Gregg Rosenthal

Offseason Low Down

print article archives RSS

Minicamp Tour: NFC West, South

Tuesday, July 01, 2008



NFC West

Arizona Cardinals: Matt Leinart is the starter, but Ken Whisenhunt made it clear that he's on a short leash. Working in Leinart's favor is that Arizona's schedule sets up favorably the first five weeks of the season. … Anquan Boldin wants a new contract, but it isn't a major concern for fantasy leaguers. He should be on time for camp. … Steve Breaston is the early favorite for third receiver duties, although we'd bet on third-round pick Early Doucet getting most of the work by the end of the season. Neither is very interesting unless Boldin or Larry Fitzgerald gets hurt. … The Cardinals are going to remain a pass-first team because of personnel. Edgerrin James might be more effective with less work, but so far his backups (Tim Hightower, J.J. Arrington, Marcel Shipp) haven't shined.

San Francisco 49ers: Since Mike Martz aggressively praises all his players, it's hard to get a read on San Francisco's jumbled roster. Alex Smith remains the heavy favorite to start at quarterback, but he hasn't pulled away from Shaun Hill just yet. Bryant Johnson and Isaac Bruce appear locked in to the starting wideout jobs, with Arnaz Battle likely to be number three. Jason Hill and Ashley Lelie are probably fighting for scraps. … Perhaps the most promising thing to come out of summer reports is Martz's eagerness to split Vernon Davis out wide and use him often as a receiver. Martz hasn't used tight ends as receivers much in the past, but he could be adjusting his playbook. … It's also clear that the offense will run through Frank Gore, like Martz once did for Marshall Faulk. Expect at least 70 catches. I see the world through Gore-colored glasses, but I think fewer carries will keep him healthy.

Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks wide receiver position is wide open, although we expect Bobby Engram to settle his contract dispute and start opposite Nate Burleson. That leaves Courtney Taylor, Logan Payne, and Ben Obomanu fighting for the third spot. Taylor looks like the slight favorite, and the winner here will be a nice deep league sleeper. … Matt Hasselbeck is going to get overdrafted based on last season's numbers. His pass attempt total is likely to go way down, and the receiver position is weaker than it's even been in Hasselbeck's career. … It's clear Mike Holmgren isn't a huge T.J. Duckett fan. We don't expect him to have a major role, even in short-yardage situations. Julius Jones should get the majority of the carries, with Maurice Morris looking like a fine late round pick. … Rookie John Carlson is no lock to start at tight end, so he's someone to avoid. .

St. Louis Rams: Steven Jackson's colonic aside, it's been a quiet offseason in St. Louis. Just ask Evan Silva about the local Rams coverage if you want to hear a bitter man. While Jackson has struggled with a few minor injuries, he will be supremely motivated to have a great contract year. The big question is whether the St. Louis offensive line is any better. If Orlando Pace got hurt again, it could get ugly. … Torry Holt appears to be healthy this offseason, which is great news after struggling with a knee injury for the last two seasons. … Al Saunders does a great job with tight ends, which makes Randy McMichael a reasonable TE2 option in deeper leagues. Someone has to catch passes in St. Louis, and the reserves at wideout are weak. That also bodes well for Drew Bennett, who is getting overlooked in most drafts. I'm not a huge believer in his talent, but he'll get a lot of targets for a late-round pick. Bennett was taken earlier last season when he was coming off the bench.


12
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



Highest Searched Players over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    Value: WR Brandin Cooks

    Value: WR Brandin Cooks
  •  
    Value: WR Jordan Matthews

    Value: WR Jordan Matthews
  •  
    A&M - So. Carolina preview

    A&M - So. Carolina preview
  •  
    Upside with Mike Evans?

    Upside with Mike Evans?
  •  
    Watkins

    Watkins' fantasy value
  •  
    Strategy: Mock Draft Analysis

    Strategy: Mock Draft Analysis
  •  
    WR: S. Watkins or T. Williams?

    WR: S. Watkins or T. Williams?
  •  
    Levitan: Ryan or Foles at QB?

    Levitan: Ryan or Foles at QB?