NFL fantasy hot stove report
A hearty congratulations to 6-7 former Eagles offensive lineman
Getting back to the far more interesting realm of fantasy football, this week we'll look at time-split situations in New Orleans and Arizona, Palmer's last stand, and the zombification of New England's backfield.
The receiving corps was just a mess.
While he swears it's not an issue, the jury is still out on whether Palmer's elbow has healed enough for him to regain his peak performance level of two years ago. The extent of his injury was obvious in his very weak fantasy performances. He topped 275 passing yards just once, and there was doubt whether his fastball was there.
The arrows on Palmer's value in '10 are pointing up, though. The extent to which the Bengals will lean on running back Benson this season is likely directly related to the health of Palmer's elbow. Regardless of that, the Bengals won't be able to pound Benson like '09 again. Another item in Palmer's favor is a revamped WR group featuring the occasionally good
With this many weapons, if Palmer flops again this year, he'll have no one to blame but himself. Expect better numbers from him, although not quite good enough to re-join the ranks of the QB1s. Until he proves otherwise, consider him a top backup. He's got a lot to prove to his team, and if he doesn't return to form, it's highly likely the Bengals will bring in veteran competition for him in '11.
The question of who to throw to is never a problem for
In 2009, there was a back and forth battle between
Henderson is coming off a career year, and was clearly a Brees favorite in the playoffs, snatching 15 balls for 182 yards and two touchdowns in the Saints Super Bowl run. Henderson's problem, a lack of TDs, but it happens to be Meachem's strength.
Meachem scored nine times while compiling 16.0 yards per catch. His issue is that he'll disappear for stretches of games, making it difficult to rely on him. That said, you're more likely to catch lightning in a bottle on any given week with Meachem, making him more valuable as a spot starter. If you need to rely on one of these two for an extended period, then Henderson is your man.
Another season of back and forth between these two is highly likely, but that's almost irrelevant to fantasy owners. Either one of these players is a fine addition to your roster, though in different capacities. Keep an eye on both players heading into the draft, as they are dealing with injury issues. Henderson had sports hernia surgery and Meachem is fighting a nagging toe injury. Those are the kinds of issues that can linger, so be informed when you pull the trigger.
As a whole, the value of Arizona Cardinals players took a big hit with the retirement of
The Cardinals are making no secret of their intention to take the pressure off quarterback
Wells didn't get enough touches to blossom in his rookie season, but he made the most of his chances, averaging 4.5 yards per carry and scoring seven TDs in a time-share with Hightower. For his part, Hightower is being referred to as the nominal starter, most likely because of his superior receiving abilities, which also help Leinart. Expect the split to be close to 50/50, with Wells providing more value in standard scoring leagues, and Hightower posting better numbers in PPR. Of course, don't be surprised if the training wheels come off of Wells and he starts running fools over left and right. By the latter stages of the season, expect that split to lean more heavily towards Wells.
Wells' average draft position at Yahoo! is currently in the fourth round. While that's slightly high, it's not completely unreasonable. If you do pull the trigger on him there, you'll probably have to wait a bit to see return on your investment.
I'm not a
Speaking of drafting, Maroney is in the last year of his rookie contract. It's not a given that his numbers will rise as he angles either for a new contract in New England or to show off his wares to other teams, but it's definitely something to keep in mind when assessing his fantasy value.
Maroney got nearly as many carries (194) as the next three RBs on the roster combined. While his 3.9 YPC was mildly nauseating, you can't argue with nine TDs on that few carries. The Pats had enough faith in him to not draft or acquire any new RBs, and there are long odds against both
The combination of more touches and a contract year could be the things that propel Maroney from backup into a guy you might want to start on a consistent basis. If he's healthy, he's a RB3 at worst.