Fantasy Football 2009 – Its Time to Prepare

The NFL season starts this year on September 10th, which to most still looks like a long way from now seeing this article being being written in April. However, from the fantasy end, it is never too early to start getting back in football mode, and preparing your strategy and reading up on all the…

The NFL season starts this year on September 10th, which to most still looks like a long way from now seeing this article being being written in April. However, from the fantasy end, it is never too early to start getting back in football mode, and preparing your strategy and reading up on all the events that have transpired in the off season.

The summer separates us from football, but that does not mean it is too soon to start researching for fantasy football. Some key events take place in the off season that can have huge impacts on your fantasy team, and pave the way for new potential sleeper picks and breakout picks and of course, the busts.

-The NFL Draft –

This is a must follow event for fantasy football managers. The incoming class to the NFL always seem to have a few stand outs in their first season, which could pay dividends for a fantasy owner. Who is drafted and what team they are drafted on can change the look of an NFL team and impact fantasy values. Turning a blind eye to the draft is like starting the fantasy draft at an immediate disadvantage. I constantly preach that in the fantasy world, one of the best tactics is stay informed and the NFL draft is a huge opportunity to get an idea of ​​what teams are planning on doing and what direction they are heading in the future.

-Offseason Moves –

Players come. Players go. These are things a fantasy owner simply must know. TO joining the Bills immediately changes the look and dynamic of not just TO, but of everyone on the Bills offense. Of course, this is a major marquee roster swap, but the minor deals and changes of scenery will have impacts too.

-Injuries –

It is important to not forget who was injured last season and follow their recovery through the off season. It never fails that some owners will always pick the guy who misses playing time year in and year out, but since they fell behind on the news, they did not notice the trend.

-Platooning –

I did not think I would write about the platoon situations in football, as platooning is mostly a baseball term. However, due to the recent trend of the “2 running back system”, the thought of who is going to get the major of the workload on a team is now very relevant. Look into depth charts and figure out what a team is planning on doing, for a platoon situation could greatly change a player's worth on the fantasy spectrum.

Fantasy Baseball 2009 – Ride the Heat Wave

Most fantasy baseball managers face the same question each and every morning when they log in to their roster: Who do I start today? The question of who gets an active role and who rides the pine on a fantasy team is one that carries numerous perspectives, and contains different angles when referring to hitters…

Most fantasy baseball managers face the same question each and every morning when they log in to their roster: Who do I start today?

The question of who gets an active role and who rides the pine on a fantasy team is one that carries numerous perspectives, and contains different angles when referring to hitters or pitchers. My philosophy is to ride the hot hand and do not be too hesitant to sit a starter that is in a serious slip.

My other articles mention that when it comes to adding and dropping players, I preach patience early on and to avoid jumping off or on a bandwagon too quickly. When it comes to the day to day starting lineup, my policy is similar but slightly tweaked.

Hitters

-Ride the hot hand: Do not let your current best player ride the bench over a big name who is not producing. Fantasy titles are won and lost with the stats that are left sitting on the bench. My rule of thumb in fantasy is ride who is raking, and when they start to fade, rethink the batting order.

For example: I own Prince Fielder. He has currently done a very average job at the plate, and for his expectations, he has done very poorly. I know his cold streak will end but there is no way of telling when. Until he sorts things out, he will continue to contribute little and bring down my overall team average. Through some roster moves I came into the possession of Nick Swisher (by dropping the now minor leaguer Milledge). Swisher has one of the best bats in the league right now, and I wasted no time inserting him into Fielder's spot. Now, when the year is over and done with I still expect Fielder to be the overall better hitter, however, I will ride the hot hand until Fielder starts to look like the big time HR hitter he is. Once he comes around, Swisher will make a great off the bench contributor, that is without he fills in for a hitter that has cooled off in my OF. When Fielder does break out, I may miss a HR or two on my bench, and I am OK with that. I may miss his break out game or two, but until then his slumbing average will not bring down my team for a week or longer.

Pitchers

-Start your big dogs: There will be rough patches at the start of the year, but the aces of your staff should be in the lineup day in and day out. There is no reason to bench Santana under any circumstance when he is supposed to be out on the hill, regardless of matchup.

