Fantasy Fallers: Five taking a dive!
Every year players are hyped up and talked down in fantasy football, just like Ocho Cinco last year who was taking a terrible off-season approach to his ‘08 campaign, and struggled mightily all year for fantasy owners who put there roster faith in the troubled WR. Like every season there have been a few big name players who are taking a nose dive for fantasy owners in ‘09.
Brandon Marshall – Since the start of camp Marshall has been a distraction in the locker-room and a pain in McDaniel’s..you know what! Marshall was suspended Friday for conduct detrimental to the team, just his latest test for the GM and head-coach McDaniel’s, in a scenario that fantasy owners should stay away from for the ‘09 season. Marshall was seen dogging it on the practice field in front of a gathering of media, he was also kicking and dropping balls on purpose. He later apologized for his actions but it could be to little to late for the beast.
Marshall hasn’t played in a pre-season game thus far and seems to be a nuisance to the whole city of Denver. It’s pretty clear that Marshall since asking for a trade is useless in Denver. With his potential he should be a top-ten WR in Fantasy, but in ‘09 he should be seen as nothing more than a fantasy backup at best for the upcoming season. In dynasty leagues he should perform at a top level when this situation is resolved.
Jonathan Stewart - Carolina’s 1st round draft pick in ‘08 is looking like he will be facing another season with a foot problem in ‘09. Stewart has an impressive size-speed combination but those attributes can’t make up for the fact that his injured achilles tendon is crushing fantasy owners hopes for the upcoming season. Stewart who was hoping to be ready for training camp seems very unlikely that he will play in the pre-season, leaving fantasy owners to wonder, just what are they paying for?
With the coaching staff less than impressed at Stewart’s ability to practice, they are beginning to become enamoured with rookie fourth round pick Mike Goodson. Goodson is making a strong case for playing time in Carolina and the longer Stewart stays out of the lineup, the more opportunity Goodson will get to showcase his skills for the coaching staff. Stewart is the No.2 back in Carolina but it could be a disappointing year for the talented prospect out of Oregon. Dynasty owners should stay the course with Stewart, he is a nightmare for defenses when he is healthy.
Laveraneus Coles – Coles has been everything they wanted in Cincy, his problem is starting to become the emergence of troubled WR Chris Henry. So far this pre-season Coles has caught 3 receptions for 34 yards, Henry on the other hand has scored in each pre-season game and looks to be No.2 WR for the start of the regular season. Coles will not lose all his fantasy value moving to the slot but it sure does hurt his owners who pegged him for the next Houshmanzadeh in the Bengals offense.
With the coaching staff heavily in favor of throwing the ball to Henry, Coles should move to the slot and contribute inconsistently for the Bengals in the ‘09 regular season. The Bengals should be playing from behind an awful lot this season so Coles will still contribute, but don’t reach for a WR that is clearly getting out-played by a far more gifted WR in Chris Henry.
Marshawn Lynch -With a 3 game suspension to start the ‘09 season and a talented backup in Fred Jackson, Marshawn is starting to look less appealing in the eyes of fantasy owners this upcoming year. Lynch seems to be a product of the “Bad Boy” club Marshall seems to attend with regularity. Marshawn should be highly motivated with all the talk of Jackson starting the upcoming regular season, but in the pre-season has not flashed his “Beast Mode” in any run thus far, his touches are giving fantasy and dynasty owners who don’t own Jackson a scare early on.
I personally like Lynch beating out Jackson immediately after week 4 when he returns from his suspension, but the fact that this is a weary situation for fantasy owners means he is simply getting passed for other RB’s, regardless of talent. I wouldn’t draft Lynch as a top option in drafts this year, but I think when he returns he should be effective on the ground for fantasy owners who are willing to pay the price for his issues. There will always be more questions than answers to a player with off-field concerns, and Lynch’s case is no different than Marshall…. the talent is there but the head isn’t!
Julius Jones - Jones looks to be splitting the RB workload again this year with signing of Edgerrin James. Mora has publicly said that Jones is their starting RB for the ‘09 season, but he has been riddled with injuries and inconsistent play since coming from Dallas. With Edgerrin James now in the picture they should be able to have a RBBC, with Jones starting the game.
I don’t buy that fantasy owners were surprised to see this signing, it was on their to-do list for quite some time and in my opinion is an upgrade from what they started with in their lineup to start the season. Owners who draft Jones probably have him for depth at the position anyways, but this should put a stamp on his fantasy worth throughout ‘09. Edgerrin should be seen as the change of pace back to start the season (might not end that way), unless injuries were to occur on the part of Jones.