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With Randy Moss Gone, What Should Tom Brady’s Fantasy Owners Expect?

With Randy Moss officially being dealt to the Minnesota Vikings, it seems like there are an endless amount of angles from which people are dissecting this thing.  The ripple effect from the announcement is one of the most defined I can ever remember.  One particular group of people whose heads must be spinning are fantasy football fanatics.  We’ve already shared our thoughts on what the trade means for the fantasy value of Brandon Tate, but what about Tom Brady?

Are Brady’s fantasy owners screwed?  Hardly.  The Patriots are a pass-first team and aren’t going to change their entire philosophy after dealing a receiver — even if it’s their top receiver — four weeks into the season.  However, it would be reasonable to assume that Brady’s fantasy production is going to take a hit.  By that I mean I wouldn’t expect many games where he throws for over 300 yards and 3 or 4 touchdowns.

I’ve already shared my thoughts on whether or not the Patriots are in trouble without their only actual deep threat.  I think they’ll bounce back and eventually be a better team, even if not this season.  While the offense is probably going to take a hit from a point-scoring standpoint, could the Moss trade actually help the Patriots defense?  Yes, this still has to do with Tom Brady’s fantasy value.  Just hear me out.

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Randy Moss Trade Could Turn Brandon Tate into Top Fantasy Option

We already told you about the rumored Randy Moss trade to the Vikings that appears to be coming together. Jay Glazer, who was the first reporter to drop hints of the trade, says the sides are working on the deal. We’ll reserve our analysis of the trade and how it impacts each team until the deal is officially completed. But that doesn’t mean fantasy owners shouldn’t prepare themselves for the situation.

The biggest winner of a Randy Moss trade could be Patriots receiver Brandon Tate. The second-year man out of North Carolina has already shown his speed with two kickoffs returned for a touchdown. He’s fourth on the team in receiving, hauling in 11 of his 14 targets in four games for 135 yards. Tate has the potential, he just hasn’t been on the field often enough to make a big impact. He won’t approach Randy Moss numbers (not many players can), but he could become the deep threat they would be losing.

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Working the Waiver Wire: Week 5 Free Agent Pickup Advice

As well as one can draft their fantasy football team, inevitably a combination of injuries and surprises arise throughout the year. As a result, working the waiver wire is a key component of winning your fantasy league. Here is some advice on whom to pick up and whom to leave alone in the free agent pool (for personal advice email larry at larrybrownsports.com):

So last week some of our recommendations for pickups included Lance Moore, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Chad Henne, Brandon Lloyd, and Matt Bryant. We also told you to keep your eye on Willis McGahee who scored against the Steelers, and Kenny Britt who scored against the Broncos. Obviously we know what we’re talking about, so don’t be afraid to follow our advice.

As far as trends go, through four weeks of the season we have some good ideas about what to exploit and avoid.

Matchups to Avoid (at your discretion): Steelers defense, Ravens defense, Jets rush defense

Matchups to Exploit (at your discretion): Houston, Seattle, Jacksonville, and New England’s secondary. Oakland, Buffalo, Arizona, and Indy’s run defense. Start a defense playing Carolina, Buffalo, Arizona, and San Francisco.


MUST-HAVE

Ryan Torain, RB, Redskins – Averaging 4.6ypc with Washington and scored a touchdown last week. Clinton Portis has essentially declared himself out for Sunday’s game. Torain is a decent add for this week and could get plenty of carries down the line.
Fred Jackson, RB, Bills – The trade of Marshawn Lynch opens things up for Jackson who racked up yardage totals last year. Don’t expect many scores out of Fred, but he could get you eight points as a bye week replacement.
Michael Bush, RB, Raiders – Darren McFadden sustained his annual injury and Bush should be ready to step in and take over. He probably is on someone’s roster, but check to make sure.
Paul Posluszny, LB, Bills – The tackling machine is back and had 12 tackles on Sunday. Make sure he wasn’t dropped in your IDP league.
James Anderson, LB, Panthers – Double-digit tackles in 3 of 4 games, plus he’s added in a pick and a sack. Looks like the new IDP stud on that defense.
*Make sure they’re not still available: Kyle Orton, Mark Sanchez, Patrick Chung

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Working the Waiver Wire: Week 4 Free Agent Pickup Advice

As well as one can draft their fantasy football team, inevitably a combination of injuries and surprises arise throughout the year. As a result, working the waiver wire is a key component of winning your fantasy league. Here is some advice on whom to pick up and whom to leave alone in the free agent pool:


MUST-HAVE

Lance Moore, WR, Saints – He’s not going to get easy 80-yard touchdown catches like that again, but he did have 10 touchdowns in 2008 and his six catch, 149 yard day makes him desirable.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Patriots – Injuries and a trade have opened this spot up in New England and it looks like the lawfirm will be the beneficiary. The Pats actually run it when they’re up and looking to burn clock, so you can do worse as a starting running back than him.
Paris Lenon, LB, Cardinals – Has averaged nine tackles per game and even picked up a sack and interception against the Raiders. The high tackle totals should continue.
*Make sure they’re not still available: Peyton Hillis, Kyle Orton

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Knowshon Moreno Injury Opens Fantasy Door for Laurence Maroney

My cousin Knowshon Moreno became an LBS favorite during his college career at Georgia for some spectacular plays he made (check em out if you haven’t seen them). Unfortunately, since leaving school early and being drafted in the first round last year, things haven’t worked out too well for Moreno as a pro.

Moreno started off last season entering camp late because of contract negotiations. Once in camp, he promptly sprained his knee which weakened his ability the first few weeks of the season. This off-season, he partially tore his hamstring, though the injury did not seem to bother him the first two games of the year. On Friday, Moreno hurt his other hamstring with a partial pull.

Moreno has already been ruled out for Sunday’s Broncos/Colts game. The shocker here is that a week after acquiring Laurence Maroney from the Patriots, the former Golden Gopher will likely be toting the rock for the orange and blue. Pats fans were always disappointed with Maroney for a number of reasons.

Entering this season, Maroney was on the hot seat because of fumbling issues he had last year. Then he hurt his groin which buried him further down the depth chart. Throughout his career, ribs, groin, and knee problems have bothered Maroney. The entire 2008 season was a disaster when Boney was placed on injured reserve early in the year because of shoulder injury. Clearly the man has had health issues, but for some reason I still believe he can be a decent back.

In Denver’s offense, they pass the ball so I wouldn’t expect any 100-yard games for Maroney, but he’s competent enough to get 80 combined yards and a score. Hopefully he can live up to the price Denver paid to get him (a 4th round pick). He has a good chance to perform against a weak Colts run defense on Sunday.

Working the Waiver Wire: Week 3

As well as one can draft their fantasy football team, inevitably a combination of injuries and surprises arise throughout the year. As a result, working the waiver wire is a key component of winning your fantasy league. Here is some advice on whom to pick up and whom to leave alone in the free agent pool:


MUST-HAVE

Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos – 8 catches for 97 yards and a touchdown in his NFL debut? Umm, hello Bay Bay! This kid can play, he has a competent quarterback, and the Broncos love to throw it. He appears to be a keeper.
Kyle Orton, QB, Broncos – If he’s still available in your league, it’s time to pounce. Read the excerpt above on Thomas for more. Just wait until they get past difficult week five and six matchups and the pay off will be there.
Neil Rackers, K, Texans – He’ll score plenty of points in that offense. If he’s available in your league, it’s time to scoop him up and trade in your kicker if he’s not producing.
Lawrence Timmons, LB, Steelers – 26 tackles in two games? I’ll take it. Expect him to keep producing on that stellar defense.
LaRon Landry, S, Redskins – 28 tackles, a sack and two passes defended so far. He clearly is benefiting from the switch to the 3-4 defense and loving it.
*Recommended last week, make sure they’re not still available: Clay Matthews, Eddie Royal, Mark Clayton

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Todd Haley Knows He Is Screwing Your Fantasy Team

Fantasy football owners know the worst possible thing you could hear about one of your players is “out for the season.” Owners will also tell you that the second most dreaded phrase in fantasy land is “running back by committee.” If you have a running back, you want him getting the bulk of the carries and scoring the bulk of the touchdowns, not sharing it with somebody else. Such is the case with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Running back Jamaal Charles is beginning to prove himself as a serious play maker with the ability to take it to the house at any moment. Contrarily, the Chiefs also signed Thomas Jones in the off-season who is known for his strength and durability but not his big-play capabilities. Most fantasy owners shied away from Thomas Jones in drafts figuring Charles was the up-and-comer, but they’ve been disappointed by the timeshare throughout the preseason and in week one.

Charles seems to be the better back and was the more prized fantasy commodity, but as long as coach Todd Haley continues to split the carries fantasy owners will be upset. It doesn’t matter much to Haley though, as he said “It’s a good problem to have. Now, in the fantasy football world I could see it being a bad problem to have. But we’re worried about the Kansas City Chiefs and what we need to do to win.” Worst part is he knows he’s screwing you.

You know what though? No position gets injured quicker in the NFL than running backs. Anything that prolongs a player’s career or keeps him healthy I support. I also don’t have T.J. or Charles on my fantasy team either!