Here are our fantasy takes on the NFL news of the day …
Competition for Daniel Thomas?: The NFL has become a league of backfield committees, with featured runners going the way of the dinosaur. That’s why Thomas has been so highly touted in fantasy circles since being drafted in the second round by the Dolphins. At 6-foot-0, 230 pounds and possessing a versatile skill set, the Kansas State product has the tools to be a featured back. Unfortunately, he might not get the chance. General Manager Jeff Ireland recently told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that he wants to add a veteran back who has the potential to start. If that turns into a player like DeAngelo Williams, Ahmad Bradshaw or Michael Bush (once player movement is allowed), Thomas’ value is going to sink like the Titanic. Should the ‘Fins add a complementary back like Darren Sproles and allow Thomas the chance to start, however, the impact on his draft appeal is far less detrimental.
Cedric Benson now more vocal: With Carson Palmer’s days in the Queen City all but over and rookie Andy Dalton the favorite to start in Week 1, the Bengals offense is going to have a very different look in 2011. The player who will benefit the most, both on the field and in fantasy land, could be Benson. The veteran has already stated his desire to be the centerpiece of the offense, and he’ll likely get his wish if Dalton does in fact open the year under center. A rookie quarterback’s best friend is a reliable running game, and new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden is certain to establish Benson to take away some of the pressure. Of course, Benson was one of the more “featured” backs in the NFL last season and still finished a mediocre 16th in fantasy points at his position in 2010. But the fact that the Bengals are guaranteed to run the ball more this season will make Benson a viable No. 2 fantasy back.
Andy Reid praises LeSean McCoy: During a recent chat with the Philadelphia Inquirer, Reid was complimentary of McCoy’s impact in the offense, saying he showed “that he could be a full-time running back” last season. Reid also expressed confidence in McCoy moving forward, suggesting that “we’ll continue to utilize him in that regard.” That’s great news for the versatile runner, who was seventh in fantasy points at his position in standard leagues and third in PPR formats in 2010. A surefire first-round selection in all leagues, McCoy’s numbers and impact in fantasy land will continue to remind veteran owners of the man he replaced, Brian Westbrook.