Things have certainly changed since July 30th of this year. That's when Peyton Manning signed his 5-year, $90 million contract. Fast foward less than a month and the Colts are bringing Kerry Collins out of retirement to serve as Manning's backup. As the preseason nears its end, more and more folks (including Peyton) are unsure if #18 will be suiting up for the opener against Houston. I participated in a draft last evening where Peyton didn't go until the 8th round. The 8th round! Even then, he went as a backup QB. It's not just Manning or the Colts who are nervous about that offseason neck surgery. Prior to a few weeks ago, it would have been sacrilegious to have Peyton as a backup. Fantasy fans are worried and there's reason to be, but keep in mind that this is Peyton Manning we're talking about. Even if he misses 3 games, he's still going to be an elite QB when he returns. Ben Roethlisberger missed 4 games and still ended the year with solid numbers. Manning is currently ranked 6th among all QB's on the FFN draft rankings. It will be interesting to see if that changes over the next few days.
In that same draft, I was able to nab three solid RB's with my first three picks: LeSean McCoy, MJD, and Matt Forte (ppr format). I had some hesitation about MJD, having had him last year and being severely disapppointed for the first half of the season. I feel a little better having read CBS's Jamey Eisenberg's Targeting MJD in the first round.
I drafted CJ2K in another league several weeks ago so I was pretty excited to hear that he was finally coming to Nashville to negotiate. According to ESPN, the talks may not have been as productive as I was hoping. Johnson is a big playmaker who wants a big payday. Considering that Larry Fitzgerald just signed his mega $120 million and DeAngelo Williams got $21 million in guaranteed money as part of a five-year $43 million deal, what amount is it going to take? For fantasy owners, the fact that a deal didn't get done is bad news. Johnson could be rusty when (if) he gets back on the field and holdouts have historically been injury prone. CJ2K will still get drafted and he'll still perform, but I'd feel better if they agreed to terms. According to The Sports Network, the talks with Johnson were "beneficial". "Beneficial" to me includes signatures.
I also have Miles Austin in one of my leagues, so imagine my excitement (insert sarcasm font) when I read that Austin aggravated his hamstring in practice and won't participate in any additional preseason games. I'm not worried as he's expected to start Week 1. Whew...
Another guy that I've targeted for a late round pick (but have not yet been successful in getting) is Roy Williams in Chicago. I think he's got a great chance to put up decent numbers in that offense, particularly without a stud WR like Miles Austin taking away his targets. FFToolbox.com sheds some light on the Knox & Williams competition. Apparently Williams is out of shape and Bears wide receivers coach Darryl Drake is not shying away from letting him know. For crying out loud Roy - if you don't want to get ready for the season, get out of the way and hand Johnny Knox the starting gig. If he can get in shape and earn the respect from Drake, I think Williams could finally become fantasy-relevant.
Mobile apps have become a popular way to monitor leagues. Virtually every platform from Fleaflicker.com to NFL.com to ESPN.com offers a mobile version. RealTime Fantasy Sports just announced the launch of their new mobile app. "Our Fantasy Football users will now have the ability to effectively and reliably manage their teams and communicate to their league with this application on their smartphone," said Tim Jensen, Chief Engineer, of RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc. "Regardless of where you may be, from your friend's home to the local sports bar or your own living room, you can now utilize this application with the greatest ease. The app will run on any version of Android, version 3 or up for iPhone. And when your team is dominating the competition, you can even post to the message board to make sure your entire league knows it." Love it!!