-Play the match-ups on your “B” pitchers: Play the match-ups with your “B” staff of pitchers. Say your .500 record, ERA around 4.30 guy that strikes out a decent number of hitters is set to start against the batting powerhouse of Texas, in Texas in the middle of the July heat – I think I'd let him sit on the bench . Plug your “B” pitchers in around your top pitchers in situations you think they will perform the best.

Fantasy Football – Introducing Diverse Stats to Your League

Fantasy Football scoring usually follows a standard format: 6 points for a touchdown, 1 point for every 10 yards gained by a running back, etc, etc. While this format works well enough, it limits the experience of Fantasy Football. There can be more rewards for plays and on the same account, more penalties for blunders…

Fantasy Football scoring usually follows a standard format: 6 points for a touchdown, 1 point for every 10 yards gained by a running back, etc, etc. While this format works well enough, it limits the experience of Fantasy Football. There can be more rewards for plays and on the same account, more penalties for blunders on the field that should be recognized.

My typical league generally has 10-12 managers and follows a head to head points format. We originally had a straight forward screening system until stumbling upon some of the other options offered and we have not looked back since.

Below are some ideas on how to make your Fantasy League scoring more involved:

1. Use Fractional Points

It amazes me how many people I encounter that do not use fractional points when playing Fantasy Football. They design that every 10 yards is equivalent to one point and a second point is only rewarded when the 20 yard mark is met. In a game of inches, such as football, it is foolish to assign the same reward to a player who ran 19 yards compared to one who ran 10. By not using fractional points, you are only getting part of the picture, and come season's end; a large chunk of stats will never have been counted.

2. Use Negative Points

Football players in real are not perfect and they should not be in your fantasy league either. Some formats do not penalize fumbles, or fumbles lost, or to a lesser extent interceptions. Not using negatives is a limited problem, as it is becoming much more popular still I find some leagues swear by the “a player can only benefit your fantasy team” mentality. A guy who throws for 325 yards is worth more than a guy who throws for 325 and gets picked twice. That is the case in real life, make it so in fantasy.

3. Bring Something Unique to Your League

A few years ago, the league I was in initiated a brand new scoring set. It penalized 10 points for a kicker missing an extra point. 10 points was a reasonable amount under the scoring parameters, but it brought a new and fun spin to the same ol 'game. An extra point should be like clock work and they are rarely missed. However, when it happens it is at least embarrassing and at most sees to wind up costing the team in the end. This small addition to the most routine and frankly dull play in football brought some fun and fantasy interest to every part of the game. I am not saying this rule should be adopted everywhere but a small kink in the stats like this can really turn the league from a standard league to your league.

Fantasy Baseball 2009 – Hot Starts – Which Will Last and Which Won’t

Some players start slow and some start with a bang. Of those that get off to a quick start only a useful are able to sustain it while most fade away after a month or two into the year. Below I have outlines a few players that have all got off to hot starts, and…

Some players start slow and some start with a bang. Of those that get off to a quick start only a useful are able to sustain it while most fade away after a month or two into the year. Below I have outlines a few players that have all got off to hot starts, and have detailed which will continue and which are about to cool off.

Key:

Hot – Expect this player's fast start to continue and end with big #s in 2009 barring injury

Lukewarm – The fast start will slow, but will not fade entirely. Plan on a solid bottom-line, but nothing extraordinary by the conclusion of the season.

Cooling – The fast start is ending, and a slump is looming. Plan on a steep decline, and some sub-par overall stats at the end of the year.

Albert Pujols: HOT – Appropriately depicted as a machine in the latest Sportscenter commercial on ESPN, Pujols seems to be the best there is. He is consistent regardless of the time of the year, and his start to 2009 is no different. Through two weeks, Pujols isitting .433, with 4 HRs and 14 driven in. The only thing that can slow Pujols is an injury, so plan on some huge numbers this season for Pujols is showing some immense skills at the dish. Plan on his average becoming a more realistic .103 -3.30 but other than that, expect Pujols to keep on hitting.

