Gregg Rosenthal

Offseason Low Down

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Minicamp Tour: Giant problems?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Forget the personal drama surrounding Jeremy Shockey. The bigger question is how healthy he will be at the start the season. Shockey broke his leg near his ankle last December and still isn't fully ready to practice with the team. At the time of the injury, the Giants said that the ankle issue wasn't serious, but Shockey is a player who has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career. He's a bigger injury risk than usual after missing so much work this offseason. There's little reason to think he'll finally elevate from good to great in 2008.

Editor's Note: Shockey is ranked eleventh in Rotoworld's online draft guide. For access to all the cheat sheets, tiers, articles and stats, click here.

NFC East

New York Giants: Plaxico Burress' contract situation isn't a huge concern for fantasy leaguers. It would be a shocker if he's not practicing by mid-August, if not earlier. … It's uncertain why exactly Ahmad Bradshaw is in jail, but I suspect it doesn't matter. He played too well last season for the Giants to cut him. That's just how the league works. If Bradshaw develops, he could get almost equal touches with Brandon Jacobs. … Eli Manning is getting a modest post-Super Bowl bump in Average Draft Position, rankings up to the QB10 spot. We have him ranked thirteenth at the position, although 10-13 is very closely bunched. … Sinorice Moss hasn't done anything to indicate that he's ready to contribute. Steve Smith is more likely to be New York's third receiver.

Dallas Cowboys: I wrote at length about this in the blog, but the Cowboys need for a number two receiver is overrated. They already have one in Jason Witten, and Patrick Crayton is a fine number three. Miles Austin and Sam Hurd are battling to get snaps on the outside, which will allow Crayton to work from the slot. I don't see the winner of Hurd vs. Austin being a great sleeper because he will be the fifth option most plays, behind the three receivers mentioned and Dallas' running back. … Terry Glenn wasn't mentioned above because I don't expect him to make an impact this season. The Cowboys probably don't either. … It was interesting to hear Jason Garrett mention Sean Payton's use of Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush as a template for Marion Barber and Felix Jones, with Jones in Bush's role. Garrett and Payton are from the same coaching tree and spent three years together in New York while Garrett was a player. While Barber will undoubtedly be the lead back, Jones' role may be bigger than MBIII owners hope.

  • Minicamp Tour: AFC West and South
  • Minicamp Tour: AFC East and North

    Philadelphia Eagles: One player to watch in Eagles training camp is Lorenzo Booker. If he continues to impress, the Eagles can be more cautious with Brian Westbrook's workload, especially early in the season. It seems unlikely that Westbrook will get 368 touches again this year. It may be tough to pick a true handcuff for Westbrook, because Booker and Correll Buckhalter could split time if Booker is out. … I'm not worried about Donovan McNabb's shoulder. He is on a pitch count, like many quarterbacks. McNabb will always be an injury risk, but expect a much-improved season when he's on the field. … The Eagles spread the ball around too much for fantasy leaguers to worry about who wins their third receiver job. Rookie DeSean Jackson hasn't impressed thus far. Tight end L.J. Smith is a better candidate for value as a cheap TE2.

    Washington Redskins: Washington is a huge mystery team until the season starts. Santana Moss, Clinton Portis, and Jason Campbell aren't natural fits for a West Coast offense, so the transition to Jim Zorn's offense could be rough. Moss is great at deep routes, but now will be asked to catch shorter passes as a flanker and make yards-after-the-catch. Campbell has a great arm, but timing hasn't been his strength. One good sign for Portis is that he enjoyed a rare healthy offseason, and his work ethic is reportedly improving.

    Early indications are that Devin Thomas is well ahead of Malcolm Kelly at receiver, which isn't a surprise. If Thomas can push into the starting lineup, with Antwaan Randle El going to the slot, he can be the best rookie wideout in the NFL. That's not saying much. … Randle El had knee surgery and missed the last five weeks of OTAs, but should be ready for camp. His role could be diminished this season. … Chris Cooley owners could also worry about losing production, if only because the old system was so tight end friendly.

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    Gregg Rosenthal has directed Rotoworld's football content since 2003. He co-hosts the NBC Fantasy Fix and covers the NFL for NBCSports.com and Profootballtalk.com. Catch him on Twitter.
    Email :Gregg Rosenthal



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