, 238 lbs) and the shorter Smith didn’t look all that great when he had his chance last season. And he’s starting the season hurt. He won’t see much work unless LJ gets hurt (again) but if he does, it will be time for Battle! (Ugh)