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As I’m finishing this piece, I’ve learned two, maybe 1.5, pieces of devastating news hitting FFM-land. Spencer Ware is now expected done for the year, but I already had redraft-moved on from him yesterday in my mind – but in deeper dynasty/MFL, etc. — I still expected him to come back to give me something in the second half of the season. Then my text started blowing up with the Cameron Meredith news – he looks pretty well done for the year as well. If you’re keep score at home, and you already drafted, basically the middle part of our 15-round redraft plans are being systematically destroyed by God one by one. Enunwa, Ware, and now Meredith. Brace yourself for the Tyreek Hill ‘piano falls on the head’ news later today.
Just to note real quick because I already did the game recap for KC under the assumption Ware would be back at some point during the year – now he’s gone, and thus Kareem Hunt has more value but it’s all overblown right now in many cases. You’d think David Johnson was taking over in KC for some of the football media. I’d rather take other more ‘sure’ assets in the top 40 before I went overboard on Hunt. Charcandrick West, the experienced guy, still exists. Whatever people feared about Spencer Ware teamed with Hunt, they really should with Hunt and West. I wonder if KC wishes they had extended that cheap deal to Jamaal Charles right about now?
As far as Cameron Meredith goes, everyone’s asking whether to pick up Kevin White – he is something to look at, but I’d rather grab Chris Hogan or Danny Amendola/PPR. I’m not sure White is good at football yet – but I get the sentiment. He could be good, but Amendola is Edelman for now and Hogan is on fire with Brady of late.
As far as this game goes, Aaron Rodgers played a little bit in the first quarter and looked like typical Aaron Rodgers. The Packers defense looks like it did last year – constantly getting gashed but no worries because Rodgers can go toe to toe — good for ARod’s fantasy numbers – his defense is still hole-riddled.
I only wanted to watch this game for one reason – to get a glimpse of the mysterious Jamaal Charles (4-27-0). I planned my night around it — to watch it live. I tried to hold back the draft guide updates until I could see how it looked. Of course, with my 2017 injury-riddled luck, Denver didn’t get the ball first…so I had to wait. And then Vance Joseph barely put Charles into the game the first few series, so I just gave up and downgraded Charles assuming C.J. Anderson is locked in because Vance Josephlocks into strange things and excludes others (i.e. Kyle Sloter).
Of course, once we publish the draft guide update — then Charles gets a more extended look and we get to see what’s happening. So, let’s start with Jamaal Charles…
— Charles didn’t get in on the first series for reasons that are completely mind-boggling. If you know you’re going to play the guy and you know he’s a fringe Hall of Fame talent, why wouldn’t you get him in quick touch out of respect…if not out of curiosity?
Charles gets in for two plays in the second series and then comes back out for more C.J. Anderson.
Here’s the problem with this – it shows how completely out to lunch Vance Joseph is as a head coach. These guys (like Joseph) are so worked up to have a whistle and a coaches hat…but no one ever asks if they have any common business sense or any personnel management or organizational management skills. When you have a guy with Jamaal Charles’s resume, and he’s busted his ass to try to get back into the NFL, and he signed with your team on a basic deal because he’s willing to prove himself – you give that guy a better seat at the table in a preseason game.
Vance Joseph is so worried about this being a dress rehearsal but he completely missed the psyche of running a football team, I guess. What is Joseph expecting to see from his starters? He’s had a QB controversy between two guys who blow at QB all summer. C.J. Anderson is the most mediocre running back you could find in the league…he’s fine. Joseph knows exactly what he has with CJA — what he doesn’t know is if Jamaal Charles can come in and save the day. Instead of exploring that, he puts Charles to the back of the line. I don’t want to hear about not ‘moving too fast’ with him – you knew you were going to play him, he got in the game early, and then you kept pulling him until later in the game. You don’t do that to somebody with Charles’s background. It’s as short-sighted as Anthony Lynn not letting his veteran players go to the Hall of Fame ceremonies for LaDainian Tomlinson. These head coaches who go through a football life with no outside business experience are somewhere between ignorant and egotistical to not realize the optics of the things they do. Nothing is more important to them than ‘neck rolls’ and ‘high knees’ and nonsensical team meetings where they shout clichés for 60 minutes. You have to do better by Charles than to treat him like a nobody.
OK, back to Jamaal Charles.