Carlos Quentin: HOT – Through two weeks, Quentin leads the league in HRs with 7. He has picked up where he left off after injuring himself near the end of the '08 season. He has shown no signs of any lingering effects of his time on the DL, and is proving those who thought 2008 was a fluke wrong in a big powerful way. He looks to be locked in, and I expect a huge year out of Quentin. He should remain one of the most reliable sources of power through out the year.

Emilio Bonifacio: COOLING – Bonifacio busted out of the gates in 2009 with an intense first game for the Marlins. He showed his incredible speed which left many fantasy owners drooling over the potential he carries. He has been one of the most added players to fantasy teams so far in this early season, but he is one player that I think is going to fade off and in a hurry. He may still be a worthy stub base artist for your team, but his batting average is coming back to earth. Bonifacio has struggled to hit the ball in recent years, so do not plan on his .300 average to last much longer.

Aaron Hill: LUKEWARM – Hill has started off big, hitting .388, hitting 4 HRs and driving in 14 through the first 2 weeks of the year, but do not plan on this to be the norm. Hill is slated to have a very worthy 2009, and could be a top 10 second basemen, but he will not keep the power numbers up for the duration of the season. Dating back to 2005, he has only hit more than 15 HRs once, while the other years he has never accrued more than 6 in a single season. He had a mostly injured 2008, so it makes it hard to predict what the bottom line for Aaron Hill will be, but one thing is certain is he will not continue his ridiculous pace. Plan on a very solid, and fantasy worth year for Hill, but he will not break into the super star plateau this season.

Fantasy Baseball 2009 – The Season Has Started – How to Manage Successfully

How is your team doing? If it is anything like mine, you are in the middle of the pack with a team that should be able to run circles around the competition, but due to some key players under performing and pitching getting lit up across the board, your team is just not getting it…

How is your team doing?

If it is anything like mine, you are in the middle of the pack with a team that should be able to run circles around the competition, but due to some key players under performing and pitching getting lit up across the board, your team is just not getting it done as you hoped.

So the question is, what to do?

As I have preached in one of my other articles, patience early in the season is key. Do not be too quick to give up on your big dogs, for more often than not you will be regretting it the whole rest of the year as another owner reaps the rewards.

My solution is this: Always be looking to improve your team, but put some thought behind your moves before making a swap. Keep an eye out on ALL of your players, and an eagle eye on the waiver wire. If your league is like mine and has limited bench space, it is tough to pick up the players that have started '09 with a bang such as Scutaro, Lind, or any of the other Blue Jays.

The general rule of thumb is the studies in the game will turn things around – eventually. Until then try and plug the other areas you can, to keep your fantasy ship afloat until the big guns turn it on. As far as pitching goes, the first couple starts for a pitcher to start the year should be tossed out, and not even considered when making roster changes. Now, if your pitcher is still awful say 4 or 5 starts in, thats another story.

The early part of the season is when managers get an itchy mouse clicking finger and dropped some big names just because they have started off slow. Do not fall into this trap, and though I encourage filling what weaknesses spots you have early, dont abandon your team yet – there is a lot of baseball left.

Learn More About Fantasy Sports Software

Are you into playing sports? What about video games? Well if you are into both then you are certainly in for a treat with fantasy sports software wherein you will certainly be able to get the best of both worlds. Fantasy sports software is actually more of a simulation game wherein you can be part…

Are you into playing sports? What about video games? Well if you are into both then you are certainly in for a treat with fantasy sports software wherein you will certainly be able to get the best of both worlds. Fantasy sports software is actually more of a simulation game wherein you can be part of your favorite team, you can put up your own team and choose your players and go up against other professional leagues. For gamers who want to live out their dream of becoming a professional football, baseball, hockey or even basketball player then their best in being able to realize that is through fantasy sports software.

However, as there are several types of brands of fantasy sports software available over the internet these days, it is best that you try out the different demos or trial games available to help you get a better feel of the game that you are thinking about purchasing . If you are not satisfied with one then at least you have not committed to buying it yet and you can still look at different titles available.

For hardcore sports fanatics, this software truly is a dream come true and certainly worth the small investment. This is because beyond being very entertaining, fantasy sports software is also another way for you to practice your sports and gaming techniques in a more relaxed platform – you need not even leave your house just to be able to practice your game.

