Ask the Experts
Posted Oct. 03 at 11:53 PM
ASK THE EXPERTS appears weekly, with answers to a new question being posted every Thursday morning.
How the guest experts responded when we asked them:
Which early-season fantasy bust is most likely to turn things around the rest of the way?
Herm Edwards has built a solid defense, but in his conservatism, he does seem to have troubles with his offenses. After the meltdown last week where LJ spiked the football and Huard yelled at the offensive coordinators, it seems that the coaches are finally listening. This also shows a pride and hunger for success that other teams lack. Larry Johnson will score through the second half of the season, and, as Kansas City loosens up its gameplan, they will win.
With the loss of RB Deuce McAllister the Saints will have no choice but to open their offense through the air. Brees and the Saints will be Playing from behind a lot the rest of the season and I look for Brees to be throwing 40-45 times a game in a run and gun type of offense. Does this help the Saints? No, but it will help Brees return to the top 4-5 QBs in 2007. HC Sean Payton will go back to playing wide open football, or at least I hope so.
Swaw is senior writer and owner of GameTimeDecisions.net and the co-host of two fantasy football radio shows for ESPN AM 1000 in Chicago -- Fantasy Football Island and Fantasy Expert. He has been a keynote speaker for the FSTA and several fantasy football conventions with the likes of John Clayton, Chris Mortensen, Sean Salisbury and Mark Schlereth. For more info, visit www.gametimedecisions.net.
I like Larry Johnson to turn it around and make good on his high first round draft pick this year. Kansas City has played three of their first four games on the road and Johnson was brought back slowly after missing training camp. Week 3 came at home finally but went against the Vikings and their outstanding rushing defense. With Dwayne Bowe and Gonzalez looking good now, the passing game should help take off some of the pressure on the running game and Larry Johnson ended the Chargers game in San Diego with a very respectable 123 yards on 25 carries -- which mostly came at the end of the game after the passing game softened up the Chargers. Johnson may not end as a top-3 running back this year, but he should make good on his promise the rest of the way and with all the injuries this season, the top 3 are going to be wide open anyway.
Dorey is the co-founder of TheHuddle.com and the lead NFL analyst. He has been projecting players and predicting games since 1997 and has also authored the book Fantasy Football: The Next Level which is available at all major bookstores and at Amazon.com. Mr. Dorey is one of the top prognosticators in the Fantasy Football Index Experts Poll every year and won it in 2005.
CORY J. BONINI
LaDainian Tomlinson has to be the answer here. He is by far the most talented running back in the league, a threat to score any time he touches the ball, and is playing behind an offensive line that is capable of being dominant. With more consistency from the entire offense, LT can return to similar form of last year, which is still better than most all running backs in the league. He has a favorable schedule coming up in the next few weeks, with a bye in week 7 to provide some rest and time to fix their offense problems, so Tomlinson could return with a vengeance over the next few weeks.
KFFL offers football as well as baseball content and has captured over a dozen expert league championships. Founded in 1996, this company offers daily news, preseason draft guides, player rankings, sleepers, busts, weekly newsletters and more. KFFL also provides fantasy content to various organizations including SportsTicker and Yahoo! Sports. For more information, visit www.kffl.com .
I’m not giving up on Larry Johnson. He’s struggled, probably partly because of his holdout, partly because of a lack of weapons around him, and party because of a suspect offensive line. But scheduling has played a big role in his troubles. He’s faced a lot of tough run defenses — Houston (yes, Houston is good against the run this year), Chicago, Minnesota and San Diego. But Kansas City is starting to put things together now. It’s won its last two games, and soon the schedule will get more favorable. When it does, I believe you’ll see Johnson start cranking out productive games. He’ll catch plenty of passes, too. He could be a top-5 back the rest of the way.
Allan is the senior writer for Fantasy Football Index magazine. He’s also one of the main content contributors for that company’s website, www.fantasyindex.com. His IAN ALLAN’S MAILBAG column is posted on Tuesdays and Fridays.
So far, 2007 has seen several running backs get off to a slow start -- namely LaDainian Tomlinson, Steven Jackson and Larry Johnson. Considering these three backs were the likely top three picks in most fantasy drafts this offseason, there are several fantasy rosters in trouble after week four. Out of this group, I think Tomlinson and Jackson will turn things around before the year is out. While Tomlinson was solid against Kansas City, he isn't putting up the numbers most expected to see. I expect Tomlinson to post another 100 yards against a sluggish Bronco rush defense in week 5. Johnson is struggling with a bad offensive line and the quarterback play has been so-so through four weeks. Even though Jackson's offensive line has taken a beating, he's simply too talented to struggle the rest of the year. Look for the Rams offense to improve when Jackson and quarterback Marc Bulger return. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
LT is a good choice. You can already see some of the early season top performers like LaMont Jordan and Addai are getting dinged up already, LT is healthy so it will just be a matter of time. Inside that division the run Ds are fairly weak. He will make his bread and butter against KC, Oak and Denver.
Kamys is president of Dr. Stats Fantasy Sports. His company, via the web, offers player news, injury reports, cheat sheets, projections, weekly matchups, statistics, and a customized team tracker. Dr. Stats Fantasy Sports also e-mails preseason newsletters and reports throughout the season. For more info visit www.docstats.com or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
LaDainian Tomlinson. He may not put up MVP-type numbers this season, but his numbers will absolutely get better.
Endsley is co-owner and a senior fantasy football consultant for FantasyDraftEdge.com. For more info, go to www.fantasydraftedge.com.
Maybe I'm just stubborn, but I can't believe that I was so wrong on Maurice Jones-Drew. The guy looked like a special talent a year ago, and after three games he hasn't even scored. I think the Jaguars are going to find a way to get him back on his game and he'll be a legitimate fantasy starter at running back again. Starting this week.
Richardson has been a columnist and contributor to the Fantasy Football Index magazine and web site for the past six years. His responsibilities include team defense and IDP projections, as well as various site features. He has run the magazine's annual draft and auction leagues since their inception. Other writing credits have included FFToday.com and football coverage for newspapers in Colorado and Florida. For more information go to www.fantasyindex.com.
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