Fantasy Roundtable: Love 'Em and Leave 'Em

by KFFL Staff on August 11, 2011 @ 12:46:57 PDT

 


KFFL.com editors were asked to pick their top three favorite man-crushes to go along with the same number of players that they wouldn't want on their roster, in no particular order.

Cory J. Bonini

Love 'Em

Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions

The injury-prone passer is in a great situation with a lot of weapons around him. Stafford looked pretty good in limited work last year (six TDs, one pick). Calvin Johnson, Jahvid Best, Brandon Pettigrew, Titus Young and Nate Burleson are all quality receiving options. I find it hard to believe that Stafford could really fall to a major injury for a third straight year (fingers crossed)! I'm drafting him as early as the seventh round, depending on what the QB run looks like, and as late as the ninth round (his ADP). I have no problem reaching a round or two for a quarterback that I'm convinced will break out.

Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys

Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys

Romo has been amazing this training camp and appears to be fully over his broken clavicle. The Cowboys' offensive line should be improved. Dallas' defense may be slow to adapt to Rob Ryan's system, which means more passing by the offense if they have to play catch-up. Jason Witten, Miles Austin and Dez Bryant make for an outstanding core of pass catchers to work with. Romo is a target in the late fourth round for me. I've seen him go sooner, and his actual ADP is the late sixth round. I don't want to chance losing him by waiting that long.

Shonn Greene, RB, New York Jets

A powerful, punishing runner, Greene will be given the keys to the car this season. He will lose third-down reps to LaDainian Tomlinson, of course, but Greene isn't much of a receiver anyway. He could be a top-10 fantasy back if he can improve his red zone prowess (four career TDs). The line should be strong, and NYJ is committed to pounding the rock. Any improvements by Mark Sanchez should only help Greene. He's a No. 2 fantasy back for me.

Leave 'Em

Ryan Torain, RB, Washington Redskins

Bleh. Torain (hand) is already injured and has an extensive history of such. He is potentially one of three backs in Washington, and Mike Shanahan makes selecting the correct back a nightmare. Let someone else beat their head off the wall trying to figure out which RB to start each week. Besides, Roy Helu Jr. will be beastly!

Peyton Hillis, RB, Cleveland Browns

I don't want to burn a 15th overall pick, per his ADP, to find out if last year was a fluke. He has talent - don't get me wrong - but Hillis wore down immensely as the year went on and now will have to share touches with Brandon Jackson. I'd much rather take a chance on a high-upside receiver or another RB with fewer question marks at that stage of the draft.

Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis Rams

I'm not sold yet. Bradford had a great year for a rookie in 2010, but he still finished 26th with 13.2 fantasy points per game. How much of a leap is he realistically going to make in his second year, having to learn a new, complex system on short notice while adjusting to new receivers? No thanks. I'll be back next year for Bradford.

Keith Hernandez

Love 'Em

LeGarrette Blount, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs' offense is improving under Josh Freeman, and Blount is the unquestioned No. 1 back in Tampa. He becomes a little less valuable in point-per-reception formats, but this guy is a beast. He averaged 5.0 yards per tote last year and eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in just 13 contests. I like him as a comfortable No. 2 back this year, even in PPR leagues if your No. 1 is a consistent pass catcher.

Danny Amendola, WR, St. Louis Rams

Danny Amendola, WR, St. Louis Rams

The Rams' receiving unit will have a few extra bodies around this year; they signed Mike Sims-Walker as a deep threat and Donnie Avery will be back from injury. Regardless, Amendola is the team's most consistent wideout and developed a strong bond with Sam Bradford last year. There are eerie similarities between him and Wes Welker, especially with Josh McDaniels working as the offensive coordinator. He's a pass-catching machine and can be had as a No. 4 receiver in drafts. I'll take that any day.

Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions

He won't suffer another season-ending injury early in the year again, right? With all the negativity around his injury-prone self, nobody denies that when healthy, Stafford can be an offensive force. Even better: Reports on his surgically repaired right shoulder have been very encouraging, and he has looked sharp in early practices. While teaming with Megatron, he has the skills to put up No. 1 QB numbers as your backup.

Leave 'Em

Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland Raiders

The Oakland Raiders are in line for some regression in 2011; offensive line guru Tom Cable is gone, and Robert Gallery left with him. The Raiders still aren't set at the QB position with Jason Campbell. McFadden has had trouble staying on the field; he played in a career-high 13 games last year but is already out for two weeks in camp with an orbital bone fracture in his face. He has the talent, but is he that much of a lock to be going as high as seventh overall in drafts? I think not.

Josh Freeman, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

His breakout sophomore season (25 TDs to just six INTs) has many overvaluing the youngster heading into his third year. The Bucs are moving in the right direction offensively, but they are still a work-in-progress, and so is Freeman. Expect some regression out of the 23-year-old passer, especially in his TD-INT ratio.

Jermichael Finley, TE, Green Bay Packers

It's a shock to me that a guy who missed the majority of last season is going so high in drafts. In five games in 2010, he had just one touchdown. He has an incredible skill set at his position, but one that is perhaps the deepest of any position in fantasy football drafts this season. Green Bay won the Super Bowl without him, so they clearly have plenty of capable weapons around him. Also, the O-line is suspect after key free-agent losses, so Aaron Rodgers may not be blessed with much time in the pocket.

