Training Camp Notes
Norv Turner does not see any physical limitations at all from Tomlinson's recent injuries and expects him to be among the top three or four rushers in the league this year – Coach speak. Draft Tomlinson at your own peril this year. He could still be productive even fully in decline phase with that offense and the likelihood of him still getting the majority of carries (despite Darren Sproles being the superior option), so he’s not someone to avoid at all costs. But Tomlinson will be on zero of my fantasy teams in 2009.
Brandon Marshall reports to Broncos training camp – Marshall remains unhappy in Denver, but he reported to avoid the $15,000 daily fine. Remember, he’s at risk of being suspended yet again if the outcome of his August 13 trial goes against him. Considering the huge drop in talent at the Broncos’ quarterback position, Marshall has been a bit overvalued so far in fantasy leagues.
Trent Edwards feels he's in much better shape entering the 2009 season, thanks to the same workout program developed by a Navy SEAL that Drew Brees swears by – Over his first eight games last year, Edwards got 7.8 YPA, which is superstar territory. The fact that was accompanied by just six touchdown passes was a fluke, as that YPA suggests he should have had more than double that TD total. It remains to be seen just how much the severe concussion he suffered in Week 5 affected him over the rest of the season, as he had a couple of nice games right afterward, so the injury can’t totally explain the poor second half to his season (6.4 YPA, 5:5 TD:INT ratio). Edwards’ three rushing scores were nice, and it’s reasonable to expect further growth during his third year in the league. But it’s Terrell Owens who truly makes Edwards interesting this year, as long as the team uses him correctly (Owens underneath, Lee Evans vertically). Other than Kyle Orton, there isn’t a better late round QB target.
Michael Vick conditionally reinstated by NFL – He’ll obviously be a PR nightmare, but it would still surprise if some team doesn’t gamble and sign Vick. Most teams have gone out of their way to state their lack of interest, including the 49ers, who actually make a lot of sense. But all it will take is one. Of course, it remains to be seen how prison affected Vick physically, but here’s a compelling argument Vick was actually underrated during his playing days. Of course, overrated/underrated depends on if you follow the NFL closely or if you just watch ESPN. Still, I’m willing to reevaluate my previous stance.
The 49ers and Michael Crabtree are currently far apart in contract negotiations, and it’s almost certain he won’t report to camp with the rest of the 49ers’ rookies Tuesday – Crabtree’s foot injury may still be an issue, and he wants to be paid above his draft slot while seeking top-3 money. Still, the 49ers should hardly regret taking him at this point, unlike the Raiders with Darrius Heyward-Bey, who looks like one of the more guaranteed busts in recent memory. However, with Crabtree a holdout after not participating in OTAs, his 2009 fantasy stock has taken a hit. The upside is there long-term, but Josh Morgan could be the most productive 49ers’ receiver in 2009. In fact, I recently bet Chris Liss that Morgan would have better numbers than Crabtree this season.