Ten lists of 10 things on my mind
Arian Foster's hamstring.
Sorry, no analysis on that one, just trying to show up in a Google search. At this time of year, with the last big drafting weekend ahead of us, the two things everyone is searching for are rankings and #ArianFostershamstring. And #ArianFostersMRI. And #JustinBieber.
If you've already had your draft, don't worry, I've got you covered. You can read my most current Top 250 rankings here and, as for Arian Foster's hamstring, well, he gets one of my lists all to himself. Yup, it's that time again, so let's delve right into ten lists & of 10.
List 1: 10 things that, in the deepest corner of my heart, with a top-four pick staring me in the face and just 60 seconds to make a pick, make me nervous about Arian Foster this year.
1. That the hamstring is torn.
2. That the hamstring isn't torn but that Foster will attempt to come back too soon to prove people wrong, and will tear it then.
3. That we haven't even started the season and this isn't the first time Foster has hurt his hammy.
4. That Dr. Michael Kaplan is correct in saying that this is an injury that needs two to three weeks to heal.
5. That Not-a-Doctor Arian Foster is incorrect in saying he'll be ready for Week 1.
6. That Ben Tate is waiting in the wings.
7. That Gary Kubiak, evil disciple of fantasy killer Mike Shanahan, is the head coach.
8. That Vonta Leach is gone.
9. That a guy who tweets a photo of his MRI might not be done with the ill-advised decisions.
10. That we've seen this before.
List 2: 10 things that I've noticed in the preseason.
1. The Rams love tight end Lance Kendricks. Two touchdowns (and 10 targets) in limited action in the three preseason games, it's worth noting that last season seven of the Rams' 18 passing touchdowns were to tight ends and that Sam Bradford had the ninth-most pass attempts to tight ends.
2. Daniel Thomas is not ready for prime time. Reggie Bush is not a lead back, and the only thing that screams desperation more than ordering shots for the whole bar 10 minutes before close is signing Larry Johnson. And yet, here we are. Three failed runs from the 1-yard line against the Panthers for Thomas and Tony Sporano has already said he expects Bush to get more touches this year. Thomas might get it together by the middle of the season, but I'm not super-excited.
3. Bad preseason for the Manning boys. I mean, not sure how Archie is these days, but Peyton can't even get on the field, and Eli is completing less than 50 percent of his passes (plus no touchdowns and two interceptions). In the preseason. With 30 turnovers to his name last year and no Steve Smith or Kevin Boss, Eli needs to show me something before I can consider him anything more than a fantasy backup with a famous name.
4. How 'bout them ... Falcons? When Roddy White told me on our podcast that the Falcons would be the 2011 version of the "The Greatest Show on Turf" I dismissed it as typical player hyperbole. And I still think that, ultimately, a Mike Smith team will run when it gets in close. But. Matt Ryan has attempted a whopping 67 passes this preseason, most in the NFL, including more than 40 in one half. I've never been a huge fan of Ryan from a fantasy perspective, but I have moved him significantly up in my rankings.
6. Tim Hightower(6.8 yards averaged on 25 carries) is a great fit for the Redskins' run-blocking scheme and is going to have a very good year.
7. Nate Burleson, a wide receiver for the team that attempted the third-most passes in the NFL last year, has scored a touchdown in every game so far in the preseason.
8. No pass-catcher has more receptions this preseason than tight end Aaron Hernandez of the Patriots. He's the guy who is going to get the most love on New England. I have him ahead of Rob Gronkowski in my rankings, and yet, Gronkowski is going 11th among tight ends and Hernandez is going 15th.
9. While he was banged up, Emmanuel Sanders started on the path to getting "Wally Pipped" by Antonio Brown of the Steelers. Nine receptions for Brown this preseason, seven of which have gone for first downs. A quarterback remembers that.
10. Plaxico Burress had one really nice play, a 26-yard touchdown catch against the Bengals. Let me repeat that. The Bengals. In preseason. He's 34 years old on a run-first team. He failed to catch a pass against the Giants. Calm down, the lot of you.
List 3: 10 players who have not wound up on any of my teams in any of the drafts (real or mock) I've done so far.
List 4: 10 best (printable) fantasy football team names as suggested by users on my Facebook page.
Lotta puns on the name Ndamukong Suh and the many variations of using "TD's" and the size of said TDs, plus Double Dwayne Bowe's is a perennial favorite, and many were bummed when the Lions' rookie running back went down, taking "Jersey Leshoure" off the board. Matt Forte's name is always popular and "Rock out with your lock out" showed up a lot. For the many plays on Michael Vick's name and more of the over 900 suggestions, go to my Facebook page.
1. (from Chris Plester) Pimpin' ain't Brees-y.
2. (from Jeremy Myles) Just ReVickHillis.
3. (from Ross Spargur) I plaxidentally shot myself.
4. (from Brian Kalisch) It's on like Ndamukong.
5. (from Michael Sawner) You say goodbye, I Roy Helu.
6. (from Peter L Dimmick) Breaston Largements.
7. (from Pabhon Poonpatana) I don't rent. I'm a romoowner.
8. (from Joey DiRienzo) Amendola Oblongata.
9. (from Johnny Albertson) Seal Team 6 (surprised more didn't suggest this).
