Around the League with Carson Palmer, Cadillac Williams, and More

William Del PilarContributor IJuly 22, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 21:  Carson Palmer #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals looks to pass as he is pressured by the New York Giants defense on September 21, 2008 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

I have yet to draft in a fantasy league, but my time is coming as training camp nears. I don't like drafting before August and prefer the week before the season starts.

I believe most of you should gear yourself toward that, and don't forget, drafting with your buddies in person is the best way to draft. Make sure you have enough grub, music and trash talk to make it fun.

Just be careful with boozing it up. We've all had our bad days or nights with our good friends Jack or Jim, so make sure they don't make you regret that team you put together.


Bengals | Palmer will be on a throw count in training camp

Joe Reedy, of The Cincinnati Enquirer, reports Cincinnati Bengals QB Carson Palmer says his elbow is 100 percent healthy. During OTAs and minicamp, the wide receivers said Palmer's passes had the same old velocity and zip.

He is going to be on a pass count during training camp, and will not throw more than 150 passes per day. As the offseason drills went on, Palmer's long passes appeared to be more consistent and crisper.


Bengals | Palmer provided feedback in offensive adjustments

Joe Reedy, of The Cincinnati Enquirer, reports Cincinnati Bengals QB Carson Palmer provided plenty of input to offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski on the team's playbook.

While most of the changes to the offense have been centered around more emphasis on the running game, Palmer is still expected to air it out with plenty of three-receiver sets.

My Take: We have no clue about what to expect from Palmer. Based on his average draft position provided by Mock Draft Central, my favorite ADP site, he is going 90th overall, the 13th quarterback taken. That is the eighth round in a 12-team league.

I wouldn't want him as my No. 1 fantasy quarterback until I've seen him in action, and it's too early to take my No. 2 fantasy quarterback in the eighth round.

The fact he has had a hand in trying to improve the offense states a lot about the team's faith in him as well as his own commitment to winning.

However, the team took a hit when they lost receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, and that's my real concern. Hold off on drafting Palmer that early until you see him play regardless of what you think today. Training camp will settle his true value.


Buccaneers | Williams will participate in camp

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris said during an interview that RB Cadillac Williams (knee) will participate in training camp and is in the mix to receive some carries this season.

My Take: I have always believed this is the greatest country in the world, because if you're talented and work hard enough good things WILL happen. To see Cadillac work as hard as he has to overcome not one but two devastating knee injuries makes my heart feel good—especially in a league where we know there are players just collecting checks.

Cadillac is going with the 208th pick on average, is the 68th running back taken and falls into the 18th round in a 12-team league.

However, the team is looking at Derrick Ward and Earnest Graham as their one-two punch. Both backs have a history of getting nicked up and hurt. If Cadillac can come back he could see some touches. Consider the quarterback position: The team would love to have rookie Josh Freeman light it up and show he can be a successful starter, even as a rookie.

We can all dream can't we? You add the immobile, underachieving Byron Leftwich and inexperienced, never-proven Luke McCown, and you know this team will run. I believe you can hold off on Cadillac because, barring injuries, if he does see consistent playing time, it won't come until later in the season.


Vikings | Allen getting annoyed with Favre's indecision

Sam Farmer, of The Los Angeles Times, reports Minnesota Vikings DE Jared Allen said he would be fine with free-agent QB Brett Favre (Jets) joining the team but is getting annoyed with Favre's indecision. "If we get Brett, then that's a bonus. But let's either get it done and get moving on with it or let it go. It's not so much that it's a distraction because we're professionals and don't really buy into that. But it's annoying," Allen said.

My Take: Nothing fantasy here, just a point that this is what the Favre saga has the potential to turn into: a locker room with disgruntled players. Remember, this is a team sport, and some of these players are close to having heard enough about how they need Favre for that elusive Super Bowl run.

Allen may be right in that it's annoying, but it's also distracting to the quarterbacks and receivers on roster. For the record, if you're drafting now, Favre is still solid value as the 24th quarterback taken and the 185th overall pick, the 16th round in a 12-team league. He's slowly moving up and once signed will probably make a big jump.


Jaguars | Fast fact: Jones-Drew's carries have increased reports Jacksonville Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew's carries have increased in each of his three seasons with the team. Jones-Drew had 166 carries in 2006, 167 carries in 2007 and 197 carries in 2008.


Jaguars | Jones-Drew feels offense will be explosive this season

Vic Carucci, of, reports Jacksonville Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew feels the team's offense will bounce back in 2009, thanks to health and additions on the offensive line. "We're back to where we were in the beginning," Jones-Drew said. "When I first got (to Jacksonville), we were a powerhouse running attack, and we could block and do whatever we wanted to.

And with these guys coming back healthy and getting ready to play, it gets really exciting because I know we're going to be able to run the ball and throw it. It's going to be an explosive offense again."


Jaguars | Jones-Drew will have help carrying running load

Vic Carucci, of, reports even though Jacksonville Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew will be the focal point of the team's running game this season, he will likely share carries with the team's other running backs. Jones-Drew's relief includes RBs Rashad Jennings, Chauncey Washington, Alvin Pearman and FB Greg Jones.

"We have a boatload of guys that can play, so it's not just me," Jones-Drew said. "That's one thing that everybody has to understand. There are a lot of guys that can go."

My Take: Right now everything is pointing to Jones-Drew being, arguably, the top pick in point-per-reception leagues. Sure you hear about Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte and Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson; however, no one can argue Jones-Drew can't make his own claim for the top spot.

I still have yet to decide whom I would take No. 1 as I'm still working on projections, but he's a legit candidate. If the team can divide enough of the load to keep him fresh, he will be a force to reckon with.

I'm not concerned with his size as much as others are based on how he's built; he's short, stocky and powerful. While 208 pounds is not huge, it's not small for a running back when you look at Emmitt Smith, who weighed 210 pounds at the same point in his career.


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