FF Brainwave 8/7/2012
Photo By: Icon SMI
One game in the books in the 2012 preseason and we already have a growing quarterback controversy and an injury to a projected starting quarterback. While Kevin Kolb is likely to be a bust in Arizona, it’s hard to pin his struggles on his short comings when the Cardinals have neglected the offensive line for years.
That said, watching the film from that game should tell us nothing different than we already knew about Kolb and John Skelton.
Kolb struggles when the pocket breaks down and he threw an interception on one play and they was injured on another. Skelton on the other hand, has his rough points, but his big frame and willingness to stand in the pocket and keep his eyes down the field to deliver the football, is the reason he will be the starter eventually.
I didn’t think we would see Kolb fall to injury in the Hall of Fame game but it’s just a reminder of how brittle this guy really is.
While Cardinals’ beat-writer Kent Somers reports the injury doesn’t look serious, what is concerning is the lack of protection from the offensive line (Saints were horrible up front generating pressure last year), and Kolb’s continued inability to handle pressure both mentally and physically.
Remember The Name Vincent Brown
Many fantasy owners will focus on names like Malcom Floyd, Robert Meachem and some are even pumping up Eddie Royal as options to target in the Chargers receiving core. Of course Antonio Gates is the top option in this passing game, but I wouldn’t be surprised if second year receiver Vincent Brown is the No.1 receiver in this offense in two or three years.
Norv Turner seems to be obsessed with speedy receivers but he knows Brown is a future starter and while other options are above him on the depth chart, Brown could breakout in the second half of this season, if he fills in for an injured player.
Don’t worry about Royal, if he does anything for this team it should come in the slot, he’s not an option on the outside. That means we should expect Brown to be the top backup for both Floyd and Meachem. If something happens to the veterans this will be a name to jump on off the waiver wire.
Those of you in dynasty leagues would be wise to at least consider a possible trade for him at this time.
Jonathan Baldwin Continues To Impress
Believe it or not, reports have Baldwin actually looking like a leader out on the field this off-season and I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case. Can’t tell you how many friends or acquaintances I’ve known that have had troubled pasts but when focused they display leadership qualities.
Only time will tell if the light has truly come on for Baldwin and he’s changed his ways from his troubled past, but he’s having a great off-season and is enjoying valuable reps with the first team because Dwayne Bowe is holding out.
Baldwin is likely a late round stash in deeper leagues and he’s more valuable in performance and standard scoring leagues than PPR leagues. Still, he has value and could have an impact on this offense that will help the running game and Matt Cassel.
As long as Bowe comes back in the coming weeks, he should be a solid top twenty option, but don’t be surprised if you look at the highlight plays from Kansas City and its Baldwin again making that big play and not Bowe.
Bryant Improving Route Running Abilities?
This is an interesting player to watch in the preseason. After this altercation with his mother we could see a suspension, and more importantly we never know when this guy will “go off” again. Still, Cowboy beat-writers are making it a habit to talk about Bryant’s route running ability and the chemistry he’s developing with Tony Romo in the red-zone.
Bryant has the ability to be a top five fantasy receiver and if you can snag him around the fifth round it would be a worthy roll of the dice, in ten team leagues.
We want to watch for Bryant’s route running when the lights turn-on for preseason action. If he flashes, his value will likely go up, but because of his talent I might be swayed for a fourth-round pick, but nothing higher because of his off the field and on the field attitude problems.
Then again, with Miles Austin suffering another hamstring injury and poor depth at the receiver, Romo will be looking his way often, if he’s ready to step up his game. Those steps are improvement in his conditioning and route running.
Expect A Rotation In Miami
Yes, Reggie Bush enjoyed a fabulous second half but offensive coordinator Brian Daboll is gone to Kansas City and the Dolphins are using a new run blocking scheme. They also added talent this off-season in Lamar Miller via the draft and picked up Steve Slaton in free agency.
Not to mention they still have last years second-round pick Daniel Thomas in the mix. All this adds up a committee, especially when you factor in Bush’s health problems over his career.
If like Bush as a late RB2 in PPR leagues but I might stay away from him in touchdown heavy leagues and standard scoring leagues because you won’t receive points for his receptions.
Could Green Be The Packers Best Running Back?
I liked Alex Green coming out of college last year and we know the Packers general manager Ted Thompson is one of the better evaluators in the game. Unfortunately Green tore his ACL last summer.
James Starks has struggled in camp, and Green is still fighting his way back from his ACL injury. Not sure we should target him as a late round pick (unless you’re in leagues deeper than 12 teams) at this point, but we want to keep an eye on him as the preseason and regular season move along.
This could be a running back that helps us down the stretch, but for now, expect the Packers to remain a pass happy offense that is quietly looking for a running game as we move deeper into the season. Some balance on offense is a good thing when you get to the playoffs and if Green is ready, he will get his chance.