Nicholas Minnix

Love 'Em

Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears

The average fantasy football drafter downgrades a skilled player who disappointed the drafter in the previous year despite the fact that the player came with drawbacks as he began that season. The drafter penalizes only himself. Cutler reported to camp leaner, more focused. In his final nine games (which includes a terrible Week 17 against Green Bay), the ball-slinger threw 16 TD passes and nine INTs and cut the sacks to fewer than three per game. He's primed to take off in his second year in Mike Martz's offense that added a solid Martz disciple at wideout, and he can be had as a backup. Nuts.

Ryan Grant, RB, Green Bay Packers

Ryan Grant, RB, Green Bay Packers

Grant bounced back from a poor 2008 by upping his YPC from 3.9 to 4.4 and scoring seven more touchdowns in 2009. He looked spry in limited preseason work and Week 1 before suffering an ankle injury that ended his season but had no long-term effects. Grant is healthy and more of a complete back than James Starks, who's an NFL toddler in a complex Green Bay offense.

Beanie Wells, RB, Arizona Cardinals

The Cards have made it clear to Wells that it's time to deliver. To emphasize their point, they drafted the talented Ryan Williams in the second round. The third-year back is tackling the challenge head-on. Wells is in fantastic shape, free of nagging injuries (so far) and the unquestioned starter. The price is right to see if he breaks through.

Leave 'Em

Josh Freeman, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Freeman is a borderline every-week starter in his second full season? That's a tough sell. He's a bright, ambitious team leader and made incredible strides by throwing 25 TD passes and just six INTs last season. But Freeman's stable of targets isn't deep, Tampa's schedule is tougher, and opponents will be prepared to show him plenty of new looks.

Brandon Lloyd, WR, Denver Broncos

So much about his situation has changed. Josh McDaniels motivated Lloyd; can the gruff Fox do the same? The offense will be more conservative and traditional. A number of players will compete for touches. A QB controversy will make matters worse. Can't put much stock in Lloyd's breakthrough when most of what inspired him and propelled him to have it is gone.

Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans Saints

The infatuation is understandable. The upside is great. The price is freakin' ridiculous. At a position loaded with quality options, why are fantasy football owners willing to pay so much for a work-in-progress? Graham is a gifted athlete, but he's not a natural football player, and he plays in an offense that spreads the ball around way too much.

Tim Heaney

Love 'Em

Shonn Greene, RB, New York Jets

LaDainian Tomlinson? Running on fumes in a reduced role. Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight? Meh. Behind the Jets' offensive line, in a run-first attack, with the support of his coaches and the relenting LT, Greene will be the bell cow. We saw hints of his power game finally blossoming last postseason. You won't find many workhorses after the cemented RB1s leave the board. Why not saddle up with that club's likeliest new addition in the third or fourth round?

Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks

Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks

Alex Gibbs zone-blocking disciple Tom Cable, havoc-wreaking guard and former Cable employee Robert Gallery, and two highly touted rookies arrive to augment the offensive line. Tarvaris Jackson is shaky, but at least he's in a familiar system with a known target in Sidney Rice and could open up the offense sooner than expected. This attack will surpass fantasy expectations, and, as one of fantasy football's best bargains, Beast Mode will rise again.

Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis Rams

My backup target in nearly every draft. In 2010, Pat Shurmur nurtured the rook. With Josh McDaniels now directing the O, the former Oklahoma slinger will become a man; he was somewhat handcuffed in his first campaign. Sure, he'll have to learn a new system, but he has proven to be a quick study, and maybe Mike Sims-Walker and others will make more noise in the Gateway City. McD turned Kyle Orton into a half-season stud; Bradford, a talented and malleable youngster, will wield QB1 value many weeks.

Leave 'Em

Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles

Elite talent and a human highlight reel, sure. But the QB crop is too deep, the other skill positions are too volatile, and his style is too violent to commit yourself to Vick within the first two rounds. His style opens him up to injuries, and his offensive line remains a work-in-progress. The latter abandoned him near the end of last season, and defenses figured out the Eagles down the stretch, as well.

Brandon Lloyd, WR, Denver Broncos

Obvious but must be noted: The departure of Josh McDaniels and his king-making aerial offense adds a caveat to this already doubted commodity. If Lloyd falls to a mild No. 3, I'd be more willing to call his name. The increased defensive attention he'll be seeing over a full season cements my doubts. And if Tim Tebow takes over under center, things could get ugly, considering Lloyd thrives off the deep ball. Too many avenues for a downfall here.

Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans Saints

Hype's latest victim, Graham is on average a top-six TE in some mock circles - even reception-rewarding formats. Yikes. Ample raw ability, but New Orleans has an endless cache, even around the goal line. Going before Owen Daniels? Chris Cooley? Kellen Winslow? Even Brandon Pettigrew and Dustin Keller? If Graham is unclaimed in the lower sector of this position's top 12, I'll take a shot. At his current price, however, he'll be a more frustrating Rob Gronkowski.

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