NFL News & Notes: Pass On All Day?
July 17, 2014 | Chet
Norv Turner seems intent on getting Adrian Peterson more receptions this season and he would be the man to do it. We’ve heard similar talk from coaches in the past regarding All Day, but Norval does make his mark on an offense when he gets his chance and he’s always thrown the ball to running backs, while Peterson’s biggest reception total was 43 in 2009 and has averaged just 22.9 each season. In 2011 Norval gave Mathews, Tolbert and Brinkley 111 receptions, with Tolbert and Mathews topping 50. In ’12 Ronnie Brown had 49, Mathews had 39 and Jackie Battle had 15. And last year with a dearth of running backs in Cleveland, Chris Ogbonnaya still managed 48 receptions. We know that Peterson isn’t coming out of the game much, so we won’t see a big split in targets between running backs, so 50 receptions seems almost to be a given if he holds up and really, the lack of receptions is the only thing that has kept him from being LaDainian Tomlinson as far as fantasy is concerned. Alas, he is getting some age and past surgery on him and chances for injury seem greater than before, but I wouldn’t put anything past him, especially if he can start getting more targets.
Montee Ball is this year’s It Girl for Fake Footballers and the early reports continue to back up the assertion that he will be the lead back in Denver and do well in the role. Knowshon Moreno won the job last year and rolled with it big time, posting close to 1600 yards and 13 touchdowns. Now, Moreno proved many people wrong by posting those numbers, but also proved that if you can win the lead role in Denver, your fake football star ticket has been punched.
Ball was handed the lead back job after they let Moreno walk. That was precipitated by a nice stretch run for Ball as he improved his pass protection and showed he could produce. He’s also being applauded for his work in pass protection over the off season by beat reporters (which is still just talk, but I rather hear it from a beat reporter than a coach).
This is another must win season for the Broncos with Peyton pushing his 50s, so there will be no lessening of the load for Ball so they can keep him healthy. He’s a usable commodity in a win now situation, so his upside is in no way capped. Of course in such a great position you’ll want to have as many pieces of that running game as you can find in case Ball is injured or accidentally knocks Peyton out in a heated game of thumb war. For me, at the moment, that’s C.J. Anderson. I don’t see Ronnie Hillman taking the bulk of the snaps if Ball is out of the picture and I think Anderson fits the role better. And thankfully he can be had fairly cheap.
The hype out of Green Bay is that they want to speed up the offense and run around 75 plays a game. That in turn means they want Eddie Lacy to take on more in the passing game so he can stay on the field to keep from slowing down the offense during substitutions. Sounds good to me if it actually works out that way. But I also think this gives you even more reason to handcuff with James Starks. He’s shown in the past he can take on a lead role and if the ramped up pace were to set Lacy down for a few games, Starks is going to be a top waiver add for sure.
David Wilson, yeah, the man of many fake nightmares, looks like he’ll be cleared to play on Monday. We know he has the speed and ability, but now he has the steady Rashad Jennings in front of him and the injury tag. But Jennings is old for a running back and not what we would call dynamic. And would you rather draft someone with the upside of Wilson late or just another run-of-the-mill body? As long as the hype train doesn’t build up for Wilson again (please no) then I think we’re okay with taking a flier on him.