Chris Wesseling

Draft Analysis

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AFC Fantasy Draft Notes

Tuesday, August 25, 2009




AFC South

Colts Pierre Garcon may have received all of the offseason hype, but it's rookie Austin Collie who is the frontrunner for the No. 3 receiver job. … With hot-shot rookie Donald Brown sharing the rock, Joseph Addai is a poor pick at his current late fifth-round ADP. Addai simply doesn't have the consistency or the fantasy upside to merit RB2 status. … For some unknown reason, conventional wisdom has placed Peyton Manning well behind Drew Brees and Tom Brady in the QB pecking order. He's a fine value in the third round.

Jaguars While Mike Sims-Walker is nursing yet another leg injury, former high-profile bust Troy Williamson is making a serious run at the starting job opposite Torry Holt. Deep balls can be fluky, especially in preseason action (just ask David Clowney and Robert Meachem), but the former No. 7 overall pick has coach Jack Del Rio's attention. … Rookie RB Rashad Jennings' recent groin injury may have opened the door wide enough to allow FB Greg Jones to regain the backup job behind Maurice Jones-Drew. Jennings would be the better pickup if MJD missed time with an injury.

Texans Coach Gary Kubiak has not come out and anointed Chris Brown as the goal-line/short-yardage back, though we expect Brown to assume that role. Steve Slaton will be sharing the ball more than he did to close out last season. … Kevin Walter is being overdrafted as a WR3 ahead of Jerricho Cotchery and Donald Driver. He won't match last year's TD total, and his ceiling is that of a WR4/WR5. … Matt Schaub, owner of a 78.3% completion rate in the preaseason, is one of our favorite QB values as the ninth or tenth QB off the board.

Titans The rookies are getting a lot of love in Titans camp, but fantasy value will be fleeting. TE Jared Cook is much more appropriate for Dynasty leagues, and RB Javon Ringer is still a poor bet for 50+ offensive touches behind Chris Johnson and LenDale White. … Kenny Britt, though, could start the season opener opposite Justin Gage after Nate Washington suffered a hamstring injury on Monday. Washington, whose value had been steadily climbing, is now nothing more than a late-round WR5. … If you're smitten with LenDale's 15 TDs last season, keep in mind that touchdowns are fickle from season-to-season. Do you really want to risk the goose egg each week if Patron's favorite customer gets shut out of the end zone?

AFC West

Broncos Brandon Marshall, even with an early-season suspension, instilled more confidence last season as Jay Cutler's go-to WR. Between the hip/hamstring injury, the trade demands/outbursts, an offense that spreads the ball around, and Kyle Orton's lack of arm strength, Marshall simply isn't worth the dice roll this year. Target Eddie Royal as a WR2 instead … Jabar Gaffney's is solely dependant on Marshall being out of the lineup. Even then, he's still Jabar Gaffney. Keep expectations in line … Despite his three-interception performance against the Niners, this remains Orton's offense. Don't pick Chris Simms thinking you have a sleeper … Knowshon Moreno will be back by Week 1, though it's fair to question whether he'll be worked back in slowly early in the season. None of the other backs are worth using in the meantime.

Chargers Despite the injury risk and the known effects of age and workload on older RBs, LaDainian Tomlinson is still going in the Top-6 picks. That's too rich for our blood. … Vincent Jackson's value has been climbing, and he's now going where he should be: as a high-end WR2 in the mid-fourth round. … Antonio Gates is healthy for the first time in two years and has a good shot to regain his spot as the fantasy king at tight end. … Keep in mind that Philip Rivers' touchdown percentage (7.1) from last season is unrepeatable. For instance, Peyton Manning has only posted a rate above 6.2 once in his career. Rivers will be closer to 25 TDs this season.

Chiefs Pay no attention to coach Todd Haley's mind games with Dwayne Bowe. D-Bo is the only worthwhile receiving talent on the roster and will be targeted heavily by Matt Cassel. … Speaking of Cassel, he's still being drafted too high in the tenth round. He has little pocket awareness, his offensive line is in shambles, and his receivers are a motley crew. … Larry Johnson has held off Jamaal Charles, but he's still a reach in the early fifth round. Stay far away from LJ in PPR leagues.

Raiders Oakland WRs are off limits following Chaz Schilens' foot injury. Schilens makes for a decent late-round flier, but he's not going to make an impact early in the season. … Zach Miller remains an underappreciated late-round option as a rock-solid TE2 with a TE1 ceiling. He finished sixth in yardage last season. … Justin Fargas' recent hamstring injury is taking the suspense out of the starting tailback race. Regardless, this is now Darren McFadden's offense. He'll be featured heavily and should be targeted in all PPR leagues. Michael Bush is good for a late-round flier while Fargas should go undrafted. He was a weekly fantasy albatross last season even with consistent carries.


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Chris Wesseling is a senior football editor and Dynasty league analyst for Rotoworld.com. The 2011 NFL season marks his fifth year with Rotoworld and his third year contributing to NBCSports.com. He can be found on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.
Email :Chris Wesseling


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