And while there are a lot of available fantasy sports games available over the internet, and you can actually make use of these for free, a lot of fans and gamers are still quite unsatisfied with the limitations imposed on each game as well as their lack of options as opposed to getting a fantasy sports software wherein the possibilities are practically endless that it really is a gamers' dream come true.

However, if this is your first time to encounter such games, then it is still advisable that you first check out the available free games online before you let yourself get lured into buying this software software of your own. Most of sports-related websites actually offer this feature wherein you will be able to check out several varieties of sports like racing, basketball, baseball, hockey, and more. Just make the most of this free opportunity to learn more about fantasy sports to help you discern on whether this current gaming craze is for you.

Enhance Your Playing Skills Through Fantasy Sports Software

If you are a big sports fan then it is highly likely that you've had dreams of working as a professional athlete even at one point in your life. Whether it's to become a basketball star, an NFL pro, or a famous baseball star, there is certainly nothing wrong about wanting to be a sports…

If you are a big sports fan then it is highly likely that you've had dreams of working as a professional athlete even at one point in your life. Whether it's to become a basketball star, an NFL pro, or a famous baseball star, there is certainly nothing wrong about wanting to be a sports star. Aside from practicing on your own to enhance your playing skills or joining sports clinics to help you become a better athlete, there are certainly loads of ways to you to be able to push yourself to be the best.

Another thing that you can do to help you get better in your chosen sport is to get into a healthy lifestyle. Get into the habit of taking better care of your health, body, and mind through eating the right food, veering away from stress, and getting enough exercise. All these will work well into turning you into a lean, mean sports machine. Still, even people who are into these sports would still want to have some so-called “downtime” to help them relax and hopefully get them into better playing mood. So for those times when you just want to chill out at home but you still can not get sports out of your head, then why not try out fantasy sports?

Fantasy sports software is not just a fun way to pass the time especially for sports buffs but it also helps you improve your game techniques and can serve as an alternative way of practicing and getting ready for your next game. Fantasy sports software is actually quite popular these days especially among sports fans who want to live their big sporting dreams. Through fantasy sports software, you can actually build your own dream team and get into the action of your favorite sport. A lot of websites on the internet have actually started offering such games – sometimes for free and sometimes on just a limited run. However, you do have the choice to get a better gaming experience by having your own fantasy sports software that you can install in your own computer. This allows you more gaming options as well as certain perks to help you improve your game. Several brands of fantasy sports software are now actually available online and purchasing one is not that complicated so do not hesitate to order in case you find something that catches your fancy. Several types of fantasy sports software are now available like football, basketball, baseball, and hockey so do not worry about whether you will find a fantasy sports software of your favorite sport.

Fantasy Baseball 2009 – Tips For Success – Follow the Trends

There are numerous tips and words of advice I could offer but in this article I want to limit it to a few key ones I think will help the most. Following these may not ensure you trounce your league but it should guarantee you will be a competitive team year in and year out.…

There are numerous tips and words of advice I could offer but in this article I want to limit it to a few key ones I think will help the most. Following these may not ensure you trounce your league but it should guarantee you will be a competitive team year in and year out.

Follow the Trends

Trends are huge in Fantasy sports but especially in Fantasy Baseball which relates heavily on the day to day news and statistics. Recognizing these trends early before your competitors is a huge advantage especially when it comes to free agents. Noticing which guy is going to put together a solid year first is typically what separates decent teams from great teams. On the same token, recognizing which superstar (David Ortiz this season) is going to be a bust from Day 1, or a hugely slow starter is valuable information before you even draft your team.

Pay Attention to Lineups

The novice Fantasy player will set their lineup early in the day and not check it until games are underway or possibly not even until the next day. Then when they check their stats from the day, they will see a few of their players did not play and they missed out on stats from a few roster spots that day. One thing I can not advise enough is to go roster hunting. With a little effort, the majority of lineups can be found a few hours before the game is supposed to begin. There will of course sometimes be slight changes made last minute, but typically finding the lineup a few hours before your game can pay dividends. Often it makes roster decisions on who to start on a given day easier and it ensures that you get the most from your lineup.

