Training Camp Notes

Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau wants Plaxico Burress to serve time in prison for gun charges – At this point, Burress is pretty much undraftable in every format, as it looks increasingly unlikely he’ll play a single down in 2009.

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.


By: Chris Liss
On: 7/27/2009 9:13:00 PM
Good stuff, DDD - nice job kicking off the feature.
By: Scott Pianowski
On: 7/27/2009 9:17:00 PM
Where is Tomlinson on your current board? We can discuss sides backstage.
By: Scott Pianowski
On: 7/27/2009 9:20:00 PM
I take YPA spikes with a healthy grain of salt when they're assembled from a bunch of wins where the QB isn't asked to do a lot of heavy lifting. Sometimes you see a QB like Tarvaris Jackson go on a YPA run but it's a bunch of 15-23-188-1-0 games where he's seldom asked to throw on third-and-long, or play from a deficit. This doesn't mean Trent Edwards isn't intriguing this year, especially in Season 1 with Terrell Owens, but the context of his first eight games last year makes me a little suspicious. Plus, as we all know, that eight-game stretch added up to a very modest amount of fantasy points.
By: Erickson
On: 7/27/2009 11:26:00 PM
I know it means nothing in the grand scheme of things, but if you're a Bills fan, doesn't this Trent Edwards highlight make you cringe just a little?
By: Dalton Del Don
On: 7/27/2009 11:57:00 PM
Wow - I had never seen that Jeff. Pretty funny. It's not as bad as the Cincy mayor, but considering the guy PLAYS QUARTERBACK, that was brutal. I'm downgrading him accordingly.
By: daddymag
On: 7/28/2009 7:20:00 AM
Re: Tomlinson, I had him on a team last year and did NOT use one of my keeper picks on him this year. Yeah I know he was hurt, and he ended up being a top ten back anyway... cumulative numbers did no good in H2H leagues where he did just enough to NOT help every week. What I found most annoying about owning him was the constant LYING by him and Norv! Every week, he's healthy now, he's gonna get the ball, then he gets taken out at the goal line and they throw the screen to Sproles?!? I don't care if he blows up again this season, I'll let another owner deal with it if it turns into another ongoing soap opera.
By: jtr5708
On: 7/28/2009 12:25:00 PM
In my entire fantasy football career I have never owned LT. I can honestly say if he drops far enough that I will take a gamble on him this year. I see him prducing at the level of an RB2 with the upside to run like an RB1 if everything (health mainly) lines up. I know that is asking a lot but if he truly is healthy now then I don't see it being as impossible as some.

Bottom line: if he slips to the end of the 2nd round, beginning of the 3rd I'd take a gamble. In some leagues I do see it happening. In the case of the Metro Sports Draft that Liss posted he was taken 6th overall by Mike Sheets. I'm sure all would agree that was a terrible pick.
By: Chris Liss
On: 7/28/2009 12:53:00 PM
I don't think it's that bad. FO had the Chargers at 12.5 wins, and while that's extreme, I think 10.5 is reasonable in that division with upside for more. If that's the case, and LT stays healthy, he will score a lot of touchdowns. I would have taken Steve Slaton with that pick myself, but LT is in a pretty good situation this year.
By: kennruby
On: 7/28/2009 1:14:00 PM
I took LT 17th in the Vegas draft and am happy with that slot. Daddymag makes a good point though - you can't have your #1 guy be a week-to-week player. You want to plug him in every single week (other than the bye) and not even think about it. Instead LT owners were tempted by flashes in the pan every week last year (which is a sure-fire way to lose your league), because they never knew what they'd get out of LT.

Throwing out the first pitch must be harder than it looks. When you consider Edwards, Mark Mallory (Cincinnati mayor) and Carl Lewis, among others, how else can you explain it? All I know is if I ever get the opportunity to do it AND I know about it ahead of time, I'm going to practice. A LOT. I may not get a strike or even get it over the plate, but I'm going to be close.
By: jtr5708
On: 7/28/2009 2:21:00 PM
Debates about his effectiveness as President aside, George W. Bush probably threw one of the best first pithes of all time. Of course that excludes any retired baseball players.

While it was an offspeed pitch, it did have some impressive movement

By: Dalton Del Don
On: 7/28/2009 3:01:00 PM
Pianow - I'm not exactly sure where LT is on my board, but it's probably outside the top-20, which means I'll never have the opportunity of drafting him. Sidebets are encouraged, as always.
By: lzeis24
On: 7/28/2009 3:50:00 PM
jtr5708 - I was thinking about posting something similar - but I decided not to. I'm surprised Bush doesn't get more credit for that...that was right after September 11th, if I remember correctly...which means he probably didn't practice for the throw. Anyway, thanks for the clip.
By: kennruby
On: 7/28/2009 5:23:00 PM
I'm sure he did practice, and it shows. I'll give him credit. It wasn't a blazing fastball, but he got it done.

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