10. (from Evan Parrott) I'm bringing Hasselbeck.
List 5: 10 players who have an average draft position of 170 (meaning they are being undrafted in ESPN standard leagues) but should be your first pickups if you've already had your draft and are speculating before the season starts (or are good deep sleepers if you've yet to draft).
1. Delone Carter, RB, Colts.
2. Greg Little, WR, Browns.
3. Isaac Redman, RB, Steelers.
4. Jamie Harper, RB, Titans.
5. Steve Smith, WR, Eagles.
6. Stevan Ridley, RB, Patriots.
7. Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Steelers.
8. Arrelious Benn, WR, Buccaneers.
9. Brandon Gibson, WR, Rams.
10. Evan Moore, TE, Browns (since I already mentioned Kendricks).
List 6: 10 leftover stats that I didn't use in my 100 Facts column.
1. Last season, Larry Fitzgerald was third in the NFL in targets with 173. The Cardinals' passing game had a completion percentage of 50.8 percent, lowest in the NFL. Kevin Kolb's career completion percentage is 60.8 percent.
2. Last season, there were only three teams that attempted as many passes as the Washington Redskins. With multiple quarterbacks, they threw for over 3,900 yards. Editorializing here, but Santana Moss is gonna have a very good year and I could see John Beck (or even Rex Grossman) being reasonably useful in fantasy.
3. Shout out to Paul Carr of ESPN Stats & Information for this one: After Santonio Holmes joined the Jets in Week 5 last season, he had the same number of targets as Calvin Johnson, more targets than Hakeem Nicks and more receiving yards than DeSean Jackson.
4. And Zach Jones of ESPN Stats & Information gets credit for this pull: In the four games last season that Kevin Kolb threw more than 10 passes, and Brent Celek played, Celek had 12 receptions, 128 yards and two touchdowns.
5. Todd Heap now plays for Kolb's Cardinals.
6. Last season, only two quarterbacks attempted more passes to the tight end than Matt Schaub, with 137. One of them was Drew Brees, who attempted 151 passes to a tight end. (Not surprisingly, Peyton Manning was first.)
10. Last season, Jahvid Best was stuffed on 17.5 percent of his rushes, the highest percentage of any running back with at least 170 carries.
List 7: 10 more (printable) fantasy football team names from my Facebook page
1. (from Jason Gallant) Schrute Farms Beets.
2. (from Rick Sivertsen) One Man Wolfpack.
3. (from Kyle Pearson) Bros before Shiancoes.
4. (from Peter Rutherford) Baby Back Cribbs.
5. (from Jonathan Weaver) More Karabell!
6. (from Casey Knapp) Snakes on Reggie Wayne
7. (from Shaun Foley) Where my blitzes at?
8. (from Matt Hess) Starks Side of the Moon
9. (from Casey Moulton) Ha-KUHN-amatada
10. (from Ross Sadler) Inglorious Bradfords
List 8: 10 unsexy, boring guys that no one will get excited about but, based on where they are being drafted, will help you win your league.
1. Matt Forte, RB, Bears.
2. Fred Jackson, RB, Bills.
3. Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seahawks.
4. Santana Moss, WR, Redskins.
5. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers.
6. Lance Moore, WR, Saints.
7. Wes Welker, WR, Patriots.
8. Danny Amendola, WR, Rams.
9. Greg Olsen, TE, Panthers.
10. Matthew Berry, TMR, Worldwide Leader.
List 9: My 10 "Flag" guys. Christopher Harris wrote about his the past two preseason, and I like the idea so much, I'm stealing it. Er, I mean I'm paying homage to it. Just like the ten lists of 10 concept. I've already done my Love /Hate, but here are the 10 guys I feel the strongest about and will be judged by this season.
1. Felix Jones, RB, Cowboys.
2. Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions.
3. Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys. (Hell, all of the Cowboys).
4. Anquan Boldin, WR, Ravens.
5. Shonn Greene, RB, Jets.
6. Mike Tolbert, RB, Chargers.
7. Willis McGahee, RB, Broncos.
8. Owen Daniels, TE, Texans.
9. Tim Hightower, RB, Redskins.
10. And of course, Eagles QB Michael Vick at No. 1.
List 10: 10 potential "Fantasy Zombies," guys that have been, in effect, left for dead and aren't draftable but who could suddenly roar back to life to have value, like Cedric Benson the year he joined the Bengals midseason. (Deion Branch was on this list last year.)
1. Bernard Berrian, WR, Vikings.
2. Vince Young, QB, Eagles.
3. Brian Westbrook, RB, Free agent.
4. Terrell Owens, WR, Free agent.
5. Randy Moss, WR, Free agent.
6. Steve Slaton, RB, Texans.
7. Eddie Royal, WR, Broncos.
8. Jabar Gaffney, WR, Redskins.
9. Donald Driver, WR, Packers.
10. Jeremy Shockey, TE, Panthers.
Matthew Berry -- The Talented Mr. Roto -- would like to once again mention #Bieber. Berry is the creator of RotoPass.com, a website that combines a bunch of well-known fantasy sites, including ESPN Insider, for one low price. Use promo code ESPN for 10 percent off. He is a charter member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame. Cyberstalk the TMR | Be his cyberfriend