Follow the Weather

Inclement weather can cancel a game and as a result leave your roster full of guys with PPD next to their name. Check the weather in a few of the cities your guys play and if things look really glum, consider benching your star for a backup that plays indoors. If it is raining heavy in New York at 4pm, and is supposed to keep up all night, consider benching your sluggers from the Yanks for a utility guy you use to plug holes.

These ideas are all meant to get the most bang out of your lineup as possible. A key way to win in fantasy is to accumulate the most stats every day, if possible. This is impossible, but by making sure that the guys you start do actually play and that you bench stars who will get rained out and etc, you are more likely to get a plateful of stats night in and night out.

Draft Running Backs Early? Buyer Beware

The year 2008 saw yours truly capture his 2nd league championship in 10 years using a 12 team head to head format. My starters were as follows: Peyton Manning, Chris Johnson, Larry Johnson, Matt Forte, Calvin Johnson, Jericho Cotchery, Jason Witten, John Casey, and the Eagles defense. In my estimation there are many fantasy owners…

The year 2008 saw yours truly capture his 2nd league championship in 10 years using a 12 team head to head format. My starters were as follows: Peyton Manning, Chris Johnson, Larry Johnson, Matt Forte, Calvin Johnson, Jericho Cotchery, Jason Witten, John Casey, and the Eagles defense. In my estimation there are many fantasy owners in denial regarding certain changes that have come full circle the last few years. Being a lifelong Raider fan I know full well what happens when you have individuals who are incapable of adjusting to change. I am obviously referring to Al Davis here. Mr. Davis is without question one of the true pioneers when it comes to not only the NFL but to the entire history of professional football dating back to his early AFL years and even before that. However, Mr. Davis as any true Raider fan will attest to is stuck in the '70's ​​and' 80's when it comes to his football philosophies and fails to realize that most of the X's and O's from era's gone by are no longer as effective as they once were. Joe Gibbs also struggled with this and countless numbers of fantasy owners are following suit. Based upon what I can see from my draft and also the number of mock drafts I did last summer I realize that there are loads of stick in the mud fantasy owners who are STILL dead set on taking RB with their first 2 and sometimes first 3 picks and who in my opinion greatly over exaggerate the value of the position when drafting. A prime example of this lies with an owner in my league we call Tuna Eyes for reasons we will not get into here. Anyways, Tuna Eyes always goes RB, RB, and RB with his first 3 picks and not coincidentally has failed to reach the playbacks each of the last 3 years.

Now, before everyone starts ridiculing me and calling me friendly names listen to my argument. I am NOT saying that RB's are not important. Quite the contrary, if one does not have a good stable of RB's their odds of winning his / her league are slim at best. However, times have changed people and my whole point is that with how the NFL is played these days (ie running back by committee) there are ample ball carriers that can be had later in the draft that produce similar or greater numbers that high profile backs selected ahead of them. Those owners who fail to adapt to the changing times (ie Tuna Eyes) will be left in the dust and not be as successful as their counterparts who are more open minded toward how they are going to draft come late August.

To be truthful I DID take Larry Johnson in the 2nd round of my draft this past summer. I had the 5th pick where I selected Peyton Manning and I thought LJ coming back around in the 2nd was a great value. Needless to say I was wrong. All LJ did last year was slap some woman around at various Kansas City nightsclubs while at the same time providing little or no help to owners such as myself who were sucked in by his past accomplishments. Several other backs had similar fates. Well, similar except for the punching woman in Kansas City nightclubs part. In contrast, the 2 backs who I DID ride to the title were:

Chris Johnson (Rookie drafted in the 14th round out of 17 rounds)

Matt Forte (Rookie. I traded Aaron Rogers for Forte who I had drafted in the 16th round)

