Chris Wesseling

Training Camp Lowdown

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Draft Guide Sneak Peek

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The NFL's Wild West approach to trades and free agent signings led to an all-hands-on-deck for the Rotoworld news team last week. With @evansilva, @adamlevitan, and @RotoPat keeping the frenzied signings under control this weekend, I was finally afforded the opportunity to update projections and rankings to reflect the week's changes.

Below are the major adjustments made to the 2011 Rotoworld Draft Guide based on fallout from the post-lockout player movement. Rankings, tiers, and projections will be regularly updated throughout the next 5-6 weeks leading up to the start of the regular season. Available soon as an iPhone and iPad app, the Draft Guide also includes Draft Master, custom scoring, ADP report, strength of schedule, team outlooks, player profiles, and Dynasty coverage.


Moving Up

Kevin Kolb: If you'll recall, Kolb was regarded as a fantasy breakout candidate last summer due to the Eagles' weapons -- not his own talent. He has a few interesting pieces in Arizona, but we'd feel better about a major leap ahead of Jay Cutler or Joe Flacco if the Cardinals added a left tackle and vertical receiver.

Donovan McNabb: The wind came out of high-end QB2 sails when Michael Jenkins replaced Sidney Rice. McNabb has moved up, but he's just a low-end QB2 in the Vikes' run-first offense.

Matt Cassel: The signing of Steve Breaston is another sign that the Chiefs plan to open up the offense this season. Cassel gets just a slight bump.

Matt Hasselbeck: Hasselbeck will enjoy a better offensive line, ground game, and receiving corps in Tennessee. He moved up just one spot.

Tarvaris Jackson: Opened camp as the starter after reuniting with coordinator Darrell Bevell.

Bruce Gradkowski: Signed with the one team that would give him the best chance to start considering his knowledge of coordinator Jay Gruden's offfense.

Matt Moore: Has a theoretical shot to start over an underwhelming Chad Henne.

Tyler Thigpen: Thigpen's only shot at regaining fantasy value was another round with the pistol spread offense. He landed in the right spot with Chan Gailey calling the plays.

Matt Leinart: Now just a Matt Schaub injury away from taking the reins of a fantasy friendly offense.

Moving Down

Ryan Fitzpatrick: Could lose red-zone snaps to new toy Brad Smith. Will also have to spend the season fending off Tyler Thigpen, who has a history with coach Chan Gailey.

Christian Ponder, Joe Webb: Both youngsters will hit the pine with McNabb running the offense.

Vince Young: Still has plenty of late-round value as a handcuff to Michael Vick, but we can't project starter's numbers.

Alex Smith: We have little confidence that Smith will hold off Colin Kaepernick beyond the Week 7 bye.

Charlie Whitehurst: Yesterday's news with Jackson in town.

Carson Palmer, Andy Dalton: Palmer can't earn fantasy points from his couch. Dalton is behind the 8-ball considering Gradkowski's history with coordinator Jay Gruden.

John Beck: Will have to hold off Rex Grossman for the starting job.

Jake Locker: Not likely to see significant playing time barring a Hasselbeck face-plant.

Marc Bulger: Left standing in the QB musical chairs.

Mike Kafka: The No. 2 job was fun while it lasted.

Running Backs

Moving Up

Knowshon Moreno: What could have been DeAngelo Williams ended up as a past-his-prime Willis McGahee. After arriving at camp in phenomenal shape, Moreno has regained low-end RB2 value as the Broncos' starter.

Ryan Grant: Grant entered camp as the clear favorite in the Packers backfield after the team picked up his $1.75 million bonus. Coach Mike McCarthy is not expected to use a 50-50 split in the ground game.

Reggie Bush: Bush was seeking a feature back role, and coach Tony Sparano's comments suggest a major increase in weekly touches. Bush is back on the radar as a potential 60-catch back.

Darren Sproles: Sproles should be even more electric on turf, and his workload is due for a slight uptick in the Reggie Bush role.

Delone Carter: We have no confidence in Donald Brown (neither do the Colts). The bull-dozing rookie should enter the season behind only Joseph Addai, a poor bet to stay healthy and effective.

Moving Down

Jonathan Stewart, DeAngelo Williams, Mike Goodson: Stewart goes from potential RB1 to low-end RB2/flex with Williams back under a monster contract. Williams' upside is limited by the presence of the most talented "1-B" back in the league. Goodson will be lucky to see a handful of touches per game.

Ahmad Bradshaw: Just a slight downgrade, as we don't project Bradshaw to touch the ball as much as he did last season.

James Starks: Will need to severely outplay Grant to open as the starter.

Pierre Thomas: The Saints coaching staff has been tight-lipped about the backfield plans. We have a hard time envisioning a major role for P.T. with Mark Ingram in line for early-down carries and Sproles taking over passing downs.

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

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