Hurry Up Offense And Wait
May 13, 2013 | Chet
My take from the off season moves this year is that teams want to continue to force opposing defenses to constantly be on their heals. The Bills, Eagles, Browns and Broncos all want to speed things up and run more offensive plays than the competition and of course the Patriots are already on the cutting edge of hording offensive plays. Of course the question is, will these teams have the personnel to get the job done? We’ll continue to predict and pontificate on the offensive changes and how they’ll effect fantasy football because it’s just so darn fun, but we’ll also have to wait until they actually play football to know if they and we got it right or not.
For now let’s take a look at some NFL names in the news and what they might be up to this fantasy season.
The Denver Broncos played an up tempo offense last season and had the 9th most rushing attempts and 10th most passing attempts to rank them 3rd overall in total plays. And now new offensive coordinator Adam Gase plans to up that tempo even more which positions their rookie running back Montee Ball to be the guy at the point of attack.
Many draft evaluators had Ball down their list of running backs, but the Broncos didn’t and according to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, they might let aging running back Willis McGahee go and have Ball as the lead back with Ronnie Hillman as the speed back.
The Broncos had 23 rushing attempts inside their opponent’s five yard line last season ranking them 6th in the NFL. They produced 10 touchdowns from those 23 carries, ranking them 4th. That should give Ball plenty of opportunities for touchdowns if he runs away with the job.
Rob Gronkowski’s arm is most likely going to fall off at some point, but hopefully not before he puts up 15+ touchdowns this season. He’s set for a fourth surgery to replace the plate in his arm and test to see if his six-week round of antibiotics worked or not. If it did, there is a great chance he’ll be Gronkin’ without a care in the world come week one, if the bacteria is still swarming around in there, well, start updating your rankings.
Michael Vick is 33 and oft-injured over the last couple years, but he’s beating LeSean McCoy in a foot race and getting first-team reps this off season. That might not sound like much, but the first team reps are especially good with a new coach and very new offense coming to town. And this offense, if it goes as planned, will be on the attack at all times. They will most likely run more than their fair share, but the sheer number of plays should make for plenty of fantasy points for whoever wins the quarterback job.
Last season tight ends didn’t live up to their hype. Jared Cook, Jermichael Finley, Fred Davis, and Brandon Pettigrew all looked like they could help out some fantasy teams, but they very much did not. This season I expect fantasy players to be a little more skeptical of tight ends, but I am finding it hard not to get excited while jumping onto the Jordan Cameron hype train. With a draft full of good tight ends the Cleveland Browns gave him a huge vote of confidence by not drafting any of them. They got rid of journeyman Ben Watson and hired tight end gurus Rob Chudzinski and Norv Turner. All the pieces are falling into place for Cameron and as long as he’s being drafted passed the 10th round, I’m on board.
The Randy Moss hole in the New England Patriots offense will never be filled due to the fact that nobody is as good as Randy Moss, especially the wide receivers on the current Patriots’ roster. The thing is, they are still in desperate need for an outside receiver with red zone skills. Last season Brandon Lloyd was supposed to be that player, but he couldn’t master the offense, but in an offense that had more plays than any offense in history, Lloyd still saw 131 targets, ranking him 15th for wide receivers. The hope this season is that rookie Aaron Dobson will take over Lloyd’s position and run with it. Dobson doesn’t have much competition at this point and if he can catch on to the offense his fantasy upside is crazy high. And it seems Coach Belichick thinks his basketball skills will come in handy, which means he will have a predisposition to get him some shots in the end zone. This is all very early, but if you’re in your rookie draft right now you can’t let Dobson fall too far.
Buffalo Bills tight end Chris Gragg just signed a four year deal and it brings up the question, who will start at tight end for the Bills week one? Scott Chandler may be indisposed with rehab, while Gragg will be soaking up the play book and learning his routes. He most likely won’t be called on to do much blocking as that is not his forte and not why they drafted him, so he should have a clear path to winning the offensive side of the tight end job if he doesn’t blow it. That might not mean too much fantasy wise, but right now with a new coach and system that wants to run as many plays and as quickly as possible, there is room for fantasy points. Dynasty and two tight end leaguers should take notice.