The Counselor is IN:
Last year many fantasy experts ranked Tony Romo as a top 3 QB. This year Romo finds himself on the list to avoid and has dropped to the second or even third tier QBs and often out of the top 10. This is understandable when you compare his 2007 stats with 36 touchdown passes to last year's 26 tds. He did lower his interceptions from 19 to 14 but he lost 5 more fumbles in 2008.
Last year, many believed that Tony had his coming out in 2007. Now many of those same people are claiming that last season was the real Tony Romo and 2007 was a fluke. What is the real truth and what can we expect out of Tony for the 2009 NFL season?
My views on Romo might be tainted. I am a huge Cowboys fan (please don't hold it against me). I love the style of play of Romo on the field but do think he needs to reign it in a bit and more often take what is given to him rather than looking for the big play. That being said, I am trying to look at this from a pure fantasy perspective and not what I want see out of Romo.
Romo was injured in 2008 and missed three games. If you project out his average from last year over those three games he missed, Romo would have finished with 32 touchdowns and over 4200 yards (about the same as 2007 yards). Those are very good fantasy numbers. The only QBs to pass for more yards were Bress, Warner and Cutler in 2008. Rivers, Brees, and Warner were the only QB with more than 32 TDs.
As most fantasy experts are quick to point out, Romo did lose his best wide receiver in T.O. Owens accounted for ten touchdowns last year. Losing his best wide out could not help Romo's numbers, could it?
In 1995, the year Sterling Sharpe retired, Favre's stats increased with 5 more touchdowns and almost 600 more yards. I am not directly comparing Romo to Favre but there are some similarities. They both have similar style of play. They both had receivers that demanded the ball to be happy. They both forced numerous passes to that receiver that they should not have thrown. Both of the wide receiving corps were/are lacking a true WR1 without those WR stars. In one way Romo is better off than Favre was in 1995, he still has Jason Witten.
The Cowboys should be focusing on running the ball more often this season. They have a three headed monster in Barber, Felix Jones, and Choice. The renewed focus on the run should free up some of the receivers. All three of the runningbacks are capable receivers. If Felix catches the ball in the backfield or a quick route, he could easily take it to the house with his quickness. I think this will only benefit Romo's fantasy numbers.
I believe WR Roy Williams will make great strides this year. He spent a large amount of time with Romo working on plays and timing during the off season. He has had an opportunity to learn the playbook. He will not replace Owens but he should make the loss of Owen less painful for Romo's stats.
I am projecting Romo as a top tier QB this year. He would be at the end of my top tier but still a top guy. I can see him having 32 TDs and 4000 yards once again. This should be in the top 5 for both TD's and yards. He will have around 18 turnovers and that will drop him below guys like Brady, Peyton, and Brees but he should be in the same breath as these guys.
I would not draft Romo too early. He is lasting to the middle of the forth round in most current mock drafts . Do not take him before Brady, Brees, or Peyton. If they are off the board, then I would feel comfortable selecting him. I would continue to watch the trends and projections. If Romo continues to get blasted by the experts then you should be able to pick him up even later or for less $ in an auction league.
Unlike most other fantasy experts, I have Romo on the "pickup as a slight sleeper list" instead of the "avoid like the plague list". Only time will tell if I have read the tea leaves correctly or if I was just drinking the Blue and Silver Kool-Aid.
The Counselor is OUT: