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Category Archives: Keeper Rankings

Washington Redskins helmet

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Every fall is an exciting time being coached by a Shanahan.  Neither Mike (head coach) or Kyle (offensive co-ordinator) is loyal to more than one or two particular players. The starting QB situation is unknown and the running backs are always in flux.   The only one that is clear is that Santana Moss is a starting WR.   Anthony Armstrong started most of last year and most NFL people estimated that he was at best a #3 WR, but the Shanahans found a way to make it work.  Jabar Gaffney and Donte Stallworth found their way into town and the Redskins drafted a slew of WRs: Leonard Hankerson, Niles Paul, and Aldrick Robinson.  Can Hankerson make an impact year one or does he wait further down the road?  Click here for the answers:

Washington Redskins helmet

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Fluid is the first word that comes to mind when you are thinking about a Shanahan running game situation.  Right now, newly minted Tim Hightower is running like crazy in the preseason for the Skins.  With their quarterbacks in flux, John Beck and Rex Grossman, “Papa” and “Sonny Boy” Shanahan will need to run the ball to slow down the other powerful offenses in the NFC East.  The one thing that has been consistent with the Shanahans, the ball carrier is less important than the o-line and the blocking system.  Let’s look at the skill set that Roy Helu, Jr. can bring to the Washington Redskins and your fantasy team. Click here for the analysis:

Oakland Raiders logo

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Some people never change, especially not Al Davis, who will prove that to you with his choice in Raiders jogging suits.  Davis needs his “speed freaks” which is apparent in his choices of wide receivers over the years: Willie Gault, Jerry Porter, and Darrius Heyward Bey.  True to form, Davis drafted Denarius Moore; however, unlike years past, he waited to get Moore in the 5th round of the 2011 NFL Draft.  The Raiders have no strong armed quarterback to get him the ball, instead Jason Campbell is there.  Campbell doesn’t have Kenny Stabler’s arm, nor does he have Rich Gannon’s, or even JaMarcus Russel’s arm.  Another point of concern is two of the team’s best blockers in OG Robert Gallery and TE Zach Miller left with former head coach Tom Cable to go to Seattle.

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Kansas City Chiefs helmet

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The 2010 AFC West Champion Kansas City Chiefs looked great in early 2011 when they held off the San Diego Chargers.  The Chiefs passing game, namely Dwayne Bowe and Matt Cassel, did some big things last season especially during weeks 6-12.  RB Jamaal Charles broke out big, as it was looking like the sky was the limit with a touch of smokey KC BBQ sauce.   Then trouble began as OC Charlie Weiss wasn’t allowed to call the Chiefs playoff offense and was let go in the offseason.  Now, former o-line coach Bill Muir was named new OC, but we know who is really going to call those plays, HC Todd Haley.  The Chiefs decided to make their move in the first round by selecting Jonathan Baldwin.

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San Diego Chargers helmet

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The era of “Air Coryell” seems to be back in San Diego.  QB Phillip Rivers has attempted at least 478 passes, thrown for over 4000 yards, and, at least, passed for 28 TDs in each of the past three years.  Rivers does not slow down for receivers’ injuries or holdouts (thanks for that Vincent Jackson).  Out of the past four years, Vincent Jackson lead Chargers receiver for two years and the other two years “Mr. Super Charger” himself, Antonio Gates, lead the team.  During the 2011 NFL Draft, the future of the Chargers WRs was much in doubt.  Vincent Jackson had filed a lawsuit against the NFL.  Every NFL organization had no idea who would be free agents, but it was very possible that both starting WRs Jackson and Malcolm Floyd could leave with little on the roster to replace them.  The Chargers decided bolster their receiving core by spending their 3rd round pick on local WR Vincent Brown, who played down the street at San Diego State. 

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Tennessee Titans helmet

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With former HC Jeff Fisher out of the Music City, the Titans are looking to make changes.  Too bad at the time of this writing, the Titans have more questions than answers.  Matt Hasselbeck looks to be a placeholder for Jake Locker, but may hold the job for a while.  Top WR Kenny Britt is facing league suspension and all-world RB Chris Johnson is holding out, so it seems to be a great time to break in a rookie QB slowly.  The Titans hope that they found the QB of their future in Locker.

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Cal running back Shane Vereen at the 2009 Cal ...

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If you take nothing else out of this rookie report, remember Bill Belichick is not to be trusted in life or with running backs.  Once again the New England backfield is up for grabs and as usual, there are many moving parts: BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Danny Woodhead, Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley (huge first pre-season game), Sammy Morris, and Kevin Faulk.  The Belichick way tells me that he wants everyone to guess the role of every RB on the New England roster.  The best part of being a Patriot RB is the opposing defense keying on Brady first.  This helps open up running lanes and New England returns with  their o-line mostly intact.

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The Browns' orange "logo-less" helme...

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Last year when Mike Holmgren came in to take over the decimated Cleveland team, the Browns fans got excited.  Peyton Hillis’ fantasy value went from the outhouse to the penthouse, equally caused by his efforts and the powerful offensive line that he ran behind. Rookie QB Colt McCoy did not lose many games for Cleveland last year, but he didn’t have much help other than castaway TE Ben Watson and Hillis.  The team lost enough games last year so HC Eric Mangini was fired and replaced in the offseason by former Rams OC Pat Shurmur.  HC Shurmur brought a more pass friendly scheme to Cleveland and in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Browns added Greg Little in the second round to give McCoy a talented, yet sometimes troubled, target.   

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Vikings helmet (2006–present)

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How much turmoil can a team take in a nine month period?  Brett Favre retires supposedly for good, WR Sidney Rice and second/third string QB Tavaris Jackson take off to Seattle, and big DE Ray Edwards takes his services to Atlanta.  The Minnesota front office starts replacing by these wholes by drafting QB Christian Ponder and trading for QB Donovan McNabb, then signing WRs Michael Jenkins and Devin Aromashodu to bolster their WR core which only had Percy Harvin and Bernard Berrian.    Thank the maker for Adrian Peterson or this team would look worse.  The Vikings already have a solid TE in Visanthe Shiancoe; however, they drafted Kyle Rudolph in the second round as he can help in both the running and passing games.

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Jacksonville Jaguars logo

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The Jags, finally, decided to make a move towards a quarterback of the future in the 2011 NFL Draft.  David Garrard continues to be a fighter, but he is an adequate leader putting up mediocre numbers.  Maurice Jones-Drew’s efforts to keep on playing on one good leg (showing tremendous heart) could not bring Jacksonville a division title.  If not for MJD and the huge year from TE Marcedes Lewis (rewarded with a new contract worth $35 million over 5 years), I doubt if the Jags would have been so close to defeating the Indianapolis Colts for the AFC South Division crown.  Gabbert is already being compared to Ben Roethlisberger in the media, let’s slow that down a bit. 

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St. Louis Rams helmet

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After the former Denver Head Coach Josh McDaniels was hired as the new St. Louis Offensive Coordinator, it was just a matter of time before he wanted to use what his first NFL team, the New England Patriots, had discovered…”In the Tight End(s) we trust.”  Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez were used well by his former Patriots last year and McDaniels took notice. QB Sam Bradford was very successful in his rookie season using wide receivers and running backs, so McDaniels decided to build on that with a TE target similar to what he had at Oklahoma (Jermaine Gresham) with the move TE Lance Kendricks. 

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