NFL News and Fantasy Football Notes

Michael WhooleySenior Writer IAugust 20, 2009

CANTON, OH - AUGUST 9: Terrell Owens #81 of the Buffalo Bills looks on against the Tennessee Titans during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game at Fawcett Stadium on August 9, 2009 in Canton, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

With the NFL season quickly approaching, many of us are studying for more than one draft right now. In fact, not only are we studying for more than one draft, many of us are preparing for more than one type of league. There are plenty of style of leagues to play now. Over the years fantasy players have added many new ways of tweaking the fantasy football game to make it more interesting. We started doing things like adding bonus points for long TDs and FGs, adding a flex position or a WR3, and some of us even have played in touchdown only leagues. Then, we added keeper leagues, dynasty leagues and the increasingly popular PPR (points per reception) leagues.

With three of my own drafts coming up in the next five days, I was thinking about something I have seen many people forget when preparing for a fantasy football draft. They know their stats and have a draft plan. They even remember to pay attention to bye weeks, but someone always forgets to check the injury report and will overvalue an injured player. So, with this week’s NFL News and Notes article we will take a look at players who are already banged up heading into Week 2 of the preseason.

Also, don’t forget to download the always updating 2009 Bruno Boys Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets Webazine. It’s a free PDF download and will help you prepare for any type of league, so, really, what do you have to lose?

WR Brandon Marshall (Denver Broncos) - Hamstring

Brandon Marshall is dealing with a hamstring issue and is questionable for Week 2 of the preseason, but he will likely be ready for the start of the regular season. The bigger issue with Marshall is the fact that he is not happy being a Denver Bronco. He has already requested a new contract or a trade, and he hasn’t seemed happy since the Broncos got rid of head coach Mike Shanahan and traded quarterback Jay Cutler during the off-season.

It seemed like Marshall just caught a break, when he was acquitted on misdemeanor battery charges this week in Atlanta, This also meant he would not be hit with a NFL suspension, but somehow things have seemed to sour even more between Marshall and the Broncos new coaching staff.

Marshall is currently ranked as the No. 11 wide receiver in our cheat sheets, but there are risks with him this year. The hamstring should be ok, but if the relationship doesn’t get repaired between these two parties, Marshall’s numbers may suffer. He is already reportedly behind in new head coach Josh McDaniel’s system.

WR Terrell Owens (Buffalo Bills) - Toe

Owens sprained a toe during Buffalo’s first preseason game Aug. 9th against the Tennessee Titans and has missed almost every practice since then. Bills’ head coach Dick Jauron has already ruled Owens out until “sometime next week”, meaning he will miss the team’s second preseason game this week.

Owens is the 12th ranked wide receiver by the Bruno Boys. It doesn’t appear as if the toe injury will cause Owens to miss the start of the regular season. Continue to draft him as a low-end WR1 or WR2. If Owens is not ready to go for Week 3 of the preseason, then there may be cause for concern.

QB Carson Palmer (Cincinnati Bengals) - Ankle

Palmer sprained an ankle in the Bengals’ first preseason game and has been ruled out for the team’s second preseason game today (8/20). He is already coming off a year where an elbow injury caused him to have his worst statistical season of his career, as he only managed to play in four games.

Palmer is ranked No. 11 on our quarterback cheat sheets and many of us are expecting him to have a bounce back season in 2009. The Bengals will likely take their time bringing Palmer back from this ankle injury. There is no reason to rush a player of Palmer’s caliber who already knows the system. Continue to draft him as a low-end QB1, who has a chance to outplay his draft position.

WR Bernard Berrian (Minnesota Vikings) - Hamstring

Have you heard that Brett Favre is coming out of retirement? Well, if you don’t live under a rock, you likely know that Favre has signed a two-year contract with the Minnesota Vikings and he is expected to play this Friday in the team’s second preseason game. He might be missing one of his top new targets, as wide receiver Bernard Berrian is doubtful for the game with a hamstring issue.

Berrian averaged 20.1 yards per catch in 2008, with seven touchdowns. The sooner he can start practicing with Favre the better. With the upgrade at quarterback Berrian has a chance to be a sleeper as a low-end WR2 or WR3. He is currently ranked No. 25 in the Bruno Boys Wide Receiver Rankings.

WR Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions) - Thumb

Johnson could miss his second straight preseason game this week while he continues to recover from a thumb injury. He practiced Tuesday without a protective cast over his injured thumb and he ran in some of the team’s drills, but the quarterbacks were instructed not to pass to him.

Johnson had a big year for the 0-16 Lions in 2008, and he should be even better in 2009. The Lions should be much better at quarterback this season whether it’s rookie Matthew Stafford or veteran Daunte Culpepper at the helm. Johnson is entering his third NFL season and he should eclipse the 78 catches for 1,331 yards and 12 touchdowns he had last season. He is the No. 4 ranked wide receiver by the Bruno Boys and should be used as a WR1 in all formats.

WR Steve Smith (Carolina Panthers) - Shoulder

Panthers’ wide receiver Steve Smith is questionable for the team’s second preseason game with an injured shoulder he hurt earlier in training camp. Smith missed Carolina’s first preseason game against the New York Giants this past Monday night.

It appears that Smith should be ready to go for Week 1 of the regular season. He is currently ranked as the No. 6 wide receiver by the Bruno Boys. Barring any setback continue to draft Smith as a WR1. He is quarterback Jake Delhomme’s favorite target and that should not change in 2009.


NFL News and Fantasy Football Notes