So, the power backs on my team came from the 14th and 16th rounds respectively. Both of them in addition to several others including DeAngelo Williams, Steve Slaton, Michael Turner, and Lendale White vastly outperformed the likes of LT, Steven Jackson, LJ, Brian Westbrook, Marshawn Lynch, Frank Gore, and Joseph Addai. You can not make a mistake with your first couple picks and with that being said is is far better to go for a franchise QB and a big play WR like Calvin Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald with your first 2 picks and then stockpile RB's later in the draft. They put up more points and are much less sooner to injury. Furthermore, RB's are much easier to predict breakout games against poor defenses than WR's and then playing RB's based on match ups is simpler than other positions. It just makes sense. Ask yourself, how many teams use a one back system now? Hardly any if any at all. Maybe St. Louis bu Jackson is hurt all the time anyways. Moreover, these tandems are getting more evenly distributed each and every year. The “main” guy will get 20 carries and the “backup” will see between 12-15 OR the main guy will get the carries and the yards but then the vulcher will come in and steal all of the TD's. Bottom line is that this is simple math folks. There are FAR more RB's producing quality fantasy points nowdays than there were 5 years ago because all teams now implement multiple back systems in order to reserve their “feature” back from taking an inordinate amount of punishment.

This year will be no different and someone will undoably draft D. Williams in the top 5. A couple of questions relating to Williams heading into 2009. (1) Do you REALLY think that he will rush for 1700 yds and 20 TD's this season? (2) How many other good seasons has Williams had? (3) What was the name of that guy Carolina just drafted? Oh yeah, Jonathan Stewart who I also had on my bench last season by the way. Ask me right now who I would rather have this year Williams or Calvin Johnson and I take Megatron again no questions asked. Now, I will say that if I secure the number 1 selection in this years draft I will be using it on AP. Peterson is the new LT as long as he stays healthy. I also think that MJD is going to have a breakout year as well with Fred Taylor gone. Those are the ONLY 2 top rated backs that I am completely sold on coming into 2009 and if my number 1 is not one of them. not be a RB. In summary try something new on draft day this summer for a change. Obviously what you are doing is not working. Till next time.

Cheers and Beers

2009 Buffalo Bills Fantasy Football Preview

This is the first installation in my series that will offer readers fantasy previews for all 32 NFL teams in the coming weeks. The first division I will cover is the AFC East and I will start with the Buffalo Bills. As I mentioned I am originally from Western, NY so I am very familiar…

This is the first installation in my series that will offer readers fantasy previews for all 32 NFL teams in the coming weeks. The first division I will cover is the AFC East and I will start with the Buffalo Bills.

As I mentioned I am originally from Western, NY so I am very familiar with the Bills. Lets face facts people the Bills have been non existent since Jim Kelly and crew left town 10 plus years ago. In terms of the fantasy impact that Bills players will make this season lets do some dissecting. First, lets start with the receivers. Obviously the main move the Bills made this off season was the acquisition of TO when he was released from the Cowboys. Although I was shocked at first that the Bills went after him the more I thought about it the more it made sense. As I mentioned before in a previous post the Bills are desperate for anyone who can bring some excitement to town and the fact that TO signed with the Bills so quickly proves he was there there was not much interest in him elsewhere. My friend and fellow gothicfooball.com columnist G Pepper hit the nail right on the head when he says:

“Only TOand only in Buffalo can you make a big splash by signing a one year deal, then tell the team the following week after that you're going to work out from home and they ACCEPT it! That shows you how desperate they are BOTH are . I did find Owens' comment pretty funny: “I'll workout with them if I am in the area.” It's actually right next to Miami and Los Angeles, is not it? TO is there because he needs the Bills to try to showcase himself into one more fat contract. ”

Brother, I could not have said it any better. TO will be productive this year because he always has been no matter where he has played. How much production remains to be seen. He has a new QB (I am holding back the tears streaming down from my eyes) and must also become acclimated to the Buffalo weather which he is not accredited to. All in all I expect Owens to put up in the vicinity of 1000 yds and 6-8 TD's. Those stats would make Owens an nice number 2 fantasy option heading into '09. TO's presence immediately helps out incumbent number 1 WR Lee Evans. Evans is a great deep ball threat and has been a nice player for the Bills since they drafted him in 2004 but as most fantasy owners can attest to tends to disappear for weeks at a time with little or no production. Owens will at the very least prevent teams from being able to double Evans and gives the Bills that other receiver they have not had since Evans has been on the team.