So, of course, Jamaal Charles starts getting more touches and looks like the old Jamaal Charles. Everyone starts getting excited. Denver should be excited. I think Vance Joseph is more pissed off because now this blows his C.J. Anderson as unfettered starter theory because he’s practiced the most. I’m telling you, the NFL is so ridiculous sometimes. Success-adverse should be their motto.
Charles renders a problem for C.J. Anderson’s fantasy value. There’s no way you can keep Charles from getting touches. And when Charles gets touches compared to Anderson it will obvious to even Vance Joseph – this is going to a full-scale split until Charles takes over the main role. Worst case, it’s a split all year…whether Joseph likes it or not – and I’m sure he’ll try to fight it for the first 1-2 games.
Bottom line – Jamaal Charles looks every bit as healthy as I have been reporting. I have good Intel and research. I’m not just flying by the seat of my pants all day. I don’t like to bet on things blindly if I can help it. Why do you think I was so pro-Charles this whole offseason?
Which begs the question — why did every single football media outlet cover Charles the same exact way? He was always a guy unlikely to make the team. Guy who needed to prove himself. You know who he is now – guy who is the best running back on the Denver Broncos…and I don’t think Vance Joseph likes it one bit.
Which means get excited about your cheap Jamaal investment, but get ready to be disappointed by Vance Joseph…master poker player, king of disappointment, rookie NFL head coach.
C.J. Anderson looked fine this game. He’s a good player. No problems. It’s just that Jamaal Charles is Jamaal Charles, and CJA…you are no Jamaal Charles.
Rookie RB DeAngelo Henderson (9-34-0) really improved again this week. I thought he looked kind of skittish Week one, better in Week two, and really ran the ball well here in Week three. He’s looking faster and faster each week. The Jamaal Charles news renders Henderson useless to start FF 2017.
— Speaking of players Vance Joseph doesn’t like, but are the best players at their position on his team, Kyle Sloter (4-7 for 49 yards, 1 TD/ 0 INT) threw another TD pass and won another game…and once again looked like the only Denver QB that appears to be worthy of an NFL starter.
I love at one point this game, when Sloter entered, because Paxton Lynch got driven into the ground and hurt, they flashed an infographic up on Sloter’s preseason statistics – 92.3% completion percentage and a 138.5 passer rating. You know with those statistics mean – to Vance Joseph it means you’re cut already…so cut he has to announce it three weeks ahead of time.
Part of the Vance Joseph cover up of his foolishness was — he had no intention of playing Sloter in this game. The Sloter momentum among the fans and some media was getting a little too hot. He stuck his giant foot in his giant mouth basically cutting Sloter to the media last week. I commented on his ridiculous comments that he would now bench Sloter or if he plays him — prepared to get embarrassed. Lynch gets hurt a couple plays in, Sloter has to come in – and of course looks like a gem as always. Once again, Vance Joseph is showing he has literally no idea about evaluating talent or how to handle it.
Kyle Sloter is too good for this team – I hope they cut him so he can go to a better place.
Actually, I hope he stays because their quarterbacks are so horrible that Sloter will be starting by midseason. Let’s just start referring to Kyle Sloter by his new name = Kurt Warner.
— Speaking of ignored QBs, Brett Hundley (20-30 for 186 yards, 5-14-1) continues to play very good football and no one cares…not even his own team. Nor 20+ other teams in the NFL who could use him or trade trinkets for him. Not even the Jacksonville Jaguars.
— On another team, and/or when Kyle Sloter takes over — Jordan Taylor (3-36-0/3) would be an emerging sleeper WR. Not here. He’s a deep sleeper.
— Where have you been Shelby Harris (7 tackles, 3 sacks, 4 TFLs)? He’s been wandering in the wilderness for three years but looks like he’s finally got it all together. This was probably the best statistical performance by any defense of player in the 2017 preseason.
Harris is an Aaron Donald-ish DT prospect – 6’2″/285 and runs 4.8+ 40-time with a 7.5+ three-cone. He was on stoppable in many parts of this game. A serious IDP sleeper here. It made it a solid p[erformance from 2nd-year IDP Adam Gostsis (3 tackles, 1 sack) look relevant by comparison. Denver has some serious D-Line talent coming up the ranks.
— Do you know who looks good this preseason – Virgil Green. But I’ve already sworn off him for good.