Join Date: Jan 2005
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Re: Camp winners/losers
Going Up: Corey Bradford, WR - After being re-signed, Bradford reportedly had his best offseason as a Texan. Jabar Gaffney's shoulder surgery gives Bradford a chance to start again. But once again, it looks safe to ignore Texans receivers other than Andre Johnson.
Going Down: David Carr, QB - Carr was pummeled last season, yet the front office barely addressed the offensive line. The Texans still don't know who will play left tackle. Carr also did not have a reliable second receiver last season after Andre Johnson. Houston's solution: re-sign Corey Bradford and draft fourth-round pick Jerome Mathis. Ugh.
Going Up: Edgerrin James, RB - Sure, he's holding out. But edgy owners everywhere should rest easy after James told ESPN.com that he would not miss any playing time this season. After LaDainian Tomlinson, there may not be a safer choice in fantasy leagues.
Going Down: Dallas Clark, TE - This is Clark's season to emerge as a top tier tight end. That's why it was so frustrating to hear that the oft-injured tight end underwent hernia surgery in April. He should be ready for training camp, but that's an injury that tends to re-occur. Clark remains a notch below players like Randy McMichael and Alge Crumpler.
Going Up: Reggie Williams, WR - Last year's bust got a lot of positive press last offseason too, so we're a bit skeptical. But the trimmed down former Washington player will continue to get opportunities after a strong summer. Matt Jones, Troy Edwards, and Ernest Wilford are not great challengers for his starting job.
Also Moving: LaBrandon Toefield, RB - If Fred Taylor's knee remains a problem, it's hard to imagine Jacksonville not acquiring a veteran running back. But for now, Toefield is running with the Jaguars first team. He'd probably split carries with Alvin Pearman, making him draftable in summer leagues. Just don't reach.
Going Down: Fred Taylor, RB - Fred Taylor went on the NFL Network recently to assure fans he'll be ready for the 2005 season. His appearance had the opposite effect. Taylor spoke about his long recovery, alluding to working with the same trainer who rehabbed Willis McGahee and Edgerrin James after their ACL surgeries. Taylor also said that he could succeed in the regular season without training camp work, a bad sign for his availability this August.
Going Up: Brandon Jones, WR - There are three rookie Titans wideouts vying for significant roles: Jones, Courtney Roby, and Roydell Williams. Jones has shown the best combination of size, explosiveness, and route-running ability. With Tyrone Calico still banged-up, Jones has an outside chance to start opposite Drew Bennett.
Also Moving: Steve McNair, QB - Okay, so the wide receiver group isn't ideal. Yeah, the offensive line is in flux. But McNair is healthy and participated in a full offseason of workouts for the first time in years. The Titans will need to score big to win this year, making McNair a high upside QB2 with a fair share of risk.
Going Down: Ben Troupe, TE - This promising sleeper had foot surgery in late May. He remains on target to return in the middle of training camp, but could lose snaps to Erron Kinney in the process. He's still a fun, late tight end pick if you decide to carry two players at the position.
Going Up: Mike Anderson, RB - It's only June. Mike Anderson's place on top of the Denver depth chart at running back could be cosmetic. Coach Mike Shanahan is probably making second-year pro Tatum Bell earn his stripes. That said, Anderson's lofty status is a reminder that he's still on the fantasy radar. If he's the primary backup in Denver, he's highly draftable.
Going Down: Quentin Griffin, RB - It's disappointing that Q hasn't practiced all summer following ACL surgery last season. While he should be ready for camp, it looks like the Broncos don't expect Griffin to have a huge role. The drafting of Maurice Clarett doesn't help matters.
Kansas City Chiefs
Going Up: Freddie Mitchell, WR - Put FredEx on 31 other teams and we're not sure he's a fantasy factor. But Kansas City is the perfect chance for him to catch 50 balls out of the slot. Even if Samie Parker starts in front of him, Mitchell should beat out Marc Boerigter and Craphonso Thorpe for the number three role. While not quite draftable in most leagues, Mitchell has a chance to make an impact.
Also Moving: Derrick Johnson, LB - He's impressed coaches and media alike with his instincts and quickness all summer. A surefire week one starter, Johnson will be an IDP factor.
Going Down: Jerome Woods, S - He used to be a IDP stud, but now Jerome Woods looks unlikely to start in Kansas City. Greg Wesley is likely to line up across from Sammy Knight this season.
Going Up: Ronald Curry, WR - Curry's rehab from a torn Achilles tendon was going well enough for Oakland to re-sign him to a long-term deal. Already running, it now looks very possible that Curry will be ready for training camp. He's a great flier as a late-round fantasy pick this season.
Going Down: Marques Tuiassossopo, QB - Hardly a natural fit for Norv Turner's offense, Tuiassossopo could lose his backup job to rookie Andrew Walter this season.
San Diego Chargers
Going Up: Eric Parker, WR - Parker probably doesn't have the size to be an every-down receiver. But the Chargers will give him a better chance to stay healthy this season by using Darren Sproles on their return units. Keenan McCardell and Reche Caldwell are both injury risks ahead of him, so Parker could end up on the field plenty.
Going Down: Keenan McCardell, WR - McCardell has struggled this summer with the same hamstring troubles that bothered him last season. Now 35, it's fair to wonder if the once-durable McCardell can stay healthy.