Ask the Experts
Posted Nov. 29 at 12:01 AM
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 wide receiver -- Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin -- will you draft first next year?
At this point it would still be Chad Johnson as the No. 1 pick. The AZ guys are good, but until we feel comfortable with their long-term QB situation, Boldin and Fitzgerald will still be downgraded a bit.
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All are certainly outstanding WRs and we had them all very high on our cheat sheets this year. Boldin and Fitzgerald might be the more talented WRs but we don’t like the QB situation in Arizona which moves them down. Ocho Cinco has attitude issues that could become more and more detrimental in time so we’re hesitant with Johnson. TJ Houshmandzadeh , of these 4 would likely be our first choice based on his QB and concerns about Johnson becoming a locker room problem.
Endsley is co-owner and a senior fantasy football consultant for FantasyDraftEdge.com. For more info, go to www.fantasydraftedge.com.
Beginning with Arizona, you must first see this as a team in transition. The coaching staff envisions 20-6, 16-10 type wins. Ultimately they want to pass for 200 yards, have a rusher with over 100 and a score - then win off defense. Kurt Warner is allowing them more passing pleasure but it isn’t the near future of this team. So establish lower expectations for Boldin and Fitzgerald first. With lower value mistaking who is first and who is second comes with a less severe penalty. I believe Boldin is better suited for a conservative offensive game and isn’t playing 100% healthy right now. He’ll be my pick over Fitzgerald next season but I fully expect both will go before where I have them slated on my 2008 board. I’m beginning to sour on Chad Johnson despite his recent three-TD game. The line is blurred with TJ Houshmandzadeh in regards to which is the true No. 1. Chris Henry further clouds the picture. I’d likely slate TJ and CJ close and aim to draft TJ Housh. Chad Johnson can’t be viewed as a clear No. 1 on this team. He’s aging and the talent behind him has caught up.
Weatherford is owner/editor of www.coachbox.com, a fantasy football news and advice community online since 1997. Weatherford was author of the directory and technical editor for IDG Book’s Fantasy Sports Online For Dummies. He has been participating in magazine and expert panels since 1997 and has played fantasy football for over 20 years.
All four of these receivers would make excellent picks for any roster, but I would have to go with T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Trying to decide between Chad Johnson and Houshmandzadeh is a tough call, but I think Houshmandzadeh will continue to get a few more passes thrown in his direction - especially as defenses continue to take away Johnson on deep passes. Houshmandzadeh also has more touchdowns than Johnson this year and if Chris Henry can stay out of trouble, he will continue to open up the middle of the field for T.J. In addition to Henry, the Bengals need to hope Carson Palmer stays healthy and the offensive line continues to show improvement in the health and consistency department -- and both Bengal receivers should start the year in the top 10 in 2008.
Chad Johnson is the No. 1 for the Bengals and Houshmandzadeh gets the benefit of secondaries scheming to take him out of the game. When they cannot – boom – he scores three times like this week. Houshmandzadeh is just another possession receiver, although he still is in the equation at the end zone. Anquan Boldin has been hampered by a sore hip most of the year but even when healthy, he’s a No. 2 to Larry Fitzgerald. Boldin is like Houshmandzadeh in that he is a great target in the end zone with great hands, but Fitzgerald is the flash and yardage guy. Next year Johnson may be on another team so I am withholding my choice of him and taking Fitzgerald as the first drafted of the four.
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. Dorey is one of the top prognosticators in the Fantasy Football Index Experts Poll every year and won it in 2005.
CORY J. BONINI
The receptions might dictate that Houshmandzadeh is the No. 1 receiver for the Bengals, but both he and the coaches would be the first to say that Johnson is the No. 1 receiver in Cincinnati. The situation in Arizona is a little different, due to Boldin being the senior of the two in regards to time with the team. However, Fitzgerald is capable of that role and it seems that on any given week, either one of the two can be the team's No. 1 receiver. Statistically, however, Fitzgerald has emerged to be the go-to guy most weeks. The Bengals' Johnson has led the team in receiving yards since 2002, a year after both he and Houshmandzadeh were drafted. He has also led the team three of the last four years in touchdown receptions. If Johnson manages to avoid getting traded in the offseason, then it would have to be Johnson over Houshmandzadeh in terms of drafting one before the other. In Arizona, each receiver has their unique attributes. Boldin is the physical possession receiver that doesn't shy away from contact, while Fitzgerald is a more graceful, sure-handed deep threat. Fitzgerald is younger by three years, and since we have to choose, it would be Fitzgerald. The quarterback situation in Arizona is shaky, so we'll choose Johnson due to the more consistent play quarterback Carson Palmer provides, despite all of the inconsistency that comes with Johnson.
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Cincinnati will bounce back next year and T.J. Houshmandzadeh has clearly become the class act of the team. Johnson is too much of a possession receiver and Henry will always allow the first two to be more dangerous. Houshmandzadeh has shown he can produce, even when double covered. With Palmer throwing, Houshmandzadeh would be the most valuable of the group. Arizona still needs to become a better team. It will matter most what they do to address their offensive line problems. Boldin is a great possession receiver and Fitzgerald is the touchdown go-to-guy on this team. Wisenhunt needs to build more stability before his receivers are better then Palmer's.
In reality it won't matter much, as I'll probably never be the first owner to take one of them. I view them all similarly enough I'd probably wait until two are gone before taking one. As it is, I'd probably put Boldin No. 4, just because he seems to get banged-up the most -- knee, hip, etc. Chad is No. 3 (and No. 2 on his own team) because of the inconsistency; I feel like his mouth gets some opponents fired up to shut him personally down. Between Housh and Fitz, more often than not I'll probably take Fitz. I probably overrate the age thing, but Fitzgerald's youth and consistency in this offense compel me every time. Housh is a close second; you've got to admire the guy's toughness. He seems to bounce back from hellacious hits after every catch.
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.
Posted by KEN WILLIAMS | Nov. 29 at 03:12 AM
Of the three listed running backs, which one would you start this week?
Posted by Raymond Rodrigues | Nov. 29 at 06:07 AM
I know it's a short week and all, but I would really like to see Ian Allan's answer to this question. Afterall, he is "the" expert whom I have chosen to pay for his thoughts.
Posted by JEFFREY DEITER | Dec. 05 at 09:09 AM
What two running backs should I start? Earnest Graham, Clinton Portis, Jamal Lewis, Travis Henry or Thomas Jones. They all have pretty good match-ups. Who do you suggest? I'm leaning Towards Lewis and Graham.
Posted by JEFFREY DEITER | Dec. 05 at 09:16 AM
What 3 receivers should I start? Larry Fitzgerald, Hines Ward, Deion Branch, Calvin Johnson, Bernard Berrian or Donte Stallworth. I'm diffently starting Fitzgerald if he's healthy so what other two do you like? If Fitzgerald is out what 3 would you go with?
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