by Inside the Redzone staff – Bill Seng
Give Joe Flacco a Deep Threat
People have constantly given a lot of guff to Flacco for not looking downfield enough in the past two years. This season, we may be seeing the turning point. The early Lee Evans sprained ankle may have been a good thing for Flacco owners. We know Anquan (Q) Boldin is a solid intermediate and red zone target. Lee Evans is a proven NFL vet, with speed. Now you throw some game tape of a rookie who caught 3-long scores and you have an offense capable of playing 3 and 4 receiver sets with a little danger on their side.
Owners with Flacco rejoice. This could be his true breakout year.
Torrey Smith Scores More Than 1 TD
Our Ravens-Rams match-up (link to article) predicted a sleeper touchdown for Torrey Smith. We noticed how open Mario Manningham looked the week before. If Manningham didn’t drop a few passes, he easily had a 100-plus yard game and perhaps a big play touchdown. Smith is probably not going to replicate this type of action, but he should mix in a big play here or there.
When an offense gets more weapons, everyone else gets better. And you guessed it: more running space for Ray Rice and Anquan Boldin.
It’s Time to Give Christian Ponder a try – for Adrian Peterson’s Sake
I was a huge supporter of the Donovan McNabb signing and thought this was the Vikings going counter culture on the whole “it’s a passing, offensive league” thing. I also felt the Vikings would try to bring old Dungy Tampa 2 ball to the new decade, but a couple of things are preventing this Purple counter culture movement: A) the Vikings are losing the close games, not winning them, B) the linebackers and safeties don’t make enough plays to make that zone effective, and C) McNabb hasn’t made any plays in the second half in all three losses.
At 0-3, it’s already time to put Ponder in there and see if he can go. When you have a running back like Adrian Peterson who is already 26, you don’t want to be wasting any more time during a rebuilding era.
Old News, but I’ll Say it -Roy Williams is Terrible
Roy Williams is making my preseason prediction of a fantasy WR2 look terrible. He’s an individual that makes you wonder, “what motivates you man”?! This was the perfect situation for him to jump in with Mike Martz and Jay Cutler, but he’ really blowing it. Even if Williams pulls a 2-touchdown game in the future, I’d rather gamble on a Denarius Moore or Torrey Smith than Roy Williams.
Because of the 4 picks, Will Brady throw less?
Counter culture talk Part Two. Our colleague, Michael Taylor swears that this whole passing league thing is just cyclical. When defenses (like the Eagles) gear up so strongly against the pass, you’ll see teams draft their personnel to go against these lighter, swifter teams. I, myself, believe we are in a permanent shift. Slot receivers have evolved into running backs that line up for inside routes, and the talent at the quarterback is just so great. How long does a good quarterback last? Answer: a long time. You infuse this with some good quarterback classes and there’s the passing league that you see today.
This now leads me to Tom Brady. The guy has been phenomenal thus far. Absolutely unbelievable. He’s making Wes Welker look like something we have never seen before: a slot receiver that utterly dominates a game (16 catches, 216-yards, and 2 touchdowns). No Randy Moss. No Andre Johnson. A slot receiver and a tight end with underrated athletic ability.
But they lost a big game on the road and the usually unflappable Brady threw four picks. It probably won’t change the game plan going forward, but the Patriots did use a little more Stevan Ridley (7 carries for 44-yards) this week and he has the build and talent to be an every down back. Do we at least see more balance this week?
Split back Joseph Addai versus LeGarrette Blount
Addai has 39-carries and Blount has 42.Houstonrunning back, Ben Tate has 66.
Starting Running back Ben Jarvus Green-Ellis versus Wes Welker – Carries versus Catches
33 carries for the Law Firm and Wes Welker has 31 catches (more than half in the game againstBuffalo)
Split back Joseph Addai versus Splitback Mark Ingram
Addai had 39-carries and Mark Ingram, not that far behind with 36. Ingram is a decent buy low, if you can get him. I still think the Saints want to emphasize that run and when the timing of their offensive line blocking gets down with Ingram’s no-nonsense approach, and it could be a great late season burst.
Slow Passing of the Baton?
Kendall Hunter, a draft pick, under the current head coaching administration has looked dynamic in camp and more so than Frank Gore in the young season. Gore, who is now getting all the “he’s got no knee jokes”, that Clinton Portis used to get. Portis, who is 30, now is out of football. In 2008 he had 1,487-yards, 9-touchdown season. Gore is 28, but his best days are behind him. Can he be a solid RB2 or flex? Sure, but as players get older, he needs to get a score to have a decent fantasy day. Witness, Willis McGahee, who had 11-fantasy points versus the Tennessee Titans, six coming from a receiving touchdown. Gore has only one double digit season in his career, so he’s going to have to get better at the goal line to compensate for the lower yard per carry and less snaps in passing downs.
Speaking of McGahee and theTennessee Titans
He had 22-rushes to get to his 52-yards. Maybe we’re not giving Tennessee’s run defense enough credit. Ray Rice had similar numbers the week before (13 carries, 43 yards, 3.3 YPC). And MJD needed 24-carries to get to his 97-yards.