So Terrell Owens is a Sea Chicken now. At 38 years old he ran a 4.43 forty, which, at nearly the same age, I would need a much faster car than I have to repeat. The question is, can he be worthwhile in fake football? And the answer is, um, uh, well, sure, but the odds are against him.
He’s old. Yes, he can still run fast, but at 38, he’ll need an offense that feeds him the ball and a quarterback who can do it effectively. I don’t see either of those things being true this season. He is a no doubt Hall of Famer and I respect his ability a ton, but I’m not going to be investing much in him unless it is a very deep league.
Trent Richardson: He sat out practice with a sore knee, the same knee he had a scope performed on in February. An MRI didn’t show anything to be worried about, according to some people who supposedly know such things. But now he’s headed to the dreaded Dr. James Andrews to get checked out. Andrews is the doctor who scoped his knee, so this seems somewhat normal, but it’s time to take a wait and see approach. This is worth keeping an eye on, but as of right now I’m keeping him as my 8th ranked running back, with an eye toward grabbing Montario Hardesty who has had a good camp.
****EDIT**** Richardson is reported to be going under the knife for a second time to remove some gristle in his knee. It does seem like this is something that shouldn’t keep him out of opening day, but is also worrisome. The Football Guys’ Jene Bramel breaks it down here and is worth a read. I’m not going to knock him down too far, because he is still young and this shouldn’t set him back for too long.
Evan Royster: Right now Royster is riding the unicorn on the Shanahan running back carousel. Which means he’s taking first team reps. And anyone with a name that rhymes with oyster is a no good scoundrel in my book! That and he’s just not a special talent. The problem is, Mike Shanahan doesn’t really believe in talent, he believes in his scheme. So he can play with the minds of his running backs, showing them that he doesn’t really need them, he can grab a beer vendor, suit him up, and win games. Of course he is wrong, because he hasn’t been winning games and Roy Helu is the most talented back on the team.
I’m still drafting Helu when I can. I love his upside and his ADP should be falling quickly.
John Skelton: After Kevin Kolb was picked off on his first attempt and then hurt his ribs, Skelton has most likely taken the lead in the quarterback competition. Kolb is getting the money and the slight edge due to that, but Skelton can still win this thing. He’ll get the start in their next preseason game and could take another step forward (or fail miserably). The reason we should care, is that Larry Fitzgerald is a better fantasy receiver when Skelton is at the helm.
James Starks: Reports from camp haven’t been good for Starks. His ability in the passing game as both a receiver and blocker are being questioned and when you have the best quarterback in the league to protect, well, you have to be able to do that. This leaves the door open for Alex Green, who has had a good camp.
Mike Wallace: The Steelers are not going to trade Wallace or give him a new contract at this point. If he doesn’t sign his tender, he will be watching games from home. The most likely scenario is that he will eventually show up, but that’s not a certainty. He’s still a very good receiver and fits Roethlisberger’s strengths well. If he’s falling in drafts, he’s worth the risk.
Kevin Smith: My fake football crush, Mr. Smith, has won the starting running back job in Detroit due to attrition. Plus he has looked good in training camp, but he also hasn’t had to compete with Mikel LeShoure, who has had hamstring problems and Jahvid Best, who has yet to be cleared due to his concussion.
Smith is a good player, but also has plenty of injury history. He’s going to quickly start moving up the ADP ranks and will at some point be overvalued, but I’m a believer and will reach for him right now.
Kendall Hunter: Trying to decipher the 49ers running back situation this season is going to be tough, but right now, Kendall Hunter looks like the best prospect out of the group. Of course Frank Gore is still the number one back, but after a decline toward the end of last season, we will probably see more Hunter and more of an even split between Gore and Hunter.
Willis McGahee: It looks like McGahee is the early down back in Denver. With John Fox’s love of veterans there is good reason to believe McGahee is in for a workman-like season. He won’t be averaging a ton of yards per carry, but he should get plenty of carries and goal line work. He’s a nice RB3 to grab in the sixth/seventh round.
Kyle Rudolph: The hype out of camp has been off the charts for Rudolph. He recently said that last season he was feeling ill effects from the hamstring surgery he had his senior year, but that he’s now fully recovered. He’s been praised all camp for his catch radius and athleticism and Ponder seems to have supreme confidence in him. He’s moving up many a draft board.
Ronnie Hillman: The Hillman hype has fallen off recently due to him missing practice to a hamstring injury. As I talked about earlier, it looks like Willis McGahee has the early down work wrapped up now and Hillman will be fighting for third down crumbs at best.
Stevan Ridley: Finding carries in the Patriots offense is always a difficult task, but Ridley has been the lead back in training camp so far, and looked good doing so. His ceiling is capped by the number of carries he’ll see, but if he can get goal line touchdowns, he’ll be worth a RB3 spot.