Here are our fantasy takes on the NFL news of the day …
Plaxico Burress likes the color green: The return of Burress to the NFL after a two-year absence has fantasy owners asking a number of questions. What sort of shape is he in? Can he still make an impact? Where would he like to land this season? Elliot Harrison and I sat down with Burress and discussed these questions and more, and it was pretty clear that he remains confident in his skills — he even told fantasy owners to draft him in the first round. But when I asked him what teams he would like to play for in 2011, he didn’t have a favorite destination. However, Burress did mention that green was his favorite color when Elliot playfully pulled out a New York Jets helmet. So is Burress a fit for the Men in Green? Well, Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards are both free agents. And while I think Holmes will remain with the Jets, I’m not so sure about Edwards. So could Burress step in and take over a starting role? I think he could. But will he produce the sort of numbers we remember from his time with the Steelers and Giants? Time will tell, but he’s not worth more than a late-round flier at this point.
John Fox has “an idea” about quarterback: Coaches don’t care about fantasy football. If they did, backfield committees wouldn’t exist and game plans would be posted online so we could find out what’s in store for every game. But I’ll still give my pitch to Fox about why Tim Tebow should be his starting quarterback. Fox, entering his first year as the Broncos coach, told the Denver Post that he has “an idea” who will lead his offense in 2011. Of course, Fox also maintains that a “wide-open competition” is in store for Tebow, Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn. While Orton was a fantasy star for most of last season, that came in large part because former coach Josh McDaniels threw the football a ton. That’s not going to be the case under Fox, who prefers to run the ball. That’s why I’m hoping Tebow wins the job. Over the last three weeks of last season, no player accumulated more fantasy points than the versatile Florida product (and no, that’s not a misprint). If Tebow can open the 2011 campaign as Fox’s starter, he’ll have some real middle- to late-round sleeper appeal.
Jake Locker now the man for Titans: One of the numerous positional situations around the NFL that needs to be resolved once the lockout is over is in Tennessee, where the Titans have a glaring question mark under center. That question mark became even bigger on Thursday, when veteran Kerry Collins announced his retirement. The team now has Locker, a rookie out of Washington, and Rusty Smith at the quarterback position. That’s it. And if the team opens the season with those two signal-callers alone, all bets are off for the value of Kenny Britt, Nate Washington, Jared Cook — and maybe even Chris Johnson. He’s already made it known that he’ll hold out over a new contract, and the combination of missing camp and having no support from the passing game will hurt Johnson’s value at least slightly. Hopefully a move is made to bolster the quarterback spot — adding a veteran like Matt Hasselbeck or Donovan McNabb (to name a few options) makes a lot of sense, and would make fantasy owners much more comfortable adding CJ2K, Britt and company in 2011 fantasy drafts.