BOSTON (CBS) – Maybe your fantasy draft is just days away, so CBS Sports’ Dave Richard came on Thursday morning with Adam Jones and Albert Breer, filling in for Toucher & Rich, to answer a number of different questions from the guys, and took some calls from the listeners as well.
Most fantasy leagues are very running back dependent, so that’s where the discussion began, starting with two knuckleheads on the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Le’Veon Bell and former Patriot LeGarrette Blount will likely face charges of marijuana possession following a traffic stop Wednesday afternoon, which could also draw punishment from the league.
That aside, which Steelers back is poised for the bigger season?
“I still think it’s going to be Le’Veon Bell more often than LeGarrette Blount. I just think he’s more diverse of a running back, and certainly could prove that he can work at the goal line last year. But (offensive coordinator) Todd Haley does mysterious things, so you can’t be so sure of it that Le’Veon will have more work at the end of the season.”
In recent years, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has been the consensus no. 1 overall pick, but Richard thinks that is changing for this upcoming season.
“I won’t fight you on it if you’re gonna take LeSean McCoy, but I just think Jamaal Charles is going to get a lot of work again given Andy Reid’s track record with running backs. Jamaal Charles was banged up last preseason too, and it scared a lot of people off of drafting him. He went on to total over 1,900 yards and 19 touchdowns last season, so let’s not jump the gun and think this will somehow harpoon his entire season.”
Albert Breer tweeted recently that given all the flags in the preseason, and the re-emphasis on penalizing defensive holding and illegal contact, we’re not too far away from having a 6,000 yard passer. Peyton Manning set an NFL record with 5,477 in 2013.
The tendency in fantasy drafts is to take running backs early, but with all these penalties in place favoring the offense — specifically the passing game — should we start to reconsider our fantasy drafting philosophy?
“Someday [a 6,000 yard passer] might happen, but I’m worried there’s gonna be so many penalties that negate big passing plays. Overall the penalties will extend drives, so maybe that’s how some quarterbacks get to 5,000 yards. I think Peyton, Drew Brees and Matt Stafford will all get there, and you can even make the case that Matt Ryan and Tony Romo get there too. Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers might not be too far behind with Nick Foles.
“There’s going to be a lot of passing. I think it’s going to impact everybody the same. It doesn’t change my strategy, but I think it does make me lean more and be open to taking a wide receiver or tight end in Round 1 when there isn’t a running back that I’m comfortable with on the board,” said Richard.
Which rookie running back and wide receiver will have the biggest year of his class? Listen below for the full conversation!