Expect Evans to post similar stats to what he has been posting through his career with the Bills: 800-1000 yds and 4-6 TD's making Evans more of a number 3 WR or a Flex option rather than someone you can depend on a regular basis . With Evans you always have the chance for an 80 yd bomb but you also risk getting nothing from him for weeks at a time. For the most part TO and Evans are the only 2 Bills receivers that I would consider on draft day. They have no TE to speak of and Josh Reed is mediocre at best. Moreover, Rosco Parrish is on the trading block. I may possible consider spending a late round flier on James Hardy who seemed to emerge as a decent Red Zone threat late last year before getting injured.

What effect will TO have on Bills QB Trent Edwards? Is Edwards a number 1 fantasy QB heading into drafts this summer because of Owens' presence? I will now address that very topic. The Bills had high hopes for Edwards when they drafted 92nd overall in the 2007 draft, The 2007 draft also showcased JaMarcus Russell and Brady Quinn. Last season Edwards and the Bills got off to a fast start until they came out here and Adrian Wilson destroyed Edwards with a devastating hit that caused Edwards to miss 2 games and even after returning was never the same for the rest of the year. It was clearly handsome that he was scared to go down the field subsequent to that hit and it seemed like all he would do is immediately check down to Marshawn Lynch in the flat out of the backfield. The jury is still out on Edwards as at times he looks impressive and at others looks woeful. This is a big year for Edwards as he heads into his 3rd NFL season. He has weapons with Evans and TO but it remains to be seen whether he can take advantage of what he has to take his career to the next level and start flirting with the Pro Bowl.

Owens will help Edwards just from his presence presence of being on the field but he will also most certainly test his leadership qualities and it will be interesting to see how the third year signal caller will handle him the first time To go off the deep end. The one thing the Bills need that in my estimation would help Edwards' development dramatically is an athletic, pass catching TE. The Bills have really never had that type of player and it would have given Edwards a nice security blanket without having to so much on Lynch coming out of the backfield. To start the year no way do I trust Edwards as a number 1 fantasy QB until he proves to me that he can take this team under his wing and lead them consistently on a week to week basis. Treat Edwards as a decent number 2 fantasy QB heading into 2009 and someone who you may use as a bye week replacement or in other situations when the Bills have favorable match ups.

The Bills running game did not get any help from the commissioners office when it was announced recently that Lynch would have been suspended for the first 3 games of the season. When you really think about it though you realize that Lynch will now miss approximately 1/3 of the fantasy season. With that in mind I expect Lynch to be somewhat of a bargain this year much in the same way Steve Smith was last year. If you remember last year Smith (who is one of my favorite players in the league and who I should have included in my top 5 WR's article a couple weeks ago) was suspended by Carolina for the first 2 games of the year for punching Ken Lucas (who has since been released) in the face. In my draft last summer Smith went in the 5th round and without the suspension would have been late 2nd round or early 3rd round pick. I expect a similar fate for Lynch this year. Lynch certainly was a late 1st or an early 2nd round pick before the suspension and now I believe his stock has slipped to the late 3rd or 4th round.

Sure, Lynch in the 4th round sounds like a steal but if you go that route and draft him you really have to cover yourself for the first 3 games of the season. Moreover, even when Lynch does come back in week 4 he will certainly need to work off the rust making it a real possibility that fantasy owners may not see any true production out of Lynch until week 4 or maybe even week 5. Furthermore, it is no guarantee that this schmuck will stay out of trouble. He is already in the doghouse of the commissioner and anymore screw ups will have the California native facing even sterner punishment. If you draft Lynch make sure you pick up either Fred Jackson or Dominick Rhodes which the Bills just signed recently to a 2 year contract. The bottom line is this. You need starters with your first 5 picks at least and I just do not know if I can use a 3rd or 4th round pick on someone who is not going to play the first 3 games. Personally, I would not touch Lynch until at least the 5th round and no way he will be there that late.

In closing, I would steer clear of most of Buffalo's regular starters for fantasy purposes until this group proves that they can coexist and be a productive and cohesive unit on a weekly basis. Next up: The Miami Dolphins.