Fantasy Football - Team Previews: July 2008 Archives

The Browns were the surprise of the NFL last year. Forever clumped with the Clippers, Royals, Pirates, and Arizona Cardinals as a perennial loser, all that changed when Derek Anderson led Cleveland to a 10-6 record. They did it with a blitzkrieg offense, which means they have a lot of desirable players for fantasy teams. Braylon Edwards will be the first Brown taken in fantasy leagues, but Anderson and tight end Kellen Winslow won't be far behind.

New York Jets fantasy preview

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Everything that you will read below may change in the very near future if a certain someone from a certain city in Wisconsin ends up on the New York Jets.

His name?

Brett Favre.

Chances are Favre won't be playing for Jets and reportedly the team didn't even ask the Packers for permission to talk to the disenfranchised QB. But the truth of the matter is the Jets are still in a rebuilding mode under head coach Eric Mangini and that position is certainly lacking in New York.

But at the other skill positions the Jets aren't looking too bad and at least three of them will be selected in the first ten rounds of your fantasy draft.

These are the guys you need to know about:

The Ravens have long been known for their tenacious defense, which means one thing: they don't have a lot of valuable fantasy players. Running back Willis McGahee, a second round pick in most leagues, is the Ravens' most desirable player, but the pickings are slim after that. The Baltimore team defense, however, will again be one of the first defensive crews selected.

The offense could take a jump in coming years now that John Harbaugh has replaced Brian Billick as head coach. Much will depend on the development of Joe Flacco, the rookie signal caller that could be thrown into the fire right away.

Miami Dolphins Fantasy Preview

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The Big Tuna is in town to try and resurrect the Dolphins franchise that has fallen on some very hard times in recent years. As usual, he's cleaning house and trying to rid this roster of personalities that won't adhere to the work ethic he demands from his players.

Already he's made a shrewd move, ridding the Dolphins of their best defensive player, DE Jason Taylor, sending him to the Redskins last week.

The Dolphins narrowly avoided finishing the season 0-16 by defeating the Baltimore Ravens in an overtime game in Week 15.

As bad as they may have been, and as bad as they may be in 2008, there are a few viable fantasy options on this roster you will hear called on draft day. So pay attention and don't overlook these guys just because the team itself would have a tough time handling the Appalachian State Mountaineers.

While some bloggers think the Eagles are set up for failure this season, their track record under Andy Reid would prove otherwise. Always a staple in the race for the NFC East crown, Philadelphia has only not finished above .500 three times in Reid's nine seasons as head coach. One of those times was last year, when the Eagles closed out their season with three straight wins, but it wasn't enough to get them into the playoffs at only 8-8.

As always, the Eagles will be led by quarterback Donavon McNabb, who has gone from a young, exciting, elusive signal caller to a savvy veteran seemingly overnight. While the Mt. Carmel product is the face of the franchise, running back Brian Westbrook is the team's most coveted fantasy player. He will be a top five selection in most leagues.

Team Preview: Indianapolis Colts

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Since Peyton Manning became the quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts, this team has become a fantasy gold mine.

Manning has consistently been either the number one, or number two rated fantasy QB and his offensive counterparts have also vaulted to the fantasy elite.

The skill positions are extremely strong fantasy options and are all ranked in the top ten at their respective positions. Pay attention to these players because 2008 will be another great year for the Colts.

After dealing with the murder of their best player and, to a lesser extent, a season ending injury to their starting quarterback, the Washington Redskins went on one of the most inspirational runs in recent NFL history. The Redskins blew the first game after Sean Taylor's death because of a gaffe by head coach Joe Gibbs, but they rallied to win their final four games, secure a winning 9-7 record, and making the playoffs.

In fantasy terms, the Redskins are not one of the NFL's most attractive teams. Quarterback Jason Campbell is young and still unknown, and though Clinton Portis was extremely productive last year, he has a history of disappointing fantasy owners. If nothing else, Chris Cooley may be the only player in your league who is a blogger.

Jacksonville Jaguars Fantasy Preview

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You remember the play.

Fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Playoffs and the Jacksonville Jaguars desperately needed a first down. Things were looking bleak as quarterback David Garrard dropped back from center, wide receivers blanketed like they stole something as the pocket collapsed around him.

Garrard did the only thing he could and rumbled his way upfield, picked up the improbable, no, impossible first down and led the Jags to an amazing comeback victory.

The Jags' season would end the very next week, but from that game alone we learned quite a bit about the team and its leader under center. There's a lot to like up and down this lineup for fantasy football purposes and today we'll take a look at each one of them:

New York Giants Fantasy Preview

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New York Giants

The Giants created the year's defining sports moment by knocking off the previously undefeated Patriots in February. While an encore seems unlikely, New York again should be in the thick of things in the NFC East. They lost three notable defensive players, but none of that should matter much to fantasy teams. Eli Manning is still throwing to Plaxico Burress, and Brandon Jacobs is still hammering in touchdowns from the one-yard line.

Tennessee Titans Fantasy Preview

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Tennessee Titans

The prevailing thought amongst many NFL know-it-alls was that the Titans would attempt to surround franchise QB Vince Young with more help at the wide receiver position through the draft in the offseason. Instead the team decided to go running back - again - and are counting on free agent tight end Alge Crumpler to become Young's favorite target. Head coach Jeff Fisher's teams are predicated upon a tough defense and an offense that manges the clock and the ball, trying to avoid turnovers.

That kind of mentality is the equivalent of nails on a chalkboard to fantasy owners who worship the bomb and detest the dive. Under normal circumstances I'd suggest you run and hide from the Titans, but the wildcard Vince Young makes this team more of the intriguing variety than the vanilla kind:

No one has ever accused Dallas of being the most, um, conservative franchise in the NFL. They take flyers defenders with checkered pasts, own the sport's most outrageous personality, and have a quarterback who gets more attention from US Weekly than Sports Illustrated. Still, it's a team that returns nearly everyone from last year's 13-3 NFC East division champs, and has valuable fantasy players throughout the roster.

Houston Texans Fantasy Preview

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Houston Texans

Maybe they knew what they were doing after all. Two years removed from the Reggie Bush/Mario Williams debacle, it seems as if the Houston Texans actually made the correct decision in making Williams the number one overall pick in 2006.

They made some strides in head coach Gary Kubiak's first season with the Texans franchise and have some pieces in place to do some good things in 2008. Just like any other team in the NFL, their success hinges upon their skill players staying healthy for most of the season, primarily on the offensive side of the ball.

But there are certainly some fantasy options on this team worth your consideration and here's a position-by-position breakdown of who they are and what you can expect from them in 2008:

About the bloggers

Matt Wood is a web editor for suntimes.com and editor of CenterstageChicago.com. He is also a contributor for satirical sports publication The Heckler. Have a fantasy question? E-mail him.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Fantasy Football - Team Previews category from July 2008.

Fantasy Football - Team Previews: August 2008 is the next archive.

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