Craig Ellenport | Tags: Three and out, Baltimore Ravens, Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers, Donovan McNabb, Jake Locker, Kerry Collins, Le'Ron McClain, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, Ray Rice, Tennessee Titans, Tom Brady, Washington Redskins
Here’s the fantasy take on today’s NFL news:
Rice ready for big year. Well, the news of the day in Ravens land is that fullback Le’Ron McClain wants to get more carries in 2011, whether it’s with Baltimore or some other team. Um, okay. I would think the answer for McClain would be “other.” McClain had a whopping 28 carries for the Ravens last season. I don’t think the Ravens will miss him. Meanwhile, featured back Ray Rice took a slight step back stats-wise in 2010 –- but it says here he’ll have a big-time 2011. Rice had a combined 1,776 yards from scrimmage last year, despite having nine games with fewer than 20 carries. In other words, the Ravens do a decent job of keeping the diminutive Rice fresh. Just imagine what he’ll do when he gets those 28 extra carries that McClain would have had?
Don’t sleep on Brady. For those who think Tom Brady is ready to take a fall, at least in terms of fantasy numbers, just because he’s a year older and the New England Patriots don’t have a ton of weapons, check out Friday’s Data Points. Just a reminder that the Patriots led the NFL last season in offensive points per game. This with a ragtag backfield and mediocre receiving corps. So here he comes again, coming off a 2010 in which he racked up 3,900 passing yards and 36 TD passes, with just four picks. Think he can’t match or better those numbers? And if your fantasy draft is held before the Patriots go out and maybe sign a free-agent WR to boost the arsenal, well, you’ll have yourself a steal.
Where will McNabb end up? In this blog from the Washington Post, the speculation is that Redskins QB Donovan McNabb could end up with one of these three teams: the Carolina Panthers, Tennessee Titans or Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings remain the best fit; Carolina hasn’t been mentioned as a serious possibility while Tennessee just came into the mix now that Kerry Collins has retired. Hard to think McNabb would be a viable fantasy QB with any of those teams, but I do think his best fantasy option in this group is the Titans. Most would say Minnesota, but I’m assuming he won’t have Sidney Rice at his disposal, in which case he’d be relying on dumping the ball to Adrian Peterson several times a game. In Tennessee, he’ll still get points dumping the ball to Chris Johnson, but he’ll have Kenny Britt and a young receiving corps in place as well. Plus, it’s not as if there will be any pressure on Tennessee to get Jake Locker into the lineup, the way Carolina would be pressing to get Cam Newton more reps.